Aethelred I, King of Wessex

d. 871

Aethelred I was king of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex from 866 until his death in 871. He was the elder brother of Alfred, who would later become known to history as Alfred the Great. Together with Alfred, Aethelred led the esistance to the Danish invasion of England. He forced the Danish forces to retreat from Mercia in 870, but then suffered a defeat at the Battle of Reading in 871.

However, defeat at Reading was followed almost instantly by a massive victory over the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown. However, Aethelred was not to enjoy his victory for long. He was mortally wounded in combat at Merton, and died shortly after. He was succeeded to the throne by his brother Alfred, who carried on the fight against against the Danes.

NB. Aethelred I should not be confused with Aethelred II, who was better known as Aethelred the Unready.

Time period(s): Saxon

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