Doesn't it depend on what you call a king? There was a time when anybody who had control of a herd of cattle might be called a "king." And, does "England" include Scotland?Valerie
"England" generally doesn't. I'd say if we're asking for "who was the first person to rule all the lands currently considered "England", I'd probably go with Emperor Nerva or Trajan (depending on who you ask.If you're asking who was the first "English" person to rule all the lands currently considered "England", that's a lot harder. For who is "English"? The Celts? The Angles? The Saxons? The Normans?
You've hit upon two of the reasons it's hard to say. I'm going with Alfred the Great.
Wasn't Æthelstan the first to gain control of all of England? My understanding is that Alfred didn't have the east or north.Eric Hines
We dont' know the name of who was king when the Romans came over. But there were kings before him.
I think to be "England" it has to be post-Anglo-Saxon. Alfred was the first of them to command wide authority, and to 'drive like the dead kings drave.'So he's my choice, though of course there were kings before -- Arthur, even, perhaps.
I think Grim's right- and Alfred's line persisted, so that's something also. He was also the first to call himself King of the Anglo-Saxons, so who's to argue, eh?
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