Son of Oswiu, succeeded in 685 when his brother, Ecgfrith, was killed in battle against the Picts. He was said by Bede to be illegitimate, possibly by an Irish princess, and to have been brought up on Iona, ‘a self-imposed exile’, to gratify his love of learning. His wife, Cuthburh, was a sister of Ine of Wessex, but they parted ‘during their lifetime’. His coins have his name on one side and a rather pantomime dragon on the other. Aldfrith's reign, which covered the middle years of Bede's life, saw Northumbria's cultural and religious influence at its peak, though the king's relations with bishop Wilfrid were often strained. He is said by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to have died at Driffield on 14 December 705.
From The Kings and Queens of Britain in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: British History.