When we last left off, King Egbert was ruling over Wessex, King Cuthred (Coenwulf’s brother) was ruling over Kent… and Emperor Coenwulf held Mercia. I call him Emperor, by the way, because that’s what he called himself. And also because he does seem like he was a king of kings. His brother answered to him, the minor kingdoms like the Hwicce and Magonsaete answered to him, and it seems that Essex also answered to him (with their leaders appearing in his charters as dux or subregulus… sub king).
But the really important part of what happened didn’t involve a king or a kingdom… it was the fact that Archbishop Wulfred was ministering over the archdiocese of Canterbury. The thing is that it looks like there was a growing rift between Mercia and Canterbury, even in the early years of Archbishop Wulfred’s reign. A rift that was so significant that it became common knowledge, even on the continent… with Charlemagne and the Pope discussing it.
Archbishops were, in many ways, like K