Talk:List of monarchs of Mercia

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Irish sources of charecter '7'?[edit]

"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)."

Just wished to note that we still use the above charecter for the word "agus" (and) in Irish. Since early Irish monks spread the Christian faith among the Anglo-Saxons, could this be where that character came from? Fergananim 5th August 2005.

I believe this is correct (the same is true of the letter forms for r and s and the diphthongs.--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 19:02, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

The symbol for `and' which looks like the numeral 7 is of Roman origin, from a shorthand script called Notae Tironianae or `Tironian Notes'. Irish Gaelic is the only modern language to use this or indeed any other Tironian character, apart from the `z' in the abbreviation `viz'. Irish missionaries taught the Old English to use their national variation of the Roman alphabet instead of runic, hence its use in Anglo-Saxon texts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Barney Bruchstein (talkcontribs) 18:55, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


I'm changing the shade of blue of the St. Albans cross from the blue of the flag of Scotland to a more accurate one. Cdh1984 11:22, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Apologies, but...[edit]

Apologies for using rollback on good faith edits by User:Java13690, no implication intended, just hit the wrong button. However, I did mean to revert. The article was and is right to say that eth and thorn are not distinguishable in A-S contexts: "The word 'that' was written as þæt or ðæt...þ and ð were used interchangeably for th in 'that' or 'thin'" (Mitchell, Intro to Old English, §1). And why stop at eth and thorn: where is wynn (ƿ) and the ʒ-like g? Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:54, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


In Buckingham Palace there is a (presumably) 18th century painting by "B. West, Historical Painter to His Majesty", entitled Alfred III, King of Mercia. Who is this? I can't work it out from the lists on the article page. David Lauder 08:44, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

I have no idea. Mercia never had a king named Alfred, and nor did it ever have three kings with the same name as each other. TharkunColl 09:04, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Was this a print of West's 1778 William de Albanac Presents his Three Daughters to Alfred III, King of Mercia? Simon Keynes' list says the original painting was lost in a fire in 1816. The scene was also painted by Henry Fuseli and someone named Shee. Apparently this was a medieval legend, but I've no idea of the content. Alfred III would, if the date of 734 is right, perhaps be King Æthelbald. No, I don't know either how we can get from Æthelbald to Alfred. Æthelred I could understand. Angus McLellan (Talk) 09:50, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks for your replies. It is a large engraving of the painting, dated 9th November 1782. Regards, David Lauder 12:23, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


Is there a reference for Beornred's death? It does not match what Miller says on, or the Chronicle of Melrose, or Symeon's Gesta Regum. They all appear to state that the "tyrant" who burned Catterick in 769 and died the same year was one Earnred. Angus McLellan (Talk) 16:33, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

