was an attempt by Æthelwold of Wessex
to seize the throne from Edward the Elder
after the death of Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
, King of England
, died on 26 October 899
. Alfred's son, Edward, was expected to succeed him, but his cousin, Æthelwold, pressed his claim to the throne. Æthelwold was the son of King Aethelred I
, Alfred's older brother, and moved to secure the inheritance for himself.
Æthelwold took his small force and seized Wimborne
, burial place of Aethelred. He then took control of the crown lands at Christchurch
and returned to Wimborne to await Edward's response. Edward assembled an army and moved to Badbury
, but Æthelwold would not meet him in battle. He instead stayed within Wimborne with his men and a nun he had kidnapped, seemingly preparing for a long stand-off. However, Edward had the resources for a frontal assault and was preparing to make the attack when Æthelwold rode North in the night.
Æthelwold arrived in the North soon after he fled from the confrontation at Winborne. He appealed for support from the Danish Vikings of Northumbria and they pledged their allegiance. Coins were minted during the period showing that Æthelwold had been proclaimed King in Jórvík. Meanwhile, Edward was crowned at Kingston upon Thames on 8 June 900.
In the Autumn of 901, Æthelwold sailed with a fleet from his new allies into Essex. By 902 he and the East Anglian Danes were attacking deep into Mercia, one of Edward's most important allies, as far as Cricklade, Wiltshire. The King could no longer tolerate such a hostile rebel force.
The Battle Of Holme
The two men met in battle later in the year, meeting at Holme
on 13 December 902
. The Danes defeated Edward's troops, but the King was the real victor. Despite his losses, the battle left Æthelwold and Eohric
, the Danish king of East Anglia, dead on the field.
Despite the conflict, Edward's position was strengthened as a result of the revolt. With Æthelwold dead, his grip on the throne was assured for the remainder of his reign. The quelling of domestic unrest also allowed him to focus on the Viking settlers. He had killed one of the Danish kings, Eohric, and two more soon fell, at his decisive victory at Tettenhall
. Surviving the revolt placed him in the ascendancy over his Danish rivals.
Anglo-Saxon Kings - Edward the Elder
English Monarchs - Edward the Elder