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Glossary of People


Beorhtric was King of Wessex from 786-802. He contested the throne with Ecgberht, whom Beorhtric (with the help of Offa of Mercia) drove to exile. Beorhtric married one of Offa’s daughters, Eadburh. According to the annals, Beorhtric died from being accidentally poisoned by Queen Eadburh, who subsequently fled to a nunnery in Francia. It was during Beorhtric’s reign that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded the first Viking raids in England. OE.


Beornwulf was King of Mercia (roughly the Midlands of England) from 823 to 826. His short reign saw the collapse of Mercia's supremacy over the other kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. OE.


King of the Franks (born 742AD), ruler of the Carolingian Empire (769 to 814) and Light of the West, Charles the Great (or Charlemagne) was a high point in the otherwise bleak Dark Ages of Europe. He established the Holy Roman Empire and brought stability and learning to Europe. His Royal seat was in Aachen (present day Germany), and the kingdom extended across most of what is present day France (which takes its name from the Franks), Belgium and parts of Germany.


Eadburh (also spelled Eadburg) (fl. 787–802) was the daughter of King Offa of Mercia and Queen Cynethryth. She was the wife of King Beorhtric of Wessex, and, according to Asser’s Life of Alfred the Great, she killed her husband by poison while attempting to poison another. She fled to Francia, becoming an abbess until she was eventually expelled from the monastery and ended her days begging in the streets of Pavia. OE.

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