597 - The Roman brand of Christianity is brought
to Britain for the first time by St. Augustine,
the missionary sent from Pope Gregory to convert
the Saxons. Augustine lands in Kent and is
welcomed by King Aethelbert whose Frankish Queen
is already a Christian practicing at her church
of St. Martin's, Canterbury. Augustine converts
Aethelbert and his court to Christianity and
founds a monastery at Canterbury. Commencement of
the erection of a monastery at St. Augustine's,
Canterbury, built from the Roman ruins of the old
city. Death of King Ceol of Wessex. He is
succeeded by his brother, Ceolwulf.
598 - Kings Mynyddog Mwynfawr of Din-Eidyn &
Cynan of Gododdin ride south to fight King
Aethelfrith's Bernician army against enormous
odds at the Battle of Catterick. The British are
victorious. Probable expansion of North Rheged to
fill the vacuum left in North Yorkshire.
602 - St. Augustine of Canterbury meets with the
Welsh Bishops at Aust near Chepstow. He accuses
them of acting contrary to Church teachings,
failing to keep Easter at the prescribed Roman
time and not administering baptism according to
the Roman rite. He also insists that they help in
the conversion of their enemy, the Saxons, and
look to Canterbury as their spiritual centre. The
Welsh tactfully decline. Augustine is proclaimed
Archbishop of Canterbury and commences the
erection of his stone-built Cathedral.
604 - The Welsh Bishops meet for a second time
with St. Augustine of Canterbury. He neglects to
rise to greet them, lectures them again and
insists they submit to him. The Welsh send him
packing. They refuse to recognise the authority
of a church within their enemies' territory under
such a disrespectful bishop. The See of Rochester
is established and Justus appointed its first
bishop. Death of King Sledda of Essex. He is
succeeded by his son, Saebert. King Saebert is
persuaded to convert to Christianity through the
intervention of his uncle, King Aethelbert of
Kent. The See of Essex is founded. King
Aethelbert of Kent founds the cathedral church of
St. Paul in London. St. Mellitus is appointed the
first Saxon Bishop of London (& Essex). King
Aethelfrith of Bernicia invades Deira and kills
its king, Aethelric. Prince Edwin, son of the
late King Aelle of Deira (and possibly nephew of
King Aethelric) flees to the Court of King Iago
of Gwynedd. Aethelfrith marries King Aelle's
daughter, Acha, and takes the kingdom.
605 - Birth of Prince (later King) Oswald of
Bernicia. Death of Bishop Augustine of
Canterbury. He is buried in St. Augustine's
Abbey, Canterbury and later revered as a saint.
He is succeeded by St. Laurence of Canterbury.
606 - Death of King Pybba of Mercia. He is
succeeded by his kinsman, Ceorl.
611 - Death of King Ceolwulf of Wessex. He is
succeeded by his nephew, Cynegils. King Cynegils
shares power to some extent with his eldest son,
Cwichelm, who may have been given Upper Wessex.
613 - King Aethelfrith of Bernicia invades
Gwynedd in order to route out his old enemy, King
Edwin of Deira. A united British force (Gwynedd,
Powys, Pengwern and Dumnonian warriors) clashes
with his army at the Battle of Chester. King Iago
of Gwynedd and King Selyf Sarffgadau of Powys are
both killed but the victor is unclear. The Battle
of Bangor-is-Coed follows in quick succession.
King Bledric of Dumnonia is killed in the
fighting and 1000 monks are massacred by the
Northumbrians. King Edwin of Deira flees to the
Court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. Birth of
Prince (later King) Oswiu of Bernicia. The stone
Abbey Church at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury
is completed and dedicated to St. Peter and St.
614 - King Cynegils & his son, Prince
Cwichelm, of Wessex invade Dumnonia and defeat
the local army (possibly under a King Clemen) at
the Battle of Bindon. Birth of Princess (later
Abbess & Saint) Hilda of Deira.
c.615 - King Aethelfrith of Bernicia visits King
Raedwald of East Anglia at Rendlesham and
persuades him to hand over the former's old
enemy, King Edwin of Deira. In return, Raedwald
is promised rich rewards, yet war is threatened if he fails to
comply. Raedwald's wife however, reminds him of
his obligations as Edwin's protector and the King
begrudgingly declines the offer. King Edwin of
Deira marries Princess Cwenburga, daughter of
King Ceorl of Mercia.
616 - King Edwin of Deira, with the help of King
Raedwald of East Anglia, conquers Northumbria at
the Battle of the River Idle. King Aethelfrith of
Bernicia & Deira is killed in the fighting
and his children are forced to flee north. His
heir, Prince Eanfrith, seeks refuge with his
mother's family, probably in Gododdin, and then
moves further north into Pictland; Princes
Oswald, Oswiu and others escape to Court of King
Eochaid Buide of Dalriada where they are
converted to Christianity by the monks of Iona.
Death of Kings Aethelbert of Kent and Saebert of
Essex. The former is succeeded by his pagan son,
Eadbald, who promptly marries his step-mother, in
accordance with pre-Christian custom. King
Eadbald loses overlordship of Essex, where the
new kings, Saebert's sons, Sexred, Saeward and
Sexbald, throw out the Christian missionaries and
return to paganism. Bishop (& Saint) Mellitus
of London (& Essex) flees with Bishop Justus
of Rochester to France. King Eadbald of Kent is
persuaded to convert to Christianity by St.
