A son, Ubba was born to the legendary Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok
, and possibly Aslaug Sigurdsdottir
. The records are unclear as to Ubba’s parentage but he is recorded as being one of Ragnar’s sons. He was not given leadership nor did he succeed to any kingdom so he was probably a younger son.
Ubba’s father, Ragnar Lothbrok was shipwrecked off the Northumbrian coast. King Aelle
immediately marched, defeated the Viking
army and took Ragnar prisoner.
Ubba’s father, Ragnar Lothbrok, was killed by King Aelle of Northumbria. Legend states that he was thrown into a pit of vipers.
Ubba 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 overall leader and his brothers Halfdan
and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye
were also present. They landed in East Anglia and their purpose was to avange the death of their father, Ragnar Lothbrok.
The Great Heathen army marched north and invaded Northumbria.
866 (1st November)
Ubba 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)
Ubba’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 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. Ubba may have remained in Northumbria during this attack.
Ubba’s brother, Halfdan took over as commander of the Great Heathen army when Ivar returned to Dublin.
871 (4th January)
Battle of Reading
The Vikings had fortified Reading with a dyke and palisade. 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 Ubba’s brother, 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 (22nd January)
Battle of Basing
King Aethelred’s Saxon army was defeated by the Vikings.
871 (22nd March)
Battle of Merton
This was another battle between the Vikings led by Ubba’s brother, 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 Vikings led by Ubba’s brother, Halfdan, defeated the Saxons led by King Alfred.
It is believed that Ubba’s brother, Ivar the Boneless died in Dublin.
The Vikings led by Ubba’s brother, Halfdan conquered Mercia. King Burgred 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.
Guthrum made a deal with King Alfred but he did not keep the deal. He killed his Saxon hostages and moved to Exeter, leaving Viking ships at Wareham to prevent the Saxons taking the town. Ubba may have been in command of the Viking ships.
Ubba may have been with Guthrum when he began making further raids on Wessex taking land in Wiltshire and Hampshire. He may also have sailed with a fleet to north Devon to attack the Saxons from the west.
Ubba was killed by Ealdorman Odda of Devon during a battle with the Saxons at Contisbury.