Clio Edition 4 - page 37

37
might of the English charge. This is
another clear patriotic message from
Pearse – England was a dominant force
to be reckoned with.
Obviously, there had been Kings in
England before 924, when Æthelstan
came to the throne, but the country we
know today as England did not exist.
At the time of Æthelstan’s grandfather,
Alfred the Great, there were four main
kingdoms; Wessex in the south, East
Anglia (appropriately) in the East, Mercia
in the centre and Northumbria in the
north, with each being ruled by their
own royal family. Æthelstan’s family
were the royals of Wessex, the most
powerful and prosperous kingdom of
the four, and the one kingdom not to be
inhabited by Viking Raiders. This was
largely down to the work of Æthelstan’s
father, Edward the Elder, and his
aforementioned grandfather;- Alfred
being the first man to proclaim himself
King of the Anglo-Saxons, a title that
was passed down along with the crown
of Wessex. At the time of Æthelstan’s
ascension to the throne, Mercia and East
Anglia had been brought under the rule
of Wessex by his father Edward and only
Northumbria lay under the influence of
the Vikings.
Three years before the Battle of
Brunanburgh Æthelstan had launched an
invasion into Scotland. Having marched
north virtually unchallenged, he forced
King Constantin II to submit to his rule,
thus earning the English King the hatred
of Scots and Vikings; the former due to
his conquering of their land; the latter
due to his vast increase in power. This
would prove to be the event that united
the enemies of England under the same
banner. King Olaf of Dublin had been
ejected from his throne in York in 927,
and was waiting for the chance to get
his vengeance on the man who expelled
him. Seeking to gain the allegiance of
Constantin- by marrying his daughter,
he set sail for Brunanburgh, near the
border between modern day England and
Wales.
The alliance of Englaland’s enemies was
routed and, according to William of
Malmesbury’s Anglo-Saxon Chronicle¸
“never yet as many people before this
were killed by sword’s edge”: historians
estimate that of the 6,000 Vikings and
Scots, 4,500 were killed by Æthelstan’s
Englishmen. After the defeat of the
invaders, “the fields of Britain were
consolidated into one, there was peace
everywhere”-The King would make sure
that the unity of his new country would
remain.
A map of the four main
kingdoms in Englaland. Each
ruled by their own royal
family and government.
1...,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36 38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46
Powered by FlippingBook