Laurence, Archbishop of Canterbury.
617 - King Edwin of Deira invades and conquers
Elmet. King Ceretic of Elmet is killed in the
fighting. Death of King Raedwald of East Anglia.
He was probably buried in the Great Ship
discovered in the Royal East Anglian Cemetery at
Sutton Hoo. Shortlived succession of his brother,
618 - Raedwald's son. Eorpwald, takes the East
Anglian throne from his uncle, King Eni.
619 - Death of Archbishop Laurence of Canterbury.
He is buried at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury
and is later revered as a saint. He is succeeded
by St. Mellitus.
620 - The church of St. Mary is built at the
Royal Abbey complex of St. Augustine's,
c.620 - Angles probably under King Edwin of Deira
invade South Rheged, and expel King Llywarch Hen
who flees to Powys. Edwin's armies also move
north into Southern Strathclyde and Gododdin.
Prince Eanfrith, heir of Bernicia, marries a
Pictish Royal Princess and fathers Prince (later
King) Talorcan (I) of the Picts.
c.623 - King Edwin of Deira is baptised by Prince
Rhun of North Rheged, according to the Historia
Brittonum. This was probably at the Royal Court
of Gwynedd. He soon relapses back to paganism.
624 - Death of Archbishop Mellitus of Canterbury.
He is buried at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury
and is later revered as a saint. He is succeeded
by Bishop (& Saint) Justus of Rochester.
625 - King Edwin of Deira marries Princess
Ethleburga of Kent. As a Christian, she brings
her personal chaplain, Paulinus, north with her.
St. Paulinus has already been consecrated Bishop
of York. With the help of Pope Boniface, the new
Queen encourages her husband to convert to
626 - Death of King Ceorl of Mercia. He is
succeeded by Penda, son of his predecessor.
Prince Cwichelm of Wessex sends an assassin to
murder King Edwin of Deira. Edwin is saved from
the assassin's dagger by the timely intervention
of one of his thanes who is killed in the
process. Edwin's daughter, Eanflaed, is born the
same night and he promises to give her for
baptism to St. Paulinus, if he is victorious over
the instigator of this crime. Edwin discovers
Cwichelm's treachery and marches on Wessex.
Prince Cwichelm and his father, King Cynegils of
Wessex, march north to meet the Northumbrians at
the Battle of Win Hill & Lose Hill, possibly
with the aid of King Penda of Mercia. Despite
their army's superior numbers, the Wessex duo are defeated
and flee south. Edwin keeps his promise to St.
c.626 - The rivalry between King Edwin of Deira
and King Cadwallon of Gwynedd, which has grown since
childhood, reaches a climax. Edwin invades
the Isle of Man and then Anglesey. Cadwallon is
defeated in battle and is besieged on Puffin
Island. He eventually flees to Brittany.
627 - St. Paulinus converts King Edwin of Deira
back to his lapsed Christianity at the Royal
Court of Yeavering. The King is baptised in
Paulinus' proto-Cathedral in York and persuades
his sub-monarch, King Eorpwald of East Anglia to
follow suit. Death of Archbishop Justus of
c.627 - Possible building of the Western section
of the Wansdyke, by King Cynegils of Wessex, in
an attempt to counter aggression from King Penda
628 - King Cynegils and his son, Prince Cwichelm,
of Wessex clash with King Penda of Mercia at the
Battle of Cirencester. Cynegils' son, Cenwalh,
may have married King Penda's sister as part of
the subsequent peace treaty by which the Mercians
take control of the area. King Penda probably
establishes the sub-Kingdom of the Hwicce at this
time. Anti-Christian uprising in East Anglia.
King Eorpwald is killed by one Ricbert, and his half-brother,
Sigebert, flees to France. Ricbert takes the
throne. The exiled Prince Oswald of Northumbria
accompanies King Connad Cerr of Dalriada to
Ireland to fight against Maelcaich and the Irish
Cruithne at the Battle of Fid Eoin.
629 - St. Paulinus meets Blecca, the Praefectus
Civitatis of Lincoln, and converts him to
630 - The West Saxons invade Gwent. King Meurig
defeats them, with the help of his aging father,
at the Battle of Pont-y-Saeson.
c.630 - King Penda of Mercia besieges Exeter
(possibly held by King Clemen of Dumnonia). King
Cadwallon of Gwynedd lands nearby, from his
Deiran imposed exile in Brittany. He negotiates
an alliance with King Penda of Mercia and a
united British and Saxon force moves north to
re-take Gwynedd. The Deirans are defeated at the
Battle of the Long Mountain and Cadwallon chases
them back to Northumbria. The British ransack
Northumbria and bring the kingdom to its knees.
St. Felix arrives in Britain from Burgundy with
the intention of evengelising the Angles. He
stays a while at Canterbury.
631 - Death of King Ricbert of East Anglia. The
half-brother of his predecessor, King Eorpwald,
returns from exile in France and takes the throne
as the Christian King Sigebert. With the new
King's encouragement, St. Felix is sent by
Archbishop Honorius of Canterbury to evangelise
his people. St. Felix establishes his see at
c.631 - King Edwin of Deira re-fortifies the City
of York, probably including the building of the
so-called Anglian Tower.
632 - The West Saxons cross into Wales and defeat
King Idris of Meirionydd on the Severn.
