Oswald, the second son of King Ethelfrith of Bernicia, was born in about 605. He gained the Northumbrian kingdom after defeating Cadwalader at Hexham in 633. He now claimed authority over all Anglo-Saxons and as he was a Christian, he arranged for missionaries such as St Aidan to convert his people. Oswald was killed by the pagan king, Penda of Mercia, in 642.