King of England Alfred

Male 849 - 900  (51 years)


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  • Name Alfred  [1
    Title King of England 
    Born 849  Wantage, Berkshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 26 Oct 900  [1
    Buried Hyde Abbey, Winchester Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Notes 
    • [dunbar_tree.FTW]

      Alfred was one of the greatest military leaders in history; crowned at
      Winchester Cathedral in 871; founded the British Navy; a scholar, etc. The
      Mercian kingdom ended during his reign "and in 886 Alfred's authority was
      accepted by all Englishmen who were not under the power of the Danes. From
      this time onward the history of Wessex is the history of England."
      {-Encyclopaedia Britannica, '56, 23:520; cf.8:483. Primary source is "Life
      of King Alfred," Bishop Asser, trans. L. C. Jane (London: Chatto & Windus
      Ltd., 1924).}
      ----- Compton's Encyclopedia (America Online, 1995) records:
      ALFRED THE GREAT (848?-899). The course of English history would have been
      very different had it not been for King Alfred. He won renown both as a
      statesman and as a warrior and is justly called "the Great."
      The England of Alfred's time was a country of four small Saxon kingdoms.
      The strongest was Wessex, in the south. Born in about 848, Alfred was the
      youngest son of Ethelwulf, king of Wessex. Each of Alfred's three older
      brothers, in turn, ruled the kingdom. Alfred was by temperament a scholar,
      and his health was never robust.
      Nevertheless in his early youth he fought with his brother Ethelred
      against Danish invaders. Alfred was 23 when Ethelred died, but he had already
      won the confidence of the army and was at once acclaimed king in 871. By this
      time the Danes, or Vikings, had penetrated to all parts of the island. Three
      of the Saxon kingdoms--Northumbria, Mercia, and East Anglia--had one after
      another fallen to the Danish invaders.
      Under Alfred's leadership, the Saxons again found courage. The worst
      crisis came in the winter of 877, when the Danish king, Guthrum, invaded
      Wessex with his army. In 878 Alfred was defeated at Chippenham, where he was
      celebrating Christmas, and was forced to go into hiding.
      A few months later he forced Guthrum to surrender at Chippenham. The Danes
      agreed to make the Thames River and the old Roman road called Watling Street
      the boundary between Alfred's kingdom and the Danish lands to the north. The
      treaty, however, did not assure permanent peace. The Danes assaulted London
      and the coast towns repeatedly. In about 896 they finally admitted defeat and
      ceased their struggle for a foothold in southern England.
      Alfred was much more than the defender of his country. He took a keen
      interest in law and order and was concerned with the improvement of the
      cultural standards of his people. He encouraged industries of all kinds and
      rebuilt London, which had been partly destroyed by the Danes. He collected
      and revised the old laws of the kingdom. He invited learned men from other
      countries to instruct the people because even the clergy of Wessex no longer
      knew Latin, the international language of the church. He established a school
      similar to the Palace School of Charlemagne.
      The "books most necessary for all men to know" were translated from Latin
      into English so that the people might read them. Alfred himself took a part
      in preparing the translations. The `Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' was probably begun
      under his direction.
      Alfred died at the age of about 51 in 899. He was in no sense a true king
      of England, for he ruled less than half of the island. After his death,
      however, his capable son, Edward the Elder, and his grandsons extended their
      rule over all of England.
      - - - - -
      From an Internet article at Ancestry.com:
      "A British and U.S. archaeological team believes it has found the grave of
      King Alfred, the great Saxon king, best remembered for fighting off the Danes
      in the ninth century. As then befitted a king of great piety, Alfred was
      buried in 899 at the New Minster church in Winchester, 65 miles southwest
      of London. His remains are thought to have been moved 200 years later to
      Winchester's Hyde Abbey, one of the great medieval monasteries. But the
      abbey was destroyed in 1538, and the site believed to be Alfred's tomb now
      lies next to a parking lot."
    Person ID I1593  Bratt Family Tree
    Last Modified 22 Aug 2015 

    Father Aethelwulf,   b. Abt 800,   d. 13 Jan 858  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Mother Osburh,   d. 853 
    Married 830  Winchester, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • divorce
    Divorced 846  [1
    Family ID F863  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ealhswith,   d. 5 Dec 905, St. Mary's Abbey, Winchester, Dorset Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 868  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
    +1. Lady Alfrith,   d. 7 Jun 929
    +2. I Edward,   b. 875,   d. 17 Jul 924, Farndon-on-Dee, Cheshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
    Last Modified 22 Aug 2015 
    Family ID F809  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S9] dunbar_tree.FTW.
      Date of Import: Mar 1, 2003