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Egbert

(d. 839)


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(d. 839),

king of Wessex. Egbert succeeded to the West Saxon throne in 802. He was descended from Ingild, the brother of King Ine (688–726). In the 820s, he took advantage of Mercian weakness, winning one of the decisive battles in Anglo‐Saxon history at Ellendun in 825. The Anglo‐Saxon Chronicle records that he conquered Mercia and was recognized as a bretwalda (overlord). It is misleading, however, to regard Egbert as the first king of a truly united England. He concentrated personally on the western heartlands of his kingdom, winning a substantial victory in 838 against the Danes and their Cornish allies at Hingston Down. His permanent memorial proved to be the achievement of West Saxon mastery over England south of the Thames, ending all hopes of a Mercian supremacy.

Subjects: British History.


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