Wessen explorer Jon Augbert began was commissioned by the then King Alfred the Second, to find a path to Asia. Roughly twenty years before the Columbian expeditions, Jon Augbert landed on the Eastern Coast of what is now Albion, which was named Niwofinidland (Newfoundland). This initial territory expanded into the colony of New Wessex which spanned from the Atlantic Ocean to Pacific.
Following the War with the Kingdom of England in 1532 Wessex became close with Portugal and Spain. Wessex struck a deal with Portugal in 1706 to colonise a small part of Northern Brazil, which became known as East Guiana or Wessen Brazil. This expanded Wessex's horizons outside North America which led it to begin to settle and explore other areas, in Oceania and Southern Africa, however these never played a major part in the Empire.
The end of the Empire, as many believe, came when Albion confederated in 1884, and Wessex slowly delegated more and more power to the dominion until 1923 when it became fully independent as agreed in the Statuate of Winchester. However East Guiana did not become independent until 1957, when it was ceded to Brazil.
It could be argued that the Empire began in the the 11th century, as Wessex took control of Norman settlements in the Mediterranean, and Normandy, after the Norman's defeat in 1072. However, these were all lost by 1320.