Thursday, 12 March 2015

England's First Ruling Queen

I'm just writing an article on England's ruling queens and it occurred to me that there is one queen who is almost always missed off the lists of female monarchs. In fact, few people have even heard of her.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 672 states, matter of factly, that 'here Cenwalh passed away, and Seaxburh, his queen, ruled one year after him'.

This is almost all we know about England's first ruling queen, Seaxburh of Wessex, who may have died in 674, since this is the year from which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates the start of the next reign in Wessex. Her husband, Cenwalh, had first been married to a sister of the Pagan King Penda of Mercia. According to Bede, he then 'took another woman' who may, perhaps be identified with Seaxburh. This led to Penda driving his former brother-in-law from his kingdom, with Cenwalh taking refuge in East Anglia for three years, during which time he became a Christian. He then returned to his kingdom to rule for another twenty-five years.

In the seventh century, Wessex was just one of several kingdoms in England and far from the most important. From the ninth century onwards, however, the kings of Wessex began a programme of uniting England under their rulership and the current queen is a descendant of the kings of Wessex.

Seaxburh may have had a troubled reign, since Bede claimed that, on her husband's death, 'under-kings took over the government of the realm, which they divided amongst them and ruled for about ten years'. Perhaps her authority was disputed, or she was only able to retain control over part of the kingdom? No details survive and she had no known children.

Although Seaxburh's life is almost entirely obscure, the fact that there was a ruling queen in the early Anglo-Saxon period is fascinating. None of her successors as queens of Wessex would reach so high. You can, however, read more about another fascinating Anglo-Saxon queen - Elfrida - in my book, Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England. Although not a ruling queen, there is rather more known about the tenth century Elfrida's life!




1 comment:

  1. I am Mariam used every single spell worker on the internet, spent untold amounts of money and discovered they are all fakes...i was the fool though; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the end, I decided that I wanted a tarot reading to know what my future held for me; I contacted a woman who lives locally to me and she told me about a man named (priests olalude abija); he does not advertise on the internet, has another job for income, has no set prices, makes no false promises and refuses to help anyone that cannot be helped and even helps for free sometimes, he will give you proof before taking money. He is a wonderful man and he was the only person who actually gave me real results. I really hope he doesn't mind me advertising his contact on the internet but I'm sure any help/ extra work will benefit him.contact him as spirituallighthealing101@live.com He travel sometimes.love marriage,finance, job promotion ,lottery Voodoo,poker voodoo,gambling voodoo,golf Voodoo,Law & Court case Spells,money voodoo,weigh loss voodoo,any sicknesses voodoo,cancer voodoo,Trouble in marriage,it's all he does Hope this helps everyone that is in a desperate situation as I once was; I know how it feels to hold onto something and never have a chance to move on because of the false promises and then to feel trapped in wanting something
    more.

    ReplyDelete