Eadberht III Præn
Eadberht III Præn was the King of Kent from 796 to 798. His brief reign was the result of a rebellion against the hegemony of Mercia, it marked the last time that Kent existed as an independent kingdom. Offa of Mercia seems to have ruled Kent directly from 785 until 796, when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Offa died and Eadberht, "who was by another name Præn", took possession of Kent. Eadberht had previously been in exile on the continent under the protection of Charlemagne, his rebellion has been seen as serving Frankish interests; the pro-Mercian Archbishop of Canterbury, Æthelhard, fled during the rebellion. Cœnwulf of Mercia was engaged in correspondence with Pope Leo III at this time concerning the situation of the Church in England, in the course of this Leo accepted a Mercian reconquest of Kent and excommunicated Eadbert, on the grounds that he was a former priest. Having received papal approval, Cœnwulf reconquered Kent, he placed his brother in charge and captured Eadberht in 798.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cœnwulf "ravaged over Kent and captured Eadberht Præn, their king, led him bound into Mercia." A addition to the Chronicle says that Eadberht was blinded and had his hands cut off, but Roger of Wendover states that he was set free by Coenwulf at some point as an act of clemency. List of monarchs of Kent Eadberht 18 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Hlothhere of Kent
Hlothhere was a King of Kent who ruled from 673 to 685. He succeeded his brother Ecgberht I in 673, he must have come into conflict with Mercia, since in 676 the Mercian king Æthelred invaded Kent and caused great destruction. Hlothhere's rule survived this onslaught, however, he appears for a time to have reigned jointly with his nephew Eadric, son of Ecgberht I, since a code of laws still extant was issued under both their names. In 685, Eadric went into exile and led the South Saxons against Hlothhere, defeated and died of his wounds; the above information is derived from Bede, but Hlothhere is the earliest Kentish king for whom genuine charters survive. One charter known from a 15th-century copy, is dated to 1 April 675 in the first year of Hlothhere’s reign, which conflicts with accession date attributed to him by Bede; the charter of 679 survives in its original form. Two further charters attributed to Hlothere, appear to have been altered copies of charters of Swæfheard and Swæfberht. A law code, the Law of Hlothhere and Eadric, is jointly attributed to his successor Eadric.
List of monarchs of Kent Chronology of Kentish Kings Hlothhere 1 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Baldred of Kent
Baldred was king of Kent, from 823 until 826 or 827. Ceolwulf I, king of Mercia, had ruled Kent directly, but in 823 he was deposed by Beornwulf, at about the same time moneyers at Canterbury started issuing coins in the name of Baldred, king of Kent, it is uncertain. In 826 or 827 he was expelled by Æthelwulf, son of King Egbert of Wessex, Kent was ruled directly by Wessex thereafter. Nineteen of his coins are known. "Baldred". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1158.. The first edition of this text is available at Wikisource: "Baldred". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. Baldred 4 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Ceolwulf I of Mercia
Ceolwulf I was King of Mercia, East Anglia and Kent, from 821 to 823. He was the brother of Coenwulf, his predecessor, was deposed by Beornwulf. William of Malmesbury declared that, after Cœnwulf: "the kingdom of the Mercians declining, if I may use the expression, nearly lifeless, produced nothing worthy of historical commemoration." Mercia did have a moment of glory that William was unaware of. Indicating the year 822, the Annales Cambriae states: "The fortress of Degannwy is destroyed by the Saxons and they took the kingdom of Powys into their own control." A charter depicts a disturbed state of affairs during Ceolwulf's reign: "After the death of Cœnwulf, king of the Mercians, many disagreements and innumerable disputes arose among leading persons of every kind – kings and ministers of the churches of God – concerning all manner of secular affairs". In 823, sometime after 26 May, on which date he granted land to Archbishop Wulfred in exchange for a gold and silver vessel, Ceolwulf was overthrown.
