Halfdan’s father, Ragnar Lothbrok was shipwrecked off the Northumbrian coast. King Aelle
immediately marched, defeated the Viking army and took Ragnar prisoner.
Halfdan’s father, Ragnar Lothbrok, was killed by King Aelle of Northumbria. Legend states that he was thrown into a pit of vipers. Legends state that when he heard the news Halfdan gripped a chess piece so tightly that his fingers began to bleed.
Halfdan was one of the leaders of the huge Viking force known by the Saxons
as The Great Heathen Army. His brother Ivar the Boneless
was the leader. His brothers Ubba
and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye
were also present. They landed in East Anglia and their purpose was to avenge the death of their father, Ragnar Lothbrok.
The Great Heathen army marched north and invaded Northumbria.
866 (1st November)
Halfdan and the Great Heathen Army took Jorvik (York) and used it as a base to make raids into Mercia.
867 (21st March)
and Aelle, rivals for the Northumbrian throne made an alliance and marched to expel the Vikings from York. They were badly defeated. Osberht was killed during the battle. Aelle was executed, allegedly by being subjected to the blood eagle as revenge for his killing Ragnar Lothbork.
867 (21st March)
Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye married King Aelle’s daughter Blaeja and either returned to Denmark or settled in Northumbria.
867 (after 23rd March)
Halfdan’s brother, Ivar installed Egbert as puppet king of Northumbria.
The Great Heathen Army invaded Mercia and captured Nottingham. King Aethelred and his brother Alfred
marched north, but by the time they arrived Burgred
, King of Mercia had paid the Vikings off.
The Viking force led by Ivar the Boneless sacked the monastery at Peterborough killing the monks and abbot.
The Great Heathen Army attacked East Anglia. Legend states that the Vikings tied King Edmund
to a tree and shot arrows into him until he died.
Halfdan took over as commander of the Great Heathen army when Ivar returned to Dublin. Ivar then disappeared from records and is assumed to have either died or returned to Scandinavia.
The Viking force now led by Halfdan attacked Wessex.
870 (28th December)
Halfdan took Reading and fortified it with a dyke and palisade.
871 (4th January)
Battle of Reading
The Saxons led by King Aethelred
and his brother Alfred
attempted to lay siege to Reading but were defeated.
871 (8th January)
Battle of Ashdown
This was another battle between the Vikings led by Halfdan and the forces of King Aethelred and his brother, Alfred. The Saxons won the battle and Bagsecg, leader of the Great Summer Army, was killed.
871 (after January)
Halfdan succeeded Bagsecg as King of Jutland and Wendland in Denmark.
871 (22nd January)
Battle of Basing
The Viking force defeated King Aethelred and his brother Alfred.
871 (22nd March)
Battle of Merton
This was another battle between the Vikings led by Halfdan and King Aethelred, supported by his brother Alfred. The battle was inconclusive and both sides withdrew. Aethelred had been badly injured in the battle.
871 (23rd April)
King Aethelred of Wessex died from injuries sustained in the Battle of Merton. His brother, Alfred became King.
871 (early Summer)
Battle of Wilton
The Saxons led by Alfred were defeated by the Vikings led by Halfdan.
Alfred paid the Vikings to stop attacking Wessex. The agreement was that the Vikings would leave Wessex alone for five years.
Sigfred and Halfdan, son of Ragnar Lothbork, worked together to take control of Denmark.
It is believed that Halfdan’s brother, Ivar the Boneless died in Dublin.
The Viking force moved to Mercia and captured Repton.
The Vikings led by Halfdan conquered Mercia. King Burghred was expelled. A puppet King, Ceolwulf was installed.
The Great Heathen Army split. Halfdan took his section north while Guthrum
took the remainder south. Ubba chose to go south with Guthrum.
Halfdan began to settle Northumbria. He may have become King of Jorvik (York).
Halfdan went to Ireland to retake Dublin. He was defeated and killed in battle at Strangford Loch.