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King Aethelbald (856 - 860)

Name: King Aethelbald
Born: c.831
Parents: Aethelwulf and Osburh
Relation to Charles III: 33rd great-granduncle
House of: Wessex
Became King: 858
Crowned: 858 at Kingston-upon-Thames
Married: Judith, dau. Charles the Bald, king of the Franks. She was his step mother.
Children: None
Died: December 20, 860 at Wessex
Buried at: Sherbourne Abbey
Succeeded by: his brother Aethelbert

While his father, Aethelwulf, was on pilgrimage to Rome in 855, Aethelbald plotted with the Bishop of Sherbourne and the ealdorman of Somerset against him. The details of the plot are unknown, but upon his return from Rome, Aethelwulf found his direct authority limited to the sub-kingdom of Kent, while Aethelbald controlled Wessex.

Aethelwulf died in 858, and full control passed to Aethelbald who married his father's widow Judith. However under pressure from the church the marriage was annulled after a year. Perhaps Aethelbald's premature power grab was occasioned by impatience, or greed, or lack of confidence in his father's succession plans. Whatever the case, he did not live long to enjoy it. He died in 860, passing the throne to his brother, Aethelbert.

Timeline for King Aethelbald

Year Event
858Aethelbald marries his father's widow Judith
860Vikings land on Iceland
860Aethelbald dies and his brother Aethelbert become king.