H I S T O R Y   R E S O U R C E S  


 The Romans

 Age of Arthur


 Medieval Britain


 The Empire

 20th Century

 Myths & Legends



688 - Conversion of King Caedwalla of Wessex. He abdicates the throne and departs on a pilgrimage to Rome. The subsequent power vacuum is filled by Ine, the son of his second cousin, sub-King Coenred of Dorset. King Aethelred of Mercia establishes Mercian dominance over most of Southern England. He installs Oswine, a minor member of the Kentish Royal family (and second cousin of King Eadric), as King of Kent. Wessex retains Surrey. Prince Swaefheard of Essex is given West Kent. Eadberht is appointed Bishop of Lindisfarne.

689 - Prince Oswald, brother of King Oshere of Hwicce, founds Pershore Abbey.

690 - King Oswine of Kent is toppled by Wihtred the brother of the late King Eadric of Kent. King Wihtred takes lands north of the Thames in revenge against the treacherous East Saxons. Death of Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury. He is succeeded by Berhtwald.

691 - St. Wilfred, Abbot of Ripon, tries to make himself Bishop of all Northumbria. King Aeldfrith of Northumbria seizes many of his Ripon Abbey estates and proposes to create a new Bishopric there. Wilfred is banished and flees to Mercia where King Aethelred I makes him Bishop of Leicester. Bosa is restored to the Bishopric of York.

692 - King Ine of Wessex installs his kinsman, Nothelm, as King of Sussex.

693 - Death of Bishop Eorcenwald of London. He is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, London and later revered as a saint. Death of King Oshere of Hwicce. He is succeeded by four apparent joint-kings: Aethelberht, Aethelweard, Aethelric and Osred.

c.693 - King Ine of Wessex establishes his West Saxon Law Codes.

694 - King Ine of Wessex attacks Kent and extorts 30,000 pence from its people in recompense for the murder of its late king, Mul.

c.694 - Death of sub-King Coenred of Dorset, father of his overlord, King Ine of Wessex.

695 - Death of King Sebbi of Essex in London. He is succeeded by his sons, Swaefred and Sigeheard, as joint-monarchs.

c.695 - King Aeldfrith of Northumbria marries Princess Cuthburh, daughter of King Ine of Wessex.

697 - Murder of Queen Osthryth of Mercia by her own noblemen. She is buried at Barney Abbey and later revered as a saint.

698 - Dux Berhtred is killed leading a Northumbrian army against the Picts.

700 - St. Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, attends a Church Synod in Wessex, from which he sends King Gerren of Dumnonia a letter insisting that his kingdom's Celtic Church comply with the doctrines of Rome, as agreed thirty-six years previously at the Synod of Whitby.

c.700 - Queen Cuthburh of Northumbria enters the religious life. St. Ecgwine, Bishop of Worcester, and his swineheard found Evesham Abbey. King Ine of Wessex begins to dispense with Wessex sub-kings and replace them with ealdormen. Hamwic emerges as a major Wessex trading town. Re-foundation of the British religious community in Wareham at St. Mary's Nunnery.

702 - Archbishop Berhtwald of Canterbury calls the Synod of Austerfield to decide the rights of St. Wilfred, some-time Bishop of York. St. Wilfred is offered Ripon Abbey if he will relinquish his claims as a Bishop. Wilfred rejects this and appeals to Rome once more.

703 - St. Wilfred travels to Rome again and is supported in his struggle to retain his See of York by the Pope.

704 - King Aethelred I of Mercia retires to the Abbey of Bardney as its Abbot. He nominates his nephew, Coenred, as King. St. Wilfred returns to Northumbria. Death of King Aeldfrith of Northumbria. The throne is seized by one Eadwulf, of unknown descent. St. Wilfred moves to support the new monarch, but his advances are rejected and he instead falls in with the camp of the late King's young son, Osred, and Dux Berhtfrith.