There's this, for example [1], and quite a few that give Beornred's death as 769 (e.g. [2], [3]). Perhaps "Earnred" is actually Beornred? I've altered the wording to reflect the uncertainty. TharkunColl 18:02, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Dear old Roger of Wendover. If you were to use primary sources John of Worcester is best. He had access to lots of Mercian material now lost. But really the dates should come from "reliable sources", secondary ones mainly, or subject-specific tertiary ones. The Peerage is of doubtful reliability when it comes to pre-modern stuff. The PASE, on the other hand, is the dog's bollocks for Anglo-Saxoncruft, although it could be improved by adding S. of D. and J. of W. (and maybe even William of Malmesbury, who seems to have had some now-lost info on Mercia). It's well done and free, as is Sean Miller's Both are reliable in the Wiki sense.
Next best are reliable, non-free stuff like Yorke's Kings and Kingdoms, Kirby's Earliest English Kings, and the collective efforts: The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England, Æthelbald and Offa, the 2004 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Mercia: An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe. Any big library should have all of those, and if you're in Mercia they'll likely have Dornier's Mercian Studies as well. Ian Walker isn't a historian, but I believe that his Mercia and the Making of England got good reviews from the professionals. I liked it. Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:56, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - some pretty useful resources there. TharkunColl 08:50, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The six earliest kings, plus Ceolwald, have almost no information about them. I suggest we merge them to here and add a preface discussing the sources, such as the Anglian collection, that mention them. Mike Christie (talk) 02:24, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd prefer to keep Cearl separate, and Ceolwald also. There's enough in Higham's Midland History paper to write something reasonable on Cearl. Ceolwald and Beornred form part of a series. The others before Cearl I think are too sketchy, a permanent temptation to add original research or poor quality made up stuff from some dreadfully unreliable book, so yes, do merge those. If you really feel that you must merge Ceolwald, I'd prefer a merge with Ceolred. Angus McLellan (Talk) 02:59, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, that paper does look like enough to do something on Cearl. (I knew he was marginal.) For Ceolwald though I thought that all there was was a single mention of his name in the Chronicle of Evesham. Is there more? And what's the connection with Beornred? Mike Christie (talk) 03:13, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
That's all I am aware of. Except that the ASC comment on Beornred is rather more trustworthy, there is more or less the same to be said about both. But I don't see the advantage in having a series of articles, but missing one out just because it will always be short. Linking to lists is unreliable if you want to take the reader to a particular point in the list. If you don't, you'll risk them just not bothering to hunt through the page for the information. Angus McLellan (Talk) 03:51, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
What's the point in merging? It will only confuse people following links to those individuals, and their articles are by no means the shortest on Wikipedia. TharkunColl (talk) 16:54, 16 March 2008 (UTC)


I'm looking to drum up some interest/support for setting up Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Mercia, which I hope would be of interest to editors involved in this topic.Metabaronic (talk) 20:09, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't it be pointed out that Woden is a mythical figure, as probably are a few more on this tree? (talk) 23:13, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Proposed merger[edit]

Both this article and Earl of Mercia cover the same ground, but this one is a much more developed article. That one now has two earldormen before Leofric; it did just have one until yesterday. Earl of Mercia is presented as if this were a peerage, but it was like a governership that latterly had become hereditary. It is true that an earldorman was not a monarch, but that cannot be helped and should perhasp be dealt with by adding further headings in this article. Peterkingiron (talk) 09:51, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Legendary list of Kings[edit]

My recent addition of a Legenday King list of the six names pictured but not featured in the text of this article has been removed. The reason given was that the six names are "not listed in legend as Kings". I would like it replaced because, if not in myth, they are listed as Kings in genealogy, such as in the Genealogy of the Kings of Mercia. If it doesn't get replaced, a List of legendary monarchs of Mercia page may need to be created to accommodate this information, which seems superfluous. Paul Bedsontalk 02:04, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

This is simply untrue - the pedigree you cite is a list of names. It does not specify that the individuals in question were kings, let alone of Mercia. Given that Icel is credited with founding the kingdom when he crossed over to Britain and conquered it, his ancestors couldn't possibly be kings, legendary or otherwise, of a Mercia that didn't yet exist. There is no legend of these individuals ruling Mercia, just a pedigree invented to connect Icel to the legendary hero-king of Angeln (in Denmark), Offa, and thence to Woden. Agricolae (talk) 02:50, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I have no interest in your made up legends, personal opinions and OR. Call them 'names in a list' if you don't know who they are. Please replace the list. Paul Bedsontalk 10:35, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
This page is not "List of Names in a List", it is "List of monarchs of Mercia". To qualify, it seems pretty self evident that one must have been a King, not just of a tribal group living in what is now Denmark before Mercia was ever founded, but of Mercia itself. Agricolae (talk) 16:53, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
List of legendary kings of Britain sets the precedent, as does the Ancestry of the kings of Wessex, so I've gone and jumped ahead and made Ancestry of the kings of Britain to rule over the lower order ancestry pages. Also made a change on the dab page for V to show notability for a keep, those in the know apparently say V to refer to Vespasian B Vi. Paul Bedsontalk 20:23, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I can't see what relevance this material has to the topic. It has no business being here. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 22:24, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposed rename to Ancestry of the kings of Mercia[edit]

