Cynric of Wessex

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Cynric
King of Wessex
Reign 534–560
Predecessor Cerdic
Successor Ceawlin
Issue
Ceawlin
Father Cerdic
Died c. 560


Cynric ( 560) was the King of the Gewisse,[a] also called the King of Wessex. He reigned from about 534 to 560.

War leader & King[change | change source]

Cynric, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,[b] was the son of Cerdic. Most of what is known about Cynric and his father Cerdic comes from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.[c] According to the chronicle, Cerdic and Cynric, both chiefs, arrived in 495. Cerdices ora is the name of the place they landed and fought the Britons there on the same day.[6] In 519 they defeated Britons at Cerdices ford and took Wessex.[7] In 527 at a place called Cerdices leaga they battled with the Britons again. In 530 they conquered the Isle of Wight.[7] The record for 534 states that Cerdic died this year, his son Cynric became king and ruled for 26 years.[8] As king, Cynric was involved in two more major battles in and around Wiltshire. The first in 552 was at Searoburh. The second battle was at Beranburh (Barbury Castle) in 556.[9] In this last battle Cynric's son Ceawlin was fighting alongside him.[7] In 560 Cynric was succeeded by his son Ceawlin.

Family[change | change source]

Cynric had:

  • Ceawlin ( 593).[10]
  • Ceolwulf, who did not reign.[10]

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. A collection of annals written at different times. These were collected together into one chronicle in the time of Alfred the Great (849–899).[3]
  3. This chronicle is not without problems with exact dates and names. But it recorded events that took place a century before Wessex kings became Christian.[4] This was the earliest possible time these annals could have been written down.[4] Another 9th century document included in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is the West Saxon regnal list (a list of West Saxon kings). This document shows Cynric as the grandson of Cerdic.[5]

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 W. H. Stevenson, 'The Beginnings of Wessex', The English Historical Review Vol. 14, No. 53 (Jan., 1899), p. 32
  5. Barbara Yorke, Wessex in the early Middle Ages (London; New York: Leicester University Press, 1995), p. 80
  6. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 20
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 21
  8. Benjamin Thorpe, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle according to the Several Original Authorities: Translation (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1861), p. 14
  9. Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 301
  10. 10.0 10.1 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]