705 - Prince Osred of Northumbria and his party defeat the usurper, Eadwulf, at the Battle of Bamburgh. He becomes King Osred I at the age of nine. King Ine of Wessex becomes estranged from the Kings Swaefred and Sigeheard of Essex who are sheltering exiled rivals to the Wessex throne. At the Synod of Brentford, the latter agree to banish the exiles in return for Ine not attacking their kingdom. Surrey is transferred from the Diocese of London to Winchester. Death of Bishop Headdi of Winchester. The See is divided between Daniel at Winchester and St. Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, at Sherborne.

706 - Archbishop Berhtwald of Canterbury, is obliged by the Pope's insistence, to call the Synod of the River Nidd. St. Wilfred is officially recognised as Bishop of Hexham and Abbot of Ripon. St. John of Beverley, the previous Bishop, is transferred to York.

c.707 - Mercia surfers from attacks by their Welsh neighbour.

709 - Kings Swaefred and Sigeheard of Essex share power with Offa, son of King Sigehere. King Coenred of Mercia abdicates the throne and journeys to Rome to become a monk. King Offa of Essex accompanies him. Ceolred, his cousin, succeeds to the Mercian throne. Dynastic rivalries lead to the banishment of their second cousin, Prince Aethelbald, who flees to the East Anglian controlled Crowland Fens. Bishop Wilfred of Hexham dies at Oundle and is buried at Ripon Abbey. He is later revered as a saint.

710 - Kings Ine of Wessex and Nunna of Sussex clash with King Gerren of Dumnonia after which Ine manages to establish a fortress at Taunton. St. Boniface becomes King Ine's envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

711 - Dux Berhtfrith leads a Northumbrian campaign against the Picts and defeats them in Manau Gododdin.

713 - Death of King Eadwulf of East Anglia. He is succeeded by his brother, Aelfwald. Queen Cuthburh of Northumbria travels south to found a monastery at Wimborne.

715 - Kings Ine of Wessex and Coelred of Mercia clash at the Battle of Wodensbarrow. Supposed foundation of Tewkesbury Abbey on the site of an ancient hermitage, by two noble brothers named Oddo and Doddo.

c.715 - Abbot Ceolfrith of Wearmouth & Jarrow advises King Nechtan of the Picts concerning adoption of the ways of the Roman Church. Death of Kings Swaefred and Sigeheard of Essex. They are succeeded by Swaefbert, of unknown relationship. Death of St. Guthlac. King Ine of Wessex faces rebellion within his kingdom.

716 - While feasting, King Coelred of Mercia collapses in a fit and dies. He is succeeded by Coelwald, probably his brother. Prince Aethelbald returns to Mercia from the Crowland Fens and seizes the throne from King Coelwald. King Osred I of Northumbria is killed in combat, possibly by the Picts in Manau Gododdin. The throne is seized by his distant cousin, Coenred, of the House of Ocga.

718 - Death of King Coenred of Northumbria. The throne is seized by one, Osric, probably a younger brother of the late King Osred I. Death of Prince Ingild, brother of King Ine of Wessex.

c.720 - King Ine of Wessex builds a stone church at Glastonbury Abbey.

721 - King Ine of Wessex slays Prince Cynewulf, an unknown relation making a push for the throne. Death of John of Beverley, Bishop of York. He is buried in Beverley Minster and later revered as a saint.

722 - King Ine of Wessex attempts a takeover of Dumnonia. His armies are crushed and have to withdraw. The fortress at Taunton is demolished.

725 - Death of King Nunna of Sussex. The exiled Prince Ealdberht, possibly a nephew of King Ine of Wessex looking for recognition as his heir, seeks sanctuary in Sussex. Ine attacks the South Saxons and kills Ealdberht. Death of King Wihtred of Kent. The kingdom is divided between his three sons: King Aethelbert II as overking, King Eadbert in West Kent and Alric who dies soon afterward.

726 - Abdication of King Ine of Wessex. He travels on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is succeeded by his brother-in-law (and probably distant cousin), Aethelheard; but this is disputed by another distant cousin, Oswald.

