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Raedwald of East Anglia Biography
Raedwald (died c. 627) was a King of East Anglia (c. 599 - c. 627) and an Anglo-Saxon Bretwalda (616 - c. 627). He was the son of Tytila. During Raedwald's reign, East Anglia reached the height of its power, and he was the only East Anglian king to be recognized as Bretwalda.

The exiled prince Edwin of Deira took refuge in East Anglia around the year 615, seeking protection from his rival, the Northumbrian king Aethelfrith. Aethelfrith attempted to bribe Raedwald into having Edwin killed, and it is said that at first Raedwald meant to accept, but later refused after he was admonished by his wife that it would be dishonorable to murder a guest. It may be that Raedwald's actual reasoning was more pragmatic, but in any case, he then assembled an army and marched against Northumbria, and a battle was fought by the river Idle. The Northumbrian army was apparently the smaller force, and it seems that this was because Raedwald's attack had taken Aethelfrith by surprise and not allowed him enough time to assemble a great force. Although Raedwald's son Raegenhere was killed, the battle was a great East Anglian victory: Aethelfrith was killed, his sons fled to the north, and Edwin became king of Northumbria. It was from this point that Raedwald was considered Bretwalda.

Raedwald converted to Christianity at the urging of King Ethelbert of Kent, but he is thought to have vacillated between the new religion and the old pagan beliefs; according to Bede, at his temple in Rendlesham he had both a Christian shrine and a pagan shrine side by side. This juxtaposition was not an uncommon occurrence during the early years of Christianity in Britain.

He is thought to be the most likely candidate to be the principal of the Sutton Hoo ship burial, although no bodily remains were ever retrieved from this site.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Raedwald of East Anglia.