King Ealhmund KENT
(Abt 749-788)
Queen Eahlmund KENT
(Abt 762-)
(775-Abt 839)
Queen Redburch Wessex WEST SAXONY
(Abt 784-)
King Ethelwulf WESSEX
(Abt 801-857)


Family Links

1. Queen Osburgh WESSEX

2. Queen Judith West Franks WESSEX

King Ethelwulf WESSEX

  • Born: Abt 801-806, , Wessex, England
  • Married (1): 857
  • Married (2): 1 Oct 856, , , England
  • Died: 13 Jan 857-858, , , England
  • Buried: Stamridge

   Other names for Ethelwulf were WESSEX King and Aethelwulf.

   Ancestral File Number: 8HS0-1X. User ID: 77460539276.

   General Notes:

King of WESSEX Reigned 839-856/857(Deposed), Died 858.

Barber Grandparents: 125 Kings, 143 Generations, Ted Butler Bernard and Gertrude Barber Bernard, 1978, McKinney TX, p75: "279S Aethelwulf, King of England, (S of 269, F of 287); fought against Danish invaders; married Osburgh."

Kings and Queens of Great Britain, Genealogical Chart, Anne Tauteand Romilly Squire, Taute, 1990: "Aethewulf, Son of Ecgbert King of West Saxons, King of Wessex 839- Deposed 856, Died 858, Mar =1 Osburga Daughter of Oslac the Chief Butler, =2 Judith Daughter of Charles II The Bald King of France =ii Aethelbald."

Roman Britain and Early England 55BC-AD871, Peter H Blair, 1963, Norton Library History of England, p220: "...We have record of only one notable English victory over the Vikings in this age and it was achieved by Egbert's successor, Aethelwulf, when, in 851, he defeated a large heathen host which had previously been assaulting Canterbury and London..."
p239: "...Nor need we believe that Aethelwulf of Wessex, father of Alfred the Great, really supposed, as his pedigree-makers claimed on his behalf, that his descent could be traced all the way back to Adam. This was no more than a pleasant fiction intended to deceive no-one, but nevertheless perhaps proving a little helpful to morale at a time when Alfred saw his kingdom reduced to the Somerset marshes and the outlook dark indeed for the future of this West Saxon dynasty. But whatever the uses of pedigrees, and human nature has not yet changed so much as to put the pedigree-makers out of business, once the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had been established, succession was hereditary in the sense that the throne was expected to pass, and normally did pass, to a member of the royal family, though within that limitation there was sometimes room for choice..."
p274: "Appendix A, Table of Dates...851 Vikings winter in Thanet and attack London and Canterbury..."

Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Editions, England 839: "...Ethelwolf, King of England, 839-857..."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol I, p116, Aethelwulf: "Died 858, Anglo-Saxon King in England, father of King Alfred the Great. As ruler of the West Saxons from 839 to 858, he allied his kingdom of Wessex with Mercia and thereby withstood invasions by Danish Vikings. The son of the great West Saxon King Egbert (ruled 802-839), Aethelwulf ascended the throne four years after the Danes had begun large-scale raids on the English coast. In 851 he scored a major victory over a large Danish army at Ockley, Surrey. Aethelwulf then married his daughter to the Mercian King Burgred (853), and in 856 he himself married the daughter of Charles II the Bald, King of the West Franks. Both matches provided the West Saxon ruler with usefulalliances against the Danes. Aethelwulf was deposed by a rival faction upon his return from a pilgrimage to Rome in 856, but he continued to rule Kent and several other eastern provinces until his death. In addition to Alfred the Great (ruled 871-899), three of Aethelwulf's other sons became kings of Wessex."

Macropaedia, Vol III, p202, Britain and Ireland History of: "...By this time Danish Viking raids were a grave menace and Aethelwulf, who succeeded his father Egbert in 839, had the wisdom to see that Mercia and Wessex must combine against the Vikings. Friendly relations between them were established by marriage alliances and by a peaceful settlement of boundaries; this paved the way for the acceptance in 886 of Alfred, King of Wessex, as lord of all the English who had not fallen under Danish rule.
"Small scattered Viking raids began in the last years of the 8th century; in the 9th century, large-scale plundering incursions were made in Britain and in the Frankish empire as well. Though Egbert defeated, in 838, a large Viking force that had combined with the Britons of Cornwall, and Aethelwulf won a great victory in 851 over a Viking army that had stormed Canterbury and London and put theMercian king to flight, it was difficult to deal with an enemy that cound attack anyshere on a long and undefended coastline. Destructive raids are recorded for Northumbria, East Anglia, Kent, and Wessex..."

