Ęthelbald I DE WESSEX, King of Wessex
- Born: Abt 834
- Married: 858
- Died: 20 Dec 860
- Buried: 25 Dec 860, Sherborne Abbey, Dorset, England
"Edelbaldus filius suus" fought with King Ęthelwulf at Temesmuthe, London and in Kent in 851. He was appointed under-king in Wessex when his father left for Rome in 855. Asser records that "king Ethelbald and Ealstan bishop of
Sherborne, with Eanwulf earl of the district of Somerton are said to have made a conspiracy together that king Ethelwulf, on his return from Rome, should never again be received into his kingdom" and that "many ascribe [the plot] solely to the insolence of the king, because the king was pertinacious in this matter, and in many other perversities
as also was proved by the result of that which follows".
After his return, Ęthelwulf abdicated part of his realm in favour of his son, who succeeded as ĘTHELBALD King of Wessex, while his father continued to rule in the other part of Wessex and in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex. Stenton says that Ęthelwulf did this "to avoid a civil war" after learning that "his eldest son and some of the leading men of Wessex were resolved that he should not be received as king" after returning to England. Ęthelberht, most likely older than his half-brother Ęthelbald, may have been the ring-leader of the plot. King Ęthelwulf may have wished to control Ęthelberht's ambitions by installing his oldest legitimate son as king during his own lifetime. Asser's report blaming Ęthelbald may have been due to the chronicler's evident disapproval of the king's marrying his stepmother after his father's death. In fact, this rather surprising marriage may also have been motivated by the need to reinforce Ęthelbald's possibly weak power-base in the face of a continuing threat from his more powerful older half-brother Ęthelberht. "Adelbaldus ex occidentalium Saxonem" granted land at Teffont, Wiltshire to "Osmund minister" by charter dated 860, subscribed by (in order) "Iudith regis filius [sic]" and "Osric dux".
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 860 of King Ęthelbald and his burial at Sherborne. 1
Ęthelbald married Judith CAROLING, daughter of Charles II "le Chauve" CAROLING King of the West Franks and Ermentrude D' ORLÉANS Queen of the West Franks, in 858. (Judith CAROLING was born in 844 and died after 870.)