Venerable Bede lived in Northumbria [Northumberland]

But there is more to this Tale -- An Introduction to Angle Land

History of this Webpage
The Following Map is modified from

The Tradition: Anglo-Saxon, is the common name for the various groups of tribes who migrated from Denmark and Northern Germany into Britain about AD 450. The land was not empty, inhabited by Roman settlers and celts who had been living there since the Stone Age (for example those who built Stonehenge). Different stongmen conquered pieces of territory, so by the 7th century Angleland -- England was divided among several kingdoms, shown on the map to the left. Anglo-Saxon control ended when Danish King Swein (Svend) and his son Canute (Knud) conquered most of England in 1014.

The Religion: After the Norman invasion (1066), some Anglo-Saxon traditions slowly died, but their faith remained. Originally, the Anglo-Saxon tribes (and most of the earlier inhabitants) had observed a polytheistic Nordic ritual. But the Anglo-Saxons, influenced by the Celtic-Irish missions, became Christians apart from the strong influence of the Roman church. The Irish church had set up, for instance, religious centers at Iona off the Coast in the Irish Sea and at Lindisfarne in Northumbria. As you will read below, this was only a beginning of a distinctive English-Catholic faith. A very good anglo-saxon Websource: Do not forget that the Romans brought the Christian faith to the southern portion of England, and its traditions would also mold the English Church.

Related links on this site of Possible Interest: Adam's connection to English Kings Some Roman Connections & Some Scottish / Irish Connections to Adam

The Historical Record: In Time for New Year's -- December 31, 406AD, the Alans come to dinner. The Alans, the Asding and Siling Vandals and the Suevians crossover the Rhine, into Roman germaniæ, beginning their invasion of Gallia (Gaul) at Moguntiacum {Mayence -- Mainz}. This group, from the East, often referred to just as the Vandals, follow the pattern of earlier invasions of the Celts, as well as clear a path for the Huns some 45 years later, when Sainte Geneviève would implore the hoard not to destroy the City of Paris. For her role she obtains sainthood and gets a Church on the highest point of the left bank. Today that structure is known as the Panthéon, its door once opening upon the Roman Forum in Lutèce, today just traffic. To celebrate the occasion the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC in 1923; and, Guy Lombardo performs Auld Lang Syne for the first time at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City (1929). The show is broadcast over the CBS radio network. Born in London Ontario, Guy founded the Lombardo Orchestra with his brother Carmen in 1916. Auld Lang Syne was his band's theme song before 1929, but tonight was the start of a New Year's Eve tradition. More HERE. What, you may ask, does this have to do with these invasions ? Well, without them there would be neither a BBC nor Canadian fellow to sing Scottish tunes.

The Latin Vulgate version of the Bible by Saint Jerome was completed about 406 A.D. Everybody was speaking the Roman language as the preferred tongue of the empire. Interestingly, when in 406 AD, the allied barbarian forces of Suevi, Alans, Vandals and Burgundians swept into central Europe, they severed all over-the-land communication between Rome and its colony Britain. In the autumn of 406 AD, the remaining Roman army in Britain decides to mutiny, and in 407 AD, under the leadership of Constantine III, cross back over the Channel into Gaul bent on attacking Rome. This ended the Roman Empire in Britain. The Goths will sack Rome. Meanwhile, the British-Celtic people who had been the allies of Rome would now face devastating attacks and near-annihilation at the hands of the Picts, Scots and in particular, the Saxons, Angles and Jutes of North-Western Europe. The successive waves of Germanic invaders that followed would have an incredible and profound affect of the future of the world – one that would take more than a thousand years to fully realize. It is here that a birth takes place - the birth of a new language – English.

449 AD: "In [the] year Mauricius and Valentinian obtained the Kingdom and reigned seven years. In their days Hengest and Horsa, invited by Vortigern, King of the Britons, came to Britain at a place called Ebbsfleet at first to help the Britons, but later they fought against them. The king ordered them to fight against the Picts, and so they did and had victory wherever they came. They then sent to Angeln; ordered them to send them more aid and to be told of the worthlessness of the Britons and of the excellence of the land. They sent them more aid. These men came from three nations of Germany: from the Old Saxons, from the Angles, from the Jutes."

