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HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY of the
EARLY SAXON KINGDOMS
PART 3: AD 693-755

693 - Death of Bishop Eorcenwald of London. He is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, London and later revered as a saint. Death of King Oshere of Hwicce. He is succeeded by four apparent joint-kings: Aethelbert, Aethelweard, Aethelric and Osred.

c.693 - King Ine of Wessex establishes his West Saxon Law Codes.

694 - King Ine of Wessex attacks Kent and extorts 30,000 pence from its people in recompense for the murder of its late king, Mul.

c.694 - Death of sub-King Coenred of Dorset, father of his overlord, King Ine of Wessex.

695 - Death of King Sebbi of Essex in London. He is succeeded by his sons, Swaefred and Sigeheard, as joint-monarchs.

c.695 - King Aeldfrith of Northumbria marries Princess Cuthburh, daughter of King Ine of Wessex.

697 - Murder of Queen Osthrith of Mercia by her own noblemen. She is buried at Barney Abbey and later revered as a saint.

698 - Dux Bertred is killed leading a Northumbrian army against the Picts.

700 - St. Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, attends a Church Synod in Wessex, from which he sends King Gerren of Dumnonia a letter insisting that his kingdom's Celtic Church comply with the doctrines of Rome, as agreed thirty-six years previously at the Synod of Whitby.

c.700 - Queen Cuthburga of Northumbria enters the religious life. St. Egwin, Bishop of Worcester, and his swineheard found Evesham Abbey. King Ine of Wessex begins to dispense with Wessex sub-kings and replace them with ealdormen. Hamwic emerges as a major Wessex trading town. Re-foundation of the British religious community in Wareham at St. Mary's Nunnery.

702 - Archbishop Bertwald of Canterbury calls the Synod of Austerfield to decide the rights of St. Wilfred, some-time Bishop of York. St. Wilfred is offered Ripon Abbey if he will relinquish his claims as a Bishop. Wilfred rejects this and appeals to Rome once more.

703 - St. Wilfred travels to Rome again and is supported in his struggle to retain his See of York by the Pope.

704 - King Aethelred I of Mercia retires to the Abbey of Bardney as its Abbot. He nominates his nephew, Coenred, as King. St. Wilfred returns to Northumbria. Death of King Aeldfrith of Northumbria. The throne is seized by one Edwulf, of unknown descent. St. Wilfred moves to support the new monarch, but his advances are rejected and he instead falls in with the camp of the late King's young son, Osred, and Dux Bertfrith.

705 - Prince Osred of Northumbria and his party defeat the usurper, Edwulf, at the Battle of Bamburgh. He becomes King Osred I at the age of nine. King Ine of Wessex becomes estranged from the Kings Swaefred and Sigeheard of Essex who are sheltering exiled rivals to the Wessex throne. At the Synod of Brentford, the latter agree to banish the exiles in return for Ine not attacking their kingdom. Surrey is transferred from the Diocese of London to Winchester. Death of Bishop Headdi of Winchester. The See is divided between Daniel at Winchester and St. Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, at Sherborne.

706 - Archbishop Bertwald of Canterbury, is obliged by the Pope's insistence, to call the Synod of the River Nidd. St. Wilfred is officially recognised as Bishop of Hexham and Abbot of Ripon. St. John of Beverley, the previous Bishop, is transferred to York.

c.707 - Mercia surfers from attacks by their Welsh neighbour.

709 - Kings Swaefred and Sigeheard of Essex share power with Offa, son of King Sigehere. King Coenred of Mercia abdicates the throne and journeys to Rome to become a monk. King Offa of Essex accompanies him. Ceolred, his cousin, succeeds to the Mercian throne. Dynastic rivalries lead to the banishment of their second cousin, Prince Aethelbald, who flees to the East Anglian controlled Crowland Fens. Bishop Wilfred of Hexham dies at Oundle and is buried at Ripon Abbey. He is later revered as a saint.

710 - Kings Ine of Wessex and Nunna of Sussex clash with King Gerren of Dumnonia after which Ine manages to establish a fortress at Taunton. St. Boniface becomes King Ine's envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

711 - Dux Bertfrith leads a Northumbrian campaign against the Picts and defeats them in Manau Gododdin.

713 - Death of King Edwulf of East Anglia. He is succeeded by his brother, Aelfwald. Queen Cuthburh of Northumbria travels south to found a monastery at Wimborne.

715 - Kings Ine of Wessex and Coelred of Mercia clash at the Battle of Wodensbarrow. Supposed foundation of Tewkesbury Abbey on the site of an ancient hermitage, by two noble brothers named Oddo and Doddo.

c.715 - Abbot Ceolfrith of Wearmouth & Jarrow advises King Nechtan of the Picts concerning adoption of the ways of the Roman Church. Death of Kings Swaefred and Sigeheard of Essex. They are succeeded by Swaefbert, of unknown relationship. Death of St. Guthlac. King Ine of Wessex faces rebellion within his kingdom.

