Ancestors of Tim Farr and Descendants of Stephen Farr Sr. of Concord, Massachusetts and Lidlington, Bedfordshire, England


Alfred "The Great" King of ENGLAND [Parents] [scrapbook] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 was born 6, 7 in 849 in of, Wantage, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom. He died on 26 Oct 901 in Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom. Alfred married Ealhswith Queen of ENGLAND in 868.

ALFRED 'THE GREAT' (r. 871-899)

Born at Wantage, Berkshire, in 849, Alfred was the fifth son of Aethelwulf, king of the West Saxons. At their father's behest and by mutual agreement, Alfred's elder brothers succeeded to the kingship in turn, rather than endanger the kingdom by passing it to under-age children at a time when the country was threatened by worsening Viking raids from Denmark.

Since the 790s, the Vikings had been using fast mobile armies, numbering thousands of men embarked in shallow-draught longships, to raid the coasts and inland waters of England for plunder. Such raids were evolving into permanent Danish settlements; in 867, the Vikings seized York and established their own kingdom in the southern part of Northumbria. The Vikings overcame two other major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, East Anglia and Mercia, and their kings were either tortured to death or fled. Finally, in 870 the Danes attacked the only remaining independent Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Wessex, whose forces were commanded by King Aethelred and his younger brother Alfred. At the battle of Ashdown in 871, Alfred routed the Viking army in a fiercely fought uphill assault. However, further defeats followed for Wessex and Alfred's brother died.

As king of Wessex at the age of 21, Alfred (reigned 871-99) was a strongminded but highly strung battle veteran at the head of remaining resistance to the Vikings in southern England. In early 878, the Danes led by King Guthrum seized Chippenham in Wiltshire in a lightning strike and used it as a secure base from which to devastate Wessex. Local people either surrendered or escaped (Hampshire people fled to the Isle of Wight), and the West Saxons were reduced to hit and run attacks seizing provisions when they could. With only his royal bodyguard, a small army of thegns (the king's followers) and Aethelnoth earldorman of Somerset as his ally, Alfred withdrew to the Somerset tidal marshes in which he had probably hunted as a youth. (It was during this time that Alfred, in his preoccupation with the defence of his kingdom, allegedly burned some cakes which he had been asked to look after; the incident was a legend dating from early twelfth century chroniclers.)

A resourceful fighter, Alfred reassessed his strategy and adopted the Danes' tactics by building a fortified base at Athelney in the Somerset marshes and summoning a mobile army of men from Wiltshire, Somerset and part of Hampshire to pursue guerrilla warfare against the Danes. In May 878, Alfred's army defeated the Danes at the battle of Edington. According to his contemporary biographer Bishop Asser, 'Alfred attacked the whole pagan army fighting ferociously in dense order, and by divine will eventually won the victory, made great slaughter among them, and pursued them to their fortress (Chippenham) ... After fourteen days the pagans were brought to the extreme depths of despair by hunger, cold and fear, and they sought peace'. This unexpected victory proved to be the turning point in Wessex's battle for survival.

Realising that he could not drive the Danes out of the rest of England, Alfred concluded peace with them in the treaty of Wedmore. King Guthrum was converted to Christianity with Alfred as godfather and many of the Danes returned to East Anglia where they settled as farmers. In 886, Alfred negotiated a partition treaty with the Danes, in which a frontier was demarcated along the Roman Watling Street and northern and eastern England came under the jurisdiction of the Danes - an area known as 'Danelaw'. Alfred therefore gained control of areas of West Mercia and Kent which had been beyond the boundaries of Wessex. To consolidate alliances against the Danes, Alfred married one of his daughters, Aethelflaed, to the ealdorman of Mercia -Alfred himself had married Eahlswith, a Mercian noblewoman - and another daughter, Aelfthryth, to the count of Flanders, a strong naval power at a time when the Vikings were settling in eastern England.

