Robert P. Givens, president of RPG Consulting, enjoys learning about history in his free time. Robert P. Givens pursues a particular interest in Anglo-Saxon England.
After the Romans left England in the fifth century AD, large waves of settlers began arriving on the island’s shores from Germany. The largest numbers came from the regions of Angeln and Saxony, though the Jutes of Denmark also played a role. The Angles and Saxons, however, quickly became the most powerful groups in this extremely unsettled land.
The tribes first settled the eastern part of what is now England, then expanded westward. While the Saxons took charge of the South and parts of the Midlands, the Angles took the North, other areas of the Midlands, and the area now known as East Anglia. They rebuilt the stone buildings of the Romans with wooden structures and conversed in their own language, which became the first dialects of English.
The new settlers also organized into tribal groups, which then banded together to form kingdoms and sub-kingdoms. Of the four major kingdoms of East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, and Wessex, only Wessex remained intact through the Viking invasions. Its army slew Viking ruler Eric Bloodaxe and united the country under its first king, Edred.
Anglo-Saxons continued to rule the country until Edward the Confessor passed away in 1066. After a battle for the crown, William the Conqueror emerged victorious and began the modern legacy of English monarchy.