168 – The Fall of Mercia

When we left off, King Beornwulf was reigning over Mercia. Beornwulf was the beginning of the creatively named B-Dynasty, due to the fact that Anglo Saxons seemed to denote their dynasties by selecting the same first letters for their kids. So Beornwulf had two kids named Berhfrith and Behrtric, a brother named Bynna, and it’s thought that Baldred was his… Read more →


167 – The Beginning of the End

I’d like to fess up to something. This episode was hard to write and it’s probably why just about everyone else avoids this era… While these events are really interesting, it’s very hard to find a way to keep you engaged while we’re talking about characters that you’ve never heard about before. I mean, I could probably spend an entire… Read more →


166 – Wulfred: The Rogue Archbishop

We start today with a death.  On the 28th of January, 814, Charlemagne died and the throne passed to Louis the Pious.  The death of Charlemagne was a big deal for early medieval europe, not just because it meant that we wouldn’t have anymore passive aggressive comments about the quality of British wool, or weird tantrums over weddings, or (my… Read more →


165 – Did Archbishop Wulfred Just Kill a Guy?

Last week we talked about the impact that the Church was having on internal politics within the Anglo Saxon kingdoms, and that is something we will continue to talk about today.  However, before we begin, let’s talk about something strange that’s happening on the continent. Denmark has unified and become wealthy enough to have kings… and their current King, Gudfred,… Read more →


164 – Shadow Governments

When we last left off, King Egbert was ruling over Wessex, King Cuthred (Coenwulf’s brother) was ruling over Kent… and Emperor Coenwulf held Mercia.  I call him Emperor, by the way, because that’s what he called himself.  And also because he does seem like he was a king of kings.  His brother answered to him, the minor kingdoms like the… Read more →


163 – The South Grows Restless

There’s a shift that’s happening in Anglo Saxon politics that’s occurring… we’ve had powerful queens in the Anglo Saxon kingdoms (especially in Mercia, where Queens were more powerful than most).  But something is happening in Wessex that will impact around the next several hundred years.  West Saxon Queens were getting demoted.  Women on the throne, or next to it, were… Read more →