Cynric, king of Wessex

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Also Known As: "Cynwrig"
Birthplace: Kingdom of Wessex, England (United Kingdom)
Death: 560 (34-35)
Kingdom of Wessex, England (United Kingdom) (in battle)
Place of Burial: Wessex
Immediate Family:

Son of Crioda, King of West Saxons
Father of Ceawlin, king of Wessex and Cutha, Prince of Wessex
Brother of Cwichelm, Prince Of Wessex and Crida, Prince of Wessex

Occupation: King of Wessex, L79G-46M, koning Wessex
Managed by: Sally Gene Cole
Last Updated:

About Cynric, king of Wessex

Cynric ruled as king of Wessex from 534 to 560. He was either the son or grandson of Cerdic. Among the few statements made about his life were that he captured Searobyrig or Old Sarum, near Salisbury, in 552, and that in 556 he and his son Ceawlin won a battle against the Britons at Beranburh, now identified as Barbury Camp.


Cynric of Wessex ruled as king of Wessex from 534 to 560. Everything known about him comes from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. There he is stated to have been the son of Cerdic, and also (in the regnal list in the preface) to have been the son of Cerdic's son, Creoda. During his reign he is said to have captured Searobyrig or Old Sarum, near Salisbury, in 552, and that in 556 he and his son Ceawlin won a battle against the Britons at Beranburh, now identified as Barbury Castle.[1] If these dates are accurate, then it is unlikely that the earlier entries in the chronicle, starting with his arrival in Britain with his father Cerdic in 495, are correct. David Dumville has suggested that his true regnal dates are 554-581.

The name Cynric has a straightforward Old English etymology meaning "kin-ruler." However, as both his predecessor, Cerdic, and successor, Ceawlin, have Celtic names an alternative etymology has been postulated from "cunorix" which would mean "hound-king" in Old British (rendered as "cynwrig" in Old Welsh).[2] In 1967 a stone was found at Wroxeter in a Sub-Roman context with the inscription CUNORIX MACUS MA QVI COLINE.[3] This wording contains both the name Cunorix and another which is reminiscent of "Ceawlin."

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Whether or not Creola was father of Cynric is not certain. The Winchester Manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle lists Cynric as the son of Cerdic. However the Abingdon and Worcester Manuscripts have Creola as the son of Cerdic and father of Cynric.

The Winchester (or Parker) Chronicle has Cynric, son of Cerdic , son of Elesa, son of Gewis, son of Wig, son of Freawine, son of Frithugar, son of Brand, son of Beldeg, son of Woden, son of Finn, son of Godwulf, son of Geats (‘’Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’’ (A) : The Winchester Manuscript, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 173, ff.1-32).

A.D. 495: "Here two chieftains; Cerdic and Cynric his son, came to Britain with 5 ships at a place which is called Cerdic's shore and the same day fought against the Welsh

A.D. 508: "Here Cerdic and Cynric killed a certain British king, whose name was Natanleod, and 5 thousand men with him - after whom the land as far as Charford was name Netley.

A.D. 519: "Here Cerdic and Cynric succeeded to the Kingdom of the West Saxons; and the same year they fought against the Britons at the place they now name Cerdic's ford. And the royal family of the West Saxons ruled from that day on."

A.D. 527: "Here Cerdic and Cynric fought against the Britons at the place which is called Cerdic's Wood."
‘ A.D. 530: "Here Cerdic and Cynric took the Isle of Wight and killed a few men at Wihtgar's stronghold."

A.D. 552: "Here Cynric fought against the Britons at the place which is named Salisbury, and put the Britons to flight."

A.D. 556: "Here Cynric and Ceawlin fought against the Britons at Bera's stronghold."

Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Cynric, (died 560), king of the West Saxons, or Wessex (from 534). By some accounts he also reigned jointly (519–534) with his grandfather (or father?), Cerdic, founder of Wessex. The period was apparently one of consolidating gains climaxed by the Battle of Mount Badon (520) rather than a period of further expansion, though Cynric is said to have routed Britons in battle at least once, at a place called Searobyrg (552). He was succeeded by his son Ceawlin.


The founders of the Kingdom of Wessex were supposedly Cerdic and Cynric, who established a Saxon kingdom in the region south of the Thames in around 530 A.D. A generation later, Ceawlin, the 3rd King of Wessex, greatly expanded the area of Wessex, driving both the Welsh and Britons out of the region, and establishing Wessex as one of the primary kingdoms in England. The Saxon and Angle kingdoms of England remained independent until about 800 A.D., at which time Egbert, a king of Wessex, sought to unify the kingdoms under a single head. It was at this time that Britain became known as England (Angle-Land).

Cynric faced competition from Stuf and Wihtgar, who came to Wessex in 514 and were said to be "nefa" of Cerdic and Cynric. The term "nefa" means both nephew and grandson, and it has been suggested that Stuf and Wihtgar were father and son; possibly a son and grandson of Cerdic's sister and a Jutish nobleman. In 534, Cynric gave the Isle of Wight to Stuf and Wihtgar.


  • ‘’The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’’.
  • Britannica Online” “Cynric”.
  • Leo: Europäische Stammtafeln, J.A. Stargardt Verlag, Marburg, Schwennicke, Detlev (Ed.), Reference: II 77.
  • Morby, John, Dynasties of the World: a chronological and genealogical handbook (Oxford, Oxfordshire, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1989), page 66.
  • Cynric, King of Wessex.
  • Weis, ‘’Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700’’, 1-3.
  • Wikipedia: Cynric of Wessex.
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Cynric, king of Wessex's Timeline

Hampshire, England
Kingdom of Wessex, England (United Kingdom)
Age 9
King of the West Saxons
- 560
Age 9
- 560
Age 9
Wessex, England (United Kingdom)
Age 35
King of the West Saxons in Wessex