Aethelwulf (Ethelwulf)

d. 858

Aethelwulf ruled as King of Wessex from 839-856, and it was during his reign that the first major Danish invasions of England took place. The initial conflicts did not go well for Aethelwulf; he lost a sea battle to the Danes in 842, but regrouped and soundly defeated the Danes at the Battle of Aclea in 851.

Aethelwulf was well known for his religious fervour, so perhaps it should have come as no surprise that in 856 he stepped aside as king and allowed his son Aethelbald to take the throne - though it seems equally likely that by doing so he hoped to avoid the turmoil of civil war between supporters of Aethelbald and his own loyal followers. He died only two years after abdicating.

Time period(s): Saxon

Tags: Aethelwulf   Aethelbald   Mercia   Battle of Aclea  

Prehistory - Roman Britain - Dark Ages - Medieval Britain - The Tudor Era - The Stuarts - Georgian Britain - The Victorian Age

History of England - History of Wales - London History

Attraction search

English Heritage

English Heritage membership

English Heritage membership

Free entry to English Heritage properties throughout England, plus discounted admission to Historic Scotand and Cadw properties in Scotland and Wales

Membership details

About English Heritage

Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image

Who is the patron saint of Scotland?

24 March, 1603

Death of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth's death at Richmond Palace led to the succession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England

This king was beheaded at Whitehall on 30 January, 1649

Passionate about British Heritage!