So wrote the Venerable Bede in his Anglo-Saxon Chronicles many centuries ago -- Venerable Bede was a Northumbrian monk of great fame who began writing the history of the region and its faith, its legends and its traditions -- Related link. The fifth to ninth centuries were some of the most turbulent of the Island's history. It was the time when England was born, the time of Hengest and Horsa, King Arthur, Beowulf, Redwald of Sutton Hoo, St. Augustine, King Offa, King Alfred, the Viking invasions and the foundation of the English-Anglican church. Angelcynn (pronounced 'Angle-kin') is an Old English word meaning 'the English People'. from -- see also A detailed History of Shoreham in Sussex, which discusses another group on anglo-saxon invaders {Her cuom Ælle on Bretenlond & his .iii. suna, Cymen & Wlencing & Cissa, mid .iii. scipum}.

The Fifth Century also saw the cultivation of the Celtic Christian rite, as memorialized by the life of Saint Patrick (d. 17 March 461 AD). Patrick {Patricius}, started life in a Christian patrician family at the sunset of the Western Roman Empire's control over Britian. At an early age he was kidnapped and enslaved by raiding Irish, toiled in Ireland as a herdsman for six years before having his vision and escaping his bondage. The Irish Sea did not part for his journey, he had to take to a passage like Paul's to Rome. Thereafter, educated in France, he returned as the appointed Bishop of Ireland (really before he had a flock).

His mission was conversion. He had success, by incorporating pagan motifs (bonfires, the shamrock, the image of the sun imposed on a cross) into the Roman style of worship. On an outpost of civilisation, he would help establish a Church in Ireland that preserved western (greek-based) culture during its most bleak years on the European continent, when the west might have been lost to the Saracen. The Celtic Church would accompany the Irish (called Scotti or Scots) on their eastern conquests of areas never overrun by Rome, whose populations were never converted. Indeed, many would argue, that the Celtic Church kept Christianity alive in England. {I wish I had an authority to cite here, but I can't remember it} The Celtic Church would never become subject to centralized authority (some would say bureaucracy) as did the Roman Church.

Patrick Links:

Patricius {archiepiscopus} in Hiberniam uenit atque Scotos baptiare inchoat nono anno Teodisi minoris, primó anno episcopatus Sixti .xlii. episcopi Romanae eclesiæ in .iiii. anno regni Læghaire meic Nell: [Patrick {as Archbishop} came to Ireland and Scotland in the ninth year of the reign of Teodisi and begins baptizing. At this time less than a full year of the episcopate of Sixtus had elapsed in the {Catholic} Church {in the position} of the Bishop of Rome. It was also the fourth year of Læghaire meic Nell.]

(431): Papst Coelestin I. schickt Palladius als Missionar nach Irland. Erste Geschichtsaufzeichnung von Irland.

(432): Bischof Patrik landet in Irland. Gründung des Bistums Armagh durch den Patrik. Beginn der christianisierung von Irland.

(433): St.Patrik entzündet bei Tara das Osterfeuer als Sinnbild der Christianisierung.
Sehen Sie, bitte: (Deutsch) (Patrick werd in 385 in Groot-Brittannie, ten tijde van de Romeinse overheersing, geboren -- Dutch).

The most complete Patricius history link and in English: OR (harder to read but choc-a-block full of information -- need to use to find them today , as the references date from about 2005).

Celtic Christianity established itself in northern England and in Scotland, while Rome dominated the south of England, radiating out from Wessex and Kent. In 596 AD Pope Gregory sent the monk Augustine to England, some 150 years after St. Patrick left England. He set up a diocese in Kent, (Canterbury) and delivered missionaries to make the pagan Anglo-Saxon (who had pushed out the celtic tribes in the south) into faithful Christians. At the margins the two branches of the Church came into contact and conflict, symbolised by the great "tonsure" debate. Through the Synod of Whitby (664) the two parties united: The Northumbrian-Celtic Church acceeded to Rome. The English Church or "the Church in England" became one body, subject to the authority of the Pope, but still very independent.

