List of monarchs of Northumbria

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Northumbria, a kingdom of Angles, in what is now northern England and south-east Scotland, was initially divided into two kingdoms, Bernicia and Deira. The two were first united by Aethelfrith around the year 604, and except for occasional periods of division over the subsequent century, they remained so.

The exceptions are during the brief period from 633 to 634, when Northumbria was plunged into chaos by the death of King Edwin in battle and the ruinous invasion of Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd. The unity of the Northumbrian kingdoms was restored after Cadwallon's death in battle in 634.

Another exception is a period from about the year 644 to 664, when kings ruled individually over Deira. In 651, King Oswiu had Oswine of Deira killed and replaced by Aethelwald, but Aethelwald did not prove to be a loyal sub-king, allying with the Mercian king Penda; according to Bede, Aethelwald acted as Penda's guide during the latter's invasion of Northumbria but withdrew his forces when the Mercians met the Northumbrians at the Battle of Winwaed. After the Mercian defeat at Winwaed, Aethelwald lost power and Oswiu's own son, Alchfrith, became king in his place. In 670, Aelfwine, the brother of the childless King Ecgfrith, was made king of Deira; by this point the title may have been used primarily to designate an heir. Aelfwine was killed in battle against Mercia in 679, and there was not another separate king of Deira until the time of Norse rule.

Following are lists of the kings of Bernicia, Deira, and Northumbria. Note that many of their dates, particularly in the earlier period, are considered unreliable.

This was a time when spellings varied widely, even within a document. A number of variations of the details below exist. Amongst these are the preference between þ and ð (Thorn and Eth).

The character "7" was used as the ampersand "&" in contemporary Anglo-Saxon writings. The era pre-dates the emergence of forms of writing accepted today, notably minuscule, and the letters "W" and "U". Where W was followed by U this was generally rendered as "VV" (which was also used for "W" alone).

Kings of Bernicia[edit]

Reign Incumbent [clarification needed] Notes
fl.500 Esa
(Oesa)
ESA INGVING CYNING
ESA REX BERNICIA CYNING
fl c. 520 Eoppa EOPPA ESING BERNICIA CYNING
EOPPA REX BERNICIA
547 to 559 Ida IDA EOPPING BERNICIA CYNING
IDA REX BERNICIA
559 to 560 Glappa
(Clappa)
GLAPPA BERNICIA CYNING
GLAPPA REX BERNICIA
560 to 568 Adda ADDA REX BERNICIA CYNING
ADDA REX BERNICIA
568 to 572 Æthelric ÆÞELRIC IDING BERNICIA CYNING
ÆÞELRIC REX BERNICIA
572 to 579 Theodric
(Deoric)
ÞEODRIC IDING BERNICIA CYNING
ÞEODRIC REX BERNICIA
579 to 585 Frithuwald
(Frithewlf)
FRIÞVVALD BERNICIA CYNING
FRIÞVVALD REX BERNICIA
585 to 593 Hussa HVSSA BERNICIA CYNING
HVSSA REX BERNICIA
593 to 616 Æthelfrith ÆÞELFRIÞ ÆÞELRICING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELFRIÞ REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed in battle
Deira Dynasty
616 to 12/14 October 632 Edwin EDVVIN ÆLLING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
EDVVIN REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed in battle by Penda, King of Mercia
Bernicia Dynasty
late 632 to 633 Eanfrith EANFRIÞ ÆÞELFRIÞING BERNICIA CYNING
EANFRIÞ REX BERNICIA
634 to 5 August 642 Oswald OSVVALD ÆÞELFRIÞING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVALD REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed by Penda, King of Mercia; Saint Oswald
late 642 to 654 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFRIÞING BERNICIA CYNING
OSVVIO REX BERNICIA
Became King of united Northumbria

Kings of Deira[edit]

