676. Æscwine of Wessex dies
Centwine, son of Cynegils, succeeds to Wessex
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle notes that Centwine was a son of Cynegils, which makes him a brother of Cenwealh. Stephen notes that Bishop Wilfrid paused at King Centwine's court in his exile, but did not stay long because Centwine's queen was the sister of the Northumbrian queen Iurminburg, and so Iurmingburg's hatred pursued him there (Life of Bishop Wilfrid, chapter 40). Aldhelm, in the third of his Carmina Ecclesiastica (poems on the dedications of churches), states that Centwine ruled the kingdom (imperium) of the Saxons and won three great battles, that he was a pagan until the end of his reign, and that he finished by becoming a monk. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 682, Centwine put the Britons to flight, which may be one of the three great battles noted by Aldhelm. Centwine's paganism neatly explains why he does not witness the proceedings of Theodore's Synod of Hatfield in 679, along with the kings of the Northumbrians, the Mercians, the East Angles and the people of Kent.
B. Colgrave, The Life of Bishop Wilfrid by Eddius Stephanus (Cambridge: 1927)
R. Ehwald, Aldhelmi Opera (Berlin: 1919), pp.14-18
M. Lapidge and J. Rosier, Aldhelm: The Poetic Works (Cambridge: 1985), pp.47-49
676. Æthelred of Mercia devastates Kent
Bede (HE, iv.12).