716 - While feasting, King Coelred of Mercia collapses in a fit and dies. He is succeeded by Coelwald, probably his brother. Prince Aethelbald returns to Mercia from the Crowland Fens and seizes the throne from King Coelwald. King Osred I of Northumbria is killed in combat, possibly by the Picts in Manau Gododdin. The throne is seized by his distant cousin, Coenred, of the House of Ocga.

718 - Death of King Coenred of Northumbria. The throne is seized by one, Osric, probably a younger brother of the late King Osred I. Death of Prince Ingild, brother of King Ine of Wessex.

c.720 - King Ine of Wessex builds a stone church at Glastonbury Abbey.

721 - King Ine of Wessex slays Prince Cynewulf, an unknown relation making a push for the throne. Death of John of Beverley, Bishop of York. He is buried in Beverley Minster and later revered as a saint.

722 - King Ine of Wessex attempts a takeover of Dumnonia. His armies are crushed and have to withdraw. The fortress at Taunton is demolished.

725 - Death of King Nunna of Sussex. The exiled Prince Eldbert, possibly a nephew of King Ine of Wessex looking for recognition as his heir, seeks sanctuary in Sussex. Ine attacks the South Saxons and kills Eldbert. Death of King Wihtred of Kent. The kingdom is divided between his three sons: King Aethelbert II as overking, King Edbert in West Kent and Alric who dies soon afterward.

726 - Abdication of King Ine of Wessex. He travels on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is succeeded by his brother-in-law (and probably distant cousin), Aethelheard; but this is disputed by another distant cousin, Oswald.

727 - Former Queen Cuthburh of Northumbria, Abbess of Wimborne, dies at her Abbey and is buried there. The former King Ine of Wessex founds a hospice for English pilgrims in Rome.

728 - Death of the former King Ine of Wessex in Rome. He is buried in the Church of San-Spirito-in-Sassia in the district of Borgo and later revered by some as a saint.

729 - King Osric of Northumbria nominates Ceolwulf, a distant cousin and brother of his predecessor as his successor. Death of King Osric. Ceolwulf takes the throne. The House of Aethelric is all but extinct and the House of Ocga in the ascendancy.

c.729 - The Northumbrians sign a peace treaty with the Picts.

730 - Death of Prince Oswald, rival claimant to the Wessex throne.

c.730 - Redevelopment of the cathedral complex at Whithorn, under Northumbrian influence.

731 - The Venerable Bede completes his history of the Church in England. King Ceolwulf of Northumbria is seized by unknown opponents and forced to enter a monastery. His supporters subsequently restore him to the throne. Bishop Acca of Hexham is expelled from his See. These two events are almost certainly connected.

c.731 - The Mercians are expelled from Powys by King Elisedd of that kingdom.

733 - King Aethelbald of Mercia overruns a large portion of Somerset and wrests the county from Wessex control.

735 - Death of the Venerable Bede. The See of York achieves archiepiscopal status.

737 - King Ceolwulf of Northumbria abdicates in favour of his cousin, Edbert, and becomes a monk at Lindisfarne Priory.

738 - Death of King Swaefbert of Essex. He is succeeded by Saelred, a minor member of the Essex Royal Family.

740 - Death of King Aethelheard of Wessex. He is succeeded by a distant kinsman, Cuthred. King Edbert of Northumbria marches his army north to attack the Picts. King Aethelbald of Mercia takes advantage of his absence and ravages Southern Northumbria. Internal struggles re-emerge in Northumbria with the murder of Ernwin, son of the late usurping King Edwulf.

c.740 - Death of King Mildfrith of Magonset. He is replaced by a Mercian Ealdorman. King Aethelbald of Mercia takes control of Berkshire from Wessex.

743 - Kings Aethelbald of Mercia and Ceolred of Wessex join forces to attack Gwent and Powys. St. Withburga, youngest daughter of the late King Anna of East Anglia, dies at East Dereham Abbey and is buried there.

c.744 - Construction of Wat's Dyke. The border between Mercia and Powys is set there.

746 - Death of King Saelred of Essex. He is succeeded by Swithred, grandson of the late King Sigeheard.

748 - Death of King Edbert of West Kent. He is succeeded by his sons, Edbert and Erdwulf.

749 - Death of King Aelfwald of East Anglia. He is succeeded by Hun, Beorna and Albert. Relationship unknown. Beorna emerges as the dominant monarch. King Aethelbald of Mercia calls the Synod of Gumley and agrees to exempt monasteries from Royal service.

750 - Dynastic unrest in Northumbria. King Edbert imprisons Bishop Cynewulf of Lindisfarne at Bamburgh and besieges Prince Offa, son of the late King Aeldfrith in Lindisfarne Priory. Almost dead from hunger, he is eventually dragged from his sanctuary.

752 - King Edbert of Northumbria takes Kyle from King Dumnagual of Strathclyde, on the death of the latter's father, Teudebur. King Cuthred of Wessex clashes with King Aethelbald of Mercia at the Battle of Burford and manages to throw off his claim to Mercian overlordship.

Part 4: AD 756-801

 

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