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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.
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
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.
In terms of focalization Geography brings us full circle from the Wessex of the Heptarchy through the intervening centuries, via such denizens as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Wilkie Collins, and even Elizabeth Gaskell, right up to Hardy's own creative nativity.
For the period, historians recognize seven main Anglo-Saxon realms, the heptarchy, but it is clear from Bede's account there are more numerous divisions, at least thirty.