597 - 1066
- The Roman brand of Christianity is brought to Britain for the first time by
St. Augustine, the missionary sent from Pope Gregory to convert the Saxons.
Augustine lands in Kent and is welcomed by King Aethelbert whose Frankish Queen
is already a Christian practicing at her church of St. Martin's, Canterbury.
Augustine converts Aethelbert and his court to Christianity and founds a
monastery at Canterbury. Commencement of the erection of a monastery at St.
Augustine's, Canterbury, built from the Roman ruins of the old city. Death of
King Ceol of Wessex. He is succeeded by his brother, Ceolwulf.
598 - Kings Mynyddog Mwynfawr of
Din-Eidyn & Cynan of Gododdin ride south to fight King Aethelfrith's
Bernician army against enormous odds at the Battle of Catterick. The British are
victorious. Probable expansion of North Rheged to fill the vacuum left in North
602 - St. Augustine of Canterbury
meets with the Welsh Bishops at Aust near Chepstow. He accuses them of acting
contrary to Church teachings, failing to keep Easter at the prescribed Roman
time and not administering baptism according to the Roman rite. He also insists
that they help in the conversion of their enemy, the Saxons, and look to
Canterbury as their spiritual centre. The Welsh tactfully decline. Augustine is
proclaimed Archbishop of Canterbury and commences the erection of his
604 - The Welsh Bishops meet for a
second time with St. Augustine of Canterbury. He neglects to rise to greet them,
lectures them again and insists they submit to him. The Welsh send him packing.
They refuse to recognise the authority of a church within their enemies'
territory under such a disrespectful bishop. The See of Rochester is established
and Justus appointed its first bishop. Death of King Sledda of Essex. He is
succeeded by his son, Saebert. King Saebert is persuaded to convert to
Christianity through the intervention of his uncle, King Aethelbert of Kent. The
See of Essex is founded. King Aethelbert of Kent founds the cathedral church of
St. Paul in London. St. Mellitus is appointed the first Saxon Bishop of London
(& Essex). King Aethelfrith of Bernicia invades Deira and kills its king,
Aethelric. Prince Edwin, son of the late King Aelle of Deira (and possibly
nephew of King Aethelric) flees to the Court of King Iago of Gwynedd.
Aethelfrith marries King Aelle's daughter, Acha, and takes the kingdom.
605 - Birth of Prince (later King)
Oswald of Bernicia. Death of Bishop Augustine of Canterbury. He is buried in St.
Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury and later revered as a saint. He is succeeded by
St. Laurence of Canterbury.
606 - Death of King Pybba of
Mercia. He is succeeded by his kinsman, Ceorl.
611 - Death of King Ceolwulf of
Wessex. He is succeeded by his nephew, Cynegils. King Cynegils shares power to
some extent with his eldest son, Cwichelm, who may have been given Upper Wessex.
613 - King Aethelfrith of Bernicia
invades Gwynedd in order to route out his old enemy, King Edwin of Deira. A
united British force (Gwynedd, Powys, Pengwern and Dumnonian warriors) clashes
with his army at the Battle of Chester. King Iago of Gwynedd and King Selyf
Sarffgadau of Powys are both killed but the victor is unclear. The Battle of
Bangor-is-Coed follows in quick succession. King Bledric of Dumnonia is killed
in the fighting and 1000 monks are massacred by the Northumbrians. King Edwin of
Deira flees to the Court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. Birth of Prince (later
King) Oswiu of Bernicia. The stone Abbey Church at St. Augustine's Abbey,
Canterbury is completed and dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul.
614 - King Cynegils & his son,
Prince Cwichelm, of Wessex invade Dumnonia and defeat the local army (possibly
under a King Clemen) at the Battle of Bindon. Birth of Princess (later Abbess
& Saint) Hilda of Deira.
c.615 - King Aethelfrith of
Bernicia visits King Raedwald of East Anglia at Rendlesham and persuades him to
hand over the former's old enemy, King Edwin of Deira. In return, Raedwald is
promised rich rewards, yet war is
threatened if he fails to comply. Raedwald's wife
however, reminds him of his obligations as Edwin's protector and the King
begrudgingly declines the offer. King Edwin of Deira marries Princess Cwenburga,
daughter of King Ceorl of Mercia.
616 - King Edwin of Deira, with
the help of King Raedwald of East Anglia, conquers Northumbria at the Battle of
the River Idle. King Aethelfrith of Bernicia & Deira is killed in the
fighting and his children are forced to flee north. His heir, Prince Eanfrith,
seeks refuge with his mother's family, probably in Gododdin, and then moves
further north into Pictland; Princes Oswald, Oswiu and others escape to Court of
King Eochaid Buide of Dalriada where they are converted to Christianity by the
monks of Iona. Death of Kings Aethelbert of Kent and Saebert of Essex. The
former is succeeded by his pagan son, Eadbald, who promptly marries his
step-mother, in accordance with pre-Christian custom. King Eadbald loses
overlordship of Essex, where the new kings, Saebert's sons, Sexred, Saeward and
Sexbald, throw out the Christian missionaries and return to paganism. Bishop
(& Saint) Mellitus of London (& Essex) flees with Bishop Justus of
Rochester to France. King Eadbald of Kent is persuaded to convert to
Christianity by St. Laurence, Archbishop of Canterbury.
