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By the end of the sixth century the leaders of these communities were styling themselves kings, with the majority of the larger kingdoms based on the south or east coasts.They include the provinces of the Jutes of Hampshire and Wight, the South Saxons, Kent, the East Saxons, East Angles, Lindsey and (north of the Humber) Deira and Bernicia.Again, Bede was very clear that English imperium could on occasion encompass British and English kingships alike, and that Britons and Angles marched to war together in the early seventh century, under both British and English kings.It is Bede who provides the most vivid picture of a late sixth- and early seventh-century Anglian warlord in action, in the person of Æthelfrith of Northumbria, King of Bernicia (a kingdom with a non-English name), who rapidly built up a personal ’empire’ by military victories over the Britons of the North, the Scots of Dalriada, the Angles of Deira and the Britons of north-eastern Wales, only ultimately to experience disaster at the hands of Rædwald of East Anglia.

This in large part stems from attempts to develop visions of British success against the incoming Anglo-Saxons, as suggested by the Chronicles which were written in the ninth and mid-tenth century.Nick Higham is convinced that the success of the Anglo-Saxon elite in gaining an early compromise shortly after the Battle of Badon is a key to the success of the culture.This produced a political ascendancy across the south and east of Britain, which in turn required some structure to be successful.The Anglo-Saxons settled in small groups covering a handful of widely dispersed local communities. This mobility, which was typical across much of Northern Europe took two forms: the gradual shifting of the settlement within its boundaries or the complete location of the settlement altogether.These shifting settlements (called Wandersiedlungen or “wandering settlements”) were a common feature since the Bronze Age.

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