The Kingdom of Wessex was believed to be founded by Cerdic, the first king of the West Saxons (Wessex), and his successor and son Cynric. The two main sources for the history of the Kingdom of Wessex are the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and the West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List, which sometimes conflict with one another. However, some historians believe the Kingdom of Wessex’s origin story may only be just a legend.

The Royal bloodline of Cerdic’s descendants became known as the Cerdicing Dynasty, which is also synonymous with The House of Wessex – their more commonly known title. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles provides a pedigree of Cerdic’s ancestry that traces back to the legendry Germanic god Wōden, and the antediluvian patriarchs. Though some historians believe this was Wessex’s propaganda to elevate Alfred the Great’s status amongst his peers, as other royal dynasties claimed to be the descendent of Wōden as well.

Unlike the northern and eastern Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Wessex wasn’t fully subdued by the Viking invasions. They managed to either pay off the Vikings and agree to a treaty, or their warrior kings defeated them in battle and drove them out of Wessex. These actions helped preserve those precious manuscripts that usually were destroyed wherever the Vikings ravaged the land. Furthermore in Alfred the great’s reign, his love of scholarship, the church, and the rule of law, played a massive part in his kingdoms development of his people. A massive drive to translate surviving manuscripts, including the teachings of Christianity, from Latin to Anglo-Saxon was undertaken; scholars across Europe were invited to his kingdom to achieve his vision. After Mercian dominance over the Heptarchy kingdoms, Wessex became a dominate force from Egbert’s Reign (802 to 839AD) and continued until the unifications of the all Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that we know today as the Kingdom of England, under the reign of King Æthelstan (924AD) until the Norman invasion of 1066 AD.