The blending of Celtic and Roman Christianity with the rich Nordic tradition of the Anglo-Saxons produced an especial form of Christianity. The Anglo-Saxons were fond of battle imagery and heroic epics, which they weaved into the new Christian myths and Bible stories. This Nordic/Christian tradition has given birth to many poems such as The Junius Manuscript and The Phoenix.

From: (same issue on citation-URL)

We invite you to review this simplified Timeline: It encompases a period equivalent to that expanse between the French-Indian Wars (at the end of the American Colonial era) and the outset of the 21st Century.

  • 563 AD: Saint Columba brings Celtic Christianity to Iona, as the Scots (from Ireland) sought to occupy and control Caledonia. He would travel among the Picts, distant cousins of the invaders. Because of Columba's efforts at Iona, his follower, Saint Aidan, at the request of Oswald, King of Northumbria, would establish the famous monastery at Lindisfarne about 80 years later. St. Aidan would die the night that Cuthbert had his vision (see below AD 664).

  • 571 AD: Date of the Anglo-Saxon victory securing the eventual defeat of the British "Celtic" tribes.
  • 597 AD: Augustine reestablishes the Roman Church in Kent. His mission at Canterbury was located near an older church founded during Roman times.
  • February 24, 616: The Jute kingdom of Kent sat in the southeast corner of England. In 597 a delegation of monks sent from Rome, arrived there with Augustine of Canterbury (d. 26 May 605 -- not Augustine of Hippo (28 August 430)) in the lead. The Christian Gospel arrived in Roman Britain well before 200AD. The Celtic peoples of the island were largely Christian within a century. Another 100 years passed and during the 5th Century, southeastern Britain (what we now call England) saw the influx of the non-believing Anglo-Saxons (Angles, Saxons and Jutes, tribes from the germanic coastlands of Europe). They subdued the Christian Celts, causing migrations north, west, as well as, south to France (Bretons). As a result, Celtic missionaries entering England from Ireland and Scotland / Northumbria began the reconversion of England along with Roman Catholic missionaries from Europe in the south and east of the Isle.

    Æthlebert {Ethlebert or Eadbald -- the, great-grandson of Hengist, the first Saxon conqueror of Britain}, the king of Kent, was a pagan, but his wife Bertha, the Frankish princess of Paris, was Christian. This princess of Paris was the daughter of Charibert I, King of the Paris-Franks and Ingoberge. Gregory of Tours was a close acquaitance of Bertha's mother, Ingoberge. In his history of the Franks, he twice calls Æthelbert a man of Kent, meaning that Æthelbert had not succeeded as king at that time of their marriage. Charibert I was the grandson of Louis I (Chlodovech I, the Great King of the Franks) the first French Christian King and Ste. Chlotilde, a Princess of Burgundy -- and so it stretches back even beyond to inter alia Nero Claudius Germanicus Drusus of Rome, father of the Roman Emperor born August 1 in Lyon, in this line.

    Æthelbert listened to the invitation to convert given by Augustine's party. He decided to remain in the religion of his fathers, but gave the delegation a plot of ground to build a church. Their efforts converted some 10 thousand of his subjects within 4 years. King Æthelbert was baptized, built the cathedral of Saint Andrew in Rochester and the monastery of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (later the cathedral of Saint Augustine) at Canterbury. All of this influenced the conversion of King Sabert of the East Saxons, in whose territory he built the church of Saint Paul, London. This king of Kent died on February 24 616; but because that is the Feast of Matthias the Apostle, Æthelbert's death is commemorated on the 25th of February.

    Æthelberg, the daughter of Bertha and Æthlebert, and wife of Edwin ( or Æduini of Northumbria), founded and was abbess at Lyming. Æthelberg was instrumental in the conversion of her husband Edwin (April 12, 627) and the region, through the preaching of Paulinus. In Book 2 of Bede's work on the history of the Church in England, Chapter 20 we have a dramatic climax with the overthrow and death of Edwin at the battle of Hatfield (October 12, 632 A.D.); the devastation of Northumbria by the British king, Cædwalla, and Penda of Mercia; and the flight of Æthelberg and her daughter Ælflæd, taking with her Paulinus, to Kent to take refuge with her brother, Ædbald, the new King of Kent. If we have counted correctly, Ædbald is only 7 generations removed from Egbert, making all of them our relations, through the West family of early Virginia.

