Æthelstan or Athelstan is widely regarded as the first king of England. When his father Edward the Elder died in July 924, Æthelstan was accepted by the Mercians as king. His half-brother Ælfweard may have been recognised as king in Wessex, but died within weeks of their father's death. Æthelstan still encountered resistance in Wessex for several months and was not crowned until September 925.
In 927 he conquered the last remaining Viking kingdom, York, making him the first Anglo-Saxon ruler of the whole of England. In 934 he invaded Scotland and forced Constantine II to submit to him, but Æthelstan's rule was resented by the Scots and Vikings, and in 937 they invaded England.
Æthelstan defeated them at the Battle of Brunanburh, a victory which gave him great prestige both in the British Isles and on the Continent. After his death in 939, the Vikings seized back control of York, and it was not finally re-conquered until 954.
Aethelstan and Bannerman miniatures shown here are painted by Charles Baynon. Miniatures supplied unpainted and may need some assembly. Banner supplied by LBM. Spears and bases not supplied.