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Alfred the Great
The King who smashed the Vikings!


Alfred the Great -  Nash Ford Publishing

 

  • Alfred was the youngest son of King Ethelwulf of Wessex. Wessex was an area covering most of Southern England.
  • He was born at the Royal Palace in Wantage in North Berkshire in AD 849.
  • When he was a boy, his mother offered a book with beautiful pictures to the first of her sons who could learn to read it. Although Alfred was the youngest, he won the prize!
  • Alfred's brothers all became Kings of Wessex one after the other. In AD 871, Alfred became King too.
  • The Vikings invaded England shortly before he came to the throne.
  • Alfred spent many years fighting them in many bloody battles. At one point it looked like he might loose his country.
  • King Alfred always said that the "pen is mightier than the sword". So, when he finally defeated the Vikings in battle, he signed a peace treaty with them.
  • They divided England in two. Alfred was able to keep the southern portion. He was then called 'King of the English'.
  • He set up lots of forts or 'burghs' in England to help stop the Vikings from invading again. There was one at Wallingford and another at Cookham, near Maidenhead.
  • The Welsh Kings asked Alfred to protect them too and he signed more peace treaties.
  • King Alfred was a very wise and religious ruler. He died at Winchester in AD 899.
  • There are famous statues of King Alfred at Winchester and Wantage.

 

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