633 - King Edwin of Deira and his Northumbrian
army meet the British, under King Cadwallon of
Gwynedd, in the Battle of Hatfield Chase. King
Edwin is killed in the fighting and Cadwallon is
victorious. Edwin's cousin, Osric, succeeds to
the throne of Deira and Prince Eanfrith of
Bernicia returns from Pictland to claim his
rightful crown. Both are pagans. St. Paulinus,
Bishop of York, flees south and is made Bishop of
Rochester. Cadwallon is later besieged at York by
King Osric. The former is again victorious.
634 - Despite suing for peace, King Cadwallon of
Gwynedd slays both King Eanfrith of Bernicia and
Osric of Deira rather than negotiate with them.
Eanfrith's half-brother, Oswald succeeds, as son
of Aethelfrith of Bernicia and Acha of Deira, to
a united Northumbria. He is given a force of men
(including monks from Iona) by King Domnall Brecc
of Dalriada and marches south to claim his
inheritance. He clashes with King Cadwallon of
Gwynedd at the Battle of Heavenfield. Despite
having superior numbers, Cadwallon is killed, and
King Oswald victorious. The former Queen
Ethelburga of Deira packs up her infant sons and
step-grandson and flees to France for fear that,
as offspring of her husband, King Edwin, Oswald
will have them murdered. The Deiran Royal Court
at Yeavering is probably abandoned at this time.
Oswald re-introduces Christianity to Northumbria,
though James the Deacon is still ministering to
the people of Swaledale. The chief among the
monks who accompanied the King from Dalriada
attempts to convert the Northumbrians, but meets
with little success. Oswald calls on Iona to send
an evangelical Bishop. King Sigebert of East
Anglia retires to the monastery of Burgh Castle
and entrusts the kingdom to his cousin, Egric,
who had already been deputising in part of the
country. St. Birinus arrives as a bishop from
Genoa to convert the people of Mercia. He,
however, decides to halt in Wessex instead. He
preaches to King Cynegils of Wessex near Cholsey.
Birth of St. Cuthbert in Tweedale and St. Wilfred
635 - King Penda of Mercia aims to gain control
of Middle Anglia and therefore attacks his rivals
in East Anglia. Ex-King Sigebert is forced to
leave his monastery in order to join King Egric
of East Anglia in battle against the invaders.
Sigebert and Egric are both killed in the
fighting. Sigebert is later revered as a saint.
Egric's brother, Anna, succeeds to the East
Anglian throne. St. Aidan, Bishop of Scattery
Island, arrives to evangelise Northumbria and
founds the Bishopric and Priory of Lindisfarne.
Under pressure from King Oswald of Northumbria,
King Cynegils of Wessex, is persuaded to allow
St. Birinus to convert him to Christianity.
Cynegils' eldest son, Cwichelm, resists. Cynegils
is baptised at Dorchester-on-Thames and gives
Birinus the town for his cathedral. Birinus is
made the first Bishop of Wessex. Oswald acts as
godfather and agrees to enter into a strategic
alliance with Wessex against Mercia. The
agreement is cemented by the marriage of King
Oswald to King Cynegils' daughter, Princess
c.635 - St. Finnian and St. Aebbe, half-sister of
King Oswald of Northumbria, found the monastery
of Coldsbury at St. Abbs.
636 - St. Birinus converts Prince Cwichelm of
Wessex to Christianity. The latter dies soon
afterward. He is supposedly buried at Scutchamer
Knob in East Hendred.
637 - King Oswald of Northumbria probably sends
troops to Ireland to assist King Domnall Brecc of
Dalriada in his alliance with King Congal Caech
of Ulster during the Irish dynastic wars. They
are defeated at the Battle of Mag Rath.
638 - King Oswald and his Northumbrian army
besiege and conquer Edinburgh. His half-brother,
Prince Oswiu of Bernicia, marries Princess
Rhiainfelt, heiress of North Rheged. Northumbria
probably embraces North Rheged in a peaceful
takeover. Oswiu may have been sub-King there for
c.640 - St. Maildulph settles in Malmesbury.
640 - Death of King Eadbald of Kent. He is
succeeded by his sons, Earconbert as overking and
Eormenred as King of West Kent. St. Aebbe moves
her monastery from St. Abbs to Coldingham Priory.
Foundation of Hartlepool Abbey by Princess Hieu
(of Ireland) who becomes the first Abbess.
641 - Prince Oswiu of Bernicia conquers Gododdin
as far north as Manau, on behalf of his
half-brother, King Oswald.
642 - King Penda of Mercia commands a united
British and Mercian force against King Oswald of
Northumbria. The British contingent includes the
army of Kings Cadafael Cadomedd of Gwynedd, Eluan
of Powys and Cynddylan of Pengwern. Oswald is
killed at the Battle of Oswestry, as is Prince
Eowa of Mercia, probably sub-King of Wrocenset.
Oswald is buried at Bardney Abbey and is later
regarded as a saint. He is succeeded by his
half-brother, Oswiu, in Bernicia, but he is found
to be unacceptable to the Deirans. The Mercians
become dominant in Midland Britain.
643 - King Oswiu of Bernicia sends to Kent for
Princess Eanflaed, daughter of King Edwin of
Deira. She sails north to Bamburgh and the two
are married. Despite this, Oswiu still fails to
secure Deira. King Penda of Mercia seizes control
of Lindsey and Elmet. Death of King Cynegils of
Wessex. He is succeeded by his son, Cenwalh, who
promptly repudiates his Royal Mercian wife.
