Wessex - Clifton's Collectibles Genealogy
Kingdom of Wessex Flag

Kingdom of Wessex

British Kingdoms circa 802 A.D.
British kingdoms circa 802 A.D.
Kingdom of Wessex highlighted

Monarchs of the Kingdom of Wessex

A lordly  roster of the Anglo Saxon monarchs of Wessex is in order here, even though we won't be investigating the history and genealogy of all of them. Not all of them are in my direct lineage. They are shown in order, left to right, starting on the top line.  We will be concentrating on the high-lighted (blue) names, and names with links.

Neale Clifton
Roster of Monarchs
Cerdic Cynric Ceawlin  Ceola  
Ceolwulf Cynegils Cwichelm Cenwalh
Penda of Mercia Cenwalh restored Seaxburh Ęscwine
Centwine Cędwalla Ine Ęthelheard
Cuthred Sigeberht Cynewulf Beorhtric
Egbert Ęthelwulf Ęthelbald Ęthelberht
Ęthelred Alfred Edward the Elder Ęlfweard

Wyvern_of_WessexHouse of WessexWyvern_of_Wessex

Imaginary depiction of Cerdic from John Speed's 1611 "Saxon Heptarchy".
Imaginary drawing of Cerdic from
John Speed's, Saxon Heptarchy map
Cerdic, King of Wessex  was born circa  467 in Germany.  He was  a son of Elesa ?. Cerdic had a sister (name unkown). He was  the founder of Wessex and reigned from  519 to 534 when he died and was succeeded by his son,  Cynric.  Descent from Cerdic became a necessary criterion for later kings of Wessex, and Egbert of Wessex, progenitor of the English royal house and subsequent rulers of England and Britain, claimed him as an ancestor. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him thirteen years later (in 508) and to have fought at Cerdicesleag (Charford, Cerdic's Ford) in 519, after which he became the first king of Wessex. Cerdic's sister (name unknown) had two sons, Stuf  and Whitgar, King of Isle of Wight

Wyvern_of_Wessex
Wyvern of Wessex
Cynric, King of Wessex Cynric reigned from 534 to 560.  He defeated the Romano-Britons at Salisbury in 552.  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.  Cynric had three sons, Ceawlin, King of Wessex,  Cutha, who had three sons: Ceola, King of Wessex (592 - 597), Ceowulf, King of Wessex (597 - 611), and  Ceadda.  Cynric's third son was Cuthwulf.

Imagined version of Wessex crown
Imaginary  Version of
Wessex crown
Ceawlin, King of Wessex  from 560 to 592 at which time he was deposed by his nephew Ceola.  Ceawlin died in 593  Ceawlin captured Gloucester and Bath from the Britons in 577.  Ceola and his brothers, Cutha and Cuthwulf seem to have led some or all the West Saxons between 568 and 584.  Ceawlin had the following sons: Cwichelm, Crida,  and Cuthwine.

Cuthwine of Wessex  died in 584,  His was a son of Ceawlin, King of Wessex, Cuthwine, an under ruler in Wessex, had two sons: Cynebald and Cuthwulf.


Cuthwulf of Wessex was a son of Cuthwine of Wessex. He was an under ruler in Wessex and had a son, Ceolwold


Ceolwold of Wessex, an under ruler in Wessex who had a son: Cenred

Wyvern_of_Wessex
Wyvern of Wessex
Cenred of Wessex, an under ruler who acceded in 694, and  had the following children:  Ine, King of Wessex (688 - 726), Ingild.  Cwenburh, Abbess of Wimborne, Cuthburh who married Aldfrid, King of Northumbria (685 - 704); their son was Osred I, King of Northumbria (704 - 716)

Imagined version of Wessex xrown
 Version of
Wessex crown
Ine, King  of Wessex*  reigned over 37 years in Wessex, from 688-726.  His predecessor  was Cędwalla. His father was Cenred; his consort was Ęthelburg of Wessex.  According to an entry in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, "A.D. 718. This year died Ingild, the brother of Ine(a). Cwenburga and Cuthburga were their sisters. Cuthburga reared the monastery of  Wimburn; and, though given in marriage to Ealdferth, King of Northumberland, they parted during their lives."   Ine abdicated in 726, (with no potential sucessors in his family), to go to Rome, leaving the kingdom to "younger men", in the words of the contemporary chronicler Bede. He was succeeded by Ęthelheard.  He died after 726 in Rome, Italy.  
(*an uncle in this line)

