Biography of King Offa of Mercia -796

Paternal Family Tree: Iclingas

786 Assassination of King Cynewulf

777 Battle of Bensington

796 Death of King Offa

King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia were married.

King Offa of Mercia was born to Thingfrith.

786 Assassination of King Cynewulf

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 755. This year Cynewulf, with the consent of the West-Saxon council, deprived Sebright, his relative, for unrighteous deeds, of his kingdom, except Hampshire; which he retained, until he slew the alderman who remained the longest with him. Then Cynewulf drove him to the forest of Andred [Note. The Weald in South-East England], where he remained, until a swain stabbed him at Privett, and revenged the alderman, Cumbra. The same Cynewulf fought many hard battles with the Welsh; and, about one and thirty winters after he had the kingdom, he was desirous of expelling a prince called Cyneard, who was the brother of Sebright. But he having understood that the king was gone, thinly attended, on a visit to a lady at Merton28, rode after him, and beset him therein; surrounding the town without, ere the attendants of the king were aware of him. When the king found this, he went out of doors, and defended himself with courage; till, having looked on the etheling, he rushed out upon him, and wounded him severely. Then were they all fighting against the king, until they had slain him. As soon as the king's thanes in the lady's bower heard the tumult, they ran to the spot, whoever was then ready. The etheling immediately offered them life and rewards; which none of them would accept, but continued fighting together against him, till they all lay dead, except one British hostage, and he was severely wounded. When the king's thanes that were behind heard in the morning that the king was slain, they rode to the spot, Osric his alderman, and Wiverth his thane, and the men that he had left behind; and they met the etheling at the town, where the king lay slain. The gates, however, were locked against them, which they attempted to force; but he promised them their own choice of money and land, if they would grant him the kingdom; reminding them, that their relatives were already with him, who would never desert him. To which they answered, that no relative could be dearer to them than their lord, and that they would never follow his murderer. Then they besought their relatives to depart from him, safe and sound. They replied, that the same request was made to their comrades that were formerly with the king; "And we are as regardless of the result," they rejoined, "as our comrades who with the king were slain." Then they continued fighting at the gates, till they rushed in, and slew the etheling and all the men that were with him; except one, who was the godson of the alderman, and whose life he spared, though he was often wounded. This same Cynewulf reigned one and thirty winters. His body lies at Winchester, and that of the etheling at Axminster. Their paternal pedigree goeth in a direct line to Cerdic. The same year Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, was slain at Seckington; and his body lies at Repton [Map]. He reigned one and forty years; and Bernred then succeeded to the kingdom, which he held but a little while, and unprosperously; for King Offa the same year put him to flight, and assumed the government; which he held nine and thirty winters. His son [his son] Everth held it a hundred and forty days. Offa was the son of Thingferth, Thingferth of Enwulf, Enwulf of Osmod, Osmod of Eawa, Eawa of Webba, Webba of Creoda, Creoda of Cenwald, Cenwald of Cnebba, Cnebba of Icel, Icel of Eomer, Eomer of Angelthew, Angelthew of Offa, Offa of Wermund, Wermund of Witley, Witley of Woden.

Note 28. The minuteness of this narrative, combined with the simplicity of it, proves that it was written at no great distance of time from the event. It is the first that occurs of any length in the older MSS. of the "Saxon Chronicle".

In 757 Beornred King Mercia abdicated; forced to by King Offa of Mercia. King Offa of Mercia succeeded King Mercia.

777 Battle of Bensington

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 775. This year Cynewulf and Offa fought near Bensington, and Offa took possession of the town. In the days of this king, Offa, there was an abbot at Medhamsted, called Beonna; who, with the consent of all the monks of the minster, let to farm, to Alderman Cuthbert, ten copyhold lands at Swineshead, with leasow and with meadow, and with all the appurtenances; provided that the said Cuthbert gave the said abbot fifty pounds therefore, and each year entertainment for one night, or thirty shillings in money;29 provided also, that after his decease the said lands should revert to the monastery. The king, Offa, and [his son] King Everth, and Archbishop Hibbert, and Bishop Ceolwulf, and Bishop Inwona, and Abbot Beonna, and many other bishops, and abbots, and rich men, were witnesses to this. In the days of this same Offa was an alderman, of the name of Brorda, who requested the king for his sake to free his own monastery, called Woking, because he would give it to Medhamsted and St. Peter, and the abbot that then was, whose name was Pusa. Pusa succeeded Beonna; and the king loved him much. And the king freed the monastery of Woking, against king, against bishop, against earl, and against all men' so that no man should have any claim there, except St. Peter and the abbot. This was done at the king's town called Free-Richburn.

Note 29. Penga in the original, i.e. "of pence", or "in pence"; because the silver penny, derived from the Roman "denarius", was the standard coin in this country for more than a thousand years. It was also used as a weight, being the twentieth part of an ounce.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 785. This year died Bothwin, Abbot of Ripon, and a litigious synod was holden at Chalk-hythe; Archbishop Eanbert resigned some part of his bishopric, Hibbert was appointed bishop by King Offa, and [his son] Everth was consecrated king. In the meantime legates were sent from Rome to England by Pope Adrian, to renew the blessings of faith and peace which St. Gregory sent us by the mission of Bishop Augustine, and they were received with every mark of honour and respect.

In 787 [his son-in-law] King Beorhtric of Wessex and [his daughter] Queen Eadburga of Wessex were married. She by marriage Queen Consort Wessex. She the daughter of King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia.

In 792 Archbishop Æthelhard was translated to Archbishop of Canterbury by King Offa of Mercia.

On 29 Sep 792 [his son-in-law] Æthelred I of Northumbria (age 30) and [his daughter] Ælfflæd Queen of Mercia were married. She by marriage Queen Northumbria. She the daughter of King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia. He the son of Æthelwald Moll King of Northumbria.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 794. This year Offa, King of Mercia, commanded that King Ethelbert should be beheaded;

On 20 May 794 Æthelberht II King East Anglia was beheaded on the orders of King Offa of Mercia.

796 Death of King Offa

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 796. This year died Pope Adrian; and also Offa, King of Mercia, on the fourth day before the ides of August, after he had reigned forty winters.

On 29 Jul 796 King Offa of Mercia died. His son [his son] King Ecgfrith of Mercia succeeded King Mercia.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 839. Text 836AD. This year died King Egbert (age 66). Him Offa, King of Mercia, and [his former son-in-law] Bertric, the West-Saxon king, drove out of England into France three years before he was king. Bertric assisted Offa because he had married his [his daughter] daughter. Egbert (age 66) having afterwards returned, reigned thirty-seven winters and seven months. Then Ethelwulf, the son of Egbert, succeeded to the West-Saxon kingdom; and he gave his son Athelstan the kingdom of Kent, and of Essex, and of Surrey, and of Sussex.

[his daughter] Ælfflæd Queen of Mercia was born to King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia.

[his daughter] Queen Eadburga of Wessex was born to King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia.

[his son] King Ecgfrith of Mercia was born to King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia.

Royal Descendants of King Offa of Mercia -796

Queen Eadburga of Wessex x 1

Ælfflæd Queen of Mercia x 1

King Ecgfrith of Mercia x 1

Ancestors of King Offa of Mercia -796

Great x 4 Grandfather: Creoda King Mercia

Great x 3 Grandfather: Pybba King Mercia

Great x 2 Grandfather: Eowa King Mercia

Great x 1 Grandfather: Osmod Iclingas

GrandFather: Eanulf

Father: Thingfrith

King Offa of Mercia