The Danish threat remained, and Alfred reorganised the Wessex defences in recognition that efficient defence and economic prosperity were interdependent. First, he organised his army (the thegns, and the existing militia known as the fyrd) on a rota basis, so he could raise a 'rapid reaction force' to deal with raiders whilst still enabling his thegns and peasants to tend their farms.

Second, Alfred started a building programme of well-defended settlements across southern England. These were fortified market places ('borough' comes from the Old English burh, meaning fortress); by deliberate royal planning, settlers received plots and in return manned the defences in times of war. (Such plots in London under Alfred's rule in the 880s shaped the streetplan which still exists today between Cheapside and the Thames.) This obligation required careful recording in what became known as 'the Burghal Hidage', which gave details of the building and manning of Wessex and Mercian burhs according to their size, the length of their ramparts and the number of men needed to garrison them. Centred round Alfred's royal palace in Winchester, this network of burhs with strongpoints on the main river routes was such that no part of Wessex was more than 20 miles from the refuge of one of these settlements. Together with a navy of new fast ships built on Alfred's orders, southern England now had a defence in depth against Danish raiders.

Alfred's concept of kingship extended beyond the administration of the tribal kingdom of Wessex into a broader context. A religiously devout and pragmatic man who learnt Latin in his late thirties, he recognised that the general deterioration in learning and religion caused by the Vikings' destruction of monasteries (the centres of the rudimentary education network) had serious implications for rulership. For example, the poor standards in Latin had led to a decline in the use of the charter as an instrument of royal government to disseminate the king's instructions and legislation. In one of his prefaces, Alfred wrote 'so general was its [Latin] decay in England that there were very few on this side of the Humber who could understand their rituals in English or translate a letter from Latin into English ... so few that I cannot remember a single one south of the Thames when I came to the throne.'

To improve literacy, Alfred arranged, and took part in, the translation (by scholars from Mercia) from Latin into Anglo-Saxon of a handful of books he thought it 'most needful for men to know, and to bring it to pass ... if we have the peace, that all the youth now in England ... may be devoted to learning'. These books covered history, philosophy and Gregory the Great's 'Pastoral Care' (a handbook for bishops), and copies of these books were sent to all the bishops of the kingdom. Alfred was patron of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (which was copied and supplemented up to 1154), a patriotic history of the English from the Wessex viewpoint designed to inspire its readers and celebrate Alfred and his monarchy.

Like other West Saxon kings, Alfred established a legal code; he assembled the laws of Offa and other predecessors, and of the kingdoms of Mercia and Kent, adding his own administrative regulations to form a definitive body of Anglo-Saxon law. 'I ... collected these together and ordered to be written many of them which our forefathers observed, those which I liked; and many of those which I did not like I rejected with the advice of my councillors ... For I dared not presume to set in writing at all many of my own, because it was unknown to me what would please those who should come after us ... Then I ... showed those to all my councillors, and they then said that they were all pleased to observe them' (Laws of Alfred, c.885-99).

By the 890s, Alfred's charters and coinage (which he had also reformed, extending its minting to the burhs he had founded) referred to him as 'king of the English', and Welsh kings sought alliances with him. Alfred died in 899, aged 50, and was buried in Winchester, the burial place of the West Saxon royal family.

By stopping the Viking advance and consolidating his territorial gains, Alfred had started the process by which his successors eventually extended their power over the other Anglo-Saxon kings; the ultimate unification of Anglo-Saxon England was to be led by Wessex. It is for his valiant defence of his kingdom against a stronger enemy, for securing peace with the Vikings and for his farsighted reforms in the reconstruction of Wessex and beyond, that Alfred - alone of all the English kings and queens - is known as 'the Great'.

Ealhswith Queen of ENGLAND [Parents] 1, 2, 3 was born about 852 in Mersea, Essex, England, United Kingdom. She died on 5 Dec 905. Ealhswith married Alfred "The Great" King of ENGLAND in 868.

They had the following children.

