Ceolwulf of Wessex

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Ceolwulf
King of Wessex
Reign c. 597–611
Predecessor Ceol
Successor Cynegils of Wessex
House House of Wessex
Died c. 611

Ceolwulf ( c. 611) was the King of the Gewisse,[a] also called the King of Wessex. He ruled from c. 597 to 611.


King in Wessex[change | change source]

Map of the Gewisse (later Wessex) territory early 600s.

Ceolwulf was the grandson of Cynric.[b][4] He succeeded his brother Ceol.[5] The first mention of him as king in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was in 597. He "continuously fought with success against the Angelcyn and Britons; Picts and Scots."[6] During this time the West Saxons controlled Berkshire and Wiltshire. They also occupied parts of Somerset and Hampshire.[7] Historians question whether he could have attacked the Picts and Scots.[8] The Gewisse (West Saxons) were not known to range that far north into Scotland.[9] The Picts may have reached as far south as Chester. But there is no record of Ceolwulf fighting in Chester. The chronicle records he fought the South Saxons in 607.[10] The Jutes in the South of England would have acknowledged him as their overlord.[9] He would have been fighting against Pybba of Mercia.[9] Ceolwulf died in 611.[11] He was succeeded by Cynegils[9]

Family[change | change source]

Ceolwulf had a son:

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Bede thought of the Gewisse and the West Saxons as being the same people. That identification has been generally accepted by historians. But the Gewisse were not the only dynastic lineage in Wessex.[1] But when writing of the West Saxons during the reign of Cynegils he referred to them as "anciently known as the Gewissae."[2]
  2. His father was probably a son of Cynric. But early and later entries in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle do not agree. In the genealogical tree constructed by G. H. Wheeler, Ceolwulf is shown to be most probably the son of Ceawlin of Wessex.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. D. P. Kirby, The Earliest English Kings (London; New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 38-39
  2. Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Leo Sherley Price, revsd. R. E. Latham (London; New York: Penguin, 1990), p. 153
  3. 3.0 3.1 G. H. Wheeler, 'The Genealogy of the Early West Saxon Kings', The English Historical Review, Vol. 36, No. 142 (Apr., 1921), p. 167
  4. Benjamin Thorpe, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle according to the Several Original Authorities: Translation (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1861), p. 17
  5. Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 302
  6. F. M. Stenton, 'The Foundations of English History', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Fourth Series, Vol. 9 (1926), p. 165
  7. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 63
  8. Albany F Major; Charles W Whistler, Early wars of Wessex (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1913), p. 25 note 2
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 303
  10. Albany F Major; Charles W Whistler, Early wars of Wessex (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1913), p. 25
  11. Barbara Yorke, Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England (London: Routledge, 1997), p. 135

Other websites[change | change source]