The earldom in the 10th century apparently included several other counties, and its most famous holder was the ealdorman Brihtnoth, who fell at the battle of Maldon in 991.
The campaigning ranged from Appledore in Kent to Exeter, from Chester to Shoeburyness; but wherever the invaders transferred themselves, either the king, or his son Edward, or his son-in-law Ethelred, the ealdorman of Mercia, was promptly at hand with a competent army.
A large fleet came ashore in Essex, and, after a hard fight with the ealdorman Brihtnoth at Maldon, slew him and began to ravage the district north of the Thames.
AETHELWEARD (Ethelward), Anglo-Saxon historian, was the great-grandson of Ethelred, the brother of Alfred, and ealdorman or earl of the western provinces (i.e.
In 991 the Danes burned Ipswich, and defeated and slew the East Saxon ealdorman Brihtnoth at Maldon.
It is recorded in the Saxon Chronicle for 823 that he was sent with Eahlstan, bishop of Sherborne, and the ealdorman Wulfheard to drive out Baldred, king of Kent, which was successfully accomplished.
IElfric no doubt gained some reputation as a scholar at Winchester, for when, in 987, the abbey of Cernel (Cerne Abbas, Dorsetshire) was finished, he was sent by Bishop iElfheah (Alphege), thelwold's successor, at the request of the chief benefactor of the abbey, the ealdorman IEthelmar, to teach the Benedictine monks there.
He bore the title not of king but of judge, a title which may be compared with that of ealdorman among the AngloSaxon invaders of Britain.
He first signs as dux or ealdorman in 973, and continues to sign until 998, about which time his death must have taken place.
In ealdorman Alfred's will the testator disposes freely of his bookland estates in favour of his sons and his daughter, but to a son who is not considered as rightful offspring five hides of folkland are left, provided the king consents.