The central and southern portions of the Isle of Britain. The English people are an even blend of Romano-British Celts, Anglo-Saxon Teutons, Danes, and Normans (themselves a melding of Frankish and Norwegian folk). Their influence on world affairs is much too well known to require review here.

Contains: ArthuretArundel, Atrebates, Bamburgh, Bath, Bedford, Beormingas, Bernicia, Bilsaete, the Bretwaldas, the Brigantes, Bryneich, Caer Baddan, Caer Ceri, Caer Gloui, Caer Lerion, Calchwynedd, Cambridge, Canterbury, the Cantii, Catraeth, the Catuvellauni, Chester, the Chilterns, Cirencester, Clifford and Westmoreland, Cornwall, Cumberland, Cumbria, Deira, Derby, Devon, Dumnonia, Durham (incl. Lindisfarne), East Anglia, Elmet, England, Essex, Glastenning, Glastonbury, Gloucester, Guinntguic, Hampshire, Hastings, Hereford, Huntingdon, Hwicce, the Iceni, Isle of Wight, Jorvik, Kent, Kernow, Leicester, Lincoln, Lindsey, Linnuin, London, Luytcoit, Magonset, Meonwara, Mercia, Middlesex, Norfolk, North Rheged, North Votadini, Northampton, Northumbria, Oxford, Pengwern, Rheged, Richmond, Rodingas, Scilly Isles, Shrewsbury, Somerset, South Rheged, South Votadini, Southumbria, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Tomsæte, the Trinovantes, the Votadini, Warwick, Wessex, Westminster, Wiltshire, Wroxeter, York (Archbishops) and York (Dukes).

Files for neighboring regions: Channel Islands, (Northern) France, Ireland, Isle of Man, the Low Countries, Scotland, Wales.

ARTHURET (Arfderydd, Caer Gwendoleu)
A district directly on the border between England and Scotland, more-or-less at the head of Solway Firth - it is centered on the small town of Longtown, and encompasses land to the east of the River Esk and north of the River Lyne; Carlisle, in England, is 8 miles (13 km.) to the south, while Dumfries, in Scotland, is some 25 miles (40 km.) to the west (Lockerbie, site of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 in Dec. 1988, is 17 miles (27 km.) to the northwest). In the early Dark Ages, the region formed an ephemeral kingdom following the invasion of Galloway and Strathclyde by Rheged.

BATH A city in southwestern England, known for its mineral springs since Roman times, when it was called Aqua Sulis.

BEDFORD An old town in east-central England, 44 miles (71 km.) north of London and 20 miles (32 km.) east-southeast of Northampton. A ford on the Great Ouse at which the Romans based a station, it was chartered during the reign of Henry II (1154-89). It is noted as the site of John Bunyan's (author of Pilgrim's Progress) meeting hall where he preached.

A clan of Anglo-Saxon origin that settled around the town of Birmingham.

BERNICIA The thinly populated reach of territory in Durham and northern Northumberland. The sequence of Kings here, especially from 570-593, is extremely muddled, and I have had to sift through competing versions in order to make a best guess. Best guess is: I have it wrong in one way or another.

(Gael. Bearaig; Scots Barwick) is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles (4 km) south of the Scottish border. For centuries this strategic location was a point of contention between the English and Scottish crowns; between 1147 and 1482 Berwick changed hands between England and Scotland many times, and was the location of a number of momentous events in the English-Scottish border wars.

An Anglo-Saxon tribe that lived around the town of Bilston (a locale 2 miles (3 km.) southeast of Wolverhampton and 10 miles (16 km.) northwest of Birmingham).

The BRETWALDAS The institution of the Bretwalda was the closest thing that the Anglo-Saxons had to a High King or national leader. Simply put, the Bretwalda was that Anglo-Saxon monarch acknowledged by all the others to be paramount in battle, and most powerful among their number. Here is a list of those rulers identified by their peers as Bretwaldas. The names in Gray were not specifically named as such, but were clearly the Bretwaldas of their era. For a study of legendary High Kings of Britain, including a variant on the Bretwaldas from the Synod of Whitby (664), go HERE.

