aethelflaed the last kingdom

Yet, in the end, it was Boudicca who would come to captivate as ‘warrior woman’ under Elizabeth I, possibly because of their legendary shared red hair. Both sides claimed victory but Ragnall was able to establish himself as ruler of Northumbria. Aethelflaed became the effective ruler of Mercia some years before the death (911) of her husband, Aethelred, ealdorman of the Mercians. It was on June 12, 918, that Aethelflaed ‘Lady of the Mercians’ took her last breath in Tamworth – the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mercia - before being finally laid to rest in St Oswald’s Priory in Gloucester, alongside her husband Aethelred. As the Danes were ready to offer her their submission, she died (possibly of dysentery) on 12 June 918 and was taken to be buried with her husband at St Oswald’s Priory in Gloucester. Æthelflæd’s name languished over the following centuries, but was revived in 1913 with a statue in Tamworth erected to commemorate her achievements. Æthelflæd was not content to be simply a bearer of heirs. Références Æthelflæd was succeeded by her daughter Ælfwynn, but in December Edward took personal control of Mercia and carried Ælfwynn off to Wessex. Her father fought against the Vikings when Ivar the Boneless led the northerners into Mercia… Most historians believe that Æthelred was incapacitated in his last years. Now she should be celebrated in the words of William of Malmesbury, as a “woman of enlarged soul”. She is an actress, known for The Last Kingdom (2015), Jerks (2017) and Die Vaterlosen (2011). About Tomatometer. [38], On her husband's death in 911, Æthelflæd became Myrcna hlædige, "Lady of the Mercians". By entering your details, you are agreeing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy. [6], The most important source for history in this period is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle but Æthelflæd is almost ignored in the standard West Saxon version, in what F. T. Wainwright calls "a conspiracy of silence". After Uhtred's failure at Bebbanburg, his attention is drawn to Aethelflaed. [42][43] Heighway and Michael Hare wrote: In the age when English scholarship and religion reached their lowest ebb, Mercia and in particular the lower Severn valley seem to have maintained traditional standards of learning. In 886 Alfred occupied the Mercian town of London, which had been in Viking hands. There is little information on her childhood, and she first appears in the historical record as a fully grown adult. Her name most likely means “overflowing with nobility” according to scholar Joanna Arman (32). History TV and radio in the UK: what’s on our screens in December 2020? The accession of a female ruler in Mercia is described by the historian Ian Walker as "one of the most unique events in early medieval history". [20] Alex Woolf suggests that he was probably the son of King Burgred of Mercia and King Alfred's sister Æthelswith, although that would mean that the marriage between Æthelflæd and Æthelred was uncanonical, because Rome then forbade marriage between first cousins. It is difficult to know when Æthelflæd was born. Why do we not know more about Æthelflæd? [40] It was initially dedicated to St Peter but when Oswald's remains were brought to Gloucester in 909, Æthelflæd had them translated from Bardney to the new minster, which was renamed St Oswald's in his honour. Æthelwold joined forces with the Vikings when he was unable to get sufficient support in Wessex, and his rebellion only ended with his death in battle in December 902. For a start, it could be that her own brother had her largely written out of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle so as not to promote separatism between Wessex and Mercia. [12] According to Frank Stenton, Æthelflæd led Mercian armies on expeditions, which she planned. [12] The relics gave the church great prestige as Oswald had been one of the most important founding saints of Anglo-Saxon Christianity as well as a ruling monarch, and the decision to translate his relics to Gloucester shows the importance of the town to Æthelred and Æthelflæd, who were buried in St Oswald's Minster. In Mercia, Alfred's sister Æthelswith had been the wife of King Burgred of Mercia; she had witnessed charters as queen and had made grants jointly with her husband and in her own name. [23] Worcester was able to preserve considerable intellectual and liturgical continuity and, with Gloucester, became the centre of a Mercian revival under Æthelred and Æthelflæd