Ealdwulf of East Anglia

Ealdwulf Of East Anglia

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Ealdwulf of East Anglia

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Ealdwulf or Aldwulf was King of East Anglia from 663 to c. 713.

Ealdwulf's reign of forty-nine years was extraordinary in length: only Ethelbald of Mercia's (716-757) and Offa of Mercia's (757-796) are comparable. Far less is known of Ealdwulf than of either of these, and his personal power never rivalled theirs, but its duration reflects the success of the alliances set in train during the foregoing decades. East Anglia experienced a long period of stability and growth, not least in its commercial centre at Gipeswic (Ipswich). Among wider struggles for authority Ealdwulf held a strong position through the patronage of religious houses governed by his extended kin.


Ealdwulf was the son of Æthilric, son of Eni, son of Tytila, son of Wuffa, of the royal East Anglian Wuffinga dynasty. His father Æthilric may be the same person as King Ecgric of East Anglia, who died in battle in 636. (Æthilric was, in any case, probably dead by 647.) His mother was Hereswith, sister of Saint Hilda of Whitby, daughters of Hereric and Breguswith, of the house of Edwin of Northumbria. He was also first cousin of the saintly daughters and martyred son of King Anna of East Anglia.

Ealdwulf was born into a Christian royal household, since his mother was baptized (probably as a young teenager) with her sister and other members of the Northumbrian royal family, including King Edwin, by Saint Paulinus in 626. Her father Hereric, Edwin's nephew, was murdered in exile in the British kingdom...
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