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THE object of the First Book was generally to give a clear view of the principles upon which the original settlement of the Anglosaxons was founded. But as our earliest fortunes are involved in an obscurity caused by the almost total absence of contemporary records, and as the principles themselves are not historically developed in all their integrity, at least in this country, many conclusions could only be arrived at through a system of induction, by comparing the known facts of Teutonic history in other lands, or at earlier periods, by tracing the remnants of old institutions in their influence upon society in an altered, and perhaps somewhat deteriorated, condition, and lastly by general reasoning derived from the nature of society itself. This



Second Book is however devoted to the historical development of those principles, in periods whereof we possess more sufficient record, and to an investigation of the form in which, after a long series of compromises, our institutions slowly and gradually unfolded themselves, till the close of the Anglosaxon monarchy. The two points upon which this part of the subject more particularly turns, are, the introduction of Christianity, and the progressive consolidation and extension of the kingly power; and round these two points the chapters of this Book will naturally group themselves. It is fortunate for us that the large amount of historical materials which we possess, enables us to follow the various social changes in considerable detail, and renders it possible to let the Anglosaxons tell their own story to a much greater extent than in the first Book.

In the course of years, continual wars had removed a multitude of petty kings or chieftains from the scene; a consolidation of countries had taken place; actual sovereignty, grounded on the law of force, on possession or on federal compacts, had raised a few of the old dynasts above the rank of their fellows; the other nobles, and families of royal lineage, had for the most part submitted to the law of the comitatus, swelling the ranks, adorning the court, and increasing the power of princes who had risen upon their degradation; and at the commencement of the seventh century, England presented the extraordinary spectacle of at least eight independent kingdoms, of greater or less power and

influence, and, as we may reasonably believe, very various degrees of civil and moral cultivation. In the extreme south-eastern corner of the island was the Kentish confederation, comprising in all probability the present counties of Kent, Essex, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex, whose numerous kings acknowledged the supremacy of Selberht, the son

of Eormanríc, a prince of the house of Escings, originally perhaps a Sussex family, but who claimed their royal descent from Wóden, through Hengist, the first traditional king of Kent. Under this head three of the eight named kingdoms were thus united; but successful warlike enterprise or the praise of superior wisdom had extended the political influence of the Escing even to the southern bank of the Humber. Next to Sussex, along the southern coast, and as far westward as the border of the Welsh in Dorsetshire or Devon, lay the kingdom of the Westsaxons or Gewissas, which stretched northward to the Thames and westward to the Severn, and probably extended along the latter river over at least a part of Gloucestershire: this kingdom, or rather confederation, comprised all or part of the following counties; Hampshire with the Isle of Wight, a tributary sovereignty; Dorsetshire, perhaps a part of Devonshire; Wiltshire, Berkshire, a portion of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Middlesex, up to the Chiltern Hills. Eastanglia occupied the extreme east of the island, stretching to the north and west up to the Wash and the marshes of Lincoln and Cambridgeshire, and comprehending, together with its marches, Norfolk and Suffolk, and part at least of Cambridge, Hunting

don, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Mercia with its dependent sovereignties occupied nearly all the remaining portion of England east of the Severn and south of the Humber, including a portion of Herefordshire, and probably also of Salop, beyond the western bank of the former river while two small kingdoms, often united into one, but when separate, called Deira and Bernicia, filled the remaining space from the Humber to the Pictish border, which may be represented by a line running irregularly north-east from Dumbarton to Inverkeithin'. In the extreme west the remains of the Keltic populations who had disdained to place

There is not much positive evidence on this subject: but perhaps the following considerations may appear of weight. The distinctive names of Water in the two principal Keltic languages of these islands, appear to be Aber and Inver: the former occurs frequently in Wales, the latter never: on the other hand, Aber rarely, if ever, occurs in Ireland, while Inver does. If we now take a good map of England and Wales and Scotland, we shall find the following data.

In Wales:

Aber-ayon, lat. 51° 37' N., long. 3° 46′ W.
Aber-afon, lat. 51° 37' N.

Abergavenny, lat. 51° 49′ N., long. 3° 0'.
Abergwilli, lat. 51° 51' N., long. 4° 16' W.
Aberystwith, lat. 52° 24' N., long. 4° 6' W.
Aberfraw, lat. 53° 12' N., long. 4° 30′ W.
Abergee, lat. 53° 17' N., long. 3° 17′ W.
In Scotland:

Aberlady, lat. 56° 1' N., long. 2° 52′ W.
Aberdour, lat. 56° 4′ N., long. 3° 16′ W.
Aberfoil, lat. 56° 11′ N., long. 4° 24′ W.
Abernethy, lat. 56° 20' N., long. 3° 20′ W.
Aberbrothic, lat. 56° 33′ N., long. 2o 35′ W.
Aberfeldy, lat. 56° 37' N., long. 3° 55′ W.
Abergeldie, lat. 57° 5' N., long. 3° 10′ W.
Aberchalder, lat. 57° 7' N., long. 4° 44′ W.
Aberdeen, lat. 57° 8' N., long. 2° 8' W.
Aberchirdir, lat. 57° 35′ N., long. 2° 34' W.
Aberdour, lat. 57° 40′ N., long. 2° 16' W.


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