House of Wessex

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: About 0520 to 1020
Location: Wessexmap
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The House of Wessex is a part of the Euroaristo project. The manager is Ros Haywood. To help with profiles relating to this House please discuss with Ros.

House of Wessex

The House of Wessex, also known as the House of Cerdic (Cerdicingas in Old English), refers to the family that initially ruled a kingdom in southwest England known as Wessex, from the 6th century under Cerdic of Wessex until the unification of the Kingdoms of England by Alfred the Great and his successors.

The scope covers the period from Cedric of Wessex (Cedric of Wessex on Wikipedia) through to Edward the Confessor (Edward the Confessor on wikipedia).

The House became rulers of all England from Alfred the Great in 871 to Edmund Ironside in 1016. This period of the English monarchy is known as the Saxon period, though their rule was often contested, notably by the Danelaw and later by the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard who claimed the throne from 1013 to 1014, during the reign of Æthelred the Unready. Sweyn and his successors ruled until 1042. After Harthacanute, there was a brief Saxon Restoration between 1042 and 1066 under Edward the Confessor and Harold Godwinson, who was a member of the House of Godwin. After the Battle of Hastings, a decisive point in English history, William of Normandy became king of England. Anglo-Saxon attempts to restore native rule in the person of Edgar the Ætheling, a grandson of Edmund Ironside who had originally been passed over in favour of Harold, were unsuccessful and William's descendants secured their rule. Edgar's niece Matilda of Scotland later married William's son Henry I, forming a link between the two dynasties.

This sub-project deals with persons that were part of the family groups, and descendants, arising from the House.

Source Material

Sources: A single source for this period is the Medlands dataset. See,%20AngloSaxon%20&%20Danish%20Kings.htm#_Toc389126257. Although there is considerable debate with some members of Euroaristo regarding relevance of this source it can be used as the basis for research and is a good starting point.

A major source for this period, particularly pre-Christian, is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which favours mythology for early ancestors and cannot be trusted before c. 700.

There is no reference to Wessex in the work by Gildas (De Excidio Brittaniæ) or in Nennius (Historia Brittonum). Both these sources are available on line. Bede was the first noted scholar to record reference to the Kings of Wessex in c. 720. There is a series of pages that provide context to the period with Wessex noted here: This discusses the early legends but is a reasonable source for later Kings. Where there is doubt please note the doubt and contention.


If you wish to assist with the profiles of members of these families please drop a line to Ros Haywood and she will include your research focus here:

Comments: 2

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With the British Aristo Project being retired, should lead responsibility for this page switch to the England Project?
posted by Michael Cayley
Hi Ros, would you mind spelling out, and having it as a link to, the European Aristocrats Project (in place of 'EuroAristo'). That way people can more easily locate the project. Thanks for everything you're doing!