Aethelberht of Kent

Æthelbert, Aethelberht, Aethelbert, Ethelbert

A king of Kent from about 558 or 560 until his death on February 24th 616.

Bede lists him as the third king to hold imperium over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, from the late ninth century, he is referred to as a bretwalda, or ‘Britain-ruler’.

Around 580 he married a Christian princess, Bertha. Aethelbert retained her pagan beliefs, but he allowed her to restore an ancient Christian church to the east of Canterbury. The church, Saint Martin, claims to be the oldest Christian church in England. He was the first English king to convert to Christianity.