Wednesday, September 09, 2009

King Cynegils

Cynegils became King of Wessex in 611. He and his son Cwichelm won the Battle of Bindon against the Dumnonian army in 614. (Dumnonia broadly emcompassed Devon and parts of Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall.) They were worried about the rise of the Northumbrian kingdom in the 620s and Cwichelm sent an assassin to kill King Edwin, unsuccessfully, causing the Northumbrian army to march south and defeat the soldiers of Wessex at the Battle of Win and Lose Hills in Derbyshire in 626, forcing them to retreat back to Wessex. Relations with Northumbria improved after King Oswald came to the throne in 634. He persuaded King Cynegils to listen to the Italian missionary Birinus and to enable Birinus to build a cathedral in Dorchester. Oswald married Cynegils' daughter Cyneburga and the royal family of Wessex converted to Christianity. King Cynegils died in 643.


Blogger kinglear said...

Ah but did they love each other? Or what it the usual dynastic marriage thing?
I can't help but feel this was the latter - or even spoils of war etc.After all, if you've just defeated your opposite number, what better way to enjoy yourself than by marrying his daughter? If you happen to be a bloke that is. Probably not much fun for the girl...But who knows?

11:26 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi KL - I am not sure about that but they were both devout Christians and became saints. They were married for 8 years and the Oswald was killed by King Penda of Mercia whose sister was married to Cynegils' son Cenwalh.

7:41 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rot set in after the Synod of Whitby in my view ... ;-)!
Confess absolute ignorance about Cynegils, so very pleased to have this introduction - thank you!

2:55 pm  
Blogger kinglear said...

See? I told you it was a dynasty thing.I hope your's isn't like that!!

6:23 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I had never heard of him but anyone who is pro-Italian is OK with me!

4:52 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I love these old tales.

7:54 pm  

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