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Unformatted text preview: d speaking the same language, and being governed by the same institutions, they were naturally led, from these causes, as well as from their common interest, to unite themselves against the ancient inhabitants. The resistance however, though unequal, was still maintained by the Britons: but became every day more feeble: and their calamities admitted of few intervals, till they were driven into Cornwal and Wales, and received protection from the remote situation or inaccessible mountains of those countries. The first Saxon state, after that of Kent, which was established in Britain, was the kingdom of South-Saxony. In the year 477,q Aella, a Saxon chief, brought over an army from Germany; and landing on the southern coast, proceeded to take possession of the neighbouring territory. The Britons, now armed, did not tamely abandon their possessions; nor were they expelled, till defeated in many battles by their warlike invaders. The most memorable action, mentioned by historians, is that of MearcredesBurn;r where, though the Saxons seem to have obtained the victory, they suffered so considerable a loss, as somewhat retarded the progress of their conquests. But Aella, PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 33 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 reinforced by fresh numbers of his countrymen, again took the field against the Britons; and laid siege to Andred-Ceaster, which was defended by the garrison and inhabitants with desperate valour.s The Saxons, enraged by this resistance, and by the fatigues and dangers which they had sustained, redoubled their efforts against the place, and when masters of it, put all their enemies to the sword without distinction. This decisive advantage secured the conquests of Aella, who assumed the name of King, and extended his dominion over Sussex and a great part of Surrey. He was stopped in his progress to the east by the kingdom of Kent: In that to the west by another tribe of Saxons, who had taken possession of that territory. These Saxons, from the situation of the country, in which they settled, were called the West-Saxons, and landed in the year 495, under the command of Cerdic, and of his son Kenric.t The Britons were, by past experience, so much on their guard, and so well prepared to receive the enemy, that they gave battle to Cerdic the very day of his landing; and though vanquished, still defended, for some time, their liberties against the invaders. None of the other tribes of Saxons met with such vigorous resistance, or exerted such valour and perseverance in pushing their conquests. Cerdic was even obliged to call for the assistance of his countrymen from the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex, as well as from Germany, and he was thence joined by a fresh army under the command of Porte, and of his sons Bleda and Megla.u Strengthened by these succours, he fought, in the year 508, a desperate battle with the Britons, commanded by Nazan-Leod, who was victorious in the beginning of the action, and routed the wing in which Cerdic himself commanded. But Kenric, who had prevailed in the other wing, brought timely ass...
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- Spring '08