Ceolwulf I of Mercia

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The Name "Ceolwulf" in the Anglo-Saxon Alphabet; from a page of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Ceolwulf I was the King of Mercia, East Anglia and Kent from 821 to 823. He succeeded his brother Coenwulf of Mercia. There was a great deal of disagreement among his noblemen during his short reign. He was deposed and exiled from Mercia by Beornwulf of Mercia who claimed the throne himself.

King of Mercia[change | change source]

He was the son Cuthbert, a Mercian nobleman. His brother Coenwulf ruled Mercia before him.[1] At his brother's death the Mercians were attacking Wales. Ceolwulf continued where Coenwulf left off. The Annales Cambriae for the year 822 said the 'Saxons' attacked and destroyed the fortress at Deganwy and then controlled Powys.[2] Welsh poems of the time confirm Mercia was attacking Powys.[2] On 17 September 822 he was consecrated king by Archbishop Wulfred.[a][3] In charters issued by Ceolwulf he styled himself Latin: rex Merciorum vel etiam Contwariorum.[b][4] This shows he had authority in Kent.[4] But his rule in Mercia was marked by discord among his noblemen.[5] He was removed from the throne in 823.[5] After being deposed Ceolwulf left Mercia for Rome.[2] By this time he was older, probably in his fifties.[1] He was the last of the Iclingas dynasty who had ruled Mercia for over three centuries. Beornwulf who replaced him was from a family little is known about.[6]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. This is one of the earliest examples of an English king being consecrated.[3]
  2. meaning King of Mercia and Kent.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 260
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 230
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ann Williams; Alfred P. Smyth; D. P. Kirby, A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales, c. 500–c. 1050 (London: B A Seaby Ltd, 1991), p. 77
  4. 4.0 4.1 F. M. Stenton, 'The Supremacy of the Mercian Kings', The English Historical Review, Vol. 33, No. 132 (Oct., 1918), p. 450
  5. 5.0 5.1 Michelle P. Brown; Carol A. Farr, Mercia: An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe (London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005), p. 222
  6. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 231

Other websites[change | change source]