(d. 858) king of the West Saxons

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(d. 858),

king of Wessex (839–58). The son of Egbert (802–39) and father of four kings, the youngest of whom was Alfred the Great (871–99), Æthelwulf is a far from negligible figure. He was a competent military leader, conducting substantial campaigns against the Danes at Aclea in Kent in 851 and against the Welsh of Powys in 853. Much of his personal interest seemed, however, to lie in ecclesiastical directions. He made generous provision for the financing of churches (his Decimations). In 855 he yielded his authority to his eldest son Æthelbald, and went on pilgrimage to Rome. Æthelwulf was away for a twelvemonth, and on his return with a Frankish princess as a bride (a young girl, Judith) he was forced to agree to a division of the kingdom with his own authority confined to the south‐east.

Subjects: British History.

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