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  1. Alfred the Great (alt. Ælfred; 848/849 – 26 October 899) was King of the West Saxons from 871 to 886, and King of the Anglo-Saxons from 886 until his death in 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf and his first wife Osburh, who both died when Alfred was young.

    • 23 April 871 – c. 886
    • Osburh
    • Youth & Rise to Power
    • The Viking Wars
    • Alfred & The Burnt Cakes
    • The Battle of Eddington
    • Restoration, Reform, & Education
    • Efforts to Unite England

    Alfred was born in 849 CE, the son of King Aethelwulf of Wessex and his wife Osburh. At the age of four, his father sent him to Rome on pilgrimage, where he was confirmed in the faith by the Pope and, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was anointed as king. Although it is possible this ceremony took place, it seems unlikely as Alfred was the y...

    In 865 CE the Great Army of Vikings led by Halfdane and Ivar the Boneless invaded East Anglia and swiftly defeated any force sent against them. In 866 CE they took the cityof York, and in 867 CE they killed the Northumbrian kings Osbert and Aelle and consolidated their control of the region. In 868 CE they made constant raids throughout Mercia and ...

    It is during this period that the events related in the legends surrounding Alfred are said to have taken place. Although it is often assumed that these legends come from Asser's work, they are all later creations, c. 10th century CE. The most famous of these is the story of Alfred and the burnt cakes, which comes from The Life of St. Neot. It rela...

    Alfred remained in exile, hiding from the Vikings, for less than three months, during which time he seems to have been preparing for an offensive against the Vikings through a network of spies and chieftains who remained loyal to him. By March, according to Asser, he was waging a successful guerrilla waragainst the Danes. By May of 878 CE, he had a...

    The theory that Viking raids were the wrath of Godhad gone unchallenged since the Lindisfarne raid in 793 CE as there was no better available, and Alfred most certainly believed it. Following the Battle of Eddington, he went to work to resolve the underlying causes of the raids which, in his view, were the poor state of education, clerical learning...

    In 886 CE Alfred captured London in a stunning victory, and “all the English people that were not under subjection to the Danes submitted to him” (Keynes & Lapidge, 38). There may have been an official oath of loyalty to the king that the populace, or at least landowners, had to take, but even if there was not, it is clear that Alfred had united th...

    • Joshua J. Mark
    • Content Director
  2. Alfred. Alfred, known as Alfred the Great, (born 849—died 899), King of Wessex (871–99) in southwestern England. He joined his brother Ethelred I in confronting a Danish army in Mercia (868).

  3. Apr 1, 2019 · Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, a defender against Viking invasion and a social reformer; just few of the reasons why he is the only English monarch to be known as “the Great”. Alfred was born in 849 and served as King of Wessex, a Saxon kingdom based in the southwest of modern day England, from 871 to his death on 26th October 899 AD.

  4. Alfred the Great (c. 849 - 26 October 899) was King of Wessex from 871 to 899. He was the first king from the British Isles to call himself the 'King of the Anglo-Saxons ' and so he is sometimes said to be the first English king. Alfred started the Royal Navy in the 9th century Early childhood [ change | change source]

  5. Alfred 'The Great' (r. 871-899) Born at Wantage, Berkshire, in 849, Alfred was the fifth son of Aethelwulf, king of the West Saxons. At their father's behest and by mutual agreement, Alfred's elder brothers succeeded to the kingship in turn, rather than endanger the kingdom by passing it to under-age children at a time when the country was ...

  6. Apr 1, 2020 · Who was Alfred The Great? Legend has it that Alfred was directly descended from Wodin, the Nordic God of victory. History tells a more prosaic tale. Despite his larger-than-life attributes, he was a mere mortal born in 849, or thereabouts, into the House of Cerdic.

  7. Jul 22, 2018 · Famous for successfully defending his kingdom against Viking invaders, King Alfred the Great ruled Wessex from 871 to 899. Alfred was ruler of the West Saxons and the first regent to declare himself to be king of the Anglo-Saxons.

  8. Life of King Alfred the Great . 865 - 871 Alfred serves as military commander under his brother King Aethelred against Viking raiders. 871 - 899 Reign of King Alfred the Great of Wessex. 871 Alfred becomes king of Wessex following Aethelred's death . 878 Vikings take Chippenham in surprise attack; Alfred driven into exile. 878

  9. Year 6 Why was Alfred called ‘Great’? One of the most famous Anglo-Saxon kings was Alfred, one of the only kings in British history to be called 'Great'. His father was king of Wessex, but...

  10. Alfred the Great © King of the southern Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex and one of the outstanding figures of English history, as much for his social and educational reforms as for his military...

  11. Oct 26, 2021 · Alfred the Great is famous for his victories against the Vikings, and is the only English monarch known as 'the Great'. But how much do you know about him? Barbara Yorke, professor emerita of early medieval history at the University of Winchester, brings you the facts about the Anglo-Saxon king

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