Anything valuable should be kept safe. And so it was with Wulfhere, one of the younger sons of King Penda of Mercia. When Penda was killed in the Battle of Winwaed in 655, Wulfhere and his younger brother were hidden away in a very safe place. Usually, royal children were fostered by other royal households, but there is no evidence where Wulfhere was taken.
He was still a boy when Penda died and his older brother, Paeda, ruled as a puppet king to the Northumbrian who killed his father, Oswiu. But when Paeda was murdered by his wife (it is thought), the Mercian nobles decided that Oswiu would not be the one to take over the Midlands realm and make it part of Northumbria. The new king would be Penda's boy, Wulfhere.
After his father's defeat, all but the very core of Mercia was lost. Wulfhere intended to regain all of the territories and then some. He married a daughter of the Kentish king in a clever political move and became a devout Christian, patronising churches, cathedrals and monasteries.
He achieved all he set out to do and died at age thirty-five. His son was a child then and therefore could not take the throne, which went to Wulfhere's youngest brother, Ethelred. There are a couple of dubious myths about him - check them out here.
Wulfhere is one of my favourite kings and features as a central character in my book Teon He is immortalised on Lichfield Cathedral, which is very close to my home town, so I see him often.