    Paulinus' life ends with him leading the church at Rochester. Only James the Deacon remains heroically at his post in the north country to keep alive the smouldering embers of the faith. Ænflæd becomes the wife of Oswy and is found alive living with her daughter Ænfled, the abbess at Whitby, by 685AD.

  • 616-633 AD: So Edwin is king of Northumbria for less than 20 years. It was in Deira that King Edwin converted to Christianity. Bede writes that once King Edwin and his Witan made this decision, the high priest, Coifi, rode out and destroyed the pagan temple. This temple was supposedly located in the same place as the medieval Church of All Saints at Goodmanham.

August 31, 651AD: When King Oswald of Bernicia called upon his old educational institution, the great Scottish monastery of Iona, to provide him with a spiritual guide who would help him convert his people to Christianity, the monks asked Saint Aidan to oblige. Aidan, an Irish bishop, gave up his see on Scattery Island in order to undertake this post. In 635 he took up residence at his new episcopal see, Lindisfarne (alias Holy Island), off the Northumberland coast, a few miles north of Oswald's rocky fortress of Bamburgh. For the next 16 years, until his death this day in 651, he worked to spread the kingdom, which has no borders, in the language of the Scots.

Well did Bede say: Churches were built in several places; the people joyfully flocked together to hear the Word; possessions and lands were given of the King's bounty to build monasteries; the younger English were, by their Scottish masters, instructed; and there were greater care and attention bestowed upon the rules and observance of regular discipline.

See also: Lindisfarne would be destroyed during the first raids from the east, on June 8, 793.

King Oswald's death came in battle. The pagan ruler, Penda of Mercia, who had earlier defeated Edwin, raised an army and met Oswald with overwhelming forces. Surrounded by enemies, Oswald prayed one last prayer--for God's mercy on the souls of his soldiers. He was considered a martyr because he died at the hand of a pagan while defending a Christian nation. He was named a saint.

  • 664 AD: The Synod of Whitby recognizes the Roman rite of Christianity as supreme over the Celtic tradition (the classic fight over the tonsure). The English or Anglican community, however really becomes a blend of both, a great compromise. It was St. Cuthbert (born circa 634-5 AD) who led the conversion of Lindisfarne from the Celtic to Roman Rite, following the Synod of Whitby.

  • January 12th -- Benedict Biscop (also known as Benet Biscop, Biscop Baducing): Born in Northumbria, England, c. 628; died at Wearmouth, England, on January 12, c. 690; former historical errors have confused him with Benedict of Nursia, leading to several other feast days on different liturgical calendars. Born of the highest Anglo-Saxon nobility, Biscop Baducing held office in the household of King Oswy (Oswiu) of Northumbria.

    In 674, Benedict was granted 70 hides of land by Oswy's son, Egfrid, at the mouth of the river Wear (Wearmouth), where he built a great stone church and monastery dedicated to Saint Peter. Benedict was the first to introduce glass into England, which he brought from France along with stone and other materials. His foreign masons, glaziers, and carpenters taught their skill to the Anglo- Saxons. From his trip to Rome in 679, Benedict brought back Abbot John of Saint Martin's, the precentor (archcantor) from Saint Peter's. This was a result of Benedict persuading Pope Saint Agatho that Abbot John would be able to instruct the English monks, so that the music and ceremonies at Wearmouth might follow exactly the Roman pattern. All this and much more immeasurably enriched the early English Church. Indeed, it was due directly to Benedict Biscop's diligence and scholarship that so much material lay at hand for Venerable Bede and others to use. A picture of St. Paul's in Jarrow, the site of Biscop's monastery and his church is HERE -- a place where Venerable Bede served.