Reign Incumbent [clarification needed] Notes
559/560 to 589 Ælla
(Aelli)
ÆLLA YFFING DEIRA CYNING
ÆLLA REX DEIRA
589/599 to 604 Æthelric
(Aedilric)
ÆÞELRIC DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELRIC REX DEIRA
Bernician Dynasty
593/604? to 616 Æthelfrith ÆÞELFERÞ ÆÞELRICING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELFERÞ REX DEIRA
Killed in battle
Deira Dynasty
616 to 12/14 October 632 Edwin EDVVIN ÆLLING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
EDVVIN REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed in battle by Cadwallon of Gwynedd and Penda of Mercia; Saint Edwin
late 633 to summer 634 Osric OSRIC ÆLFRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSRIC REX DEIRA
633 to 5 August 642 Oswald OSVVALD BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVALD REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed by Penda, King of Mercia; Saint Oswald
642 to 644 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFRIÞING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
644 to 651 Oswine OSVVINE OSRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSVVINE REX DEIRA
Murdered
summer 651 to late 654 or 655 Æthelwold ÆÞELVVALD OSVVALDING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELVVALD REX DEIRA
654 to 15 August 670 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFERÞING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Restored
656 to 664 Alchfrith ALCHFRIÞ DEIRA CYNING
ALCHFRIÞ REX DEIRA
670 to 679 Ælfwine ÆLFVVINE DEIRA CYNING
ÆLFVVINE REX DEIRA

Kings of Northumbria[edit]

Reign Incumbent [clarification needed] Notes
654 to 15 February 670 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFRIÞING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Hither of Bernicia and Deira
February 670 to 20 May 685 Ecgfrith ECGFERÞ OSVVEOING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ECGFERÞ REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Killed in battle against the Picts
May 685 to 14 December 704 Aldfrith
(Ealdfrith, Aldfrid)
ALDFERÞ OSVVEOING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ALDFERÞ REX NORÞANHYMBRA
late 704 to early 705 Eadwulf EADVVLF NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
EADVVLF REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Usurper
705 to 716 Osred I OSRED ALDFERÞING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Killed in battle or murdered
716 to 718 Coenred COENRED NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
COENRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
718 to 29 May 729 Osric OSRIC ALDFERÞING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSRIC REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Adopted Ceolwulf as his heir
729 to 731 Ceolwulf CEOLVVLF NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
CEOLVVLF REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed; Saint Ceolwulf
731 to 737/8 Ceolwulf CEOLVVLF NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
CEOLVVLF REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Restored; abdicated to become a monk
737 to 758 Eadberht EADBRYHT EATING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
EADBRYHT REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Abdicated to become a monk
758 to 759 Oswulf
(Osulf)
OSVVLF NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSVVLF REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Murdered by his servants
759 to 765 Æthelwald Moll ÆÞELVVALD MOLL NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆÞELVVALD MOLL REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed
765 to 774 Alhred EALCHRED NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
EALCHRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed and exiled
774 to 779 Æthelred I ÆÞELRED NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆÞELRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed
779 to 23 September 788 Ælfwald I ÆLFVVALD NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆLFVVALD REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Murdered
788 to 790 Osred II OSRED ALCHREDING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed and exiled
790 to 18 April 796 Æthelred I ÆÞELRED NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆÞELRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Restored
796 Osbald OSBALD NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSBALD REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Exiled after a reign of 27 days
14 May 796 to 806/8 Eardwulf EARDVVLF NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
EARDVVLF REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed
806/8 to 808/10 Ælfwald II
(Elfwald II)
ÆLFVVALD NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆLFVVALD REX NORÞANHYMBRA
808 to 810 Eardwulf EARDVVLF NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
EARDVVLF REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Restored
810 to 841 Eanred EANRED EARDVVLFING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
EANRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
840/1 to 844 Æthelred II ÆÞELRED EANREDING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆÞELRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed
844 Rædwulf
(Redwulf)
RÆDVVLF NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
RÆDVVLF REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Usurper
844 to c. 848/9 Æthelred II ÆÞELRED EANREDING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆÞELRED REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Restored
c. 848/9 to 862/3 Osberht
(Osbert)
OSBEORHT NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSBEORHT REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Deposed
862/3/7 to 23 March 867 Ælle II ÆLLE NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ÆLLE REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Usurper; Killed by the Danes with Osbeorht
867 to 21 March 867 Osberht
(Osbert)
OSBEORHT NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSBEORHT REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Killed by the Danes with the usurper Aelle

