Deira

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Kingdom of Deira

559–664
Capital York
Languages Old English
Government Monarchy
Historical era Early Medieval
 -  Established 559
 -  Shared crown with Bernicia 604
 -  merged with Bernicia 664
Location of Deira

Deira (Old EnglishDerenrice or Dere) was a kingdom (559-664 AD)[1] in Northern England which probably emerged when Anglian warriors conquered the Derwent Valley in the third quarter of the fifth century.[2] It extended from the Humber to the Tees, and from the sea to the western edge of the Vale of York. It was the southern of the two kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia which later merged to form the kingdom of Northumbria.

The name of the kingdom is of Brythonic origin, perhaps from Deifr, meaning "waters", or from Daru, meaning "oak", in which case it would mean "the people of the Derwent", a derivation also found in the Latin name for Malton, Derventio.[3]

According to Simeon of Durham (writing early in the 12th century) it extended from the Humber to the Tyne, but the land was waste north of the Tees. After the Brythonic kingdom centred on Eboracum, which may have been called Ebrauc, was taken by King Edwin, the city of Eboracum became its capital and was called Eoforwic ("boar-place") by the Angles. Before this it is likely that the capital was at or near Pocklington.[citation needed]

The first Anglian king of Deira of whom we have any record is Ælla, who flourished in the later 6th century after conquering the realm from the Britons in 581. After his death, Deira was subject to king Æthelfrith of Bernicia, who united the two kingdoms into Northumbria. Æthelfrith ruled until the accession of Ælla's son Edwin, in 616 or 617, who also ruled both kingdoms until 633.

Osric, the nephew of Edwin, ruled Deira after Edwin, but his son Oswine was put to death by Oswiu in 651. For a few years subsequently Deira was governed by Æthelwald son of Oswald of Bernicia.

Bede wrote of Deira in his Historia Ecclesiastica (completed in 731).

Kings of Deira[edit]

Reign Incumbent Notes
559/560 to 589 Aella
(Aelli)
ÆLLA YFFING DEIRA CYNING
ÆLLA REX DEIRA
589/599 to 604 Aethelric
(Aedilric)
ÆÞELRIC IDING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELRIC REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Bernician Dynasty
593/604? to 616 Aethelfrith ÆÞELFERÞ ÆÞELRICING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELFERÞ REX DEIRA
Killed in battle
Deira Dynasty
616 to 12/14 October 632 Edwin EDVVIN ÆLLING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
EDVVIN REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed in battle by Cadwallon of Gwynedd and Penda of Mercia
late 633 to summer 634 Osric OSRIC ÆLFRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSRIC REX DEIRA
633 to 5 August 642 Oswald OSVVALD BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVALD REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed by Penda, King of Mercia; Saint Oswald
642 to 644 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFRIÞING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
644 to 651 Oswine OSVVINE OSRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSVVINE REX DEIRA
Murdered
summer 651 to late 654 or 655 Æthelwold ÆÞELVVALD OSVVALDING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELVVALD REX DEIRA
654 to 15 August 670 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFERÞING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Restored
656 to 664 Alchfrith ALCHFRIÞ DEIRA CYNING
ALCHFRIÞ REX DEIRA
670 to 679 Aelfwine ÆLFVVINE DEIRA CYNING
ÆLFVVINE REX DEIRA

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McCarthy, Mike. "An Early Historic Kingdom near the Solway". 2014. The History Files. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Higham, p. 98
  3. ^ Higham, p. 81

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Geake, Helen & Kenny, Jonathan (eds.) (2000). Early Deira: Archaeological studies of the East Riding in the fourth to ninth centuries AD. Oxford: Oxbow. ISBN 1-900188-90-2