Sledd of Essex

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Sledd (or Sledda) was King of Essex in the late 6th century, possibly between 587 (?) - c. 604. Extremely little is known about him.

A West-Saxon genealogy fragmentarily preserved in London, British Library, Add. MS 23211, possibly of the late 9th century, makes him a son and successor of King Æscwine. The post-Conquest historians Henry of Huntingdon's Historia Anglorum, Roger of Wendover's Flores Historiarum and Matthew Paris's Chronica Majora substitute his father's name for Eorcenwine (Erkenwine, Erchenwine). Though their testimony is centuries removed from Sledd's floruit, it is thought that they drew on alternative pre-Conquest material.

Although Æscwine or Eorcenwine is sometimes credited with the foundation of the kingdom, genealogies included in the works of William of Malmesbury and John of Worcester (Chronicon B) make Sledd the first king of Essex and genealogies for Sigered and Swithred in Add. MS 23211 trace the line of East Saxon kings no further than Sledd. This suggests that Sledd may have been regarded as the founder of the East Saxon house. On no known authority, Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris state that Sledd directly succeeded his father on his death in 587.

Sledd married Ricula, sister of King Æthelberht of Kent. His name appears as being the father of Sæberht, whose rule began in c. 604, and another son is named as Seaxbald.

References[edit]

  • Yorke, Barbara. "The Kingdom of the East Saxons." Anglo-Saxon England 14 (1985): 1-36.
Preceded by
Æscwine
King of Essex
587? – c. 604
Succeeded by
Sæberht