Cynric of Wessex

King of Wessex
Reign 534–560
Predecessor Cerdic
Successor Ceawlin
Died 560
Issue Ceawlin
Cutha or Cuthwulf[1]
House Wessex
Father Cerdic

Cynric was King of Wessex from 534 to 560. Everything known about him comes from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. There he is stated to have been the son of Cerdic, and also (in the regnal list in the preface) to have been the son of Cerdic's son, Creoda. During his reign it is said that the Saxons expanded into Wiltshire against strong resistance and captured Searobyrig or Old Sarum, near Salisbury, in 552. In 556 he and his son Ceawlin won a battle against the Britons at Beranburh, now identified as Barbury Castle.[2] If these dates are accurate, then it is unlikely that the earlier entries in the Chronicle, starting with his arrival in Britain with his father Cerdic in 495, are correct. David Dumville has suggested that his true regnal dates are 554-581.


The name Cynric has a straightforward Old English etymology meaning "Kin-ruler." However, as some scholars have proposed that both his predecessor, Cerdic, and successor, Ceawlin, had Celtic names, an alternative etymology has been postulated, deriving the name from Brittonic "Cunorix", meaning "Hound-king" (which developed into Cinir in Old Welsh, Kynyr in Middle Welsh).[3]

The Wroxeter stone was unearthed in 1967 in a Sub-Roman context (dating to c. 460 - 475 AD[4]) with the inscription CUNORIX MACUS MAQVI COLINE, which translates as "Cunorix ('Hound-king') son of Maqui-Coline ('Son-of-Holly'), both of which are regarded as Irish personal names.[5][6]

In popular culture

In the 2004 film King Arthur, Cerdic and Cynric were depicted as Saxon invaders, and were killed, respectively, by King Arthur and Lancelot at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus). Cynric was portrayed by Til Schweiger.

See also


  1. According to the Online DNB article on Ceol, he was the son of Cutha (probably Cuthwulf) and grandson of Cynric
  2. Myres, p. 162
  3. Clemoes, p. 30
  4. Wright, R.P. and Jackson, K.H. (1968) `A Late Inscription from Wroxeter', The Antiquaries Journal 48, part 2: 296--300.
  5. Laing, p.114
  6. Wright, R.P. and Jackson, K.H. (1968) `A Late Inscription from Wroxeter', The Antiquaries Journal 48, part 2: 296--300.


External links

Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Wessex
Succeeded by
Ceawlin of Wessex
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