617 - King Edwin of Deira invades
and conquers Elmet. King Ceretic of Elmet is killed in the fighting. Death of
King Raedwald of East Anglia. He was probably buried in the Great Ship
discovered in the Royal East Anglian Cemetery at Sutton Hoo. Shortlived
succession of his brother, Eni.
618 - Raedwald's son. Eorpwald,
takes the East Anglian throne from his uncle, King Eni.
619 - Death of Archbishop Laurence
of Canterbury. He is buried at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury and is later
revered as a saint. He is succeeded by St. Mellitus.
620 - The church of St. Mary is
built at the Royal Abbey complex of St. Augustine's, Canterbury.
c.620 - Angles probably under King
Edwin of Deira invade South Rheged, and expel King Llywarch Hen who flees to
Powys. Edwin's armies also move north into Southern Strathclyde and Gododdin.
Prince Eanfrith, heir of Bernicia, marries a Pictish Royal Princess and fathers
Prince (later King) Talorcan (I) of the Picts.
c.623 - King Edwin of Deira is
baptised by Prince Rhun of North Rheged, according to the Historia Brittonum.
This was probably at the Royal Court of Gwynedd. He soon relapses back to
624 - Death of Archbishop Mellitus
of Canterbury. He is buried at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury and is later
revered as a saint. He is succeeded by Bishop (& Saint) Justus of Rochester.
625 - King Edwin of Deira marries
Princess Ethleburga of Kent. As a Christian, she brings her personal chaplain,
Paulinus, north with her. St. Paulinus has already been consecrated Bishop of
York. With the help of Pope Boniface, the new Queen encourages her husband to
convert to Christianity.
626 - Death of King Ceorl of
Mercia. He is succeeded by Penda, son of his predecessor. Prince Cwichelm of
Wessex sends an assassin to murder King Edwin of Deira. Edwin is saved from the
assassin's dagger by the timely intervention of one of his thanes who is killed
in the process. Edwin's daughter, Eanflaed, is born the same night and he
promises to give her for baptism to St. Paulinus, if he is victorious over the
instigator of this crime. Edwin discovers Cwichelm's treachery and marches on
Wessex. Prince Cwichelm and his father, King Cynegils of Wessex, march north to
meet the Northumbrians at the Battle of Win Hill & Lose Hill, possibly with
the aid of King Penda of Mercia. Despite their army's superior numbers, the
Wessex duo are defeated and flee south. Edwin keeps his promise to St. Paulinus.
c.626 - The rivalry between King
Edwin of Deira and King Cadwallon of Gwynedd, which has grown since childhood,
reaches a climax. Edwin invades the Isle of Man and then Anglesey. Cadwallon is
defeated in battle and is besieged on Puffin Island. He eventually flees to
627 - St. Paulinus converts King
Edwin of Deira back to his lapsed Christianity at the Royal Court of Yeavering.
The King is baptised in Paulinus' proto-Cathedral in York and persuades his
sub-monarch, King Eorpwald of East Anglia to follow suit. Death of Archbishop
Justus of Canterbury.
c.627 - Possible building of the
Western section of the Wansdyke, by King Cynegils of Wessex, in an attempt to
counter aggression from King Penda of Mercia.
628 - King Cynegils and his son,
Prince Cwichelm, of Wessex clash with King Penda of Mercia at the Battle of
Cirencester. Cynegils' son, Cenwalh, may have married King Penda's sister as
part of the subsequent peace treaty by which the Mercians take control of the
area. King Penda probably establishes the sub-Kingdom of the Hwicce at this
time. Anti-Christian uprising in East Anglia. King Eorpwald is killed by one
Ricbert, and his half-brother, Sigebert, flees to France. Ricbert takes the
throne. The exiled Prince Oswald of Northumbria accompanies King Connad Cerr of
Dalriada to Ireland to fight against Maelcaich and the Irish Cruithne at the
Battle of Fid Eoin.
629 - St. Paulinus meets Blecca,
the Praefectus Civitatis of Lincoln, and converts him to Christianity.
630 - The West Saxons invade
Gwent. King Meurig defeats them, with the help of his aging father, at the
Battle of Pont-y-Saeson.
c.630 - King Penda of Mercia
besieges Exeter (possibly held by King Clemen of Dumnonia). King Cadwallon of
Gwynedd lands nearby, from his Deiran imposed exile in Brittany. He negotiates
an alliance with King Penda of Mercia and a united British and Saxon force moves
north to re-take Gwynedd. The Deirans are defeated at the Battle of the Long
Mountain and Cadwallon chases them back to Northumbria. The British ransack
Northumbria and bring the kingdom to its knees. St. Felix arrives in Britain
from Burgundy with the intention of evengelising the Angles. He stays a while at
631 - Death of King Ricbert of
East Anglia. The half-brother of his predecessor, King Eorpwald, returns from
exile in France and takes the throne as the Christian King Sigebert. With the
new King's encouragement, St. Felix is sent by Archbishop Honorius of Canterbury
to evangelise his people. St. Felix establishes his see at Dunwich.
c.631 - King Edwin of Deira
re-fortifies the City of York, probably including the building of the so-called Anglian
632 - The West Saxons cross into
Wales and defeat King Idris of Meirionydd on the Severn.
