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Alfred the Great Timeline









Detailed Information


23 April 871 Accession of Alfred King Alfred succeeded his brother Ethelred to the throne of Wessex and Danish Mercia.
870 Birth of Edmund A son, Edmund, was born to Alfred and his wife, Ethelswitha.
871/2 Birth of Edward the Elder A son, Edward, was born to Alfred and Ethelswitha.


Danes bought off After suffering a year of minor defeats by the Danes, Alfred was forced to buy them off. They promised to leave Wessex alone for five years.


Danes invade Mercia The Danes invaded Mercia, expelled King Burgred and replaced him with a Dane. They also began dividing up Yorkshire for permanent settlement.
874 Death of Burgred The King of Mercia, Burgred, died. His widow, Ethelswitha, became a nun.
875-6 Danes attack Wessex The Danes launched another attack on Wessex, but success was limited.
877 Danes partition Mercia The Danes began to partition Mercia ready for colonisation. The partitions included present day Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
before May 878 Danes attack Wessex A smaller Danish force made a surprise attack on Chippenham, gaining much of Wiltshire and Hampshire and forcing Alfred to retreat to Athelney in the Somerset marshes.
May 878 Battle of Edington After spending some time raising forces, Alfred defeated the Danish army and forced the Danish leader Guthrum to accept baptism and peace terms. The peace terms recognised Danish occupation of England north of the line from London to Chester.Guthrum was to withdraw to behind this line and be recognised as King of his own independent kingdom.
878 onwards Danelaw The area behind Guthrum’s boundary, became subject to Danelaw and the Danish soldiers established a society of their own. Evidence of this still exists today as Yorkshire, Leicestershire and to some extent, East Anglia, are still full of places ending in -by or -thorp.
880 Danes settle in East Anglia The Danes had left Wessex and begun to settle in East Anglia.
886 Alfred takes London Alfred the Great captured London, allegedly after defeating a Danish garrison. However, as London was in the Kingdom of Mercia, Alfred, turned London over to Mercian control.
886/7 Marriage of Ethelfleda Alfred’s daughter, Ethelfleda, married Ethelred, Ealdorman of Mercia.
888/9 Ethelswitha on pilgrimage Ethelwulf’s widowed daughter, Ethelswitha, went on a pilgrimage to Rome but died on the journey.
890s Alfred Defends Wessex Following defeat of the Danes in 878, Alfred had reorganised the defence of Wessex. He introduced a system where only half the army was to be on service at any one time, thus producing a smaller but more efficient army. Alfred also spent time and money building ships to match those of the Vikings. Alfred also covered Wessex with a network of public strongholds, several of which have a regular grid of streets that can still be seen today. Examples are Winchester, Chichester and Wareham.
890s onwards Alfred’s government Alfred had a clerical staff of priests, headed by a chief clerk. The office of chief clerk evolved into that of Chancellor. Part of their duties involved record keeping for the purpose of taxation.
893 Danes invade London A large Danish force landed in the Thames estuary. They made raids on local towns and villages.
895 Birth of Aethelstan A son, Aethelstan, was born to Edward the Elder, Alfred’s son, and Egwina his wife.
25/26/28 Oct 899 Death of Alfred King Alfred died. He was buried in Newminster Abbey, Winchester.


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"British Monarchy – Alfred the Great Timeline" History on the Net
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