Merewalh (sometimes given as
Merwal or Merewald was a sub-king of the Magonsæte, a western cadet kingdom of
Mercia thought to have been located in Herefordshire and Shropshire.
Merewalh is thought to have lived in the mid to late 7th century,
having acceded the throne during the time of Penda of Mercia
, who, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
implies, was his
- A.D. 656. This year was Peada slain; and
Wulfhere, son of Penda, succeeded to the kingdom of the
Mercians. In his time waxed the abbey of Medhamsted very
rich, which his brother had begun. The king loved it much,
for the love of his brother Peada, and for the love of his
wed-brother Oswy, and for the love of Saxulf the abbot. He
said, therefore, that he would dignify and honour it by the counsel
of his brothers, Ethelred and 'Merwal; and by the
counsel of his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha; and by the
counsel of the archbishop, who was called Deus-dedit; and by the
counsel of all his peers, learned and lewd, that in his kingdom
The name Merewalh signifies "Famous Foreigner" or "Celebrated
Welshman", possibly indicating that he, and perhaps even Penda's
dynasty, was of Celtic origin.
During his lifetime, Merewalh converted to Christianity
in about 660, founding Leominster Priory
Merewalh married Saint Ermenburga
having several children (see below).
He died sometime between 670 and 685, being succeeded by his son
- James Henry Ingram, trans. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,
- Thomas Forester, trans. The Chronicle of Florence of
Worcester, (1854). Henry G. Bohn, London.