Timeline of Anglo Saxon England 801 AD-898 AD






809 - The Papal Legate is kidnapped by Vikings while sailing for



835 - The Isle of Sheppey comes under Viking attack.

836 - The army of King Egbert of Wessex is defeated by invading

Vikings at the Battle of Carhampton.

838 - The British of Dumnonia join forces with the Vikings and

attack Wessex. King Egbert defeats them at the Battle of Hingston


839 - Death of King Egbert of Wessex & All England. His son, King

Aethelwulf of Kent succeeds as King of Wessex. Aethelwulf's brother,

Aethelstan, is made sub-King of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex.

Death of King Athelstan of East Anglia. He is succeeded by one


840 - Viking raids turn away from Britain as the Frankish Empire is

weakened by the Death of Emperor Louis the Pious. Death of King

Wiglaf of Mercia. He is buried at Repton and briefly succeeded by

his grandson, Wigstan. King Wigstan prefers the religious life and

asks his widowed mother, Princess Elfleda to act as regent. A noble

of the line of the late King Beornred, named Berhtric, wishes to

marry this lady, but as he is a relative, Wigstan refuses the match.

Berhtric murders Wigstan at Wistow. He is buried at Repton and later

revered as a saint. The Mercian throne is seized by Berhtric's

father, Beorhtwulf. First written record of the county of Dorset.

841 - Death of King Eanred of Northumbria. He is succeeded by his

son as King Aethelred II.

844 - King Aethelred II of Northumbria is expelled from the kingdom

by one Raedwulf, who takes the throne. King Raedwulf is later killed

in battle against the Vikings, along with many of his noblemen,

during a major raid. King Aethelred II returns.

845 - The ship of King Ragnar Lothbrok of Sjaelland & Uppsala

(Scandinavia) is supposedly blown off course and he lands in East

Anglia. He is entertained at the Royal Court but internal politics

leads to him being kidnapped and smuggled into Northumbria where he

is executed in a pit of vipers. Glastonbury Abbey is probably

damaged by Viking raiders. Ealdorman Eanwulf of Somerset defeats

them at the Battle of the River Parrett. First written record of the

county of Somerset.

c.846 - King Aethelred II of Northumbria sends military assistance

to the Picts in their fight against invading Scots.

848 - Assassination of King Aethelred II of Northumbria. He is

succeeded by Osbeorht, of unknown lineage.

849 - Birth of Prince (later King) Alfred of Wessex at Wantage.

850 - The Saxons inflict a major naval defeat on Viking raiders off

the Sandwich Coast.

858 - Death of King Aethelwulf of Wessex. He is succeeded by his

son, Aethelbald.

860 - Death of King Aethelbald of Wessex. He is succeeded by his

brother, sub-King Aethelbert of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex.

These latter kingdoms are formally merged with Wessex. The Viking

Chief Weland, based in the Somme, sails to England and attacks

Winchester. He is defeated and returns home. First written record of

the county of Berkshire.

863 - King Osbeorht of Northumbria engages in a major dispute for

Royal Power with a rival claimant named Aelle. He is variously

described as Osbeorht's brother or specifically not of Royal

descent. Osbeorht is badly defeated, though not expelled from his

kingdom. King Aelle II wields power in Northumbria, but the Civil

War continues.



865 - Death of King Aethelbert of Wessex. He is succeeded by his third son, Aethelred I. The 'Great Heathen Army' of Vikings, led by

Princes Ivarr the Boneless and Halfdan Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland &

Uppsala (Scandinavia), invades East Anglia (supposedly in revenge

for the execution of their father, King Ragnar Lothbrok). King

Edmund of East Anglia buys peace with a supply of horses.

866 - 'The Great Heathen Army' of the Vikings ride north to

Northumbria and mount a surprise attack on the City of York which

they quickly capture.

867 - The rival monarchs of Northumbria, Aelle II and Osbeorht, join

forces to expel the Vikings, but are thoroughly defeated at the

Battle of York by Princes Ivarr the Boneless and Halfdan

Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia). Osbeorht is

killed, while Aelle II is supposedly captured and 'Spread-Eagled',

for complicity in the murder of the invaders' father, King Ragnarr

Lothbrok. Deira passes into Viking hands and what is left of the

Northumbrian Royal Court flees north into Bernicia. Ecgberht I is

established as a puppet King of Northumbria. The Viking armies make

forays into Mercia. They are besieged at Nottingham by a joint Saxon

force under Kings Aethelred I of Wessex and Burghred of Mercia. The

Vikings withdraw to York.

869 - While Prince Halfdan Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland & Uppsala

(Scandinavia) remains in York, his brothers, Ivarr the Boneless and

Ubbe Ragnarrson, turn their 'The Great Heathen Army' on East Anglia

once more. They are resisted by King Edmund.

870 - King Edmund of East Anglia is captured by Princes Ivarr the

Boneless and Ubbe Ragnarson of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) who

give him to their archers for use as target practice at Hellesdon.

His head is then chopped off. He is buried in a small chapel near

the place of his death and later revered as a saint. His brother,

St. Edwold, flees to Cerne Abbas and becomes a hermit. The Vikings

allow native sub-kings to rule in East Anglia for a while, starting

with King Oswald. The Fens are ravaged by the invaders. The local

people take refuge in Peterborough (Medshamstead) Abbey (Cathedral),

but they are all slaughtered and the Abbey destroyed. Prince Ivarr

the Boneless leaves for Northumbria and then Dublin where he becomes

King. Coldingham Priory is destroyed by his Viking raiders. Ivarr's

brother, Halfdan Wide-Embrace moves the Viking army to Wessex via

the Thames and takes Reading which he makes his headquarters. The

Vikings clash with Ealdorman Aethlewulf of Berkshire at the Battle

of Englefield. The invaders are driven back to Reading and besieged

by King Aethelred I and his brother, Alfred. Ealdorman Aethelwulf is

killed in the fighting. The Danes are victorious and drive the

English into the marshes.

871 - The English retreat onto the Berkshire Downs. Prince Halfdan

Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) is joined by a

'Great Summer Army' under Prince Bagsecg and together they march out

after the Saxons. Prince Alfred of Wessex leads the English against

them in the Battle of Ashdown. His brother, King Aethelred I of

Wessex, joins in after having been delayed at his prayers. The

English are victorious and many Vikings, including Prince Bagsecg,

are killed. Further, less fortunate, clashes, however, occur at the

Battle of Basing and the Battle of Martin. King Aethelred I is

mortally wounded at the latter and dies soon afterward. He is buried

at nearby Wimborne Minster. He is succeeded by his brother, Alfred.

King Alfred fights the Danes at the Battle of Wilton and his

severely defeated.

872 - King Alfred the Great of Wessex buys a peace with the Vikings

and they remove the 'Great Heathen Army' from Reading to London.

Death of King Ecgberht I of Northumbria. The Vikings install one

Ricsige in his place.

873 - The 'Great Heathen Army' of Vikings returns to York from where

they attack Mercia. They capture the Royal capital at Repton on the River Trent, and spend the winter there.

874 - From their base at Repton the Vikings drive King Burgred of

Mercia into exile, conquer his kingdom and install his political

opponent, Ceolwulf, as sub-King there. He was probably a member of

the House of Ceolwulf I.

875 - 'The Great Heathen Army' of Vikings is divided. Prince Halfdan

Wide-Embrace Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) takes a contingent

back to York to consolidate his position there, while the 'Great

Summer Army' moves on Cambridge under Guthrum, Oscetel and Anund.

This latter force then returns to Wessex. King Alfred the Great

fights them in a Naval engagement.

876 - The Vikings take Wareham under their leader, Guthrum, and King

Alfred the Great of Wessex is forced to buy peace once more. The

invaders retreat to Exeter. Death of sub-King Oswald of East Anglia.

He is succeeded by one Aethelred. With the removal of the puppet

King Ricsige of Northumbria, Prince Halfdan Wide-Embrace of

Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) formally establishes the Norse

Kingdom of York with himself as its first monarch. The Viking

settlement of the kingdom begins.

877 - King Alfred the Great of Wessex raises a large force of men

and marches on the Viking Camp at Exeter. Although his navy is

almost destroyed in a storm near Swanage, his army besieges Guthrum

and forces the Vikings to flee north to Gloucester. The Northern

Vikings take Eastern Mercia under direct rule. King Halfdan I

Wide-Embrace of Norse York leaves for Ireland in an attempt to

recover his brother's Dublin throne. He is killed and a probable

interregnum follows in York.

c.877 - Eadulf of Bamburgh establishes himself as King of Bernicia.

Cut-off from the rest of Saxon England, he is only recognised

outside his kingdom as High-Reeve or Ealdorman of Bamburgh. He may

or may not have been related to previous Kings of Northumbria.