644 - Despite armed objections from King Oswiu of
Bernicia, Oswine, the son of the late King Osric
of Deira, manages to establish himself as King of
Deira, possibly with Mercian support. Death of
Bishop Paulinus of Rochester.
645 - King Cenwalh of Wessex is driven from his
kingdom by his one time brother-in-law, King
Penda of Mercia. He flees to the Court of King
Anna of East Anglia. Penda overruns Wessex.
647 - Death of Bishop Felix of Dunwich. He is
buried at Soham and later revered as a saint.
c.647 - Princess (& Saint) Hilda of Deira is
persuaded by St. Aidan to enter the monastic life
at Hartlepool Abbey.
648 - St. Wilfred enters Lindisfarne Priory. King
Cenwalh of Wessex returns to reclaim his kingdom
and succeeds. He gives 3,000 hides of land around
Ashdown to his nephew, Cuthred, possibly sub-King
c.648 - King Cenwalh of Wessex invites St.
Birinus to establish the Old Minster in
Winchester. Together they have a small stone
649 - Death of Abbes Hieu of Hartlepool. She is
succeeded by St. Hilda.
650 - Death of Bishop Birinus of Wessex. He is
buried at Dorchester-on-Thames and later revered
as a saint. King Cenwalh of Wessex invites the
Frankish priest, St. Agilbert, to succeed him.
c.650 - The Mercians, under King Penda, move on
East Anglia, destroy the monastery at Burgh
Castle and expel King Anna who probably flees to
Magonset. It may have been at this time that
Penda takes control of Magonset and installs his
son, Merewalh as King there. King Oswiu of
Bernicia founds Melrose Abbey. St. Aidan sends
St. Eata to be the first Abbot with St. Boisil as
his Prior. Oswiu seeks Irish support against the
forces of King Penda of Mercia. While in Ireland
he has a liaison with Fin, the (grand) daughter
of Colman Rimid Ui Neill. Prince Aeldfrith is
born soon afterward. Re-establishment of London
as a Saxon trading community at Aldwich.
651 - King Oswiu of Bernicia has King Oswine of
Deira murdered at Gilling, after the later backs
down from armed conflict. Oswine is buried at
Tynemouth Priory where he is later revered as a
saint. He is succeeded by the late King Oswald of
Northumbria's son and Oswiu's nephew, Aethelwald.
King Aethelwald of Deira appears to initially
accept his uncle's overlordship. Queen Eanflaed
donates the estate of Gilling for the foundation
of a monastery in recompense for her second
cousin's murder. Death of St. Aidan, Bishop of
Lindisfarne. He is succeeded by St. Finan. Death
of St. Boisil, Prior of Melrose. He is succeeded
by St. Cuthbert.
652 - King Penda's Mercian army invades Bernicia
and besieges King Oswiu at Bamburgh.
653 - King Penda of Mercia establishes full
control of Middle Anglia and makes his son,
Peada, king there. In return for the hand of the
daughter of King Oswiu of Bernicia, Princess
Alchflaed, Peada accepts baptism, into the
Christian church, by Bishop (& Saint) Finan
of Lindisfarne, at Wattbottle. The Middle
Anglians have already been influenced by East
Anglian Christianity and King Peada allows St.
Cedd to envangelise his kingdom further. King
Sigeberht II of Essex is then also persuaded by
Oswiu, his overlord, to adopt Christianity as
part of a general mobilization against King Penda
of Mercia. Northumbrian missionaries under St.
Cedd are despatched to Essex where he founds the
monastery at Bradwell-on-Sea. Talorcan I, the
nephew of King Oswiu of Bernicia is crowned King
of the Picts through right of his mother. He
probably accepts Northumbrian overlordship. St.
Wilfred leaves Lindisfarne for Kent, then travels
on to Lyons and Rome.
c.653 - King Aethelwald of Deira rejects his
uncle's overlordship and turns to King Penda of
Mercia instead. Penda mounts another attack of
654 - King Penda of Mercia and his armies invade
East Anglia and kill King Anna. The King is
buried at Blythburgh and a monastery is founded
at Iken to commemorate his life. Anna's brother,
Aethelhere, succeeds as King of East Anglia and
accepts Mercian overlordship. St. Cedd returns to
Northumbria to be consecrated as Bishop of Essex,
with his seat in St. Paul's, London. He is given
land by King Aethelwald of Deira on which he
founds Lastingham Priory.
c.654 - Foundation of the first religious
community at Waltham Abbey, with a wooden church.
655 - King Penda of Mercia and a united Greater
Mercian and British army march on the Bernicians.
Oswiu of Bernicia, with an army only a third the
size, retreats to Stirling, the mostly northerly
city in his kingdom. It lay in the oppressed
sub-Kingdom of Manau-Gododdin. From here, Oswiu
sends envoys to offer Penda money in return for
holding off his armies. Penda appears to have
taken the cash and distributed it amongst his
British allies. However, having been taken from
the oppressed Northern British in the first
place, this is viewed as a restitution of
rightful property. Penda and his allies invade
Bernicia anyway, and the two armies meet at the
Battle of Winwaed. Kings Cadafael Cadomedd of
Gwynedd and Aethelwald of Deira, however,
withdraw before the battle begins. This
contributes to Penda's defeat and he and his
ally, Aethelhere of East Anglia, are both killed
in the fighting. Aethelhere's brother,
Aethelwold, succeeds to the East Anglian throne.
