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of but a single town and a small surrounding district, strongly fortified, and its power was chiefly maritime; although from being better furnished with arms and more skilled in their use, its people possessed an influence over the adjacent country somewhat similar to that of European colonies in the East in more recent times.

A.D. 796. Cynulf of Mercia ravages Kent; he takes Præn prisoner, and mutilates him.

A.D. 797. Siric, tributary king of East Anglia, goes to Rome.

A.D. 798. Wada, having rebelled against Eardwulf, is defeated and put to flight at Hwealleage or Billingahoth (Whalley, in Lancashire,) April 2.

London burnt.

A.D. 800. Brihtric of Wessex diesm; Egbert is chosen to succeed him.

The Empire of the West re-established by the coronation of Charlemagne, Dec. 25.


EGBERT, the fourth in descent from Ingils, brother of

Arms ascribed to Egbert.


Ina, being banished by Brihtric,

sought refuge at the court of Charlemagne, and was in his company at Rome when the French king received the dignity of emperor of the West. On the death of Brihtric Egbert was recalled to Wessex, and ascended the throne. He warred successfully with

He was poisoned by his wife Edburga. She retired first, to France, then to Italy, and died miserably at Pavia.

the Britons, and thus increased the power of his kingdom while the other Saxon states were falling into ruin from their ceaseless dissensions. At length in 819 he commenced a formal course of conquest, which in the course of eight years made him sole monarch, when he granted Kent to his son Ethelwulf, but allowed the more remote states of Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria to be ruled by tributary kings.

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This change being accomplished in the year 827, the ancient title of " Bretwalda" was revived, and Egbert is seen by a charter granted in 828 to have used the style of King of the English," though more commonly terming himself merely king of Wessex. He married Redburga, a lady whose parentage is not ascertained, and left by her, -Ethelwulf, his successor in the monarchy; Athelstan, who is styled king of Kent; and Ethelbald. Egbert died most probably in the year 837, but different MSS. of the Saxon Chronicle ascribe the length of 36, 37, and 38 years to his reign.

The arms in the margin, "azure, a cross patonce or," have been ascribed to Egbert; but it is now generally agreed that any thing resembling personal heraldic bearings was unknown till the twelfth century.

A.D. 800. The Hwiccians", a people of Mercia, invade Wessex, but are defeated by the men of Wiltshire at Kempsford.

A.D. 805. Cuthred of Kent dies.

A.D. 806. Eardwulf of Northumbria, driven from his kingdom, retires to the court of Charlemagne.

A.D. 812. Death of the emperor Charlemagne.

• Inhabiting the modern counties of Gloucester and Monmouth.


A.D. 813. "Egbert laid waste West Wales (Devon and Cornwall) from eastward to westward."

A.D. 816. The English school at Rome burnt. A.D.819. Cenwulf of Mercia dies; Ceolwulf succeeds. A.D. 821. Ceolwulf of Mercia deprived of his kingdom; Beornwulf succeeds.

A.D. 822. A synod held at CloveshooP.

A.D. 823. Egbert defeats Beornwulf of Mercia at Ellendune, (near Wilton).

Ethelwulf, son of Egbert, drives Baldred of Kent beyond the Thames.

"And the men of Kent, and the men of Surrey, and the South Saxons and the East Saxons, submitted to Egbert; for formerly they had been unjustly forced from him. And the same year the king of the East Angles and the people sought the alliance and protection of King Egbert for dread of the Mercians; and the same year the East Angles slew Beornwulf, king of Mercia." A.D. 825. Ludeca of Mercia is slain; Wiglaf suc


A.D. 827. "King Egbert conquered the kingdom of the Mercians, and all that was south of the Humber; and he was the eighth king who was Bretwalda . . . And Egbert led an army to Dore against the Northumbrians, and there they offered him obedience and allegiance, and with that they separated."

A.D. 828. Wiglaf re-obtains Mercia, as a tributary to Egbert.

Egbert makes war successfully on the North Welsh.

• This served not only as a school, but as a place of entertainment for the English pilgrims; it was situate near St. Peter's, but had its own church, dedicated to St. Mary.

› See p. 72.

A.D. 832. The Northmen ravage Sheppy.

A.D. 833. The Northmen defeat Egbert at Carrum (probably Charmouth in Dorsetshire).

A.D. 835. The Northmen unite with the West Welsh (the Britons in Cornwall and Devon), but are defeated at Hengestdown, in Cornwall, by Egbert. A.D. 837. Egbert dies; Ethelwulfsucceeds.


ETHELWULF is said, though on very doubtful authority, to have been designed for the Church, but at his father's death he succeeded to the kingdom, and granted the administration of the southern and eastern portions to his brother Athelstan. Ethelwulf's reign is chiefly remarkable for the ceaseless ravages of the Northmen, and his own journey to Rome, and liberal benefactions to the Church. By his first wife, Osburga, the daughter of Oslac, of the stem of Cerdic, he left four sons, who all became kings, and two daughters. His second marriage, and the coronation of his young queen, Judith, gave deep offence to his subjects, and he was obliged to cede the greater part of his

dominions to his eldest son. Ethelwulf died shortly after, and was buried at Winchester 9.


a In the medal room of the British Museum is preserved an interesting memento of this king. It is a gold ring bearing his name, and having the cavities filled with a bluish-black enamel. It was found in a cart-rut in the parish of Laverstock, in Hampshire, and its weight is 11 dwts. 14 grains.

Ethelwulf' Ring.

A.D. 837. Athelstan, brother of Ethelwulf, rules the country of Kent, Sussex, Surrey and East Anglia. The Northmen defeated at Southampton; they are successful at Portland.

A.D. 838. Wiglaf of Mercia dies; Beorhtwulf succeeds.

Kent, East Anglia, and Lincolnshire ravaged by the Northmen.

The Northmen establish themselves in Dublin.

A.D. 839. "This year there was great slaughter at London, and at Cwantawic (probably Canterbury) and Rochester."

A.D. 840. Ethelwulf defeated at Carrum (Charmouth) by the Northmen.


About the time that the states of the Heptarchy were brought under one head by Egbert, similar changes were effected among the other nations of the island. The Scots closed a long struggle by the total subjugation of the Picts, and thus laid the foundation of the North British monarchy. The lands occupied by the unconquered Britons beyond the Severn and the Wye had long been in a state of anarchy, there being as many kings as districts, but in the year 840, Roderic (afterwards known as the Great), the descendant of the last chief rulers of the northern and eastern districts, succeeded to power, and marrying the heiress of the south he brought the whole country under subjection. He, however, undid his own work by again dividing it among his three sons, giving Gwynneth (North Wales) to Anarawd, Dynevor (South Wales) to Cadel, and Powys

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