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“It's not clear what, if any, real political power the 'Bretwalda' exercised over the other kingdoms, but if Lindsey had an overlord in AD 605 I think it would most likely have been Aethelbert of Kent.”
“Aethelbert of Kent was 'Bretwalda' over the kingdoms south of the Humber (which would certainly have included Lindsey) when St Augustine died around AD 604-609 (Bede, Book II, Ch 3).”
“One question regarding dynastic matters and the Bretwalda - It was common in early 'Canada' for French settlers to marry into the Native tribes and take on Native names, and later it became common for Natives to take on French or Scottish identities A lot of modern Ontario Scots are what we used to call Black Scots or Countryborn, and a DNA test wouldn't find much Celt in there.”
“E.g. the East Angles called themselves Wuffingas according to Bede, and Wuffa was the grandfather of Raedwald who was Bretwalda in the 620s and very likely the Sutton Hoo man.”
“This Ethelbert was the Bretwalda, King of Kent, husband of the Christian queen Bertha.”
“Another theory is that Bretwalda refers to a war-leadership, or _imperium_, over the English south of the Humber, and has nothing to do with Britons or”
“Less likely is the theory of Palgrave that the Bretwaldas were the successors of the pseudo-emperors, Maximus and Carausius, and claimed to share the imperial dignity of Rome; or that of Kemble, who derives Bretwalda from the British word _breotan_, to distribute, and translates it "widely ruling.”
“The school reference librarian selected some 60 topics of English history -- Bretwalda, Sir Isaac Newton, East India Company, the Great Commoner, etc.”
“Nor was he actually king of all the subject tribes, for the under-kings still ruled, though they were under him as Bretwalda.”
“In token of his authority over the other kings of Bretwalda, Edwin used to have the tufa (a tuft of feathers on a spear, a military ensign of Roman origin) borne publicly before him, and he received tribute from the Welsh princes.”
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