Franks in Britain

Jun 2015
It's sus[ected there were some Franks amongst the Anglo-Saxon settlers.

I think it was a wide range of peoples who settled and conquered what was to become ENgland. And at that point, there was less differentiation between the Germanic peoples then. So Frisians, Jutes, Saxons, Angles, Franks, and maybe some proto-Norse.

For them being Christians, Christianity was present in Britain before St. Augustine and his mission to Kent. Celtic Christianity had roots in Ireland and Scotland, and there were already Christian saints like St. Alban.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
let's talk about muscle
Roman Britain was a bit short of the stuff
some supply had to come from somewhere
the obvious source were from those roman compatible Franks
then it just didn't happen
was there some blockage ?
saxons seems to be a pretty bad choice of a pretty bad kin of mercenaries
As Authun has pointed out, there may have been Frankish interactions with Britain back in the late third century.

Maximian (r. 285/6-305) appointed the Menapian officer Carausius as the admiral of a Roman fleet tasked with fighting off Frankish and Saxon piracy. He was stationed in Boulogne. The sources claim that he became arrogant with success and withheld recaptured booty from the provinces and the emperors, and Eutropius adds that there was suspicion that he was deliberately allowing Germans to plunder the provinces so that he could seize the booty for himself. In 286 Maximian thus ordered his execution, and upon learning this, Carausius had himself declared Augustus, retained control of the fleet and sailed to Britain, which he occupied. Carausius ruled Britain and, on-and-off, parts of Gaul from 286 to 293/4. His ongoing survival against the military efforts of Maximian was a source of embarrassment, but in 293 the Dyarchy of Diocletian and Maximian expanded into the Tetrarchy, and the Caesar Constantius was assigned the task of crushing Carausius. In 293 he recovered Boulogne from Carausius, and soon afterwards Carausius was murdered by his treasurer Allectus. Allectus took his place in Britain, but in 295 or 296 Constantius invaded Britain and overthrew Allectus.

Tetrarchic propaganda and later Roman historiography associated the British regime with the Franks. Constantius' troops supposedly saved London from rampant Franks, and Allectus and his troops were said to have dressed in the manner of Franks. Maximian and Constantius also fought campaigns against the Franks on the European continent, and seem to have regarded the enemy as allies of the British regime. It appears that the British regime and the Franks were to some degree conflated. In all likelihood Carausius and Allectus did employ Frankish auxiliaries and/or mercenaries, and may have indeed allied with Frankish leaders on the continent, but it's impossible to gauge the extent of their collaboration since we're dealing with hostile sources. It also doesn't help that the Tetrarchs framed Carausius and his forces as pirates.
Likes: authun


Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
During the roman period however, there are reports of Franks being chased through the streets of London. They may have been supporters of Carausius, a Menapian who had been tasked by Rome to build a fleet to deal with the Franks who had been raiding the gallic coast. The story is however that he struck a deal with the Franks, split the loot and sailed with them and his fleet to Britain, where he declared himself emperor.
During the Usurpation of Constantine III, circa 410, there's a mention of a Frankish general named Edobic. When Constantine was besieged in Arles by Romans loyal to Honorius, Edobic was sent to the Franks to raise an army and lift the siege. The sources don't specify where these Franks lived. They could have lived in Northeastern Gaul or they could have lived east of the Rhine. Edobic did not return in time, and Constantine was killed. As far as I know, no source gives Edobic's background. Was he part of the British garrison that crossed the Channel with Constantine in 408 or did he only join Constantine after the latter arrived in Gaul? As far as we know, the limited sources don't tell us.
Apr 2017
I've wondered about the Franks not moving into Britain ,
the place was ripe for the picking
there was no Roman garrison and serious security issues
the Franks had some credentials as Roman compatible
they even had the grudging approval of the Christian church as the lesser evil

it could easily have made Britain into Frankia !
Directly reported for insult.^^ If that would be a German board we could have a lot of fun now. "Why didn't you guys move to Britain...? It is the best place to be at!"
Yeah... for a Saxon maybe.^^
In respect to the British population on that board and as I do not believe you would get all the jokes I will answer you that as serious as possible. *waving a Union Jack

Understand who the Franks are and why they are and what they want and you understand why they did what they did.

Franks are like modern Kurds, with some differences.

