Born in 560
Died on 24th of February 616
Ethelbert was born in 560 into Anglo Saxon Kent, he succeeded his father Eormenric when he died in 560, ascending to the throne,he became the king of Kent. He had encouraged extensive trade connections with France and the continent, which is where he met his future wife Bertha, who was the daughter of the King of Franks. She surely influenced Ethelbert, who at the time was Pagan, she was a Christian. Ethelbert was to become the first Anglo Saxon Monarch to be baptised into the Christian faith, St Augustine arrived in Thanet and it's said he encouraged Ethelbert in the setting up of churches and monasteries in 568, which led very quickly to people converting to Christianity, Ethelbert gave Augustine land in Canterbury for his cause.
Ethelbert fought many battles, and was recognised as Ruler of the Britons, however, he suffered defeat by the West Saxons in 568. His marriage with Bertha had produced one son, Eadbald who would succeed him on his death on 24th February 616 whilst he was in Canterbury. Ethelbert left a legacy, his forward thinking ensured that coin currency was produced, which in turn enhanced, and grew trade, he also declared that laws be written, these were strictly enforced, the laws were set out with ninety edits, and covered a wide spectrum, covering compensation and punishment for wrong doings, these were to become the first written laws in English, in Anglo Saxon times. He was canonised, as St Ethelbert, for his role and dedication in establishing Christianity. His body was buried at Sherbourne Abbey in Dorset, his son succeeded him, and controversially married his step mother, Ethelbert's second wife, this found severe displeasure with the new church, Eadbald was to later give up his wife and convert from paganism to Christianity.
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