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925 .. 949
925 .. 949
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Aethelstan becomes King of Wessex and Mercia
Aethelstan became King of Wessex and Mercia. His coronation took place at Kingston-upon-Thames. At this point Aethelstan was not king of all England. He had to wait until 927 to become overlord of the other regional rulers.
With the death of Sihtric, the Danish leader in the North of England, Athelstan was able to then drive out the Dane's sons. This left Athelstan the master of Northumbria. His attacks on the Welsh and the submission of Constantine the King of Scotland and Owen the King of Cumberland led to him becoming overlord.
Athelstan defeats the Vikings
When Sihtric died he left an heir Olaf. The king of the Norse in Dublin arrived to assist Olaf but Athelstan was ready for any trouble that they could do and defeated them. York was seized and its fortifications destroyed.
Accused of conspiring against his own family Edwin, Aethelstan's own brother, is put on a ship without sail or rudder to drift. Edwin throws himself into the sea to avoid the horrors of starvation. Edwin's accuser it later found to invented the crime and is put to death. The whole story could be a fabrication and comes from the works by William of Malmesbury.
The Dane Anlaff (possibly Sihtric's son), Owen of Cumberland and Constantine, King of the Scots sailed into the Humber to invade Northumbria. Athelstan's speed at raising his army that marched north put paid to any plans of invasion and a fierce battle occurred (Brunanburgh near Beverley ?) in which many Danish kings and earls were killed.