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Anglo-Saxon and Danish kings of England

King Egbert of Wessex

Egbert (802–839)

Egbert (Ecgberht), King of Wessex, was the first monarch to establish rule over the whole of Anglo-Saxon England. Returning from exile at the court of Charlemagne, he won back the kingdom of Wessex in 802. Following his conquest of Mercia at Ellandun in 825, he gained control all of England south of the Humber. Victories in Northumberland and North Wales in 829 extended his territories. He was later regarded as the Bretwalda (Anglo-Saxon for "ruler of the British”). Just before he died, Egbert defeated a combined force of Danish Vikings and Cornish at Hingston Down in Cornwall.

King Aethelstan became the first king to rule the whole of England when he conquered Northumbria in 927. For this reason, some historians regard him, rather than Egbert, to be the first true king of England.

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