Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 18.djvu/22

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Worcester (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Kemble's Codex Dipl. (Engl. Hist. Soc.); William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Haddan and Stubbs's Eccles. Doc. iii.; Dugdale's Monasticon; Vita S. Guthlaci, Acta SS. Bolland. Ap. ii. 37; Monumenta Moguntina, pp. 35, 275, ed. Jaffé; Bishop Stubbs's art. ‘Ethelbald’ in Dict. of Christian Biog.; Parker's Early Hist. of Oxford (Oxford Hist. Soc.); Green's Making of England.]

W. H.

ETHELBALD or ÆTHELBALD (d. 860), king of the West-Saxons, the second son of Æthelwulf, was present with his father at the victory over the Scandinavian pirates at Ockley in Surrey in 851, and is said by Asser to have conspired with Ealhstan, bishop of Sherborne, and the West-Saxons to supplant Æthelwulf while on his pilgrimage to Rome (855–6). On Æthelwulf's return Æthelbald and his party refused to allow him to continue to reign in Wessex; he retired to Kent, and Æthelbald ruled over the West-Saxons [on these matters see more fully under Ethelwulf]. When Æthelwulf died in 858, he took to wife his father's widow, Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald, greatly to the scandal of all men (Asser, p. 472; Kemble, Codex Dipl. 1058; Annales Bertiniani, Prudentius, 858). It has been suggested that the reason of this marriage was purely political (Green); it is perhaps more natural to believe that it either showed a tendency to adopt old heathen customs [see under Eadbald], or was simply the result of inclination. It is said that Swithun, bishop of Winchester, reproved the king for his sin, and that he repented and separated from Judith (Anglia Sacra, i. 204). This, however, is extremely doubtful, and does not rest on good authority. Judith did not return to France until after Æthelbald's death, and she was then spoken of as his widow (Ann. Bertin. Hincmar, 862). Æthelbald died in 860 (Asser), after a reign of five years (A.-S. Chron.), which must probably be reckoned from the date of his father's departure from England in 855. He was buried at Sherborne. All England is said to have mourned for him, and in after years to have felt how much it had lost by his death (Henry of Huntingdon, p. 737). The share he had in the victory of Ockley, and the peace that, to judge from the silence of the chroniclers, prevailed during his reign, are enough to explain the regret with which his people are said to have remembered him.

[Anglo-Saxon Chron., Asser, Henry of Huntingdon, all in Mon. Hist. Brit.; Kemble's Codex Dipl. (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Annales Bertin. ed. Waitz, Script. Rerum Germ., Pertz; Wharton's Anglia Sacra; Green's Conq. of Engl.]

W. H.

ETHELBERHT, ÆTHELBERHT, or ÆDILBERCT (552?–616), king of Kent, son of Eormenric, the grandson of Oeric, called Oisc, from whom the Kentish kings took the patronymic of Oiscingas or Æscings, and who was the son of Hengest, is said on somewhat doubtful authority to have been born in 552 (A.-S. Chron. Canterbury). He succeeded to the throne of Kent in 560 (Bæda, Hist. Eccl. ii. 5; in 565 A.-S. Chron.), and in 568 endeavoured to extend his kingdom westwards by marching into the district between the Andredsweald and the Thames. Here, however, he was met by the West-Saxons under Ceawlin and his brother Cutha, who defeated him at Wibbandune or Wimbledon, and drove him back into Kent. He married Bertha [q. v.], daughter of Haribert or Charibert, king of the Franks, who reigned in Paris, by his wife Ingoberg, promising her parents that she and the bishop she brought over with her, Lindhard, bishop of Senlis, should be allowed to practise their religion without interruption. Accordingly he gave her the Roman church of St. Martin, to the east of his capital Canterbury, that she might worship there. On the death of Ceawlin in 593 Æthelberht's power appears to have increased greatly; he gained supremacy over all the English race south of the Humber, and is therefore reckoned as the third Bretwalda (Bæda, Hist. Eccl. i. 25, ii. 5; A.-S. Chron. 827). In 597 he heard of the landing of St. Augustine and his companions, and sent to them bidding them remain in the Isle of Thanet until he had determined what to do, and telling them that in the meantime he would provide for them. After some days he came to the island with his thegns, and, sitting in the open air lest the strangers should cast spells upon him, gave audience to the missionaries. When they had finished their discourses he answered that their words and promises were fair, but as they were new and doubtful he would not forsake what he and the whole English race had so long held. Nevertheless, as they had come so far in order to tell him what they believed to be true and profitable, he would use them hospitably; they should have whatever they needed, and might make such converts as they could. His answer shows that he had not learnt anything about christianity from the queen or her bishop, though he was willing to extend the fullest toleration to those who desired to teach it. He gave the missionaries a dwelling in Canterbury, provided them with food, and allowed them to preach. They used St. Martin's church, and gained several converts. Æthelberht himself was converted, and was baptised, doubt-