(849-99) king of Wessex (871-99). He is remembered for defending England against Danish attacks, for establishing the English navy, and for encouraging education and the use of the English language. There is a popular story of King Alfred and the cakes. After a battle he was hiding in a woman's house. Not knowing who he was, she told him to look after her cakes which were cooking by the fire, and then became very angry when he let them burn.