King Oswiu's son, Ecgbert is released from
Mercian hostageship. The Bernicians overrun
Mercia, but allow Penda's son, Peada, to continue
his rule in Middle Anglia, probably due to his
Christian faith. King Peada helps the Mercian
nobleman, Saxulf, to found Peterborough
(Medshamstead) Abbey (Cathedral). The latter
becomes the first Abbot. Bishop (& Saint)
Finan of Lindisfarne sends St. Diuma to be the
first Bishop of Mercia, Lindsey and Middle
Anglia. Oswiu's daughter, Aelfflaed, is given as
a novice to her second cousin, St. Hilda, Abbess
of Hartlepool, in compliance with a promise King
Oswiu had made should he be victorious at
656 - King of Oswiu of Bernicia invades Pengwern
and kills its king, Cynddylan, and his brother,
King Eluan of Powys, in battle. The Pengwernian
Royal family flee to Glastening. Mercians take
control of Pengwern and may have invaded Powys at
this time. Murder of King Peada of Middle Anglia
through the treachery of his wife. Direct
Northumbrian rule of all Mercia.
c.656 - King Aethelwald of Deira is removed from
office by his uncle, King Oswiu of Bernicia, and
replaced by the latter's son, Ealhfrith, as
sub-king in a united Northumbria.
657 - The foundation of Whitby Abbey. St. Hilda
and her cousin, Princess Aelfflaed, move from
Hartlepool to Whitby, where St. Hilda is made
Abbess. King Edwin of Deira's body is transferred
to Whitby Abbey, where he is revered as a saint.
The foundation of Ripon Abbey by monks from
Melrose. St. Eata, Abbot of Melrose becomes first
Abbot of Ripon.
658 - The Ealdormen of Mercia rebel against
Northumbrian domination and re-establish their
independence under Penda's son, Wulfhere. Death
of Bishop Diuma of Mercia, Lindsey and Middle
Anglia. He is buried at Charlbury and later
revered as a saint. King Cenwalh and the Wessex
Saxons make a push against Dumnonia (possibly
under a King Culmin). They are victorious at the
Battle of Penselwood and the Dumnonia-Wessex
border is set at the River Parrett. St. Wilfred
returns to Northumbria.
c.658 - St. Etheldreda, daughter of the late King
Anna of East Anglia, marries King Tondberht of
South Gyrwe. The East Anglians gain overlordship
of this area of Middle Anglia.
660 - King Sigeberht II of Essex is murdered by
his brothers, Swithelm and Swithfrith, and other
kinsmen for being "too ready to pardon
his enemies" that is to say, the
Christians. St. Cedd flees north to the Court of
King Aethelwald of East Anglia. Swithelm becomes
King of Essex, possibly with Swithfrith as
joint-monarch for a period. King Cenwalh of
Wessex becomes dissatisfied with his local
Bishop, St. Agilbert of Dorchester, as he does
not speak West-Saxon. The King splits the See of
Wessex in two. Wine becomes the first Bishop of
Winchester. Agilbert resigns in protest and
travels north to Northumbria. The Mercians take
control of Dorchester and appoint Aetla as
Bishop. Death of King Talorcan I of the Picts,
possible overthrow of Northumbrian overlordship
in the kingdom. King Merewalh of Magonset is
converted to Christianity.
c.660 - King Ealhfrith of Deira begins to follow
a religious policy independent of his father,
King Oswiu of Northumbria, by rejecting the ways
of the Ionian Church in favour of those of Rome.
Foundation of the monastery of Repton, by monks
from Peterborough. King Merewalh of Magonset
founds Leominster Priory.
661 - King Cenwalh of Wessex invades Dumnonia. He
is victorious at the Battle of Posbury. Saxon
settlers found Somerset in Eastern Dumnonia.
Death of the Wessex sub-King, Cenberht. He is
probably succeeded by his son, Caedwalla. King
Wulfhere of Mercia and his army sack the
Berkshire Downs around Ashdown and move south to
conquer the Meonware and the Isle of Wight. St.
Wilfred is given Ripon Abbey by King Aldfrith of
Northumbria. St. Eata is removed and Wilfred
becomes Abbot. Death of Bishop Finan of
Lindisfarne. He is later revered as a saint and
succeeded by St. Colman.
c.662 - King Swithelm of Essex is converted to
Christianity and baptised by St. Cedd at the
Court of King Aethelwald of East Anglia who acts
as his sponsor. East Anglia may have held some
sort of overlordship over Essex at this time.
663 - Bishop Wine of Winchester moves the
Bishop's Seat north again to Dorchester and the
Mercian Bishop Aetla is removed.
c.663 - Probable invasion of Pictland by King
Oswiu of Northumbria. He establishes overlordship
of, at least, the Southern Pictish sub-kingdoms
of Fortriu and Fib (and possibly Circinn).
664 - The Synod of Whitby is hosted by St. Hilda.
