King Æthelberht of Wessex (or Ethelbert; Old English: Æþelberht, meaning "magnificent noble") was the King of Kent from 858 and of Wessex from 860 until his death in 865. He was the third son of Æthelwulf of Wessex (c795-858) and his first wife, Osburga (-bef856). In 855 he became under-king of Kent while his father, Æthelwulf, visited Rome. His brotherÆthelbald of Wessex (-860) was left in charge of the West Saxons. After his father's death in 858 he succeeded him as king of Kent and the other eastern parts of the kingdom. When Æthelbald died childless in 860, the kingship of the West Saxons also passed to Æthelberht.
Like his father and brother he was also crowned at Kingston upon Thames. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes Æthelberht's reign as one of good harmony and lasting peace. Though this was true of internal affairs, the Vikings remained a great threat, unsuccessfully storming Winchester and ravaging eastern Kent.
One development was that Wessex and its recent south-eastern conquests became a united kingdom. Unlike his predecessors, Æthelberht did not appoint another member of his family as under-king of Kent. A charter issued in the first year of Æthelberht's reign reflects an extraordinary new kind of assembly: it was the first charter of a West Saxon king to include a full complement both of West Saxon and of Kentish witnesses.
Æthelberht died in 865 and was succeeded by his brother Æthelred of Wessex (c847-871). He was buried at Sherborne Abbey in [[Dorsetshire] beside his brother Æthelbald. (See House of Wessex family tree).
|#g1: Offspring of Æthelwulf of Wessex (c795-858) and Osburga (-bef856)|
|Æthelstan of Kent (-c852)||830 England, United Kingdom (Wessex)||852 England, United Kingdom (Wessex)|
|Æthelswith of Wessex (c838-888)||838 England, United Kingdom (Wessex)||888 Pavia, Italy||Burgred of Mercia (c825-874)|
|Æthelbald of Wessex (-860)||833 Wessex||20 December 860 Sherborne, Dorsetshire, England||Judith (844-870)|
|Æthelberht of Wessex (-865)||836 Wessex||865 England|
|Æthelred of Wessex (c847-871)||847 Wessex||23 April 871 Wessex||Wulfthryth of Wessex (c840-)|
|Alfred the Great (849-899)||23 April 849 Wantage, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom||26 October 899 Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom||Ealhswith (c852-905)|
Sherborne Abbey Memorial
- Ethelberht of Wessex - Wikipedia
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- Nelson, Janet L. (2004). "Æthelwulf (d. 858), king of the West Saxons". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39264. Retrieved 17 April 2013. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
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- Ortenberg, Veronica (2010). "'The King from Overseas: Why did Æthelstan Matter in Tenth-Century Continental Affairs?". In Rollason, David; Leyser, Conrad; Williams, Hannah. England and the Continent in the Tenth Century:Studies in Honour of Wilhelm Levison (1876–1947). Brepols. ISBN 9782503532080.
- Stenton, Frank (1971). Anglo-Saxon England (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280139-5.
Williams, Ann (1991). "Æthelbald king of Wessex 855-60". In Williams, Ann; Smyth, Alfred P.; Kirby, D. P. A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain. Seaby. p. 18. ISBN 1 85264 047 2.
- Williams, Ann (1991). "Æthelwulf king of Wessex 839-58". In Williams, Ann; Smyth, Alfred P.; Kirby, D. P. A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain. Seaby. p. 35. ISBN 1 85264 047 2.
- See also List of English monarchs