January 640 in history

Died in January 640

Jan 20 Eadbald of Kent King of Kent from 616 until his death in 640. He was the son of King Æthelberht and his wife Bertha, a daughter of the Merovingian king Charibert. Æthelberht made Kent the dominant force in England during his reign and became the first Anglo-Saxon king to convert to Christianity from Anglo-Saxon paganism. Eadbald's accession was a significant setback for the growth of the church, since he retained his indigenous paganism and did not convert to Christianity for at least a year, and perhaps for as much as eight years. He was ultimately converted by either Laurentius or Justus, and separated from his first wife, who had been his stepmother, at the insistence of the church. Eadbald's second wife was Emma, who may have been a Frankish princess. She bore him two sons, Eormenred and Eorcenberht, and a daughter, Eanswith