They first came to Britain in the 4th century, raiding Roman settlements but the raids turned to mass emigrations in the 5th to 6th centuries as the Roman Empire withdrew from Britain and left the province unguarded. By the 7th century these new peoples had firmly established themselves driving the previous Roman citizens into the west of the country. The 9th century saw Britain divided into 4 rival kingdoms; Northumbria, which was predominantly inhabited by the Angles, Mercia, East Anglia, and a strong presence of Saxons in Wessex.
Christianity came to Britain in the 6th century with the arrival of St. Augustine on a papal mission from Rome to convert the heathens. He became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.
Power shifted between the kingdoms with first Northumbria and then Mercia became
the dominant force. This infighting was halted with the Viking invasions, however.
They conquered all the British kingdoms except Wessex, which survived under the leadership
of King Alfred the Great. The conquered lands were known as ‘Dane-
The Sorrow Song Trilogy © 2013 Peter C. Whitaker. All Rights Reserved.