CAMBRIDGE A town in east-central England, 48 miles (77 km.) north of London and 25 miles (40 km.) east of Bedford, a ford on the River Cam just south of the Fen Country. It is world famous for its University, whose origins go back to 1209 (as a place of refuge by students fleeing town-and-gown riots in Oxford) - the first College (Peterhouse) being established in 1284.

CANTERBURY The Archbishops of Canterbury are the Primates of England, and as such deserve mention in these files. The see was established in the Dark Ages within the Kingdom of Kent, and although it has never held a fully autonomous territory (yet note, it was independent enough to mint its own coinage circa 765-914), it has nevertheless exerted an enormous influence on English history and culture. Westminster In 1828-9 Roman Catholics were again given full rights in Great Britain, and in 1850 Parliament permitted the re-establishment of an official Catholic hierarchy. The Catholic primate's see was settled on Westminster but, in a move which incensed the British government and angered the public for decades after, Pope Pius IX added the titular dignity of Canterbury to the new Archbishopric.

CATRAETH A post-Roman petty Kingdom in north-central Britain, one of the divisions of the Votadini. King Peredur is very likely the real-life basis for the Sir Perceval cycles in Arthurian legend.

The CATUVELLAUNI A pre-Roman tribal kingdom located north of the Thames, and extending north and northwest; essentially, the modern regions of Hertford, Buckingham, and Oxford. The Catuvellauni were probably the wealthiest and most influential of the British tribal states. See also, a putative list of the traditional High Kings of Britain as a comparison.

CHESTER An important town on the Dee River, in western England. The primary legionary headquarters for Roman forces in western Britannia, it became in much later times the seat of an equally important Palatine Earldom.

CIRENCESTER A town in southwestern England, at the edge of the Cotswolds. The capital of the Dobuni before Roman occupation, during Roman times it was the largest city in Britain after London. From the 13th century it was the site of important wool-fairs.

CORNWALL The far southwestern corner of England, beyond Dumnonia (Devonshire), and like the Welsh highlands it was a refuge for Britons fleeing Saxon invasion.

DEIRA The region lying north of the Humber River, in north-central Yorkshire, with the city of York as its center.

DERBY A town in central England, 35 miles (56 km.) northeast of Birmingham.

DUMNONIA (Devon) The southwest corner of England, covering Cornwall and Devon. The region was not successfully conquered by the English until the very end of the Saxon period.

DURHAM City in northern England. Normally I would not include a local Bishopric, but the Bishops of Durham were extremely powerful. After the Norman conquest they were made Prince-Bishops of the Palatinate of Durham (1071-1836), exactly in the manner of Prince-Bishoprics on the Continent, especially within the Holy Roman Empire. They had their own parliament, army, foreign ministry and court system. So autonomous were they that a steward of Antony Beck, Bishop at the end of the 13th century, could honestly say "There are two kings in England namely the Lord King of England wearing a crown in sign of his regality and the Lord Bishop of Durham wearing a mitre in place of a crown in sign of his regality in the diocese of Durham." With the waning of the Middle Ages, Durham's authority was hedged in, and was especially limited after the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and the Puritan Revolution in the 17th century. The Principality was abolished in 1836. Nevertheless, the Bishops retained the Durham Palatinate Court until 1971.

EAST ANGLIA The Angles were one of the other folk to have occupied Britain, alongside the Saxons and Jutes. Although not the most numerous or influential, their name was ultimately applied to the whole Teuton-British establishment; Anglaland.

ELMET A small British Kingdom in the central Pennines, in the area about Leeds.

ENGLAND England emerges throughout the 9th century CE, as the Kingdom of Wessex became the pre-eminent Anglo-Saxon nation and, with the containment of the Scandinavian Kingdom of York by the end of the century, the only surviving English nation. By 919, documents and seals exclusively refer to the Kingdom as "England", rather than Wessex.

ESSEX The land north of the Thames estuary, between East Anglia in the north and Kent to the south. See also, a putative list of the traditional High Kings of Britain as a comparison.