It is called to discuss whether the Northern
British should comply with the doctrines of Rome,
rather than follow the Irish Celtic practices of
Iona. Bishop (& Saint) Colman of Lindisfarne,
Abbess (& Saint) Hilda of Whitby and Bishop
(& Saint) Cedd of Essex speak for the
established Celtic ways (with Cedd as
interpreter). They are opposed by Abbot (&
Saint) Wilfred of Ripon and the former Bishop
(& Saint) Agilbert of Dorchester. The latter
are triumphant and St. Colman resigns his See in
protest. He is replaced by Tuda who dies of the
Plague soon afterward. Tuda is then succeeded as
Abbot, by St. Eata former Abbot of Ripon who
brings his prior, St. Cuthbert, from Melrose
Abbey to Lindisfarne. St. Wilfred is appointed
Bishop of Northumbria and transfers the See from
Lindisfarne to York. Bishop Cedd of Essex also
dies of Plague, along with his brother, Cynebil,
at his foundation of Lastingham Priory. Cedd is
buried there and later revered as a saint. He is
succeeded, as Abbot, by his brother, St. Chad,
but the See of Essex at London remains vaccant.
Death of King Earconbert of Kent. He is succeeded
by his son, Ecgbert I, who promptly has his
cousins, Aethelred and Aethelbert murdered in
order to secure his position. They are
subsequently revered as saints. A great plague
sweeps the country. Death of King Aethelwold of
East Anglia. He is succeeded by his nephew,
Eadwulf. Death of King Tondberht of South Gyrwe.
His widow, St. Etheldreda, marries Prince
Ecgfrith of Northumbria.
c.664 - King Oswiu of Northumbria removes his
son, King Ealhfrith, from his throne in Deira.
The Bernician throne controls all of Northumbria.
665 - Death of King Swithelm of Essex. He is
succeeded by his cousins, Sighere and Sebbi. The
followers of King Sighere of Essex apostasize.
King Sebbi of Essex remains Christian. Conflict
between the two monarchs appears to have been
exacerbated by the struggle for overlordship
between Mercia and Wessex. Sighere supports the
latter, Sebbi the former. King Wulfhere of Mercia
eventually establishes himself as overlord of
Essex (and London). Bishop Jaruman of Mercia is
despatched with Christian missionaries to
reconvert the people of Essex. Wulfhere insists
that King Sighere of Essex marry his niece, St.
Osyth, daughter of sub-King Frithuwold of Surrey.
St. Wilfred claims there is no-one with the
authority to consecrate him as Bishop in Britain
and so travels to Compiegne (France) to be
enthroned by the Archbishop of Paris. Overwhelmed
by the oppulance of the Frankish Church, Wilfred
delays his return. King Oswiu of Northumbria
becomes impatient and deposes him as Bishop of
York in favour of Abbot Chad of Lastingham. St.
Chad travels south to be consecrated by
Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury, but finds he
has died of the Plague. His successor, Wigheard,
is journeying to Rome for consecration. Bishop
Ithamar of Rochester is also near to death and
the only available Bishop is Wine of Dorchester.
St. Chad is consecrated Bishop of York by Bishop
Wine of Dorchester along with two Welsh Bishops
called in to make up the compulsorary threesom.
The authority of the latter are disputed by the
666 - St. Wilfred eventually returns to Britain
but is shipwrecked in Sussex. When he finally
reaches Northumbria, he finds he has been deposed
and is forced to retire to Ripon, as Abbot. He
then embarks on a mission through Mercia. St.
Eorcenwald founds Chertsey and Barking Abbeys.
667- Death of Bishop Jaruman of Mercia. His See
668 - Death of Archbishop-Elect Wigheard of
Canterbury of the Plague while returning from his
consecration in Rome. He is succeeded by
669 - Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury arrives
in Britain and, because of his irregular
consecration, removes St. Chad from the Bishopric
of York. St. Wilfred is reinstated as Bishop of
York and Chad humbly returns to Lastingham. King
Wulfhere of Mercia later asks the Archbishop for
a prelate to replace the late Bishop Jaruman. St.
Chad is appointed and he establishes the See at
Lichfield. King Ecgbert I of Kent grants the old
Saxon Shore Fort at Reculver to a priest named
Bassa in order to found a religious community
c.669 - King Ecgbert I of Kent loses the
overlordship of Surrey to King Wulhere of Mercia.
670 - Death of King Oswiu of Northumbria. He
is buried at Whitby Abbey and succeeded by his
son, Ecgfrith, who appoints his brother Aelfwine
as sub-King of Deira. Both are accepted by the
Deirans as maternal grandsons of the late King
Edwin of Deira. Bishop Wine of Dorchester falls
out with King Cenwalh of Wessex and leaves his
Bishopric. St. Agilbert is invited back, but
declines. His nephew, Leuthere, succeeds in his
place. Bishop Wine buys the See of London from
King Wulfhere of Mercia. This has been vaccant
since St. Cedd's death. The move is not popular
amongst other churchmen
c.670 - King Wulfhere of Mercia hands the
Meonware and the Isle of Wight over to his new
ally, King Aethelwalh of Sussex. Wulfhere
sponsors Aethelwalh's conversion to Christianity
and the latter marries Princess Eafa, daughter of
King Eanfrith of Hwicce, another Mercian
sub-king. Mercian missionaries arrive in Sussex
and found the monastery at Bosham. Death of King
Merewalh of Magonset. He is buried at Repton and
probably succeeded by his son, Merchelm
672 - Death of King Cenwalh of Wessex. His
sub-Kings divide the kingdom amongst themselves,
though his widow, Queen Seaxburh, does manage to
establish some claim to overlordship. St. Wilfred, Bishop of York,
completes his stone buildings at Ripon Abbey,
including a crypt. Large numbers of Royalty and
nobility attend its consecration. Wilfred
encourages Queen (& Saint) Etheldreda of
Northumbria to enter the religious life. She
leaves her husband and becomes a nun at
Coldingham Priory. The Synod of Hertford is held.
