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Aethelwald


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There is a gap of 150 years between the legendary founder of Sussex, Aelle, and Aethelwald, whose ancestry is not established. With Aethelwald we are on more secure ground. Bede reported that he married Eafa, a niece of Eanhere, king of the Hwicces, and that he was baptized in the presence of Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, who acted as sponsor. Wulfhere is said to have given him c.661 the Isle of Wight and the valley of the Meon. Bede's further story that bishop Wilfrid taught the Sussex men how to fish is less easy to believe, but Aethelwald certainly gave him land near Selsey for a monastery. Aethelwald was killed when Caedwalla, future king of Wessex, raided Sussex c.680.

Subjects: British History.


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