Cerdic of Wessex

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Cerdic
King of Wessex
Reign 519–534
Predecessor unknown
Successor Cynric
Issue
Cynric
Died c. 534

Cerdic ( 534) was the first Anglo Saxon King of the Gewisse,[a] also called the King of Wessex. He was the progenitor of the kings of Wessex and the Anglo-Saxon kings of England beginning with Athelstan.

War leader & King[change | change source]

Anglo.Saxon.migration.5th.cen.jpg

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,[b] Cerdic, along with his son Cynric, came to Britain in 495.[4] Their three ships landed at Cerdices ora fought the Britons there on the same day.[4] Most of what is known about Cerdic comes from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.[5] In 519 he and his son defeated Britons at Cerdices ford and took Wessex.[6] In 527 at a place called Cerdices leaga Cerdic and Cynric battled with the Britons again. In 530 they conquered the Isle of Wight.[6] The record for 534 states that Cerdic died this year.[7] Cerdic was succeeded by his son Cynric.[8]

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gave Cenred a pedigree going back to the Saxon god Woden. But historian Kenneth Sisam showed this legendary pedigree was borrowed from the Kings of Bernicia and was not historic.[9] But archaeological evidence shows that outside of Kent and Sussex, the main area of settlement was in the upper Thames Valley.[10] This agrees with much of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle although dates are harder to verify.

Family[change | change source]

Cerdic had:

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. This was a collection of annals written at different times. These were gathered together into one chronicle during the time of Alfred the Great (849–899).[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. Peter Hunter Blair, Roman Britain and Early England; 55 B.C.–A.D. 871 (New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1966), pp. 11–12
  4. 4.0 4.1 Benjamin Thorpe, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle according to the Several Original Authorities: Translation (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1861), p. 14
  5. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 20
  6. 6.0 6.1 Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 21
  7. Benjamin Thorpe, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle according to the Several Original Authorities: Translation (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1861), p. 14
  8. Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 301
  9. Kenneth Sisam, 'Anglo-Saxon Royal Genealogies', Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 39 (1953), pp. 287-348
  10. Peter Hunter Blair, Roman Britain and Early England; 55 B.C.–A.D. 871 (New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1966), p. 203
  11. G. H. Wheeler, 'The Genealogy of the Early West Saxon Kings', The English Historical Review, Vol. 36, No. 142 (Apr., 1921), p. 167

Other websites[change | change source]