I suggest we split this article into Genealogy of the Iclingas and Ancestry of the kings of Mercia. Merging the latter from Genealogy of the Kings of Mercia (which can be REDIRECTed to "Ancestry") and splitting off half of it into Vespasian B Vi at the same time. This ties in nicely with the precedent set at Ancestry of the kings of Wessex. Any questions or other ideas? Paul Bedsontalk 20:22, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Um, a precedent set by an article probably soon to be deleted? I think not. Dougweller (talk) 20:47, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
No, at least as far as I know the Ancestry of the kings of Wessex article has not been proposed for deletion. That being said, I don't follow the rationale for either the rename or the suggested merges. Agricolae (talk)
Absolutely not. Having a list of actual kings (and calling that List of Kings) is perfectly viable. It is particularly valuable for Mercia, where there were several dynasties not linked together genealogically, and information on them would be left homeless by such a rename. No such precedent is established by a Wessex article that is fundamentally different in nature, dealing with detailed pedigree analysis and not a cataloging of the actual rulers of the kingdom. Agricolae (talk) 23:58, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Definitely not. There is no "precedent", and your rationale for doing so doesn't make any sense at all in terms of WP policies and reliable sources. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 00:08, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Accuracy of this article?[edit]

Creoda is not called a king in the ASC, it was Henry of Huntingdon who called him a king and Professor of Medieval History Nicholas Brooks wrote "Despite Professor Davies's tentative advocacy of the historicity of this material, it cannot be said that it is yet clear that what lies behind these scattered entries in the works of Henry of Huntingdon, Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris is anything more important than some inventive conjectures by an English monk, perhaps as late as the early twelfth century, on the basis of the names available in Bede, the Mercian royal genealogy and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. On such an interpretation it would not be surprising that they should more or less fit the fragments of information that we have on the early history of Mercia; for the compiler of these entries may have had access to the same sources as arc available to us." This sentiment is shared by another professor of medieval history, Barbara Yorke, who wrote " Although it is possible that some kind of regnal list could be the source of the information (though the Worcester lists begin with Penda), these entries could be nothing more than intelligent guesswork based on names derived from Bede and the genealogy of jEthelred, while the dates seem to be influenced by an entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the death of a West Saxon Creoda.17 The post- Conquest annals' date of 610 (or earlier) for the accession of Penda seems too early. The surviving sources allow us to say with confidence little more than that the kingdom of Mercia was in existence by the end of the sixth century." But this article seems to assert with confidence the names of 6th century Mercian kings. Dougweller (talk) 20:47, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Two of the mss of the Anglian collection (CCCC and Tiberius B v) include regnal lists for Mercia. Both of them begin with Penda. Creoda as king looks to be a very late innovation. Agricolae (talk) 23:49, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I have removed all the kings down to Cearl, who is well referenced in Bede's Ecclesiastical History as a king. This was agreed by Agricolae in the AfD discussion at Ancestry of the kings of Britain. If any others are found reliable, please replace at your leisure. I have also removed the picture of the "House of Icel" for being completely bogus when talking about monarchs. Paul Bedsontalk 17:16, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Paul, there is no reason to run roughshod over things. If you don't like the mention of Icel as king, remove Icel, not any reference to Iclings, which existed as a dynasty even if their early generations were fabricated or erroneously elevated to regal status. Same with the pedigree, which was mostly accurate, you just didn't like the very top part of it, so fix it, don't remove it entirely (although I have to say I have never been fond of the style of these trees). Agricolae (talk) 18:35, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Sure, you're welcome to pop them back in there with Geoffrey of Monmouth's made up kings and King Kong for all I care. If you want to talk about these fringe theories, just please keep it appropriately labelled. Paul Bedsontalk 18:52, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