GLASTONBURY A town in Somerset, 6 miles (10 km.) southwest of Wells Cathedral and the Mendip Hills, 22 miles (35 km.) south of Bristol, and 18 miles (29 km.) northeast of Taunton. Lying in a marshy lowland, the district is dominated by a roughly conical tor, and has been regarded as a sacred site for ages. The place is said to have been the earliest Christian colony established in Britain, being where Joseph of Arimathea is claimed to have settled, bearing with him the Holy Grail. Furthermore, it is inextricably associated with Arthurian lore, being identified as the Isle of Avalon, and the final resting place of Arthur himself. There was an hermitage of anchorites located here from at least the 5th century, and a Benedictine abbey was established here in the 7th century. By itself, the place is just another small monastery of no great significance or temporal power, like thousands of other such places all over Europe... but its continuing  impact on British legend and lore is so great and fundamental, that its inclusion here is inevitable. See also, Glastenning, for early sub-kings of the district. On a literary note, the immediate environs of this site are where Henry Fielding (who was born in the district) places much of the action in his novel Tom Jones - his description of an old ruined abbey on the estate of Tom's benefactor, squire Allworthy, as comprising "...one of the towers ... grown over by ivy, and part of the front, which remained still entire" (I - 4) is a perfectly adequate description of Glastonbury as it appeared in the early 18th century.

GLOUCESTER Port city in western England, at the beginning of the Severn Estuary leading into Bristol Channel which separates southwestern England from Wales. Gloucester stands upon the site of the Roman city Glevum. In Saxon times it was the capital of Mercia. Noteworthy is the cathedral (begun 1089) in which Edward II is buried.

HAMPSHIRE Hampshire (abbr. Hants) is a county on the south coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county borders (clockwise from West), Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex. Hampshire contains the town of Winchester, the historic capital of the Kingdom of Wessex.

Hastings is a town and Borough on the coast of East Sussex in England - it is 37 miles (60 km.) west-southwest of Dover, and 31 miles (50 km.) east of Brighton. It includes originally separate settlements, as well as the inevitable growth of the town through the building of new estates. In historical terms, Hastings can claim fame through its connection as the site of the Norman conquest of England in 1066; and also because it became one of the medieval Cinque Ports. Hastings was, for centuries, an important fishing port; although much reduced, it has the largest beach-based fishing fleet in England.

HEREFORD Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county in the West Midlands region of England. It borders the English ceremonial counties of Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east, Gloucestershire to the south east and the Welsh preserved counties of Gwent to the south west and Powys to the west. Hereford is a cathedral city and is the county town; with a population of approximately 50,000 inhabitants it is also the largest settlement. The county is one of the most rural and least densely populated in England.

HUNTINGDON A small town in south-central England, in old Cambridgeshire - it lies 15 miles (24 km.) northwest of Cambridge, 18 miles (29 km.) northeast of Bedford, and some 56 miles (90 km.) almost due north of London. An Earldom from the Middle Ages, it had a long association with the Scottish Royal family.

HWICCE Modern Worcestershire; during the Dark Ages it was an important sub-Kingdom allied to Mercia. For important districts within this region, see Bath, Cirencester, and Gloucester.

ISLE of WIGHT A large and very strategically placed island located before the Solent, the channel providing the setting for Portsmouth and Southampton harbours.

KENT The oldest of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. located in the southeastern corner of Britain, across from Calais, in France. The English Archepiscopal Primate is located here, at Canterbury.

LEICESTER A city in central England, 33 miles (53 km.) east of Birmingham and 89 miles (143 km.) northwest of London. The modern town dates from Roman times, a settlement being placed here where the Fosse Way, an early Roman highway, crosses the River Soar; but there has been a settlemnt here from pre-Roman times - it was the chief stronghold of the Coritani, and in British mythological historiography is regarded as the chief residence of King Lear

LINDSEY Roughly modern Lincolnshire, the land to the northwest of the Wash.

LONDON Here are some notes on the chronology of the area around London. The City itself seems to have been established (by the Romans) circa 50-55 CE, though there was very likely occupation of the immediate area in a small way before that time.

LUITCOIT (Lichfield)
A region in the West Midlands, roughly around Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Shrewsbury. It seems to have formed a British Dark-Ages kingdom, c. 450-c. 650, possibly as a breakaway or a subdivision of early Powis, and was absorbed by Mercia in the 7th century. I have very few names of the rulers of this area at this time.

Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel, lying 12 miles (19 km) north-northwest off Hartland Point, at the west end of the coast of Devon, England. It is roughly one fourth of the distance across the channel between Devonshire and Pembrokeshire in Wales. Throughout it's history, it's somewhat isolated position has encouraged a number of owners to reach for autonomy or even outright independence.

MAGONSET Modern Herefordshire and Shropshire; in the Dark Ages a sub-Kingdom tied to Mercia.

MEONWARA The coastal strip across from the Isle of Wight, around the modern city of Portsmouth. It was briefly established as an independent kingdom by a Jutish tribe.

MERCIA One of the youngest of the Anglo-Saxon monarchies, Mercia nevertheless achieved brilliance in its day, particularly during much of the 8th century, when it was the predominant Kingdom among the English. It was located north of Wessex, in west-central England, athwart the Welsh Marches.

MIDDLE ANGLIA The region around modern Leicestershire and western Cambridgeshire, ruled by the tribe of the Middle Angles. This group included the Herstingas of northwest Cambridgeshire, the Spaldingas of The Wash area, and the Undalum between Kettering and Casterton.

MIDDLESEX A compact region in the central and lower Thames valley, including the city of London.

NORFOLK A county on the eastern shore of England, known for its wool trade and fine sailors. An autonomous fiefdom from the Norman conquest. Earls 1067-1397, Dukes 1397-1399, Earls 1399-1425, Dukes 1425-present.

NORTHAMPTON A town in central England about 60 miles (97 km.) northwest of London, the county seat of Northamptonshire. The modern town emerged after c. 1100, and was chartered in 1189. Located in the western Fenland, the district has been thinly populated until recent times.

NORTHUMBRIA A large Anglo-Saxon Kingdom covering almost all of the thinly populated north country. Northumbria arose out of the amalgamation of two precursor states, Bernicia and Deira. It was further enhanced by the conquest of Rheged, adjacent to the Irish Sea, in the early 7th century. Ultimately though, it could not contain the onslaught of the Norse raiders in the 8th and 9th centuries, and it was eventually replaced by a Viking Kingdom at York (Jorvik).

OXFORD  A town in central England, famous for its medieval university. The title "Earl of Oxford" was one of the oldest titles in the English peerage, and was held for several centuries by the de Vere family. It finally became dormant in 1703 with the death of the 20th Earl. The Vere Earls of Oxford were also hereditary holders of the office of Lord Great Chamberlain until the death of the 18th Earl in 1625.  The town was also the seat of royal government during the Civil War, following the royalist defeats at Edgehill and Naseby - a two month seige in May-June 1646 brought the town into Puritan hands.

PECSAETE The Pecsaetan, peaklanders or peakrills were an Anglo Saxon tribe who inhabited the central and northern parts of the Peak District area in England. It is very likely that they were partially descended from a southern clan of the Brigantes, a Celtic trib, via contact with English-speaking settlers from further east. The very early Derbyshire settlements, in what is now known as the Peak District, were those of the West Angles. This tribe advanced up the valleys of the rivers Derwent and Dove during their northern conquests in the 6th century. They became known locally as the Pecsaetan. Later their territory formed the northern division of Mercia, and in 848 the Mercian Witenagemot assembled at Repton.

PENGWERN A British Dark-Ages Kingdom located east of the Welsh frontier, modern Shropshire, roughly speaking.

RHEGED A Cymric Kingdom in northwestern England; Cumberland, Lancastershire, and the Lake Country. Little is known of this state, and the information is quite tentative. King Urien is fairly well known; he is praised by Gildas, among other things.

RICHMOND A town in southern England, nowadays a suburb of London within the Greater London Metropolitan area, 9 miles (14 km.) west of the City of London. A powerful earldom in Mediaeval times. The title Duke of Richmond has been created several times in the Peerage of England. The subsidiary titles are: Earl of March (created 1675), Earl of Darnley (1675), Earl of Kinrara (1876), Baron Settrington, of Settrington in the County of York (1675), and Lord Torbolton (1675). The titles Earl of March and Baron Settrington were created in the peerage of England along with the Dukedom of Richmond. The titles Earl of Darnley and Lord Torbolton were created in the Peerage of Scotland along with the Dukedom of Lennox. Finally, the title Earl of Kinrara was created in the peerage of the United Kingdom with the Dukedom of Gordon. The eldest son of the Duke uses the courtesy title Earl of March and Kinrara. Before the creation of the Dukedom of Gordon, the courtesy title used was Earl of March. The Dukes of Richmond, Lennox and Gordon are normally styled Duke of Richmond and Gordon. Before the creation of the Dukedom of Gordon they were styled Duke of Richmond and Lennox.

