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Kingdom of Essex

The Kingdom of the East Seaxe (one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy) was founded around 500 AD, occupying territory to the north and east of London. Around 825 AD, the kingdom was merged with Wessex, and was eventually ceded by Wessex under the Treaty of Wedmore to the Danelaw control of the Danish kingdom of East Anglia . Essex is now a county in England.

Here are the Kings of Essex; the dates, names and achievements, like those of most early rulers in all countries of the Heptarchy, remain conjectural. This dynasty claimed descent from the god Seaxneat, not the god Woden (of which the other Saxon tribes claimed descent). This list of kings may omit whole generations.

This was a time when spellings varied widely, even within a document. A number of variations of the details below exist. Amongst these are the preference between þ and ð (hard and soft 'th').

Kings of the East Saxons (Essex)

Reign Incumbent Notes
527 to 587 Aescwine Æscvvine Cenfusing EstSeaxna Cyning
Æscvvine Rex Saxonum Orientalium
587 to ante604 Sledda Sledda Æscvvining EstSeaxna Cyning
Sledda Rex Saxonum Orientalium
ante604 to 616/7 Saebert Sæbryht Sledding EstSeaxna Cyning
Sæbryht Rex Saxonum Orientalium
616/7 to 617 Sexred Sexred Sæbryhting EstSeaxna Cyning
Sexred Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Joint king with Saeward ; killed in battle against the West Saxons
616/7 to 617 Saeward Sævvard Sæbryhting EstSeaxna Cyning
Sævvard Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Joint king with Sexred ; killed in battle against the West Saxons
617 to ante c.653 Sigeberht I the Little Sigebryht Sævvarding EstSeaxna Cyning
Sigebryht Parvus Rex Saxonum Orientalium
c.653 to 664 Sigeberht II the Good Sigebryht Sævvarding EstSeaxna Cyning
Sigebryht Sanctus Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Saint Sigeberht; Saint Sebbi (Feast Day 29 August)
660 to 664 Swithelm Svviþelm EstSeaxna Cyning
Svviþelm Rex Saxonum Orientalium
664 to 683 Sighere Sighere Sigebryhting EstSeaxna Cyning
Sighere Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Joint-king with Sebbi
664 to c.694 Sebbi Sebbi EstSeaxna Cyning
Sebbi Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Abdicated in favour of his son Sigeheard
c.694 to c.709 Sigeheard Sigeheard Sebbing EstSeaxna Cyning
Sigeheard Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Joint-king with his son Swaefred
c.695 to ante c.709 Swaefred Svvæfred Sigehearding EstSeaxna Cyning
Svvæfred Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Joint-king with his father Sigeheard
709 to 709 Offa Offa Sighering EstSeaxna Cyning
Offa Rex Saxonum Orientalium
c.709 to 746 Saelred Sælred Sigebryhting EstSeaxna Cyning
Sælred Rex Saxonum Orientalium
(aka Swebert) Probably joint-king with Swaefbert
c.715 to 738 Swaefbert Svvæfbryht EstSeaxna Cyning
Svvæfbryht Rex Saxonum Orientalium
Probably joint-king with Saelred
746 to 758 Svvithred Svviþred Sigemunding EstSeaxna Cyning
Svviþred Rex Saxonum Orientalium
758 to 798 Sigeric Sigeric EstSeaxna Cyning
Sigeric Rex Saxonum Orientalium
798 to 812 Sigered Sigered Sigericing EstSeaxna Cyning
Sigered Rex Saxonum Orientalium
812 to 825 Sigered Dux Saxonum Orientalium Rank reduced by Mercian overlords
c.825 Mercia defeated by Egbert of Wessex, sub-kingdom of Essex subsumed into Wessex

Sigered was the last king of Essex, and he ceded the kingdom to Egbert of Wessex.

East Anglia | Essex | Kent | Mercia | Northumbria | Sussex | Wessex
Others: Lindsey, Hwicce

Last updated: 11-08-2004 07:49:46