Lion with forked tail standing left. Church architecture and artefacts provide a useful source of historical information. It is not entirely clear how many Britons would have been Christian when the pagan Anglo-Saxons arrived. However, Sussex and the Isle of Wight remained mainly pagan until the arrival of Saint Wilfridthe exiled Archbishop of Yorkwho converted Sussex around and the Isle of Wight in
However, their beginnings are shrouded in mystery, seemingly formed out of two separate stories that were combined by later generations to make them look better. This was traditionally in ADand this band of Saxons was led by Cerdic, whose mother and name were British. This straightforward version of events appears to be the result of a traditional form of story telling that covers a more interesting and intricate story.
It has been suggested that Cerdic headed a British power bloc which, with Germanic mercenaries or help that was related to him through intermarriage to Jutes or Saxonsstaged a takeover and was able to set up a viable Brito-Saxon kingdom.
It has been put together from that of the Bernician kings and his real ancestry is unknown. He evidently could not claim descent from any Germanic family of importance. Once that authority had faded, he could have decided to go further and assume total authority in the region.
Whether or not the above theory is accepted, this took place at about the same time as the Saxons in southern Britain were defeated at Mons Badonicus.
These Jutish settlements had probably existed for thirty or so years, and very likely had mingled with some Saxons who had been settled by the Romans in return for defending the Saxon Shore, plus some communities which may have migrated westwards from the earliest days of settlement by the Suth Seaxe.
The lack of archaeological evidence in the area that is specifically German supports the idea that the kingdom was formed from elements that had already been partially absorbed into British culture. This mixing of various peoples is also noted amongst the Belgae on the Continent in the first century BC.
Several tribes there are sometimes thought by scholars to be Germanic, although much of the evidence seems to suggest that they were either Belgic Celtsor were ruled by a Belgic nobility. The idea of the Belgae being a mix of Germans and Celts to some extent is firmly stated as being reported to Julius Caesar by the locals.
It is a model that could also provide the basis for the foundation of Wessex: Visualising this, one can expect frequent landings in Hampshire from both Brittany and Flanders by skirting the English coast, and return journeys to the Cotentin peninsula then passing along the coasts of Brittany and France.
Cerdic may have taken one of these routes while the Saxons took the other.
If the strong states of Domnonia and Dumnonia were one kingdom in the fifth century, and Cerdic were an ambitious noble, perhaps a fractious younger brother of the magistrate or ruler of this region, this would explain his actions in landing near Southampton as Bretons later often did and taking on the loyalist Natanleod in Having established a beach-head, it would reflect the times for him to have forged alliances with rebellious Britons, immigrant Saxons, and hybrid groups who needed a seasoned battle leader.
Whatever the politics of the situation in the Thames Valley and the West Saxon heartland of Hampshire, by ADCerdic had fully secured control of his territory and was proclaimed king of the West Seaxe. Encyclopaedia of Earth and the Megalithic Portal.
The Jutes and Saxons who are already settled there are apparently already referring to themselves as the West Seaxe possibly separate from the Meonware to the east. But Cerdic as Arthur is a much more unlikely possibility see feature link.
Unfortunately, the British chieftains or sub-magistrates there view this as an invasion to be resisted by force in battles which provide incidents that are also recorded in the traditions of the invaders.
Archaeologically too, the newcomers leave more conspicuous traces of their presence in settlements that do not initially merge with those of the locals, unlike in Hampshire and southern Berkshire, the heartland of their powerbase.
It seems that any Germanic mercenary settlements that exist in the immediate area have been taken and now Cerdic can focus on expanding his territory. A newly arrived Saxon chieftain and his two ships of followers kill a Briton of very high rank at Portesmutha British Portus Adurni, modern Portsmouth, possibly the last surviving part of the proposed British kingdom of Rhegin - alternatively, the Briton could be Gereint of Dumnonia.
The name of the Saxon chieftain appears to have been lost, as it has been conveniently recorded as Port in the West Seaxe annals, whereas the fact is that Portsmouth gains its name from a Saxon corruption of Portus Adurni.
Afterwards the area is known as Natan leag Netley Marsh in Hampshire, just to the south-east of Southampton. Having established a beachhead and killed the possibly legitimate governor or ruler, Cerdic may be the only hope in the region for strong governance, with the result that Britons, Saxons and Jutes join him.
Stuf and Wihtgar fight and defeat the local Britonsputting them to flight. Are these Jutes related to those of the Meonware? Cynric is variously described as his son or grandson in different versions of the West Saxon genealogy.
Creoda appears between him and Cerdic in the pedigree of Ine of Wessex and some texts that use it, such as Asser and the Chronicle entry for No incident involving him is noted in the annals but his name may survive in a minor Wiltshire place name, Creodanhyll.
If it is assumed that Cynric is very young inperhaps no more than ten years old, then the length of his involvement in West Saxon affairs is not quite so unbelievable. Perhaps also Creoda is illegitimate, a factor frequently likely to see an elder son sidelined in favour of a younger, legitimate one.
There are two other early Creodas, one of the Iclingas c. Of mixed, Celtic -Saxon, parentage?By convention, the Heptarchy lasted from the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th century, until most of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms came under the overlordship of Egbert of Wessex in (i.e., early in the 9th century).This approximately year period of European history is often referred to as the Early Middle Ages or, more controversially, as the Dark Ages.
Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period the succession was frequently contested, by both the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and leaders of the settling Scandinavian communities. The Scandinavian influence was to prove strong in the early years.
A list of links related to Anglo-Saxon. History. Æthelwulf, King of Wessex: Early British Kingdoms page Alfred as Educator of his people and man of letters By Stopford Brooke, ; Alfred the Great.
Anglo-Saxon England was early medieval England, The historian James Campbell suggested that it was not until the late Anglo-Saxon period that England could be described as a nation state.
By the s the kings of Wessex had a powerful grip on the coinage of the realm. Anglo-Saxon England was early medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th century from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman conquest in It consisted of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until when it was united as the Kingdom of England by King Æthelstan (r.
–). It became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England, Denmark and. The two main sources for the history of Wessex are the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the West Saxon Genealogical Regnal Ine was the most durable of the West Saxon kings, reigning for 38 years.
and as the Norman kings soon did away with the great earldoms of the late Anglo-Saxon period, marks the extinction of Wessex as a political.