633 - King Edwin of Deira and his
Northumbrian army meet the British, under King Cadwallon of Gwynedd, in the
Battle of Hatfield Chase. King Edwin is killed in the fighting and Cadwallon is
victorious. Edwin's cousin, Osric, succeeds to the throne of Deira and Prince
Eanfrith of Bernicia returns from Pictland to claim his rightful crown. Both are
pagans. St. Paulinus, Bishop of York, flees south and is made Bishop of
Rochester. Cadwallon is later besieged at York by King Osric. The former is
634 - Despite suing for peace,
King Cadwallon of Gwynedd slays both King Eanfrith of Bernicia and Osric of
Deira rather than negotiate with them. Eanfrith's half-brother, Oswald succeeds,
as son of Aethelfrith of Bernicia and Acha of Deira, to a united Northumbria. He
is given a force of men (including monks from Iona) by King Domnall Brecc of
Dalriada and marches south to claim his inheritance. He clashes with King
Cadwallon of Gwynedd at the Battle of Heavenfield. Despite having superior
numbers, Cadwallon is killed, and King Oswald victorious. The former Queen
Ethelburga of Deira packs up her infant sons and step-grandson and flees to
France for fear that, as offspring of her husband, King Edwin, Oswald will have
them murdered. The Deiran Royal Court at Yeavering is probably abandoned at this
time. Oswald re-introduces Christianity to Northumbria, though James the Deacon
is still ministering to the people of Swaledale. The chief among the monks who
accompanied the King from Dalriada attempts to convert the Northumbrians, but
meets with little success. Oswald calls on Iona to send an evangelical Bishop.
King Sigebert of East Anglia retires to the monastery of Burgh Castle and
entrusts the kingdom to his cousin, Egric, who had already been deputising in
part of the country. St. Birinus arrives as a bishop from Genoa to convert the
people of Mercia. He, however, decides to halt in Wessex instead. He preaches to
King Cynegils of Wessex near Cholsey. Birth of St. Cuthbert in Tweedale and St.
Wilfred in Northumbria.
635 - King Penda of Mercia aims to
gain control of Middle Anglia and therefore attacks his rivals in East Anglia.
Ex-King Sigebert is forced to leave his monastery in order to join King Egric of
East Anglia in battle against the invaders. Sigebert and Egric are both killed
in the fighting. Sigebert is later revered as a saint. Egric's brother, Anna,
succeeds to the East Anglian throne. St. Aidan, Bishop of Scattery Island,
arrives to evangelise Northumbria and founds the Bishopric and Priory of
Lindisfarne. Under pressure from King Oswald of Northumbria, King Cynegils of
Wessex, is persuaded to allow St. Birinus to convert him to Christianity.
Cynegils' eldest son, Cwichelm, resists. Cynegils is baptised at
Dorchester-on-Thames and gives Birinus the town for his cathedral. Birinus is
made the first Bishop of Wessex. Oswald acts as godfather and agrees to enter
into a strategic alliance with Wessex against Mercia. The agreement is cemented
by the marriage of King Oswald to King Cynegils' daughter, Princess Cyniburg.
c.635 - St. Finnian and St. Aebbe,
half-sister of King Oswald of Northumbria, found the monastery of Coldsbury at
636 - St. Birinus converts Prince
Cwichelm of Wessex to Christianity. The latter dies soon afterward. He is
supposedly buried at Scutchamer Knob in East Hendred.
637 - King Oswald of Northumbria
probably sends troops to Ireland to assist King Domnall Brecc of Dalriada in his
alliance with King Congal Caech of Ulster during the Irish dynastic wars. They
are defeated at the Battle of Mag Rath.
638 - King Oswald and his
Northumbrian army besiege and conquer Edinburgh. His half-brother, Prince Oswiu
of Bernicia, marries Princess Rhiainfelt, heiress of North Rheged. Northumbria
probably embraces North Rheged in a peaceful takeover. Oswiu may have been
sub-King there for a time.
c.640 - St. Maildulph settles in
640 - Death of King Eadbald of
Kent. He is succeeded by his sons, Earconbert as overking and Eormenred as King
of West Kent. St. Aebbe moves her monastery from St. Abbs to Coldingham Priory.
Foundation of Hartlepool Abbey by Princess Hieu (of Ireland) who becomes the
641 - Prince Oswiu of Bernicia
conquers Gododdin as far north as Manau, on behalf of his half-brother, King
642 - King Penda of Mercia
commands a united British and Mercian force against King Oswald of Northumbria.
The British contingent includes the army of Kings Cadafael Cadomedd of Gwynedd,
Eluan of Powys and Cynddylan of Pengwern. Oswald is killed at the Battle of
Oswestry, as is Prince Eowa of Mercia, probably sub-King of Wrocenset. Oswald is
buried at Bardney Abbey and is later regarded as a saint. He is succeeded by his
half-brother, Oswiu, in Bernicia, but he is found to be unacceptable to the
Deirans. The Mercians become dominant in Midland Britain.
643 - King Oswiu of Bernicia sends
to Kent for Princess Eanflaed, daughter of King Edwin of Deira. She sails north
to Bamburgh and the two are married. Despite this, Oswiu still fails to secure
Deira. King Penda of Mercia seizes control of Lindsey and Elmet. Death of King
Cynegils of Wessex. He is succeeded by his son, Cenwalh, who promptly repudiates
his Royal Mercian wife.
