Æthelred I DE WESSEX King of Wessex
- Born: Between 844 and 847, Wessex, England
- Married: Abt 868
- Died: 22 Apr 871, Merton, Torrington, Devon, England
He succeeded his brother in 866 as ÆTHELRED I King of Wessex, crowned soon after at Kingston-upon-Thames. Danish incursions increased during his reign, Asser recording that the invaders wintered for the first time in East Anglia. King Æthelred and his younger brother Alfred allied themselves with their brother-in-law Burghred King of Mercia to fight the Danes near Nottingham in Autumn 868, but Burghred bought peace without fighting. In 870, the Danes moved against Wessex, establishing winter quarters at Reading. Following an unsuccessful attack on Reading, Æthelred and Alfred defeated the Danes at Ashdown, but were themselves defeated at Basing in early 871. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 871 "after Easter" (dated to 15 Apr in 871, according to Cheney) of King Æthelred and his burial at Wimborne. Florence of Worcester records the death "post Pascha" of "rex Ætheredus" and his burial "IX Kal Mai in Winburnan".
Æthelred married Wulfhryth. "Wulfthryth regina" subscribed one of the two charters of King Æthelred I dated 868, which suggests that she married during that year. Her birth date range is estimated from her having given birth to two known children before the death of her husband in 871. Her parentage is not known. However, the importance of Ealdorman Wulfhere's position at the court of King Æthelred I is shown by the position of his name among subscribers to the king's charters: he was first subscriber, even before the king's brother Alfred, in a charter dated 862, and second subscriber, after the queen, in a charter dated 868. It is tempting therefore to speculate that Æthelred's queen was Wulfthryth, daughter of Wulfhere Ealdorman & his wife ---, especially with the common use of the root "Wulf-" in their names.
Æthelred married Wulfhryth (Wulfrida) about 868. (Wulfhryth (Wulfrida) was born about 832.)