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By A. Williams

This paintings is a research of the workout of royal authority sooner than the Norman Conquest. Six centuries separate the adventus Saxonum from the conflict of Hastings: in the course of these years, the English kings replaced from warlords, who exacted submission via strength, into legislations givers to whom obedience used to be an ethical responsibility. within the method, they created a few of the administrative institutes which persevered to serve their successors. additionally they created England: the uk of the English humans.

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Extra resources for Kingship and Government in Pre-Conquest England c.500–1066

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22 Since it was Wulfhere who drove the West Saxons out of the old Gewissan lands in the upper Thames valley, the H wicce may originally have been dependents not ofthe Mercians but of the West Saxons. 23 Bede's interest in Penda stems from the latter's lifelong struggle with the Northuinbrian kings; he participated in Cadwallon of Gwynedd's victory over Edwin at Hatfield Chase in 633, and himself killed Edwin's eventual successor Oswald at Maserfeld in 642. 24 Edwin and Oswald came from different kindreds, Edwin from the ruling house of Deira, Oswald from that of Bernicia.

33 Bede's terminology is worthy of note. He speaks of ,peoples' (gentes, nationes, populi) in preference to 'kingdoms', a reminder that in the early middle ages kings ruled over people, not places, though of course in any settled society 'authority over people must imply authority over land'. 34 Here and throughout the Historia Ecclesiastica Bede uses the word provincia (province) for the English kingdoms, rather than regnum, 6 Kingship and Government in Pre-Conquest England which is used to denote royal authority; regio usually means a sub-division within a provincia.

He seems to have been at peace with his northern neighbours, the Strathclyde Britons and the Scots of Dal Riata, and in 653 his nephew Talorcan, son of Eanfrith, became king of the Picts. 48 He may have had allies in Ireland, for it was perhaps c. 650 that Aldfrith, his son by an Ui Neill princess, was born. 49 Oswiu also had influence in south-east England. Sigeberht Sanctus, king of the East Saxons, used regularly to visit Oswiu's court. Indeed it was Oswiu who persuaded him to become a Christian; he was baptized at Wallbottle by Finan, bishop of Northumbria, and a mission was sent to evangelize the East Saxons.

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