Death of Bishop Chad of Lichfield of the Plague.
He is buried in Lichfield Cathedral and later
revered as a saint. Archbishop Theodore of
Canterbury takes advantage of Bishop Bisi of
Dunwich's illness to force him to resign.
Theodore divides the see in two, based upon
Dunwich and (probably North) Elmham, under Aecce
and Beaduwine respectively.
673 - Death of King Ecgbert I of Kent. He is
succeeded by his brother, Hlothere. St.
Etheldreda returns to East Anglia and founds the
Abbey of Ely, with herself as Abbess. On her
journey, she founds a religious community at West
Halton and probably Flixborough also. Miraculous
occurrences while St. Etheldreda stops at Stow
encourage her former husband, King Ecgfrith of
Northumbria, to found a church and religious
community there too. Birth of the Venerable Bede.
Death of King Domangart of Dalriada. He is
succeeded by his nephew, Maelduin, who probably
submits to King Ecgfrith of Northumbria as his
c.673 - King Frithuwold of Surrey flourishes
under Mercian domination. The marriage of his
daughter, St. Osyth, to King Sighere of Essex
breaks down. Osyth desires the religious life and
flees from the Royal Essex Court to Bishop
Beaduwine at North Elmham, where she becomes a
nun. Her husband accepts the situation and grants
her land at Cicc where she founds St. Osyth's
Priory. Sub-King Coenred of Dorset flourishes.
The Picts revolt against Northumbrian
overlordship. King Ecgfrith marches north and,
with the help of his under-king, Beornhaeth, he
defeats them in Manau-Gododdin. King Drest of the
Picts is ousted.
674 - Queen Seaxburh of Wessex is removed from
power by her late husband's second cousin,
Cenfus. King Cenfus dies within the year and is
succeeded by his son, Aescwine. Death of King
Eanfrith of Hwicce. King Eanhere contines to rule
alone. St. Etheldreda, former Queen of
Northumbria, gives large areas of land to St.
Wilfred, Bishop of York, to found Hexham Abbey.
He builds three stone churches there, including
one with a crypt. Her husband, King Ecgfrith of
Northumbria, similarly gives land to St. Benedict
Biscop, sometime Abbot of St. Augustine's,
Canterbury, to found an abbey at Monkwearmouth.
Benedict sends for Frankish stonemasons to build
his new church.
c.674 - King Wulfhere of Mercia leads an army
against King Ecgfrith of Northumbria, but is
defeated in battle and forced to submit to
675 - King Aescwine of Wessex checks the
military advance of King Wulfhere and his Mercian
army at the Battle of Biedanheafde. Death of King Wulfhere of
Mercia. He is succeeded by his brother, Aethelred
I, and, nominally at least, by his son,
Berthwald, who takes on overlordship of the
Hwicce and Wessex border area as sub-King,
perhaps of Hendrica and Chilternset. King
Aethelred of Mercia founds the monastery at
Breedon-on-the-Hill on the site of St. Hardulph's
hermitage. King Hlothere re-establishes Kentish
supremacy in London. Death of King Eanhere of
Hwicce. He is succeeded by Osric. King Osric
establishes the Bishopric of the Hwicce at
Worcester and founds Bath Abbey. Prince Hean,
nephew of sub-King Cissa of Berkshire, founds
Abingdon Abbey. Death of Bishop Wine of London.
He is succeeded by St. Eorcenwald.
676 - Death of King Aescwine of Wessex. He is
succeeded by his cousin, Centwine, brother of the
late King Cenwalh. King Aethelred of Mercia
invades Kent in an attempt to enforce
overlordship and diminish Kentish influence in
Surrey and London. His armies cause so much
destruction to the diocese of Rochester that the
see is abandoned. St. Aldhelm founds Malmesbury
Abbey on the site of the hermitage of his old
tutor, St. Maildulf.
678 - St. Wilfred, Bishop of York, is at the
height of his power and owns vast estates
throughout Northumbria. Unhappy at Wilfred's
interference in his marriage, King Ecgfrith of
Northumbria conspires with Archbishop Theodore of
Canterbury to have him banished from Northumbria.
The Bishopric is divided between Abbot (&
Saint) Eata of Lindisfarne who is given Hexham,
and Bosa, a monk of Whitby, who is given York.
Eadhaed is given Lindsey. Wilfred travels to Rome
679 - The Synod of Hatfield is held. The
armies of King Aethelred I of Mercia and King
Ecgfirth of Northumbria clash at the Battle of
the Trent. Sub-King Aelfwine of Deira is killed
in the fighting and Mercia retakes Lindsey.
Bishop Eadhaed of Lindsey is expelled. He becomes
Abbot of Ripon. Northumbria is properly united.
King Osric of Hwicce founds the Abbey of St.
Peter in Gloucester with his sister, Cyneburg, as
the first Abbess. Death of Abbess Etheldreda of
Ely, former Queen of both South Gyrwe and
Northumbria. She is buried at Ely Cathedral,
succeeded by her sister Princess Seaxburh of East
Anglia, and later revered as a saint
c.679 - King Aethelred I of Mercia marries
Princess Osthryth, sister of King Ecgfrith of
680 - Death of Abbess Hilda of Whitby. She is
buried in her Abbey and later revered as a saint.
