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|+ <font size="+1">'''Ælfrēd se Grēata'''</font>
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| '''Rank:''' || 6th
'''Ælfrēd''' ([]? - [[26 Winterfylleþ|26 Ƿinterfylleþ]] []) ƿæs cyning [[Englaland
Ælfrēd ƿæs ȝeboren āhƿænne betƿēonan [] and [] AD on [[Waneting|Ƿanetinge]] in [[Bearrucscīr]]e<ref>[[Assa]]: ''Ælfredes Līf''. Ƿaneting is Bearrucscīrburg, ac for ȝerecþeȝnung siððan 1974 is nū ȝefunden in [[Oxnafordscīr]]e)</ref>.
Ælfrēd ƿæs se fēorða sunu [[Æðelwulf West-Seaxna|Æðelwulfes Cyninges Ƿestseaxna]], and ȝelīcost his mōdor ƿæs [[Osburh]] his forma ƿīf. Hē ƿæs æfterȝenga for his brēðer, [[Æðelræd I]], sƿā cyning [[West-Seaxna|Ƿestseaxna]] and [[Mierce|Mierċa]], on [].
*Fæder: [[Æðelwulf|Æðelƿulf]] cyning
After the dispersal of the Danish invaders Alfred turned his attention to the increase of the royal [[navy]], and ships were built according to the king's own designs, partly to repress the ravages of the Northumbrian and East Anglian Danes on the coasts of Wessex, partly to prevent the landing of fresh hordes. This is not, as often asserted, the beginning of the English navy. There had been earlier naval operations under Alfred. One naval engagement was certainly fought under [[Aethelwulf]] (in []), and earlier ones, possibly in [] and []. The partisan [[Anglo-Saxon Chronicle]] credits Alfred with the construction of a new type of boat, 'swifter, steadier and also higher/more responsive (hierran) than the others'; but these new ships were not a great success, as we hear of them grounding in action and foundering in a storm. But both the [[Royal Navy]] and the [[United States Navy]] claim Alfred as the founder of their traditions.
Alfred's main fighting force was separated into two, 'so that there was always half at home and half out' ([[Anglo-Saxon Chronicle]]). The level of organisation required to mobilise his large army in two shifts of which one was feeding the other must have been considerable. The complexity which Alfred's administration had attained by [] is demonstrated by a reasonably reliable charter whose witness list includes a ''thesaurius'', ''cellararius'' and ''pincerna''
One of the weaknesses of pre-Alfredian defences had been that, in the absence of a standing army, fortresses were largely left unoccupied, making it very possible for a Viking force quickly to secure a strong strategic position. Alfred substantially upgraded the state of many of Wessex's fortresses, as has been demonstrated by systematic excavation of four West Saxon boroughs (at Wareham, Cricklade, Lydford and Wallingford) that "in every case the rampart associated by the excavators with the borough of the Alfredian period was the primary defence on the site" (N.P. Brooks ''The Development of Military Obligations in Eighth and Ninth Century England''). We know that such defences were not constructed by the occasional Danish occupiers, thanks to surviving transcripts of the formidable 11th Century administrative manuscript known as the Burghal Hidage, dated within 20 years of Alfred's
The 'Burghal Hidage' sets out the obligations for the upkeep and defence of these towns; in this way, the English population and its wealth was drawn into towns where it was not only safer from Viking soldiers, but also taxable by the King.