Wiglaf of Mercia
Wiglaf was King of Mercia from 827 to 829 and again from 830 until his death. He succeeded Ludeca, who was killed campaigning against East Anglia. His first reign coincided with the continued rise of the rival Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex under Ecgberht.
About Wiglaf of Mercia in brief
Wiglaf was King of Mercia from 827 to 829 and again from 830 until his death. He succeeded Ludeca, who was killed campaigning against East Anglia. His first reign coincided with the continued rise of the rival Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex under Ecgberht. Wiglaf appeared to have restored Mercia’s independence, but the recovery was short-lived. Later in the century Mercia was divided between Wessex and the Vikings. He died in about 839, and was eventually succeeded by Beorhtwulf, though one tradition records his son, Wigmund as having reigned briefly. He is buried at Repton, near Derby, and his ancestry is not known for certain. There are two main theories regarding the ancestry of Mercian kings of this period. One is that descendants of different lines of the royal family competed for the throne. In the 7th century, for example, Penda had placed kinsmen in royal control of conquered provinces. The other is that a number of local-bases may have brought the kings to power. In this model, the leading noblemen at Mercia are more than a century older than the leading medieval Avesmen at Evesham, where the tradition of Avesen is more preserved than in Mercia. It may be that Carolingian support influenced the ascendancy and the subsequent Mercian recovery of the kings of the 8th century. It is possible that WiglAF was descended from Penda, one of the most powerful seventh-century kings ofMercia.
The next king, Beornwulf, was of no known royal line, though it has been conjectured on the basis of the common initial letter B that he was connected to the later kings Beor htwulf and Burgred. He reigned for only two years before being deposed. It was probably Beorn wulf whose defeat of the kingdom of Powys and destruction of the fortress of Deganwy are recorded in a Welsh chronicle, the Brut y Tywysogion, in 823, and it is clear that Mercian was still a formidable military power at that time. In 825 BeornWulf was decisively defeated by Ecgbersht, King of Wes sex, at the battle of Ellendun, and died the next year in an unsuccessful invasion of East anglia. These defeats, in rapid succession, are likely to have exacerbated the apparent dynastic contention for Mercian royal authority. Outside Mercia, the power of the kingdoms of Wes Sex and Essex to the south was strong and growing when Wiglaph came to the throne in 827. The death of Offa, who died in 796, marked the beginning of a period in which the political map of England was dramatically redrawn. Offa made frequent incursions across Offa’s Dyke into what is now Wales. He was able to retain Mercian influence in Kent, EastAnglia and Essex.