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Essex, the kingdom of the East Saxons, was settled in the fifth century, the dynasty tracing its pedigree back to Seaxnet, a Saxon deity. There were a number of sub-groups, such as the Brahhingas (people of Braughing) or the Rodingas (people of the river Roding). Overshadowed by its northern neighbour, East Anglia, its future depended mainly on the possession of London. At times the kingdom stretched into Middlesex and Surrey, and the diocese of London, founded in 604, was specifically for the people of Essex. But the rulers of Kent wielded much power in the early seventh century, and when their power waned Northumbria, Mercia, and, finally, Wessex took over. The critical moment was probably when Aethelbald of Mercia took possession of London and Middlesex c.730. After Ecgberht of Wessex gained control c.825, there were no more Essex kings.

Subjects: British History.

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