    Benedict's biography was written by Bede, who had been entrusted to his care at age seven, and whose learning was made possible by the library Benedict collected at his monastery at Jarrow. Bede the historian says that the civilization and learning of the 8th century rested in the monastery founded by Benedict. see

  • 687 AD: St. Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, dies on March 20th. He was the premier "miracle-worker" of England, born in Northumbria. In the year 651, while watching his sheep, he saw a vision. St Bede in his Life and Miracles of St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne describes what Cuthbert observed thus:

    "On a sudden he saw a long stream of light break through the darkness of the night, and in the midst of it a company of the heavenly host descended to the earth, and having received among them a spirit of surpassing brightness, returned without delay to their heavenly home."

    The relics of St. Cuthbert have a particularly well documented history. It was the discovery of his incorrupt body which led Bede to write his history of the Saint. In 875, after the second Viking raid on Lindisfarne, the body was moved to Northumbria, and rested at several sites until in 995 the casket was moved to Dunholme in what would become the City of Durham. Enshrined on September 4, 999, it was visited by William the Conqueror seventy years later.

    This site, on the Durham Peninsula, also had the benefits of being both easily defended and having ample supplies of fresh water. So, here were laid St. Cuthbert's remains finally to rest, first in a rough wooden chapel, then in a fine Saxon white-stone church. However, in 1093 the Norman conquerors began to dismantle the White Church and to replace it with the present magnificent Cathedral. Cuthbert's remains, together with the head of the warrior-king, St. Oswald, were placed in a specially built shrine in the new Cathedral in 1104. At this time, when St. Cuthbert had been dead over 4 centuries, they opened his coffin again. They found his body uncorrupted still. There is modern and scientific precedent for this observation (à Bernadette Soubirous).

    The Commissioners of Henry VIII, during the "Protestant" Reformation in England, were sent to destroy the tomb in 1537, which they did. However, Archbishop Charles of Glasgow, who wrote a History of St. Cuthbert, (London: New York: 1887) reports that:

    [Dr. Lee, Dr. Henly and Mr. Blythman on approaching the Shrine] found many valuable and goodly jewels…After the spoil of his ornaments and jewels they approached near his body, expecting nothing but dust and ashes: but, perceiving the chest he lay in strongly bound with iron, the goldsmith…broke it open, when they found him lying whole uncorrupt with his face bare, and his beard as of a fortnight's growth, and all the vestments about him as he was accustomed to say mass.

    The monks were allowed to bury him on the ground under where the shrine had been. This was opened again in 1827, at which time a skeleton, swathed in decayed robes, was found. The designs matched those described in the 1104 accounts, although some argued the real body was elsewhere. [Cruz, 54-55].

  • 731 AD: Bede completes his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum. The year before he discovered that the Calendar was wrong:

    Bede is well thought of for other writings, too. He was called, by Burke, le père de l’érudition anglaise because of his scientific interests:

    Allons donc à la véritable Bethléem, la maison du Pain, où nous trouverons, régnant sur le trône de son Père, celui que les bergers ont trouvé dans la Crèche, poussant des vagissements. En le voyant, ils le reconnurent par tout ce qui leur avait été dit de lui: avec amour recueiloons tout ce qui nous est dit du Sauveur; et avec eux, nous reconnaîtrons dans le petit enfant de la Crèche le Dieu dont les saintes Ecritures nous ont prédit les anéantissements; nous retrouverons Marie dans la virginale beauté de l’Eglise, et Joseph dans la virile assemblée des docteurs (S. Bède le Vénérable: commentaire de l’évangile selon saint Luc). as translated to modern French and quoted in -- from:

    Bede's remains rest in Northumbria at Durham Cathedral.
  • So it was that in 793 AD (le 8 juin), the Vikings sacked the monastery at Lindisfarne (île au nord-est de l'Angleterre). Cuthbert's legacy is the first to fall under the sword. La Chronique anglo-saxonne (manuscrits rédigés entre le IXème et XIIème siècle) relate que de ce jour triste en juin des pillards païens détruisirent l'église de Lindisfarne, ravageant et massacrant tout ce qui passent à leur portée. C'est le premier raid des Vikings, guerriers et navigateurs scandinaves, qui déferleront sur l'Europe occidentale et les plaines russes pour les piller ou s'y installer. Voi aussi

    In this year dire forewarnings came over the land of the Northumbrians, and miserably terrified the people: these were excessive whirlwinds and lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air. A great famine soon followed these tokens; and a little after that, in the same year, on the 7th of the Ides of January (January 8th), the havoc of heathen men miserably destroyed God's church at Lindisfarne, through rapine and slaughter. And Sicga died on the 8th of the Kalends of March (February 22). -- from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

    The attack on Lindisfarne was unprecedented and horrified those who wrote of it. For Alcuin, who was at the court of Charlemagne and a leader of the Carolingian Renaissance, it was inconceivable that ships could suddenly appear from over the horizon.

