King Egbert of Wessex


Egbert of Wessex (l. c. 770-839 CE, r. 802-839 CE; also given as Ecgberht, Ecbert) was the most powerful and influential king of Wessex prior to the reign of Alfred the Great (r. 871-899 CE). Egbert came to the throne at a time when the neighboring Kingdom of Mercia had dominated Wessex and controlled the sitting king Beorhtric (786-802 CE) through an alliance sealed by marriage. Egbert seems to have taken time to assemble his military and resources and then met the Mercian armies and defeated them at the Battle of Ellandun in 825 CE. Afterwards, he swiftly took Mercian territory, installed his son Aethelwulf (r. 839-858 CE) as sub-king, and neutralized Mercian aggression. Egbert was the first king of Wessex to completely subdue Mercia and the stability he provided allowed for further development of the kingdom as well as the resources to withstand the Viking raids. At his death, he was so powerful that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles refer to him as Ruler of Britain, not just King of Wessex.

More about: King Egbert of Wessex


  • c. 770 - 839
    Life of Egbert of Wessex.
  • c. 776
    Kingdom of Kent defeats Mercia in battle.
  • 784 - 785
    Reign of Eahlmund of Kent, Egbert's probable father.
  • 785 - 802
    Mercia dominates Kent; rules through client kings.
  • 786
    Beorhtric becomes king of Wessex with Mercian support; Egbert in exile in Francia.
  • 786 - 802
    Beorhtric reigns as King of Wessex.
  • 802 - 839
    Reign of Egbert, King of Wessex.
  • 802
    Egbert becomes king of Wessex; probable support from Charlemagne of Francia.
  • c. 815 - 820
    Egbert of Wessex campaigns in Dumnonia; conquers region.
  • 825
    The Battle of Ellandun; Wessex defeats Mercia.
  • 826
    Baldred of Kent, client king, deposed by Egbert; Egbert rules Kent with his son Aethelwulf as client king.
  • 827
    Egbert of Wessex conquers Mercia.
  • 828
    Egbert of Wessex conquers North Wales.
  • 829
    Kingdom of Northumbria submits to Wessex.
  • 829
    Egbert exiles Wiglaf of Mercia; rules Mercia directly.
  • 830
    Wiglaf regains throne of Mercia; asserts Mercian autonomy.
  • 836
    Egbert of Wessex loses battle with Viking Danes at Charmouth.
  • 838
    Battle of Hingston Down;Egbert of Wessex defeats Dumnonia-Viking army.
  • 839
    Egbert of Wessex dies; succeeded by son Aethelwulf.