The Anglo-Saxon who (almost) united Britain

In AD 675, the Northumbrian ruler Ecgfrith was so powerful that he effectively made himself 'high-king' of Britain. Nick Higham introduces a true heavyweight of early English history

King Ecgfrith of Northumbria

This article was first published in the September 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine 

On Saturday 20 May AD 685, St Cuthbert was with Iurmenburh, Northumbria’s queen, at Carlisle, when he had a vision of Iurmenburh’s husband, Ecgfrith, dying at the hands of the Picts. A few days later, “they heard that it was announced far and wide that a wretched and lamentable battle had taken place at the very day and hour it was revealed to him”.

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