Biography of Æthelred King Mercia -704

655 Battle of the Winwaed

675 Battle of Biedanheafde

679 Battle of the Trent

After 575 [his father] Penda King Mercia -655 and Cynewise Unknown were married.

Around 626 [his father] Penda King Mercia -655 succeeded King Mercia.

Battle of the Winwaed

On 15 Nov 655 Oswiu King Bernicia 612-670 (43) defeated the Mercian army (probably) at Cock Beck during the Battle of the Winwaed ending the period of Mercian dominance. The battle is believed to have ended Anglo-Saxon paganism.
On 15 Nov 655 Æthelwald King Deira 642-, an ally of [his father] Penda King Mercia -655, withdrew his forces, one of many Mercian allies to do so, weakening King Penda's army.
Penda King Mercia -655 and Æthelhere King East Anglia -655 were killed. Penda's son [his brother] Paeda King South Mercia -656 succeeded King South Mercia.
Æthelwold King East Anglia -664 succeeded King East Anglia after the death of his father at the Battle of the Winwaed.

Anglo Saxon Chronicle 650 699. 656. This year was [his brother] Peada slain; and [his brother] Wulfhere (16), son of [his father] Penda, succeeded to the kingdom of the Mercians. In his time waxed the abbey of Medhamsted very rich, which his brother had begun. The king (16) loved it much, for the love of his brother Peada, and for the love of his wed-brother Oswy (44), and for the love of Saxulf the abbot. He said, therefore, that he would dignify and honour it by the counsel of his brothers, Ethelred and Merwal; and by the counsel of his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha; and by the counsel of the archbishop, who was called Deus-dedit; and by the counsel of all his peers, learned and lewd, that in his kingdom were. And he so did. Then sent the king after the abbot, that he should immediately come to him. And he so did. Then said the king to the abbot: "Beloved Saxulf, I have sent after thee for the good of my soul; and I will plainly tell thee for why. My brother Peada and my beloved friend Oswy (44) began a minster, for the love of Christ and St. Peter: but my brother, as Christ willed, is departed from this life; I will therefore intreat thee, beloved friend, that they earnestly proceed on their work; and I will find thee thereto gold and silver, land and possessions, and all that thereto behoveth." Then went the abbot home, and began to work. So he sped, as Christ permitted him; so that in a few years was that minster ready. Then, when the king (16) heard say that, he was very glad; and bade men send through all the nation, after all his thanes; after the archbishop, and after bishops: and after his earls; and after all those that loved God; that they should come to him. And he fixed the day when men should hallow the minster. And when they were hallowing the minster, there was the king, Wulfere (16), and his brother Ethelred, and his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha. And the minster was hallowed by Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury; and the Bishop of Rochester, Ithamar; and the Bishop of London, who was called Wina; and the Bishop of the Mercians, whose name was Jeruman; and Bishop Tuda. And there was Wilfrid, priest, that after was bishop; and there were all his thanes that were in his kingdom. When the minster was hallowed, in the name of St. Peter, and St. Paul, and St. Andrew, then stood up the king before all his thanes, and said with a loud voice: "Thanks be to the high almighty God for this worship that here is done; and I will this day glorify Christ and St. Peter, and I will that you all confirm my words.—I Wulfere give to-day to St. Peter, and the Abbot Saxulf, and the monks of the minster, these lands, and these waters, and meres, and fens, and weirs, and all the lands that thereabout lye, that are of my kingdom, freely, so that no man have there any ingress, but the abbot and the monks. This is the gift. From Medhamsted to Northborough; and so to the place that is called Foleys; and so all the fen, right to Ashdike; and from Ashdike to the place called Fethermouth; and so in a right line ten miles long to Ugdike; and so to Ragwell; and from Ragwell five miles to the main river that goeth to Elm and to Wisbeach; and so about three miles to Trokenholt; and from Trokenholt right through all the fen to Derworth; that is twenty miles long; and so to Great Cross; and from Great Cross through a clear water called Bradney; and thence six miles to Paxlade; and so forth through all the meres and fens that lye toward Huntingdon-port; and the meres and lakes Shelfermere and Wittlesey mere, and all the others that thereabout lye; with land and with houses that are on the east side of Shelfermere; thence all the fens to Medhamsted; from Medhamsted all to Welmsford; from Welmsford to Clive; thence to Easton; from Easton to Stamford; from Stamford as the water runneth to the aforesaid Northborough." — These are the lands and the fens that the king gave unto St. Peter's minster.