Battle of Marton
|Battle of Marton|
|Part of the Viking invasions of England|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Æthelred of Wessex||Halfdan Ragnarsson|
The Battle of Marton or Meretum took place on 22 March 871 at a place recorded as Marton, perhaps in Wiltshire or Dorset, after Æthelred of Wessex, forced (along with his brother Alfred) into flight following their costly victory against an army of Danish invaders at the Battle of Ashdown, had retreated to Basing (in Hampshire), where he was again defeated by the forces of Ivar the Boneless.
It was the last of eight battles known to be fought by Æthelred against the Danes that year, and the defeated King is reported to have died on 15 April 871. Whether he died in battle, or as a result of wounds suffered in battle is unclear. The site of the battle is unknown. Suggestions include the borders of the London Borough of Merton, Merton in Oxfordshire, Merdon Castle (Hursley parish near Winchester) in Hampshire, Marden in Wiltshire, Marten in Wiltshire or Martin in Dorset. The more westerly locations tend to be favoured because King Ethelred was buried in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, shortly afterwards.
Another possible location for the battle is at Merriton, on the banks of the River Stour, a few miles downstream of Wimborne, thus providing a simple journey by barge with the body of King Æthelred. The medieval manor of Merriton was situated on what is now the southern perimeter of Bournemouth (Hurn) Airport.
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- "Victoria County History - Hampshire - Vol 3 pp417-422 - Parishes: Hursley". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "Victoria County History - Wiltshire - Vol 16 pp8-49 - Kinwardstone Hundred: Great Bedwyn". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "Why was Alfred called Great by his contemporaries (and us)?". Message to Classics-L mailing list, 6 May 2000 from Christopher Robbins. Retrieved 17 May 2005.
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- "Ethelred - 866-871". Royalty.Info Website - History. Archived from the original on 6 May 2005. Retrieved 17 May 2005.
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