They then besieged Guthrum for two weeks, starving him into surrender. The Battle. Actium Octavian’s naval defeat of Antony and Cleopatra (31 B.C.). From there they marched in force to Edington, where Alfred challenged Guthrun to do battle. By 878, after a decade of war between the pagan Great Heathen Army of Vikings and the Christian Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England, Wessex was the only remaining Anglo-Saxon kingdom in Britannia. The West Saxons cheering before the battle. Alfred encouraged settlement of these towns, which acted as a string of border fortresses, armed and held at the ready against possible Danish incursions. A smaller Danish force broke and fell back to their fortress at Chippenham, and the Saxons killed everyone who did not make it back in the fortress. [33] Although most early historians had sited the battle as in the Edington, Wiltshire area, the significant interest in the subject encouraged many antiquarians to dig up Alfredian sites and also to propose alternatives for the location of the battle. One modern estimate of the size of the forces gives Alfred's army a total of 2900 men, while Guthrum commanded 3500. Battle of Edington -- (May 878) was a battle which took place near Edington (then known as "Ethandun") in the county of Wiltshire in South west England. A defeat at Ashdown had paused, but not halted their advance. Encyclopedias almanacs transcripts and maps. Let us know. Only the victory of Alfred the Great at Edington saved Anglo-Saxon independence. UNVEILED BY THE 7TH MARQUESS OF BATH 5TH NOVEMBER 2000. Previously, the Vikings had come to raid and settle around the coast; this force came to conquer. Battle of Edington, (6–12 May 878). [23][24], The reasoning to support the Eðandune of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Ethandun of Asser's Life being Edington in Wiltshire is derived from a trail of information from ancient manuscripts. Skorpa then rode in between the shield walls and threw Iseult's severed head at Uhtred, taunting him about showing no mercy. The king was lucky to escape, taking refuge with a handful of followers in the depths of the Somerset marshes at Athelney. [4] In 836, Ecgberht of Wessex met in battle a force of thirty-five ships at Carhampton,[4] and in 838 he faced a combined force of Vikings and Cornishmen at Hingston Down in Cornwall. Under Guthrum, they pushed into Wessex from the south and east. The first major battle of the English Civil War was fought 23 October 1642, Parliament was led by the Earl of Essex, the royalists by Charles I and Prince Rupert, The battle was indecisive but both sides claimed victory, In the night of 4 Nov/5 Nov Guy Fawkes is discovered in the cellars under the Palace of Westminster with gunpowder, part of a plot to kill James I during the state opening of Parliament, This sickly monarch died at the age of 16, leaving the throne to his elder sister. Connect with us on Facebook. Edington, battle of, 878. The Oxford Companion to British History.

After the victory, when the Danes had taken refuge in the fortress, the West Saxons removed all food that the Danes might be able to capture in a sortie, and waited. "Edington, battle of The new king benefited from a lull in the onslaught until 876, when Danish attacks resumed in earnest. The fact that his army could not defend the fortified Chippenham, even in "an age... as yet untrained in siege warfare"[10] casts great doubt on its ability to defeat the Danes in an open field, unaided by fortifications. After the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of East Anglia, Mercia, and Northumbria had been conquered by the Danish army, Wessex in southern England held out against the invaders. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Before its destruction this version had been transcribed and annotated; it is this transcription on which modern translations are based. It was under Alfred that the Viking threat was contained.

A ferocious battle ensued as the two shield walls crashed against one another, fighting all day. "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: An Electronic Edition (Vol 1) literary edition", "A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8: Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds", "The Electronic Sawyer an online version of the revised edition of Sawyer's Anglo-Saxon Charters section one [S 1-1602]". By the terms of the peace agreement, known as the Peace of Wedmore, Guthrun agreed to withdraw to territory already under Danish control, that is, behind the Roman Watling Street. BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR. They already held the north and east of the country. Alfred gave a rousing speech to his men, urging them to fight against the rapacious Danes and show no mercy. He chased the Danes back to Chippenham, and trapped them within his own fortress there. [9] It is to this period that the story of King Alfred burning the cakes belongs.[12].

