Æthelred I (845 or 848 – 871) was King of Wessex from 865 until his
death. He was the fourth of five sons of King Æthelwulf. He succeeded
his elder brother Æthelberht and was followed by his youngest brother,
Alfred the Great. Æthelred's two infant sons were passed over for the
kingship. Æthelred's accession coincided with the arrival of the Viking
Great Heathen Army in England. Over the next five years the Vikings
conquered Northumbria and East Anglia, before launching a full-scale
attack on Wessex in late 870. In early January 871, Æthelred was
defeated at the Battle of Reading. Four days later he scored a victory
in the Battle of Ashdown, but this was followed by two defeats at Basing
and Meretun. He died shortly after Easter. Alfred was forced to buy off
the Vikings, but decisively defeated them seven years later. Æthelred's
reign was important numismatically, as he adopted the Mercian Lunettes
design, creating a unified coinage design for southern England for the
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelred_I,_King_of_Wessex>
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