Æthelred II of Northumbria
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AE Styca of Æethelred II
|King of Northumbria
|Reign||c.858 – 862 AD|
|King of Northumbria|
|Reign||c.854 – 858 AD|
Relatively little is known of his reign from the surviving documentary record. He appears to have been expelled in favour of Rædwulf, whose reign is confirmed by the evidence of coinage. However, Rædwulf was killed the same year, fighting against Vikings, and Æthelred was restored to power. He was assassinated a few years later, but no further details are known of his murder.
The dating of Æthelred's reign is extremely problematic. According to the written sources, he was expelled in 844 and assassinated in 849, but recent reinterpretations of ninth century Northumbrian chronology based on numismatic evidence argue for his reign beginning c. 854, his expulsion having taken place c. 858, and his assassination c. 862.
The new styca coinage, small brass coins containing very little silver and much zinc, which began in his father's reign, continued in Æthelred's. Large numbers of his styca coins have been found, again minted in York by a number of moneyers. A moneyer active in this period named Eardwulf was sometimes confused with Æthelred's grandfather King Eardwulf in older works on numismatics.
Written and numismatic evidence agrees that Æthelred was succeeded by Osberht.
- Higham, N.J., The Kingdom of Northumbria AD 350-1100. Stroud: Sutton, 1993. ISBN 0-86299-730-5
- Rollason, David (2004). "Eardwulf (fl. 796–c.830), king of Northumbria". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- Yorke, Barbara, Kings and Kingdoms of early Anglo-Saxon England. London: Seaby, 1990. ISBN 1-85264-027-8
- Æthelred 44 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
- The Fitzwilliam Museum's Corpus of Early Medieval Coin Finds website
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