Kings of Kent 455 – 860

Kent on a Map Kings of Kent

This timeline details all Kings of Kent from 455 to 860

See also: Kings of Wessex
Kings of Sussex
Kings of Mercia
Kings of Essex
Kings of East Anglia

Son of Saxon chieftan, Wictgils
Hengist and his brother Horsa were Saxons invited to England by King Vortigern to help defend against attack by the Picts. The brothers went on to defeat Vortigern and take control of Kent. Hengist declared himself King.
Oisc 488 – 512
Son of Hengist
Oisc’s position was more secure than his father and spent time building up the Kingdom of Kent.
Octa 512 – 540
Son of Oisc or Hengist
The sources are unclear as to whether Octa was the son of Hengist or Oisc.
Eormenric 540 – 560
Son of Octa
Eormenric managed to take control of the Saxons that had settled in the East.
Son of Eormenric
Married Bertha, daughter of the King of the Franks
Aethelbert tried to expand west but was defeated by Ceawlin of the West Saxons at the Battle of Wibbandun. He married his sister to Siedd, King of the East Saxons (Essex). Around 597 Aethelbert converted to Christianity and began building churches. He gave a large plot of land at Canterbury to the church. He also introduced a set of laws and minted coins.
Eadbald 616 – 640
Son of Aethelbert and Bertha
Eadbald married his step-mother but had to put her aside when he converted to Christianity around 620. He then married Emma of Austrasia (north-east France). Eadbald’s sister was married to Edwin of Northumbria and this protected Kent from attack by the Northumbrians.
Eorcenbert 640 – 664
Son of Eadbald and Emma of Austrasia
Married Seaxburh of Ely, daughter of the King of East Anglia
Sources indicate that Eorcenbert was the younger son of Eadbald and that his brother Eormenred was deliberately passed over in the succession.
Egbert 664 – 673
Son of Eorcenbert and Seaxburh
He may have been a minor when he became king because some sources list his mother as regent. His place as King of Kent was also challenged by his cousins Aethelred and Aethelbert, sons of Eormenred and it is believed they were murdered on the orders of Egbert or his mother.
Hlothhere 673 – 685
Son of Eorcenbert and Seaxburhbr /> Succeeded his brother and may have ruled jointly with Eadric, Egbert’s son. Kent was attacked by Aethelred of Mercia in 676 and much of the Kingdom was laid waste. In 685 Eadric turned against his uncle and defeated him in battle.
Eadric 685 – 686
Son of Egbert
May have ruled jointly with his uncle Hlothhere. Became King after defeating his uncle. Soon afterwards Kent was attacked by Caedwalla of Wessex. It is not known whether Eadric died in battle of from other causes.
Mul 686 – 687
Son of Coenberht, brother of Caedwalla of Wessex
Was made King of Kent by his brother Caedwalla after Wessex conquered Kent. His rule was very unpopular and the people rose up against him, drove him into a church and set it on fire.
Swaefheard 687 – c695
Possibly son of Saebbi, King of Essex
Was given the Kingdom of Kent by Aethelred of Mercia who had taken control. It is likely that Swaefheard ruled jointly with Oswine and then Wihtred, son of Egbert.
Oswine 689 – 690
A descendant of Eadbald
Ruled jointly with Swaefheard, it is likely that he was a puppet king under control of Mercia.
Wihtred 691 – 725
Son of Egbert
It is likely that Wihtred ruled jointly with Swaefheard for a time but by 694 was sole King of Kent. He made peace with Ine, King of Wessex after paying compensation for the murder of Mul in 687. Wihtred issued a new set of laws in September 695. He indicated that Kent should be ruled jointly by his three sons on his death.
Alric – 725 – unknown
Son of Wihtred
Became joint King of Kent with his brothers, Eadbert and Aethelbert. There is little evidence of Alric’s reign which suggests that he may have died or been deposed by his brothers early in his reign.
Eadbert I – 725 – 748
Son of Wihtred
Ruled jointly with his brothers Alric and Aethelbert. Alric disappeared from the records shortly after succession and it is believed that Eadbert and Aethelbert divided Kent and ruled over their own areas. His son, Eardwulf succeeded him and ruled jointly with his uncle Aethelbert II.
Aethelbert II – 725 – 762
Son of Wihtred
Ruled jointly with his brothers Alric and Eadbert. Alric disappeared from the records shortly after succession and it is believed that Aethelbert and Eadbert divided Kent and ruled over their own areas. After the death of Eadbert in 748 he ruled jointly with Eardwulf, Eadbert’s son.
Eardwulf – 748 – c754
Son of Eadbert I
Ruled Kent jointly with his uncle Aethelbert II after the death of his father. Very little is known of him. He is last mentioned in sources in 754 so it is likely he died around that date.
Eanmund – 762 – 764
Lineage unknown
When Aethelbert II died in 762 there was no obvious successor. Eanmund was put forward as King of Kent and ruled with Sigered. He was deposed by Offa of Mercia in 764.
Sigered 762 – 764
Prince of Wessex
When Aethelbert II died in 762 there was no obvious successor. Eanmund was put forward as King of Kent and ruled with Sigered. He was deposed by Offa of Mercia in 764.
Heaberht – 764 – 765
A Kentish nobleman
Heaberht was appointed a joint puppet king with Egbert II by Offa of Mercia.
Egbert II – 764 – 779
A Kentish nobleman
Egbert was appointed a joint puppet king with Heaberht by Offa of Mercia. In 776 he fought and won a battle with Mercia at Otford. After the battle he ruled Kent independently. He made an alliance with Cynewulf of Wessex to protect Kent’s western border. In 779 Offa defeated Cynewulf of Wessex leaving Kent open to renewed attack.
Ealhmund 779 – 785
A nobleman of Wessex
Took over as King of Kent after the death of Egbert II and ruled until he died or was murdered by Offa. His young son Egbert was taken to Wessex for safety.
Offa of Mercia – 785 – July 796
Son of Thingfrith of Mercia
Took control of Kent after the death of Ealhmund. Offa may have murdered Ealhmund.
Eadbert II Praen – 796 – 798
A Kentish priest
After the death of Offa Eadbert abandoned the priesthood, returned from exile in France and took control of Kent. He was deposed by Coenwulf of Mercia, his hands were cut off, he was blinded and taken prisoner.
Cuthred – 798 – 807
Son of Cuthbert of Mercia, brother of Coenwulf of Mercia
Was given the Kingdom of Kent by his brother and ruled until his death.
Coenwulf – 807 – 822
Son of Cuthbert of Mercia
Coenwulf, King of Mercia, took control of Kent after the death of his brother, Cuthbert. He did not appoint a puppet king.
Baldred – 823 – 825
Ealdorman of Kent
Baldred seized power from Coenwulf. He was driven out by Aethelwulf, son of King Egbert of Wessex, grandson of King Ealhmund of Kent.
Son of Egbert of Wessex, grandson of Ealhumd of Kent
Aethelwulf, successfully deposed Baldred to become King of Kent. From this period the heir to Wessex was appointed King of Kent under the overlordship of Wessex.
Aethelstan – 839 – 851
Son of Aethelwulf
Became King of Kent after his father became King of Wessex. It is thought Aethelstan died in or around 851.
Son of Aethelwulf
Became King of Kent after the death of his brother Aethelstan. Aethelberht absorbed Kent into the Kingdom of Wessex.

 

Published Mar 9, 2020 @ 2:20 pm – Updated – May 20, 2020 @ 2:07 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Kings of Kent 455 – 860. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/kings-of-kent-455-860 Last accessed October 25th, 2020