Kings of Northumbria in the Norse era[edit]

Reign Incumbent [clarification needed] Notes
867 to 872 Ecgberht I ECGBRYHT NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ECGBRYHT REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Puppet king of the Danes
872 to 876 Ricsige RICSIGE NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
RICSIGE REX NORÞANHYMBRA
876 to c. 878 Ecgberht II ECGBRYHT NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
ECGBRYHT REX NORÞANHYMBRA
878 to 895 Guðroðr GUTHFRID NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
GUTHFRID REX NORÞANHYMBRA
late 9th century/early 10th century[1]:79 Sigfroðr
late 9th century/early 10th century[1]:79 Knútr Sigfroðr and Knútr may have been joint kings for part or all of the period between 895 and 905[1]:79
fl. c. 900—902[1]:79 Æthelwold
died 910[1]:87 Hálfdan and Eowils Another king, Ingwær, brother of the above, may have ruled too
died 913[1]:88[2]:139 Eadwulf II
from 913 to 918[2]:139 to unknown[2]:164 Ealdred Did not rule all of the territory, much of which likely belonged to Ragnall. Ealdred appears to have ruled some territory in the north, probably from Bamburgh, until at least 927.[2]:151
914 (or before) to 921[2]:144—8 Ragnall Probably controlled much of Northumbria before finally becoming king of York in 918.
921 to 927[2]:148—51 Sigtrygg Known as Sitric Cáech in Irish chronicles.
927 to 939 [2]:151,74 Æthelstan of Wessex
939 to 941[2]:174,81 Olaf Guthfrithson Known as Amlaíb mac Gofraid in Irish chronicles
941 to 943 or 944[2]:181—2 Amlaíb Cuarán Known in England as Olaf Sihtricson
943 to 944 (with Amlaíb Cuarán?)[2]:182 Ragnall Guthfrithson
roughly 944 to 946[2]:182,86 Eadmund of Wessex
c. 947 to 948[2]:186—8 Eric Eric Bloodaxe
949 to 952[2]:186,88 Amlaíb Cuarán (again)
952 to 954[2]:188—90 Eric (again)
from 954[2]:190 Eadred of Wessex Claiming and enforcing rule from 946;[2]:185—90 Kingdom absorbed permanently into England after 954[2]:190

Family tree[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BERNICIA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Esa
died c. 520
(c. 500 – c. 520)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eoppa
died 547
(c. 520–547
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DEIRA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ida
born 517; died 559
(547–559)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yffi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Glappa
died 560
(559–560)
 
Adda
died 568
(560–568)
 
Æthelric
born 540; died 572
(568–572)
 
Theodoric
died 579
(572–579)
 
Frithuwald
died 585
(579–585)
 
Hussa
died 592
(585–592)
 
Ælle
died 588
(569–588)
 
Aelfric
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Æthelfrith
born 570; died 616
(592–616)
 
Acha
 
Eadwine
born 586; died 633
(616–633)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Osric I
died 634
(633–634)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eanfrith
born 595; died 634
(633–634)
 
Oswald
born 604; died 642
(634–642)
 
Oswiu
born 612; died 670
(642–670)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oswine
died 651
(644–651)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Æthelwald I
died 655
(651–655)
 
Ealhfriht
died 664
(655–664)
 
Ecgfriht
born 645; died 685
(670–685)
 
Ealdfriht
born 640; died 704
(685–704)
 
Ælfwine
born 661; died 679
(670–679)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Osred I
born 697; died 716
(704–716)
 
Osric II
died 729
(718–729)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Downham, Viking Kings .
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Woolf, Pictland to Alba .

References[edit]