battle of Ashdown

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Æthelred (d. c. 716)

Alfred the Great (849—899) king of the West Saxons and of the Anglo-Saxons


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In 870 a Danish army camped at Reading and began raiding the surrounding countryside. *Æthelred, king of Wessex, and his brother Alfred gave battle at Ashdown on the Berkshire downs about 8 January 871. The struggle raged round a stunted thorn‐bush and, according to the Anglo‐Saxon Chronicle, ‘went on till nightfall’. The Danes were driven back—the first major check to their advance—but a follow‐up against their camp failed. Æthelred died within weeks and, his sons being too young to lead in battle, Alfred became king.

Subjects: British History.

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