Talk:Kingdom of Sussex

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Article review (2005)[edit]

“AEthelwald” should be “Æðelwealh”, and “two princes” should be “two ealdormen”. The South Saxon see was moved to Chichester in 1075, so “until the Norman Conquest” should be “until after the Norman Conquest”, or even “until 1075”.

Nunna is just a hypocoristic form of Noðhelm, in the same way as Gazza is a hypocoristic form of Gascoigne.

Dumnonia and West Wales are different names for the same area, so “Geraint of Dumnonia, king of the West Welsh” is repetitive and could be reduced down to “Geraint, King of Dumnonia”, or even “Geraint, King of Devon”.

In 692 Noðhelm granted land to his sister Noðgyð. He was styled Nothelmus rex Suthsax’ in the body of the charter, but he signed it as Nunna rex Sussax’ [1]. Noðhelm’s last surviving charter, in which he was called Nunna rex Suthsax’, is dated 714, probably in error for 717, [2] so his reign began in or before 692 and ended in or after 717.

Noðhelm’s charter of 692 was witnessed by Watt, who signed as Wattus rex, without any indication of his territory, but it is probable that he reigned in Sussex, because he also witnessed (again as Wattus rex) an undated charter (but before about 705) by Bruny dux Suthsax’ [3] together with Nunna rex. He is also listed as a witness (as Uuattus rex) of a another charter, erroneously dated 775, which is believed to be a forgery [4]. So, Watt’s reign began in or before 692, and extended at least to some date before about 705.

The sentence “A grant, dated by Birch about 725, is made by Nunna to Eadberht, bishop of Selsey, and to this too Uuattus appears as a witness” should be deleted, as this is a reference to the forged charter that is actually dated 775. The amended date of 725, suggested by Birch, is still impossible, because two of the supposed witnesses were dead by then.

“Aldbryht” is Ealdberht. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle does not say why Ine fought against the South Saxons, nor where Ealdberht had fled from, so the sentence should be amended to “In 722 Ealdberht fled into Surrey and Sussex, and Ine fought against the South Saxons”, in order to remove the speculation.

The sentence “An undated grant is made by Nunna about this time, which is witnessed by a King AEthelberht” is incorrect and should be deleted. It is probably derived from Æðelberht’s undated endorsement to an undated charter of Noðhelm [5] that was actually witnessed by Osric (as Osricus) without indication of rank or territory, but listed before (and therefore ranked higher than) the Bishop of Selsey (whose rank and see are also omitted). The charter can be approximately dated to some point between about 705 and 717.

One king omitted from the present text is Æðelstan, who witnessed Noðhelm’s last surviving charter, which is dated 714 in error for 717, [6], as Athelstan rex. There is no indication of his territory. The same charter was also witnessed by Queen Æðelðryð, as Edeldrið regina. There is no clue as to how she was related to the various kings.

The dates of Æðelberht’s reign are unknown beyond the fact that it overlapped at least in part with the bishopship of Sigeferth (who was consecrated in 733 and was still bishop in 747) as Sigeferth witnessed an undated charter of Æðelberht [7] in which Æðelberht is styled Ethelbertus rex Sussaxonum. Another undated charter, in which he is called Adelbertus rex Australium Saxonum, is believe to be a forgery [8]. He is also mentioned in an undated endorsement to a charter of Noðhelm as Ethilberchto rege [9].

The paragraph beginning “After which” is somewhat confused. It is not true that Offa of Mercia witnessed charters of South Saxon kings (he merely confirmed them later). It is true that Offa subjugated Sussex and issued a charter in 772 that was witnessed by at least three ealdormen who had previously been kings (Osmund, Ælfwald, and Oslac, possibly also Oswald). Therefore South Saxon independence ended at this point, but the former kings continued to govern as ealdormen.

Osmund was reigning in Sussex when Archbishop Cuðberht died in 760, so his rule commenced before that event. He also issued a charter dated 770 in which he is listed as Osmundus rex [10]. So Osmund’s reign was in or before 760 to between 770 and 772, as he witnessed a charter of Offa, King of Mercia, dated 772 as Osmund dux [11].