The Kingdom of Wessex
Reign: A.D
519 to 534
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, cerdic was the founder and first king of the West Saxons (Wessex). Though the West Saxons were orignally known as the tribal grouping of the Gewisse, their royal house in the 7th and 8th centuries led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Wessex.
534 to 560
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles states that Cynric is the Son of Cerdic and contradictory the grandson in the regnal list in the preface.
560 to c. 591
Ceawlin (Ceaulin and Caelin)
Ceawlin followed in his farthers and grandfarther footsteps by expanding Wessex’s territory fighting Britons and other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Ceawlin was aslo given the title Bretwalda.
c. 591 to 597
Ceol (Ceola or Ceolric)
He was the son of Cutha (or Cuthwulf), the son of Cynric. Ceol drove out his uncle Ceawlin in the battle of Woden’s Barrow in Wiltshire. Denying the throne to the rightful heir, Ceawlin’s son Cuthwine.
c. 597 to c. 611
Brother of Ceol.
c. 611 to c. 643
King Oswald of Northumbria was baptised with Cynegils and Cwichelm as their godfarther.
c. 626 to 636
Cwichelm relationship with Cynegils is uncertain as scholars dispute whether Cwichelm is Cynegils son. Was baptised with Cynegils and King Oswald of Northumbria.
c. 643 to 645
Cenwalh (Cenwealh or Coenwalh)
Cenwalh lost his kingdom for three years to king Penda of Mercia. He took refuge with the Christian king Anna of East Anglia and was baptised.
Iclingas (Mercian)
645 to 648
King of Mercia and gained dominion over Wessex for three years by driving out King Cenwalh of Wessex.
648 to 672
Restored as king.
Cerdicing by marriage
c. 672 to c. 674
Ruled after her husbands death where It was extremely rare for a woman to rule in her own right in Anglo-Saxon England.
(Disputed) Perhaps reigned between Seaxburh and his son Æscwine. Given a remote descent from Cynric.
674 to 676
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle supples a genealogy making him a fifth-generation descendant of Cynric. His farther was Cenfus.
676 to 685
Son of Cynegils according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and thus making Centwine the brother of king Cenwalh and king Cwichelm. Eventually deposed by Cædwalla.
685 to 688
Cædwalla (Caedwalla)
Exiled from Wessex as a youth. During his exile Cædwalla built up his forces and attacked the South Saxons, killing their king Æthelwealh, but was unable to hold the South Saxon territory. Became king of Wessex when his predecessor retired to a monastery. Accumulated dominion over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms during his reign, but eventually abdicated to go on a pilgrimage to Rome to be baptised.
688 to 726
Ine is noted for issuing his code of laws (leges Inae or “laws of Ine”). These laws were the first issued by an Anglo-Saxon king outside the Kingdom of Kent. Abdicated to pilgrimage with his wife to Rome.
726 to 740
Æthelheard (Ethelheard or Æþelheard)
Æthelheard is considered to be the brother-in-law of his predecessor, Ine, though its record is unreliable and his ancestry is unknown. Thus, making him the first King of Wessex not to be descended from Cynric’s by blood.
740 to 756
Cuthred (Cuþræd)
Æthelheard relative, possibly his brother. Æthelbald of Mercia was Wessex’s overlord and compelled Cuthred to join him in fighting the Welsh in 743. Later in 752, Cuthred led a successful rebellion against Æthelbald, resulting in Wessex’s independenca from Mercia.
756 to 757
Was removed from power by a council of nobles, accused for acting unjustly, but was given control of Hampshire. There, he was accused of murder, driven out and ultimately killed.
757 to 786
Assassinated whilst all of his Thegns were present, by Cyneheard, brother of Sigeberht.
786 to 802
Beorhtric (Brihtric)
Beohtric bid for the throne was supported by king Offa of Mercia. Offa’s support was most likely to influence West Saxon politics, thus preserving his ascendancy over Wessex.
802 to 839
Egbert (Ecgberht, Ecgbert, or Ecgbriht)
Also reigned the Kingdom of Kent between 825 to 839; ended Mercian supremacy and took control of Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829, Egbert temporarily ruled Merica direclty and later that year received submission of the Northumbria king. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently decribed Egbert as a Bretwalda.
839 to 858
Son of Egbert and is the first son to succeed his farther as a West Saxon king since 641. Went on a pilgrimage to Rome where he appointed his surviving eldest son Æthelbald to act as King of Wessex in his absence. His next son Æthelberht ruled Kent and the southeast.
858 to 860
Æthelbald (Ethelbald or Æþelbald)
On the return of Æthelwulf pilgrimage, Æthelbald refused to give up the throne. To aviod civil war, Æthelwulf allowed Æthelbald to continue to rule Wessex itself (or the western part of Wessex) while he took Kent and the other eastern parts of the kingdom.
860 to 865
Æthelberht (Ethelbert or Æþelberht)
Unlike Æthelberht’s predecessors, no other member of his family was appointed as under-king to the Kingdom of Kent. A charter containing witnesses of West Saxons and Kentish was the first charter issued by a West Saxon king.
865 to 871
Æthelred (Æþelræd, sometimes rendered as Ethelred)
Reigned the Kingdom of Kent as well. Was the fourth son of Æthelwulf and spent most of his reign fighting the vikings.
871 to 899
Alfred the Great (Ælfrēd or Ælfrǣd)
Successfully defended his kingdom against the viking attempt at conquest, and by the time of his death alfred had become the dominant ruler in England. Thus becoming the only Anglo-Saxon monarch to be given the epithet “the Great”.
899 to 924
Edward the Elder (Eadweard cyning)
Edward extended the control of Wessex over the whole of Mercia, East Anglia and Essex, conquering lands occupied by the Danes and became ruler of Mercia in 918, after the death of his sister, Æthelflæd. Two of his charters give his title as “Anglorum Saxonum rex” or “king of the Anglo-Saxons”. He was the second king of the Anglo-Saxons as this title was created by Alfred.
Second son of Edward the Elder. Died 2 August 924, only 16 days after his father
924 to 927
Æthelstan (Æþelstan, Æðelstān or Athelstan)
Became King of England in 927 after conquering the last remaining viking kingdom, York. Which resulted in the Northumbrians accepting Æthelstan’s lordship.