Hingston Down 837
The Danish were joined by the people of Cornwall in an
attack on southwestern Britain but at Hingston Down they
were met by King Egbert of Wessex. His army defeated them
and as a result Cornwall was added to his empire.
Aclea, south of the Thames, was a major battle between
the Danish invaders and the Saxon King of Wessex (Ethelwulf).
At Aclea King Ethelwulf and his army and succeeded in
repelling the Danes after a bitter battle.
A group of Danes led by Ivan the Boneless ventured
toward York to avenge Ivan's father who was killed in
Northumbria. The two kings of Northumbria united their
armies and drove the Danes against the city walls. The
advantage was not pursued properly and in the ensuing
fight both kings were killed and many men besides. York
fell to the Danish and became a stronghold.
The battle was fought between Edmund king of East Anglia and the
Vikings, and resulted in defeat for the Saxons. It is alleged that
Edmund was beheaded for refusing to renounce Christianity.
The Vikings had managed to take many of the Saxon kingdoms and
had occupied London with a camp at Reading but Wessex remained
unconquered. King Ethelred I and his brother Alfred led an army to
meet the charge of the Vikings. On January 8th Alfred led the
charge of the Saxons and when the Vikings retreated they pursued.
Ethelred I and brother Alfred led an assault on the
Danish stronghold of Reading. Although the Saxons charged the camp they
could not penetrate the entrenchments and were driven from the
field taking heavy casualties.
The death of Ethelred I meant that Alfred had to take over the
kingdom of Wessex. It was then that the Vikings assaulted Wilton
though they were held off at first, when they faked a retreat the
Saxon army were taken in and pursued. The Danes turned about and
attacked with great success. Alfred's army was depleted and so he
offered a tribute to the Danes (Danegeld) if they would withdraw
The Danes under new leadership of Guthrum had started to raid
neighbouring counties in 877 despite the 5 year peace treaty
secured by Alfred. In January the Danes took Alfred's
headquarters, Chippenham, by storm. Surprised, many of the Saxons
army were killed and Alfred became a fugitive at Athelney in
It was here that Alfred the Great launched his counteroffensive
against the Vikings in Wiltshire. The Saxon warriors marched
toward the Danes camped at Chippenham while the Danes marched
towards the Saxons. They met at Edington and battled at close
quarters for hours until Alfred's army gained the upper hand.
Defeated, Guthrum, leader of the Danes, surrendered and was later
baptized. All southern Britain came under the rule of Alfred.
Alfred the Great died in 899 leaving his son Edward and daughter
Ethelfleda to succeed. Peace between the Saxons and Danes was
broken by the Vikings and forced Edward to fight the battle of
Tettenhall. Edward the Elder won a decisive victory and as a
result expanded his rule to the Humber.
After Tettenhall, Edward set about reducing the Danelaw until
finally storming the Tempsford fortress in 918. Guthrum II was
killed and resistance waned. When Ethelfleda (Edwards sister) died
the two Saxon crowns were united.
During Ethelred II reign Viking invaders landed at Maldon and
demanded tribute which was refused by the Alderman of Essex. In
turn he and most of his men were slaughtered. Ethelred tried to
buy off the invaders but in the end was forced to flee leaving
King Sweyn I (Forkbeard) to become king of England.
Sweyn I landed on the Moray Firth coast with his army laid siege
to the town of Nairn. King Malcolm II sent an army to relieve the
town and drove the Danes back. Malcolm himself was wounded in the
The battle took place after the Vikings invaded Banff County and
King Malcolm II organised an army to repel them. The Scots' army
managed to drive the Danes back to their ships.
King Sweyn I died and Ethelred II's son Edmund (Ironside)
decided to claim the throne. However, Canute (Sweyn's son) arrived
to claim the throne and so a battle ensued. Edmund won and when
his father died claimed the throne.
The contest for the throne between Edmund Ironside and Canute
was decided at Ashingdon on 16th October. Edmund's brother-in-law
deserted to the Danes with some men giving an advantage to the
Danes. Canute's army to defeated Edmund's Saxons but the two
leaders made peace. Canute got Edmund's kingdom apart from Wessex
which remained under Edmund's rule.