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By Dr Barbara Yorke

Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England makes use of the newest examine to supply a different survey of the six significant Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and their royal households. This booklet offers with the innovations of rule, the explanations for achievement and failure and the dynamics of switch within the workplace of king.

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The apparent rules governing royal succession in Kent may be modelled on the practices of the Merovingian royal house. But disentangling Frankish from other influences is not always an easy matter, for the kings of Kent and Francia were heirs to common Germanic and imperial traditions. 128 A Germanic king could only control his kingdom and win his battles with the aid of the nobility, but the Kentish nobles are elusive and are generally only glimpsed witnessing charters, attending councils or approving lawcodes.

Presumably the internal subdivision of the kingdom was a matter of some significance to the rulers of Kent which even the most powerful kings wished to preserve. One reason for its persistence may have been the opportunities it presented for manipulation of the succession. 83 However, this system of succession could not eliminate rivalry within the royal house. Eadric seems to have served as junior king to his uncle Hlothere which would presumably have meant that he would have succeeded to his uncle’s position in due course.

The kings conscientiously endowed and protected the churches as their legislation indicates, though they retained certain rights over church lands, and the archbishops refrained from objecting to such institutions as proprietary monasteries in which in any case, if two of the double monasteries are a reliable guide, standards of religious observance were high. Whether matters would have continued in such a harmonious strain if the Kentish kings had not Kent 39 been ousted in the last quarter of the eighth century we shall never know.

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