(d. 786) king of the West Saxons

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(d. 786),

king of Wessex (757–86). Cynewulf deposed his predecessor, Sigeberht. In 757 he attended the Mercian court, witnessing one of *Æthelbald's charters, suggesting that Wessex was again a Mercian dependency. He appears to have lost lands to Offa after defeat at Benson (c.777). The Anglo‐Saxon Chronicle account of his death reads like a heroic saga. After a long reign, he was attacked and killed by Cyneheard, the deposed Sigeberht's brother, when visiting his mistress. His few attendants fought to the death. The next day, Cynewulf's remaining force confronted his killer. Loyal to their lord they refused offers of money, slaying Cyneheard and his followers.

Subjects: British History.

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