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Appendix I: Rulers of the English, c.450–1066

Simon Keynes

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780470656327.2014.00026.x


The lists which follow present basic details of royal succession for all of the constituent kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England. Some matters are inevitably concealed by the restrictions of the layout; and all manner of complications may lurk unsuspected beneath the surface of recorded events. The seven major kingdoms of the early Anglo-Saxon period are separately numbered, and lesser kingdoms or peoples are placed within this sequence where they seem most appropriate. The ‘Jutish’ kingdom of * Kent is followed by the ‘Anglian’ kingdoms of * Northumbria , * Mercia and *East Anglia, and by the ‘Saxon’ kingdoms of * Sussex , * Essex , and * Wessex ; the kingdom of Wessex leads via the kingdom ‘of the Anglo-Saxons’ to the ‘kingdom of the English’. The lists are arranged in a way which is intended to convey some sense of the unfolding pattern of political development from the seventh century to the eleventh, and of the complications which sometimes interrupted, often impeded, and always enlivened the processes involved; the same pattern of development is represented by maps 9 – 12 below. The lists may provide a framework for approaching some basic historical issues, but they require much by way of animation. It is apparent, for example, that the principles of political organisation and royal succession differed from one kingdom to another, and that the varieties of practice may help ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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