Eighth century England consisted of seven Anglo-Saxon sub-kingdoms which existed in a state of internecine warfare. Occasionally a king of one of the larger three kingdoms, Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria, would emerge from the dynastic turmoil to be accepted as Bretwalda (Bretanwealda in Old English) or overlord by the others. One such was Egbert, of the House of Wessex. Cerdic of Wessex ((519-534), the founder of the Wessex line, claimed a mythical descent from the great Woden himself. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic was a Saxon Ealdorman who landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric and fought with the Britons becoming the first King of Wessex. The dynasty he founded was to rule England for over two hundred years and produced such varying characters as Alfred (871-899), the only English monarch ever to be bestowed with the epithet the Great, who amongst varied achievements, established a peace with the invading Vikings and founded the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the ineffectual Ethelred the Redeless (978-1016) and his pious son, Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) who was later canonized in 1161.

The Anglo-Saxon line was interrupted for two decades by Viking conquerors, but was re-established by Edward the Confessor. The Confessor is said to have willed his throne to his brother-in-law, King Harold II Godwineson (reigned- January-October, 1066), who was killed at the Battle at Hastings, when the native Saxon House of Wessex was displaced by the Normans in the person of William I, thereafter known as the Conqueror.

Monarch Born Reign Married
Egbert circa 780
son of Ealhmund
of Kent
827-839 Redburga
Ethelwulf son of Egbert
and Redburga
839-856 (1) Osburga
(2) Judith of Flanders
Ethelbald circa 831
son of Ethelwulf
and Osburga
856-860 Judith of Flanders
Ethelbert circa 831
son of Ethelwulf
and Osburga
Ethelred I circa 837
son of Ethelwulf
and Osburga
865-871 Wulfrida
Alfred the Great circa 849
son of Ethelwulf
& Osburga
871-899 Eahlswith
Edward the Elder c.871-877
son of Alfred the Great
& Ealhswith
899-924 (1) Ecgwynn
(2) Aelffaed
(3) Edgiva of Kent
Ælfweard 904
son of Edward the Elder
and Elfleda
Athelstan 895
son of Edward the Elder
& Ecgwynn
Edmund I c.921
son of Edward the Elder
and Edgiva of Kent
939-946 (1) Elgiva
(2) Æthelflæd
Edred c.923
son of Edward the Elder
& Edgiva of Kent
Edwy the Fair c.940
son of Edmund I
& Elgiva
955-959 Elgiva
Edgar the Peaceful c.943
son of Edmund I
and Elgiva
959-975 (1) Ethelflaed
(2) Wulfthryh
Edward the Martyr c.962
son of Edgar the Peaceful
& Ethelflaed
Ethelred II the Redeless c.968
son of Edgar the Peaceful
& Ælfthryth
978-1016 Ælflaed of Northumbria
(2) Aelgifu
(3) Emma of
Edmund II Ironside c.993
son of Ethelred II
& Ælflaed of Northumbria
1016 Edith of East Anglia
Edward the Confessor c.1005
son of Ethelred II
& Emma of Normandy
1042-1066 Edith of Wessex
Harold Godwineson c.1020
son of Godwine,
Earl of Wessex
& Gytha Thorkelsdótti
1066 Elgiva