Ivar the Boneless, Guthrum (? – 890) and new Viking Migrants

A fifteenth-century depiction of Ivar and Ubba ravaging the countryside
  • We do not have accurate sources about either Ragnar Lodbrok or King Aelle, but the most reliable sources from the period explain how a large army of  Vikings (Norwegians and Danes) sailed across the North Sea in 865 AD to avenge Ragnar’s death. This was led by Ragnar’s son, Ivar the Boneless.
  • This army was far greater than any Viking force before and it was clear that its intention was not to raid but to conquer (take control of land).
  • According to Viking sources King Aelle was captured during the battle for York. The leader of the Viking Army, Ivar the Boneless, killed him brutally.
  • Viking warriors and migrants from Norway and Denmark settled the lands the Viking Army conquered between 865 and 874. The Vikings had established control over northern and eastern England.
  • Meanwhile down south, another Viking leader – Guthrum – tried to conquer the rest of the island (not including the Celtic lands).  A skilled warrior, Guthrum – with his Viking army – conquered large parts of the south.
  • But his hope of conquering all of southern England ended when he was defeated by King Alfred in 878. Alfred’s peace treaty insisted Guthrum convert to Christianity in exchange for being allowed to rule as the King of the lands the Vikings had taken (the Danelaw).Guthrum agreed.