King Aethelwulf of Wessex 795 – 858

Aethelwulf of Wessex

Born – c. 795
Died – 13th January 858
FatherEgbert of Wessex (770 – 839)
Mother – Redburga (possibly)
SpouseOsburgh (810 – 855), Judith of France (843 – 870)
Children – by Osburgh – Aethelstan (d. 852), Aethelbald (834 – 860), Aethelbert (836 – 865), Aethelswith (838 – 888), Aethelred (840 – 871), Alfred (849 – 899)
King of Wessex – 839 – 858 
PredecessorEgbert – 802 – 839
SuccessorAethelbald – 858 – 860

795 (around)
Aethelwulf of Wessex, was born to Egbert and his wife, allegedly Redburga, daughter of Charlemagne. He was born on the continent, possibly in Aachen.
797 (around)
Aethelwulf’s brother, Aethelstan was born to Egbert and Redburga.
800 (during)
Beorhtric of Wessex died. Aethelwulf and his family returned to England and Aethelwulf’s father, Egbert succeeded as King of Wessex.
825 (September)
Battle of Ellandun
Aethelwulf’s father, Egbert, won this battle against beornwulf of Mercia and succeeded in becoming the dominant ruler in England.
825 (Autumn)
Following his father’s victory at Ellandun, Aethelwulf, became Subregulus of Kent, Essex, Sussex and Surrey.
826 (during)
Beornwulf of Mercia invaded East Anglia to recover his rule there but he was killed during the battle.
827 (during)
Ludeca of Mercia, Beornwulf’s successor, invaded East Anglia but he was killed during battle.
829 (during)
Aethelwulf’s father, Egbert, became King of Mercia after defeating King Wiglaf of Mercia in battle. Wiglaf was forced into exile.
829 (late)
Battle of the River Dore
Aethelwulf’s father, Egbert, defeated the Northumbrians and they were forced to submit to him. This was the first time that any one King had overlordship over all kingdoms of England.
830 (during)
Aethelwulf’s father, Egbert, was expelled from Mercia by the Mercian King, Wiglaf.
830 (during)
Aethelwulf married Osburga.
832 (around)
A son, Aethelstan, was born to Aethelwulf and Osburga.
834 (around)
A son, Aethelbald, was born to Aethelwulf and Osburga.
836 (around)
A son, Aethelbert, was born to Aethelwulf and Osburga.
836 (during)
Battle of Carhampton
The Vikings attacked North Devon and Somerset. Aethelwulf’s father, Egbert, tried to defeat them but he was forced to retreat.
838 (around)
A daughter, Aethelswith, was born to Aethelwulf and Osburga.
838 (during)
Battle of Hingston Down
Aethelwulf’s father, Egbert fought a combined force of Vikings and Cornishmen and was victorious.
839 (February)
Aethelwulf became King of Wessex when his father, Egbert died.
839 (June)
Aethelwulf was crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames.
839 (Summer)
Aethelwulf made his eldest son, Aethelstan, subregulus of Kent, Essex and Sussex.
840 (around)
A son, Aethelred, was born to Aethelwulf and Osburga.
840 (around)
The Vikings began making raids along the South coast of England.
843 (Easter)
Aethelwulf was defeated by a Viking force at Carhampton.
849 (around)
A son, Alfred, was born to Aethelwulf and Osburga at Wantage, Berkshire.
850 (during)
A Viking raiding force was defeated by Aethelwulf’s son Aethelstan in a naval battle off Sandwich, Kent.
851 (during)
Aethelwulf fought a Danish force at Acleah in Surrey and was victorious.
852 (during)
Aethelwulf’s son, Aethelstan, died.
853 (during)
Aethelwulf sent his youngest son, Alfred, to Rome to be confirmed by the Pope. He may have been accompanied by his brother Aethelred. As a younger son, Alfred was possibly being prepared for a life in the Church.
853 (Easter)
Aethelwulf’s daughter, Aethelswith, married King Burgred of Mercia, sealing an alliance between Wessex and Mercia.
853 (Autumn)
Aethelwulf and Burgred of Mercia joined forces to defeat the Welsh led by Cyngen ap Cadell.
854 (around)
Aethelwulf’s wife, Osburga, died.
855 (during)
Aethelwulf went on a pilgrimage to Rome. He took his youngest son, Alfred with him. His eldest surviving son, Aethelbald became regent of Wessex in his father’s absence.
856 (July)
Aethelwulf King of Wessex was betrothed to Judith, daughter of Charles, King of the Franks.
856 (1st October)
Aethelwulf married Judith, daughter of Charles II, King of the Franks.
856 (October)
Aethelwulf, his new wife, Judith and his youngest son, Alfred returned to Wessex. Aethelwulf may have shared rule with Aethelbald or taken back full control.
858 (13th January)
Aethelwulf died. He was succeeded by his son, Aethelbald.


Published Jan 26, 2018 @ 2:10 pm – Updated – Jul 4, 2020 @ 12:14 am

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2020). Aethelwulf of Wessex 795 – 858. Available: Last accessed October 10th, 2021