Ecgfrith of Northumbria

Ecgfrith
King of Northumbria
Reign670-685
PredecessorOswiu
SuccessorAldfrith
Died20 May 685
Battle of Nechtansmere
ConsortÆthelthryth
FatherOswiu
MotherEanflæd

Ecgfrith (ð/; Old English: Ecgfrið[a] c. 645 – 20 May 685) was the King of Deira from 664 until 670, and then King of Northumbria from 670 until his death in 685. He ruled over Northumbria when it was at the height of its power, but his reign ended with a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Nechtansmere in which he lost his life.

Early life

Ecgfrith was born in 645 to king Oswiu and Eanflæd his queen. At about the age of 10 Ecgfrith was held as a hostage at the court of Queen Cynewise after her husband king Penda of Mercia invaded Northumbria in 655[1]. Penda was eventually defeated and killed in the Battle of the Winwaed by Oswiu a victory which greatly enhanced Northumbrian power. To secure his hegemony over other English kingdoms Oswiu arranged a marriage between Ecgfrith and Æthelthryth, a daughter of Anna of East Anglia, he was possibly as young as 15 at the time. Ecgfrith was then made king of Deira in 664 after his half-brother Alhfrith had rebelled against Oswiu earlier that year.

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