The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – Part 1.


The island Britain is 800 miles long, and 200 miles broad. And there are in the island five nations; English, Welsh (or British) (2), Scottish, Pictish, and Latin. The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia (3), and
first peopled Britain southward. Then happened it, that the
Picts came south from Scythia, with long ships, not many; and,
landing first in the northern part of Ireland, they told the
Scots that they must dwell there. But they would not give them
leave; for the Scots told them that they could not all dwell
there together; “But,” said the Scots, “we can nevertheless give
you advice. We know another island here to the east. There you
may dwell, if you will; and whosoever withstandeth you, we will
assist you, that you may gain it.” Then went the Picts and
entered this land northward. Southward the Britons possessed it,
as we before said. And the Picts obtained wives of the Scots, on
condition that they chose their kings always on the female side
(4); which they have continued to do, so long since. And it
happened, in the run of years, that some party of Scots went from
Ireland into Britain, and acquired some portion of this land.
Their leader was called Reoda (5), from whom they are named
Dalreodi (or Dalreathians).

A.D. 449. This year Marcian and Valentinian assumed the empire,
and reigned seven winters. In their days Hengest and Horsa,
invited by Wurtgern, king of the Britons to his assistance,
landed in Britain in a place that is called Ipwinesfleet; first
of all to support the Britons, but they afterwards fought against
them. The king directed them to fight against the Picts; and
they did so; and obtained the victory wheresoever they came.
They then sent to the Angles, and desired them to send more
assistance. They described the worthlessness of the Britons, and
the richness of the land. They then sent them greater support.
Then came the men from three powers of Germany; the Old Saxons,
the Angles, and the Jutes. From the Jutes are descended the men
of Kent, the Wightwarians (that is, the tribe that now dwelleth
in the Isle of Wight), and that kindred in Wessex that men yet
call the kindred of the Jutes. From the Old Saxons came the
people of Essex and Sussex and Wessex. From Anglia, which has
ever since remained waste between the Jutes and the Saxons, came
the East Angles, the Middle Angles, the Mercians, and all of
those north of the Humber. Their leaders were two brothers,
Hengest and Horsa; who were the sons of Wihtgils; Wihtgils was
the son of Witta, Witta of Wecta, Wecta of Woden. From this
Woden arose all our royal kindred, and that of the Southumbrians

((A.D. 449. And in their days Vortigern invited the Angles
thither, and they came to Britain in three ceols, at the place
called Wippidsfleet.))
A.D. 455. This year Hengest and Horsa fought with Wurtgern the
king on the spot that is called Aylesford. His brother Horsa
being there slain, Hengest afterwards took to the kingdom with
his son Esc.
A.D. 457. This year Hengest and Esc fought with the Britons on
the spot that is called Crayford, and there slew four thousand
men. The Britons then forsook the land of Kent, and in great
consternation fled to London.
A.D. 465. This year Hengest and Esc fought with the Welsh, nigh
Wippedfleet; and there slew twelve leaders, all Welsh. On their
side a thane was there slain, whose name was Wipped.
A.D. 473. This year Hengest and Esc fought with the Welsh, and
took immense Booty. And the Welsh fled from the English like
A.D. 477. This year came Ella to Britain, with his three sons,
Cymen, and Wlenking, and Cissa, in three ships; landing at a
place that is called Cymenshore. There they slew many of the
Welsh; and some in flight they drove into the wood that is called



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