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Coordinates : 51°30′10″N 0°05′16″W / 51.502786°N 0.087762°W / 51.502786; -0.087762

PART OF A SERIES ON THE

HISTORY OF LONDON

* Roman London
London
* Anglo-Saxon London * Norman and Medieval London * Tudor London * Stuart London * 18th-century London
18th-century London
* 19th-century London
19th-century London
* London
London
1900–39 * London
London
in World War II * Modern London (from 1945) * London
London
in the 1960s

SEE ALSO

* Timeline

London
London
portal

* v * t * e

The history of ANGLO-SAXON LONDON relates to the history of the city of London
London
during the Anglo-Saxon period , during the 7th to 11th centuries.

Romano-British Londinium
Londinium
had been abandoned in the late 5th century, although the London
London
Wall remained intact. There was an Anglo-Saxon settlement by the early 7th century, called Lundenwic , about one mile away from Londinium, to the north of the present Strand, London
London
. Lundenwic came under direct Mercian control in about 670. After the death of Offa of Mercia
Mercia
in 796, it was disputed between Mercia
Mercia
and Wessex
Wessex
.

Viking invasions became frequent from the 830s, and a Viking army is believed to have camped in the old Roman walls during the winter of 871. Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
re-established English control of London
London
in 886, and renewed its fortifications. The old Roman walls were repaired and the defensive ditch was re-cut, and the old Roman city became the main site of population. The city now became known as Lundenburh, marking the beginning of the history of the City of London
London
. Sweyn Forkbeard attacked London
London
unsuccessfully in 996 and 1013, but his son Cnut the Great finally gained control of London, and all of England, in 1016.

Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
, the step-son of Cnut, became king in 1042. He built Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
, the first large Romanesque church in England, consecrated in 1065, and the first Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
. Edward's death led to a succession crisis, and ultimately the Norman invasion of England .

CONTENTS

* 1 Early settlement * 2 Lundenwic * 3 Viking attacks * 4 Lundenburh * 5 10th century London
London
* 6 The Vikings\' return * 7 Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
and the Norman invasion * 8 Notes * 9 References * 10 External links

EARLY SETTLEMENT

Following the virtual abandonment of the Roman city, the area's strategic location on the River Thames
River Thames
meant that the site was not deserted for long. From the late 5th century, Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
began to inhabit the area.

There is almost no reliable evidence about what happened in the London
London
area during the Sub-Roman or so-called "Dark Ages " period from around 450 to 600. Although early Anglo-Saxon settlement avoided the area immediately around Londinium, there was occupation on a small scale of much of the hinterland on both sides of the river. There is no contemporary literary evidence, but the area must for some time have been an active frontier between the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
and the Britons .

LUNDENWIC

London
London
and the kingdom of Essex, which for a period of time included Middlesex, Surrey
Surrey
and Kent

Early Anglo-Saxon settlement in the London
London
area was not on the site of the abandoned Roman city, although the Roman London
London
Wall remained intact. Instead, by the 7th century a village and trading centre named Lundenwic was established approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the west of Londinium
Londinium
(named Lundenburh, or " London
London
Fort", by the Anglo-Saxons), probably using the mouth of the River Fleet
River Fleet
as a trading ship and fishing boat harbour.

In the early 8th century, Lundenwic was described by the Venerable Bede
Bede
as "a trading centre for many nations who visit it by land and sea". The Old English
Old English
term wic or "trading town" ultimately derived from the Latin
Latin
word vicus , so Lundenwic meant " London
London
trading town".

Archaeologists were for many years puzzled as to where early Anglo-Saxon London
London
was located, as they could find little evidence of occupation within the Roman city walls from this period. However, in the 1980s, London
London
was rediscovered, after extensive independent excavations by archaeologists Alan Vince and Martin Biddle were reinterpreted as being of an urban character. In the Covent Garden area, excavations in 1985 and 2005 have uncovered an extensive Anglo-Saxon settlement that dates back to the 7th century. The excavations show that the settlement covered about 600,000 m2 (6,500,000 sq ft), stretching along the north side of the Strand (i.e. "the beach") from the present-day National Gallery
National Gallery
site in the west to Aldwych
Aldwych
in the east.

By about 600, Anglo-Saxon England
Anglo-Saxon England
had become divided into a number of small kingdoms within what eventually became known as the Heptarchy
Heptarchy
. From the mid-6th century, London
London
was incorporated into the Kingdom of Essex , which extended as far west as St Albans
St Albans
and for a period included Middlesex
Middlesex
and Surrey
Surrey
.

In 604, Sæberht of Essex was converted to Christianity and London received Mellitus
Mellitus
, its first post-Roman Bishop of London
London
. At this time Essex owed allegiance to Æthelberht of Kent
Æthelberht of Kent
and it was under Æthelberht that Mellitus
Mellitus
founded the first cathedral of the East Saxons , which is traditionally said to be on the site of an old Roman temple of Diana (although the 17th century architect Sir Christopher Wren found no evidence of this). The original building would have been only a modest church at first and it may well have been destroyed after Mellitus
Mellitus
was expelled from the city by Sæberht's pagan successors in 616. The majority of London's population remained pagan during the larger part of the 7th century, and the bishop's seat was occupied only intermittently, by Cedd
Cedd
between 653 and 664, and by Wine between 666 and c. 672. The bishopric of London
London
was re-established for good in 675, when the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
, Theodore of Tarsus
Theodore of Tarsus
, installed Earconwald as bishop.

