Ludeca of Mercia

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Ludeca ( 827) was a Mercian nobleman and ealdorman. At the death of Beornwulf in 826 he became the King of Mercia. He ruled what was left of Mercia after Beornwulf's defeat by Egbert of Wessex at the Battle of Ellandun. He ruled Mercia until his own death, barely a year later.[1]

King of Mercia[change | change source]

In 824 two charters of King Beornwulf are witnessed by Ludeca, then a member of his court. His title on those charters is Latin: dux.[a] Nothing else is known of Ludeca.[3] At Beornwulf's death he became king. But the kingdom Ludeca now ruled was just Mercia, Lindsey, Middle Anglia and the Mercian provinces of the Hwicce and Magonsæte.[4] All of southern England was in disorder. Egbert of Wessex now had control of Essex and Kent. He had instigated the revolt by the East Anglians that resulted in Beornwulf's death.[5] The East Anglians saw this as a chance for their independence from Mercia.[6] A few months later Ludeca led his army against them but he was killed.[6] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 825 (actual year 827) recorded: "In this year Ludecan, king of the Mercians, was slain, and his five aldormen [ealdormen] with him, and Wiglaf succeeded to the kingdom."

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The Latin term dux (leader, commander, later Duke) is frequently used during this time to mean ealdorman.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 231
  2. William Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England: In Its Origin and Development, Volume 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1880), p. 159
  3. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 231 note 5
  4. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 231
  5. Sharon Turner, The history of the Anglo-Saxons from the earliest period to the, Vol. I (Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1841), p. 280
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 261

Other websites[change | change source]