  M i
Ethelwerd Prince of ENGLAND 1 was born about 879 in of, , Wessex, England, United Kingdom. He died on 16 Oct 922.
  F ii
Ethelfleda Princess of ENGLAND 1 was born about 869 in Wessex, England, United Kingdom. She died on 12 Jun 918 in St. Peter's, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom.
  M iii
Edmund Prince of ENGLAND 1 was born about 873 in Wessex, England, United Kingdom.
  F iv
Ethelgiva Princess of ENGLAND 1 was born about 875 in Wessex, England, United Kingdom.
  M v Edward I "The Elder" King of ENGLAND was born about 871. He died on 17 Jul 925.
  F vi Elfridam (Alfthryth) Princess of ENGLAND was born about 877. She died on 7 Jun 929.

Herbert I Count of VERMANDOIS [Parents] [scrapbook] 1, 2, 3 was born about 848 in of, Vermandois, Neustria. He died in 902. Herbert married Miss Princess of FRANCE.

Miss Princess of FRANCE 1 was born about 862 in France. Miss married Herbert I Count of VERMANDOIS.

They had the following children.

  M i Herbert II Count of VERMANDOIS was born about 884. He died on 23 Feb 943.
  F ii Bbeatrice de VERMANDOIS was born about 880. She died in Mar 931.
  F iii Miss de VERMANDOIS was born about 882. She died on 12 Dec 949.

Robert I King of FRANCE [Parents] 1, 2, 3 was born in 860 in of, , Bourgogne, France. He died 4 on 15 Jun 923 in Soissons, France. Robert married Bbeatrice de VERMANDOIS in 895.

Bbeatrice de VERMANDOIS [Parents] 1, 2, 3 was born about 880 in of, Vermandois, Neustria. She died 4 in Mar 931. Bbeatrice married Robert I King of FRANCE in 895.

They had the following children.

  F i
Emma, Princess of FRANCE 1, 2 was born about 896 in France. She died in 934/935.
  F ii Hildebrante Princess of FRANCE was born about 897. She died after 931.
  M iii Hugues Magnus, Duke of FRANCE was born about 898. He died on 16 Jun 956.

Ethelwulf King of WESSEX [Parents] [scrapbook] 1, 2, 3 was born about 806 in of, , Wessex, England, United Kingdom. He died 4 on 13 Jan 857 in England, United Kingdom. He was buried in Stamridge. Ethelwulf married 5 Judith Princess of FRANCE on 1 Oct 856.

Other marriages:
WESSEX, Osburh Queen of

ETHELWULF (r. 839-856)

Æthelwulf , d. 858, king of Wessex (839-56), son and successor of Egbert; father of Æthelbert, Æthelred, and Alfred. He was lord of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Essex before his father's death in 839. As king of Wessex he was compelled to defend his realm against constant Danish attacks, and he won a notable victory over them at Aclea in 851. He also campaigned against the Welsh. A man of great piety, he went with his son Alfred to Rome in 855. In 856 he took as his second wife Judith, daughter of Charles II (Charles the Bald) of France. Learning before his return to England that his son Æthelbald, who had ruled in his absence, would resist his resumption of the kingship, Æthelwulf left his son as king of Wessex and himself ruled only in Kent and its dependencies, where Æthelbert succeeded him.

Judith Princess of FRANCE [Parents] 1, 2, 3, 4 was born 5 in 844 in France. She died 6 after 870. Judith married 7 Ethelwulf King of WESSEX on 1 Oct 856.

Other marriages:
FLANDERS, Baudouin I Count of


Charles II "The Bald" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE [Parents] 1, 2, 3 was born 4 on 13 Jun 823 in Frankfurt, Hessen-Nassau, Prussia. He died 5, 6 on 6 Oct 877 in Brides Les Bains, Bourgogne, France. He was buried in St Denis, France. Charles married 7 Ermentrude (Irmtrud) Countess of ORLEANS on 13 Dec 842 in Crecy, France.

Other marriages:
, Adelaide

Ermentrude (Irmtrud) Countess of ORLEANS [Parents] 1, 2 was born on 27 Sep 830 in of, Orlbeans, Neustria. She died 3, 4 on 6 Oct 869. She was buried in St Denis, France. Ermentrude married 5 Charles II "The Bald" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE on 13 Dec 842 in Crecy, France.