—Then quoth the king: "It is little—this gift— but I will that they hold it so royally and so freely, that there be taken there from neither gild nor gable, but for the monks alone. Thus I will free this minster; that it be not subject except to Rome alone; and hither I will that we seek St. Peter, all that to Rome cannot go." During these words the abbot desired that he would gant him his request. And the king granted it. "I have here (said he) some good monks that would lead their life in retirement, if they wist where. Now here is an island, that is called Ankerig; and I will request, that we may there build a minster to the honour of St. Mary; that they may dwell there who will lead their lives in peace and tranquillity." Then answered the king, and quoth thus: "Beloved Saxulf, not that only which thou desirest, but all things that I know thou desirest in our Lord's behalf, so I approve, and grant. And I bid thee, brother Ethelred, and my sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, for the release of your souls, that you be witnesses, and that you subscribe it with your fingers. And I pray all that come after me, be they my sons, be they my brethren, or kings that come after me, that our gift may stand; as they would be partakers of the life everlasting, and as they would avoid everlasting punishment. Whoso lesseneth our gift, or the gift of other good men, may the heavenly porter lessen him in the kingdom of heaven; and whoso advanceth it, may the heavenly porter advance him in the kingdom of heaven." These are the witnesses that were there, and that subscribed it with their fingers on the cross of Christ, and confirmed it with their tongues. That was, first the king, Wulfere, who confirmed it first with his word, and afterwards wrote with his finger on the cross of Christ, saying thus: "I Wulfere, king, in the presence of kings, and of earls, and of captains, and of thanes, the witnesses of my gift, before the Archbishop Deus-dedit, I confirm it with the cross of Christ." (+)—"And I Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, the friend of this minster, and o[oe] the Abbot Saxulf, commend it with the cross of Christ." (+)—"And I Sighere, king, ratify it with the cross of Christ." (+)—"And I Sibbi, king, subscribe it with the cross of Christ." (+)—"And I Ethelred, the king's brother, granted the same with the cross of Christ." (+)—"And we, the king's sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, approve it."—"And I Archbishop of Canterbury, Deus-dedit, ratify it."—Then confirmed it all the others that were there with the cross of Christ (+): namely, Ithamar, Bishop of Rochester; Wina, Bishop of London; Jeruman, Bishop of the Mercians; and Tuda, bishop; and Wilfrid, priest, who was afterwards bishop; and Eoppa, priest, whom the king, Wulfere, sent to preach christianity in the Isle of Wight; and Saxulf, abbot; and Immine, alderman, and Edbert, alderman, and Herefrith, alderman, and Wilbert, alderman, and Abo, alderman; Ethelbald, Brord, Wilbert, Elmund, Frethegis. These, and many others that were there, the king's most loyal subjects, confirmed it all. This charter was written after our Lord's Nativity 664—the seventh year of King Wulfere—the ninth year of Archbishop Deus-dedir. Then they laid God's curse, and the curse of all saints, and all christian folks, on whosoever undid anything that there was done. "So be it," saith all. "Amen."—When this thing was done, then sent the king to Rome to the Pope Vitalianus that then was, and desired, that he would ratify with his writ and with his blessing, all this aforesaid thing. And the pope then sent his writ, thus saying: "I Vitalianus, pope, grant thee, King Wulfere, and Deus-dedit, archbishop, and Abbot Saxulf, all the things that you desire. And I forbid, that any king, or any man, have any ingress, but the abbot alone; nor shall he be Subject to any man, except the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury. If any one breaketh anything of this, St. Peter with his sword destroy him. Whosoever holdeth it, St. Peter with heaven's key undo him the kingdom of heaven."—Thus was the minster of Medhamsted begun, that was afterwards called Peter-borough. Afterwards came another archbishop to Canterbury, who was called Theodorus (54); a very good man and wise; and held his synod with his bishops and with his clerk. There was Wilfrid, bishop of the Mercians, deprived of his bishopric; and Saxulf, abbot, was there chosen bishop; and Cuthbald, monk of the same minster, was chosen abbot. This synod was holden after our Lord's Nativity six hundred and seventy-three winters.