644 - Despite armed objections
from King Oswiu of Bernicia, Oswine, the son of the late King Osric of Deira,
manages to establish himself as King of Deira, possibly with Mercian support.
Death of Bishop Paulinus of Rochester.
645 - King Cenwalh of Wessex is
driven from his kingdom by his one time brother-in-law, King Penda of Mercia. He
flees to the Court of King Anna of East Anglia. Penda overruns Wessex.
647 - Death of Bishop Felix of
Dunwich. He is buried at Soham and later revered as a saint.
c.647 - Princess (& Saint)
Hilda of Deira is persuaded by St. Aidan to enter the monastic life at
648 - St. Wilfred enters
Lindisfarne Priory. King Cenwalh of Wessex returns to reclaim his kingdom and
succeeds. He gives 3,000 hides of land around Ashdown to his nephew, Cuthred,
possibly sub-King of Berkshire.
c.648 - King Cenwalh of Wessex
invites St. Birinus to establish the Old Minster in Winchester. Together they
have a small stone church built.
649 - Death of Abbes Hieu of
Hartlepool. She is succeeded by St. Hilda.
650 - Death of Bishop Birinus of
Wessex. He is buried at Dorchester-on-Thames and later revered as a saint. King
Cenwalh of Wessex invites the Frankish priest, St. Agilbert, to succeed him.
c.650 - The Mercians, under King
Penda, move on East Anglia, destroy the monastery at Burgh Castle and expel King
Anna who probably flees to Magonset. It may have been at this time that Penda
takes control of Magonset and installs his son, Merewalh as King there. King
Oswiu of Bernicia founds Melrose Abbey. St. Aidan sends St. Eata to be the first
Abbot with St. Boisil as his Prior. Oswiu seeks Irish support against the forces
of King Penda of Mercia. While in Ireland he has a liaison with Fin, the (grand)
daughter of Colman Rimid Ui Neill. Prince Aeldfrith is born soon afterward.
Re-establishment of London as a Saxon trading community at Aldwich.
651 - King Oswiu of Bernicia has
King Oswine of Deira murdered at Gilling, after the later backs down from armed
conflict. Oswine is buried at Tynemouth Priory where he is later revered as a
saint. He is succeeded by the late King Oswald of Northumbria's son and Oswiu's
nephew, Aethelwald. King Aethelwald of Deira appears to initially accept his
uncle's overlordship. Queen Eanflaed donates the estate of Gilling for the
foundation of a monastery in recompense for her second cousin's murder. Death of
St. Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne. He is succeeded by St. Finan. Death of St.
Boisil, Prior of Melrose. He is succeeded by St. Cuthbert.
652 - King Penda's Mercian army
invades Bernicia and besieges King Oswiu at Bamburgh.
653 - King Penda of Mercia
establishes full control of Middle Anglia and makes his son, Peada, king there.
In return for the hand of the daughter of King Oswiu of Bernicia, Princess
Alchflaed, Peada accepts baptism, into the Christian church, by Bishop (&
Saint) Finan of Lindisfarne, at Wattbottle. The Middle Anglians have already
been influenced by East Anglian Christianity and King Peada allows St. Cedd to
envangelise his kingdom further. King Sigeberht II of Essex is then also
persuaded by Oswiu, his overlord, to adopt Christianity as part of a general
mobilization against King Penda of Mercia. Northumbrian missionaries under St.
Cedd are despatched to Essex where he founds the monastery at Bradwell-on-Sea.
Talorcan I, the nephew of King Oswiu of Bernicia is crowned King of the Picts
through right of his mother. He probably accepts Northumbrian overlordship. St.
Wilfred leaves Lindisfarne for Kent, then travels on to Lyons and Rome.
c.653 - King Aethelwald of Deira
rejects his uncle's overlordship and turns to King Penda of Mercia instead.
Penda mounts another attack of Bernicia.
654 - King Penda of Mercia and his
armies invade East Anglia and kill King Anna. The King is buried at Blythburgh
and a monastery is founded at Iken to commemorate his life. Anna's brother,
Aethelhere, succeeds as King of East Anglia and accepts Mercian overlordship.
St. Cedd returns to Northumbria to be consecrated as Bishop of Essex, with his
seat in St. Paul's, London. He is given land by King Aethelwald of Deira on
which he founds Lastingham Priory.
c.654 - Foundation of the first
religious community at Waltham Abbey, with a wooden church.
655 - King Penda of Mercia and a
united Greater Mercian and British army march on the Bernicians. Oswiu of
Bernicia, with an army only a third the size, retreats to Stirling, the mostly
northerly city in his kingdom. It lay in the oppressed sub-Kingdom of
Manau-Gododdin. From here, Oswiu sends envoys to offer Penda money in return for
holding off his armies. Penda appears to have taken the cash and distributed it
amongst his British allies. However, having been taken from the oppressed
Northern British in the first place, this is viewed as a restitution of rightful
property. Penda and his allies invade Bernicia anyway, and the two armies meet
at the Battle of Winwaed. Kings Cadafael Cadomedd of Gwynedd and Aethelwald of
Deira, however, withdraw before the battle begins. This contributes to Penda's
defeat and he and his ally, Aethelhere of East Anglia, are both killed in the
fighting. Aethelhere's brother, Aethelwold, succeeds to the East Anglian throne.