An Anglo-Saxon tribe that settled in the 6th century along the Roding, a tributary of the Thames just east-northeast of London, in the vicinity of Chigwell, Redbridge, and Barking.

SCILLY ISLES  (Corn. Ynysek Syllan) A compact archipelago of rocks and small islets about 25 miles (40 km.) southwest of Land's End at the tip of the Cornish coast. Traditionally part of Cornwall, the southwesternmost area of the UK, they now have their own local government in the form of a unitary authority and have also been designated the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

SOMERSET Region in south-west England, south of the Severn, centered around the towns of Bath and Glastonbury.

The Southumbrians or Suðanhymbre were an Anglian tribe occupying the northern borderlands of Mercia, south of the Humber River between Scunthorpe and Grimsby. They were frequently ruled by a royal Mercian prince.

SUFFOLK A county in eastern England, based around the port city of Ipswich and the inland city of Bury St. Edmunds. Norfolk is to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west, and Essex to the south.

SURREY A small County in southeastern England, adjacent to the Thames and London. It was never a fully autonomous Anglo-Saxon Kingdom, though it did form an ephemeral Mercian district lordship. It was a territorial Earldom (Dukedom 1397-9) during the Middle Ages.

SUSSEX The Kingdom of the South Saxons, the coastal region between Kent and Portsmouth.

An Anglo-Saxon chieftaincy (probably British by descent) situated around the River Tame, by the town of Tamworth, in the West Midlands - Birmingham is about 12 miles (19 km.) to the southwest.

VOTADINI A Gallic tribe dwelling in the north, in what is now Lothian and Galloway, and the south of Scotland, but with considerable territory and influence south into Lancashire and Yorkshire. They emerge briefly as the immediate successors to Roman authority in the north, but the ramshackle state that they established fragmented rapidly, and most of it's elements were eventually absorbed into Northumbria. See also Catraeth, Elmet, Lothian, Rheged and Strathclyde.

WARWICK County seat of Warwickshire in central England, on the Avon River. Warwick is best known for Warwick Castle, located on the site of a fortress built by Æthelflæd, the daughter of King Alfred, in 915.  St. Mary's Church there dates partly from the 12th cent.; partially burned in 1694, it was redesigned by William Wilson, a pupil of Christopher Wren. The Beauchamp Chapel (1443-64), containing some old Norman crypts, is noteworthy.

WESSEX Located between the Isle of Wight and the Severn, the Kingdom of the West Saxons was one of the more stable Saxon monarchies during the Dark Ages. Its founder, Cerdic, was in all probability of at least partial Cymric parentage, since the term "Cerdic" means nothing in Anglo-Saxon, but appears to be a Saxon attempt at pronouncing the fairly common Cymric name of "Caradoc". See also, Hampshire.

WROXETER A town in Shropshire, England, on the east bank of the River Severn. In Roman times it was known as Viroconium; the British knew it as Caer Guircon and it was an early capital of Powys. It fell to the Angles of Mercia, who made it a sub-kingdom in the seventh century.

YORK, Archbishops of...York was the second Archbishopric in England and at times surpassed even the Archbishops of Canterbury in importance (particularly when the latter proved too loyal to Rome for the reigning king's liking). While they did not control York itself, the Archbishops owned huge tracts of land throughout the country and like other high-ranking clergy of the day were counted among the feudal nobility.

YORK, Dukes of... A major city in the north of England. For earlier secular rulers, see Deira, Northumbria and Jorvik, above. The following list is one detailing the various Dukes of York since the creation of the title in 1385. It has always been within the immediate Royal Family, and so these individuals have often been at the very center, or right next to the center, of power and influence. As the title has evolved, it quickly became the traditional title for the second son of the monarch, just as the eldest son was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall.