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Egbert

Egbert (d. 839), king of Wessex. After a profitable three-year exile in the kingdom (and then the empire) of Charles the Great, Egbert succeeded to the West Saxon throne in 802. He belonged to the native dynasty, and was descended from Ingild, the brother of King Ine (688–726). There is little record of the early years of his reign apart from a powerful and successful campaign against Cornwall in 815. In the 820s, however, he took advantage of Mercian dynastic weakness, winning one of the decisive battles in Anglo-Saxon history at Ellendun (Wroughton to the south of Swindon) in 825, and inflicting further defeat on them in 829. His first victory marks the passing of control of the south-east (and temporarily of East Anglia) from Mercian to West Saxon hands. After his second in 829 the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he conquered Mercia and was recognized as a bretwalda (overlord). The Northumbrians also submitted to him, and for a year (830–1) he was recognized as king throughout England. It is misleading, however, to regard Egbert as the first king of a truly united England. A native prince was quickly restored to Mercia, even if not of the ruling dynasty, and only briefly did Egbert issue coins for Mercia. His own favoured title was ‘king of the West Saxons’ or ‘king of the West Saxons and the Kentishmen’. He set up his son Æthelwulf as a subking in the south-east, and concentrated personally on the western heartlands of his kingdom, winning a substantial victory in 838 against the Danes and their Cornish allies at Hingston Down. His permanent memorial proved to be the achievement of West Saxon mastery over England south of the Thames, the making of a true greater Wessex, and with it an end to all hopes of a Mercian nucleus to a united kingdom of England.

Henry Loyn

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Egbert

Egbert, d. 839, king of Wessex (802–39). His name also appears as Ecgberht. He was descended from Cerdic and was apparently an unsuccessful aspirant for the crown of Wessex against Beohtric (reigned 786–802). He took refuge at the court of Offa of Mercia, but the alliance of Offa and Beohtric drove him to the Frankish court, where he may have spent three years. At Beohtric's death he became king of Wessex, apparently without opposition. In 815 he harried Cornwall, returning to defeat the Britons there again in 825. He also defeated King Beornwulf of Mercia at Ellandune (or Ellendun) in 825. He sent his son Æthelwulf and an army to Kent, which was then made a dependency of Wessex. East Anglia sought Egbert's protection and revolted against Mercia. Beornwulf was killed in battle, and Mercia submitted (828?) to Egbert. He then (829?) secured the nominal submission of Northumbria without a battle. Later historians called him the first king of England, an anachronistic title, for there was no conception of a kingdom of England in his day. The extent of his power varied from kingdom to kingdom and from year to year. After 834 he had to defend his realm against the Danes, and in his last battle (838) he again defeated the Britons of Cornwall, who had allied themselves with the Danes. Egbert was succeeded by his son, Æthelwulf.

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Egbert

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"Egbert." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Egbert." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/egbert