727 - Former Queen Cuthburh of Northumbria, Abbess of Wimborne, dies at her Abbey and is buried there. The former King Ine of Wessex founds a hospice for English pilgrims in Rome.

728 - Death of the former King Ine of Wessex in Rome. He is buried in the Church of San-Spirito-in-Sassia in the district of Borgo and later revered by some as a saint.

729 - King Osric of Northumbria nominates Ceolwulf, a distant cousin and brother of his predecessor as his successor. Death of King Osric. Ceolwulf takes the throne. The House of Aethelric is all but extinct and the House of Ocga in the ascendancy.

c.729 - The Northumbrians sign a peace treaty with the Picts.

730 - Death of Prince Oswald, rival claimant to the Wessex throne.

731 - The Venerable Bede completes his history of the Church in England. King Ceolwulf of Northumbria is seized by unknown opponents and forced to enter a monastery. His supporters subsequently restore him to the throne. Bishop Acca of Hexham is expelled from his See. These two events are almost certainly connected.

c.731 - The Mercians are expelled from Powys by King Elisedd of that kingdom.

733 - King Aethelbald of Mercia overruns a large portion of Somerset and wrests the county from Wessex control.

735 - Death of the Venerable Bede. The See of York achieves archiepiscopal status.

737 - King Ceolwulf of Northumbria abdicates in favour of his cousin, Eadberht, and becomes a monk at Lindisfarne Priory.

738 - Death of King Swaefbert of Essex. He is succeeded by Saelred, a minor member of the Essex Royal Family.

740 - Death of King Aethelheard of Wessex. He is succeeded by a distant kinsman, Cuthred. King Eadberht of Northumbria marches his army north to attack the Picts. King Aethelbald of Mercia takes advantage of his absence and ravages Southern Northumbria. Internal struggles re-emerge in Northumbria with the murder of Earnwine, son of the late usurping King Eadwulf.

c.740 - Death of King Mildfrith of Magonset. He is replaced by a Mercian Ealdorman. King Aethelbald of Mercia takes control of Berkshire from Wessex.

743 - Kings Aethelbald of Mercia and Ceolred of Wessex join forces to attack Gwent and Powys. St. Wihtburh, youngest daughter of the late King Anna of East Anglia, dies at East Dereham Abbey and is buried there.

c.744 - Construction of Wat's Dyke. The border between Mercia and Powys is set there.

746 - Death of King Saelred of Essex. He is succeeded by Swithred, grandson of the late King Sigeheard.

748 - Death of King Eadbert of West Kent. He is succeeded by his sons, Eadbert and Eardwulf.

749 - Death of King Aelfwald of East Anglia. He is succeeded by Hun, Beorna and Alberht. Relationship unknown. Beorna emerges as the dominant monarch. King Aethelbald of Mercia calls the Synod of Gumley and agrees to exempt monasteries from Royal service.

750 - Dynastic unrest in Northumbria. King Eadnberht imprisons Bishop Cynewulf of Lindisfarne at Bamburgh and besieges Prince Offa, son of the late King Aeldfrith in Lindisfarne Priory. Almost dead from hunger, he is eventually dragged from his sanctuary.

752 - King Eadberht of Northumbria takes Kyle from King Dumnagual of Strathclyde, on the death of the latter's father, Teudebur. King Cuthred of Wessex clashes with King Aethelbald of Mercia at the Battle of Burford and manages to throw off his claim to Mercian overlordship.

756 - Death of King Cuthred of Wessex. He is succeeded by his distant kinsman, Sigeberht. King Eadberht of Northumbria and King Angus I of the Picts successfully besiege King Dumnagual of Strathclyde at Dumbarton. However, Eadberht's entire force is subsequently wiped out, probably by the Britons, at the Battle of Newburgh-on-Tyne.

