Egbert (King of Wessex 802-839)

 Born     Born At  
 Died  839   Buried At  

Titles Include

King of England from 802 to 839

Egbert was the King of Wessex area of Britain from 802 to 839 and is generally thought of as the first ruler to exercise his authority over much of England. He was the son of Ealhmund who was the King of Kent for a short time around 784 and decended from Ingild, one of the early founders of the West Saxon kingdom. Egbert went into exile for several years after the death of King Cynewolf of Wessex who died in 786. Egbert put a claim in to rule the area but his claim was disputed by Beorhtric who, with the help of Offa, was successful in taking the title and forced Egbert to flee. The time Egbert was in exile is not documented but he probably went to the court of Charlemagne.

In 802 King Beorhtric died and Egbert returned to England and claimed the Wessex throne. Little is known of the early period of his reign but he must have spent time securing his authority and organising his kingdom and army. In 825 the Mercian King Beornwulf invaded Wessex but Egbert's preparations were tested and proved to be strong enough to defeat the invading Mercian army at the battle of Ellendun in Wiltshire. Egbert followed up this victory by sending his son Aethelwulf with an army into Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex each of which submitted.

In 829 Egbert invaded Mercia and defeated the Mercian King Wiglaf. He then went on into Northumbria where King Eanred submitted as well. For a short time Egbert was the bretwalda (the ruler of all of the Saxon states), but in 830 Wiglaf regained control of Mercia. The end of Egbert's reign was dominated by Danish invasions and in 836 the Vikings defeated Egbert at the battle of Carhampton. But Egbert came back in 837 and defeated the Vikings at the battle of Hingston Down.

Egbert died in the following year and was succeeded by his son Aethelwulf.

Explore

Do you want to explore a Saxon Hall, a medieval church or a large stone keep? Click the images below to enter a medieval world.

YearMonthEvent
802   Egbert becomes King of Wessex
 Egbert had gone into exile but when King Beorhtric of Wessex died Egbert returned to England and claimed the Wessex throne. 
832   The rise of Wessex
 Egbert, the king of Wessex, defeated Beornwulf, the king of Mercia at Wilton to establist the power of the area of Wessex.[1] 
836   Viking invade Devon
 A fleet of possibly 35 ships landed a Viking army in Devon. Egbert fought the Vikings at Carhampton but was defeated by the invaders.[2]

Episode: Viking Invasions  
837   Battle of Hingston Down
 A Viking raiding party assisted by local Cornish men was defeated by Egbert of Wessex.

Episode: Viking Invasions  
839   Ethulwulf becomes king of Wessex
 Egbert was followed by his son Ethulwulf as King of Wessex. 

View walkthroughs of the TimeRef Virtual Medieval Abbey reconstruction.

 

 

 

Please note that this area should be showing an interactive map of events. This area will not show if you are currently using an older version of web browser. The map viewer viewer has been tested on IE9 and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.