that extended into the more unstable areas of Staffordshire and Cheshire. Gloucester History Festival, of which I am president, has arranged talks, exhibitions and events to raise awareness of her place in England’s history. Æthelred and Æthelflæd fortified Worcester, gave generous donations to Mercian churches and built a new minster in Gloucester. In 917 she sent an army to capture Derby, the first of the Five Boroughs of the Danelaw to fall to the English, a victory described by Tim Clarkson as "her greatest triumph". [16] Æthelflæd was first recorded as Æthelred's wife in a charter of 887, when he granted two estates to the see of Worcester "with the permission and sign-manual of King Alfred" and the attestors included "Æthelflæd conjux". When it came to the true parentage of Aethelflaed of Mercia’s daughter Aelfwynn, The Last Kingdom tore up the history books and introduced some Danish blood into … Please enter your number below. The time at which she came screaming into the world was one of turmoil. [c] According to the Three Fragments, the Norse (Norwegian) Vikings were expelled from Dublin and then made an abortive attack on Wales. Keynes argues that a new polity was created when Æthelred submitted to Alfred in the 880s, covering Wessex and English (western) Mercia. The first series of eight episodes premiered on 10 October 2015 on BBC America, and on BBC Two in the UK on 22 October 2015. Æthelflæd’s reputation as a canny ruler extended, not only through the English-speaking world, but over the waters, reaching the ears of her Viking foes. William of Malmesbury wrote that their burial places were found in the south porticus during building works in the early twelfth century. She understood the importance of aligning herself with other powerful rulers and supported her brother, Edward, in his reconquest of Mercian territories in the Danelaw. According to Nick Higham, "successive medieval and modern writers were quite captivated by her" and her brother's reputation has suffered unfairly in comparison. She is a rallying point to all those searching for strong female role models. At about the age of nine she received a different kind of education, in the harsh realities of her turbulent times. "[9] She was praised by Anglo-Norman chroniclers such as William of Malmesbury and John of Worcester[10] and she has received more attention from historians than any other secular woman in Anglo-Saxon England. She brought extra prestige to her newly founded church there by securing a most precious relic: the body of the kingly Saint Oswald. Her caution was rewarded when in that same year, 907, the Wirral Vikings attacked Chester but failed to breach its walls. She was the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, king of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, and his wife Ealhswith. Like her father, she believed that the recently rejuvenated Anglo-Saxon kingdoms depended on the church and its divine favour to secure their reputation as worthy opponents to the Danish pagans. She was praised by Anglo-Norman chroniclers such as William of Malmesbury, who described her as "a powerful accession to [Edward's] party, the delight of his subjects, the dread of his enemies, a woman of enlarged soul". Three Viking kings were reported to have been killed, and as a result, the image of Æthelflæd, warrior queen, bearing three royal swords was born. According to Pauline Stafford, "like ... Elizabeth I she became a wonder to later ages". Alfred adopted the title King of the English, claiming to rule all English people not living in areas under Viking control. In the 12th century, the historian Henry of Huntingdon declared Æthelflæd to be “so powerful that in praise and exaltation of her wonderful gifts, some call her not only lady, but even king”. Æthelflæd agreed and for some time they were peaceful. If King Alfred was great, was Æthelstan even greater? Mercia itself had not been a proper, independent kingdom for many years. Aethelflaed was succeeded by her daughter Aelfwyn, whom Aethelflaed had made a joint ruler with her. In Wessex, the role of royal women was one of subservience: Æthelflæd’s mother had only ever held the title of ‘wife of the king’ and signed no charters with her husband. She was exceptional for many reasons. [49], When Æthelred died, Edward took control of the Mercian towns of London and Oxford and their hinterlands, which Alfred had put under Mercian control. Tim Clarkson's biography has a detailed discussion of Æthelflæd' burhs. Many of these cities owe their existence to her efforts. View All The Last Kingdom News . Just three years earlier, a Great Viking Army had launched a massive assault on East Anglia. [19] In the view of Ian Walker: "He was a royal ealdorman whose power base lay in the south-west of Mercia in the former kingdom of the Hwicce around Gloucester". He argues that King Edward was anxious not to encourage Mercian separatism and did not wish to publicise his sister's accomplishments, in case she became a symbol of Mercian claims. 