Around Apr 656 [his brother] Paeda King South Mercia -656 was killed "very wickedly" through his wife's treachery "during the very time of celebrating Easter". His brother [his brother] Wulfhere King Mercia 640-675 (16) succeeded King Mercia.

Before 658 [his brother] Wulfhere King Mercia 640-675 and Ermenilda Oiscingas Queen Consort Mercia -703 were married.

675 Battle of Biedanheafde

Anglo Saxon Chronicle 650 699. 675. This year [his brother] Wulfere (35), the son of [his father] Penda, and Escwin, the son of Cenfus, fought at Bedwin. The same year died Wulfere (35), and Ethelred succeeded to the government. In his time sent he to Rome Bishop Wilfrid to the pope that then was, called Agatho, and told him by word and by letter, how his brothers [his brother] Peada and Wulfere (35), and the Abbot Saxulf, had wrought a minster, called Medhamsted; and that they had freed it, against king and against bishop, from every service; and he besought him that he would confirm it with his writ and with his blessing. And the pope sent then his writ to England, thus saying: "I Agatho, Pope of Rome, greet well the worthy Ethelred, king of the Mercians, and the Archbishop Theodorus of Canterbury (73), and Saxulf, the bishop of the Mercians, who before was abbot, and all the abbots that are in England; God's greeting and my blessing. I have heard the petition of King Ethelred, and of the Archbishop Theodorus (73), and of the Bishop Saxulf, and of the Abbot Cuthbald; and I will it, that it in all wise be as you have spoken it. And I ordain, in behalf of God, and of St. Peter, and of all saints, and of every hooded head, that neither king, nor bishop, nor earl, nor any man whatever, have any claim, or gable, or gild, or levy, or take any service of any kind, from the abbey of Medhamsted. I command also, that no shire-bishop be so bold as to hold an ordination or consecration within this abbacy, except the abbot intreat him, nor have there any claim to proxies, or synodals, or anything whatever of any kind. And I will, that the abbot be holden for legate of Rome over all that island; and whatever abbot is there chosen by the monks that he be consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. I will and decree, that, whatever man may have made a vow to go to Rome, and cannot perform it, either from infirmity, or for his lord's need, or from poverty, or from any other necessity of any kind whatever, whereby he cannot come thither, be he of England, or of whatever other island he be, he may come to that minster of Medhamsted, and have the same forgiveness of Christ and St. Peter, and of the abbot, and of the monks, that he should have if he went to Rome. Now bid I thee, brother Theodorus (73), that thou let it be proclaimed through all England, that a synod be gathered, and this writ be read and observed. Also I tell thee, Bishop Saxulf, that, as thou desirest it, that the minster be free, so I forbid thee, and all the bishops that after thee come, from Christ and from all his saints, that ye have no demand from that minster, except so much as the abbot will. Now will I say in a word, that, whoso holdeth this writ and this decree, then be he ever dwelling with God Almighty in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso breaketh it, then be he excommunicated, and thrust down with Judas, and with all the devils in hell, except he come to repentance. Amen!" This writ sent the Pope Agatho, and a hundred and twenty-five bishops, by Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, to England. This was done after our Lord's Nativity 680, the sixth year of King Ethelred. Then the king commanded the Archbishop Theodorus (73), that he should appoint a general Wittenmoot at the place called Hatfield. When they were there collected, then he allowed the letter to be read that the pope sent thither; and all ratified and confirmed it. Then said the king: "All things that my brother Peada, and my brother Wulfere (35), and my sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, gave and granted to St. Peter and the abbot, these I will may stand; and I will in my day increase it, for their souls and for my soul. Now give I St. Peter to-day into his minster, Medhamsted, these lands, and all that thereto lyeth; that is, Bredon, Repings, Cadney, Swineshead, Hanbury, Lodeshall, Scuffanhall, Cosford, Stratford, Wattleburn, Lushgard, Ethelhun-island, Bardney. These lands I give St. Peter just as freely as I possessed them myself; and so, that none of my successors take anything therefrom. Whoso doeth it, have he the curse of the Pope of Rome, and the curse of all bishops, and of all those that are witnesses here. And this I confirm with the token of Christ." (+) "I Theodorus (73), Archbishop of Canterbury, am witness to this charter of Medhamsted; and I ratify it with my hand, and I excommunicate all that break anything thereof; and I bless all that hold it." (+) "I Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, am witness to this charter; and I ratify this same curse." (+) "I Saxulf, who was first abbot, and now am bishop, I give my curse, and that of all my successors, to those who break this."—"I Ostritha, Ethelred's queen, confirm it."—"I Adrian, legate, ratify it."—"I Putta, Bishop of Rochester, subscribe it."—"I Waldhere, Bishop of London, confirm it."—"I Cuthbald, abbot, ratify it; so that, whoso breaketh it, have he the cursing of all bishops and of all christian folk. Amen."