757 - King Aethelbald of Mercia is murdered by his own household in a dynastic coup by one Beornred. He is buried at Repton. King Beornred is quickly ousted by Aethelbald's distant cousin, Offa. In the meantime, Mercian supremacy over Southern England is lost. King Sigeberht of Wessex acts unjustly and is removed from power by a council of nobles, in favour of his distant kinsman, Cynewulf. Sigeberht is given control of Hampshire, probably as ealdorman; but he murders one of his own men and is driven out and eventually suffers the same fate. First written record of the county of Hampshire.

758 - King Eadberht of Northumbria abdicates in favour of his son, Oswulf. He becomes a monk at York. Death of King Swithred of Essex. He is succeeded by Sigeric I, son of the late King Saelred.

c.758 - King Cynewulf of Wessex retakes Berkshire from the Mercians. Death of King Beorna of East Anglia. Apparent succession of Prince Aethelred, a descendant of King Raedwald of East Anglia, as King.

759 - King Oswulf of Northumbria is murdered by his own household at Methel Wongtun. The Deiran patrician, Aethelwald Moll, who probably conspired in the regicide, seizes the throne. He may have been a descendant of King Oswine of Deira.

760 - The Battle of Hereford is fought probably between the Mercians and the Kingdom of Brycheiniog under King Nowy Hen.

c.760 - Building work, under Abbot Guba expands the Abbey Church at Glastonbury.

761 - King Aethelwald Moll of Northumbria faces a rebellion under a rival claimant to the throne named Oswine. The latter is defeated after the three day Battle of Eildon.

762 - Death of King Aethelbert II of Kent. His nephew, King Eadbert of West Kent, possibly rules all Kent for a time. Sigered, probably an East Saxon, succeeds in West Kent. Death of King Eadbert also, followed by the establishment of Eanmund as King of Kent. King Aethelwald Moll of Northumbria marries his queen, Aethelthryth, at Catterick.

764 - King Offa of Mercia brings an end to the rule of Kings Eanmund and Sigered of Kent. He imposes Mercian overlordship on the kingdom, but allows a local king, Heabert, to rule there. Death of ex-King Ceolwulf of Northumbria. He is buried at Lindisfarne Priory and later revered as a saint.

765 - King Heabert of Kent is joined in ruling Kent by King Aethelbert II's son, Ecgbert II. King Aethelwald Moll of Northumbria is deposed at Pincanheale, possibly by at a gathering of his own magnates. He enters a monastery. The throne is taken by Ealchred, a distant cousin of the late King Oswulf.

768 - Death of the former King Eadberht of Northumbria. In an attempt to strengthen his position, King Ealchred of Northumbria marries Princess Osgyfu, daughter of the late King Oswulf of Northumbria.

c.770 - King Ealchred of Northumbria takes an interest in continental missionary activities and sends Willehad to Frisia.

771 - King Offa of Mercia defeats the Haestingas and joins their little region to his sub-kingdom of Sussex.

772 - Possible deposition of King Ecgbert II of Kent with subsequent direct rule from Mercia.

773 - King Ealchred of Northumbria makes overtures of friendship toward King Charlemagne of the Franks.

774 - Unrest in the Northumbrian Church appears to lead to the expulsion of King Ealchred who is driven from York. He sails from Bamburgh into exile amongst the Picts. He is replaced by Aethelred I, the eleven year old son of the late King Aethelwald Moll of Northumbria.

776 - King Ecgbert II of Kent defeats the Mercians at the Battle of Otford and re-asserts himself as King of Kent.

778 - Unrest in Northumbria leads to King Aethelred I ordering the execution of three of his Duces. This considerably weakens his position.

779 - Offa, King of Mercia, becomes "King of All England". Offa defeats King Cynewulf of Wessex at the Battle of Bensington and seizes control of Berkshire, and probably London as well. Death of King Aethelred of East Anglia. He is succeeded by his son, Aethelberht. King Aethelred I of Northumbria is driven from the kingdom by Prince Aelfwald, son of the late King Oswulf who takes the throne as Aelfwald I.

c.780 - The rise of Aldwich as an important trading centre under Mercian control. King Offa of Mercia possibly establishes a Royal Palace at Aldermanbury, on the site of the old Roman Cripplegate fort and Amphitheatre.