'The Last Kingdom' Season 4 Review: Uhtred's love for Aethelflaed furthers Alfred's dream of a united England. It is telling that, rather than hand the kingdom to a male heir or succumb to Wessex, the ealdormen of Mercia chose Æthelflæd as their leader. [24] In 883 Æthelred granted privileges to Berkeley Abbey and in the 890s he and Æthelflæd issued a charter in favour of the church of Worcester. It is in this context that the establishment of a new minster at Gloucester by Æthelred and Æthelflæd is to be seen. [4], Ceolwulf is not recorded after 879. The version of record as reviewed is: "Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians" (PDF), WikiJournal of Humanities, 1 (1): 1, 2018, doi:10.15347/WJH/2018.001, ISSN 2639-5347, Wikidata Q59649817.mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}, This article is about the Lady of the Mercians. The following year, the Vikings conquered East Anglia. A shy, blonde child who recoils at the mere sight of the show’s hero Uhtred, she was raised, most likely by her pious mother Aelswith, to fear the heathen her father King Alfred despised and respected. The tide is turning. And the way in which she used her influence helped to make possible the unification of England under kings of the West Saxon royal house. So, while Bernard Cornwell’s novels and the BBC series The Last Kingdom are cavalier with the historical facts, perhaps they are right to give Æthelflæd a major role. He then received the submission of all English not under Viking control and handed control of London over to Æthelred. [52][d], In 917 invasions by three Viking armies failed as Æthelflæd sent an army which captured Derby and the territory around it. As well as being a formidable warrior, Æthelflæd was also a shrewd ruler who set about extending the work of her father, Alfred, by strengthening his fortifications at Tamworth, Stafford and Warwick. Derby was the first to fall to the English; she lost "four of her thegns who were dear to her" in the battle. Read on to learn what Dreymon himself has to say about their relationship in the new season. [35] After Æthelflæd's death, Edward encountered fierce resistance to his efforts to consolidate his control of the north-west and he died there in 924, shortly after suppressing a local rebellion. Qui est le vrai père de Aelfwynn ? [14] Æthelflæd was thus half-Mercian and the alliance between Wessex and Mercia was sealed by her marriage to Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians. By Billy Oduory 15 minutes ago If Aethelred had given Aethelflaed a chance to be a partner and friend, he would have achieved his ambition of becoming a true King of Mercia. In Nick Higham's view, medieval and modern writers have been so captivated by her that Edward's reputation has suffered unfairly in comparison. [12] In the late ninth century Gloucester had become a burh with a street plan similar to Winchester, and Æthelred and Æthelflæd had repaired its ancient Roman defences. In 918 Leicester surrendered without a fight. In The Last Kingdom, he is depicted as abusive to Lady Aethelflaed, although this may not have been the case in real life. Even so, she would constantly pale next to the name of her father, Alfred the Great, who English historians continued to celebrate as scourge of the Danes and saviour of England. In 915 Chirbury was fortified to guard a route from Wales and Runcorn on the River Mersey. King Burgred of Mercia was joined by King Æthelred of Wessex and his brother, the future King Alfred, for a combined attack on the Vikings, who refused an engagement; in the end the Mercians bought peace with them. Æthelflæd, like her father, sought to strengthen the prestige of her kingdom by investing extensively in urban renewal, education (through the monasteries) and in the arts. Celtic visions of Æthelred and Æthelflæd as king and queen certainly offer a different, and equally valid, contemporary take on the complex politics of this transition to a new English state. [51], Æthelflæd had already fortified