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Æthelheard

(c. 670—740) king of the West Saxons


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Ine (d. 726) king of the West Saxons

Ceawlin (d. c. 593) king of the Gewisse

 

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The ancestry of Aethelheard is not established, and though he is said by some sources to have been the brother of Ine's queen, Aethelburh, there is no direct confirmation. He married Frithugyth, mentioned in charters. Succeeding Ine in 726, he was soon in difficulties, facing a rival candidate, Oswald, who claimed descent from Ceawlin. Though Oswald died in 730, Aethelheard was confronted by Aethelbald of Mercia, who captured Somerton in 733 and seems to have reduced Wessex temporarily to client status. Aethelheard died in 740 according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 739 according to the continuator of Bede.

Subjects: British History.


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