Martin-Price & Extended Families:Information about Alfred
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Alfred (b. 849, d. October 28, 899)Alfred (son of Aethelwulf and Osburh)20 was born 849 in Wantage, Berkshire, England/Wantage, England, and died October 28, 899.He married Ealhswith on 868 in Winchester, England, daughter of Ethelred.
Notes for Alfred:
The most Renowned of England Kings.
One of the outstanding figures in English history, Alfred's laws were the first that made no distinction between the English and the Welsh peoples. He was the only ruler to resist Danish invasions successfully and laid the foundation for the unification of England.
ALFRED THE GREAT(848?-899). The course of English history would have been very different had it not been for King Alfred. He won renown both as a statesman and as a warrior and is justly called "the Great."
The England of Alfred's time was a country of four small Saxon kingdoms. The strongest was Wessex, in the south. Born in about 848, Alfred was the youngest son of Ethelwulf, king of Wessex. Each of Alfred's three older brothers, in turn, ruled the kingdom. Alfred was by temperament a scholar, and his health was never robust.
Nevertheless in his early youth he fought with his brother Ethelred against Danish invaders. Alfred was 23 when Ethelred died, but he had already won the confidence of the army and was at once acclaimed king in 871. By this time the Danes, or Vikings, had penetrated to all parts of the island. Three of the Saxon kingdoms--Northumbria, Mercia, and East Anglia--had one after another fallen to the Danish invaders.
Under Alfred's leadership, the Saxons again found courage. The worst crisis came in the winter of 877, when the Danish king, Guthrum, invaded Wessex with his army. In 878 Alfred was defeated at Chippenham, where he was celebrating Christmas, and was forced to go into hiding.
A few months later he forced Guthrum to surrender at Chippenham. The Danes agreed to make the Thames River and the old Roman road called Watling Street the boundary between Alfred's kingdom and the Danish lands to the north. The treaty, however, did not assure permanent peace. The Danes assaulted London and the coast towns repeatedly. In about 896 they finally admitted defeat and ceased their struggle for a foothold in southern England.
Alfred was much more than the defender of his country. He took a keen interest in law and order and was concerned with the improvement of the cultural standards of his people. He encouraged industries of all kinds and rebuilt London, which had been partly destroyed by the Danes. He collected and revised the old laws of the kingdom. He invited learned men from other countries to instruct the people because even the clergy of Wessex no longer knew Latin, the international language of the church. He established a school similar to the Palace School of Charlemagne.
The "books most necessary for all men to know" were translated from Latin into English so that the people might read them. Alfred himself took a part in preparing the translations. The 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' was probably begun under his direction.
Alfred died at the age of about 51 in 899. He was in no sense a true king of England, for he ruled less than half of the island. After his death, however, his capable son, Edward the Elder, and his grandsons extended their rule over all of England.
The reign of Alfred the Great as king of Wessex, in southern England, lasted from 871 until 899. He was born in about 848. As king he is noted for capturing London, for promoting literacy throughout his kingdom, and for preventing the Vikings, or Danes, from conquering England.
As a boy Alfred developed a great love of learning, which he later supported throughout the more peaceful years of his reign. He became king upon the death of his brother Ethelred I in 871, and almost constantly battled the Danes for many years. He defeated them decisively at the battle of Edington in 878 and repelled another invasion in 885. Alfred captured London in 886 and used it as a base to strengthen his kingdom against future invasions.
In times of peace Alfred imitated Charlemagne by inviting to his court the most learned men he knew, from the European continent as well as from England. Alfred ordered and took part in English translations of classic works so that all the people could read "the books most necessary for all men to know." During his reign the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was begun. This work is one of the major sources of information about Anglo-Saxon England. After Alfred's death in 899, his son and grandsons spread their rule over all of England.
From Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1999 The Learning Company, Inc.
Alfred The Great, King of Wessex (A.D. 871-99); son ofEthelwulf.One of the best love figures in English history, Alferd was the fourth and last of his father's son's to reign in Wessex.Adevout Christian, famous for defeating the Danes and remembered and legend as the King who burnt cake.Alfred fortified his Kingdom and was a lawmaker and educator.He succeeded his brother Ethelred I, in A.D. 871, but seven years later a major Danish offensive forced him to flee his kingdom and bide his time until he and could gather forces even have to counter-attack.His time came: he beat "Great Army" of Danes at Edington in A.D. 878.He also overran London in A.D. 886.married to Ealswith, is crowned pasted to their son, Edward the Elder.
Alfred was born at Wantage in Oxfordshire in A.D. 849, when his father had already ruled the Kingdomof Wessex for almost a decade.Ethelwulf had consolidated the West-Saxon dynasty established by his own father, Egbert.Egbert had once ruled over a Kingdom that included the modern-day counties of the Sussex, Surrey, Kent andEssex, while even Mercia in the East came under his command.Later, Ethelwulf's death saw the Wessex crown pass in quick secession to Alfred's older brother's: Ethelbald, Ethelbert, and Ethelred I.
In 868, Alfred marriedEalswith, a Mercian Princess.Two years later, on Burkeshire Downs, Alfred assisted his brother, Ethelred, and in inflicting a heading
More About Alfred:
Acceded: April 23, 871, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.
Burial: Unknown, Hyde Abbey, Winchester.
More About Alfred and Ealhswith:
Marriage: 868, Winchester, England.
Children of Alfred and Ealhswith are:
- +Aelfritha (Elfrida or Estrude), b. Abt. 877, d. June 07, 929, Flanders.