an unknown location called Bremesburh in 910 and in 912 she built defences at Bridgnorth to cover a crossing of the River Severn. Æthelred was the lord of Mercia and the husband of Æthelflæd . [65] Æthelflæd died a few months too early to see the final conquest of the southern Danelaw by Edward. The historian Ann Williams regards this view as partial and distorted, that he was accepted as a true king by the Mercians and by King Alfred. [82], In June 2018, Æthelflæd's funeral was re-enacted in front of a crowd of 10,000 people in Gloucester, as part of a series of living history events marking the 1,100th anniversary of her death. Æthelflæd is as important now as she was more than a millennium ago. [15] They are mentioned in Alfred's will, which probably dates to the 880s. A second series of eight episodes was aired on BBC Two in the UK in March 2017. Edward, who already controlled Wessex, seized the kingdom of Mercia from Aelfwyn, took her captive, and thus solidified his control over most of England. In the history of The Last Kingdom, Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) has had an ever-changing relationship with Aethelflaed (Millie Brady).In season 4, things change drastically and fans have a lot of feelings about the whole thing. If you subscribe to BBC History Magazine Print or Digital Editions then you can unlock 10 years’ worth of archived history material fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. Video - "The Last Kingdom" Season 3 Music - Natalie Taylor - In the air tonight They returned with the remains of the royal Northumbrian saint, Oswald, which were translated to the new Gloucester minster. There are only a handful of warrior women from the past who have captured imaginations for centuries. She could have faded from the records at this point, content to support her husband within the court and bear him many offspring. Æthelstan, the eldest son of Edward the Elder and future king of England, was brought up in their court and, in the view of Martin Ryan, certainly joined their campaigns against the Vikings. When Æthelred died in 911, his wife was declared ‘Lady of the Mercians’ and took over control of the kingdom. He claimed that she declined to have sex after the birth of her only child because it was "unbecoming of the daughter of a king to give way to a delight which, after a time, produced such painful consequences". He praised her as “worthy of a man’s name” and “more illustrious than Caesar”. His relics had languished in Viking-held Bardney in Lincolnshire, but Æthelflæd managed to return them to Mercia. By 878, most of England was under Danish Viking rule – East Anglia and Northumbria having been conquered, and Mercia partitioned between the English and the Vikings – but in that year Alfred won a crucial victory at the Battle of Edington. She began her career in 2014, playing the daughter of Selfridge's tycoon, Harry Gordon Selfridge in ITV's 'Mr Selfridge'. [12] According to the Mercian Register, Æthelflæd was buried in the east porticus. Eldest child of King Alfred of Wessex, Aethelflaed was cherished by her father and received an education normally reserved for a royal son. A few months later, the leading men of Danish-ruled York offered to pledge their loyalty to Æthelflæd, probably to secure her support against Norse raiders from Ireland, but she died on 12 June 918, before she could take advantage of the offer. [12] Ian Walker suggests that Æthelflæd accepted this loss of territory in return for recognition by her brother of her position in Mercia. The Vikings’ purpose was to conquer the kingdoms completely, yet the battle of Edington in 878 stemmed the tide and a tentative alliance was drawn up, splitting the country in two between English-ruled territory and lands administered by the Danes (the Danelaw). As the rights of lordship had previously belonged fully to the church, this represented the beginning of transfer from episcopal to secular control of the city. She is one of the few known women who not only held a role within the household as mother and lady – and within the court, as daughter and wife to kings – but also wielded power on the battlefield. Through the course of Season 4, he stands by her bringing her victories and men when she needs them the most [12][18], Æthelred's descent is unknown. Aldhelm (The Last Kingdom) (21) Hild (The Last Kingdom) (18) Include Relationships Aethelflaed Lady of Mercia/Erik Thurgilson (38) Aethelflaed Lady of Mercia/Uhtred of Bebbanburg (17) Aethelflaed Lady of Mercia/Aldhelm (The Last Kingdom) (10) Finan (The Last Kingdom)/Original Character(s) (5) Finan/Uhtred of Bebbanburg (4) While other kingdoms were ravaged by Viking incursions in the ninth century, parts of Mercia, like Worcester, remained strong and affluent. Then, over more than a decade, a coalition of Norse warriors took land in all the major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms – except Wessex, which had so far managed to defy them. Wainwright sees Æthelflæd as willingly accepting a subordinate role in a partnership with her brother and agreeing to his plan of unification of Wessex and Mercia under his rule. Æthelflæd was born around 870 at the height of the Viking invasions of England. [70][71] She was also praised by Anglo-Norman historians such as John of Worcester and William of Malmesbury, who described her as "a powerful accession to [Edward's] party, the delight of his subjects, the dread of his enemies, a woman of enlarged soul". Yet Æthelflæd wasn’t about to be overshadowed by her husband. [5] Alfred died in 899 and Edward's claim to the throne was disputed by Æthelwold, son of Alfred's elder brother. It is now that she should be remembered as mother, diplomat, warrior and queen. According to Wainwright, it "contains much that is legendary rather than historical. In 903 a Mercian ealdorman "petitioned King Edward, and also Æthelred and Æthelflæd, who then held rulership and power over the race of the Mercians under the aforesaid king". Lady Aethelflaed has been one of the main characters in The Last Kingdom story since her introduction in the first season and the ‘Lady of Mercia’ remains incredibly popular with fans. The marriage may have taken place earlier, perhaps when he submitted to Alfred following the recovery of London in 886. Alfred had built a network of fortified burhs and in the 910s Edward and Æthelflæd embarked on a programme of extending them. In 909 Edward sent a West Saxon and Mercian force to the northern Danelaw, where it raided for five weeks. In 917 her troops reconquered the Viking city of Derby, a critical victory as this had been one of the ‘Five Boroughs of the Danelaw’. Read more about the real history behind The Last Kingdom here. [22] Mercian scholarship had high prestige at the courts of Alfred and Edward. [45] Saintly relics were believed to give supernatural legitimacy to rulers' authority, and Æthelflæd was probably responsible for the foundation or re-foundation of Chester Minster and the transfer to it of the remains of the seventh-century Mercian princess Saint Werburgh from Hanbury in Staffordshire. Æthelflæd witnessed charters of Æthelred in 888, 889 and 896. Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians (c. 870 – 12 June 918) ruled Mercia in the English Midlands from 911 until her death. [83], The 1,100th anniversary of the death of Æthelflaed was marked throughout 2018 in Tamworth with a number of major events, including the unveiling of a new six-metre statue,[84] the creation of the town's biggest ever piece of community art,[85] a major commemorative church service, talks, a special guided walk, commemorative ale and an academic conference weekend drawing academics and delegates from all over the world. The series has deviated from the books in terms of relationships, as fans have revealed Uhtred and Aethelflaed remained a couple of a while, before separating. Among the towns where she built defences were Wednesbury, Bridgnorth, Tamworth, Stafford, Warwick, Chirbury and Runcorn. They then moved on Mercia, where they spent the winter of 867–868. Thereafter the two kingdoms became allies, which was to be an important factor in English resistance to the Vikings. Ahead of series four of The Last Kingdom, we revisit a feature by Janina Ramirez in which she reveals how the wife, mother, diplomat – and, above all, warrior-queen – left an indelible mark on Anglo-Saxon England in the 10th century. Placement next to the saint would have been a prestigious burial location for Æthelred and Æthelflæd. These were the exceptions – women in a man’s world who men followed into battle. It did not suffer major attacks and it did not come under great pressure from Wessex. Æthelflæd of Mercia (before, Æthelflæd of Wessex) is a main character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. The Last Kingdom season four spoilers follow. Although difficult to date precisely, the Staffordshire Hoard (which in 2009 became the largest cache of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered) is testament to Mercian hegemony in the eighth century. You have successfully linked your account! Æthelflæd grew up in a world divided. Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians (c. 870 – 12 June 918) ruled Mercia in the English Midlands from 911 until her death. The Last Kingdom is a British historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell's The Saxon Stories series of novels. [54] At the end of the year, the East Anglian Danes submitted to Edward. But it is an unfortunate characteristic of historical studies that so many important individuals have been left unexamined, because they have not fitted into the cast of ‘great white men’. In early 918, Æthelflæd gained possession of Leicester without opposition and most of the local Danish army submitted to her. In 883 he made a grant with the consent of King Alfred, thus acknowledging Alfred's lordship. As a wife, however, Æthelflæd’s story is all too familiar in terms of royal dynastic marriages. The East Anglians were forced to buy peace and the following year the Vikings invaded Northumbria, where they appointed a puppet king in 867. Gwent in south-east Wales was already under West Saxon lordship but, in the view of Charles-Edwards, this passage shows that the other Welsh kingdoms were under Mercian lordship until Edward took direct power over Mercia. [56] In the Three Fragments, Æthelflæd also formed a defensive alliance with the Scots and the Strathclyde British, a claim accepted by Clarkson. Back then, in retaliation for Æthelflæd and Edward’s successful campaigns in the Danelaw, Viking troops had laid waste to large parts of Mercia, carrying off plunder and destroying the land. Æthelred played a major role in fighting off renewed Viking attacks in the 890s, together with Æthelflæd's brother, the future King Edward the Elder. [62], Æthelflæd died at Tamworth on 12 June 918 and her body was carried 75 miles (121 km) to Gloucester, where she was buried with her husband in their foundation, St Oswald's Minster. Instead, records report that she was signing diplomatic documents and presiding over provincial courts in place of Æthelred. Henry of Huntingdon's poem was translated, "freely" according to Paul Szarmach, "Gloucester funeral procession honours Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians", "Aethelflaed, Tamworth's Warrior Queen, Installation and opening-event", "Luke Perry, artist, on making Aethlflaed, Warrior Queen of Tamworth", "Æthelflæd [Ethelfleda] (d. 918), ruler of the Mercians", "Æthelred (d. 911), ruler of the Mercians", "Edward [called Edward the Elder] (870s?–924), king of the Anglo-Saxons", WikiJournal of Humanities/Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, List of English words of Old Norse origin, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Æthelflæd&oldid=995094430, Wikipedia articles published in peer-reviewed literature, Wikipedia articles published in WikiJournal of Humanities, Wikipedia articles published in peer-reviewed literature (W2J), Burials at St Oswald's Priory, Gloucester, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from open access publications, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 December 2020, at 05:20. You can unsubscribe at any time. [58] According to a version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle strongly sympathetic to Edward the Elder, after Æthelflæd's death "the kings among the Welsh, Hywel and Clydog and Idwal, and all the Welsh people sought to have [Edward] as their lord". [50] Alfred had constructed a network of fortified burhs in Wessex, and Edward and Æthelflæd now embarked on a programme of extending them to consolidate their defences and provide bases for attacks on the Vikings. [64] Martin Ryan sees the foundation as "something like a royal mausoleum, intended to replace the one at Repton (Derbyshire) that had been destroyed by the Vikings". [44], Mercia had a long tradition of venerating royal saints and this was enthusiastically supported by Æthelred and Æthelflæd. [55] According to the Three Fragments, in 918 Æthelflæd led an army of Scots and Northumbrian English against forces led by the Norse Viking leader Ragnall at the Battle of Corbridge in Northumbria. Æthelflæd erscheint hier als eine der Hauptpersonen in der zweiten Staffel, wobei einige der dargestellten Ereignisse (z. [28], Æthelred's health probably declined at some stage in the decade after Alfred died in 899, and Æthelflæd may have become the de facto ruler of Mercia by 902.

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