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King of Kent 616-640

Eadbald came to the throne of Kent on the death of his father Aethelbert in the year 616. Aethelbert was the first of the English to embrace the faith of Christ but Eadbald renounced his baptism and returned to the pagan worship of his ancestors even to the degree that he took his father's widow (and his mother) in marriage as had been the custom.

It is said that he was visited by madness as divine punishment for this sin until he once more accepted baptism at the hands of the Archbishop Laurentius and set aside his incestuous marriage with his mother and took instead for wife a Frankish princess by the name of Emma.

Eadbald reigned until his death in 640. He had two sons by Emma, Ermenred and Earconbert the latter of whom succeeded him as king of Kent.

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