Ealdwulf issued an undated charter as Alduulf rex [12]. Later, he issued an undated charter as Aldwlfus dux Suthsaxonum, and signed as Aldwlf dux, [13], and another, dated 711 in error for 791 as Aldwlfus dux Suthsaxonum [14] with the subscription Ealdwlf.

Ælfwald witnessed Ealdwulf’s undated charter, corruptly recorded as Ælhuuald rex [15]. He also witnessed the charter of Offa, King of Mercia, dated 772 as Ælbuuald dux [16], with his name placed after Oswald, Osmund, but before Oslac.

Oslac witnessed Ealdwulf’s undated charter, corruptly recorded as Osiai rex [17]. He also witnessed the charter of Offa, King of Mercia, dated 772 as Oslac dux [18], with his name placed after Oswald, Osmund, and Ælfwald. His latest surviving charter is dated 790, and the original still exists; he is styled Oslac dux Suthsaxorum [19].

This is no evidence that Oswald was ever king, but he witnessed the charter of Offa, King of Mercia, dated 772 as Osuualdus dux Suðsax' [20]. He was listed ahead of the three former kings Osmund, Ælfwald, and Oslac.

The death of Eadwine, Ealdorman of Sussex, is recorded in 982, because he was buried at Abingdon Abbey in Berkshire, where one version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was compiled. According to the abbey’s records, in which he was called “princeps Australium Saxonum, Eadwinus nomine”, he bequeathed estates to them in his will, although the document itself has not survived. Earlier in the same year he witnessed a charter of King Æðelræd Unræd [21] as “Eaduuine dux”. His name was also added to a forged charter dated 956 (possibly an error for 976) [22].

In the next generation, Wulfnoð Cild, Thegn of Sussex, played a prominent part in English politics. In 1009 his actions resulted in the destruction of the English fleet, and by 1011 Sussex, together with most of South East England, was in the hands of the Danes. In an early example of local government reform, the Anglo-Saxon ealdormandoms were abolished by the Danish kings and replaced a smaller number of larger earldoms. Wulfnoð Cild was the father of Godwine, who was made Earl of Wessex in 1020. His earldom included Sussex. When he died in 1053, Godwine was succeeded as Earl of Wessex (including Sussex) by his son Harold, who had previously been Earl of East Anglia.

Hovite 16:08, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

The sentence “It was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon heptarchy” merely duplicates the information in the previous sentence “one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon Britain”, and introduces a link to a myth about the seven kingdoms, which, like the seven deadly sins and the seven sleepers, has no basis in reality. The word “Britain” is inaccurate and should be replaced by “England”. The word “modern” before “county” has been simply edited out; it should have been replaced by “later”, “traditional” or “historic”.
Ælle, his three sons, their three ships, and their three battles are fictional: (fictional is a bit too harsh!! A legend would be a better word. Aella would have been a contemporary of King Arthur and probably should be treated about the same. Wilfridselsey (talk) 13:08, 19 August 2009 (UTC) )


So where was the capital of the Kingdom of Sussex? The article doesn't say. Don't we know?

Probably Selsey but not sure. Aella (if he existed) landed at Cymenshore, which most historians believe is near Selsey. Wilfrid set up the See there. it was short lived as Sussex was conquered by Wessex and the capital moved to Winchester, and then came the Normans!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wilfridselsey (talkcontribs) 12:56, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Map discussion[edit]

Yorkshirian recently added this new version of an old map to this article; it was removed by Deacon of Pndapetzim and re-added by Yorkshirian. I'd like to replace it with this map instead, which doesn't use boundaries. The changes were made to several articles, so to centralize discussion, please post at Talk:Mercia#Map if you have an opinion. Mike Christie (talk) 02:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was merge into Kingdom of Sussex. -- Revcasy (talk) 17:32, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Merger proposal - South Saxons[edit]

The South Saxons article itself states that "The terms "South Saxons" and "Kingdom of Sussex" are interchangeable", so why two articles? JimmyGuano (talk) 21:15, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree this page should be merged as suggested. It would be a good time to review it and update the references etc. I think that it will need a fair amount of work. It would be easier to do it if all was in the same place Wilfridselsey (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:30, 19 August 2009 (UTC).