    "Lo, it is nearly 350 years that we and our fathers have inhabited this most lovely land, and never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race, nor was it thought that such an inroad from the sea could be made. Behold, the church of St. Cuthbert spattered with the blood of the priests of God, despoiled of all its ornaments; a place more venerable than all in Britain is given as a prey to pagan peoples."

    Alcuin, Letter to Ethelred, King of Northumbria as quoted in

    Beyond Bamburgh and the tidal estuary-like mud flats of Budle Bay, is Holy Island, still often known by its more ancient name of Lindisfarne. It is only accesible from the mainland at low tide by means of a causeway, which can be reached from the village of Beal.To the south of the more modern road-surface causeway, a series of stakes mark the old route across to the island called the `Pilgrims Way' which was used in ancient times by visitors to the great Christian centre of Lindisfarne. Again this could be crossed only at low tide, a situation reminiscent of Mont-Saint-Michel and perfectly described by Sir Walter Scott;

    Saint Aidan 
Apostle to 
    "For with the flow and ebb, its style

    Varies from continent to isle;

    Dry shood o'er sands, twice every day,
    The pilgrims to the shrine find way;

    Twice every day the waves efface

    Of staves and sandelled feet the trace."

    from Marmion -- Canto II

  • 794 AD: The Vikings sack the monastery at Iona. These types of raids would continue for another 50+ years . . .

    A.D. 851 . . . The heathens now for the first time remained over winter in the Isle of Thanet. The same year came three hundred and fifty ships into the mouth of the Thames; the crew of which went upon land, and stormed Canterbury and London; putting to flight Bertulf, king of the Mercians, with his army; and then marched southward over the Thames into Surrey. Here Ethelwulf and his son Ethelbald, at the head of the West-Saxon army, fought with them at Ockley, and made the greatest slaughter of the heathen army that we have ever heard reported to this present day. There also they obtained the victory.

Specific years are expanded from a larger timeline: -- font color white on white background -- "select all" to read

Also try: as a tool -- a bit cumbersome

Bede's feast day is celebrated by some on the 27th of May, but for most in the English Church it is the 25th, the day of his death in 735AD. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Thus he prayed on the floor, and when he had named the Holy Ghost, he breathed out his soul. All declared that they had never seen any one die with such great devotion and tranquillity -- reported by Cuthbert.

More information and links follow: As noted above, England (Angle-land) underwent a 5th century (AD) Germanic conquest by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and other northern European cousins of the Franks (see Celtic/Frank link below). A few Frisians made the trip to Britain, significantly affecting the English language. Evidence suggests that Franks themselves, as well as the Danes and Swedes, also arrived in small numbers at that time. The Danes would arrive in larger numbers later, beginning in the eighth century as part of the general Viking invasion throughout Europe.

The changing of the guard: Over time, the rule of many tribal leaders was consolidated under one English King and his loyal Barons (the witenagemot), in conflict with Scandanavian interest to English territory. On November 30, 1016 it began to come to a head, when the son of King Æthelred the Unready met an untimely end. King Edmund II of England (nicknamed Ironside for his military prowess), the son of King Æthelred, was elected King of England in London upon his father's death in 1016, but his danish rival, Canute the Great, enjoyed greater support throughout the rest of the countryside. Edmund was eventually defeated by the Danes, and was allowed by Canute to keep the Kingdom of Wessex, under an understanding that whichever of them survived the other would become ruler of the whole of England. Shortly after making this agreement, Edmund II died, on November 30, 1016, and was buried at Glastonbury. Canute's rule was established over the whole of England, affecting the course of history for the next 50 years.

