The Britons, the Northumbrians, and the Rise of Mercia, 550–685

T. M. Charles-Edwards

in Wales and the Britons, 350-1064

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780198217312
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744778 | DOI:

Series: History of Wales

The Britons, the Northumbrians, and the Rise of Mercia, 550–685

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The first section of the chapter considers the origins of the English kingdom of Northumbria, a seventh‐century combination of Bernicia to the North and Deira to the south. Both Bernicia and Deira are British names; and these kingdoms emerged in a British context, probably had relatively large British populations compared with English kingdoms further south and east, and yet enjoyed major successes against English rivals. The second section discusses the borderland between Mercia and the Welsh, Northumbrian interventions in the area, its changing nature and the Welsh loss of what later became Shropshire. The third section discusses the role of the Church in the conflict between Britons and English and argues that the stigmatization of the Britons as heretics and schismatics may have played an important role in anglicization.

Keywords: Northumbria; the northern Britons; Mercia; changing frontiers; Wilfrid; anglicization

Chapter.  17331 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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