Cynric was King of Wessex from 534 to 560. Everything known about him comes from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. There he is stated to have been the son of Cerdic of Wessex (-534), and also (in the regnal list in the preface) to have been the son of Cerdic's son, Creoda. They played a key role in leading the Saxon tribes in conquering Britain in the sixth century AD. (See House of Wessex family tree).
During his reign it is said that the Saxons expanded into Wiltshire against strong resistance and captured Searobyrig or Old Sarum, near Salisbury, in 552. In 556 he and his son Ceawlin won a battle against the Britons at Beranburh, now identified as Barbury Castle. If these dates are accurate, then it is unlikely that the earlier entries in the Chronicle, starting with his arrival in Britain with his father Cerdic in 495, are correct. David Dumville has suggested that his true regnal dates are 554-581.
Some sources list Cerdic as the grandfather of Cynric, but many others show them going to war together.
Anglo Saxon Chronicles
- AD 514: This year came the West-Saxons into Britain, with three ships, at the place that is called Cerdic's-ore. And Stuff and Wihtgar fought with the Britons, and put them to flight.
- AD 519: This year Cerdic and Cynric undertook the government of the West-Saxons; the same year they fought with the Britons at a place now called Charford. From that day have reigned the children of the West-Saxon kings.
- AD 527: This year Cerdic and Cynric fought with the Britons in the place that is called Cerdic's-ley.
- AD 530: This year Cerdic and Cynric took the isle of Wight, and slew many men in Carisbrook.
- AD 534: This year died Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons. Cynric his son succeeded to the government, and reigned afterwards twenty-six winters. And they gave to their two nephews, Stuff and Wihtgar, the whole of the Isle of Wight.
- AD 538: This year the sun was eclipsed, fourteen days before the calends of March, from before morning until nine.
- AD 540: This year the sun was eclipsed on the twelfth day before the calends of July; and the stars showed themselves full nigh half an hour over nine.
- AD 552: This year Cynric fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Sarum, and put them to flight. Cerdic was the father of Cynric, Cerdic was the son of Elesa, Elesa of Esla, Esla of Gewis, Gewis of Wye, Wye of Frewin, Frewin of Frithgar, Frithgar of Brand, Brand of Balday, Balday of Woden.
- 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.
|Offspring of Cynric of Wessex and unknown parent|
|Caewlin of Wessex (-593)||593 Wessex|
|Cutha of Wessex (c540-584)||540 Wessex||584 Fretherne, Wessex|
- Caewlin of Wessex (-593) - first son (born c. 535), inherited the throne of King of Wessex in 560) from his father.
- Cutha of Wessex (c540-584) - son, fought several battles, died in battle in 584. Possible father of Ceol of Wessex who usurped the Kingdom.
- Cynric 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.