Heptarchy


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HEPTARCHY, Eng. law. The name of the kingdom or government established by the Saxons, on their establishment in Britain so called because it was composed of seven kingdoms, namely, Kent, Essex, Sussex, Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia, and Northumberland.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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Richard Abels, a modern historian of the Anglo-Saxon period, reports that "[t]he reeves of the late ninth and the early tenth century also led posses in pursuit of thieves...." (155) The Latin phrase which was applied to this popular use of armed force for keeping the peace is posse comitatus, literally "[t]he power or force of the county." (156) Historian Richard Kemble wrote that from the early days of the heptarchy and throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, the sheriff was "leader of the constitutional force, the posse comitatus or levee en masse of the free men." (157) Kemble used this fact in support of his argument that in the early Anglo-Saxon period:
And the age of the Internet and the personal computer is but the latest episode in the pageant of human progress ushered in a few centuries ago with the first flowerings of real human liberty since the classical age (with the exceptions of Venice, an island of prosperity and liberty that kept the torch of civilization burning in the West throughout the Dark Ages, and perhaps portions of the old Anglo-Saxon heptarchy).
[31] What were the seven kingdoms of the Saxon heptarchy? (one point for each)
From the many small and scattered social units of very early England, there gradually arose over the centuries the seven kingdoms of the Heptarchy. This regional grouping eventually gave way to a united England, under one central government.
I then tracked back to 'home' to find the following description of the website: http://www.ealdriht.org/wade.html: Miercinga Rice is a group dedicated to the study, revival, and practice of the preChristian religion of the Angles of the kingdom of Mercia (one of the seven kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy), and Anglo-Saxon Heathenry in general.
It even led to the investigation and publication of The New Heptarchy Series of Fabian tracts (1905-1906), which considered the application of administration to specific municipal services.
Even before Alfred's birth in 849 A.D., the original heptarchy of the Anglo-Saxon peoples had devolved into three dominant kingdoms.
The volume's scope and presentation testify to the effective cooperation of its editorial heptarchy of Carolyn Hares-Stryker, Lorraine Janzen-Kooistra, Allan Life, Julian Moore, Andrew Stauffer, David W.
But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686.