King Alfred the Great

detail of a portrait of Alfred the Great, from 'Makers of History', A L Fowle, 1906Profile

King of the West Saxons. When he ascended the throne on 23 April 871, the Danish invaders were threatening the kingdom; after a long struggle he established Saxon supremacy. He repelled four other invasions by the Danes from 875 to 878, and defeated them decisively 15 years later. Alfred drew up good laws, rebuilt and founded monasteries, include Shaftesbury Abbey, and encouraged learning. Married to Saint Elswith. Father of Saint Ethelgiva of Shaftesbury. He translated Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy into Anglo-Saxon, adding much of his own. Translated Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. Translated the Pastoral Rule and Dialogues of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. Inspired the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.



MLA Citation

  • “King Alfred the Great”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 November 2019. Web. 13 May 2021. <>