Alfred the Great

'The Father of the English'

Alfred the Great, King of the West-Saxons, is my 27,  29 (4 times), 30 (4 times),  32 (5 times), 33 (5 times),  34 (8 times), 35 (twice), 36 (3 times), 39, and 41X Great-grandfather (see below); this is my tribute to the man described by Sir Winston Churchill as "the greatest Englishman that has ever lived".

The life story of Alfred the Great is well known, so there is no need for me to repeat it here. This site differs from others in that I am attempting to list all the novels about Alfred the Great; some listings of historical novels are available, but these, as will be seen, have only scratched the surface. I have included scans of some of the attractive bindings and dustjackets. I have also attempted to list all the known plays, and music, both written and pre-recorded, all the known memorials, both surviving and disappeared. I have given a list of selected biographical books, and on  the last two pages  are all manner of things related to Alfred the Great, including details of many collectables. My hope is that this will  become the definitive site for Alfred the Great.

This is my first attempt at putting a website together, so please make allowances for any shortcomings; I believe a website should be entertaining or a source of reliable information, and I believe I have acheived both. I hope the reader will obtain as much pleasure from this site as I did in its creation. Please come back as new items are frequently added.

Robert D. Crewdson.  2008.

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The high number of connections to Alfred the Great are possible because  the children of earls, barons, viscounts, etc, married people of their own social standing; large families meant that those who did not inherit a tiltle, were, by the 19th century, forced to set their sights a little lower. For a daughter, marriage to someone whose  occupation  was a Reverend or an Army Officer was seen as respectable, if they were unable to find their match in another titled family.

The following is a good example, which takes us back 14 times to Alfred the Great.  My 14x Great-grandfather, Sir Hugh Willoughby, of Wollaton, Notts (died 15th November, 1448) married, as his 2nd wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir Baldwin Freville of Tamworth Castle; Baldwin's Grandmother was Elizabeth de Bottetourt, her 4x Great-grandmother was Idonea Longespee, daughter of William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury, and a son of King Henry 2nd. Through him we reach William the Conqueror, and through William's wife Matilda of Flanders, we reach Alfred the Great and the Emperor Charlemagne (1). King Henry 2nd's  Grandmother  Matilda, was the daughter of St.Margaret, whose Grandfather was King Edmund Ironside. This line takes us back through most of the West-Saxon kings,  Ethelred 2nd (the Unready), Edgar the Peaceful, Edmund the Elder, Edward the Elder, and King Alfred. (2)

Returning to Sir Hugh Willoughby's wife, Margaret Freville; her Great- grandfather was John de Bottetourt; his mother Johanna was the daughter of Roger de Somery (Baron of Dudley), whose wife Nicole de Aubigny, was the daughter of William de Aubigny, 3rd Earl of Arundel: his Great-grandmother, Maud, was the daughter of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, a son of King Henry 1st, whose mother Matilda, as already stated was a descendant of Alfred the Great and the Emperor Charlemagne. (3);Margaret Freville's maternal 9x Great-grandfather, Rosceline de Beaumont, Vicomte de Beaumont-en-Maine, married Constance, daughter of Henry 1st, and through his mother to Alfred the Great (4); Margaret's  maternal 10x Great-Grandfather Ralph de Toeni, married Alice of Huntingdon, daughter of the Earl Waltheof and Judith of Lens, her father, Lambert of Lens was 8th in descent from Alfred the Great (5); Margaret's maternal 7x Great-Grandfather, David, Earl of Huntingdon, married Maud, daughter of Hugh de Meschines (de Kevelioc), Earl of Chester, whose mother, Maud, was the daughter of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, who we have already mentioned (6);  David, Earl of Huntingdon's paternal grandfather, David 1st, King of Scotland, married Matilda, daughter of Waltheof, and through her mother descends from Alfred the Great (7); King David 1st's father was Malcolm 3rd, King of Scotland; he married Margaret of Wessex, who we have already described in the 2nd link (8); Margaret's 6x Great-grandfather, Walter FitzRobert married Maud de Lucy, whose mother Rohesia de Boulogne was 10th in descent from Alfred the Great (9);  Walter FitzRobert's mother was Maud de St.Liz, who was descended from Alfred through Judith of Lens (10); Margaret's 4x Great-grandfather, Sir Robert de Roos, married Isabel d'Aubigny, her 4x Great-grandmother was Judith of Lens (11);  Robert's mother, Lucia FitzPiers was the Great-granddaughter of Miles, Earl of Hereford, whose wife was descended from Alfred (12); Robert's 4x Great-grandmother was Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror, whose wife Matilda was 7th in descent from Alfred the Great (13); Another 4x Great-grandfather of Margaret Freville was Sir Gilbert de Clare, his mother was Amicia of Gloucester, granddaughter of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, a son of king Henry 1st; who through his mother Matilda of Flanders was a descendant of Alfred the Great (14).

 

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Site updated 6th November, 2017.