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After the Roman empire began to collapse and its political and military presence was withdrawn from the island of Britain around 410 AD, the resulting vacuum was filled by tribes of Jutes, Saxons and Angles from Denmark, Germany and the coastal areas of what is now Holland, competing for land and power. Seven main kingdoms emerged from the chaos, and became known as the Heptarchy. The seven were Essex, Sussex, Kent, Mercia, Northumbria, Wessex, East Anglia.

In, roughly, the middle of this period of Anglo-Saxon domination of Britain, the kingdom of Wessex established supremacy over the other leading kingdoms, and their line of rulers became the first to have claim to the title of King of All England.


The Kings of Sussex remain obscure and few of their names are known. Some were independent; some were sub-Kings under the rule of Mercia or Wessex; others, it has been suggested, were only regional rulers

Kings of Sussex
Aella 477-514
Cissa 514-?
Aethelwalh ?-685
Berhtun 685-686 (joint)
Andhun 685-?
Caedwalla 686-688
Wattus ?-692
Nothelm 692-c.714
Athelstan c.714-c.720
Nunna c.720-725 (possibly the same as Nothelm)
Athelbert 725-c.750
Osmund 758-772

Dukes in Sussex
Ealdwulf 765-c.791 (joint)
Elfwald c.772
Oswald c.772
Oslac c.772

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