781 - The King Charlemagne of the Franks summons the monk and scholar Alcuin of York to head the palace school at Aachen.

784 - Construction of Offa's Dyke, the artificial bank and ditch boundary between England and Wales, is begun at the command of King Offa of Mercia. Prince Ealmund of Wessex appears as King of Kent, possibly as a joint-monarch in some sort of alliance with his brother-in-law, King Ecgbert II.

785 - King Offa of Mercia re-asserts his control of Kent, deposes King Ecgbert II and establishes direct Mercian rule. Ecgbert's brother, Prince Eadbert Praen flees to the Court of King Charlemagne of the Franks and enters holy orders.

786 - The Yorkist scholar Alcuin accompanies the Papal Legates, Bishops George of Ostia and Theophylact of Todi, from France to the Mercian Royal Court. King Aelfwald I of Northumbria also receives Bishop George at a Northumbrian ecclesiastical council. The exiled Wessex noble, Cyneheard, brother of the late King Sigeberht of Wessex, ambushes King Cynewulf of Wessex while he is at Meretun with his mistress, and kills him. He is buried at Winchester. The Wessex nobles refuse to recognise Cyneheard as king. They execute him and, through the support of King Offa of Mercia, elect one Beorhtric instead. Cyneheard is buried at Axminster. Beorhtric's rival claimant to the Wessex throne, a very distant nephew of the late King Ine named Egbert, is driven across the Channel. Egbert settles at the Court of King Charlemagne of the Franks.

787 - Kings Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex call the Synod of Chelsea, which is attended by the Papal Legate. There, Offa persuades the Papacy to grant Archiepiscopal status to the Mercian See of Lichfield. Bishop Hygeberht is thus elevated and given control of Hereford, Worcester, Leicester, Lindsey, Dunwich and Elmham, as well as Lichfield. In order to secure the Royal succession, Offa has Hygeberht crown his son, Ecgfrith, King of Mercia within his father's own lifetime, possibly at Brixworth. Offa founds Winchcombe Abbey. Archbishop Jaenberht of Canterbury is alienated from Mercia.

789 - Assassination of King Aelfwald I of Northumbria, probably at Chesters, at the instigation of Patrician Sicga. He is buried at Hexham Abbey and his sons, Oelf and Oelfwine, seek sanctuary in York Minster. The son of the late King Ealchred is installed as King Osred II of Northumbria. The Vikings attack Britain for the first time with three ships raiding Portland. Thinking them to be peaceful traders, High-Reeve Beaduheard of Dorchester rides out to greet them and his killed. King Beorhtric of Wessex marries Princess Eadburh, daughter of King Offa of Mercia, and accepts Mercian overlordship.

790 - King Aethelred I returns to Northumbria, captures King Osred II, forces him to become a monk and ejects him from the kingdom. He flees to the Isle of Man. Aethelred then faces a rebellion by a rival, named Eardwulf. The latter is captured and hanged outside the gates to Ripon Abbey. The body is taken into the Abbey where Eardwulf recovers and escapes to exile. King Charlemagne of the Franks begins to nurture Northumbrian friendship in order to circumscribe the power of King Offa of Mercia.

c.790 - King Offa of Mercia takes control of East Anglia. King Aethelberht mints his own coins in defiance of his overlord.

791 - Princes Oelf and Oelfwine of Northumbria are persuaded to leave their sanctuary in York Minster and are immediately forcibly drowned in Wonwaldremere at the instigation of King Aethelred I.

792 - King Aethelred I of Northumbria marries Princess Aelfflaed, daughter of King Offa of Mercia, at Catterick. Unrest in Northumbria tempts the exiled King Osred II back to his kingdom from the Isle of Man. His supporters dessert him and he is killed by King Aethelred's men at Aynburg. He is buried at Tynemouth Priory. King Offa of Mercia arranges coastal defences to fend off Viking attacks.

