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Unformatted text preview: ns, and killed by his own subjects, the East–Angles.q Ludican, his successor, underwent the same fate;r and Wiglaff, who mounted this unstable throne, and found everything in the utmost confusion, could not withstand the fortune of Egbert, who united all the Saxon kingdoms into one great monarchy. THE KINGDOM OF ESSEX
This kingdom made no great figure in the Heptarchy; and the history of it is very imperfect. Sleda succeeded to his father, Erkinwin, the founder of the monarchy; and made way for his son, Sebert, who, being nephew to Ethelbert, king of Kent, was persuaded by that prince to embrace the Christian faith.s His sons and conjunct successors, Sexted and Seward, relapsed into idolatry, and were soon after slain in a battle against the West-Saxons. To shew the rude manner of living in that age; Bede tells us,t that these two kings expressed great desire to eat the white bread, distributed PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 47 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 by Mellitus, the bishop, at the communion.u But on his refusing them, unless they would submit to be baptized, they expelled him their dominions. The names of the other princes, who reigned successively in Essex, are Sigebert the little, Sigebert the good, who restored Christianity, Swithelm, Sigheri, Offa. This last prince, having made a vow of chastity, notwithstanding his marriage with Keneswitha, a Mercian princess, daughter to Penda, went in pilgrimage to Rome, and shut himself up during the rest of his life in a cloyster. Selred, his successor, reigned thirty-eight years; and was the last of the royal line: The failure of which threw the kingdom into great confusion, and reduced it to dependance under Mercia.w Switherd first acquired the crown, by the concession of the Mercian princes; and his death made way for Sigeric, who ended his life in a pilgrimage to Rome. His successor, Sigered, unable to defend his kingdom, submitted to the victorious arms of Egbert. THE KINGDOM OF SUSSEX
The history of this kingdom, the smallest in the Heparchy, is still more imperfect than that of Essex. Aella, the founder of the monarchy, left the crown to his son, Cissa, who is chiefly remarkable for his long reign of seventy-six years. During his time, the South Saxons fell almost into a total dependance on the kingdom of Wessex; and we scarcely know the names of the princes, who were possessed of this titular sovereignty. Adelwalch, the last of them, was subdued in battle by Ceadwalla, king of Wessex, and was slain in the action; leaving two infant sons, who, falling into the hand of the conqueror, were murdered by him. The abbot of Redford opposed the order for this execution, but could only prevail on Ceadwalla to suspend it, till they should be baptized. Bercthun and Audhun, two noblemen of character, resisted some time the violence of the West-Saxons; but their opposition served only to prolong the miseries of their country; and the subduing of this kingdom wa...
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- Spring '08