King Edward the Confessor, another son of Anglo-Saxon King Æthelred (the Unready), was recalled from Normandy after decades of exile, where he had secured sanctuary with his Norman Christian cousins. Not unexpectedly, Edward's reign witnessed increasing Norman-French influence, which had begun when Canute married Æthelred's widow, Emma of Normandy, daughter of Richard the Fearless, then Duke of Normandy. Edward oversaw completion of Westminster Abbey, which he finished just in time for his burial in January 1066. Edward's death without an heir on January 5th left the succession in doubt and in dispute. The electors of the witenagemot chose Harold Godwinesson, Earl of Wessex, who was crowned on Epihany.

Harold the Earl had once been held hostage by a Scandinavian cousin, named Harald (Haardraade), and was released only upon giving up any interest in the English throne. This relative, now King Harald III of Norway, wished to claim his prize. Another contender and cousin was Duke William of Normandy (also of Scandanavian-Viking heritage). On April 24, 1066, a Comet appeared, a forewarning, perhaps, the cosmic events to come. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle notes: "Then over all England there was a sign in the skies such as had never been seen before. Some said it was the star comet which some called the long-haired star." Today we would call it Halley's comet. A very good anglo-saxon Websource:
English King, Harold II, fought off an invasion by the Scandinavian claimant, defeating him at Stamford Bridge on September 25, 1066. Notwithstanding this success, the course of world history radically changed at the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066; because, Duke William (the Conqueror) established a beachhead in England without opposition, while Harold busied himself up north. When Harold's exhausted Anglo-Saxon army turned its attention to the second set of invaders, time and energy had run their course. French Barons, née Viking pirates, had established the new English royal family and noble retinue. William was crowned in Westminster Abbey on the next Christmas Day. All of this is every bit as complicated as the events we would see later regarding the succession to the English Crown as the Tudor line ended and the Reformation of the Church in England began.

Norman feudalism became the basis for redistributing the land among the conquerors, giving England a Norman-French aristocracy. England turned away from Scandinavian social and political structure towards France. After the Norman invasion the "English" court spoke French; but conducted business in the local language -- eventually a friendly and amicable compromise was reached. Rabid extremists of the Anglo-Saxon persuasion can point out that the English language overcame the Celtic and Roman influences, while Norman-French never fully subdued it.
Thus today, we swear (Germanic) and affirm (French); we raise swine (Germanic), have pigs (Old English, perhaps Celtic, but the original etymology remains obscure), and eat pork (French); a canine (Latin) pet can be dog (again more Celtic), hound (Germanic), or dawg (Georgian). There is of course a dispute about whether lawyers/attorneys use two words for everything, because of the differences between Old English and Norman- French, or because counselors, of the legal kind, once got paid by the word. Finally, consider the word "cat" of Germanic origin. Probably, the Germanic tribes borrowed the word from the Romans, who brought really big cats into the Circus at Lugdunum and elsewhere. The Latin language has another word for cat, which we know today as feline. Just maybe this helps explain why, depending on your perspective, English spelling is a "mess" (a French derivative) or a "jumble" (a word whose origin is unknown).
Links, lnks, links: Throughout history, the Scots and the English have rarely seen eye-to-eye. Northumberland borderlands between the two countries were dangerous with cattle-raids, feuds, murders and small-scale but all-out local skirmishes. Full-sized armies, not infrequently, crossed into and out of Northumbria. Even in Roman times, walls were built to keep out invasions from the North. The Scots who replaced the Celts never trusted the Saxon hoard (and for good reason). The English never were satisfied with the land they held. Throughout the medieval period and later, the Scottish monarchs were more-or-less forced to associate themselves with England's enemies in order to keep their nation free. A link to Northumbria battlegrounds is Here.

Epiphany -- brief history with even more links -- has nothing directly to do with Celtic history, except that the "traditions" of the Season have governed England for 1500 years. Moreover, this page explains why a lot of events -- "dire forewarnings" and dragons seemed to have appeared in AD 793 before January began.
Celtic/Frank History -- A French perspective with links to similar information about Germany -- Bishop Boniface, the apostle to the Germans, wrote of Bede that he "shone forth as a lantern in the church by his scriptural commentary."
Finally, we suggest this page: Remigius of Rheims, Bishop, Apostle of the Franks -- resources/bio/257.html -- it ties together the French, Northumbria, Augustine and Cajuns, all in one neat package. In an odd way it explains the quote, « Après nous être sauvés, nous reconnûmes que l'île s'appelait Malte » that you will find at the bottom of our Sea Traditions page.
Several of the links below go to pages within the same site, but these links are a good sample of what is out in cyberspace in 2004. There used to be 15, now there are less.

