Beorhtric, the immediate predecessor of Ecgbert, was buried here.
The violent death of Selred, king of Essex, is mentioned in the Saxon Chronicle under the year 746; but we have no more information of historical importance until the defeat of the Mercian king Beornwulf in 825, when Essex, together with Kent, Sussex and Surrey, passed into the hands of Ecgbert, king of Wessex.
In England, though the ecclesiastical organization came from Rome and was directed by Romans, we find no trace of such an office or order until the time of Ecgbert of York (767), the friend of Alcuin and therefore subject to Gallican influence.
Theodore, Wilfrid, Benedict Biscop, Bede, Boniface, Ecgbert, Alcuin, revived the fire of learning, which was almost extinct, and by their aid enlightenment was carried to the Continent, to decadent Gaul and barbarian Germany.
In the Chronicle the title is given to Ecgbert, king of the English, "the eighth king that was Bretwalda," and retrospectively to seven kings who ruled over one or other of the English kingdoms. The seven names are copied from Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica, and it is interesting to note that the last king named, Oswiu of Northumbria, lived 150 years before Ecgbert.
In support of this explanation it is urged that the title is given in the Chronicle to Ecgbert in the year in which he "conquered the kingdom of the Mercians and all that was south of the Humber."
With regard to Ecgbert the word is doubtless given as a title in imitation of its earlier use, and the same remark applies to its use in ZEthelstan's charter.
Brra seven, and apx, rule), a word which is frequently used to designate the period of English history between the coming of the Anglo-Saxons in 449 and the union of the kingdoms under Ecgbert in 828.
A letter of Bede to the archbishop Ecgbert of York may be interpreted to apply to this kind of tenure.
We find it laid down in the pontificate of Archbishop Ecgbert of York, A.D.