The existence of a dynasty called the Iclings by historians is not a fringe theory. Agricolae (talk) 18:58, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Sure, calling them Kings is tho. Paul Bedsontalk 19:18, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Let me get this straight. You are now denying that any of the Iclings were kings? Penda was not a king? Offa was not a king? Agricolae (talk) 19:26, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Where's your source. I've got him as a shadowy overlord at best. Paul Bedsontalk 19:37, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Incidentally, I've just removed reference to these Icelings, they're called Iclingas according to almost all modern, scholarly sources. According to what we've got, they were a dark age tribe, with a chieftan. Paul Bedsontalk 19:41, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you might understand a bit better if you had actually read about the period - "shadowy overlord" is referring to the whole scholarly debate on whether or not they were "Bretwalda"s - not whether they were kings. No one disputes that Offa of Mercia or Penda were kings of Mercia. All you need to do is look at an actual book - not just google snippets of books. Check out the third edition of the Handbook of British Chronology pp. 15-16 ... where Penda is listed as the first king of Mercia. Offa of Mercia's listed on p. 16, where he is definitely considered a king. The "overlord" bit is, as I mentioned above, about whether they were overlords of OTHER Anglo-Saxon kings, not whether they were kings. That is a matter of scholarly debate, not whether they were kings. Paul, you would do very well if you actually quit editing for a bit and actually read a couple of basic books on Anglo-Saxon history so you'd quit missing context and actually understand what you're reading. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:47, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Who? Penda or Offa? The former heads the regnal lists in two of the Anglian collection mss (with a specific reign length given), the latter, well, you aren't really questioning that are you? But let's also not lose the forest for the trees. Those were just two names of Iclingas chosen from the entire list of kings - to deny that any Iclingas should be called kings would wipe out 200 years of documented Mercian history. For that matter, as even the non-Iclinga kings had similar status, it would effectively negate the existence of a Kingdom of Mercia, and that would definitely fly int he face of scholarly consensus. Agricolae (talk) 19:51, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
I have all the sources thanks Ealdgyth, read them over and over for years so there's no room left. I've given you the historical source in ASC 519 to go find the reference of him. Just waiting for someone to find it and highlight better what he did in that reference, I'd love to tell you about the Penda historically recorded as Count of Britain in the service of Cadwallon, but that would be primary sourcing. I have all sorts of mess to clear up around here before I can go read another nice fiction novel. Paul Bedsontalk 20:10, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
WHO are you referring to? You replied to Agricolae's comment "You are now denying that any of the Iclings were kings? Penda was not a king? Offa was not a king? " with "Where's your source. I've got him as a shadowy overlord at best. " which to me says you're saying Penda and Offa weren't kings, but "shadowy overlords". If that isn't what you meant .. maybe being precise in your statements instead of elliptical and piping funky things (as well as linking words that the rest of us understand very well such as "fiction") would improve communication and quit making it seem like you're treating this all as a big joke. Again - we do not interpret the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or the other primary sources - we use secondary sources (or tertiary as appropriate) to edit these articles. And I at least am putting forth secondary sources for my information ... you seem to be just pulling information out of google snippets or from primary sources. (Yes, I have THOSE sources too, but I don't use them to edit articles... that's not how it's done). As to the ASCs 519 entry - that entry is talking about Cynric and Cerdic, the kings of the West Saxons - not even related to this article at all! Ealdgyth - Talk 20:18, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
I know how it is done. It just shouldn't be done by anyone who doesn't understand what the primary sources say. We'll end up with all sorts of phoney king lists and made up names and opinionated dogma if we do that. Paul Bedsontalk 20:21, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
WHO are you replying to? Can we please TRY to at least thread things properly ... otherwise it's a mad jumble and no one understands what you're trying to say or who you are replying to. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:26, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
To another learned scholar no doubt, from Illinois, somewhere I used to travel a bit in my youth. Thanks again for all the advice. Paul Bedsontalk 20:30, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Incidentally, for your information, one of my "amateur" (non-usable) handbooks for this journey is Count Bo Gabriel Montgomery's Ancient Migrations and Royal Houses, which is an excellent read I suggest you pick up if along for the ride, along with four books by a distant relative of his, a non-notable historian called Hugh Montgomery (historian). The deletion discussion for which you may find interesting too. Paul Bedsontalk 20:47, 23 November 2012 (UTC)