The Formation of England 550-1042,HPR Finberg, 1974, Paladin, p119-124: "Ethelwulf, who succeeded Egbert in 839, was not a man to be trifled with, any more than his father. The annexation of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey was never challenged in his time, and he himself recovered Berkshire from the Mercian kings. In 851 he defeated the crews of 350 Viking ships, inflicting, says the chronicler, `the greatest slaughter on a heathen army that we ever heard of until this present day.' Two years later he went to the assistanceof the king of Mercia in a victorious campaign against the Welsh. For tht remainder of his reign Wessex, except for one incursion, appears to have been unmolested by the Vikings. Ethelwulf's prowess in battle had taught them to be wary, and hemay- though this is only conjecture- have allowed them to winter on the Kentish coast on the understanding that they would ward off others of their kind.
"...By an act of state carried out at Dorchester on 26 Dec 846 and embodied in a formal diploma Ethelwulf caused twenty hides of land in the South Hams of Devon to be assigned to himself in hereditary ownership...The subsequent history of the areas shows that Ethelwulf's primary motive was not to enrich himself, for only tow estates, West Alvington and Chillington, linked by the bridge which has given its name to the later market twon of Kingsbridge, were permanently annexed to the royal domain. From the rest of this large area the king meant to carve out new estates ripe for development and grant them as booklands to favoured thegns. In this process the initial assessment of twenty hides would gradually be increased to keep pace with the expansion of settlement and agriculture.
"Until that time theroyal prerogative of creating bookland had been exercised mainly for the endowment of the church. Few thegns, and those only of the highest rank, had received `books', charters granting them land in perpetual inheritance...Only a `book', a royal charter, can give him full power to sell, exchange, or bequeath it as he may think fit...
"Many and various were the burdens incumbent on even priveleged landholders. These burdens may be classified under three main headings: purveyance,public labour, and justiciary duties...So far as can be seen, Ethelwulf was the first king of Wesses to demand the universal enforcement of these three common dues...
"In 844, the fifth year of his reign, Ethelwulf, while reserving the inevitable three common dues, granted to all holders of bookland, both churchmen and laymen, a reduced assessment of a tenth in respect of all other public charges. In calculating the incidence of such charges every ten hides were in future to bereckoned as nine. This is known as Ethelwulf's First Decimation. There is reason to think that it remained a dead letter...
"Early in 855 Ethelwulf travelled to Rome in great state. Before leaving, he enacted a Second Decimation. His charter on this occasion is obscurely worded and survives only in copies written after the Normand Conquest, but it seems that his intention was to bestow a tenth of his now vast domains on ecclesiastical foundations, and at the same time to transform the tenure of the lay thegns already settled on the lands affected by his gift from loanland to bookland. The charter was really an enabling act, meant to be put into operation by separate charters in favour of particular beneficiaries; andone or two of these have survived in authentic texts.
"Ethelwulf reached Rome by June 855, and stayed there for twelve months. He was now a widower. On the way home he married Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, king of the West Franks.For the short remaider of his reign he contented himself with the government of the eastern provinces, allowing his eldest son, Ethelbald, to rule in Wessex proper. Ethelwulf died in 858, leaving a will that prescribed yet a Third Decimation.He bade his successors provide from every tenth hide of his domain, so long as the land should be occupied and under cultivation, food, drink, and lodging for one poor man. He also charged them with an annual payment of 300 mancuses to the Roman see. Historians have only lately begun to accord Ethelwulf the distinguished place to which he is entitled in the long record of the West Saxon monarchy."

From Alfred to Henry III 871-1272, Christopher Brooke, 1961, Norton Library History ofEngland, p31: "...The movements of heathen hosts- of Danes and Norsemen- is the constant theme of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle: In 843 `King Aethelwulf [Egbert's son] fought at Carhampton against thirty-five ships' companies, and the Danes had possession of the place of the slaughter'. In 855 `the heathen for the first time wintered in Sheppey..."

Draper Gedcom
Ęthelwulf was the son of Egbert and a sub-king of Kent. He assumed the
throne of Wessex upon his father's death in 839. His reign is
characterized by the usual Viking invasions and repulsions common to all
English rulers of the time, but the making of war was not his chief claim
to fame. Ęthelwulf is remembered, however dimly, as a highly religious
man who cared for the establishment and preservation of the church. He
was also a wealthy man and controlled vast resources. Out of these
resources, he gave generously, to Rome and to religious houses who were
in need.

