Beorhtwulf of Mercia
Beorhtwulf was King of Mercia, a kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England, from 839 or 840 to 852. His ancestry is unknown, though he may have been connected to Beornwulf, who ruled Mercia in the 820s. For most of the 8th century, Mercia was the dominant Anglo- Saxon kingdom.
About Beorhtwulf of Mercia in brief
Beorhtwulf was King of Mercia, a kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England, from 839 or 840 to 852. His ancestry is unknown, though he may have been connected to Beornwulf, who ruled Mercia in the 820s. The Vikings attacked within a year or two of BeorhTwulf’s accession: the province of Lindsey was raided in 841, and London, a key centre of Mercian commerce, was attacked the following year. A Mercian coinage was restarted by BeorHtwulf early in his reign, initially with strong similarities to the coins of Æthelwulf of Wessex, and later with independent designs. Berkshire appears to have passed from Mercian to West Saxon control during his reign. The Welsh are recorded to have rebelled against Beor htwulf’s successor, Burgred, shortly after his death, suggesting that he had been their overlord. His death is not recorded in any surviving sources, but it is thought that he died in 852, and he is thought to have had two sons. For most of the 8th century, Mercia was the dominant Anglo- Saxon kingdom. However, Coenwulf’s death in 821 marked the beginning of a period in which Mercia suffered from dynastic conflicts and military defeats that redrew the political map of England. Three competing kin-groups are recognizable in the charters and regnal lists of the time: the C, Wig and B groups.
The C group was dominant in the period following the deaths of Offa and his son Ecgfrith in 796. Ceolwulf was deposed in 823, who was killed fighting against the East Anglians in 826. After Ludeca’s death, the first of the Wig family came to power: Wiglaf, who died in 840 or 840. An alternative model is that a number of kin- Groups may have competed for the succession of the Mercian kings. In this model, the leading noblemen are more important than noblemen. Marriage alliances could also have played a part in the power-bases of such sub-kingdoms, such as the Tomsætete, Gaini and Gaini, the unidentified Gaini are examples of such power-Bases of the Ani. The Ani may have brought power to more noblemen than more than a few noblemen, and this could have brought the kings to an important power-sharing arrangement. The Mercian king may have held a while and unhappily, after the murder of King Æthelbald in 757, in a dispute over who was to be the next king. The king may also have held on to power for a while after the death of the ill-fated King Cuthred, who may have included the B group, which also included Beorhtfrith and Ludeca.
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