They had the following children.

  F i
Ermentrud Princess of FRANCE [ABBESS OF HANSON] 1, 2 was born about 854 in of, , , France.
  M ii
Carloman Prince of FRANCE 1 was born about 845/846 in France. He died 2 in 876 in Epternac, France.
  M iii
Charles King of AQUITAINE 1 was born in 847 in France. He died 2 on 29 Sep 866 in Buzanpcais, France.
  M iv
Louis II "The Stammerer" King of FRANCE 1, 2 was born on 1 Nov 843 in France. He died 3, 4 on 9 Apr 879 in Compiaegne, Neustria, France.
  F v
Hildegarde Princess of FRANCE 1, 2 was born about 856 in of, , , France.
  F vi
Rotrude Princess of FRANCE 1 was born in 850 in France. She died in BET 889 AND 912.
  F vii
Gisaele Princess of FRANCE 1, 2 was born about 858 in France. She died on 1 Jul 874.
  F viii Judith Princess of FRANCE was born in 844. She died after 870.
  M ix
Lothaire Prince of FRANCE 1 was born about 847 in of, , , France. He died 2 in 865.

Charles II "The Bald" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE [Parents] 1, 2, 3 was born 4 on 13 Jun 823 in Frankfurt, Hessen-Nassau, Prussia. He died 5, 6 on 6 Oct 877 in Brides Les Bains, Bourgogne, France. He was buried in St Denis, France. Charles married Adelaide in 853.

Other marriages:
ORLEANS, Ermentrude (Irmtrud) Countess of

Adelaide. Adelaide married Charles II "The Bald" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE in 853.

They had the following children.

  F i Hersent HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE was born in 854.

Louis I "The Pious" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE [Parents] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 was born 6 in Aug 768 in Casseneuil, Lot-Et-Garonne, France. He died 7, 8 on 20 Jun 840 in Near, Ingelheim, Rhinehessen, Hesse. He was buried in Cathbedrale D'aachen, Aachen, Rheinland, Prussia. Louis married 9 Judith Princess of BAVARIA in Feb 819 in Aix la Chapelle, Austrasia.

Other marriages:
HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, Ermengarde of The Countess of Hesbaye

Judith Princess of BAVARIA [Parents] 1, 2 was born about 800 in of, Altdorf, , Bavaria. She died 3 on 19 Apr 843 in Tours, Neustria, France. Judith married 4 Louis I "The Pious" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE in Feb 819 in Aix la Chapelle, Austrasia.

They had the following children.

  F i
Gisela Princess of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1, 2 was born about 820 in of, Frankfurt, Hesse Nassau, Prussia. She died in BET JAN 874 AND JUL 874.
  M ii Charles II "The Bald" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE was born on 13 Jun 823. He died on 6 Oct 877.

Eudes (Odo), Count of ORLEANS 1 was born about 800 in Orleans, Loiret, France. Eudes married Ingeltrude, Countess of ORLEANS.

Ingeltrude, Countess of ORLEANS 1 was born about 805 in of, Orleans, Loiret, France. Ingeltrude, married Eudes (Odo), Count of ORLEANS.

They had the following children.

  F i Ermentrude (Irmtrud) Countess of ORLEANS was born on 27 Sep 830. She died on 6 Oct 869.

Guelph I (Welf I) Duke of BAVARIA 1 was born about 776 in of, Altdorf, , Bavaria. He died about 830. Guelph married Hedwig Duchess of BAVARIA.

Hedwig Duchess of BAVARIA 1 was born about 780 in of, Bavaria. Hedwig married Guelph I (Welf I) Duke of BAVARIA.

They had the following children.

  F i
Emma Princess of BAVARIA 1 was born about 810 in of, Altdorf, , Bavaria. She died on 31 Jan 876 in Careme, Saxony.
  F ii Judith Princess of BAVARIA was born about 800. She died on 19 Apr 843.

