Ceolwulf of Wessex

Ceolwulf (died c. 611) was a King of Wessex. At that early date the West Saxons were called the Gewisse, and in his Dictionary of National Biography entry he is given the title "king of the Gewisse".[1] According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle he reigned from 597 to 611 and the Annals of St Neots also allot him fourteen years. The West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List gives him a reign of seventeen years, but in the view of Barbara Yorke this is probably an error.[2]

King of the West Saxons
(King of the Gewisse)[1]
Reignc. 597 – c. 611
Diedc. 611
FatherCutha (Cuthwulf)

Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha or Cuthwulf and the grandson of Cynric, and succeeded his brother Ceol. According to the Chronicle he was a powerful ruler who "continually fought and contended either against the English, or the Britons, or the Picts, or the Scots", but it is unlikely that he fought against the Picts or the Scots. His only recorded battle was against the South Saxons in 607, probably for control of the Isle of Wight and south Hampshire, but he probably laid the foundations for West Saxon expansion against the British and Saxon peoples of the south and west. He may have begun to construct a regional overlordship among the groups who comprised the West Saxons.[3]

It is not certain whether his successor, Cynegils, was his son or the son of his brother Ceol.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Yorke, Ceolwulf; Yorke, Kings and Kingdoms, p. 132
  2. ^ Kirby, p. 46; Yorke, 'Ceolwulf'
  3. ^ Yorke, Ceolwulf; Kirby, p. 46
  4. ^ Kirby, p. 43; Yorke, Kings and Kingdoms, pp. 134–135


  • Kirby, D. P. (2000). The Earliest English Kings (revised ed.). Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24211-8.
  • Yorke, Barbara (1990). Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-16639-X.
  • Yorke, Barbara (2004). "Ceolwulf (d. 611?), king of the Gewisse". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/57052. Retrieved 2 May 2013. (subscription or UK public library membership required)

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Regnal titles
Preceded by Kings of Wessex
Succeeded by