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OSRED (697?–716), king of Northumbria, son of Aldfrith [q. v.], king of Northumbria, probably by his wife Cuthburh or Cuthberga [q. v.], sister of Ine [q. v.], king of the West-Saxons, was about eight years old at his father's death in 705. For about two months the throne of Northumbria was usurped by Eadwulf; then a conspiracy was made against him, he was driven from the kingdom, and Osred, who was adopted by Bishop Wilfrith, and was perhaps the bishop's godson, was made king. In the first year of his reign he was present with his lords at a synod held on the Nidd, at which Wilfrith or Wilfrid was restored to the abbey of Ripon and the see and abbey of Hexham (Eddius, c. 60). In 711 his chief ealdorman Berctfrid defeated the Picts. He ruled with violence, slaying many of the nobles of his kingdom and compelling others to become monks. He was immoral; he debauched nuns, and forcibly entered religious houses (Æthelwulf, De Abbatibus, c. 2; S. Bonifacii Epistolæ, No. 59). A conspiracy was made against him, and in 716 he was betrayed by members of the royal house, and was slain beyond the southern border of his kingdom in battle against his kinsman Cenred, who succeeded him.

[Bede's Eccl. Hist. v. cc. 18, 19, 22 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Eddi's Vita Wilfr., c. 60, ap. Historians of York, i. 89 (Rolls Ser.); Æthelwulf's poem De Abbatibus, c. 2, ap. Sym. Dunelm. 1. 268 (Rolls Ser.); S. Bonifacii Epistolæ, No. 59, ed. Jaffé; Anglo-Saxon Chron. an. 716; William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum, i. c. 53 (Rolls Ser.); Henry of Huntingdon, iv. c. 9, Rolls Ser.]

W. H.