AEthelred

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Æthelred (d. 796), king of Northumbria (774–8/9, 790–6). Knowledge of Northumbrian history at this time is ‘nasty, brutish, and short’. Æthelred was displaced after five years' rule by a member of another line, Ælfwald. Regaining power upon Ælfwald's murder in 790, Æthelred butchered Ælfwald's sons and sought to secure himself by marrying the daughter of Offa of Mercia, and faced the shock of the Viking sack of Lindisfarne in 793. In 796 he was murdered. With better sources we could better interpret these miseries.

James Campbell

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Æthelred (d. c.716), king of Mercia (675–704). All we know of Æthelred, son of Penda, comes from episodic indications of a career whose apparent paradoxes signal a world no less pious than brutal. Its realities can be glimpsed, not recaptured. In 676 he ravaged Kent, and not least its churches. In 679 he won an important victory over the Northumbrians at the battle on the Trent. In 697 his nobles murdered his royal Northumbrian wife Osthryth. In 704 he abdicated to become a monk.

James Campbell

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