St. Wilfred returns to Northumbria, with Papal
support, but is imprisoned by King Ecgfrith of
Northumbria and again exiled. St. Wilfred travels
to Sussex. He discovers a small Irish community
of Christians, under one Dicul at Bosham, but
their attempts at converting the natives have
been unsuccessful. Wilfred, however, manages to
evangelise the people of both this country and
the adjoining Meonware. The Venerable Bede enters
the monastic school at Monkwearmouth.
c.680 - Princess Milburga, daughter of King
Merewalh of Magonset, becomes a nun and founds
Wenlock Priory where she becomes the first
Prioress. Sub-King Caedwalla becomes overly
ambitious in a power-struggle with King Centwine
for Wessex overlordship. He is banished from
Wessex and wanders through the Chilterns and then
681 - King Aethelwalh of Sussex gives St.
Wilfred lands in Selsey to found a cathedral. He
becomes the first Bishop of Selsey. The diocese
of Hexham is divided in two: St. Eata, Bishop of
Hexham is transferred to Lindisfarne and Tunberht
takes on Hexham. King Ecgfrith of Northumbria
requests that the monks of Monkwearmouth found a
new monastery at Jarrow. They build a complex of
stone buildings there.
c.681 - The
wandering ex-Wessex Sub-King, Caedwalla, seeks
St. Wilfred as his spiritual father but does not
convert to Christianity. Sub-King Bealdred
flourishes in Somerset and Wiltshire.
682 - The West Saxons, led by King Centwine, drive "the
British [of Dumnonia] as far as the
Sea" (possibly around Bideford).
683 - Death of King Sighere of Essex. His
cousin, Sebbi, continues to rule alone.
c.683 - Abbot Cuthbald of Peterborough and
Bishop Seaxwulf of Lichfield found several
daughter Houses for Peterborough, including
684 - King Ecgfrith of Northumbria sends
troops, under Dux Berhtred, to ravage Meath in
685 - Death of King Hlothere of Kent. He is
succeeded by his nephew, Eadric. The exiled
Prince Caedwalla of Wessex invades Sussex and,
though he kills King Aethelwalh, is driven out by
the new joint Kings Berhtun and Andhun.
Abdication of King Centwine of Wessex in order
that he may enter a monastery. He is succeeded by
his distant cousin, Caedwalla, who manages to
fully re-unite the sub-kingdoms of Wessex. Death
of sub-King Cissa of Berkshire. He is buried in
Abingdon Abbey. St. Cuthbert visits Carlisle.
Bishop Tunberht of Hexham is deposed. Cuthbert is
elected Bishop of Hexham, but agrees to switch
jobs with Bishop Eata of Lindisfarne instead. The
Picts, under King Bruide ipe Bili, revolt against
their Northumbrian overlords. Cuthbert advises
King Ecgfrith of Northumbria not to invade
Pictland. Undeterred, Ecgfrith marches his army
north to engage the enemy at the Battle of
Nechtansmere. The Picts, possibly with Scottish
and Strathclyde Briton help, thoroughly defeat
the Saxon guard. The latter permanently withdraw
from Pictish and Scottish lands north of the
Forth and also from much of the British territory
north of the Tweed. Death of the childless King
Ecgfrith of Northumbria. Supporters of the House
of Aethelric secure the succession of his
illegitimate half-brother, Aeldfrith, possibly
with Irish and Scottish help. Aeldfrith is
brought south from Iona, where he is studying.
Death of King Osric of Hwicce. King Oshere continues to rule alone.
686 - King Caedwalla of Wessex establishes
overlordship of Essex. With his new ally, King
Sighere of Essex, Caedwalla invades Kent. King
Eadric of Kent is expelled and Caedwalla's
brother, Mul, installed in his place. Sighere
rules in West Kent. King Caedwalla of Wessex
conquers Surrey and the Isle of Wight and
executes the latter's king, Aruald, and his two
brothers. He probably also overruns the Meonware.
Caedwalla invades Sussex for a second time, kills
King Berhtun of West Sussex and conquers the
kingdom. King Andhun of East Sussex probably
flees. St. Wilfred persuades King Caedwalla to
let him evangelise the Isle of Wight. The former
is later reconciled with Archbishop Theodore of
Canterbury who persuades King Aeldfrith to
reinstate Wilfred as Bishop of Hexham following
the death of St. Eata.
687 - King Mul of Kent and twelve companions
are burnt to death during a Kentish uprising. His
brother, King Caedwalla of Wessex ravages the
kingdom in revenge. Death of ex-King Eadric of
Kent. Bishop Bosa of York is removed from office
and St. Wilfred is given the See of York. St.
John of Beverley is made Bishop of Hexham. Abbot
Eadhaed of Ripon is also removed and the Abbacy
restored to Wilfred. Bishop
Cuthbert of Lindisfarne resigns his office and
retires to his hermitage on Inner Farne where he
dies. He is buried in Lindisfarne Priory and
later revered as a saint. Bishop (& Saint)
Wilfred of Ripon temporarily administers the See
EBK 410 AD-598 AD
EBK 599 AD-937 AD
Saxon 688 AD-801 AD
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