Anglo-Saxon Kings of East Anglia

The East Anglian kingdom incorporated the modern counties of Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Although a single 'line' of kings is mentioned in the early sources, it is clear that three or four families contended for the royal title. Perhaps the most famous of the East Anglian kings is Rędwald, the most likely candidate for having been buried in Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo, with his son, Ręgenehere, in the nearby Mound 17. Coinage from East Anglia is not common until the 8th century with the following issuances known: Beonna (758 AD) (sceattas only); Ęthelberht Lul (792 - 794 AD); Eadwald (796 AD); Ęthelstan I (825 - 840 AD); Ęthelweard (850 AD); Eadmund (855 - 870 AD).

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Eadwald (ca. 796 - 798 AD)

Eadwald was king of East Anglia c. 796-798. Eadwald may have striven for independence from the dominance of the neighbouring kingdom of Mercia, but Ecgferth, the Mercian king, was too powerful and too intractable for Eadwald's plans to reach fruition. After Ecgferth's death and the turmoil of Mercian succession, the East Anglian kingdom partially severed its Mercian ties but was never able to acheive full independence, and with the accession of Coenwulf to the Mercian throne, Eadwald's short reign ended. The best evidence for the king lies in the admittedly scant coin record, since the documentary sources such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle know nothing of him.
Eadwald 'East Anglia' Penny 014640

Eadwald 'East Anglia' Penny
Silver, 0.57 grams, 16.47 mm. Heavy Penny Coinage; 796-798 AD. Obverse: king's name in three lines A[LD] EA[DV] R[EX]. Reverse: quatrefoil with legend [E] AD N [OD] for the moneyer Eadnoth. S. 947; N. 432 and plate 6 (die duplicate of this coin). Half of the coin remaining, near extremely fine.

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Eadwald 'East Anglia' Penny 014640


Ęthelstan I (ca. 825 - ca. 840 AD)

In 825 AD the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that the 'king of the East Angles' sought the protection of Ecgberht, the king of the West Saxons. This marks a turning-point in East Anglian political aspirations, since the East Angles had for more than a century been dominated by the Mercians, an Anglian people. Relations with Mercia were always difficult, partly due to the reputation Mercian kings enjoyed for beligerence. It is possible that the several types of coins issued by Ęthelstan I represent this re-alignment with Wessex against Mercia, since Ecgberht of Wessex is believed to have had a son of this name.
Aethelstan I 'Bust Right' Anglo-Saxon Penny 013346

Excessively Rare Aethelstan I 'Bust Right' Anglo-Saxon Penny
Silver, 1.35 grams, 19.09 mm. East Anglia; 825-845 AD. Obverse: profile bust extending to edge of coin with legend +EDELZTAH REX. Reverse: short cross crosslet with legend +EADGAR MON for the moneyer Edgar. S. 948; N. 434/435. Not listed for the combination of obverse and moneyer by North and dies not recorded in EMC or SCBI. Extremely rare and good very fine.

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Aethelstan I 'Bust Right' Anglo-Saxon Penny 013346


Ęthelweard (ca. 840 - ca. 854 AD)

Evidence for King Ęthelweard is more profuse in the numismatic than the documentary sources. There is no evidence to suggest that he ruled as a subregulus of either Mercia or Wessex, and East Anglia in his day was one of the four more powerful Anglo-Saxon states. His reign is supposed to have begun around 840 AD although this may be several years too early. His death is supposed to have occurred in the autumn or early winter of 854 AD. His son, Eadmund, succeeded him as the last East Anglian king, cruelly shot with arrows and beheaded by the Danes. Eadmund's death was depicted as Christian defiance of pagan persecution, and he became the first patron saint of England.
Aethelweard 'DVDDA' A Type Penny 011997

Excessively Rare Aethelweard 'DVDDA' A Type Penny
Silver, 1.24 grams, 19.73 mm. Circa 840-855 AD. Obverse: ETHELWARD REX, in retrograde around A in centre. Reverse: .NE DVDD.A M, moneyer Dudda, around cross pattee with triangular wedges in each angle rather than pellets as published. Recorded with the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University as: EMC 2005.0246. Only four coins recorded for the moneyer Dudda on both the Early Medieval Coin Corpus and The Syllogy of Coins of the British Isles. N. 450; S. 953; BMC. 25. Almost extremely fine.

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Aethelweard 'DVDDA' A Type Penny 011997


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