Earl Aethelred of Mercia

Earl Aethelred of Mercia

Ealdorman Æthelred (died 911) was a ruler of Mercia (c. 883 – 911). His title was "Lord of the Mercians", and although he retained many attributes of a king, he was subject to the power of his close ally Wessex.

In 886, he was given control of London [For context, see Lundenwic, Lundenburgh and Museum of London Archaeological Service.] by King Alfred of Wessex, whose daughter, Ethelfleda, he married.

As Alfred reconquered the Danelaw, it was useful to place the heir to the divided Kingdom of Mercia in control of its former eastern region.

Aethelred was recorded as fighting many battles against the Welsh, and at one point Brochwael ab Meurig joint ruler with his brother of the Welsh Kingdom of Gwent appealed to Alfred for help against Earl Aethelred. Towards the end of his life, he allowed his wife Ethelfleda to exercise many of his powers, and when he died after the Battle of Tettenhall she succeeded him.

ee also

*Kings of Mercia family tree

Popular culture

*Bernard Cornwell's "Sword Song" (2007 ISBN 978-0007219711), the fourth in his "The Saxon Stories" series of books, features him.


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