The Viking Kingdom of York is a misnomer really. The territory in the
north of England which was captured by the Vikings should be known as
the Kingdom of Viking Northumbria.
At the demise of Anglian Northumbria,
when rival monarchs Ælle and Osberht were both killed at the Battle of
York, the Vikings installed a puppet – Egbert I. He was deposed in 872 and
King Ricsige was installed.
One assumes the Vikings still had overall
control, as Halfdan ('Wide Embrace') I, the first Viking king of 'York'
didn't die until 877 (or 876 according to some sources). An interregnum followed
between 877–883, after which the Viking kingship continued.
In 876, one Egbert II is
mentioned, and it was at his death that 'York' absorbed Anglian
Northumbria. One wonders how much power these latter two kings held.
Although there remained a rump of Northumbria under Anglo-Saxon control,
this approximated to the old Anglian kingdom of Bernicia, and it had lost its
kingship by 900.
It must be stated that at the Convention of Eamont (927), at which King Athelstan received homage from several kings,
Ealdred of Bamburgh is referred to as a 'sub-king'. He and his father, Eadwulf, (who
died in 913) mention themselves as being at Bamburgh, ruling as 'Northumbria'.
In 954, Osulf is called 'Lord of Bamburgh', subject to the English King.
After this, Bamburgh seems to have been ruled by earls, and the term
'sub-king' disappears. One may assume, therefore, that ancient Bernicia
(with its capital at Bamburgh) had re-established itself as 'Northumbria'. In truth,
the remainder of the English in the north formed the so-called Viking Kingdom of
As to borders, the Viking Kingdom of Northumbria corresponds to the
ancient kingdoms of Deira and Elmet. The Convention of Eamont (near
Penrith) in 927, is said to have taken place near the border of
Strathclyde and 'The Kingdom of York'.
By the 880s Northumbria had ceased to exist as a single political and
cultural province. The most important fracture was between the ancient
kingdoms of Bernicia (Anglo-Saxon) and Deira (Viking). Both were east of
the Pennines but both retained territory in the western Pennines, with
central and southern Lancashire being an integral part of the Kingdom of
'York' (Viking Northumbria).