Ingild of Wessex who died in 718, had a son:  Eoppa


Eoppa of Wessex who had a son: Eaba


Kent flag
Eaba of Wessex / Kent who possibly married a princess of Kent, had a son, Ealhmund or Ęlhumund, a Kentish noble who descended from Cerdic, the first Anglo Saxon King of Wessex


Ęlhumund of Kent a noble of Kent who was a descendant of  Cerdic King of Wessex and father of Egbert (Exgbert) King of Wessex  


Egbert King of Wessex
Egbert, King of Wessex
Imaginary rendition - artist unknown



English flag
Egbert, King of Wessex from 802 until 839, was also known as Ecgberht or Ecgbert was born  circa 770 in Wessex and  died in 4 February 839 and buried in Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Wessex, England.  Egbert's father was Ealhmund of Kent. It is possible the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 825 refers to a claim to the throne through Ine of Wessex from whose brother Ingild, an aetheling in the House of Wessex, Egbert was descended. The line continues back to Cerdic King of Wessex, founder of the House of Wessex. Egbert's mother was possibly a daughter of King Aethelbert II of Kent, therefore Aelmund was able to claim the joint Kingship of Kent between AD 784-785.   Shortly after Egbert made an attempt at the throne of Wessex, but was was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex. Egbert left Wessex and spent about twenty years living in the court of the Emperor Charlemagne. On Beorhtric's death Egbert came back to Wessex,  succeeding to the vacated throne as King of the West Saxons in 802.  

In 825 King Egbert of Wessex wins a decisive victory over King Beornwulf of Mercia at Ellendun. In 827 following his conquest of Mercia, Egbert controls all of England south of the Humber. In 829 Egbert defeats the Northumbrian king at Dore near Sheffield.  Wessex becomes the dominant kingdom.  In 830 he is recognized as overlord of other English kings, the first Saxon king recognized as sovereign of all England; King of England.

Egbert married Redburga, or Redburh of Francia, (born about 0788 and died 839 in Wessex) and had two sons,
 Ęthelwulf King of  WessexAthelstan, Sub King of Kent, and a daughter, Editha, Abbess of Polesworth.  He was succeeded by son,  Ęthelwulf.  Egbert's mother was possibly a daughter of King Aethelbert II of Kent, therefore Aelmund was able to claim the joint Kingship of Kent between AD 784-785.


King Ethelwulf
Ęthelwulf, King of Wessex
Imaginary rendition - artist unknown


Ethelwulf's ring
Ęthelwulf's ring, in Cassell's History of England, Century Edition,
published circa 1902

Ęthelwulf. King of Wessex son of Egbert, King of Wessex and his wife Redburga, was born circa 806, and died 13 January 858.  He married first, Osburga, of Isle of Wight, born circa 810, died March 853, daughter of Oslac of Isle of Wight (born about 790) in 830.  The couple had  six children: Ęthelswith born  circa  833, died 889; Ęthelbald King of Wessex born circa 834, died 20 Dec 860;  Ęthelstan, Sub-King of Kent born 834; ĘthelbertKing of Wessex born circa  836, died circa 865; Ęthelred I, King of Wessex born circa 837 - 840, died 23 Apr 871; Alfred The Great, King of England b. 849, d. 26 Oct 901.
 
Ęthelwulf conquered the kingdom of Kent on behalf of his father in 825, and was sometime later made King of Kent as a sub-king to Egbert. He succeeded his father as King of Wessex on Egbert's death in 839; his kingdom then stretched from the county of Kent in the east to Devon in the west. At the same time his eldest son Ęthelstan became sub-king of Kent as a subordinate ruler.

Ęthelwulf sent young son Alfred to Rome in 853. He made a  pilgrimage to Rome in 855. They stayed there for approximately a year.  Ęthelwulf  married Judith of France, born October 844 – died 870, the first daughter of the Frankish King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald and his wife Ermentrude of Orléans on October 1, 856 at Verberie sur Oise, France on his way back from Rome. Ęthelwulf by this time was an old man and Judith was a very young girl/woman.  There were no children as a result of the marriage, but Judith had became a "Queen".  More about Judith later.


Upon his return to England in 856 Ęthelwulf met with an acute crisis. His eldest surviving son Ęthelbald (Athelstan had since died) had devised a conspiracy with the Ealdorman of Somerset and the Bishop of Sherborne to oppose Ęthelwulf's resumption of the kingship once he returned. Ęthelwulf mustered enough support to fight a civil war, or to banish Ęthelbald and his fellow conspirators. Instead Ęthelwulf yielded western Wessex to his son while he himself retained central and eastern Wessex


Upon the death of his father, Ęthelwulf succeded  him to the throne of  all of Wessex, Sussex, Kent and Essex in 839.

