On Alfred’s death the frontier between English and Danes was defined, roughly speaking, by the line of Watling Street. To the north and east lay the Danish kingdoms of York and East Anglia. Eastern Mercia was dominated by individual jarls and their warbands, most of them probably under the nominal control either of York or East Anglia.2 In the far north lay the remnant of Bernicia, still governed by a line of English rulers established at Bamburgh, but under pressure not only from Danish York but also from the ambitious Scottish kings.
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