Æthelred I, King of Wessex
Æthelred I was King of Wessex from 865 until his death in 871. He was the fourth of five sons of King Æthelwulf, four of whom in turn became king. His accession coincided with the arrival of the Viking Great Heathen Army in England. Wessex and Mercia were close allies when he became king, and he adopted the Mercian Lunettes design.
About Æthelred I, King of Wessex in brief
Æthelred I 845848 to 871) was King of Wessex from 865 until his death. He was the fourth of five sons of King Æthelwulf, four of whom in turn became king. His accession coincided with the arrival of the Viking Great Heathen Army in England. Wessex and Mercia were close allies when he became king, and he adopted the Mercian Lunettes design, thus creating a unified coinage design for southern England for the first time. The common design foreshadowed the unification of England over the next sixty years and the reform coinage of King Edgar I a century later. His reign was important numismatically. It was also important in the resistance to Viking attacks. The Vikings ravaged the Isle of Sheppey in 835, and the following year they defeated Ecgberht at Carhampton in Somerset, but in 838 he was victorious over an alliance of Cornishmen and Vikings at the Battle of Hingston Down, reducing Cornwall to the status of a client kingdom. In 850 a Danish fleet defeated a Wessex fleet off the English Channel, and in 843 he was defeated off the Channel by the Danish fleet, and died shortly after Easter. He had two sons who were passed over for the kingship on their father’s death because they were still infants. Alfred the Great was forced to buy off the Vikings, but he scored a decisive victory over them seven years later at theBattle of Edington.
When Ecgbersht died in 839 he was succeeded by his son Æthelwulf; all subsequent West Saxon kings were Ecgbsht’s descendants, and were also sons of kings. In 853, King Burgred of Mercia requested Wessexon help to suppress a Welsh rebellion, and Æthaelwulf led a WestSaxon contingent in a successful joint campaign. In the early 840s Viking raids increased on both sides of the English channel, and both sides were not allowed to issue their own coinage in the early840s on both English sides. The Viking raids on both the Channel and Wessex increased in theearly 840s on the early 850s on both sides of the English Channel, and in 850 a Vikings fleet defeated a Wessex fleet off the Channel and in 843, in Carhampton, in 850, and in 850, a Danish flotilla was defeated off the English Channel. The Danish fleet was attested by the West Saxon magnates, while Kentish charters witnessed by the Kentish elite were witnessed by Wessex charters, while both kings kept overall control and the sub-kings were notallowed to issue their own coinages in Wessex. In 843, a Viking fleet defeated the Wessex sub-kingdom of Kent, and its sub- king, Baldred, was driven out shortly afterwards.
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