The Last Kingdom is set in the late ninth century, when current England was several separate kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxon lands were attacked and ruled by Danes sometimes. In fact, the Kingdom of Wessex had been left standing alone. What do you know about the real Kingdom of Wessex? Today, ten things you should know.
From 519, Wessex was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain.
Legends say that Wessex was founded by Cerdic (519 – 534) and Cynric (534 to 560.)
Wessex became a Christian kingdom after Cenwalh (643–645; 648–674) was baptised. He would be the great-great grandson of King Cerdic.
During the 8th century, the system of shires was established under Egbert, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, and Essex.
Wessex suffered different problems in the 9th century: a Danish army arrived in the Thames estuary, and the kingdom was divided to avoid a Civil war between two pretenders to the throne.
In 871, Alfred the Great (actor David Dawson) became king of Wessex and by the time of his death, he had become the dominant ruler in England. A devout Christian, Alfred improved his kingdom’s legal system, military structure and his people’s quality of life.
As we are seeing in The Last Kingdom TV show, Wessex was invaded by the Danes in 871, and they returned in 876. In 878 they forced Alfred to flee to the Somerset Levels, but were finally defeated at the Battle of Edington or the Battle of Ethandun.
At the Battle of Edington an army of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex under Alfred the Great defeated the Great Heathen Army led by Guthrum.
In The Last Kingdom TV show , Alexander Dreymon plays as Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg is the main character of the bestselling Saxon Stories novel series by author Bernard Cornwell. He is based on the historical Uchtred the Bold who was the ealdorman of all Northumbria from 1006 to 1016, when he was assassinated.
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