King Oswiu's son, Ecgbert is released from Mercian hostageship. The Bernicians
overrun Mercia, but allow Penda's son, Peada, to continue his rule in Middle
Anglia, probably due to his Christian faith. King Peada helps the Mercian
nobleman, Saxulf, to found Peterborough (Medshamstead) Abbey (Cathedral). The
latter becomes the first Abbot. Bishop (& Saint) Finan of Lindisfarne sends
St. Diuma to be the first Bishop of Mercia, Lindsey and Middle Anglia. Oswiu's
daughter, Aelfflaed, is given as a novice to her second cousin, St. Hilda,
Abbess of Hartlepool, in compliance with a promise King Oswiu had made should he
be victorious at Winwaed.
656 - King of Oswiu of Bernicia
invades Pengwern and kills its king, Cynddylan, and his brother, King Eluan of
Powys, in battle. The Pengwernian Royal family flee to Glastening. Mercians take
control of Pengwern and may have invaded Powys at this time. Murder of King
Peada of Middle Anglia through the treachery of his wife. Direct Northumbrian
rule of all Mercia.
c.656 - King Aethelwald of Deira
is removed from office by his uncle, King Oswiu of Bernicia, and replaced by the
latter's son, Ealhfrith, as sub-king in a united Northumbria.
657 - The foundation of Whitby
Abbey. St. Hilda and her cousin, Princess Aelfflaed, move from Hartlepool to
Whitby, where St. Hilda is made Abbess. King Edwin of Deira's body is
transferred to Whitby Abbey, where he is revered as a saint. The foundation of
Ripon Abbey by monks from Melrose. St. Eata, Abbot of Melrose becomes first
Abbot of Ripon.
658 - The Ealdormen of Mercia
rebel against Northumbrian domination and re-establish their independence under
Penda's son, Wulfhere. Death of Bishop Diuma of Mercia, Lindsey and Middle
Anglia. He is buried at Charlbury and later revered as a saint. King Cenwalh and
the Wessex Saxons make a push against Dumnonia (possibly under a King Culmin).
They are victorious at the Battle of Penselwood and the Dumnonia-Wessex border
is set at the River Parrett. St. Wilfred returns to Northumbria.
c.658 - St. Etheldreda, daughter
of the late King Anna of East Anglia, marries King Tondberht of South Gyrwe. The
East Anglians gain overlordship of this area of Middle Anglia.
660 - King Sigeberht II of Essex
is murdered by his brothers, Swithelm and Swithfrith, and other kinsmen for
being "too ready to pardon his enemies" that is to say, the
Christians. St. Cedd flees north to the Court of King Aethelwald of East Anglia.
Swithelm becomes King of Essex, possibly with Swithfrith as joint-monarch for a
period. King Cenwalh of Wessex becomes dissatisfied with his local Bishop, St.
Agilbert of Dorchester, as he does not speak West-Saxon. The King splits the See
of Wessex in two. Wine becomes the first Bishop of Winchester. Agilbert resigns
in protest and travels north to Northumbria. The Mercians take control of
Dorchester and appoint Aetla as Bishop. Death of King Talorcan I of the Picts,
possible overthrow of Northumbrian overlordship in the kingdom. King Merewalh of
Magonset is converted to Christianity.
c.660 - King Ealhfrith of Deira
begins to follow a religious policy independent of his father, King Oswiu of
Northumbria, by rejecting the ways of the Ionian Church in favour of those of
Rome. Foundation of the monastery of Repton, by monks from Peterborough. King
Merewalh of Magonset founds Leominster Priory.
661 - King Cenwalh of Wessex
invades Dumnonia. He is victorious at the Battle of Posbury. Saxon settlers
found Somerset in Eastern Dumnonia. Death of the Wessex sub-King, Cenberht. He
is probably succeeded by his son, Caedwalla. King Wulfhere of Mercia and his
army sack the Berkshire Downs around Ashdown and move south to conquer the
Meonware and the Isle of Wight. St. Wilfred is given Ripon Abbey by King
Aldfrith of Northumbria. St. Eata is removed and Wilfred becomes Abbot. Death of
Bishop Finan of Lindisfarne. He is later revered as a saint and succeeded by St.
c.662 - King Swithelm of Essex is
converted to Christianity and baptised by St. Cedd at the Court of King
Aethelwald of East Anglia who acts as his sponsor. East Anglia may have held
some sort of overlordship over Essex at this time.
663 - Bishop Wine of Winchester
moves the Bishop's Seat north again to Dorchester and the Mercian Bishop Aetla
c.663 - Probable invasion of
Pictland by King Oswiu of Northumbria. He establishes overlordship of, at least,
the Southern Pictish sub-kingdoms of Fortriu and Fib (and possibly Circinn).
