Ceawlin (also spelled Ceaulin and Caelin, died ca. 593) was a King of Wessex. He may have been the son of Cynric of Wessex (-560) and the grandson of Cerdic of Wessex, whom the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle represents as the leader of the first group of Saxons to come to the land which later became Wessex. Ceawlin was active during the last years of the Anglo-Saxon invasion, with little of southern England remaining in the control of the native Britons by the time of his death.
The chronology of Ceawlin's life is highly uncertain. The historical accuracy and dating of many of the events in the later Anglo-Saxon Chronicle have been called into question, and his reign is variously listed as lasting seven, seventeen, or thirty-two years. The Chronicle records several battles of Ceawlin's between the years 556 and 592, including the first record of a battle between different groups of Anglo-Saxons, and indicates that under Ceawlin Wessex acquired significant territory, some of which was later to be lost to other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Ceawlin is also named as one of the eight "bretwaldas", a title given in the Chronicle to eight rulers who had overlordship over southern Britain, although the extent of Ceawlin's control is not known.
Ceawlin died in 593, having been deposed the year before, possibly by his successor, Ceol. He is recorded in various sources as having two sons, Cutha and Cuthwine, but the genealogies in which this information is found are known to be unreliable.
Ultimately, the kingdom of Wessex occupied the southwest of England, but the initial stages in this expansion are not apparent from the sources. Cerdic's landing, whenever it is to be dated, seems to have been near the Isle of Wight, and the annals record the conquest of the island in 530. In 534, according to the Chronicle, Cerdic died and his son Cynric took the throne; the Chronicle adds that "they gave the Isle of Wight to their nephews, Stuf and Wihtgar". These records are in direct conflict with Bede, who states that the Isle of Wight was settled by Jutes, not Saxons; the archaeological record is somewhat in favour of Bede on this.
- AD 556: Battle of Beran Byrg
- AD 568: Battle of Wibbandum
- AD 571: Battle of Bedcanford
- AD 577: Battle of The Lower Severn
- AD 584: Battle of Fethan Leag
Royal Lineage Family of Kent
- Cerdic of Wessex (-534), d. 534, earliest known Saxon ancestor
- Cynric of Wessex (-560), son of Cerdic of Wessex (-534).
- Caewlin of Wessex (-593), son of Cynric of Wessex (-560).
- Cuthwine of Wessex (c565-), son of Caewlin of Wessex (-593).
- Cutha Cathwulf (592-), son of Cuthwine of Wessex (c565-).
- Ceolwald of Wessex, son of Cutha Cathwulf (592-).
- Cenred of Wessex, King of Wessex and son of Ceolwald of Wessex,
- Ingild of Wessex (-718), royal prince and son of Cenred of Wessex
- Eoppa of Wessex, son of Ingild of Wessex. Lifespan (c707-c770)
- Eafa of Wessex, son of Eoppa. Lifespan (c720-c790)
- Ealhmund of Kent, son of Eafa, ruled briefly as King of Kent in the year 784. Lifespan Estimate (c745-c810)
- Egbert, King of Wessex (c769-839) son of Ealhmund of Kent, he was able to wrest control of both Wessex and Kent from the King of Mercia (c 790-839) and back to the royal family of Wessex.
- Æthelwulf, King of Wessex (c795-858), helped his father conquer the Kingdom of Kent in 825 and inherited his fathers throne in 839. While king he repelled several Viking invasions and undertook a pilgrimage to Rome in 855. Several of his sons succeeded to his thone in turn until the youngest, thru which the royal line continued.
- Alfred the Great, King of Anglo-Saxons (ruled 871-899), son of King Æthelwulf of Wessex and Osburga.
Anglo Saxon Chronicles
- Succession: Ethelwulf was the son of Egbert, Egbert of Ealmund, Ealmund of Eafa, Eafa of Eoppa, Eoppa of Ingild, Ingild of Cenred (Ina of Cenred, Cuthburga of Cenred, and Cwenburga of Cenred), Cenred of Ceolwald, Ceolwald of Cuthwulf, Cuthwulf of Cuthwine, Cuthwine of Celm (Caewlin), Celm of Cynric, Cynric of Creoda, Creoda of Cerdic.
- AD 556: This year Cynric and Ceawlin fought with the Britons at Beranbury.
- AD 560: This year Ceawlin undertook the government of the West-Saxons; and Ella, on the death of Ida, that of the Northumbrians; each of whom reigned thirty winters
- AD 568: This year Ceawlin, and Cutha the brother of Ceawlin, fought with Ethelbert, and pursued him into Kent. And they slew two aldermen at Wimbledon, Oslake and Cnebba.
- AD 577: This year Cuthwin and Ceawlin fought with the Britons, and slew three kings, Commail, and Condida, and Farinmail, on the spot that is called Derham, and took from them three cities, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath.
- AD 584: This year Ceawlin and Cutha fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Fretherne. There Cutha was slain. And Ceawlin took many towns, as well as immense booty and wealth. He then retreated to his own people.
- AD 591: This year there was a great slaughter of Britons at Wanborough; Ceawlin was driven from his kingdom, and Ceolric reigned six years.
- AD 593: This year died Ceawli n, and Cwichelm, and Cryda; and Ethelfrith succeeded to the kingdom of the Northumbrians. He was the son of Ethelric; Ethelric of Ida.
|Cuthwine of Wessex (c565-)||565 Wessex|
|Caewlin of Wessex (-593)||593 Wessex|
|Cutha of Wessex (c540-584)||540 Wessex||584 Fretherne, Wessex|
- Ceawlin of Wessex - Wikipedia
- House of Wessex - Family Tree Chart on Wikipedia
- Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - Pt 1 A.D. 250-750 - Online Medieval & Classical Library
- Yorke, Barbara (1990). Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England. London: Seaby. ISBN 1-85264-027-8.
- Kirby, D.P. (1992). The Earliest English Kings. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09086-5.