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HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY of
SAXON ENGLAND
PART 7: AD 899-953

899 - Death of King Alfred the Great of Wessex & All England. He is succeeded by his son, Edward the Elder; but the latter is opposed by his cousin, Aethelwold, a son of the late King Aethlred I. Prince Aethelwold goes north and persuades the Vikings of York to accept him as their King, at the expense of their own Sigefrith.

901 - King Edward the Elder of Wessex takes the title "King of the Angles and Saxons". He founds the New Minster at Winchester as a Royal mausoleum and inters the body of his father, Alfred, there. His mother, Dowager-Queen Elswith, founds the Nunnaminster at Winchester and retires into a religious life there. Death of King Aethelstan (alias Guthrum) of East Anglia. He is succeeded by his son, Eric.

902 - The Norsemen are expelled from Dublin. After a brief foray into Seisyllwg and Anglesey, a group, under one Ingimund, settle in the Wirral with the agreement of Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians. King Aethelwold of Norse York engages the help of the East Anglians to attack Wessex. The two sides clash at the Battle of Holme (Essex) and Aethelwold is killed. Sigefrith re-establishes himself in York, apparently with the help of one Canute. They rule as joint monarchs.

905 - The Norse settler, Ingimund, and his men revolt against the Mercians and try to take the city of Chester. They are beaten off.

906 King Edward the Elder of England makes peace with the Northern Vikings at Tiddingford (Bedfordshire).

907 - Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians refortifies Chester against Viking attacks. King Edward the Elder of England founds Romsey Abbey. Ealdorman Aethelmar founds Cerne Abbey on the site of the hermitage of St. Edwold.

909 - Death of Bishop Asser of Sherborne. The See is divided and the new Bishoprics created at Wells, Crediton and Ramsbury & Sonning. King Edward the Elder of England and his sister, Princess Aethelflaed of Mercia, raid Danish East Anglia and bring back the body of St. Oswald in triumph. Aethelflaed presents it to her foundation in Gloucester. King Edward turns on Norse York and attacks the North-West of England.

910 - King Edward the Elder of England attacks the Joint-Kings Halfdan II, Eowils Ragnarson & Ivarr of Norse York. All three monarchs are killed at the Battle of Tettenhall and their kingdom crippled. Ragnall I Ivarrson, grandson of Ivarr the Boneless, seizes the throne after years of roaming the Western Seas, but finds it expedient to remain within the Yorkshire borders.

911 - Death of Lord Aethelred II of the Mercians. He is buried in St. Oswald's Priory, Gloucester and is succeeded by his wife, Princess Aethelflaed of Wessex, as Lady of the Mercians. Her brother, King Edward the Elder of England insists on taking control of London and Oxford.

912 - The increasing thread of Viking invasions encourages Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians to expand her policy of building defensive burghs within her kingdom.

913 - King Edward the Elder of England recaptures Essex from the Danes. Death of High-Reeve Edulf of Bamburgh. He is succeeded by his son, Eldred I, who is almost immediately driven out by King Ragnall I Ivarrson of Norse York. Eldred flees to the Court of King Constantine II of Alba.

914 - High-Reeve Eldred I of Bamburgh persuades King Constantine II of Alba to invade Norse controlled Bernicia in an attempt to restore his position. The Vikings defeat the Scots at the First Battle of Corbridge. Other Vikings harry the Welsh Coast and move up the Severn. They capture Bishop Cyfeilliog of Ergyng, but are driven out by Mercian levies from Hereford and Gloucester.

c.915 - The body of St. Edmund of East Anglia is transferred to Bury St. Edmunds.

916 - English raiders attack the court of King Tewdr of Brycheiniog at Llangorse and make off with the Queen and thirty-three of her courtiers.

917 - Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians cements an alliance with Kings Constantine II of Alba and Donald mac Aed of Strathclyde against Norse York. She captures the city of Derby, while her brother, King Edward the Elder of England, takes Towcester. Aethelflaed's armies also ravage Brycheiniog in revenge for the killing of the, now unknown, Abbot Egbert.

918 - Death of King Eric of East Anglia. East Anglia brought under Wessex rule. High-Reeve Eldred I of Bamburgh again persuades King Constantine II of Alba to help him reclaim his position in Bernicia. They mount a second invasion of his now Norse controlled lands. The Vikings defeat the Scots again at the Second Battle of Corbridge, but take heavy casualties themselves. Eldred probably manages to retake most of Northern Bernicia. Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians begins to intrigue with diaffected factions within the Norse Kingdom of York and peacefully overruns the Borough of Leicester. Her brother, King Edward the Elder of England, takes Stamford by force. King Idwal Foel of Gwynedd and King Hywel Dda and Prince Clydog of Deheubarth submit to the overlordship of King Edward. Death of Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians at Tamworth. She is buried in St. Oswald's Priory in Gloucester and nominally succeeded by her daughter, the twenty year old Princess Aelfwinn.

919 - Lady Aelfwinn of the Mercians is brought to the court of her maternal uncle, King Edward the Elder of England, and deprived of her authority in Mercia. King Edward formally annexes the country. The end of independent Mercian rule.

920 Death of King Ragnall I Ivarrson of Norse York. He is succeeded by his brother, King Sigtrygg Caech (the Squinty) of Norse Dublin. Kings Sigtrygg Caech of Norse York, Constantine II of the Scots and Donald mac Aed of Strathclyde, as well as High-Reeve Eldred I of Bamburgh and his brother, Uhtred, all meet King Edward the Elder at Bakewell and submit to his overlordship.

924 - Death of King Edward the Elder of England at Farndon-upon-Dee whilst putting down a Cambro-Mercian rebellion. He is succeeded by his eldest legitimate son, Aelfweard, in Wessex and by his eldest illegitimate son, Aethelstan, in Mercia. King Aelfweard conveniently dies sixteen days later and Aethelstan becomes effective ruler of most of England. His appointment is, however, opposed by one Alfred of unknown origin.

925 - King Aethelstan is finally crowned at Kingston-on-Thames. He founds Bury St. Edmunds Abbey around the shrine of St. Edmund of East Anglia.

926 - Aethelstan annexes Northumbria, and forces the kings of Wales, Strathclyde, the Picts, and the Scots to submit to him.

c.926 - St. Edburga, daughter of King Edward the Elder of England, enters the Nunnaminster at Winchester, at an extremely young age.

927 - The border between England and Wales is set at the River Wye when Kings Hywel Dda of Deheubarth and Owain of Glywysing & Gwent submit to the overlordship of King Aethelstan of England at Hereford. Death of King Sigtrygg Caech of Norse York. King Aethelstan of England claims his kingdom and receives the submission of High-Reeve Eldred I of Bamburgh. Practicalities probably actually meant that Eldred looked more towards King Constantine II of Alba as his overlord.

930 - Death of High-Reeve Eldred I of Bamburgh. He is succeeded by his son, Osulf. High-Reeve Osulf attests a number of Wessex charters during his reign showing his close association with the English Court.

931 - Kings Morgan Hen of Glywysing & Gwent, Hywel Dda of Deheubarth and Idwal Foel of Gwynedd submit to the overlordship of King Aethelstan of England and attend him at court.

933 - Prince Edwin, brother of King Aethelstan of England, is drowned in mysterious circumstances en route to France and buried at Saint-Bertin.

934 - King Tewdr of Brycheiniog attends the court of King Aethelstan of England and signs English Land Charters. Kings Hywel Dda of Deheubarth, Idwal Foel of Gwynedd and Morgan Mwynfawr of Morgannwg are compelled to accompany Aethelstan on his campaign against King Constantine II of Alba.

937 - Battle of Brunanburh: King Aethelstan of England defeats an alliance of Scots, Strathclyde Britons and the Vikings of York, and takes the title of "King of all Britain"

c.937 - King Idwal Foel of Gwynedd distances himself from his English overlord.

939 - King Aethelstan founds Muchelney Abbey. Death of King Aethelstan at Gloucester. He is buried at Malmesbury Abbey and succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund the Magnificent. King Edmund looses control of Northumbria again to King Olaf I Guthfrithsson.

940 - King Olaf I Guthfrithsson of York raids the Midlands. With Archbishop Wulfstan of York, he is besieged at Leicester. Wulftsan and the Archbishop of Canterbury negotiate a peace treaty and the border of Viking and English territory is set at Watling Street.

941 - Death of King Olaf I Guthfrithsson of York on a raid in Northern Northumbia. He is succeeded by his cousin, Olaf II Cuaran (the Sandal).

942 - King Olaf II Cuaran of York is unable to hold onto his new territories and King Edmund the Magnificent of England retakes the Five Boroughs. Kings Idwal Foel of Gwynedd openly rebels against the overlordship of the English monarchy. Both he and Llewelyn of Powys are killed fighting English armies.

943 - King Edmund of England drives King Olaf II Cuaran of York from his capital. He retires to Dublin and his cousin and rival, Ragnall II Guthfrithsson takes the throne.

944 King Ragnall II Guthfrithsson of York is killed and King Edmund of England takes over his kingdom.

945 - St. Dunstan becomes Abbot of Glastonbury. King Donald of Strathclyde is killed fighting the forces of King Edmund the Magnificent of England.

946 - The sons of King Donald of Strathclyde are captured and blinded by King Edmund the Magnificent of England. Their kingdom, stretching as far south as Stainmore, is given to their second cousin, King Malcolm I of Alba. King Edmund sends a deputation to Francia to negotiate the restoration of King Louis. King Edmund the Magnificent is stabbed and dies at Pucklechurch, whilst trying to rescue one of his officials in a brawl. He is buried at Glastonbury and succeeded by his younger brother, Edred. Dunstan is named his chief minister.

947 - King Edred of England receives oaths of loyalty from the lords of Northumbria at Tanshelf. They, subsequently however, welcome Eric Bloodaxe as the King of York.

948 - King Edred of England takes an army North and burns the minster at Ripon. His army retreats but is attacked. His threat to devastate the North, leads to the lords of Northumbria abandoning King Eric Bloodaxe.

949 - King Hywel Dda of Deheubarth, Gwynedd & Powys attends the court of King Edred of England.

951 - The Northumbrians revolt against the English and in favour of their former King, Olaf II Cuaran. He returns to rule Norse York.

952 - King Olaf II Cuaran of Norse York is thrown out of his kingdom by his people. They bring back King Eric Bloodaxe in his place.

c.953 - King Edred of England delegates much of his authority to St. Dunstan.

Part 8: AD 954-1006

 

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