English History Timeline 860-869

Aethelbald of Wessex King Aethelbert of Wessex Aethelred of Wessex

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 860 – 869

The kings of Wessex for this period were
Aethelbald 860,
Aethelbert from 860 – 865
Aethelred from 865


860 (during)
King Aethelbald of Wessex shocked church elders and ealdormen by marrying his stepmother, Judith of France.
860 (Summer)
The Viking chieftan Weland, attacked Winchester, the capital of Wessex, and set the town alight. Weland tried to fight further inland but was defeated by an Anglo Saxon force.
860 (20th December)
King Aethelbald of Wessex died. He was succeeded by his brother Aethelbert of Kent thus uniting Wessex and Kent.
861 (during)
Aethelberht of Wessex was crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames.
862 (13th April)
King Donald of Scotland died. He was succeeded by his nephew Constantine I.
862 (during)
Aelle challenged Osberht for the rule of the kingdom of Northumbria and won.
865 (around)
The legendary Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok was shipwrecked off the Northumbrian coast. King Aelle immediately marched to the coast, defeated the Viking army and took Ragnar prisoner.
865 (during)
Aelle killed Ragnar Lothbrok by throwing him into a pit of snakes. This act led to the formation of the Great Heathen army by the sons of Ragnar who vowed to avenge the death of their father. 
865 (during)
The Great Heathen Army led by the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, Halfdan, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, Ubba and Ivar the Boneless, landed in East Anglia. They accepted a payment of horses from King Edmund of East Anglia to go away.
865 (Autumn)
King Aethelberht of Wessex died. He was succeeded by his brother Aethelred I of Wessex.
866 (during)
Aethelred was crowned King Aethelred I of Wessex at Kingston-upon-Thames.
866 (1st November)
The Great Heathen Army marched north to Northumbria and took the city of York.
867 (21st March)
Aelle made an alliance with his former adversary, Osberht, and together they marched to expel the Vikings from York. They were badly defeated. Osberht was killed during the battle. Aelle was captured and executed, allegedly by being subjected to the blood eagle as revenge for his killing Ragnar Lothbork.
867 (22nd March)
Ivar the Boneless, leader of the Great Heathen army, claimed victory over Northumbria and installed Ecgbert as puppet King.
868 (around)
King Aethelred I married Wulfthryth, it is thought she came from Wiltshire.
868 (during)
A son Aethelhelm, was born to Aethelred and Wulfthryth.
868 (during)
Aethelred’s younger brother Alfred married Ealhswith, daughter of a Mercian noble strengthening ties with Mercia.
868 (during)
Aethelred’s brother-in-law, Burgred of Mercia, appealed for help against a Viking attack. Aethelred and his brother Alfred marched north with an army but by the time they arrived Burgred had paid the Vikings to leave thus avoiding battle.
869 (around)
A son, Aethelwold, was born to King Aethelred and Wulfthryth.
869 (Autumn)
The Viking force led by Ivar the Boneless entered Mercia and sacked the monastery at Peterborough killing the monks and abbot.
869 (20th November)
The Great Heathen Army marched into East Anglia and defeated King Edmund of East Anglia. He was taken prisoner and horrifically murdered.


First published 2016; Updated and re-published Jan 12 2021 @ 7:16 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2021). English History 860 – 869. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/english-history-860-869. Last accessed [date]


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