Charlemagne Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE [Parents] [scrapbook] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 was born 6, 7 on 2 Apr 742 in Aix la Chapelle, Austrasia. He was christened in St Denis, France. He died 8, 9, 10 on 28 Jan 814 in Aix la Chapelle, Austrasia. He was buried in Notre Dame D'aix La Chapelle, , Austrasia. Charlemagne married 11 Hildegard Empress of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE about 771 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.

Historical Figures Gallery
Bio for Charlemagne

Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, was the son of a Frankish King. After inheriting his father's throne, Charlemagne was converted to Christianity. Encouraged by the Pope to spread his religion, he began a series of military conquests which were to lead to the formation the Holy Roman Empire.    Charlemagne's father was Pepin III, a King ofthe Franks, who was also known as Pepin the Short.  When Peppin died in 768, his kingdom was inherited jointly by his two sons.  However, Charlemagne's brother, Carloman, died just three years later, leaving Charlemagne the sole ruler.    Shortly afterward, Charlemagne began an extended military campaign designed to conquer neighboring territories and to convert them to Christianity. These were waged against the Saxons to the north (from 772 to 777) and the Lombards to the south (in 773).  In 778 , Charlemagne began a drive into Spain to conquer the Moors, but he withdrew when some of the German tribes hehad recently overcome revolted.    Charlemagne spent the next seven years quelling various uprisings which finally ended with the surrender and baptism of the Saxon's Chief.  Charlemagne there upon resumed his efforts at conquest and was able to subdue Bohemia, portions of northern Spain, and the Kingdom of the Avars (now Hungary). It was at this point that Pope Leo III asked Charlemagne to subdue an uprising of the Roman tribes.  To reward Charlemagne for his success, the Pope crowned him Emperor Carolus Augustus in 800.    To consolidate his rule, Charlemagne established a capital at Aachen (now Aix-la-Chapelle in France). In addition to a palace, he built a large university, and spent the remainder of his reign promoting education and the arts. He also established a stable government and initiated good relations with other countries.  However, his efforts to establish a government based on Christian principles did not survive much beyond his death since his sons were unable to maintain his authority, and the empire soon disintegrated.

Major Events

771 - King of the Franks.
773 - King of Lombardy.
777 - Defeated the Saxons.
782 - Saxon rebellion.
788 - Overthrew the King of Bohemia.
796 - Subjugated the Avars.
800 - Became the Holy Roman Emperor.

Did you know?

Charlemagne's coronation was held on Christmas Day in St. Peter's Basilica.

Copyright © 1994 Bureau of Electronic Publishing

Hildegard Empress of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE [Parents] 1, 2, 3 was born 4 about 758 in of, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia. She died 5 on 30 Apr 783 in Thionville, Austrasia. She was buried in Abbaye de Saint Arnoul, Metz, Austrasia. Hildegard married 6 Charlemagne Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE about 771 in Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia.

They had the following children.

  M i
Charles Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1 was born in 772 in of, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia. He died on 4 Dec 811.
  M ii Pbepin (Carloman) King of ITALY was born in Apr 773. He died on 8 Jul 810.
  F iii
Adbelahide(Adelheid) Princess of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1 was born in 774 in of, Pavie, Lombardy, Italy. She died in Aug 774.
  F iv
Rotrude Princess of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1 was born in Aug 774 in of, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia. She died on 6 Jun 810.
  F v
Gisaele Princess of HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1 was born in 781 in Milano, Lombardy, Italy.
  F vi
Bertha Princess of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1 was born in 775 in of, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia. She died on 11 Mar 826.
  M vii Louis I "The Pious" Emperor of The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE was born in Aug 768. He died on 20 Jun 840.
  M viii
Lothaire Prince of HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1 was born in Aug 778 in Casseneuil, Lot-Et-Garonne, France. He died in Aug 778.
  F ix
Hildegarde Princess of HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 1 was born in 782 in of, Aachen, Rhineland, Prussia. She died on 9 Jun 783.

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