Also known variously as: Oslac, Chief Butler of Wessex, Chief Butler of England

Aethelbald, King of Wessex
Ęthelbald, King of Wessex
Ęthelbald King of Wessex  from 856 to 860. He was the second of the five sons of King Ęthelwulf of Wessex and Osburga. In 850, he received the rank of Ealdorman. In 855 he became regent of Wessex while his father, Ęthelwulf, visited Rome, his elder brother Ęthelstan having died around 851. His brother Ęthelbert was left in charge of Kent.

When Ethelwulf died on the 13th of January 858, he was succeeded by his son, Ethelbald. In the same year Ethelbald earned the censure of the Church by marrying Judith, his widowed teenage stepmother. The relationship was deemed incestuous and in direct contravention of church law. The marriage was eventually annulled in 860 on the grounds of consanguinity, the same year that Ethelbald died.

Through her marriages to two Kings of Wessex, Judith was twice Queen of Wessex and was both the stepmother and later sister-in-law of Alfred the Great. Interestingly, when Judith married Baldwin I of Flanders, her son by this third marriage, Baldwin II of Flanders would go on to marry Alfred's daughter, Ęlfthryth (also known as Elfrida). By her third marriage, Judith was also the ancestress of another Queen of England, Matilda of Flanders, the consort of England's first Norman King, William the Conqueror. Thus Judith is not only an ancestress of the Counts of Flanders, but through Matilda, she is also direct ancestress of the Monarchs of England, including Queen Elizabeth II.  Please see Judith of Flanders in the pages of Wickipedia



Aethelbert King of Wessex
Ęthelberht King of Wessex
Artist's depiction
Ęthelberht King of Wessex  was born circa 836, the third son of Ęthelwulf of Wessex and his first wife, Osburga. In 855 he became under-king of Kent while his father, Ęthelwulf, visited Rome. His brother Ęthelbald was left in charge of the West Saxons. After his father's death in 858 he succeeded him as king of Kent and the other eastern parts of the kingdom. When Ęthelbald died childless in 860, the kingship of the West Saxons also passed to Ęthelberht.

Just as his father and brother, he was also crowned at Kingston upon Thames. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle storming Winchester and ravaging eastern Kent.  describes Ęthelberht's reign as one of good harmony and lasting peace. Though this was true of internal affairs, the Vikings remained a great threat, unsuccessfully. One development was that Wessex and its recent south-eastern conquests became a united kingdom. Unlike his predecessors, Ęthelberht did not appoint another member of his family as under-king of Kent. A charter issued in the first year of Ęthelberht's reign reflects an extraordinary new kind of assembly: it was the first charter of a West Saxon king to include a full complement both of West Saxon and of Kentish witnesses.

Ęthelberht died in 865 and was succeeded by his brother
Ęthelred. He and was buried at Sherborne Abbey in Dorset beside his brother Ęthelbald


Aethelred of Wessex coin
Ęthelred King of Wessex coin
Ęthelred King of Wessex  was King of Wessex from 865 to 871. He was born circa  840 in Wessex the fourth son of King Ęthelwulf.  He succeeded his brother, Ęthelberht (Ethelbert) He married Wulfrida and they had two sons, as King of Wessex and Kent in 865,  Ęthelwold, the elder, and Ęthelhelm, the younger.

Ęthelred was not able to control the increasing Danish raids on England, but younger brother Alfred was of aid to him as second in command in a series of battles in 870 and 871.  On 4 January 871 at the Battle of Reading, Ęthelred suffered a heavy defeat. Although Ęthelred was able to re-form his army in time to win a victory at the Battle of Ashdown, he suffered another defeat on 22 January at the Battle of Basing, and was killed at the Battle of Merton on 23 April 871. 

Ęthelred is buried at Wimborne in Dorset.  Following his death, he was popularly regarded as a saint, but never canonized. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Alfred the Great.

Alfred the Great, King of England
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great.,King of England  Alfred was born at Wantage in Oxfordshire in 849, the fifth son of Aethelwulf, King of the West Saxons.  He succeeded his brother following his untimely death at the hands of the Danish.

Click this link for more information about the only English monarch known as 'the Great'.

Aetheling, also spelled Ętheling, Atheling or Etheling = During the earliest years of the Anglo-Saxon rule in England the word was probably used to denote any person of noble birth. Its use was, however, soon restricted to members of a royal family.


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Copyright © L. Neale Clifton 1997 - 2011

Sources:

Wickipedia (Internet)
the Peerage (Internet)
Catholic Encyclopedia
Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (authors unknown)
Rbt. Sewell's Genealogy (Internet)


Modified 11 August 2011