In 675 Æthelred King Mercia -704 succeeded King Mercia. Osthryth Bernicia Queen Consort Mercia -697 by marriage Queen Consort Mercia.

In 675 [his brother] Wulfhere King Mercia 640-675 (35) died. His son [his nephew] Coenred King Mercia -709 succeeded King Mercia.

In 676 Æthelred King Mercia -704 destroyed Rochester.

In 676 Æthelred King Mercia -704 invaded at Kent.

Anglo Saxon Chronicle 650 699. 676. This year, in which Hedda succeeded to his bishopric, Escwin died; and Centwin obtained the government of the West-Saxons. Centwin was the son of Cynegils, Cynegils of Ceolwulf. Ethelred, king of the Mercians, in the meantime, overran the land of Kent.

Battle of the Trent

Anglo Saxon Chronicle 650 699. 679. This year Elwin was slain, by the river Trent, on the spot where Everth (34) and Ethelred fought. This year also died St. Etheldritha (43); and the monastery of Coldingiham was destroyed by fire from heaven.

Around 679 Æthelred King Mercia -704 defeated the Northumbrian army led by Ecgfrith King Northumbria 645-685 (34) at the Battle of the Trent somehere in Lindsey. Aelfwine King Deira -679 was killed.

Around 697 Osthryth Bernicia Queen Consort Mercia -697 was killed by Mercian nobles. She was buried at Bardney Abbey.

Anglo Saxon Chronicle 650 699. 697. This year the Southumbrians slew Ostritha, the queen of Ethelred, the sister of Everth.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 700-749. 704. This year Ethelred, the son of [his father] Penda, King of Mercia, entered into a monastic life, having reigned twenty-nine winters; and [his nephew] Cenred succeeded to the government.

In 704 Æthelred King Mercia -704 abdicated as King Mercia.

Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England Book 5 Chapter 13 How another contrarywise before his death saw a book containing his sins which was shown him by devils. [704 709 a.d.]. 704 to 709. But contrarywise there was a man in the province of the Mercians, whose visions and words, but not his manner of life, were of profit to others, though not to himself. In the reign of [his nephew] Coenred, who succeeded Ethelred, there was a layman who was a king's thegn, no less acceptable to the king for his outward industry, than displeasing to him for his neglect of his own soul. The king diligently admonished him to confess and amend, and to forsake his evil ways, lest he should lose all time for repentance and amendment by a sudden death. But though frequently warned, he despised the words of salvation, and promised that he would do penance at some future time. In the meantime, falling sick he betook himself to his bed, and was tormented with grievous pains. The king coming to him (for he loved the man much) exhorted him, even then, before death, to repent of his offences. But he answered that he would not then confess his sins, but would do it when he was recovered of his sickness, lest his companions should upbraid him with having done that for fear of death, which he had refused to do in health. He thought he spoke very bravely, but it afterwards appeared that he had been miserably deceived by the wiles of the Devil.

After 704 Æthelred King Mercia -704 died.

Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England Book 5 Chapter 19 How Coinred king of the Mercians and Offa king of the East Saxons ended their days at Rome in the monastic habit; and of the life and death of Bishop Wilfrid. [709 a.d.]. In the fourth year of the reign of Osred (12), [his nephew] Coenred, who had for some time nobly governed the kingdom of the Mercians, much more nobly quitted the sceptre of his kingdom. For he went to Rome, and there receiving the tonsure and becoming a monk, when Constantine (45) was pope, he continued to his last hour in prayer and fasting and alms-deeds at the threshold of the Apostles. He was succeeded in the throne by [his son] Ceolred, the son of Ethelred, who had governed the kingdom before Coenred. With him went the son of Sighere, the king of the East Saxons whom we mentioned before, by name Offa, a youth of a most pleasing age and comeliness, and greatly desired by all his nation to have and to hold the sceptre of the kingdom. He, with like devotion, quitted wife, and lands, and kindred and country, for Christ and for the Gospel, that he might "receive an hundred-fold in this life, and in the world to come life everlasting." He also, when they came to the holy places at Rome, received the tonsure, and ending his life in the monastic habit, attained to the vision of the blessed Apostles in Heaven, as he had long desired.
The same year that they departed from Britain, the great bishop, Wilfrid, ended his days in the province called Inundalum, after he had been bishop forty-five years. His body, being laid in a coffin, was carried to his monastery, which is called Inhrypum, and buried in the church of the blessed Apostle Peter, with the honour due to so great a prelate. Concerning whose manner of life, let us now turn back, and briefly make mention of the things which were done. Being a boy of a good disposition, and virtuous beyond his years, he conducted himself so modestly and discreetly in all points, that he was deservedly beloved, respected, and cherished by his elders as one of themselves. At fourteen years of age he chose rather the monastic than the secular life; which, when he had signified to his father, for his mother was dead, he readily consented to his godly wishes and desires, and advised him to persist in that wholesome purpose. Wherefore he came to the isle of Lindisfarne, and there giving himself to the service of the monks, he strove diligently to learn and to practise those things which belong to monastic purity and piety; and being of a ready wit, he speedily learned the psalms and some other books, having not yet received the tonsure, but being in no small measure marked by those virtues of humility and obedience which are more important than the tonsure; for which reason he was justly loved by his elders and his equals. Having served God some years in that monastery, and being a youth of a good understanding, he perceived that the way of virtue delivered by the Scots was in no wise perfect, and he resolved to go to Rome, to see what ecclesiastical or monastic rites were in use at the Apostolic see. When he told the brethren, they commended his design, and advised him to carry out that which he purposed. He forthwith went to Queen Eanfled, for he was known to her, and it was by her counsel and support that he had been admitted into the aforesaid monastery, and he told her of his desire to visit the threshold of the blessed Apostles. She, being pleased with the youth's good purpose, sent him into Kent, to King Earconbert,8 who was her uncle's son, requesting that he would send him to Rome in an honourable manner. At that time, Honorius, one of the disciples of the blessed Pope Gregory (40), a man very highly instructed in ecclesiastical learning, was archbishop there. When he had tarried there for a space, and, being a youth of an active spirit, was diligently applying himself to learn those things which came under his notice, another youth, called Biscop, surnamed Benedict, of the English nobility, arrived there, being likewise desirous to go to Rome, of whom we have before made mention.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 700-749. 716. This year Osred (19), king of the Northumbrians, was slain near the southern borders. He reigned eleven winters after Ealdferth. Cenred then succeeded to the government, and held it two years; then Osric, who held it eleven years. This same year died [his son] Ceolred, king of the Mercians. His body lies at Lichfield; but that of Ethelred, the son of [his father] Penda, at Bardney. Ethelbald then succeeded to the kingdom of Mercia, and held it one and forty winters. Ethelbald was the son of Alwy, Alwy of Eawa, Eawa of Webba, whose genealogy is already written. The venerable Egbert (77) about this time converted the monks of Iona to the right faith, in the regulation of Easter, and the ecclesiastical tonsure.

[his son] Ceolred King Mercia -716 was born to Æthelred King Mercia -704.

[his brother] Paeda King South Mercia -656 and EalhflAed Bernicia were married.

Æthelred King Mercia -704 and Osthryth Bernicia Queen Consort Mercia -697 were married.

Æthelred King Mercia -704 was born to [his father] Penda King Mercia -655.