First King of England?

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK

Analysis of which king can properly claim the title.
 
Feb 2017
526
Latin America
Any list that doesn't include Harald Harefoot or Edward the Confessor is just wrong. None of those kings rule over all of England. Sweyn Forkbeard, Canute the Great and Harald are the first rulers who properly came to rule all of what we now know as England with pretty much its current borders. The other kings mentioned in the list may have come close, but they still failed in achieving rule over all of England properly.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
Any list that doesn't include Harald Harefoot or Edward the Confessor is just wrong. None of those kings rule over all of England. Sweyn Forkbeard, Canute the Great and Harald are the first rulers who properly came to rule all of what we now know as England with pretty much its current borders. The other kings mentioned in the list may have come close, but they still failed in achieving rule over all of England properly.
Which borders are these?

Athelstan ruled all of the greater Wessex he inherited from his father, King Edward the Elder, the Norse Jorvik he captured, and the Bamburgh earls. Cornwall had already been incorporated into Wessex many years before under Alfred the Great, and Lothian was part of England at that point. What is now Cumbria formed the Strathclyde kingdom, but borders didn't radically change by the times of Cnut or Edward the Confessor.

Athelstan was the first to hold direct rule over all areas Anglo-Saxons had settled in. And over all of the prior Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, whether Mercia, Wessex, East Anglia or Northumbria. Sweyn Forkbeard had just conquered the lands that Athelred the Unready held. So why is he the first King of England, and Athelred or Edgar the Peaceful aren't by your reckoning?
 
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