king of the West Saxons (c. 611–43). Cynegils extended his frontier by defeating the Britons at Beandun, probably Bindon, east Devon, but suffered setbacks. Expansion was slowed by conflict with expanding Mercian neighbours, and it seems likely that Wessex lost lands gained in 577, in the lower Severn valley, to Penda of Mercia. In 635, Cynegils was baptized by the recently arrived missionary Birinus. He became the first Christian king of Wessex.
Subjects: British History.