The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century
The central argument of The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century is that the English kingdom which existed at the time of the Norman Conquest was defined by the geographical parameters of a set of administrative reforms implemented in the mid- to late tenth century, and not by a vision of English unity going back to Alfred the Great (871-899). In the first half of the tenth century, successive members of the Cerdicing dynasty established a loose domination over the other great potentates in Britain. They were celebrated as kings of the whole island, but even in their Wessex heartlands they probably had few means to regulate routinely the conduct of the general populace. Detailed analysis of coins, shires, hundreds, and wapentakes suggests that it was only around the time of Edgar (957/9-975) that the Cerdicing kings developed the relatively standardised administrative apparatus of the so-called 'Anglo-Saxon state'. This substantially increased their ability to impinge upon the lives of ordinary people living between the Channel and the Tees, and served to mark that area off from the rest of the island. The resultant cleft undermined the idea of a pan-British realm, and demarcated the early English kingdom as a distinct and coherent political unit. In this volume, George Molyneaux places the formation of the English kingdom in a European perspective, and challenges the notion that its development was exceptional: the Cerdicings were only one of several ruling dynasties around the fringes of the former Carolingian Empire for which the late ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries were a time of territorial expansion and consolidation.
The Geographical Extension of Cerdicing Domination
The Cerdicings and Their Greater Subordinates from the Late Ninth to the MidTenth Century
The Cerdicings and the General Populace from the Late Ninth to the MidTenth Century
Administrative Change in the Mid to Late Tenth Century
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administrative Ælfric Æthelred Æthelred II Æthelred the Unready Æthelred’s Æthelstan Æthelstan’s reign Æthelweard Æthelwold Alfred Alfred’s Angelcynn Anglo-Saxon England Anglo-Saxon period Anglorum annal appears Archbishop ASC ABCD assemblies attestations Bamburgh bishops Britain Burghal Hidage burhs Cambridge Carolingian Cerdicing domination Cerdicings Charles-Edwards charters Chronicle Cnut Cnut’s Coinage coins Cumbrian D. H. Hill Danelaw dispute Domesday Anglia Domesday Book Eadred Eadwig ealdormen Early Medieval East Anglia Edgar Edgar’s reign Edmund Edward the Elder eleventh century English kingdom especially estates evidence Frankia Frankish heregeld hides History hundreds and wapentakes J. L. Nelson Keynes king’s kings Kingship land Late Anglo-Saxon late ninth late tenth century least legislation London Lordship magnates Mercian minting moneyers northern Northumbrians oaths Old English Oxford probably reeves references royal rulers Scandinavian Scottish shire meetings significant successors Tees tenth century Thames trans Viking vols Wales wapentakes Welsh Wessex West Saxon Wormald Wulfstan York