His replacement was one Beornwulf. Ceolwulf had ruled Kent directly – in his two charters, he is styled as "King of the Mercians and of the men of Kent". Beornwulf would place Baldred, on the Kentish throne. Kings of Mercia family tree List of monarchs of Kent Chronology of Kentish Kings Ceolwulf 5 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=seek&query=S+186 http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=seek&query=S+187
Offa of Mercia
Offa was King of Mercia, a kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England, from 757 until his death in July 796. The son of Thingfrith and a descendant of Eowa, Offa came to the throne after a period of civil war following the assassination of Æthelbald. Offa defeated Beornred. In the early years of Offa's reign, it is that he consolidated his control of Midland peoples such as the Hwicce and the Magonsæte. Taking advantage of instability in the kingdom of Kent to establish himself as overlord, Offa controlled Sussex by 771, though his authority did not remain unchallenged in either territory. In the 780s he extended Mercian Supremacy over most of southern England, allying with Beorhtric of Wessex, who married Offa's daughter Eadburh, regained complete control of the southeast, he became the overlord of East Anglia and had King Æthelberht II of East Anglia beheaded in 794 for rebelling against him. Offa was a Christian king who came into conflict with the Church with Jænberht, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Offa persuaded Pope Adrian I to divide the archdiocese of Canterbury in two, creating a new archdiocese of Lichfield.
This reduction in the power of Canterbury may have been motivated by Offa's desire to have an archbishop consecrate his son Ecgfrith as king, since it is possible Jænberht refused to perform the ceremony, which took place in 787. Offa had a dispute with the Bishop of Worcester, settled at the Council of Brentford in 781. Many surviving coins from Offa's reign carry elegant depictions of him, the artistic quality of these images exceeds that of the contemporary Frankish coinage; some of his coins carry images of his wife, Cynethryth—the only Anglo-Saxon queen depicted on a coin. Only three gold coins of Offa's have survived: one is a copy of an Abbasid dinar of 774 and carries Arabic text on one side, with "Offa Rex" on the other; the gold coins are of uncertain use but may have been struck to be used as alms or for gifts to Rome. Many historians regard Offa as the most powerful Anglo-Saxon king before Alfred the Great, his dominance never extended to Northumbria, though he gave his daughter Ælfflæd in marriage to the Northumbrian king Æthelred I in 792.
Historians once saw his reign as part of a process leading to a unified England, but this is no longer the majority view. In the words of a recent historian: "Offa was driven by a lust for power, not a vision of English unity. Offa died in 796. In the first half of the 8th century, the dominant Anglo-Saxon ruler was King Æthelbald of Mercia, who by 731 had become the overlord of all the provinces south of the River Humber. Æthelbald was one of a number of strong Mercian kings who ruled from the mid-7th century to the early 9th, it was not until the reign of Egbert of Wessex in the 9th century that Mercian power began to wane. The power and prestige that Offa attained made him one of the most significant rulers in Early Medieval Britain, though no contemporary biography of him survives. A key source for the period is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a collection of annals in Old English narrating the history of the Anglo-Saxons; the Chronicle was a West Saxon production, is sometimes thought to be biased in favour of Wessex.
That power can be seen at work in charters dating from Offa's reign. Charters were documents which granted land to followers or to churchmen and were witnessed by the kings who had the authority to grant the land. A charter might record the names of both a subject king and his overlord on the witness list appended to the grant; such a witness list can be seen on the Ismere Diploma, for example, where Æthelric, son of king Oshere of the Hwicce, is described as a "subregulus", or subking, of Æthelbald's. The eighth-century monk and chronicler the Venerable Bede wrote a history of the English church called Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum. Offa's Dyke, most of, built in his reign, is a testimony to the extensive resources Offa had at his command and his ability to organise them. Other surviving sources include a problematic document known as the Tribal Hidage, which may provide further evidence of Offa's scope as a ruler, though its attribution to his reign is disputed. A significant corpus of letters dates from the period from Alcuin, an English deacon and scholar who spent over a decade at Charlemagne's court as one of his chief advisors, corresponded with kings and ecclesiastics throughout England.
These letters in particular reveal Offa's relations with the continent, as does his coinage, based on Carolingian examples. Offa's ancestry is given in the Anglian collection, a set of genealogies that include lines of descent for four Mercian kings. All four lines descend from Pybba. Offa's line descends through Pybba's son Eowa and through three more generations: Osmod and Offa's father, Thingfrith. Æthelbald, who ruled Mercia for most of the forty years before Offa, was descended from Eowa according to the genealogies: Offa's grandfather, was Æthelbald's first cousin. Æthelbald granted land to Eanwulf in the territory of the Hwicce, it is possible that Offa and Æthelbald were from the same branch of the family. In one charter Offa refers to Æthelbald as his kinsman, Headbert, Æthelbald's brother, continued to witness charters after Offa rose to power. Offa's wife was Cynethryth, whose ancestry is u
Hengist and Horsa
Hengist and Horsa are legendary brothers said to have led the Angles and Jutes in their invasion of Britain in the 5th century. Tradition lists Hengist as the first of the Jutish kings of Kent. According to early sources and Horsa arrived in Britain at Ebbsfleet on the Isle of Thanet. For a time, they served as mercenaries for Vortigern, King of the Britons, but they turned against him. Horsa was killed fighting the Britons, but Hengist conquered Kent, becoming the forefather of its kings. A figure named Hengest, who may be identifiable with the leader of British legend, appears in the Finnsburg Fragment and in Beowulf. Legends of horse-associated founding brothers are attested among other Germanic peoples and appear in other Indo-European cultures; as a result, scholars have theorized a pan-Germanic mythological origin for Hengist and Horsa, stemming from divine twins found in Proto-Indo-European religion. Other scholars, including J. R. R. Tolkien, have argued for a historical basis for Hengist and Horsa.
