Mercia

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Mercia

(mûr`shə), one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, consisting generally of the region of the Midlands. It was settled by Angles c.500, probably first along the Trent valley. Its history emerges from obscurity with the reign of PendaPenda,
d. 654, king of Mercia (c.632–654). A noble of the Mercian royal house, he fought (629) the king of Wessex for lands along the Severn River. He then allied himself with Cadwallon of Wales, defeated (632) Edwin of Northumbria, and made himself king of Mercia.
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, who extended his power over Wessex (645) and East Anglia (650) to gain overlordship of England S of the Humber River. After his death Mercia suffered a three-year loss of ascendancy during which it was converted to Christianity by a Northumbrian mission. Penda's son, Wulfhere, then reestablished a Greater Mercia that finally, under ÆthelbaldÆthelbald
, d. 757, king of Mercia (716–57), grandson of a brother of Penda. He spent years in exile before he became king. A strong ruler, by 731 he controlled all England S of the Humber River and led expeditions into Northumbria (740) and against the Welsh (743).
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 in the 8th cent., extended over all S England. This hegemony was strengthened by OffaOffa
, d. 796, king of Mercia (757–96). He succeeded Æthelbald to the throne, but it was some years before he attained the power of his predecessor. Gradually he asserted his overlordship in Kent and then Sussex, and by 774 his charters styled him rex Anglorum
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 (reigned 757–96), who controlled East Anglia, Kent, and Sussex and maintained superiority of a sort over Wessex and Northumbria. He had the great Offa's Dyke built to protect W Mercia from the Welsh. After his death, Mercian power gradually gave way before that of Wessex. The victories of EgbertEgbert,
d. 839, king of Wessex (802–39). His name also appears as Ecgberht. He was descended from Cerdic and was apparently an unsuccessful aspirant for the crown of Wessex against Beohtric (reigned 786–802).
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 of Wessex in Mercia established him briefly as overlord. In 874, Mercia weakly succumbed to the invading Danish army, and ultimately the eastern part became (886) a portion of the DanelawDanelaw
, originally the body of law that prevailed in the part of England occupied by the Danes after the treaty of King Alfred with Guthrum in 886. It soon came to mean also the area in which Danish law obtained; according to the treaty, the boundary between England and
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, while the western part was controlled by AlfredAlfred,
849–99, king of Wessex (871–99), sometimes called Alfred the Great, b. Wantage, Berkshire. Early Life

The youngest son of King Æthelwulf, he was sent in 853 to Rome, where the pope gave him the title of Roman consul.
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 of Wessex. Thereafter Mercia had no independent history, although it had one more distinguished ruler in ÆthelflædÆthelflæd
or Ethelfleda
, d. 918, daughter of King Alfred the Great of Wessex and wife of Æthelred, ealdorman [alderman or earl] of Mercia. After her husband's death in 911, she ruled the semi-independent Mercia alone.
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, Lady of the Mercians.

Bibliography

See F. M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (3d ed. 1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mercia

 

one of the kingdoms that arose during the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain; founded by Angles in the late sixth century. At the height of its power Mercia occupied the area between the Humber River and the Thames River in central England. It achieved its greatest power in the eighth century, after subordinating other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It was captured in the 820’s by Wessex.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mercia

a kingdom and earldom of central and S England during the Anglo-Saxon period that reached its height under King Offa (757--96)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states: "The daughter of Ethelred, lord of the Mercians, was deprived of all dominion over the Mercians, and carried into Wessex, three weeks before mid-winter; she was called Elfwynn."
This went on to become the Staffordshire Regiment, before later merging with others in the region to become the Mercian Regiment.
They were the folk who buried the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard during the 7th century near Tamworth, the Mercian capital.
Father-of-two Lance Corporal Alan Redford, of Moreton, of the 1st Battalion, the Mercian Regiment, was honoured yesterday at Buckingham Palace.
THE Prince of Wales met soldiers from the Mercian Regiment who are in training before they deploy on operations to Afghanistan next month.
June 23 was a dark day for the region, with the MoD having to announce the deaths of four soldiers, three of them Mercians from the Merseyside region, killed when their armoured vehicle overturned into a canal near Gereshk in Helmand Province.
But The Mercians' new Colonel, Brigadier Chris Hughes, said the new structure would create greater flexibility in both training and deployment.
THERE is fresh hope the Mercian Regiment's historic links to Staffordshire dating back to 1705 will be preserved.
In Birkenhead businesses closed and banners were mounted along their route ahead of the arrival of the 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment who yesterday celebrated the end of a harrowing six month tour of Afghanistan.
And to achieve their aims, the Mercian separatists are refusing to recognise the Queen or any UK laws.
The Army have withdrawn from their scheduled game against the Mercians next Wednesday.
If the Mercians go, it will break a 300-year direct link between the region and the military.