Book 2, Chapter 7, Alfred’s Children from 901 AD to 955 – Alfred’s Children
By the voice of the witan, the eldest surviving son became the monarch and he is known in history as Edward the Elder. His accession was not allowed to pass unchallenged, for Ethelwald, one of the sons of Alfred’s elder brother, claimed the throne, on the ground that his grandfather, Ethelwulf, had acted unjustly and illegally in entailing the kingdom to his sons in succession, but as the claim was not admitted, Ethelwald had recourse for aid to the Danes of East Anglia and Northumbria, who, now that the redoubtable Alfred was no more, hoped to shake off the yoke of suzerainty which he had imposed.
The Danes gave to Ethelwald the title of king, and the name of I Eohric, and under his leadership, with the aid of a number of Norman and other freebooters, proceeded to contest the matter with Edward in battle, by invading Essex, Wiltshire, and Oxford. The new king proved himself equal to the emergency, and in this respect quite worthy of his noble parentage. He not only stemmed the tide of invasion, but pursued the aggressors into East Anglia, and captured several strongholds which the Danes held in Mercia. Returning to the south, he left strict orders for his army to follow him, but the Kentish men, wishful to obtain more booty, disobeyed, and marched on to Bury, where they were assailed with great fury by a superior body of Danes under Ethelwald, and a prolonged battle ensued, in which, though the Kentish men were defeated with great slaughter, nearly all their leaders being slain, victory was dearly purchased by the Danes, numbers of whom perished, among whom was Ethelwald himself.
Chapter 7, Alfred’s Children
The Succession Disputed by Ethelwald
Chapter 7, Athelstan
Chapter 7, Renown of Athelstan
Chapter 7, Edmund
Chapter 7, Edred
Categories: Book 2