Eadbert II of Kent

Eadbert II Praen was the King of Kent from 796 to 798. His brief reign was the result of a rebellion against the hegemony of Mercia, and it marked the last time that Kent existed as an independent kingdom.

Following the conquest of Kent by Offa of Mercia in 785, it was ruled directly by Offa, but in 796 a revolt broke out under Eadbert, a former priest. In July 796, Offa died, leaving Mercia temporarily in a weak position.

The pro-Mercian Archbishop of Canterbury, Aethelheard, was compelled to flee during the rebellion, and this antagonized the Church. Coenwulf, Offa's eventual successor, exploited this in his negotiations with Pope Leo III, who excommunicated Eadbert, effectively approving a Mercian reconquest of Kent. This was accomplished in 798, when Coenwulf defeated Eadbert and captured him. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Coenwulf "ravaged over the inhabitants of Kent and the inhabitants of the Marsh, and captured Praen, their king, and led him bound into Mercia." A later addition to the Chronicle says that Eadbert was blinded and had his hands cut off, but Roger of Wendover states that he was set free by Coenwulf at some point as an act of clemency.

Preceded by:
King of Kent Succeeded by:

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