Friday, 27 April 2012

English Monarchs - House of Mercia

774 - 796  Offa

This little blighter was the most powerful of those rulers of the House of Mercia which between the 6th and 10th Century was the most dominent member of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (which comprised of the south, east and central areas of Great Britain), and was the only ruler to call himself King of the Angles.

During his time, he managed to get workers to dig a trench which has been recorded in history as stretching from sea-to-sea, and goes by the name of Offa's Dyke as wellas introducing to the country the first silver penny.

Offa's Dyke
Red Line: Offa's Dyke
Offa's Dyke is a massive linear earthwork, roughly followed by some of the current border between England and Wales. In places, it is up to 65 feet (19.8 m) wide (including its flanking ditch) and 8 feet (2.4 m) high. In the 8th century it formed some kind of delineation between the Anglian kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys.

During the time of his reign, Offa had killed of all of his rivals to ensure that his son, Ecgfrith, would survive him and retain the Kingdom but sadly his son died four months after his passing. The next king of Mercia was only distantly related to Offa, and power passed to the House of Wessex.

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