Events occurring at some time during this year 
Danes move against the north. 
Episode: Viking Invasions
Led by Halfdan the Danes moved north to attack the Picts and the area of Strathclyde. The Danes divided Northumbria taking York for themselves and creating the area known as Danelaw. A second Danish King called Guthrum took his army back south to Cambridge where he prepared plans to attack Wessex.

Alfred builds a small navy 
Alfred the Great organised a small number of ships to attack invading Danes.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Danes defeated in the south 
Episode: Viking Invasions
Led by Guthrum, an army of Danes moved to Wareham in Dorset where they were met by a new army from the sea who landed at Poole. Alfred trapped the army and demanded hostages in return for a peaceful settlement. The Danes divided, half fleeing to Exeter where they besieged the town while the other half escaped in their ships but were drowned in heavy seas. Those at Exeter were forced to surrender and were moved up to Gloucester.

Jorvik founded by the Vikings 
Episode: Viking Invasions
The Vikings made York the capital of their kingdom in England. They called it the kingdom of Jorvik.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Taxes in France 
In order to get the Vikings to leave his lands, Charles the Bald of West Francia needed money to pay them to leave. To do this he demanded the payment of a tax to raise funds.

Death of Constantine I 
Episode: Viking Invasions
Invaders from Scandinavia were a constant threat to the Scots and an invasion in 877 resulted in the death of the Scottish King, Constantine I. He was succeeded by his his brother Aed.

Oct 6  -  Death of Charles the Bald 
Charles the Bald, King of West Francia died and was succeeded by his son Loius.

Dec 8  -  Coronation of Louis II 
Louis II the Stammerer was crowned King of West Francia.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Giric becomes the Scottish monarch 
After the death of Aed, Giric (his cousin?) became the Scottish ruler.

Jan  -  The Danes take the advantage 
Episode: Viking Invasions
After Exeter. Alfred was hoping that trouble with the Danes was over, but again led by Guthrum, an army headed for Alfred at his Chippenham residence. Alfred fled under overwhelming odds leaving Chippenham in the hands of the Danes.

Spring  -  Alfred burns the cakes 
Episode: Viking Invasions
During the winter and spring period Alfred was in hiding. He ran a guerrilla warfare style war against the Danes and set up his headquarters on the Isle of Athelney in Somerset. It was on one of his scouting missions (the story goes) that he took refuge and not being recognised as the King was asked to watch the cakes which he burnt.

Apr  -  Battle of Edington 
Episode: Viking Invasions
Alfred called for his men to form an army and attack the Danes. He ordered the army to meet at a location known as Egbert's Stone and seven weeks after Easter an army was formed. Once formed the army quickly moved towards Guthrum and the Danes and the two armies met at Edington. The battle at Edington was won by Alfred and the Danes retreated to Chippenham. The Danes were surrounded and surrendered. Guthrum along with several other high ranking members of the Danish army were converted to Christianity under Alfred's sponsorship. Guthrum and Alfred agreed on peace terms and the Danes returned to their holdings in East Anglia known as the Danelaw.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Start of reorganisation 
Episode: Viking Invasions
After the success at Edington Alfred decided to construct of a series of fortified villages or burhs to help protect Wessex. He set up a system that provided Wessex with both a standing army and defence at a local level.

New Viking Invasion 
Episode: Viking Invasions
A new Viking fleet sailed up the Thames and built a camp at Fulham. For Alfred this was a worrying situation as he was unsure if this new Viking army would move to join Guthrum. Alfred did not have to worry as the army soon broke camp and headed for France.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Alfred attacks Viking ships 
Episode: Viking Invasions
Alfred had been increasing the size of his new navy and in 882 used it to good affect when he sailed out to attack four Viking ships. Two Viking ships were captured and their crews killed.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Vikings besiege Rochester 
Episode: Viking Invasions
An army of Vikings landed in Kent from the Continent and besieged Rochester. Alfred's work in improving the defences of the major towns paid off and the town held out long enough for Alfred to organise an army and force the Vikings to flee back across the Channel to the Continent.

The Siege of Paris 
Episode: Viking Invasions
A fleet of Viking longships sailed up the River Seine heading for eastern France and new lands and cities to plunder, When they reached Paris the Vikings offered to spare the city if they were allowed free passage up the river. The river was blocked by bridges that crossed and prevented even the Viking ships passage. Their request was denied and so the Vikings laid siege to the city. The siege was broken when an army led by Emperor Charles the Fat arrived and dispersed the Vikings.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Alfred captures London 
Episode: Viking Invasions
Alfred took full control of London and strengthened its defences in defiance against Viking attacks. London had not been a capital town before now but Alfred raised London's status.At some point in this period of time Alfred and Guthrum signed a treaty agreeing to several conditions. The first condition being a boundary thought to define the extent of the Danelaw, the area where the Vikings were living in England.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Guthrum dies 
Episode: Viking Invasions
Guthrum died in 890 and his peace agreements with Alfred were maintained by his successor.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
A bright comet is seen 
Several cultures around the world report seeing a large comet in the skies.

Several Irish pilgrims land in England 
Three Irish pilgrims arrived at King Alfred's court after sailing from Ireland in a boat without a rudder. The boat landed in Cornwall.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Danish Invasion 
Episode: Viking Invasions
A huge army of Danes travelled from Boulogne using some 250 ships and crossed the Channel landing in Kent at the Lympne Estuary, now called the River Rother. The army found a half-completed Saxon fort at Appledore which they attacked and took control of. At the same time another Danish army led by Haesten had arrived in the Thames estuary and set up camp at Milton. Alfred was facing a serious threat but decided to position his army half way between the two enemy encampments and wait.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Battle at Farnham 
Episode: Viking Invasions
While Alfred concentrated his efforts against the Danes at Milton, the Danes at Appledore left their camp. Alfred's son Edward took an army and caught the Danes at Farnham. Edward dealt a heavy blow and forced the Danes to retreat to an island on the River Colne. At the same time Danes from East Anglia had sailed around to the Cornish coast and had besieged Exeter. Aflred, who had been on his way to help Edward deal with the Danes on the island, changed direction and headed for Exeter. Back in Essex Haesten had gained reinforcements and moved to a new fortified site at Benfleet, but the fort was attacked by the Saxons while the Danes were on a raiding trip and this forced Haesten to move to Shoebury. The Danes outside Exeter ended their siege and sailed around to the join Haesten at Shoebury.

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Danes march west 
Episode: Viking Invasions
The combined Danish army left Shoebury and marched west up the Thames valley through Worcestershire and up the Severn valley finally reaching Chester where they were besieged by the Saxons who tried to starve the Danes out. The Danes managed to escape into Wales where they raided and left with a great deal of spoils.

899

 

Oct 26  -  Alfred dies, Edward 'The Elder' becomes King 
Alfred the Great died on October 26th and Edward, his son, became king of Wessex. Apart from the English people under Danish rule, Alfred had ruled over all the English in the country.