In 790 the banished !Ethelred returned to the throne and drove out Osred, whom he put to death in 792. !Ethelred, who had married iElflaed the daughter of Offa, also killed Olf and Olfwine, the sons of Olfwald and was murdered himself at Corbridge in 796.
The manor was granted by King Offa to the bishopric of Worcester; and it was under the protection of the bishops of Worcester, who were granting them privileges as early as the reign of Richard I., that the inhabitants of the town assumed burghal rights at an early date.
In 787 the power of Offa was displayed in a synod held at a place called Cealchyth.
In 789 Offa secured the alliance of Berhtric of Wessex by giving him his daughter Eadburg in marriage.
In 796 Offa died after a reign of thirty-nine years and was succeeded by his son Ecgferth.
It is customary to ascribe to Offa a policy of limited scope, namely the establishment of Mercia in a position equal to that of Wessex and of Northumbria.
Offa, like most of his predecessors, probably held a kind of supremacy over all kingdoms south of the Humber.
To Offa is ascribed by Asser, in his life of Alfred, the great fortifications against the Welsh which is still known as "Offa's dike."
In 673 Archbishop Theodore divided the East Anglian diocese into two, Elmham being the seat of the northern, Dunwich that of the southern bishop. A long blank follows in the history of this kingdom, until in 792 we find Offa of Mercia slaying iEthelberht, king of East Anglia, who is said to have been his son-in-law.
With England the emperor had already entered into relations, and at one time a marriage was proposed between his son Charles and a daughter of Offa, king of the Mercians.
As the laws of Ine of Wessex speak of Erconwald as "my bishop," it is possible that the influence of Wessex for a short time prevailed in Essex; but a subsequent charter of Swefred is approved by Coenred of Mercia, and Offa, the son of Sigehere, accompanied the same king to Rome in 709.
In 779 Offa of Mercia defeated him and took Bensington.
In every case we find kingly government from the time of our earliest records, and there is no doubt that the institution goes back to a date anterior to the invasion of Britain (see Offa; Wermund).
In 765 and 770 grants are made by a King Osmund, the latter of which is witnessed by Offa of Mercia.
Offa also appears as witness to two charters of an ZEthelberht, king of the South Saxons, and in 772 he grants land himself in Sussex, with Oswald, dux of the South Saxons, as a witness.
It is probable that about this time Offa definitely annexed the kingdom of Sussex, as several persons, Osmund, IElfwald and Oslac, who had previously used the royal title, now sign with that of dux.
There are two minor emirates, Shonga and Lafiagi in this province, and a number of semi-independent towns of which the chief are Awton, Ajassa, Offa and Patiji.
Under British administration the province is divided into three divisions, Illorin (central), Offa (southern) and Patiji (northern).
The 8th century saw a further curtailment of the Welsh territories under Offa, king of Mercia, who annexed Shrewsbury (Amwythig) and Hereford (Henfordd) with their surrounding districts, and constructed the artificial boundary known as Offa's Dyke running due N.
Full confirmation is afforded by English and Danish traditions relating to two kings named Wermund and Offa, from whom the M e rcian royal family were descended, and whose exploits are connected with Angel, Schleswig and Rendsburg.
For traditions concerning the kings of Angel, see under OFFA (i).
There are Saxon still extant an impression of the seal of Offa of Mercia royal (A.D.
Offa (Hero) >>
A charter of Offa, king of Mercia (785), deals with the conveyance of certain land to the monastery of St Peter; and King Edgar restored the church, clearly defining by a charter dated 951 (not certainly genuine) the boundary of Westminster, which may be indicated in modern terms as extending from the Marble Arch south to the Thames and east to the City boundary, the former river Fleet.
In 774 land in Lydd was granted by Offa to the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, and the archbishop of Canterbury evidently held the lordship of the town from an early date.