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Kings and Queens of the British Isles: Alfred the Great

One of the greatest Kings of England, Alfred (reigned in Wessex, 871-899, and the Anglo Saxon Kingdoms 886-899) was the fifth son and as such not expected to be King. However the deaths within twelve years of three of his elder brothers, and the youth of two of his nephews, ensured that Alfred became King in 871.
His reign involved not only battling the Danes, but ensuring a peace treaty with them which saw the creation of viking territory known as the Danelaw, which streched across the East of England from London to Northumbria (This being after suffering a heavy defeat by the Danes, and Alfred managing to fight back hard and regain a great deal of territory) Alfred was also primarily a ruler who went for intellectual pursuits rather than being a king in battle, but he was highly respected as a tough king nonetheless

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