664 - The Synod of Whitby is
hosted by St. Hilda. It is called to discuss whether the Northern British should
comply with the doctrines of Rome, rather than follow the Irish Celtic practices
of Iona. Bishop (& Saint) Colman of Lindisfarne, Abbess (& Saint) Hilda
of Whitby and Bishop (& Saint) Cedd of Essex speak for the established
Celtic ways (with Cedd as interpreter). They are opposed by Abbot (& Saint)
Wilfred of Ripon and the former Bishop (& Saint) Agilbert of Dorchester. The
latter are triumphant and St. Colman resigns his See in protest. He is replaced
by Tuda who dies of the Plague soon afterward. Tuda is then succeeded as Abbot,
by St. Eata former Abbot of Ripon who brings his prior, St. Cuthbert, from
Melrose Abbey to Lindisfarne. St. Wilfred is appointed Bishop of Northumbria and
transfers the See from Lindisfarne to York. Bishop Cedd of Essex also dies of
Plague, along with his brother, Cynebil, at his foundation of Lastingham Priory.
Cedd is buried there and later revered as a saint. He is succeeded, as Abbot, by
his brother, St. Chad, but the See of Essex at London remains vaccant. Death of
King Earconbert of Kent. He is succeeded by his son, Ecgbert I, who promptly has
his cousins, Aethelred and Aethelbert murdered in order to secure his position.
They are subsequently revered as saints. A great plague sweeps the country.
Death of King Aethelwold of East Anglia. He is succeeded by his nephew, Eadwulf.
Death of King Tondberht of South Gyrwe. His widow, St. Etheldreda, marries
Prince Ecgfrith of Northumbria.
c.664 - King Oswiu of Northumbria
removes his son, King Ealhfrith, from his throne in Deira. The Bernician throne
controls all of Northumbria.
665 - Death of King Swithelm of
Essex. He is succeeded by his cousins, Sighere and Sebbi. The followers of King
Sighere of Essex apostasize. King Sebbi of Essex remains Christian. Conflict
between the two monarchs appears to have been exacerbated by the struggle for
overlordship between Mercia and Wessex. Sighere supports the latter, Sebbi the
former. King Wulfhere of Mercia eventually establishes himself as overlord of
Essex (and London). Bishop Jaruman of Mercia is despatched with Christian
missionaries to reconvert the people of Essex. Wulfhere insists that King
Sighere of Essex marry his niece, St. Osyth, daughter of sub-King Frithuwold of
Surrey. St. Wilfred claims there is no-one with the authority to consecrate him
as Bishop in Britain and so travels to Compiegne (France) to be enthroned by the
Archbishop of Paris. Overwhelmed by the oppulance of the Frankish Church,
Wilfred delays his return. King Oswiu of Northumbria becomes impatient and
deposes him as Bishop of York in favour of Abbot Chad of Lastingham. St. Chad
travels south to be consecrated by Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury, but finds
he has died of the Plague. His successor, Wigheard, is journeying to Rome for
consecration. Bishop Ithamar of Rochester is also near to death and the only
available Bishop is Wine of Dorchester. St. Chad is consecrated Bishop of York
by Bishop Wine of Dorchester along with two Welsh Bishops called in to make up
the compulsorary threesom. The authority of the latter are disputed by the Saxon
666 - St. Wilfred eventually
returns to Britain but is shipwrecked in Sussex. When he finally reaches
Northumbria, he finds he has been deposed and is forced to retire to Ripon, as
Abbot. He then embarks on a mission through Mercia. St. Eorcenwald founds
Chertsey and Barking Abbeys.
667- Death of Bishop Jaruman of
Mercia. His See becomes vaccant.
668 - Death of Archbishop-Elect
Wigheard of Canterbury of the Plague while returning from his consecration in
Rome. He is succeeded by Theodore.
669 - Archbishop Theodore of
Canterbury arrives in Britain and, because of his irregular consecration,
removes St. Chad from the Bishopric of York. St. Wilfred is reinstated as Bishop
of York and Chad humbly returns to Lastingham. King Wulfhere of Mercia later
asks the Archbishop for a prelate to replace the late Bishop Jaruman. St. Chad
is appointed and he establishes the See at Lichfield. King Ecgbert I of Kent
grants the old Saxon Shore Fort at Reculver to a priest named Bassa in order to
found a religious community there.
c.669 - King Ecgbert I of Kent
loses the overlordship of Surrey to King Wulhere of Mercia.
670 - Death of King Oswiu of Northumbria. He is
buried at Whitby Abbey and succeeded by his son, Ecgfrith, who appoints his
brother Aelfwine as sub-King of Deira. Both are accepted by the Deirans as
maternal grandsons of the late King Edwin of Deira. Bishop Wine of Dorchester
falls out with King Cenwalh of Wessex and leaves his Bishopric. St. Agilbert is
invited back, but declines. His nephew, Leuthere, succeeds in his place. Bishop
Wine buys the See of London from King Wulfhere of Mercia. This has been vaccant
since St. Cedd's death. The move is not popular amongst other churchmen
c.670 - King Wulfhere of Mercia
hands the Meonware and the Isle of Wight over to his new ally, King Aethelwalh
of Sussex. Wulfhere sponsors Aethelwalh's conversion to Christianity and the
latter marries Princess Eafa, daughter of King Eanfrith of Hwicce, another
Mercian sub-king. Mercian missionaries arrive in Sussex and found the monastery
at Bosham. Death of King Merewalh of Magonset. He is buried at Repton and
probably succeeded by his son, Merchelm
672 - Death of King Cenwalh of
Wessex. His sub-Kings divide the kingdom amongst themselves, though his widow,
Queen Seaxburh, does manage to establish some claim to overlordship.
