The madness of King Eadbald

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“A Saxon king of the early seventh century, Eadbald, was described in the language of the early eighth century as troubled by frequent fits of insanity and ‘by the attack of a foul spirit’ after marrying his late father’s second wife.

But he had also rejected Christianity which his father Ethelbert had taken up, and the missionaries in Kent were going through a difficult period; so, apart from the meaninglessness of the description, some character assassination may be involved in the record.”

From p48 of Mental Disorder in Earlier Britain (ISBN 0708305628) by Basil Clarke.

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