Surely the obvious reason for not merging is that "South Saxons" is about the people and "Kingdom of Sussex" is about the political entity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
You are right the Kingdom existed as a political entity. However, that entity only lasted a relatively short period and the South Saxons would have existed before and also after the Kingdom that was conquered by Wessex. It would therefore be sensible to merge the Kingdom of Sussex into the South Saxons rather than the other way roundWilfridselsey (talk) 11:09, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Support merge. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 14:40, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Surely the only reason that the "South Saxons" are identified as a seperate people at all is that they happened to be the group of "Saxons" who settled in the area that later came to be known as Sussex. The modern interpretation of the emergence of anglo-saxon kingdoms on the island of Britain is that of settlement by a minority (not invasion), with the majority indigenous population acommodating and incorporating themselves into the culture of the new arrivals. So the question of who the "South Saxons" even were by the time the kingdom was conquered by Wessex is more than a little fuzzy and complicated. Because Bede thought in terms of different races of people conquering various areas of Britain does not mean that we should, particularly when the archeological evidence and modern historiography supports a totally different view. I believe that "South Saxons" should be merged with "Kingdom of Sussex". Revcasy (talk) 12:41, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Support merge. Metabaronic (talk) 19:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good. Sadads (talk) 20:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

The archaeology identifies where the South Saxons came from, by comparing burial customs and pottery designs, with those in the German homelands. However there is a dearth of archaeology as far as authenticating foundation legends, regnal lists or numbers of settlers. I am not sure that the argument about whether the Saxons were just a military elite, who took over the running of the kingdom or whether it was a more general migration has been resolved yet. However, I think that the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain article is a more appropriate place for this particular discussion rather than the "South Saxons", interesting though it is?Wilfridselsey (talk) 19:44, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Which page are we using as the primary article? I would suggest Kingdom of Sussex, that way, as Wilfridselsey points out it is less about the people and more about the entity. Sadads (talk) 13:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree. That was my understanding to begin with.Revcasy (talk) 14:25, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Article merged: See old talk-page here —Preceding unsigned comment added by Revcasy (talkcontribs) 12:27, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Settlement origins[edit]

Have a look at File:Saxon.emigration.5th.cen.jpg, and note the references and page numbers cited. It credibly suggests (but does not assert) that Sussex origins are from Saxons who had migrated from their German homelands to coastal France, and then re-migrated to southern England. This would account for the relatively late (ie, later than the earliest settlements along the Thames and east coast) arrival in Sussex. Also, as a generality, settlements in Sussex from Saxon points along the French coast (the Boulonnais, the Ponthieu, the Bessin, the Caen area) makes more sense than sailing from Germany around the English coast to southern England, given that we know that settlements existed along the French coast and were later abandoned in the same timeframe as the Sussex settlements. Anecdotal instances of settlement direct from Saxony are of course possible.

Note that this is consistent with archaeological finds ... ie, Saxons brought their culture and customs from Saxony to the French coast and thence to Sussex (rather than assuming it was a direct Saxony to Sussex transfer). And note that there are no serious inconsistencies with the AS Chronicle (in which 5th century entries are necessarily oral histories and creative creationism, as the Saxons were not literate until the early 7th century).

On a related but slightly different topic, the idea or "hypothesis" of foederate treaties or hired mercenaries seems (to me) to be creative fiction posed as "conjectural history" ... (1) all indications are that late-Roman and post-Roman Britain was weak, poor, disunited and in-collapse; there was no political entity strong enough to make a treaty, and certainly no one who could credibly offer to pay for a mercenary force. (2) Why would the Saxons, dominant on the sea and raiding at will, bind themselves as underlings to anyone who obviously could not pay them, especially when the Saxons were in a position to take what they wanted? (3) After moving to Britain the Saxons continued their raiding along coastal France, continuing to be a major threat to Frankish coastal territory (eg, there are credible accounts of large-scale Saxon raids all the way south to the Garonne River) ... this is hardly consistent with an assertion that the Saxons were treaty foederates or Romano-British paid mercenaries.

Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 18:06, 21 June 2014 (UTC)