Æthelbald ĕˈthəlbôld, ăˈ– [key], d. 757, king of Mercia (716–57), grandson of a brother of Penda. He spent years in exile before he became king. A strong ruler, by 731 he controlled all England S of the Humber River and led expeditions into Northumbria (740) and against the Welsh (743). He was murdered by his bodyguard.

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