ethelwold was the son of Aethelred, king of Wessex. and the nephew of Alfred the Great. When Alfred died in 899 the control of Wessex was disputed between Aethelwold and Edward the Elder, the son of Alfred. Edward was supported in the south of the country while Aethelwold found support with the Danes in Northumbria who accepted him as their over-lord. In 902 he took an invasion fleet and landed in Essex where he was also accepted as their leader. Now with a large army, including Danes from East Anglia Aethelwold raided Mercia and northen Wessex. In response to the attack, King Edward led an army into into East Anglia. Edward ordered his army south but the men from Kent disobeyed his command and were attacked by the Danes. Although the Danes won the battle they suffered large loses, one of which was Aethelwold himself. This brought to the end the rebellion of Aethelwold against King Edward.
After fighting the Danes all winter Aethelred died. He was only in his late twenties or early thirties. He was buried at Wimborne and was succeeded by his younger brother Alfred 'the Great'. Aethelred had two sons but they were too young to rule. The younger son Aethelwold would later rebel against Alfred's son Edward the Elder for the English throne. ¹
Athelwold and Eric the Dane were killed in battle when they fought an army of Kentish men who were part of King Edward's army. ¹
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Selection of references used:
1. Ronald McNair Scott, Alfred the Great, ISBN:0-86332-832-6