English Kings Timeline
Timeline Description: The early English kings, the Saxons, ruled England before the Norman Conquest of 1066. Over the course of hundreds of years, these men united diverse small kingdoms to form a large and powerful kingdom that would play a key role in European politics through today.

Date Event
827 Egbert(827 to 839)

Egbert was the first to establish stable rule over much of England. Egbert was recognized as ruler of the British before his death.
839 Aethelwulf(839 to 856)

Aethelwulf was King of Wessex. A very religious man, Aethelwulf travelled to see the pope during his reign. He also was responsible for protecting England from Danish invasions.
856 Aethelbald(856 to 860)

Aethelbald was the son of Aethelwulf. He forced his father to abdicate the throne in 856 and married his stepmother.
860 Aethelbert(860 to 866)

Aethelbert's reign was marked by multiple Danish invasions, including the 865 invasion of the Great Heathen Army.
866 Aethelred(866 to 871)

Aethelred, the brother of Aethelbert, continued to fight the Danes. By this time, the Vikings had established a kingdom in York, called Yorvik.
871 Alfred the Great(871 to 899)

Alfred the Great started the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and established a standing army. He maintained peace with the Danes during a portion of his reign.
899 Edward(899 to 924)

Edward successfully regained lands in southeast England from the Danes. He united Wessex and Mercia during his reign.
924 Aethelstan(924 to 939)

Aethelstan defeated an army of Scots, Danes and others to claim the title of King of All Britain.
939 Edmund(939 to 946)

Edmund re-established control of Northern England following Aethelstan's death. He was killed by a robber at only 25 years old.
946 Eadred(946 to 955)

Eadred expelled the Scandinavian rulers of Yorvik during his reign, but died young and without an heir.
955 Eadwig(955 to 959)

Eadwig reigned for only a few years in his late teens. Little is recorded of his reign, save for that he exiled a bishop to France.
959 Edgar(959 to 975)

Edgard, Eadwig's brother, took the crown in 959. Edgard gained the allegiance of the rulers of Wales and Scotland during his reign.
975 Edward the Martyr(975 to 978)

Edward was crowned as a boy, and murdered only a few years later, likely at the urging of his stepmother.
978 Aethelred II the Unready(978 to 1016)

Under Aethelred, the battle between the Anglo-Saxons and Danes came to an end, with the success of the Scandinavian invaders. Sweyen Forkbeard invaded in 1015.
1016 Edmund II

The son of Aethelred reigned only briefly, and during a period of constant battle with the son of Sweyen Forkbeard, Canute the Dane.
1016 Canute the Dane(1016 to 1035)

Canute the Dane was a fine king. He married Aethelred's widow and sent most of the Danish troops back to Denmark. He ruled well, and was well-liked.
1035 Harold I(1035 to 1040)

Harold, the illegitimate son of Canute, claimed the throne after his father's death.
1040 Harthacanute(1040 to 1042)

Harthacanute was the legitimate heir to Canute the Dane. At the time of his father's death, he was defending his kingdom in Denmark.
1042 Edward the Confessor(1042 to 1066)

When Harthacanute died without am heir, Edward the Confessor, a member of the House of Wessex, took the throne. Edward, a deeply religious man, left no heirs.
1066 Harold II

Harold II had no royal blood and was elected King. William the Conqueror in France objected, leading to Harold's death and the Norman invasion.