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The Battle of Ashdown

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, Royalty on Tuesday, 28 December 2010

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Alfred the Great, who finally defeated the Viking invaders in 878

8 January marks the anniversary of the Battle of Ashdown in which Alfred the Great defeated Danish invaders in 871. The Danes were full of confidence from their successful invasion and were prepared to attack the retreating Saxons. Alfred, then a prince aged 21, summoned the scattered West Saxon army of his brother, King Ethelred, and led them into battle. Although he sustained heavy losses, he was able to push back the Danes, killing one of their kings (Bagsecg) and five Earls.

It was not a complete victory, however, and the Danes were able to regroup and defeat the Saxons at Basing later that month; Ethelred was killed in a subsequent battle in March and Alfred succeeded to the throne. It was not until 878 that Alfred was able to finally force the Danes to withdraw from England.

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