In the late 9th century the Danes had slowly but surely infiltrated the British Isles and pushed back the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants. For the next several months, Alfred launched raids into his own kingdom, now overrrun by Guthrum's warriors. Uhtred went berserk, climbing over the Danish shield wall and using a javelin thrown to him by Father Beocca to impale Skorpa through the chest. The Battle of Edington. With his small warband, a fraction of his army at Chippenham, Alfred could not hope to retake the town from the Danes, who had in previous battles (for example at Reading in 871) proved themselves adept at defending fortified positions.

[3] After the sacking of Lindisfarne the raids around the coasts were somewhat sporadic till the 830s, when the attacks became more sustained. [6] By 870, the northmen had conquered the kingdoms of Deira and East Anglia, and in 871 they attacked Wessex. Even if Alfred had caught up with the Danish force, it is unlikely that he could have accomplished anything. [8] His army settled there and he is not mentioned after 876, when "[the Danes] were engaged in ploughing and making a living for themselves". Categories: 878 | Anglo-Saxon England | History of Wiltshire | Viking battles, Alfred the Great had been hiding in a marsh throught the Winter. THIS STONE, PRESENTED BY F. SWANTON AND SONS, NORTH FARM, WEST OVERTON, IS A SARSEN STONE SIMILAR TO THOSE AT KINGSTON DEVERILL, THE AREA WHERE KING ALFRED RALLIED SAXON LEVIES FROM HAMPSHIRE, WILTSHIRE AND SOMERSET TO MARCH AGAINST GUTHRUM'S VIKING ARMY BASED AT CHIPPENHAM. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. This started in 875 when Guthrum's army “eluded the West Saxon levies and got into Wareham”. [8] He made several attacks on Wessex, starting in 875, and in the last nearly captured Alfred in his winter fortress at Chippenham.

There he built a fort that he used as a base for guerrilla warfare, while building up his forces. Historica Wiki is a FANDOM Games Community. Surely, even at a distance of 1100+ years, these numbers are pure speculation. [46] The following year the army went to East Anglia, where it settled. Britain Express is a labour of love by David Ross, an avid historian, photographer, and 'Britain-ophile'.

File:Asser facsimile.png The primary sources for the location of the battle are Asser's Life of King Alfred, which names the place as "Ethandun" and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which has Eðandune. Northampton, battle of [19][44] It is possible that the enforced conversion was an attempt by Alfred to lock Guthrum into a Christian code of ethics, hoping it would ensure the Danes' compliance with any treaties agreed to. . There, with a few of his supporters, he held out through the winter., "Edington, battle of When spring came, Alfred sent out a call to his fyrd, or army, to assemble at an unknown place called Egbert's Stone. Alfred then called as many of the fyrdmen of Somerset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire as he could, and they assembled at Egbert's Stone over the course of three days. : NCE, 15] However, the date of retrieval is often important. Fought on 14 October at what is now Battle (Sussex), where William the Conqueror ordered the construct…, Battle of Northampton BBC Radio 4 Archive Programme - In Our Time:, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, About Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core, 'Woeful Danes', Michinhampton, Gloucestershire. ", A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8: Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds (1965), Asser's Life of King Alfred: Asserius De Rebus Gestis Ælfredi, Charter S.646 referring to a meeting held at Edington in 957 by the king's councillors, Charter S.765 giving land from Edington to Romsey Abbey in 968. ." [47], Also in 879, according to Asser, another Viking army sailed up the River Thames and wintered at Fulham. Peace was agreed and the country was divided. Simon Adams is a historian and writer living and working in London. [7] So he retreated to the south, preparing himself and his forces for another battle, and then defeated Guthrum and his host. The first Viking raid on Anglo-Saxon England is thought to have been between AD 786 and 802 at Portland in the Kingdom of Wessex, when three Norse ships arrived and killed King Beorhtric's reeve. In the 9th century, the Danes had been steadily invading England, pushing and prodding the Anglo-Saxon residents. Updates? The battle soon resulted in the Treaty of Wedmore later the same year. After 14 days of starvation the Danes sued for peace. By the end of the 9th century all of the Anglo-Danish rulers were minting coins too. When Spring arrived, he summoned his forces and marched to Edington, where he challenged the Northmen to a battle.

[25] He left a manor called Eðandune to his wife in his Will. January 13, 2020 Hunter Wallace Britain, Christianity, History, Identity 3. Eventually his people re-grouped and raised an Anglo-Saxon army and defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Edington. Alfred’s Wessex controlled the south and west, Viking Danelaw the north and east.