King Ălla of Northumbria
(-0867)

 

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Spouses/Children:
1. Unknown

King Ălla of Northumbria

  • Marriage (1): Unknown
  • Died: 21 Mar 867, England
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bullet  General Notes:

Ălla or Ălle (died 21 March 867) was king of Northumbria in the middle of the 9th century. Sources on Northumbrian history in this period are limited. Ălla's descent is not known and the dating of his reign is problematic. He is a major character in the saga Ragnarssona ■ßttr (The Tale of Ragnar's sons).

Chronicles

Ălla became king after Osberht was deposed. This is traditionally dated to 862 or 863, but may have been as late as 866.[1] Almost nothing is known of Ălla's reign. Symeon of Durham states that Ălla had seized lands at Billingham, Ileclif, Wigeclif, and Crece, which belong to the church.[2] While Ălla is described in most sources as a tyrant, and not a rightful king, one source states that he was Osberht's brother.[3]

The Great Heathen Army marched on Northumbria in the late summer of 866, seizing York on 21 November 866.[4] Symeon of Durham, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Asser, and Ăthelweard all recount substantially the same version of events in varying detail. Symeon's Historia Regum Anglorum gives this account of the battle on 21 March 867 where Osberht and Ălla met their deaths at the hands of the Vikings:[5]


Ragnarssona ■ßttr (The Tale of Ragnar's sons) adds a great deal of colour to accounts of the Viking conquest of York. This associates the semi-legendary king of Sweden Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons, Hvitserk, Bj÷rn Ironside, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, Ivar the Boneless, and Ubbe. According to the stories, Ragnar was killed by Ălla, and the army which seized York in 866 was led by Ragnar's sons who avenged his death by subjecting Ălla to the blood eagle.[8] Earlier English sources record that both Ălla and Osberht died in battle, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle stating that "both the kings were slain on the spot".[9] The main figure in the revenge tales is Ivar, who is sometimes associated with the Viking leader ═mar, brother of AmlaÝb Conung, found in the Irish annals. Dorothy Whitelock notes that "it is by no means certain that he should be identified with the son of Ragnar, for the name is not uncommon".[10] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle does not name the leaders in Northumbria, but it does state that "Hingwar and Hubba" slew King Edmund of East Anglia (Saint Edmund) some years later.[11] Hubba is named as a leader of the army in Northumbria by Abbo of Fleury, and by the Historia de Sancto Cuthberto. Symeon of Durham lists the leaders of the Viking army as "Halfdene, Inguar, Hubba, Beicsecg, Guthrun, Oscytell, Amund, Sidroc and another duke of the same name, Osbern, Frana, and Harold."[12]


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Ălla married.




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