He was an only child, himself, but had fathered five sons, by his first
wife, Osburga. He recognized that there could be difficulties with
contention over the succession. He devised a scheme which would
guarantee (insofar as it was possible to do so) that each child would
have his turn on the throne without having to worry about rival claims
from his siblings. Ęthelwulf provided that the oldest living child would
succeed to the throne and would control all the resources of the crown,
without having them divided among the others, so that he would have
adequate resources to rule. That he was able to provide for the
continuation of his dynasty is a matter of record, but he was not able to
guarantee familial harmony with his plan. This is proved by what we know
of the foul plottings of his son, Ęthelbald, while Ęthelwulf was on
pilgrimage to Rome in 855.

Ęthelwulf was a wise and capable ruler, whose vision made possible the
beneficial reign of his youngest son, Alfred the Great.

(Internet source:

Ethelwulf (Aethelwulf), "Noble Wolf," son of Egbert, reigned from 839 to
857 in Wessex, England. During his reign the Danes miserably spoiled
England, daring to winter there for the first time. In 851 Ethelwulf
routed them at Okely in Surrey. By the advise of St. Swithin, Bishop of
Winchester, he granted to the church the tithe of all his dominions. He
died January 13, 858.

He married (1) Lady Osburga (Osburh) (Osberga), daughter of Earl Oslac,
the royal cup-bearer.

On a pilgrimage to Rome in 855, Ethelwulf married (2) Judith of Bavaria,
the 12 year old daughter of Charles II., the Bald, King of the West
Franks and his wife, Ermentrude.

When Ethelwulf returned home it is said that he made his son, Ethelbald,
King of Wessex, and retained Kent for his own rule. He died January 13,
857, and was buried at Stamridge, his body later being removed to

Ethelwulf was succeeded by each of his four sons in turn, the fourth and
youngest of whom was Alfred.

("The Genealogy of Homer Beers James", V1, JANDA Consultants, © 1993
Homer James)

Reigned 839-856 (abdicated). Under-king of Kent 825-839 and 856-858.
Renown for his military prowess, he reputedly defeated 350 viking ships
(851). He reduced taxation, endowed the Church, made lay lands
inheritable, and provided systems of poor relief.

(Internet source:

Ethelwolf, king of England, succeeded his father, Egbert, in 837, and
gave to his son, Athelstan, the sovereignty over Essex, Kent, and
Sussex. In the year 851 the Danes invaded the kingdom in excessive
numbers, and threatened its total subjugation; for though vigorously
opposed by Athelstan and others, they fixed their winter quarters in
Thanet, and the same year took Canterbury and London. During these
troubles, Ethelwolf, accompanied by Alfred, his youngest son, made a
pilgrimage to Rome, where he remained a year, and, on his return, found
Athelstan dead, and succeeded by his next son, Ethelbald, who had entered
into a conspiracy with some of the nobles to prevent his father from
again ascending the throne. To avoid a civil war, the king gave up the
western division of the kingdom to his son, and soon after, summoning the
great council of the kingdom, gave a tenth part of the land to the
church. The meaning and effect of this grant has been much discussed, and
still remains doubtful. That it formed the foundation of the claim of
tithes, as once maintained, is no longer held. Died, 857.

[Internet source:]

Ancestral File Ver 4.10 8HS0-1X Ethlwulf [Noble Wolf] also Aethelwulf WEST SAXON King Born Abt 801 Died Abt 858, 9GCX-J1 Ethelwulf WESSEX King Born Abt 806 Mar ?857 Judith WEST FRANKS Princess Died 856, Ver4.10 Died 13 Jan 857, G0Z9-LS Ethelwulf and ?G0Z9-QH ?Ethelbald Mar Judith Princess of the West FRANKS [Queen of England] (AFN:9G61-WN), 9GCX-J1 Mar 857 Osburgh Queen of WESSEX (AFN:FLGQ-GK).

   Marriage Information:

Ethelwulf married Queen Osburgh WESSEX, daughter of Chief Butler Oslac WESSEX and Mrs Wessex Oslac, in 857. (Queen Osburgh WESSEX was born about 803-810 in , Wessex, England and died before 855.)

   Marriage Information:

Ethelwulf also married Queen Judith West Franks WESSEX, daughter of King Charles FRANCE, II and Queen Ermentrude WEST FRANKS, on 1 Oct 856 in , , England. (Queen Judith West Franks WESSEX was born in 844 in , , France and died after 870.)

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