Aethelstan Background
The Aethelstan Trust
A timeline of Æthelstan - between AD925 and AD941, taken from the Anglo Saxon Chronicles

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A.D. 925   This year died King Edward at Farndon in Mercia; and Elward his son died very soon after this, in Oxford. Their bodies lie at Winchester. And Æthelstan was chosen king in Mercia, and consecrated at Kingston. He gave his sister to Otho, son of the king of the Old-Saxons. St. Dunstan was now born; and Wulfhelm took to the archbishopric in Canterbury. This year King Æthelstan and Sihtric king of the Northumbrians came together at Tamworth, the sixth day before the calends of February, and Æthelstan gave away his sister to him.

(This year Bishop Wulfhelm was consecrated. And that same year King Edward died.)

A.D. 926   This year appeared fiery lights in the northern part of the firmament; and Sihtric departed; and King Æthelstan took to the kingdom of Northumbria, and governed all the kings that were in this island: -- First, Howel, King of West-Wales; and Constantine, King of the Scots; and Owen, King of Monmouth; and Aldred, the son of Eadulf, of Bamburgh. And with covenants and oaths they ratified their agreement in the place called Emmet, on the fourth day before the ides of July; and renounced all idolatry, and afterwards returned in peace.

A.D. 927   This year King Æthelstan expelled King Guthfrith; and Archbishop Wulfhelm went to Rome.

A.D. 928   William took to Normandy, and held it fifteen years.

A.D. 931   This year died Frithstan, Bishop of Winchester, and Brinstan was blessed in his place.

A.D. 931   This year Burnstan was invested Bishop of Winchester on the fourth day before the calends of June; and he held the bishopric two years and a half.

A.D. 933   This year died Bishop Frithestan; and Edwin the atheling was drowned in the sea.

A.D. 934   This year went King Æthelstan into Scotland, both with a land-force and a naval armament, and laid waste a great part of it; and Bishop Burnstan died at Winchester at the feast of All Saints.

A.D. 935   This year Bishop Elfheah took to the bishopric of Winchester.

A.D. 937   This year King Æthelstan and Edmund his brother led a force to Brumby, and there fought against Anlaf; and, Christ helping, had the victory: and they there slew five kings and seven earls.

A.D. 938   Here Æthelstan king, of earls the lord, rewarder of heroes, and his brother eke, Edmund atheling, elder of ancient race, slew in the fight, with the edge of their swords, the foe at Brumby!(41) The sons of Edward their board-walls clove, and hewed their banners, with the wrecks of their hammers. So were they taught by kindred zeal, that they at camp oft ‘gainst any robber their land should defend, their hoards and homes. Pursuing fell the Scottish clans; the men of the fleet in numbers fell; ‘midst the din of the field the warrior swate. Since the sun was up in morning-tide, gigantic light! glad over grounds, God’s candle bright, eternal Lord! ‘till the noble creature sat in the western main: there lay many of the Northern heroes under a shower of arrows, shot over shields; and Scotland’s boast, a Scythian race, the mighty seed of Mars! With chosen troops, throughout the day, the West-Saxons fierce press’d on the loathed bands; hew’d down the fugitives, and scatter’d the rear, with strong mill-sharpen’d blades, The Mercians too the hard hand-play spared not to any of those that with Anlaf over the briny deep in the ship’s bosom sought this land for the hardy fight. Five kings lay on the field of battle, in bloom of youth, pierced with swords. So seven eke of the earls of Anlaf; and of the ship’s-crew unnumber’d crowds. There was dispersed the little band of hardy Scots, the dread of northern hordes; urged to the noisy deep by unrelenting fate! The king of the fleet with his slender craft escaped with his life on the felon flood; and so too Constantine, the valiant chief, returned to the north in hasty flight. The hoary Hildrinc cared not to boast among his kindred. Here was his remnant of relations and friends slain with the sword in the crowded fight. His son too he left on the field of battle, mangled with wounds, young at the fight. The fair-hair’d youth had no reason to boast of the slaughtering strife. Nor old Inwood and Anlaf the more with the wrecks of their army could laugh and say, that they on the field of stern command better workmen were, in the conflict of banners, the clash of spears, the meeting of heroes, and the rustling of weapons, which they on the field of slaughter played with the sons of Edward. The northmen sail’d in their nailed ships, a dreary remnant, on the roaring sea; over deep water Dublin they sought, and Ireland’s shores, in great disgrace. Such then the brothers both together king and atheling, sought their country, West-Saxon land, in right triumphant. They left behind them raw to devour, the sallow kite, the swarthy raven with horny nib, and the hoarse vultur, with the eagle swift to consume his prey; the greedy gos-hawk, and that grey beast the wolf of the weald. No slaughter yet was greater made e’er in this island, of people slain, before this same, with the edge of the sword; as the books inform us of the old historians; since hither came from the eastern shores the Angles and Saxons, over the broad sea, and Britain sought, fierce battle-smiths, o’ercame the Welsh, most valiant earls, and gained the land.

A.D. 941   This year King Æthelstan died in Glocester, on the sixth day before the calends of November, about forty-one winters, bating one night, from the time when King Alfred died. And Edmund Atheling took to the kingdom. He was then eighteen years old. King Æthelstan reigned fourteen years and ten weeks. This year the Northumbrians abandoned their allegiance, and chose Anlaf of Ireland for their king.

Empty fifteenth-century tomb of King Aethelstan at Malmesbury Abbey

Empty fifteenth-century tomb of King Æthelstan at Malmesbury Abbey

    Notes: (41) Brunanburh, Brunenburh, Brunanburgh, Brunandune