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King Alfred the Great King Alfred the Great 871-899 was one of the best kings ever to rule He defended his kingdom from Viking raids enacted a code of laws and helped to give rebirth to religious and scholarly activity During Alfreds reign he demonstrated military and strategic skills sound authority and the capability to inspire men and plan for the future great devotion to the support of religion personal scholarship and the promotion of education King Alfred was born in 849 AD at Wantage Berkshire Aethelwulf the King of Wessex and Alfreds father had four sons and one daughter Alfred was the youngest of the four other children At the age of four Alfred had the desire to become a monk As a result his father sends him to accompany Pope Leo IV in Rome Alfred would go to Rome again with his father in 855 on a pilgrimage In 858 Aethelwulf dies leaving Wessex to be governed by his three other brothers Ethelbald Ethelbert and Elthred Alfred the Great In 865 a great heathen army Alfred the Great arrived in England seizing a dispute in Northumbria in order to control the divided kingdom By 870 the army had built multiple roads into Mercia subdued East Anglia and killed its king Edmund By 871 the heathens joined forces with another army from overseas and began to attack Wessex In return the West-Saxons and the Mercians combine forces and attack the Danes The only way for Alfred to get the Danes to submit to peace was to pay them a large sum of money In 868 Alfred marries Ealhswith the daughter of Aelthelred Mucill Ealhswith was the granddaughter of a past King of Mercia Alfred would not ascend to the throne until the death of his brother Elthred in Easter of 871 Alfred the Great Now that Alfred is King of Wessex he must protect his insecure kingdom from invasion The Danes would attack
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