Home Appendices - Anglo-Saxon History

Anglo-Saxon History

98 AD The first historical mention of the Angle tribe is made by the Roman historian Tacitus. He describes them as worshippers of a goddesses called Nerthus, who they regard as the Earth Mother. In O.E. she is remembered as Erce and on the Franks Casket very likely as Erta

449 Given date for the landing in Britain of Hengist and Horsa, in three long ships at Ebbesfleet.

455 Death of Horsa in battle at Aegelsthrop.

477 Ælla arrives in Britain with three sons at Cymensora.

488 Æsc becomes the king of Kent, and rules for thirty four years.

495 Cerdic and his son Cynric arrive in Britain along with five ships, they land at Cerdicesora.

514 Given date for the arrival of the West Saxons in Britain at Cerdicesora.

519 Cerdic and Cynric rule the West Saxon Kingdom, and do battle at Cerdicesford.

530 Cerdic and Cynric land on the Isle of Wight.

534 Cerdic dies, his son, Cynric, rules for twenty six years.

547 Ida receives the Northumbrian kingdom. He reigns for twelve years.

560 Ceawlin becomes the West Saxon king and rules for thirty years. The Northumbrian kingdom falls into the hands of Ælla, after the passing of Ida.

568 Ceawlin and Cutha do battle with Ethelbert.

584 Cutha dies in battle.

588 Northumbrian King Ælla passes away.

592 Gregory receives the papacy in Rome.

593 Pope Gregory despatches St Augustine to England to convert the Heathen Anglo-Saxons.

593 Æthelfrith, King in Northumbria (Bernicia)

597 St Augustine arrives in England on the Isle of Thanet, to preach the Christian religion to the Heathens. He arrives with Frankish translators, and other missionaries carrying a board, which carried the image of Jesus.

601 Pope Gregory urges Kentish king, Ethelbert, to supress all Heathenism within his kingdom, and destroy all Heathen temples.

604 St Augustine despatches bishop Melitus to preach baptism to the East Saxons, and their king, Saeberht. - Pope Gregory dies.

604 Oswald born, son of King Æthelfrith

611 Cynegils receives the West Saxon Kingdom.

616 Edwin, King in Northumbria (Deira)

King Ethelbert, the first Anglo-Saxon king to convert to Christianity, dies. Ethelberts Heathen son receives the Kentish kingdom.

Laurentius, the archbishop of Kent, goes to preach Christianity to Ethelberts son, who eventually converts.

Laurentius dies, and is buried beside St Augustine. After his death the bishop of London, Mellitus, receives the archbishopric. During this time the people of London lapse back into Heathenism, and remain so for many years.

617 Northumbrian King, Ethelfrith, is killed in battle by king Redwald of the East Angles. Edwin, son of Ælla, eventually receives the kingdom.

624 Archbishop Mellitus passes away.

619 Edwin, King of Northumbria, marries Æthelburh, daughter of the now Christian King Ethelbert and his Frankish wife Berta, a Roman Christian. She is accompanied by Paulinus, 'her' Italian priest.

626 Paulinus, Bishop in York now, baptizes the daughter of Northumbrian king, Edwin. Edwin himself is converted twelve months later, along with his thanes. The peasants were made to follow in a mass baptism.

627 After much debate with his kinsmen, king Edwin converts to Christianity. He is baptized on Easter day by bishop Paulinus. Edwin's chief Heathen priest, Coifi, desecrates his own pagan temple, and destroys it by fire when convinced to forsake his ancestral religion.

Paulinus also preaches Christianity to the people of Lindsey, where the first to convert is a man named Blecca.

628 Benedict Biscop born, founder of the double monastery Wearmouth and Jarrow.

632 King Eorpwald converts to Christianity.

633 King Edwin is killed in battle by king Penda, the Heathen Mercian king, at Hatfield chase on October 14th. Paulinus leaves Northumbria along with Edwin's wife and children.

Osric, who was converted to Christianity by Paulinus, receives the Deiran kingdom;Eanfrith the Bernician kingdom.

Bishop Birinus preaches the Christian religion to the West Saxons under their king, Cynegils.

Oswald, son of Ethelfrith, receives the kingdom of Northumbria after his return from his Irish or Pictish exile.

635Aidan invited by Oswald, becomes Bishop of Northumbria.

Cynegils, the West Saxon king. is converted to Christianity by bishop Paulinus in Dorchester.

636 Cwichelm is converted to Christianity in Dorchester. Bishop Felix preaches the Christian faith to the East Angles.

639 In this year Bishop Birinus preaches the Christian faith to king Cuthred, and like Cwichelm, he is coverted in the city of Dorchester.

640 Kentish king Eadbald dies. His son, Ercenberht, receives the kingdom, and passes laws that outlaw all Heathen worship within his domain. His brother Ermenred, has two sons, who are said to have been martyred by a certain Thunor.

640's Ealdwulf, future East Anglian king, witnesses seeing the Heathen temple of king Redwald.

642 Northumbrian king Oswald, is killed by the Heathen Mercian king, Penda, at Maserfeld, in Southumbria on August 5th.

Oswiu succeeds his brother Oswald as King of Northumbria (Bernicia). Oswine, subking of Deira.

645 The Heathen Penda, drives the fellow Heathen Cenwalh, from his kingdom.

646 Cenwalh is baptized into the Christian faith.

651 Oswine murdered. Aidan dies. Finan Bishop, of York.

653 The Christian faith is preached amongst the Mercians.

655 Osiwu kills Penda, the last Heathen king of Mercia, at Winwidfeld.

664 During a severe outbreak of plague, the East Saxons revert back to the Heathen religion.

Synod of Whitby, Abbess Hild.Wilfrid, Tuda and Chad as bishops in Northumbria.

685 The Heathen Cadwalla, succeeds to the West Saxon throne


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