The Kingship of King Egbert, Excerpts from Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
The Life of King Egbert

The Kingship of King Egbert (802-839)

Excerpts relating to King Egbert from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

Year 802                King Brihtric passed away, and ealdorman Worr. Ecgbryht received the kingdom of Wessex, and the same day ealdorman Aethelmund rode from the Hwicce across the Thames at Kempsford. There ealdorman Weohstan and the men of Wiltshire meet him; there was a great battle, and the ealdorman were both killed. The men of Wiltshire took the victory. The moon darkened at dawn on May 21st. Beornmod was hallowed bishop of Rochester the same year.

Year 803                Higbald, bishop of Pindisfarne, passed away on June 24th, and Ecgbryht was hallowed in his place on June 11th [Bishop Egbert]

Year 806                Archbishop Wulfred received the pallium. The moon darkened on September 1st. Eardwulf, king of Northumbria, was driven from his kingdom. Also in this same year, on June 4th, the sign of the cross was shown on the moon, one Wednesday at dawn. And again in this year, on August 30th, a wonderful ring appeared around the sun.

Year 814                King Charlemagne passed away, he reigned for forty-five years.

Year 815                Archbishop Wulfred, with the blessing of Pope Leo, turned again to his bishopric. That same year King Ecgberht ravaged Cornwall from east to west.

Year 825                The Cornish Britons and the men of Devon fought at Galford, and the same year Ecgbryht, king of Wessex, and Beornwulf, king of Mercia, fought at Wroughton; Ecgbryht took the victory; and there afterwards he sent Aethelwulf, his son, from his troops, and Ealhstan, his bishop, to Kent with a great host. They drove King Baldred north over the Thames; and the people of Kent turned to him, and Surry, Sussex and Essex because they had been wrongly forced from their loyalty to his kinsmen. The same year, the king of the East Angles and the people sought the peace and protection of King Ecgbryht, for fear of the Mercians; and that same year the East Angles killed Beornwulf, king of the Mercians.

Year 829                The moon darkened on Christmas Eve. That year King Ecgbryht overcame the Mercian kingdom, and all that was south of the Humber. He was the eighth king who was ruler of Britain; the first was Aelle, king of Sussex, who had done this much. The second was Ceawlin, king of Wessex, the third was Aethelbryht, king of Kent, the fourth was Raedwald, king of East Anglia; the fifth was Edwin, king of Northumbria; the sixth, Oswald, who ruled after him; the seventh was Oswald’s brother Oswiu. The eighth was Ecgbryht, king of Wessex, and this Ecgbryht led troops to Dore against the Northumbrians. They offered him submission, and a treaty; with that they parted.

Year 830                Wiglaf again received the kingdom of Mercia. Bishop Aethelwold passed away. The same year, King Ecgbryht led troops into North Wales and turned them to humble obedience.

Year 835                Heathen men ravaged Sheppey.

Year 836                King Ecgbryht fought with twenty-five ship-companies at Carhampton, and there was great slaughter; the Danes held the battlefield. Hereferth and Wigthegn, two bishops, passed away, and Duda and Osmed, to ealdormen.

Year 838                A great ship-force came to Cornwall; united with the Cornish and turned, fighting with Ecgbryht, king of Wessex. Then he marched against them and fought them at Hingston Down; there he put them to flight together, the Britons and the Danes.

Year 839                King Ecgbryht passed away; King Offa of Mercia and Brihtric of Wessex had driven him for three years from England to the land of the Franks, before he was king. Brihtric had helped him because Offa had his daughter as queen. This Ecgbryht had reigned for thirty-seven years and seven months. His son Aethelwulf received the kingdom of Wessex; and his son Aethelstan received the kingdoms of Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

A  page of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles depicting Charlemagne,  in the late 8th century, killing the heathen Saxons.

© The British Library Board

Anglo-Saxon Chronicles page for 824-833
for larger image

Entries in the Chronicles for the years 824 to 833,
from the copy made in Abingdon, England
during the 11th or 12th century

Historical Time Line
The Making of Kings- Kingship, The Army and Warfare
Events before King Egbert's Time- Beginning in Europe, The 7 Kingdoms and the ChurchLineage, Ancestors and Parentage
The Life of King Egbert- The Early Years (775-802)
The Kingship- Chronicle Excerpts, 802-824, 825-829, 830-839, Reasons for Success

The People and Places Important to King Egbert - The People, The Places
Society in King Egbert's Time- Part 1 (Government, Household, Allegiance, Finances) Part 2 (Great Hall, Cooking & Eating, Food, Feasts, Christmas)
Part 3
(Crafts & Trade, Clothing and Appearance, Hygiene, Medicine) Part 4 (Peasants, Farming, Gardens & Plants, Common Tasks, Home, Village) Part 5 (Art)
Sources and References