king of Mercia (716–57). The young Æthelbald was driven into exile in the reign of his second cousin Ceolred, but succeeded Ceolred as king. Writing in 731 Bede says that all the kingdoms of the English, south of the Humber, are under the authority of Æthelbald. A charter of 736 describes Æthelbald in language supporting this claim. His relations with the church were forceful. He seems to have established a firm exploitation of monasteries and he misconducted himself with nuns. He died at the hands of his own military household.
Subjects: British History.