A Brief History
On October 27, 939, King Æthelstan of England died, the throne then going to his half-brother, Edmund I.
This year, 2022, King Charles III has ascended the throne of the United Kingdom, the first royal succession in Britain since Queen Elizabeth II became monarch in 1952. Long before either of these esteemed individuals, Æthelstan was the first English monarch to become King of ALL of England, though various subsections of England had had kings for centuries.
Prior to attaining the title, King of the English in 927, Æthelstan had been King of the Anglo Saxons from either 924 or 925 until gaining his consolidated kingdom of all of England in 927. Prior to 927, England had primarily consisted of 4 major kingdoms, namely Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, and East Anglia. Not surprisingly, Æthelstan hailed from Wessex, the predominant of the English kingdoms.
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For more information, please see…
Fry, Plantagenet Somerset. Kings and Queens of England and Scotland. DK, 2011.
Phillips, Charles. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Kings & Queens: The Most Comprehensive Visual Encyclopedia of Every King and Queen of Britain, from Saxon Times through the Tudors and Stuarts to Today. Southwater, 2017.
The featured image in this article, a depiction of a coin of Æthelstan Rex, small cross pattée type, London mint, moneyer Biorneard, is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or fewer. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1927.
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