This product contains one SHVA17 Æthelstan, King of the Anglo-Saxons miniature.
Son of King Edward the Eldar, Æthelstan's date of birth is unknown. He inherited the kingdom upon his father's death in 924, his brother having mysteriously died a few days earlier. He was crowned in 925, but had difficulty controlling his counts outside Mercia and Wessex. He waited for the King of York to die before seizing Northumbria. Once his authority was finally recognised and accepted, a period of peace developed between the Saxons and Scotland, Strathclyde and Wales. For reasons which remain mysterious, Æthelstan decided to invade Scotland in 934, marching all the way to the far Viking north. His army was primarily made up of Welsh and Danes. In 937, his Scottish and Strathclyde enemies allied with the Irish to invade northern England. After taking the time to assemble a large army, Æthelstan crushed the coalition in the Battle of Brunanburh in 937. He suffered such great casualties that his power was weakened, and the battle was considered the bloodiest ever fought by the Anglo-Saxons. Many nobles died but the battle consolidated the unity of the English kingdom. Æthelstan retired and lived out the end of his life in a monastery.