Eohric of East Anglia

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A coin commemorating King Edmund the Martyr. These coins appear to have been common in Eohric's time.

Eohric (died around 902) was king of East Anglia. The name Eohric is the Old English form of the Old Norse Eiríkr. Little is known of Eohric or of the kingdom of East Anglia in his time. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that an army from East Anglia raided Mercia and Wessex, but then suffered defeat in East Anglia at the hands of forces led by Edward the Elder of Wessex. Eohric is listed as one of the Danish leaders that was killed.

Background[edit]

East Anglia had been attacked by the Viking Great Heathen Army in around 869 and Edmund (later known as Edmund the Martyr) killed by the Vikings. After Edmund's death East Anglia was ruled by Oswald and Æthelred (II), both of whom are known only from the evidence of a few coins. Their successor Guthrum, who fought against Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, appears to have been king of East Anglia in the 880s and issued coins in his own name. Guthrum died circa 890 and Eohric succeeded him as king.

Death in battle[edit]

A map of the places associated with the events of 905, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

Eohric was amongst the supporters of the ætheling Æthelwold in his struggle against Edward the Elder. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded in its entry under the year 905,[1] probably to be dated to between 902 or 904, that some time after October of that year Æthelwold and Eohric were with an East Anglian army which raided over the River Thames into Edward's lands. Edward took an army from Kent into East Anglia, ravaging as far north as the Devil's Dyke and the River Wissey. The East Anglians met Edward's army while they were returning home and a battle followed. Edward's army was victorious and Eohric and Æthelwold were both killed.

The history of East Anglia after Eohric remains obscure until the conquest of the region by Edward the Elder.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Swanton, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, p. 86.

References[edit]

  • Lapidge, Michael, ed. (1999), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-22492-0 
  • Stafford, Pauline (1989), Unification and Conquest: a political and social history of England in the tenth and eleventh centuries, London: Arnold, ISBN 0-7131-6532-4 
  • Swanton, Michael (1996), The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-92129-5 
English royalty
Preceded by
Guthrum I
King of East Anglia
890– 902
Succeeded by
Æthelwold / Guthrum II