793 - Vikings attack Britain in a surprise raid on the monastic community at Lindisfarne Priory.

794 - King Aethelberht of East Anglia visits the Royal Mercian Court at Sutton Walls, with a view to marrying Princess Elfthryth. Her father, King Offa of Mercia, already unhappy with Aethelberht's rejection of his overlordship, has him executed, supposedly after the wicked Queen Cynethryth of Mercia accuses Aethelberht of making advances towards her. He is buried at Marden and later revered as a saint. East Anglia ruled directly from Mercia.

795 - King Offa of Mercia receives gifts from King Charlemagne of the Franks. Offa re-founds St. Albans Abbey, supposedly in thanks for overrunning East Anglia.

796 - King Offa of Mercia and King Charlemagne of the Franks seal a trading agreement and a marriage alliance is proposed. However, King Offa dies soon afterward. He is buried at Bedford and succeeded for a short time by his son, Ecgfrith, and then a distant cousin, Coenwulf. Prince Eadbert Praen leaves the church, returns to Kent and claims his throne. One Eadwald proclaims himself King of East Anglia, but is later ousted by King Coenwulf of Mercia. Direct rule from Mercia is re-established. King Aethelred I of Northumbria is murdered, probably at Corbridge, by his Ealdormen, Ealdred and Wada. Ealdorman Torhtmund slays Ealdred in revenge. The kingdom is plunged into confusion. The Patrician Osbald is placed on the throne, but is deserted by his supporters after only twenty-seven days. He flees from Lindisfarne to Pictland. Another faction, brings back King Aethelred I's old back-from-the-dead rival, Eardwulf, as King. King Eardwulf dismisses his wife and publicly takes a concubine. He is alienated from Archbishop Eanbald II of Canterbury. King Coenwulf of Mercia gives protection to Eardwulf's enemies. The Yorkist Scholar, Alcuin, is made Abbot of Saint-Martin in Tours by King Charlemagne of the Franks.

797 - King Coenwulf of Mercia tries to re-assert his domination of North-East Wales. He clashes with Welsh forces, including those of Powys and Dyfed, at the Battle of Rhuddlan. King Maredydd of Dyfed is killed in the fighting. The Mercians push on westward.

798 - The Mercians of King Coenwulf invade Gwynedd and kill King Caradog of that country in Snowdonia. The Mercians also defeat and capture King Eadbert Praen of Kent. King Coenwulf of Mercia introduces his brother, Cuthred, as a sub-King of Kent. King Sigeric I of Essex abdicates and departs for Rome. His son, Sigered, takes the throne. Ealdorman Wada attempts to return King Osbald to the Northumbrian throne. The Yorkist Abbot Alcuin of Saint-Martin, Tours writes to the exiled Osbald in order to dissuade him. Wada is defeated by King Eardwulf of Northumbria at the Battle of Billington Moor.

799 - Death of the former King Osbald of Northumbria as an Abbot in exile. He is buried in York. King Eardwulf of Northumbria worried about further rivals, has Ealdorman Moll, probably a relation of the late King Aethelwald Moll, killed.

800 - King Eardwulf of Northumbria has his men seize Prince Ealhmund, son of the late King Ealchred, and put him to death. He is buried at Derby and later revered as a saint.

c.800 - Retirement of Archbishop Hygeberht of Lichfield. He is succeeded by Aldwulf. King Coenwulf of Mercia is on better terms with the Archiepiscopate of Canterbury than his predecessor, and unsuccessfully attempts to have the Mercian Archiepiscopal See transferred to London.

801 - King Eardwulf of Northumbria invades Mercia in order to flush out his enemies taking refuge there under King Coenwulf. After a long campaign the nobles and Bishops on both sides negotiate a peace and the two Kings confirm this under oath.

TIMELINE: Saxon 802 AD-898 AD

Copyright ©1996, 1997, 1998 Britannia Internet Magazine.
Design by Unica Multimedia