Sunday, November 18, 2012
Aethelstan: the first King of England
Aethelstan ruled from 924 to 939 but during that time he completed the task begun by his grandfather, Alfred, and his father, Edward, to remove the Danes from England and so become the first ruler of a united country. During the time of Alfred only part of Wessex remained in control of the Anglo Saxons but his army managed to gain control of the country south of London. When Alfred's daughter married the king of Mercia this strengthened Anglo Saxon control of the southern region of England. Edward and his armies continued to gain land under the control of the Danelaw, a task completed by Aethelstan in 927. Unfortunately not many records remain recounting the rule of Aethelstan but Sarah Foot has made a detailed investigation of the sources that still exist to produce an insight into the life of this leader and of England during his reign.