Son of king Aethelred I of Wessex, had a brief but spectacular career. At his father's death in 871 he was a small boy, so the throne was taken by his uncle, Alfred. On Alfred's death in 899, Aethelwald claimed the throne, but was driven out by his cousin Edward (the Elder), who besieged him at Badbury, near Wimborne. Aethelwald escaped by night and fled to the Danes at York who, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, received him as their king. Some of his coins have been found. In 903 Aethelwald began an attempt to regain Wessex, landing first in Essex and East Anglia, where he persuaded the Danes under king Oeric to take up his cause. A harassing raid on Wessex across the Thames at Cricklade provoked Edward to counter-attack across East Anglia. On the retreat, Edward's Kentish allies became separated, and were engaged in a fierce conflict by the Danish forces at the Holme, believed to be near Swaffham in Norfolk. Aethelwald was killed, along with Oeric.
Subjects: British History.