Egbert (Ecgbeorht) DE WESSEX, King of Wessex
- Born: Between 769 and 780, Wessex, England
- Married: Between 789 and 792
- Died: 4 Feb 839, Wessex, England
- Buried: Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, England
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Egbert succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" after the death of Beorhtric in 802, in a later passage describing him as Ecgberht as son of Ealhmund, and in another passage which setting out his complete ancestry from his son Ęthelwulf King of Wessex. According to the Chronicle, Ecgberht was expelled from England in 789 by King Beorhtric after he unsuccessfully challenged Beorhtric's succession. It may be significant that "England" rather than "Wessex" is specified in this passage of the Chronicle. Ecgberht's father was king of Kent around this time, and it is possible that the expulsion was from Kent, maybe a consequence of his father being deposed as Kentish king. According to William of Malmesbury, Beorhtric was allied with Offa King of Mercia at this time. He explains that Ecgberht had sought refuge with King Offa after his expulsion by King Beorhtric, but that the latter bribed Offa for Ecgberht's surrender and was offered Offa's daughter in marriage in return. Ecgberht sought refuge at the Frankish court until .
Under-King in Kent in . On Beorhtric's death, he established himself in 802 as ECGBERHT King of Wessex, rebelling against Mercian overlordship. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he ravaged the Britons of Dumnonia (Cornwall) 815. He defeated Beornwulf King of Mercia in 825 at Ellendun [=Wroughton, Wiltshire], which marked the end of Mercian ascendancy. King Ecgberht immediately sent his son Ęthelwulf with a large army into Kent, which submitted to him along with Surrey, Sussex and Essex. East Anglia, in revolt against Mercia, turned to Ecgberht for protection. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ecgberht conquered Mercia in 829, taking the title rex Merciorum, from evidence provided by a limited number of coins, but lost control of Mercia again in 830. He exacted tribute from Eanred King of Northumbria in 829. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that the first Danish raiders landed at Sheppey in 835 and King Ecgberht was defeated by Viking invaders at Carhampton in 836, but defeated the Vikings at Hingston Down, Cornwall in 838, which is probably when Cornwall was integrated into Wessex. "Ęgberhtus rex occidentalium Saxonum" granted land at Canterbury to "Ciaba clericus", jointly with "Ęthelwulfi regis filii mei", by charter dated 836. "Ęthelwulf rex Cancie" was co-grantor of land in Kent with "Egberthus rex occident Saxonum pater meus" by charters dated [833/39] and 838 respectively. Despite his successes, he does not seem to have claimed overlordship over all the southern English or referred to himself as king of England. He is listed as eighth bretwalda in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, supplementing the original list given by Bede. William of Malmesbury records that King Ecgberht died "after a reign of thirty-seven years" and was buried at Winchester.1
Egbert married Redburh (Redburga) between 789 and 792. (Redburh (Redburga) died in 858.)