Any of several Anglo-Saxon kings with lordship over kingdoms beyond their own. Used in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the title probably means “ruler of the Britons.” It was given to Egbert (died 839) of Wessex and to seven earlier kings: Aelle of Sussex (fl. late 5th century), Ceawlin of Wessex (died 593), Aethelberht of Kent (died 616), Raedwald of East Anglia (died 616/27), Edwin of Northumbria (died 632), Oswald of Northumbria (died 641), and Oswiu of Northumbria (died 670).

Variants of BRETWALDA

bretwalda or brytenwalda

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on bretwalda, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up bretwalda? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.