Eardwulf Of Northumbria
Eardwulf (fl. 790 – c. 830) was king of Northumbria from 796 to 806, when he was deposed and went into exile. He may have had a second reign from 808 until perhaps 811 or 830. Northumbria in the last years of the eighth century was the scene of dynastic strife between several noble families, and, in 790, the then-king Æthelred I attempted to have Eardwulf assassinated. Eardwulf's survival may have been viewed as a sign of divine favour. A group of nobles conspired to assassinate Æthelred in April 796, and he was succeeded by Osbald; Osbald's reign lasted only twenty-seven days before he was deposed, and Eardwulf became king on 14 May 796.
Little is recorded of Eardwulf's family, though his father, also named Eardwulf, is known to have been a nobleman. Eardwulf was married by the time he became king, though his wife's name is not recorded. It is possible he later wed an illegitimate daughter of Charlemagne. In 798, early in his reign, Eardwulf fought a battle at Billington Moor against a nobleman named Wada, who had been one of those who killed King Æthelred. Wada was defeated and driven into exile. In 801 Eardwulf led an army against Coenwulf of Mercia, perhaps because of Coenwulf's support for other claimants to the Northumbrian throne.
He was deposed in 806, and according to a Frankish record, returned to his kingdom in 808. No record has survived of his death or the end of his reign, and dates from 811 to 830 have been suggested. He is possibly buried at the Mercian royal monastery of Breedon on the Hill which carries a dedication to Saint Mary and Saint Hardulph, with whom Eardwulf is identified by several historians.
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