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  1. Edward The Elder Of ENGLAND: Birth: Bet 871 and 924.


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1. Title:   Betty.FTW
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RepositoryId:   R2937
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Notes
a. Note:   NI408610
Note:   Alfred From the late 8th century, attacks by Vikings from Scandinavia increased. After a major invasion in 865, the kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia were rapidly overrun, and in 871 the Danish army attacked Wessex. The Wessex forces under the command of Alfred (reigned 871-99), then aged 21, defeated the Danes at the Battle of Edington in 878. The Danes withdrew to an area north of a frontier running from London to Chester and known as 'Danelaw'. This victory did not finish the Danish threat, and Alfred reorganised the Wessex defences by organising his army on a rota basis, so he could raise a 'rapid reaction force' to deal with raiders whilst still enabling his thegns and peasants to tend their farms. Second, Alfred started a building programme of well-defended settlements across southern England as a defence in depth against Danish raiders. Alfred also ordered the building of a navy of new fast ships to patrol the coasts and meet invaders before they penetrated inland. Other reforms included establishing a legal code (assembled from the laws of his predecessors and of the kingdoms of Mercia and Kent), and reforming the coinage. Illiterate in Latin until the age of 38, Alfred promoted literacy, religion and education, and directed the translation of works of religious instruction, philosophy and history into the vernacular; this was partly so that people could read his orders and legislation. The energetic royal authority demonstrated in Alfred's policies presaged the Wessex kings' rule of all England during the next century. Edward the Elder (artist unknown) � Royal Collection View large picture in new window [Betty.FTW] Alfred From the late 8th century, attacks by Vikings from Scandinavia increased. After a major invasion in 865, the kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia were rapidly overrun, and in 871 the Danish army attacked Wessex. The Wessex forces under the command of Alfred (reigned 871-99), then aged 21, defeated the Danes at the Battle of Edington in 878. The Danes withdrew to an area north of a frontier running from London to Chester and known as 'Danelaw'. This victory did not finish the Danish threat, and Alfred reorganised the Wessex defences by organising his army on a rota basis, so he could raise a 'rapid reaction force' to deal with raiders whilst still enabling his thegns and peasants to tend their farms. Second, Alfred started a building programme of well-defended settlements across southern England as a defence in depth against Danish raiders. Alfred also ordered the building of a navy of new fast ships to patrol the coasts and meet invaders before they penetrated inland. Other reforms included establishing a legal code (assembled from the laws of his predecessors and of the kingdoms of Mercia and Kent), and reforming the coinage. Illiterate in Latin until the age of 38, Alfred promoted literacy, religion and education, and directed the translation of works of religious instruction, philosophy and history into the vernacular; this was partly so that people could read his orders and legislation. The energetic royal authority demonstrated in Alfred's policies presaged the Wessex kings' rule of all England during the next century. Edward the Elder (artist unknown) � Royal Collection View large picture in new window Note: Alfred, called The Great (849-99), king of the West Saxons (871-99), and one of the outstanding figures of English history. Born in Wantage in southern England, Alfred was the youngest of five sons of King Ethelwulf. On the death of his brother Ethelred Alfred became king, coming to the throne during a Danish invasion. Although he succeeded in making peace with the Danes, they resumed their marauding expeditions five years later, and by early 878 they were successful almost everywhere. About Easter of 878, however, Alfred established himself at Athelney and began assembling an army. In the middle of that year he defeated the Danes and captured their stronghold, probably at present-day Edington. During the following 14 years Alfred was able to devote himself to the internal affairs of his kingdom. By 886 he had captured the city of London, and soon afterward he was recognized as the king of all England. In 893 the Danes invaded England again, and the following four years were marked by warfare; eventually, the Danes were forced to withdraw from Alfred's domain. The only ruler to resist Danish invasions successfully, Alfred made his kingdom the rallying point for all Saxons, thus laying the foundation for the unification of England. Alfred was a patron of learning and did much for the education of his people. He began a court school and invited British and foreign scholars, notably the Welsh monk Asser and the Irish-born philosopher and theologian John Scotus Erigena, to come there. Alfred translated such works as The Consolation of Philosophy by the Roman statesman and philosopher Boethius, The History of the World by the Spanish priest Paulus Orosius, and Pastoral Care by Pope Gregory I. Alfred's laws, the first promulgated in more than a century, were the first that made no distinction between the English and the Welsh peoples. "Alfred," Microsoft Encarta 96 Encyclopedia. 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. Funk & Wagnalls Corporation


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