Cutha Cathwulf was the third son of Cuthwine and consequently a member of the House of Wessex. Although a member of the direct male line from Cynric to Egbert, (see House of Wessex family tree), Cathwulf was never king. He is said to have been born in c. 592 and his death date is unknown.
His brothers were Cynebald and Cedda; his son was Ceolwald of Wessex; nothing more of his life is known.
Due to the similarity of his name to his father's name, and the shadowy nature of early Anglo-Saxon genealogies, it appears that he was often confused with his father Cuthwine. For example, Caedwalla was said to be the son of Cedda and the grandson of Cutha, where Cutha here presumably refers to Cuthwine, since Cedda is also said to be the brother of Cathwulf, the name by which Cutha Cathwulf was more commonly known.
His family lost the throne of Wessex in some terrible battles circa 592-593 AD when Cutha Cathwulf was barely a baby and his father's family fled into exile. It is possible that his unnamed mother died at this time.
Move to Devon
The exiled family settled in the Upper Thames region, but by 620 it was too crowded for the three brothers to live together and so Cutha was forced to move to the Devon region. This deduction is given that he later turns up in what is now east Devon, on the western marches of Wessex and in constant conflict with Dumnonia. This was a Celtic tribe that inhabited Cornwall, although in Cathwulf's time their sphere of influence was much greater, extending over most of what is now Devon as well. The chronology of English dominance over Cornwall is unclear, but inevitably at about this time Cornwall came into conflict with the westerly-expanding kingdom of Wessex. There are no recorded charters or legal agreements showing Cornwall as part of Wessex. Furthermore, there is little economic, military, social, cultural or archaeological evidence that Wessex established control over Cornwall, certainly not in those early days.
Marriage and Family
It is known that Cathwulf married a Dumnonian princess Gwynhafar, almost certainly a daughter of Clemen ap Bledric, as part of a (temporary, at least) alliance - probably the one mentioned above by Geoffrey of Monmouth, or maybe an earlier one. The marriage was perhaps unsuccessful, as he is believed to only have had one son, Ceolwald of Wessex.
Royal Lineage Family of Kent
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles compiled at the time of Alfred the Great generally agree as to the royal lineage of the early English kings through the House of Wessex. They show that lineage as follows:
- Cerdic of Wessex, d. 534, earliest known Saxon ancestor
- Cynric of Wessex, son of Cerdic of Wessex.
- Ceawlin of Wessex, son of Cynric of Wessex.
- Cuthwine of Wessex (c565-), son of Ceawlin of Wessex.
- Cutha Cathwulf (592-), son of Cuthwine of Wessex (c565-).
- Ceolwald of Wessex, son of Cutha Cathwulf.
- 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, Celm of Cynric, Cynric of Creoda, Creoda of Cerdic.
|Ceolwald of Wessex||Wessex||688 Rome|
|Cutha Cathwulf (592-)||592 Wessex||Gwynhafar of Dumnonia|
- Cutha Cathwulf - Wikipedia
- House of Wessex - Family Tree Chart on Wikipedia
- Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - Pt 1 A.D. 450-750 - Online Medieval & Classical Library
- Kelley, David H., "The House of Aethelred", in Brooks, Lindsay L., ed., Studies in Genealogy and Family History in Tribute to Charles Evans. Salt Lake City: The Association for the Promotion of Scholarship in Genealogy, Occasional Publication, No. 2, pp. 63–93.