Aethelred I

(d. 871) king of the West Saxons

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Fourth son of Aethelwulf, was the third brother to hold the throne of Wessex, succeeding Aethelberht in 865. His reign, spent in incessant warfare against the Vikings, was one of mixed fortunes, though with the aid of his younger brother, Alfred, he won one notable victory at Ashdown. He died on 15 April 871, possibly from wounds received in battle, and was buried at Wimborne.

Ring of Queen Aethelswith of Mercia, sister of Alfred of Wessex, who married king Burgred of Mercia in 853. The gold ring was found in Yorkshire in 1870 by a ploughman, who thought so little of it that he tied it to his dog's collar. Source: © The Trustees of the British Museum

Subjects: British History.

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