Æthelred , Ealdorman of Mercia
b.abt 0865 Mercia, England
Facts and Events
Many websites give Burgred as his father, but there appear to be no original sources to support this. (The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England site lists none.) And Maggie Bailey, in her article on Ælfwynn, states that his descent is unknown, but he is unlikely to have been closely related to Burgred.
Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians (or Ealdorman Æthelred of Mercia) (died 911) became ruler of English Mercia shortly after the death of its last king, Ceolwulf II in 879. His rule was confined to the western half, as eastern Mercia was then part of the Viking ruled Danelaw. Æthelred's descent is unknown. He is probably first recorded as the leader of an unsuccessful Mercian invasion of Wales in 881, and soon afterwards he acknowledged the lordship of King Alfred the Great of Wessex. The alliance was cemented by the marriage of Æthelred to Alfred's daughter Æthelflæd.
In 886 Alfred restored the Mercian town of London, which had suffered greatly from a number of Viking occupations, and he handed control to Æthelred. In 892 the Vikings renewed their attacks, and the following year Æthelred led an army of Mercians, West Saxons and Welsh to victory over a Viking army at the Battle of Buttington. He spent the next three years fighting them together with Alfred's son, the future King Edward the Elder. At some time in the decade after Alfred's death in 899 his health declined, and Æthelflæd became the effective ruler of Mercia. He died in 911.
After his death, Æthelflæd ruled as Lady of the Mercians until her own death in 918. The couple's only child, a daughter called Ælfwynn, then ruled briefly until deposed by her uncle, King Edward.