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Iverson
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, 12:03 AM
I understand that the current counties are based on the Anglo Saxon heptarchy, so I was wanting to find out exactly which counties are in Mercia??

The Horned God
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, 03:10 AM
I've over-layed a map of Mercia from Wikipedia onto a map showing the present day counties of England. It's not 100 percent accurate, but perhaps it might be accurate enough.

Iverson
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, 03:33 PM
Thanks.
Its just that with regards to Buckinghamshire, wikipedia has contradictions. First it says that Buckinghamshire was part of Mercia, and then in another article it says that it was part of Wessex. Could it be that the borders changed due to warring kingdoms, and that is why that there is this seeming contradiction, the area of what we call Buckinghamshire was part of both Wessex and Mercia but at different time periods??

The Horned God
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, 04:56 PM
Buckinghamshire doesn't seem to be in Wessex, at least not in "Thomas Hardy's Wessex" (The only map of Wessex I could find with a distinct outline.).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Thomas_Hardy%27s_Wessex_map.png

Buckinghamshire would be No. 3 on this map.

Devils__Advocate
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, 11:42 PM
I understand that the current counties are based on the Anglo Saxon heptarchy, so I was wanting to find out exactly which counties are in Mercia??

Not entirely upon the kingdoms as most are set along the lines of historic shires which sway differently from the Heptarchy.

The demarcation of England was very malleable and there is much contention amongst English nationalists today as to what is and what isn't within one kingdom, of which; Wessex and Mercian 'regionalists' are more vocal on the subject than others.

I am a Wessex man! There! My hat is in the ring. But, the ultimate test for any movement which decides to engage communities in pre-destined, politically motivated movements is the actual communities perceived identity.

As good as 'The Horned God's' map is the reality is a different kettle of fish altogether. It can be summed up in one grainy GIF.

http://www.wessex.me.uk/wessexmapflash.gif

Berrocscir
Sunday, April 10th, 2011, 02:50 PM
There is an ongoing border dispute! However the Wessex claim to Oxfordshire in particular, has a logic to it. Oxfordshire saw the birth of Wessex with the tribe of the Gewisse (sometimes spelt 'Gewissae') settling in the Upper Thames Valley/Cotswolds in the mid to late fifth century and early sixth century. The Gewisse were later re-named the West Saxons (from where Wessex derives it's name) by Bede.

Oxfordshire was home to Wessex's first capital/ecclesiastical home - Dorchester-on-Thames. It was here that the West Saxon King Cynigils was baptised by St Birinus in 635. In return Cynigils granted Birinus some of his royal land around Banbury (North Oxon).
Cynigils also defeated the Britons probably at Bampton (West Oxfordshire) earlier in his reign.

From their Oxfordshire base the Gewisse moved South & West. The capital was moved to Winchester and the north become vulnerable to Mercian expansion. Oxfordshire fell under Mercian control for about 200 years. West Oxfordshire was briefly won back for Wessex in 752 at the Battle of Burford where the West Saxons defeated the Mercians.

Witney (West Oxfordshire) owes it prosperity due to its links to the Winchester diocese.

Another possible Oxfordshire link to Wessex is a battle between the West Saxons Cynric and Ceawlin at Banbury in 556 (although in fairness Barbury Hill in Wilts also lays claim to the battle site)

Wessex was back in control of the Oxfordshire region from 912 up until the conquest. West Oxfordshire especially has more historical links with the South West than the Mercian heartlands of the Trent Valley. Besides , today Witney itself boasts the Wessex Industrial Estate!!!

Similar claims can be made for Gloucester being originally Wessex territory too.

Iverson
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011, 04:14 PM
Isnt the border dispute due to the fact that the kingdoms were warring with one another, and so at different times areas of land were within the boundaries of different kingdoms??

Berrocscir
Thursday, April 14th, 2011, 04:26 PM
Isnt the border dispute due to the fact that the kingdoms were warring with one another, and so at different times areas of land were within the boundaries of different kingdoms??

Basically yes. The heptarchy's boundaries were in a state of flux for centuries. Additionally, sometimes a village in location A might pledge allegience to one King while villagers in location B five miles down the track might loyal (a pay tribute) to another.

Iverson
Friday, April 15th, 2011, 03:27 PM
Basically yes. The heptarchy's boundaries were in a state of flux for centuries. Additionally, sometimes a village in location A might pledge allegience to one King while villagers in location B five miles down the track might loyal (a pay tribute) to another.

Thanks for the confirmation.

If this is the case then what is the future of Anglo Saxon Regionalism today?? It seems that due to this flux there will be no absolutely definite boundaries that everyone will agree on simply because there was no definite boundaries in the first place.

Wrcca
Friday, April 15th, 2011, 07:11 PM
http://www.wessex.me.uk/wessexmapflash.gif

Aren't E+W Sussex, Surrey and Kent considered to be in Wessex?

Berrocscir
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 05:38 PM
Thanks for the confirmation.

If this is the case then what is the future of Anglo Saxon Regionalism today?? It seems that due to this flux there will be no absolutely definite boundaries that everyone will agree on simply because there was no definite boundaries in the first place.

Well, we just have to rise above our differences for the sake of our shared Englishness and our shared history. Those of us in the border areas need to accept that. Historic regionalists need to stick together!


Aren't E+W Sussex, Surrey and Kent considered to be in Wessex?
They were annexed later on in the Saxon period, but they were once kingdoms or sub-kingdoms independent from Wessex, not part of the West Saxon ancestral lands. In fact southern Hampshire was a Jutish province in the early English period. Modern Wessex regionalists it would seem are trying diplomacy!

BritishLad
Monday, June 13th, 2011, 10:23 AM
The Midlands counties, Cheshire, Lincolnshire etc

This map shows Mercian counties and the centuries they became Mercian:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0a/Kingdom_of_Mercia.PNG