Æthelred (ĕˈthəlrĕd, ăˈ–) [key], d.871, king of Wessex (865–71), son of Æthelwulf and brother of Alfred. He succeeded his brother Æthelbert as king of Wessex and as overlord of Kent and possibly of East Anglia. Æthelred spent his short reign gathering forces to oppose the Danes, who occupied York (866) and ravaged much of England. Alfred was important as his second in command in a series of battles (870–71) and succeeded him in Apr., 871.
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