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Chester, battle of

Chester, battle of, c.616. Æthelfryth of Northumbria defeated the Britons of Powys, killing their leader, Selyf. According to Bede, the battle was preceded by a massacre of monks from Bangor-is-y-Coed (near Wrexham), who were praying for a British victory. Bede regarded this as just retribution for their refusal to accept Augustine's invitation to adopt the Roman rites. The Saxon victory was part of a westwards expansion which ultimately drove a wedge between the Britons of Strathclyde and those of Wales, and represented an important step in the growth of Northumbrian power.

J. A. Cannon

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