Lundenwic came under direct Mercian control in about 670, as Essex became gradually reduced in size and status. After the death of Offa of Mercia
Mercia
in 796, it was disputed between Mercia
Mercia
and Wessex.

VIKING ATTACKS

Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great

London
London
suffered attacks from Vikings
Vikings
, which became increasingly common from around 830 onwards. It was attacked in 842 in a raid that was described by a chronicler as "the great slaughter". In 851, another raiding party, reputedly involving 350 ships, came to plunder the city.

In 865, the Viking Great Heathen Army
Great Heathen Army
launched a large scale invasion of the small kingdom of East Anglia . They overran East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria and came close to controlling most of Anglo-Saxon England. By 871 they had reached London
London
and they are believed to have camped within the old Roman walls during the winter of that year. Although it is unclear what happened during this time, London
London
may have come under Viking control for a period.

In 878, West Saxon forces led by Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
defeated the Vikings
Vikings
at the Battle of Ethandun and forced their leader Guthrum
Guthrum
to sue for peace. The Treaty of Wedmore and the later Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum
Guthrum
divided England and created the Danish controlled Danelaw .

LUNDENBURH

Plaque in the City noting the restoration of the city by Alfred .

English rule in London
London
was restored by 886. Alfred quickly set about establishing fortified towns or burhs across southern England to improve his kingdom's defences: London
London
was no exception. Within ten years, the settlement within the old Roman walls was re-established, now known as Lundenburh. The old Roman walls were repaired and the defensive ditch was re-cut. These changes effectively marked the beginning of the present City of London, the boundaries of which are still to some extent defined by its ancient city walls.

As the focus of Lundenburh was moved back to within the Roman walls, the original Lundenwic was largely abandoned and in time gained the name of Ealdwic, 'old settlement', a name which survives today as Aldwych
Aldwych
.

10TH CENTURY LONDON

A coin probably minted in London
London
during the reign of Ethelred the Unready

Alfred appointed his son-in-law Earl Æthelred of Mercia
Mercia
, the heir to the destroyed kingdom of Mercia, as Governor of London
London
and established two defended Boroughs to defend the bridge, which was probably rebuilt at this time. The southern end of the bridge was established as the Southwark
Southwark
or Suthringa Geworc ('defensive work of the men of Surrey'). From this point, the city of London
London
began to develop its own unique local government.

After Æthelred's death, London
London
came under the direct control of English kings. Alfred's son Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder
won back much land from Danish control. By the early 10th century, London
London
had become an important commercial centre. Although the political centre of England was Winchester
Winchester
, London
London
was becoming increasingly important. Æthelstan
Æthelstan
held many royal councils in London
London
and issued laws from there. Æthelred the Unready
Æthelred the Unready
favoured London
London
as his capital and issued his Laws of London
London
from there in 978.

THE VIKINGS\' RETURN

It was during the reign of Æthelred that Vikings
Vikings
resumed their raids, led by Sweyn Forkbeard
Sweyn Forkbeard
of Denmark
Denmark
. London
London
was attacked unsuccessfully in 994, but numerous raids followed. In 1013, London underwent a long siege and Æthelred was forced to flee abroad.

Æthelred returned with his ally the Norwegian king Olaf and reclaimed London. A Norse saga tells of a battle during the Viking occupation where the English king Æthelred returned to attack Viking-occupied London. According to the saga, the Danes lined London Bridge and showered the attackers with spears.

Undaunted, the attackers pulled the roofs off nearby houses and held them over their heads in the boats. Thus protected, they were able to get close enough to the bridge to attach ropes to the piers and pull the bridge down, defeat the Vikings
Vikings
and ending the occupation of London. There is some speculation that the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is Falling Down " stems from this incident. Following Æthelred's death on 23 April 1016, his son Edmund Ironside
Edmund Ironside
was declared king. Medieval impression depicting Edmund Ironside (left) and Cnut (right).

Sweyn's son Cnut the Great
Cnut the Great
continued the attacks in, harrying Warwickshire
Warwickshire
and pushing northwards across eastern Mercia
Mercia
in early 1016. Edmund remained in London, still unsubdued behind its famous walls, and was elected king after the death of Aethelred, but Cnut returned southward and the Danish army evidently divided, some dealing with Edmund, some besieging London.

There was a battle fought at Penselwood
Penselwood
, in Somerset
Somerset
and a subsequent battle at Sherston , in Wiltshire
Wiltshire
, which was fought over two days but left neither side victorious. Edmund was able to temporarily relieve London, driving the enemy away and defeating them after crossing the Thames at Brentford
Brentford
. Suffering heavy losses, he withdrew to Wessex
Wessex
to gather fresh troops, and the Danes again brought London
London
under siege, but after another unsuccessful assault they withdrew into Kent under attack by the English, with a battle fought at Otford
Otford
.

