Aethelwulf King of Wessex 839 – 858 also known as Ethelwulf
Aethelwulf King of Wessex was noted for his firm resistance to the early Viking attacks. He had 5 sons, one of which would become Alfred the Great.
Aethelwulf was the eldest of King Egbert of Wessex and his wife Redburga. His position was of supreme importance. He became commander of all Wessex, which was a substantial part of southern Britain. Wessex conquered Kent in AD 825 and followed through with defeats of, Essex, Sussex and Surrey. Such was his success he became sub-King of all his father’s South-Eastern lordships. Fourteen years later, he succeeded Egbert as King of All the English and his sub-kingdom was handed over to his own son, Aethelstan.
In an effort to keep each of the 5 sons involved in the succession and tried number of approaches to achieve this including a series of different partition schemes, his sons taking the crown in turns and the younger ones acknowledging the supremacy of their eldest brother. There were quarrels but his plans did work and one of his sons Alfred would become the only British King to ever be styled ‘The Great.’
Most of his sons died young and this would inevitably help in keeping the arguments and inevitable factions down to a minimum but later periods particularly during the War of the Roses with the Plantagenet, Yorks and Lancastrian debacles that would make way for the Tudors could have learn a lesson or two from Aethelwulfs approach.