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Burgred of Mercia is a character on The Last Kingdom television series. He is an Ealdorman of Mercia.

Biography[]

The Last Kingdom[]

Season 4[]

Aegelesburg, Mercia; King Æthelred is weak and barely conscious as he's brought back to Mercia. The Ealdormen questions why Eardwulf lies to the king when he is certain to die. Burgred believes this to be Æthelred’s time of judgement. Punishment for his greed and ambition. He left them to face the Danes alone. Burgred lost his eldest during the massacre. His youngest and wife were beaten. No one came to help, and for that, Burgred, Ludeca, and the other Ealdormen will not honor him. Eardwulf agrees that they shouldn’t, claiming he did all he could to convince the king to return sooner. ("Episode 4.5")

With Æthelred nearing death, Burgred doesn't want to delay the decision. However, Ludeca argues they are too few to make a decision. They should wait for the other Ealdormen to arrive. But Aldhelm is in agreement with Burgred, that the matter is too pressing to put off. Burgred believes his younger son is the best candidate. However, Ludeca points out that his son is too young. Æthelflæd has tried to speak, but they merely tell her to return to Æthelred's bedside. ("Episode 4.5")

Edward and Ludeca are confronted by Burgred. He demands that the king remove his troops from Aegelesburg. Lord Æthelhelm intervenes, advising Burgred to remove himself. Burgred will do so gladly. He remarks that there’s ways to make men the Lord of Mercia without the Witan. Ludeca fears that Burgred will do something foolish to assure his son’s seat on the throne. ("Episode 4.5")

The Ealdormen surround King Æthelred's body. While Ludeca is appeased for the moment, Burgred is stirring up the other Ealdormen against Wessex. Later, Eardwulf confronts Burgred as he's exiting the king's chamber. Burgred claims that he's merely showing his son where he will rest when he is lord. Burgred claims to have greater forces and that the lord is on his side. He believes there’s a reason he survived the massacre. God wants him to right the wrongs done to Mercia. He then questions why Eardwulf isn't betrothed to the king's niece. Burgred suspects they're being lied to. ("Episode 4.6")

Lord Æthelhelm worries that they're running out of time to find Uhtred and the king's niece. Edward orders Cenric to continue looking. Pyrlig and Ludeca then inform them of a sickness spreading across Mercia. Ludeca advises they close the gate to prevent any more sick villagers from entering. Pyrlig and Burgred refuse to abandon the sick, but Lord Æthelhelm is in agreement with Ludeca. Edward believes they should keep the gates open as well, but should he overrule Ludeca, the Witan will say that Edward desires to conquer them. And so, Edward orders that the gates be shut. ("Episode 4.6")

Ælswith arrives in Aegelesburg but the gates remain closed. Æthelhelm tells her there is sickness all around. She requests to speak to her son. Edward questions why his mother is still outside the gate. Ludeca explains that the order to keep the gates closed applies to all. Edward reminds Ludeca that his mother is Mercian in blood and defied him by sending troops to help them. Æthelhelm advises Edward against overruling the Ealdormen, but he does so regardless, demanding that the gates be open. As Ælswith enters, Burgred remarks that Edward lets his own kin in while good Mercians suffer. Ludeca admits that Burgred may have been right all along. King Edward seeks to conquer them. ("Episode 4.6")

The Mercian people have nothing but ill will towards Æthelred and show him no respect, much to Ælswith and Edward's disapproval. Lord Æthelhelm explains that their defiance is due to hunger, fever, and lack of leadership. Edward fears that Burgred continues to speak against him, but Æthelhelm believes him to be no genuine threat. Cenric then informs Edward that the Ealdormen have called their Witan for after the funeral. Furthermore, Edward isn’t welcome to attend. ("Episode 4.7")

Burgred exclaims that the king cannot be trusted. He constantly schemes against them. The time has come to take a bolder step. However, Ludeca advises against separating from Wessex. Edward, Æthelhelm, and Cenric enter despite being unwelcome and the Witan proceeds. Burgred calls King Edward a liar. He accused Edward of orchestrating the sickness and closing off the city, leaving them without food or guards. Uhtred makes his presence known. He assures them that while Ælfwynn is safe, she will not be betrothed as Eardwulf has confessed to the murder of Æthelred and fled Mercia. He then presents Æthelred's ring as proof, handing it over to Ludeca. ("Episode 4.7")

Burgred takes a load of grains to the storage so that Wessex cannot steal it, but he is intercepted by Cenric and the Wessex Guard. The king demands that the grain be shared amongst the people. Cenric pushes Burgred to the ground and seizes the cart of grains. ("Episode 4.7")

Burgred confronts Edward for impounding their grain and occupying their citadel. He reminds them that the hall is only for the lord of Mercia and his Ealdormen. He threatens that the Witan will separate from Wessex. Edward urges any of them with the audacity to lay hand on a king and remove him from the hall. So, Burgred draws his sword. However, Edward informs him that they've taken his son to Wessex for religious instruction. ("Episode 4.7")

Burgred and Ludeca watch as more grain is taken by the Wessex Guard. The King continues to take the town, Burgred fears. But Ludeca argues that he feeds the people. ("Episode 4.7")

Uhtred is baptised by Father Pyrlig in front of the Edward, Ælswith, Aldhelm, Ludeca, Burgred, and the other Ealdormen. Ælswith explains that it’s not that she doubts Uhtred, but rather the fact that he held a blade to Alfred’s throat and threatened to kill him. Young Uhtred watches angrily before leaving. Pyrlig then calls Edward forward. Uhtred undresses and goes under water to be baptised. ("Episode 4.8")

Uhtred and Pyrlig arrive for the Witan, where Edward, Aldhelm, Burgred, Ludeca, and the other Ealdormen await. Æthelflæd and Ælswith watch from above. Ludeca takes lead. They must choose a leader to defend. One who will stand shoulder to shoulder with their allies in Wessex. Edward assures them that Wessex has no desire to influence Witan. He only wants to maintain the bond. Ludeca explains that Uhtred has both defended Wessex and Mercia. He also only holds the position until a younger Ealdormen can come of age and Lady Ælfwynn is old enough to marry. There are no objections from the Witan and Uhtred is crowned king. Despite the Witan accepting him as their Lord, Uhtred believes there to be someone better suited to rule. As his first act as Lord of Mercia, Uhtred relinquishes the throne in favour of Æthelflæd. Edward and the Ealdormen argue that Æthelflæd can't rule because she is a woman. However, Ludeca explains that it was never a rule that women can't take the throne. King Offa's widow ruled for years. Æthelflæd proposes a solution. She will swear an oath that as long as she is Lady of Mercia, she will remain chaste. Still, Edward is very much against his sister ruling. With Witan's support, Æthelflæd takes the throne. ("Episode 4.8")

Appearances[]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Season 1                
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5

Trivia[]

  • The name Burgred comes from Old English. The name is made up of the words burg, which means "fortress", and red, which means "counsel, wisdom".
  • Burgred is a noble; he is an ealdorman in Mercia.
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