Aethelbald


Aethelbald

▪ king of Mercia
died 757, Seckington, Eng.

      king of the Mercians from 716, who became the chief king of a confederation including all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms between the River Humber and the English Channel. His predominance was made possible by the death of the strong king Wihtred of Kent (725) and the abdication of Ine of Wessex (726). During Aethelbald's reign, London passed from East Saxon to Mercian control. Although generous to the church, he was rebuked in a letter (746 or 747) from Boniface and other Anglo-Saxon missionary bishops in Germany for his loose living and his violation of ecclesiastical prerogatives. In 749 he freed churches from all public financial responsibilities except bridge repair and fortress building. His charters use the regnal style “king of Britain.” He was murdered by his retainers.

▪ king of Wessex

died 860
 king of Wessex (from 855/856), the son of Aethelwulf, with whom he led the West Saxons to victory against the Danes at Aclea (851). He reportedly rebelled against his father either before (855) or on the latter's return from Rome in 856 and deprived him of Wessex, which he ruled until his death. On his father's death in 858 he married his stepmother, Judith.

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Universalium. 2010.

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