Peada of Mercia

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Peada of Mercia

Peada (died 656) was briefly the King of Mercia. From c. 653 he had been King of the Middle Angles. Peada was a pagan who accepted baptism in order to marry the daughter of Oswiu of Northumbria.

King in Mercia[change | change source]

Peada was a son of King Penda.[1] In c. 653 he was made king of the Middle Angles by his father.[2] The Middle Angles were a group of peoples located between Mercia and East Anglia. They later became part of Mercia.[2] Peada asked for the hand of Alflaed, daughter of Oswiu of Northumbria.[1] Oswiu agreed on condition Peada and his kingdom became Christian.[a] In 653 Peada was baptised by Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, and married Alflaed.[4] On 15 November 655 the armies of Oswiu and Penda met in battle near Leeds.[2] Although he had the larger army, Penda was killed.[5] This established Oswiu as king of all Northumbria and as overlord of all the English south of the River Humber.[5] Oswiu ruled northern Mercia himself, but gave southern Mercia to Peada to rule as king.[6] Peada was murdered five months later - probably upon the orders of his wife Alflaed.[7] Mercians rebelled against Oswiu, and Peada's brother Wulfhere became king of Mercia.[6]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Bede claimed Alflaed played no part in Peada's conversion to Christianity.[3] Rather it was her brother, Alhfrith, who convinced Peada to become Christian.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Leo Sherley Price, revsd. R. E. Latham (London; New York: Penguin, 1990), p. 177
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 252
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stephanie Hollis, Anglo-Saxon Women and the Church: Sharing a Common Fate (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1992), p. 228
  4. Peter Hunter Blair, Roman Britain and Early England; 55 B.C.–A.D. 871 (New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1966), p. 230
  5. 5.0 5.1 Peter Hunter Blair, Roman Britain and Early England; 55 B.C.–A.D. 871 (New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1966), p. 196
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Leo Sherley Price, revsd. R. E. Latham (London; New York: Penguin, 1990), p. 185
  7. Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 253

Other websites[change | change source]