A very brief Hisory of post-Roman Britain
410 CE - Present

Roman garrison in Britian hailed Constantine III as the new emperor in 407 CE. He withdrew the remaining Roman legion, the Second Augusta to fight Goths on the continent in 410 CE.  This was the end of Roman Empire's rule of Britain. After the Romans departed, Britain disintegrated into a patchwork of petty kingdoms. The Irish, Picts and Scots started attacking England after the withdrawl of Roman legions.

Vortigern usurps Imperial power in Britain as the High-King in 425 CE.  Historian Nennius wrote that the British king Vortigern invited groups of Germanic mercenaries to assist him in fighting the Scots and Picts. Vortigern hired more Saxon mercenaries in 446 CE, known as foederati, to defend the northern parts against Irish incursions. In 450 CE., Saxon warrior Hengist arrived with his men in Britain. The Saxons were allowed to settle in Lincolnshire. This is known as the "Adventus Saxonum," - the coming of the Saxons. The Saxons revolted around 440 CE. This is the begining of Anglo-Saxon conquest and settlement of Celtic England. Unlike Roman conquest, Anglo-Saxon conquest was slow and limited to only England. Wales never succumbed at all to Anglo-Saxons.

Three differnt Germanic peoples invaded, migrated and settled in England between 450 - 801 CE. Saxons of lower Germany settled in Essex, Sussex, Wessex and Northumberland.  Angles of Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany settled in East Anglia and Mercia.  And the Jutes of Denmark settled in Kent and Isle of Wright. However, recent archeological excavation showed a complex migration pattern and more than three groups came from continent to England during this period.

The settlement of England by Anglo-Saxons happened in many stages.  Anglo-Saxon conquest completed when Aethelfrid conquered the area around Bath and Chester in 615 CE. The Anglo-Saxons enslaved the Romanized celtic population of England in the conquered areas, extinguishing their culture and history by creating new placenames in the Anglo-Saxon language (old English language). As the hall mark of Germanic culture, they settled the countryside. Cities were depopulated. Christianity had disappeared fron England and Paganism was reintroduced.

Probably no coins were minted or in use in England from the end of Roman rule in 410 CE., to the rise of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms in 600 CE.

 Anglo-Saxons consolidated their small holdings and formed into a number of Kingdoms by 600 CE. Large and powerful kingdoms were Kent, Mercia,  East Anglia, Northumberia, Sussex and Wessex. Christianity was reintroduced. Trade resumed between England and the Continent.

Gold coins called Tremisses of Merovingian France were imported by Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent. Small quantities of Gold Thrymsas were produced by copying the Merovingian Tremisses. Silver pennies were introduced in 675 CE. The use of these silver coins quickly spread to other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. These are known today as Sceattas (pronounced "shee-atta").  They were thick and small silver coins. They were produced in a wide variety of types and designs but without inscriptions. Sceattas of East Anglia and Northumbria are exceptions. They had name of the King and sometimes Archbishop of York. Sceattas were the only unit of currency circulated in England for over a century and a half.  Around 770 CE., a thinner and broader penny was introduced in most Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It bore the name and title of the king on the front and name of the moneyer on the back. King Offa of Mercia (757-96 CE) was the first King to introduce them. He defeated King of Wessex in 779 CE and became King of All England. Old type Sceattas were only minted in Northumbria, and by the Archbishops of York in the latter part of the 8th Century. Debasement of Sceattas increased at the begining of 9th century. These base coins are now called Stycas and circulated as currency for almost another hundred years.

Vikings started their intermittent attacks on England begining in 836 CE.. The viking army resumed their full scale attacks on England in 865 CE. They captured York (Danish. Jorvik) in 866; the Kingdoms of East Anglia in 869.  Southern Northumbria and eastern Mercia were conquered and settled by the Danish Vikings. All these kingdoms came under Danish law, so it was called Danelaw. Viking Kings struck their own coinage closely imitating English silver pennies.

King Egbert of Wessex became very powerful and was recognized as Overlord of all English kings in 828 CE. This was the begining of all of English Monarchy. King Alfred (871-99 CE) declared himself King of all England outside Danelaw. King Alfred succeeded in gradually pushing back the Vikings. In several campaigns 917-19CE., the Danelaw was conquered and thus bringing all of England under Anglo-Saxon rule. King Edward (son of Alfred) took the title King of the Angles and Saxons. King Eadred was the first to claim the title King of England in 954 CE. In 959 CE., all of England permanently united and King Edgar (959-75 CE).

List of English Kings and Queens.

House of Wessex
802-839  Egbert

839-855  Aethelwulf

855-860  Aethelbald

860-866  Aethelbert

866-871  Aethelred I.

871-899  Alfred the Great

899-925  Edward I. the Elder

925-940  Athelstan

940-946    Edmund I the Magnificent.

946-955    Eadred

955-959    Eadwig (Edwy) All-Fair.

959-975    Edgar the Peaceble.

975-978    Edward II, the Martyr.

978-1016  Aethelred II., the Unready.

1016         Edmund II. Ironside.

Danish Kings of England
1014     Svein Forkbeard

1016-35  Canute the Great

1035-37  Hardicanute

1037-40  Harald Harefoot

1040-42  Hardicanute

House of Wessex (restored)
1042-66  Edward, the Confessor

1066       Harold II

1066-87  William I. the Conqueror

1087-1100William II Rufus

1100-35  Henry I Beauclerc

1135-54  Stephen

Angevin Line
1154-89  Henry II Curtmantle

1189-99  Richard I the Lionheart

1199-1216 John Lackland

1216-72  Henry III

1272-1307  Edward I Longshaanks

1307-27  Edward II

1327-77  Edward III

1377-99  Richard II

Lancastrian Line
1399-1413  Henry IV Bolingbrroke

1413-22  Henry V

1422-61  Henry VI

Yorkist Line

1461-70  Edward IV

Lancastrian Line

1470-71  Henry VI (2nd time)

Yorkist Line
1471-83  Edward IV

1483       Edward V

1483-85  Richard III Crookback

1485-1509  Henry VII Tudor

1509-47  Henry VIII

1547-53  Edward VI

1553     Jane Grey

1553-58  Mary I Tudor

1558-1603  Elizabeth I

1603-25  James I

1624-49  Charles I

1649-59 Commonwealth
1660-85 Charles II

1685-88  James II

1689-1702  William & Mary

1702-14  Anne

Hanover Line
1714-27  George I

1727-60  George II

1760-1820  George III

1820-30  George IV

1830-37 William IV

1837-1901  Victoria

1901-10  Edward VII
1910-36  George V

1937-52  George VI

1952- Elizabeth II


Country List



RK. August 26, 2001.