Eadulf allies himself with King Alfred the Great of Wessex.

878 - While spending the winter at Chippenham, King Alfred the Great

of Wessex is surprised by the a Viking attack and he and his men

flee into the Somerset Levels for safety. From his headquarters at

Athelney, Alfred wages a guerrilla war against the Vikings. The

supposed "Burning of the Cakes" episode occurs. The English gain a

victory at Countisbury Hill and then Alfred decisively defeats the

Vikings at Edington. Guthrum and his men are pushed back to

Chippenham and besieged for three weeks. Eventually the Peace of

Wedmore is agreed. England is divided between Wessex in the south

and the Vikings in the Danelaw up north. Guthrum embraces

Christianity, is baptised as Aethelstan and returns to East Anglia.

The main Viking force winters in Fulham. King Ceolwulf II of Mercia

clashes with the Welsh and kills King Rhodri Mawr of Gwynedd, Powys

and Seisyllwg in battle.


879 - Death of sub-King Aethelred of East Anglia. The Vikings impose

their own monarch on the kingdom. Guthrum takes the throne. King

Alfred the Great of Wessex begins to build a large mobile army and

naval fleet in order to counter any future Viking invasions. He also

establishes defensive burghs around the country. Death of King

Ceolwulf II of Mercia. One Aethelred takes the throne as King

Aethelred II of the Mercians.

880 - The Mercian armies are defeated on the River Conwy by King

Anarawd of Gwynedd in revenge for the death of his father, King

Rhodri Mawr.

883 - Abbot Eadred of Carlisle travels across the Tyne (apparently

at the request of the spirit of St. Cuthbert) and persuades the

Viking Army there to elect a Christian slave named Guthfrith

Hardicnutson as King of Norse York. The new king recognises the

rights of the See of Chester-Le-Street.

884 - King Aethelred II of the Mercians marries Princess

Aethelflaed, daughter of King Alfred the Great of Wessex, accepts

Wessex overlordship and apparently demotes himself to become Lord of

the Mercians.

885 - King Alfred the Great of Wessex summons Asser, a relative of

Bishop Nobis of St. Davids, to the English Court. He agrees to spend

six months of the year in the King's service. Asser helps to enhance

the literary status of the English Court and also to negotiate the

recognition of Alfred as overlord of the South Welsh Kings. The

Vikings attack Rochester but are beaten back by King Alfred.

c.885 - Kings Hyfaidd of Dyfed, Elisedd of Brycheiniog and Hywel of

Glywysing, being harassed by the armies of King Anarawd of Gwynedd,

seek the protection of King Alfred the Great of Wessex and submit to

his overlordship. King Anarawd of Gwynedd seeks an alliance with the

Norse King Guthfrith I of York.

886 - King Alfred the Great of Wessex recaptures London from the

Vikings. He moves the community from Aldwich to within the safety of

the city walls and hands the place over to his son-in-law, Lord

Aethelred II of the Mercians. Alfred becomes the supreme monarch in

the country and "all the English submitted to him, except those who

were under the power of the Vikings".

888 - Foundation of Shaftesbury Abbey. King Alfred the Great of

England founds Athelney Abey in thanksgiving for his triumph over

the Vikings.

c.888 - Lord Aethelred II of the Mercians is struck down with a

debilitating illness. His wife, Princess Aethelflaed of Wessex joins

him as joint ruler of Mercia.

889 - Lord Aethelred II and Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians begin

their policy of fortifying Mercian cities as defensive burghs,

starting with Worcester.

c.890 - Lord Aethelred II and Lady Aethelflaed of the Mercians found

the Priory of St. Oswald in Gloucester (probably originally

dedicated to St. Peter).

c.893 - Asser, the Welshman, is made Bishop of Sherborne.

894 - King Anarawd of Gwynedd is forced to ask for help from King

Alfred the Great of England when his kingdom is ravaged by the

Norsemen. He submits to Alfred's overlordship, but the latter

imposes oppressive terms and forces Anarawd to confirmation in the

Christian Church with Alfred as godfather. Bishop Asser of

Sherborne, writes his "Life of King Alfred".

895 - King Alfred the Great of England supplies King Anarawd of

Gwynedd with English troops to assist in his successful reconquest

of Seisyllwg on behalf of his brother, King Cadell. Death of King

Guthfrith I Hardicnutson as King of Norse York. He is buried in York