The Old English names Hengest and Horsa mean "stallion" and "horse" respectively. The original Old English word for a horse was eoh. Eoh derives from the Proto-Indo-European base *ekwo, hence Latin equus which gave rise to the modern English words equine and equestrian. Hors is derived from the Proto-Indo-European base *kurs, to run, which gave rise to hurry and current. Hors replaced eoh, fitting a pattern elsewhere in Germanic languages where the original names of sacred animals are abandoned in favour of adjectives. While the Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle refer to the brother as Horsa, in the History of the Britons his name is Hors, it has been suggested that Horsa may be a pet form of a compound name with the first element "horse". In his 8th century Ecclesiastical History, Bede records that the first chieftains among the Angles and Jutes in England were said to have been Hengist and Horsa, he relates that Horsa was killed in battle against the Britons and was thereafter buried in East Kent, where at the time of writing a monument still stood to him.
According to Bede and Horsa were the sons of Wictgils, son of Witta, son of Wecta, son of Woden. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which exists in nine manuscripts and fragments, compiled from the 9th to the 12th centuries, records that in the year 449 Hengist and Horsa were invited to Britain by Vortigern to assist his forces in fighting the Picts, they landed at Eopwinesfleot, went on to defeat the Picts wherever they fought them. Hengist and Horsa sent word home to Germany describing "the worthlessness of the Britons, the richness of the land" and asked for assistance, their request was granted and support arrived. Afterward, more people arrived in Britain from "the three powers of Germany; the Saxons populated Essex and Wessex. The Worcester Chronicle, the Peterborough Chronicle, include the detail that these forces were led by the brothers Hengist and Horsa, sons of Wihtgils, son of Witta, son of Wecta, son of Woden, but this information is not included in the A, B, C, or F versions. In the entry for the year 455 the Chronicle details that Hengist and Horsa fought with Vortigern at Aylesford and that Horsa died there.
Hengist took control of the kingdom with his son Esc. In 457, Hengist and Esc fought against British forces in Crayford "and there slew four thousand men"; the Britons fled to London. In 465, Hengest and Esc fought again at the Battle of Wippedesfleot near Ebbsfleet, slew twelve British leaders. In the year 473, the final entry in the Chronicle mentioning Hengist or Horsa and Esc are recorded as having taken "immense booty" and the Britons having "fled from the English like fire"; the 9th century History of the Britons, attributed to the Briton Nennius, records that, during the reign of Vortigern in Britain, three vessels, exiled from Germany arrived in Britain, commanded by Hengist and Horsa. The narrative gives a genealogy of the two: Hengist and Horsa were sons of Guictglis, son of Guicta, son of Guechta, son of Vouden, son of Frealof, son of Fredulf, son of Finn, son of Foleguald, son of Geta. Geta was said to be the son of a god, yet "not of the omnipotent God and our Lord Jesus Christ," but rather "the offspring of one of their idols, whom, blinded by some demon, they worshipped according to the custom of the heathen."
In 447 AD, Vortigern received Hengist and Horsa "as friends" and gave to the brothers the Isle of Thanet. After the Saxons had lived on Thanet for "some time" Vortigern promised them supplies of clothing and other provisions on condition that they assist him in fighting the enemies of his country; as the Saxons increased in number the Britons became unable to keep their agreement, so told them their assistance was no longer needed and they should go home. Vortigern allowed Hengist to send for more of his countrymen to come over to fight for him. Messengers were sent to "Scythia", where "a number" of warriors were selected, with sixteen ships, the messengers returned. With the men came Hengist's beautiful daughter. Hengist prepared a feast, inviting Vortigern, Vortigern's officers, Ceretic, his translator. Prior to the feast, Hengist enjoined his daughter to serve the guests plenty of wine and ale so that they would bec