Biography of Eanfrith King Bernicia 590-634

Paternal Family Tree: Bernicia

617 Battle of the River Idle

633 Battle of Hatfield Chase

Before 590 [his father] Æthelfrith King Northumbrians (age 18) and [his mother] Acha Queen Consort Northumbria were married. She by marriage Queen Consort Bernicia. She the daughter of Aella King Deira. He the son of Æthelric King Bernicia.

In 590 Eanfrith King Bernicia was born to Æthelfrith King Northumbrians (age 18) and Acha Queen Consort Northumbria.

Around 592 Hussa of Bernicia died. [his father] Æthelfrith King Northumbrians (age 20) succeeded King Bernicia.

Around 604 [his father] Æthelfrith King Northumbrians (age 32) succeeded King Deira. [his mother] Acha Queen Consort Northumbria by marriage Queen Consort Deira.

Before 616 [his son] Taloran King Picts was born to Eanfrith King Bernicia (age 25).

Battle of the River Idle

In 617 Raedwald King East Anglia (age 47) and his son Raegenhere Wuffingas fought the Battle of the River Idle which took place at the River Idle, Markham Moor which forms the western border of the Isle of Lindsey [Map].

Raegenhere Wuffingas was killed.

[his father] Æthelfrith King Northumbrians (age 45) was killed. [his uncle] King Edwin of Northumbria (age 31) succeeded King Northumbria.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 617. This year was [his father] Ethelfrith (age 45), king of the Northumbrians, slain by Redwald (age 47), king of the East-Angles; and [his uncle] Edwin (age 31), the son of Ella, having succeeded to the kingdom, subdued all Britain, except the men of Kent alone, and drove out the Ethelings, the sons of Ethelfrith (age 45), namely, Enfrid (age 27), [his brother] Oswald (age 13), [his brother] Oswy (age 5), [his brother] Oslac, [his brother] Oswood, [his brother] Oslaf, and [his brother] Offa.

Bede. 633. AD. How King Edwin's next successors lost both the faith of their nation and the kingdom; but the most Christian King Oswald retrieved both.

Edwin (age 47) being slain in battle, the kingdom of the Deiri, to which province his family belonged, and where he first began to reign, passed to Osric, the son of his uncle Aelfric, who, through the preaching of Paulinus, had also received the mysteries of the faith. But the kingdom of the Bernicians-for into these two provinces the nation of the Northumbrians was formerly divided282-passed to Eanfrid (age 43), the son of Ethelfrid283, who derived his origin from the royal family of that province. For all the time that Edwin reigned, the sons of the aforesaid Ethelfrid, who had reigned before him, with many of the younger nobility, lived in banishment among the Scots or Picts, and were there instructed according to the doctrine of the Scots, and were renewed with the grace of Baptism. Upon the death of the king, their enemy, they were allowed to return home, and the aforesaid Eanfrid (age 43), as the eldest of them, became king of the Bernicians. Both those kings284, as soon as they obtained the government of their earthly kingdoms, abjured and betrayed the mysteries of the heavenly kingdom to which they had been admitted, and again delivered themselves up to defilement and perdition through the abominations of their former idolatry.

Note 282. Cf. II, 1, p. 82.

Note 283. I, 34; II, 2, 12.

Note 284. i.e., Osric and Eanfrid.

Battle of Hatfield Chase

On 12 Oct 633 King Penda's alliance of Gwynedd and Mercia defeated the Northumbrians at the Battle of Hatfield Chase.

Eadfrith Deira was captured.

[his uncle] King Edwin of Northumbria (age 47) was killed. He was buried at Whitby Abbey [Map] - see Bede. His first cousin Osric King Deira succeeded King Deira. His nephew Eanfrith King Bernicia (age 43) succeeded King Bernicia.

Edwin's son Osfrith Deira was killed.

After 12 Oct 633Eadfrith Deira was killed. His half first cousin Eanfrith King Bernicia (age 43) succeeded King Bernicia.

In 634 Eanfrith King Bernicia (age 44) was killed.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 634. This year Osric, whom Paulinus baptized, succeeded to the government of King of Deira. He was the son of Elfric, the uncle of [his uncle] Edwin. And to Bernicia succeeded Eanfrith (age 44), son of [his father] Ethelfrith. This year also Bishop Birinus first preached baptism to the West-Saxons, under King Cynegils. The said Birinus went thither by the command of Pope Honorius; and he was bishop there to the end of his life. [his brother] Oswald (age 30) also this year succeeded to the government of the King Northumbrians, and reigned nine winters. The ninth year was assigned to him on account of the heathenism in which those lived who reigned that one year betwixt him and Edwin.

Bede. 634. But soon after, the king of the Britons, Caedwalla285, the unrighteous instrument of rightful vengeance, slew them both. First, in the following summer, he put Osric to death; for, being rashly besieged by him in the municipal town [Map]286, he sallied out on a sudden with all his forces, took him by surprise, and destroyed him and all his army. Then, when he had occupied the provinces of the Northumbrians for a whole year287, not ruling them like a victorious king, but ravaging them like a furious tyrant, he at length put an end to Eanfrid (age 44), in like manner, when he unadvisedly came to him with only twelve chosen soldiers, to sue for peace. To this day, that year is looked upon as ill-omened, and hateful to all good men; as well on account of the apostacy of the English kings, who had renounced the mysteries of the faith, as of the outrageous tyranny of the British king. Hence it has been generally agreed, in reckoning the dates of the kings, to abolish the memory of those faithless monarchs, and to assign that year to the reign of the following king, [his brother] Oswald (age 30), a man beloved of God. This king, after the death of his brother Eanfrid (age 44)288, advanced with an army, small, indeed, in number, but strengthened with the faith of Christ; and the impious commander of the Britons, in spite of his vast forces, which he boasted nothing could withstand, was slain at a place called in the English tongue Denisesburna, that is, the brook of Denis289.

Note 285. Cf. II, 20, ad init.

Note 286. "In oppido municipio." Commentators are agreed that Bede means York. It was a Roman "Colonia," and is called a "municipium" by Aurelius Victor, though whether Bede attaches any definitely Roman meaning to the term seems doubtful. Ducange explains "municipium" as "castrum," "castellum muris cinctum."

Note 287. From the death of [his uncle] Edwin (October 12th, 633), for Oswald's (age 30) reign is reckoned as lasting nine years, including the "hateful year," and he was killed August 5th, 642. Cf. infra c. 9.

Note 288. i.e., probably before the end of 634.

Note 289. Not identified with any certainty, but probably the Rowley Water or a tributary of it. It cannot be, as has been suggested, the Devil's Water, which is clearly distinguished from it in a charter of the thirteenth century. Caedwalla must have fled southwards for eight or nine miles after the battle (cf. next note).

Eanfrith King Bernicia 590-634 appears on the following Descendants Family Trees:

Ida King Bernicia 559

Yffe Deira

Royal Ancestors of Eanfrith King Bernicia 590-634

Kings Bernicia: Grand Son of Æthelric King Bernicia

Kings Deira: Grand Son of Aella King Deira

Royal Descendants of Eanfrith King Bernicia 590-634

Taloran King Picts x 1

Ancestors of Eanfrith King Bernicia 590-634

Great x 2 Grandfather: Eoppa Bernicia

Great x 1 Grandfather: Ida King Bernicia

GrandFather: Æthelric King Bernicia

Father: Æthelfrith King Northumbrians

Eanfrith King Bernicia

Great x 1 Grandfather: Yffe Deira

GrandFather: Aella King Deira

Mother: Acha Queen Consort Northumbria