On 18 October 1016, the Danes were engaged by Edmund's army as they retired towards their ships, leading to the Battle of Assandun
Battle of Assandun
. In the ensuing struggle, Eadric Streona
Eadric Streona
, whose return to the English side had perhaps only been a ruse, withdrew his forces from the fray, bringing about a decisive English defeat. Edmund fled westwards, and Cnut pursued him into Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
, with another battle probably fought near the Forest of Dean
Forest of Dean
.

On an island near Deerhurst
Deerhurst
, Cnut and Edmund - who had been wounded - met to negotiate terms of peace. It was agreed that all of England north of the Thames was to be the domain of the Danish prince, while all to the south was kept by the English king, along with London. Accession to the reign of the entire realm was set to pass to Cnut upon Edmund's death.

Edmund died on 30 November, within weeks of the agreement. Some sources claim Edmund was murdered, although the circumstances of his death are unknown. In accord with the treaty, Cnut was left as king of all of England. His coronation was in London, at Christmas, with recognition by the nobility in January the next year at Oxford.

Cnut was succeeded briefly by his sons, Harold Harefoot
Harold Harefoot
and Harthacnut
Harthacnut
, after which the Saxon line was restored when Cnut's stepson Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
became king in 1042.

EDWARD THE CONFESSOR AND THE NORMAN INVASION

Following Harthacnut's death on 8 June 1042, Godwin, the most powerful of the English earls, supported Edward, who succeeded to the throne. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
describes the popularity he enjoyed at his accession — "before he was buried, all the people chose Edward as king in London." Edward was crowned at the cathedral of Winchester
Winchester
, the royal seat of the West Saxons, on 3 April 1043.

Modern historians reject the traditional view that Edward mainly employed Norman favourites, but he did have foreigners in his household. Chief among them was Robert of Jumièges
Robert of Jumièges
, who came to England in 1041, becoming Bishop of London
London
in 1043. According to the Vita Ædwardi Regis
Vita Ædwardi Regis
, he became "always the most powerful confidential adviser to the king".

When Edward appointed Robert of Jumièges
Robert of Jumièges
as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1051, he chose the leading craftsman Spearhafoc to replace Robert as bishop of London.

Edward's Norman sympathies are most clearly seen in the major building project of his reign, Westminster Abbey, the first Norman Romanesque church in England. This was commenced between 1042 and 1052 as a royal burial church, consecrated on 28 December 1065, completed after his death in about 1090, and demolished in 1245 to make way for Henry III's new building, which still stands. It was very similar to Jumièges Abbey
Jumièges Abbey
, which was built at the same time. Robert of Jumièges must have been closely involved in both buildings, although it is not clear which is the original and which the copy.

Following Edward's death, no clear heir was apparent and his cousin, Duke William of Normandy , claimed the throne. The English Witenagemot met in the city and elected Edward's brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson , as king: Harold was crowned in Westminster Abbey. William, outraged by this, then invaded England.

NOTES

* ^ Extract from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5 * ^ "Londinium". www.economist.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. * ^ Channel 4 Time Team * ^ A B Patrick Ottaway. Archaeology in British Towns: From the Emperor Claudius to the Black Death. * ^ Origins of Anglo-Saxon London
London
Archived October 26, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, pp. 152–3; Williams, A., Æthelred the Unready The Ill-Counselled King, Hambledon ;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v

* t * e

History of London
History of London

EVOLUTION

* Londinium
Londinium
* Lundenwic * City of London
London
* City of Westminster
City of Westminster
* Middlesex
Middlesex
* County of London
London
* Greater London
London
* Timeline

PERIODS

* Roman London
London
* Anglo-Saxon London * Norman and Medieval London * Tudor London * Stuart London * 18th-century London
18th-century London
* 19th-century London
19th-century London
* 1900–39 * The Blitz
The Blitz
* 1945–2000 * 21st century

EVENTS

* Peasants\' Revolt * Black Death * Great Plague * Great Fire * 1854 cholera outbreak * Great Stink * Great Exhibition * 1908 Franco-British Exhibition * The Battle of Cable Street * Festival of Britain
Festival of Britain
* Great Smog * Swinging London * London
London
Plan * 1966 FIFA World Cup Final
1966 FIFA World Cup Final
* 7/7 bombings * Olympic Games (1908 * 1948 * 2012 ) * 2012 Summer Paralympics
2012 Summer Paralympics
* Grenfell Tower fire
Grenfell Tower fire

GOVERNMENT

* Metropolitan Board of Works
Metropolitan Board of Works
* London
London
County Council * Greater London
London
Council * Greater London
London
Authority * London
London
Assembly * Mayor of London
London
* London
London
independence

SERVICES

* Bow Street Runners
Bow Street Runners
* Metropolitan Police Service * London
London
Ambulance Service * London
London
Fire Brigade * Port of London
London
Authority * London
London
sewerage system * London
London
Underground

CITY OF LONDON

* City of London
London
Corporation * Lord Mayor of the City of London
London
* Wards of the City of