List of monarchs of Sussex

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Lists of the kings of Anglo-Saxon England
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Essex Mercia
East Anglia Kent
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Wessex

This list of kings and ealdormen of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Sussex contains substantial gaps, and many of the dates from this time are unreliable. No authentic South Saxon king list or genealogy exists. Most kings are known only from charters, some of which are forgeries, so great care is required in assigning dates to the kings. The styles listed below are copied from the authentic charters that are available online. The traditional residence of the South Saxon kings was at Kingsham, once outside the southern walls of Chichester although within its modern boundaries.[1]

Problems with the term "monarch"[edit]

To call these rulers "monarchs" is potentially misleading; Noðhelm reigned with two or three colleagues and Oslac with four. The locations of the lands granted in their charters indicate that they reigned jointly and that there was no division of territory. Such joint reigns can also be demonstrated for Hwicce, Essex, and Wessex. Indeed, “[t]here is nothing remarkable in the existence of two or even more contemporary kings in the same people in the seventh century. The ancient idea that royal dignity was a matter of birth rather than of territorial rule still survived at this date.”[2]

Kings and Ealdormen of the South Saxons[edit]

Reign Incumbent Style Notes
477 to 514 Ælle of Sussex according to Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, king. First Bretwalda
514 to 567 Cissa of Sussex According to Roger of Wendover, king. born in 477, co-ruler 491, king in 514.
fl. c. 660 to c.685 Æðelwealh Killed by Caedwalla; first king of Sussex to be baptized
fl. c. 683? Eadwulf Ealdulfus dux Suthsax is listed as a witness to a possibly spurious charter, S.232, of Caedwalla endowing Wilfrid's monastery at Selsey c. 683. Probably represents Ealdwulf.
fl. c. 683 to c.685? Ecgwald sub-regulus. Ecwald, also Ecguald, a sub-king, is named in, or witnesses, possibly spurious charters, S.230 and S.232, of Caedwalla endowing Wilfrid's monastery at Selsey c. 683 to 685.
fl.685 Berhthun According to Bede, an alderman of the King. Ealdorman
fl.685 Andhun According to Bede, an alderman of the King. Ceawlin of Wessex
Subject to Wessex (c.686 to 726)
fl.692 to 717 Noðhelm
(Nunna)
Nothelmus rex Suthsax’
Nunna rex Sussax’
Nunna rex Suthsax’
jointly with Watt, Osric, and Æðelstan.
fl.692 to c.700 Watt Wattus rex jointly with Noðhelm
fl. c.700 Bryni Bruny dux Suthsax' Ealdorman under Noðhelm and Watt
fl. c.710 ?Osric Osricus jointly with Noðhelm
fl.717 Æðelstan Athelstan rex jointly with Noðhelm
fl. c.740 Æðelberht Ethelbertus rex Sussaxonum a contemporary of Sigeferth
fl.760 to 772 Osmund Osmundus rex
Osmund dux
jointly with Oswald, Ælfwald, and Oslac
Subject to Mercia (771 to 825)
fl.772 Oswald Osuualdus dux Suðsax' Ealdorman under Offa jointly with Osmund, Ælfwald, and Oslac
fl. c.765 to 772 Oslac Osiac rex
Oslac dux
jointly with Ealdwulf, Ælfwald, Oswald, and Osmund.
fl. c.765 to c.791 Ealdwulf Alduulf rex
Aldwlfus dux Suthsaxonum
Aldwlf dux
Aldwlfus dux Suthsaxonum
Ealdwlf
jointly with Ælfwald and Oslac
fl. c.765 to 772 Ælfwald Ælhuuald rex
Ælbuuald dux
jointly with Ealdwulf, Oslac, Oswald, and Osmund
Subject to Wessex (from 825)
died 982 Eadwine Eaduuine dux Ealdorman under Æðelræd Unræd

In 825 the South Saxons submitted to Ecgberht, King of Wessex.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alec Hamilton-Barr. In Saxon Sussex. The Arundel Press, Bognor Regis. p 29
  2. ^ Mawer, A.; Stenton, F. M. (1929). The place-names of Sussex.