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Kingdom of Essex

From Academic Kids

The Kingdom of the East Seaxe (one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy) was founded around 500 AD and covered the territory currently occupied by the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex.

The kingdom was bounded to the north by the River Stour and Kingdom of East Anglia, to the south by the River Thames and Kent, to the east lay the North Sea and to the west the Kingdom of Mercia. The earliest record of the kingdom dates to Bede's History Eccl., which noted the arrival of Bishop (later Saint) Mellitus in London in 604. The territory included the remains of two provincial Roman capitals Colchester and London. For a brief period in the 8th century the kingdom also encompassed the Kentish Kingdom to the South, but by the mid 8th century much of the kingdom, including London, had fallen to Mercia. After the defeat of the Mercian king Beornwulf around 825 AD, the kingdom became a possession of the Wessex king Ecgbert. In 870 the territory was ceded by Wessex, under the Treaty of Wedmore, to the Danelaw of the Danish kingdom of East Anglia. The modern English county of Essex maintains the historic northern and the southern borders, but only covers the territory east of the River Lee.

The dates, names and achievements, like those of most early rulers in the Heptarchy, remain conjectural. The dynasty claimed descent from the god Seaxneat, rather than the god Woden (from whom the other Saxon tribes claimed descent). The list of kings may omit whole generations.

This was a time when spellings varied widely, even within a document. A number of variations of the details below exist. Amongst these are the preference between <thorn> and <eth> (hard and soft "th").

List of Kings of the East Saxons (Essex)

Reign Incumbent Notes
527 to 587 Aescwine ÆSCVVINE CENFVSING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
ÆSCVVINE REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
587 to ante 604 Sledda SLEDDA ÆSCVVINING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SLEDDA REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
ante 604 to 616/7 Saebert SÆBRYHT SLEDDING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SÆBRYHT REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
616/7 to 617 Sexred SEXRED SÆBRYHTING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SEXRED REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Joint king with Saeward; killed in battle against the West Saxons
616/7 to 617 Saeward SÆVVARD SÆBRYHTING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SÆVVARD REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Joint king with Sexred; killed in battle against the West Saxons
617 to ante c.653 Sigeberht I the Little SIGEBRYHT SÆVVARDING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SIGEBRYHT PARVVS REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
c.653 to 664 Sigeberht II the Good SIGEBRYHT SÆVVARDING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SIGEBRYHT SANCTVS REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Saint Sigeberht; Saint Sebbi (Feast Day 29 August)
660 to 664 Swithelm SVVI<THORN>ELM ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SVVI<THORN>ELM REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
664 to 683 Sighere SIGHERE SIGEBRYHTING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SIGHERE REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Joint-king with Sebbi
664 to c.694 Sebbi SEBBI ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SEBBI REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Joint-king with Sighere; abdicated in favour of his son Sigeheard
c.694 to c.709 Sigeheard SIGEHEARD SEBBING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SIGEHEARD REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Joint-king with his son Swaefred
c.695 to ante c.709 Swaefred SVVÆFRED SIGEHEARDING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SVVÆFRED REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Joint-king with his father Sigeheard
709 Offa OFFA SIGEHERING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
OFFA REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Abdicated
c.709 to 746 Saelred SÆLRED SIGEBRYHTING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SÆLRED REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
(aka Swebert) Probably joint-king with Swaefbert
c.715 to 738 Swaefbert SVVÆFBRYHT ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SVVÆFBRYHT REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Probably joint-king with Saelred
746 to 758 Svvithred SVVI<THORN>RED SIGEMVNDING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SVVI<THORN>RED REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
758 to 798 Sigeric SIGERIC ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SIGERIC REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
Abdicated
798 to 812 Sigered SIGERED SIGERICING ESTSEAXNA CYNING
SIGERED REX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM
812 to 825 SIGERED DVX SAXONVM ORIENTALIVM Rank reduced by Mercian overlords
c.825Mercia defeated by Egbert of Wessex, sub-kingdom of Essex subsumed into Wessex

Sigered was the last king of Essex, and he ceded the kingdom to Egbert of Wessex.

The Heptarchy
East Anglia | Essex | Kent | Mercia | Northumbria | Sussex | Wessex
de:Königreich Essex

fr:Royaume d'Essex it:Regno dell'Essex no:Kongedømmet Essex

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