MENU Unleashing Yorkshire’s Potential Through Devolution

Province of Deira (Yorkshire) within the Kingdom of Northumbria

Angle era

 Defeat of Mercia, Conquest north and south, Unrest with Bernicia and Arrival of Danes


Kingdom of Northumbria (Angle era) & periodic dominions.


By 656, when Northumbria was formally founded, Bernicia had already annexed central and southern North Rheged to its west (616) and Gododdin to its north (638). In 654, just two years before Deira and Bernicia formally became "Northumbria", their combined forces defeated Mercia and Anexed its northern territory (A & G) which effectively became southern Deira, all-be-it short lived. A-Northern Mercia to 658; B-Southern South Rheged to 658; C-Southern Mercia 656-658; D-Pengwern 656-658; E-Lindisware to 679; F-Central South Rheged to 740; G-The Peak to 740; H-Northern North Rheged 685-756; I-Central and southern North Rheged to 756; J-North-western Goddodin to 685.


Northumbria proved to be a powerful Kingdom from the mid 7th century to the mid 8th century. During this time it finally gained revenge by defeating its great rival Mercia and occupied lands as far south as the Wessex border and as far north as todays Edinburgh, named after King Edwin (Edwin’s Burgh). 

Despite the union of Deira and Bernicia, rivalry between the leaders of the two provinces continued.  In 862 King Osberht was deposed by the usurper Ælle and the following struggle for power between the pair saw Northumbria deteriorate into a state of civil war. 

The Danes, who had recently arrived in Britain under Ivar the Boneless, took advantage of the disarray in Northumbria and on 1st November 866 launched an attack on Eoforwic (York) and captured the city.  Putting aside their differences, Osberht and Ælle joined forces to try to recapture Eoforwic four months later but were defeated in the battle and both were slain.  As a consequence of their deaths the Danes became the new rulers of Northumbria.   They instated an Angle as a puppet king and renamed Eoforwic,Jórvík’ and Deira, ‘Jórvíkskyr’. The literal translation of ‘Eoforwic’ from old English and ‘Jórvíkfrom old Norse is ‘place of the boars (chieftans)’. 

Although all Northumbria was at this point Danish territory, the Danes initially only settled in Jórvík and gradually throughout Jórvíkskyr whilst Bernicia was effectively left to the Angles.



Interpretation of Oswald’s banner used here to represent the Kingdom of Northumbria.

Based on the account by the Venerable Bede of a banner of purple and gold hanging over the tomb of King Oswald, Oswald’s banner is likely to have evolved from the standard of King Edwin that, according to another account by Bede, took the form of a Roman standard, the vexilla of which are invariably purple/red and gold.



Kings of Yorkshire in the Kingdom of Northumbria (Angle) era





679 to 685


Overlord since 670.  Killed by the Picts in battle.

685 to 704


Son of Oswiu.  Died of  illness.

704 to 705


Usurped child heir Osred.  Claim to throne thought to be distant family connection.  Exiled after civil war restored Osred to throne.

705 to 716


Son of Aldfrith.  Believed to have been assassinated by Coenred or killed in battle by Picts.

716 to 718


Believed to be distant relative of Ida of Bernicia.  Died.

718 to 729

            Osric II

Believed to be cousin or brother to Osred.  Died.

729 to 737


Adopted as heir by distant cousin Osric.  Abdicated to become a monk and venerated ‘Saint Ceolwulf’.

737 to 758


Cousin of Ceolwulf.  Abdicated to become a monk.

758 to 759


Son of Eadberht.  Assassinated by his servants.

759 to 765

            Æthelwald Moll

Seized throne as descendant of Oswine of Deira.  Deposed.

765 to 774


Seized throne as distant cousin of Oswulf. Deposed and exiled.

774 to 779


11 year old son of Æthelwald Moll.  Deposed and exiled..

779 to 788


Son of Oswulf.  Assassinated.

788 to 790

            Osred II

Son of Ealchred.  Deposed and exiled.

790 to 796


Restored after exiling Osred.  Assassinated.

Apr-May 796


Deserted by his supporters and exiled after a reign of 27 days.

796 to 806


Instated by supporters after a failed rebellion in 790.  Deposed.

806 to 808

            Ælfwald II

Forcibly usurped and exiled Eardwulf.  Deposed.

808 to 810


Restored after ousting the usurper Ælfwald II.  Died.

810 to 841


Son of Eardwulf.  Died.

841 to 844

            Æthelred II

Son of Eanred.  Deposed.



Usurper.  Killed by Danes.

844 to 848

            Æthelred II

Restored.  Assassinated.

848 to 862


Unknown lineage.  Deposed.

862 to 867

            Ælle II

Usurper; Killed by the Danes with Osberht.

March 867


Killed by the Danes with the usurper Ælle II