Elftrudis Of England: Birth: 869. Death: 7 Jun 0929
Edward I Of England: Birth: 870.
Ethelgiva Of England: Birth: 871.
Ethelfleda Of England: Birth: 872.
Ethelweard Of England: Birth: 874.
Note: Alias:<ALIA> "The /Great"/ [Williamson.FTW] Note: ALFRED THE GREAT (849-899), the most justly celebrated of all Anglo-Saxon rulers, was King of Wessex from 871 until 899. Alfred was born at Wantage in 849, the youngest son of KingEthelwulf of Wessex and his first wife, Osburh. The short reigns and early deaths of his elder brothers Ethelbald (858-850), Ethelbert (860-865) and Ethelred I (865-871) brought Alfred to the throne of Wessex at the age of about twenty-two in 871. Alfred's lifetime was overshadowed by the Danish invasions of England. Between 865 and 870 the Danes had conquered the kingdoms of East Anglia and Northumbria and had forced Mercia into submission. In 870 they decided to move against Wessex and established themselves in winter quarters at Reading. Five battles were fought in the winter and early spring of 870-871, at Englefield, Reading, Ashdown, Basing and the unidentified Meretun. Of these only Ashdown was a West Saxon victory. Shortly after the last battle the Danes were reinforced by another Viking army. At the time of Alfred's accession in April 871 the advantage lay firmly with the invaders. For the new king the outlook was bleak, and it was to remain so for some time. In May Alfred was defeated again, at Wilton, after which he decided to capitulate as the Mercians had done. A contemporary put the best interpretation on it that he could: "the Saxons made peace with the Vikings on condition that they would leave them; and this they did." What this almost certainly means is that Alfred paid them to go away; whatlater generations were to call paying Danegeld. TheDanes kept their word. Between 871 and 875 they busied themselves with Mercia and Northumberland. A second invasion of Wessex occurred in 876-77. Under their leader Guthrum, the Danes struck deeper than ever before into Wessex, and established themselves first at Wareham in Dorset and then at Exeter. Once more Alfred was forced to buy peace from them and they withdrew across the Mercian border in the summer of 877 to a new base at Gloucester. A third invasion followed soon. In January 878 the Danes entered Wessex, settled at Chippenham and subjected large areas of the kingdom to their authority. With only a small following Alfred fled to the west and found refuge at Athelney in Somerset, in the marshy country of the Parrett valley. (The episode of Alfred and the cakes, first committed to writing about a century after his death, was located during the retreat at Athelney.) Had the king died at this point he would be remembered, if at all, only as a failure. But Alfred survived and prospered. During the spring of 878 he quietly mustered troops and from the fortress which he had constructed at Athelney he waged guerilla war upon the Danes. By May he was ready to challenge them openly. He advanced eastwards, gathering support from the county levies of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire as he went. They encountered Guthrum's army at Edington in Wiltshire and decisively defeated it, pursuing the survivors as far as their stronghold at Chippenham. After a fortnight the Danes surrendered. Their leader Guthrum was baptized a Christian in June and they swore to leave Wessex in peace, a promise which they carried out later in the year. Alfred had won the struggle for survival. Towards the end of 884 part of a Viking army which had been campaigning in Francia crossed the Channel to Kent and laid siege to Rochester. Alfred relieved the town and eventually managed to chase the intruders back to the Continent. Guthrum's followers, settled in East Anglia since 880, had assisted the Vikings from the Continent, and it was in an attempt to neutralise them that Alfred sent a naval force against East Anglia in the summer of 885, which had mixed success, and in 886 occupied London. Shortly afterwards he made a peace-treaty with Guthrum. Apart from these event
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