  1. Old English Pages - Anglo-Saxon England
    Map of England depicts the kingdoms, dioceses, mints, and other political units of the Anglo-Saxon period.

  2. Anglo-Saxon England
    Large index of resources including Anglo-Saxon writings, list of kings, writings, extensive time line, maps, and bibliography -- Great link page, too: you may want to go here first

  3. Anglo-Saxon History: A Select Bibliography
    Browse this annotated bibliography devoted to texts about medieval Anglo-Saxon history. Also find maps and quotations.

  4. Anglo-Saxon Genealogy
    Devoted to genealogical research on the Anglo-Saxons from their first king, Cerdic, this page offers several maps showing relevant areas.

  5. Anglo Saxon Britain and the Norman Invasion
    provides a history of the Norman conquest of England and of the Viking raids that preceded it. Includes maps.

  6. Anglo-Saxon Culture
    Provides links to Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, organizations, journals and scholarly publications. Access the Electronic Beowulf Project.

  7. Anglo-Saxon England
    This exhibit has information on Anglo-Saxon England including a map of England and its history of Kings, Church and invasions.

  8. Anglo-Saxon England and Wales - map and history
    Anglo-Saxon England and Wales, the early centuries. Offa's Dyke and the Danes in England.

  9. 210A Anglo-Saxon, or Cottonian world map, 900 A.D.interpretive drawing
    Slide #210 A Anglo-Saxon, or Cottonian world map, 900 A.D. interpretive drawing (Tooley) (oriented with East at the top) Slide #210 Monograph 210A Anglo-Saxon, or Cottonian world map, 900 A.D.interpretive drawing.

  10. Anglo-Saxon Derbyshire
    Anglo-Saxon Derbyshire: Site Database This part of our web site aims to present a little of the information gathered during our on-going research into the Anglo-Saxon period in lowland Derbyshire. .

  11. Anglo Saxon Britain Map
    The Internet's most comprehensive guide to British History

  12. The Anglo-Saxon heptarchy
    The Anglo-Saxon heptarchy

  13. Our Our Anglo-Saxon Heritage
    A part of the Rook Family's Home Page project, integrating family history and genealogy into the broader context of culture, history, and place.

  14. It was from Northumbria that BP established a World Organization of Scouting, starting first with the British Empire. --

    . Patrick's Breastplate:
    I bind unto myself today
    The virtues of the star lit heaven,
    The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
    The whiteness of the moon at even,
    The flashing of the lightning free,
    The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
    The stable earth, the deep salt sea
    Around the old eternal rocks.
    Christ be with me, Christ within me,
    Christ behind me, Christ before me,
    Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
    Christ to comfort and restore me.
    Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
    Christ in hearts of all that love me,
    Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

    Related links on this site of Possible Interest: Adam's connection to English Kings Some Roman Connections & Some Scottish / Irish Connections to Adam

    Rev: 08/21/07 -- some links restored via

    Remember, 10/31/04 was Reformation Sunday


    This page started out as a homework assignment (of my daughter, she doing the initial work) in 1999 and grew as people have found the site or linked to it. This page had more than 250 each week in 2000, so we added links for those seeking more information. In Fall 2001 useage had grown to between 500 and 700 weekly hits. We had a total of 22,000 visits in 2001 -- almost 25,000 "views" in the year 2002. But useage dropped sharply in 2003-04 to about half this peak. When we changed URL's we lost all our Link-froms and our Google ratings, so now we scarcely get in a year what we once received in a month. If you like the way we present history here, you may wish to peruse our Newsletter, and also follow the links you find there:

    You could listening to St. Patrick's Breastplate
    Education is when you read the small print. Experience is what you get if you don't. -- Pete Seeger