St. Wilfred, Bishop of York, completes his stone buildings at Ripon
Abbey, including a crypt. Large numbers of Royalty and nobility attend its
consecration. Wilfred encourages Queen (& Saint) Etheldreda of Northumbria
to enter the religious life. She leaves her husband and becomes a nun at
Coldingham Priory. The Synod of Hertford is held. Death of Bishop Chad of
Lichfield of the Plague. He is buried in Lichfield Cathedral and later revered
as a saint. Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury takes advantage of Bishop Bisi of
Dunwich's illness to force him to resign. Theodore divides the see in two, based
upon Dunwich and (probably North) Elmham, under Aecce and Beaduwine
673 - Death of King Ecgbert I of
Kent. He is succeeded by his brother, Hlothere. St. Etheldreda returns to East
Anglia and founds the Abbey of Ely, with herself as Abbess. On her journey, she
founds a religious community at West Halton and probably Flixborough also.
Miraculous occurrences while St. Etheldreda stops at Stow encourage her former
husband, King Ecgfrith of Northumbria, to found a church and religious community
there too. Birth of the Venerable Bede. Death of King Domangart of Dalriada. He
is succeeded by his nephew, Maelduin, who probably submits to King Ecgfrith of
Northumbria as his overlord.
c.673 - King Frithuwold of Surrey
flourishes under Mercian domination. The marriage of his daughter, St. Osyth, to
King Sighere of Essex breaks down. Osyth desires the religious life and flees
from the Royal Essex Court to Bishop Beaduwine at North Elmham, where she
becomes a nun. Her husband accepts the situation and grants her land at Cicc
where she founds St. Osyth's Priory. Sub-King Coenred of Dorset flourishes. The
Picts revolt against Northumbrian overlordship. King Ecgfrith marches north and,
with the help of his under-king, Beornhaeth, he defeats them in Manau-Gododdin.
King Drest of the Picts is ousted.
674 - Queen Seaxburh of Wessex is
removed from power by her late husband's second cousin, Cenfus. King Cenfus dies
within the year and is succeeded by his son, Aescwine. Death of King Eanfrith of
Hwicce. King Eanhere contines to rule alone. St. Etheldreda, former Queen of
Northumbria, gives large areas of land to St. Wilfred, Bishop of York, to found
Hexham Abbey. He builds three stone churches there, including one with a crypt.
Her husband, King Ecgfrith of Northumbria, similarly gives land to St. Benedict
Biscop, sometime Abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, to found an abbey at
Monkwearmouth. Benedict sends for Frankish stonemasons to build his new church.
c.674 - King Wulfhere of Mercia
leads an army against King Ecgfrith of Northumbria, but is defeated in battle
and forced to submit to Northumbrian overlordship.
675 - King Aescwine of Wessex
checks the military advance of King Wulfhere and his Mercian army at the Battle
of Biedanheafde. Death of King Wulfhere of Mercia.
He is succeeded by his brother, Aethelred I, and, nominally at least, by his
son, Berthwald, who takes on overlordship of the Hwicce and Wessex border area
as sub-King, perhaps of Hendrica and Chilternset. King Aethelred of Mercia
founds the monastery at Breedon-on-the-Hill on the site of St. Hardulph's
hermitage. King Hlothere re-establishes Kentish supremacy in London. Death of
King Eanhere of Hwicce. He is succeeded by Osric. King Osric establishes the
Bishopric of the Hwicce at Worcester and founds Bath Abbey. Prince Hean, nephew
of sub-King Cissa of Berkshire, founds Abingdon Abbey. Death of Bishop Wine of
London. He is succeeded by St. Eorcenwald.
676 - Death of King Aescwine of
Wessex. He is succeeded by his cousin, Centwine, brother of the late King
Cenwalh. King Aethelred of Mercia invades Kent in an attempt to enforce
overlordship and diminish Kentish influence in Surrey and London. His armies
cause so much destruction to the diocese of Rochester that the see is abandoned.
St. Aldhelm founds Malmesbury Abbey on the site of the hermitage of his old
tutor, St. Maildulf.
678 - St. Wilfred, Bishop of York,
is at the height of his power and owns vast estates throughout Northumbria.
Unhappy at Wilfred's interference in his marriage, King Ecgfrith of Northumbria
conspires with Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury to have him banished from
Northumbria. The Bishopric is divided between Abbot (& Saint) Eata of
Lindisfarne who is given Hexham, and Bosa, a monk of Whitby, who is given York.
Eadhaed is given Lindsey. Wilfred travels to Rome to protest.
679 - The Synod of Hatfield is
held. The armies of King Aethelred I of Mercia and King Ecgfirth of Northumbria
clash at the Battle of the Trent. Sub-King Aelfwine of Deira is killed in the
fighting and Mercia retakes Lindsey. Bishop Eadhaed of Lindsey is expelled. He
becomes Abbot of Ripon. Northumbria is properly united. King Osric of Hwicce
founds the Abbey of St. Peter in Gloucester with his sister, Cyneburg, as the
first Abbess. Death of Abbess Etheldreda of Ely, former Queen of both South
Gyrwe and Northumbria. She is buried at Ely Cathedral, succeeded by her sister
Princess Seaxburh of East Anglia, and later revered as a saint
c.679 - King Aethelred I of Mercia
marries Princess Osthryth, sister of King Ecgfrith of Northumbria.
