Æthelberht of Wessex
b.bet abt 0830 and 0835
d.865 or 866
Facts and Events
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Æthelberht (or Ethelbert; , meaning "magnificent noble") was the King of Kent from 858 and of Wessex from 860 to until his death in 865. He was the third son of Æthelwulf of Wessex and his first wife, Osburh. In 855 he became under-king of Kent while his father, Æthelwulf, visited Rome. His brother Æthelbald 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 Æthelbald died childless in 860, the kingship of the West Saxons also passed to Æthelberht.
Like his father and brother he was also crowned at Kingston upon Thames. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes Æthelberht's reign as one of good harmony and lasting peace. Though this was true of internal affairs, the Vikings remained a great threat, unsuccessfully storming Winchester and ravaging eastern Kent.
One development was that Wessex and its recent south-eastern conquests became a united kingdom. Unlike his predecessors, Æthelberht did not appoint another member of his family as under-king of Kent. A charter issued in the first year of Æthelberht'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.
Æthelberht died in 865 and was succeeded by his brother Æthelred. He was buried at Sherborne Abbey in Dorset beside his brother Æthelbald.
- ↑ Ethelbert of Wessex, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
- Æðelbeorht, King of Wessex, in Lundy, Darryl. The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe.
- Æthelberht 9 (Male), in The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 ÆTHELBERHT, in Cawley, Charles. Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Æthelwulf, in Baldwin, Stewart, and Todd Farmerie. The Henry Project (King Henry II ): Ancestors of King Henry II.
- ↑ Earle, John (ed.), and Charles (ed.) Plummer. Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1892), pp 68 - 69.
- Thorpe, Benjamin. Diplomatarium anglicum aevi saxonici. (London: Macmillan & Co, 1865), p. 484.
Ælfred refers in his will to Æthelbald, Æthered, and himself as being three brothers ("us þrim gebroðrum"), and yet refers to Æthelberht as "cincge. uncrum mæge" (a kinsman -- mistranslated in this source as "brother").
- Thorpe, Benjamin. Diplomatarium anglicum aevi saxonici. (London: Macmillan & Co, 1865), pp. 124-127.
In this charter, Æthelberht refers to his father, Æthelwulf, and his brothers Æthelred, Ælfred, and Æthelbald.
- The wording of Ælfred's will seems to create some doubt about Æthelberht's placement with this family, although it seems supported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the charter cited in source 8. Baldwin and Cawley account for this apparent discrepancy by suggesting that perhaps he had a different mother from Ælfred, Æthelbald, and Æthered.