680 - Death of Abbess Hilda of
Whitby. She is buried in her Abbey and later revered as a saint. St. Wilfred
returns to Northumbria, with Papal support, but is imprisoned by King Ecgfrith
of Northumbria and again exiled. St. Wilfred travels to Sussex. He discovers a
small Irish community of Christians, under one Dicul at Bosham, but their
attempts at converting the natives have been unsuccessful. Wilfred, however,
manages to evangelise the people of both this country and the adjoining
Meonware. The Venerable Bede enters the monastic school at Monkwearmouth.
c.680 - Princess Milburga,
daughter of King Merewalh of Magonset, becomes a nun and founds Wenlock Priory
where she becomes the first Prioress. Sub-King Caedwalla becomes overly
ambitious in a power-struggle with King Centwine for Wessex overlordship. He is
banished from Wessex and wanders through the Chilterns and then Andredsweald.
681 - King Aethelwalh of Sussex
gives St. Wilfred lands in Selsey to found a cathedral. He becomes the first
Bishop of Selsey. The diocese of Hexham is divided in two: St. Eata, Bishop of
Hexham is transferred to Lindisfarne and Tunberht takes on Hexham. King Ecgfrith
of Northumbria requests that the monks of Monkwearmouth found a new monastery at
Jarrow. They build a complex of stone buildings there.
c.681 - The wandering ex-Wessex
Sub-King, Caedwalla, seeks St. Wilfred as his spiritual father but does not
convert to Christianity. Sub-King Bealdred flourishes in Somerset and Wiltshire.
682 - The West Saxons, led by King
Centwine, drive "the British [of Dumnonia] as far as the
Sea" (possibly around Bideford).
683 - Death of King Sighere of
Essex. His cousin, Sebbi, continues to rule alone.
c.683 - Abbot Cuthbald of
Peterborough and Bishop Seaxwulf of Lichfield found several daughter Houses for
Peterborough, including Brixworth Priory.
684 - King Ecgfrith of Northumbria
sends troops, under Dux Berhtred, to ravage Meath in Ireland.
685 - Death of King Hlothere of
Kent. He is succeeded by his nephew, Eadric. The exiled Prince Caedwalla of
Wessex invades Sussex and, though he kills King Aethelwalh, is driven out by the
new joint Kings Berhtun and Andhun. Abdication of King Centwine of Wessex in
order that he may enter a monastery. He is succeeded by his distant cousin,
Caedwalla, who manages to fully re-unite the sub-kingdoms of Wessex. Death of
sub-King Cissa of Berkshire. He is buried in Abingdon Abbey. St. Cuthbert visits
Carlisle. Bishop Tunberht of Hexham is deposed. Cuthbert is elected Bishop of
Hexham, but agrees to switch jobs with Bishop Eata of Lindisfarne instead. The
Picts, under King Bruide ipe Bili, revolt against their Northumbrian overlords.
Cuthbert advises King Ecgfrith of Northumbria not to invade Pictland.
Undeterred, Ecgfrith marches his army north to engage the enemy at the Battle of
Nechtansmere. The Picts, possibly with Scottish and Strathclyde Briton help,
thoroughly defeat the Saxon guard. The latter permanently withdraw from Pictish
and Scottish lands north of the Forth and also from much of the British
territory north of the Tweed. Death of the childless King Ecgfrith of
Northumbria. Supporters of the House of Aethelric secure the succession of his
illegitimate half-brother, Aeldfrith, possibly with Irish and Scottish help.
Aeldfrith is brought south from Iona, where he is studying. Death of King Osric
of Hwicce. King Oshere continues to rule alone.
686 - King Caedwalla of Wessex
establishes overlordship of Essex. With his new ally, King Sighere of Essex,
Caedwalla invades Kent. King Eadric of Kent is expelled and Caedwalla's brother,
Mul, installed in his place. Sighere rules in West Kent. King Caedwalla of
Wessex conquers Surrey and the Isle of Wight and executes the latter's king,
Aruald, and his two brothers. He probably also overruns the Meonware. Caedwalla
invades Sussex for a second time, kills King Berhtun of West Sussex and conquers
the kingdom. King Andhun of East Sussex probably flees. St. Wilfred persuades
King Caedwalla to let him evangelise the Isle of Wight. The former is later
reconciled with Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury who persuades King Aeldfrith
to reinstate Wilfred as Bishop of Hexham following the death of St. Eata.
687 - King Mul of Kent and twelve
companions are burnt to death during a Kentish uprising. His brother, King
Caedwalla of Wessex ravages the kingdom in revenge. Death of ex-King Eadric of
Kent. Bishop Bosa of York is removed from office and St. Wilfred is given the
See of York. St. John of Beverley is made Bishop of Hexham. Abbot Eadhaed of
Ripon is also removed and the Abbacy restored to Wilfred. Bishop
Cuthbert of Lindisfarne resigns his office and retires to his hermitage on Inner
Farne where he dies. He is buried in Lindisfarne Priory and later revered as a
saint. Bishop (& Saint) Wilfred of Ripon temporarily administers the See of