The Franks are a made up culture, like German. They did not gave themselves that name – foreigners did.
And what these guys wanted is their own country/land to live in.

The zone they settled was cleaned by the Romans. That is prior Eburoni territory. The Eburoni were a strong tribal federation in Belgium/Northern-France/West-Germany, destroyed by Caesar.
That created an empty space in that region, where new guys could settle in.
And at the Germanic border zone of that – the Franks ended up.
The Franks are a mixed culture of local tribes that all ended up between the Roman Empire, the Saxons and the Suebi, prevented to get onto better lands.

That guys form an own identity and then took the land they tried to get on for centuries or were coming from. As if you could not live in the Roman Empire somewhere you went to.
BUT – like the Kurds are they always facing powers around them that are bigger than them.
That resulted into a militarization of that culture and the building of infrastructures that secured their survival.

Now while the Kurds have to compete with national states. The Franks had to compete with culture zones that inhabited multiple different 'national states'/tribes or tribal-federations.
So if the Kurds start a war with Turkey – all over Turkey is on the move.
If the Franks started a war with Saxons – only one group of Saxons was on the move.

Next are the Franks a very small population. Today you have 20 mil. living in the Frankish culture zones.
One Frankish tribe/tribal-federation is smaller or equal to Saxon tribe/tribal-federation.
So what they did was to unite the Franks and now you had (in theory) that 20 mil. Franks on the move if they waged war against one group of Saxons.

If we play this today: We are ca. 8 mil. in the Rhineland. – let's say - 4 mil. of us are Rhine-Franks.

If we wage war with Westphalians – they do have 9 mil. - we got 4.
Even if the Salians come with us – we are 8 mil. vs. 9 mil.

If we take all Franks (from France, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium) with us – we are 20 mil. vs. 9 mil.
So the Westphalians will loose that conflict, right?

And the Westphalians are a powerful tribe. In Lower Saxony (you got Eastphalians, Westphalians and Angles) today 8 mil. As Rhine-Franks we come 2:1 on them. That's good. But we can loose this and loose some good Frankish boys for sure.
As Franks in a whole we come 10:1 on each of them. Hamburg (Saxons) 2 mil again 10:1. Schleswig-Holstein (Saxons; yeah vikings - same thing for a Frank - all Danes) again 10: 1 . Huge advantage.

Next situation: That 1 mil. Franks or 2-3 you have in the Netherlands are competing with 25 mil. Saxons.
They are all divided and at each other throat - but they tell them what is going to happen.
The moment they got the whole Frankish zone behind them – you have 500.000 Frisians or 1 mil. vs. 20 mil. Franks.
So if the Frisians piss off that Franks – that is not a war of 1:1 or 2:1 anymore – you fight here 1 vs. 10 again.

The Franks in the Netherlands just want to make a living. They are not there because the want to tell everybody else what is party-line.

BUT like modern Kurds – for everybody in the Netherlands, Germany and Gaul/Rome/Suebi – they are a gypsy faction that has no own turf, no own history, no own right of being.
And like Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria jumps at the Kurds – every Saxon and Suebi jumps on them.

Now while the Kurds do have the problem that military wise they do not come on eye-height with Turkey or Iran or anybody else – the Franks came on eye-height.
The Kurds do not have an air-force. The Franks had.

What they did then – was to use their united strength to keep everybody around them away from their turf by implementing the same infrastructures that united them.
The reason why the Franks went onto the Saxons or people in Gaul is because, that people in Gaul, are former Suebi-factions who jumped on them OR are an ongoing threat because a Goth, a Burgundy, a Langobard have more in common with each other than they do have with a Frank. They share the same cultural background.

Now what the Franks will do is to unite them. In Frankish laws you only have Franks and no other German. You are Frank, Celt or Roman.
That is why France is called France finally.
But even France has 70 mil. - 6 mil or so are Franks. That is 10% (in theory). That 6 mil. have a good reason to keep the other 90% off their turf.
That is implementing infrastructures.

That is why Christianity was so important to them and the connection to Rome.
Rome / the church is like the UN here. The moment they acknowledged Frankonia – the Franks got what they want – like what the Kurds would get the moment the UN says: There is a Kurdistan on the map.
The moment that happens Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria do have a hard time arguing that Kurdistan is fiction.

While – and that is what you are wondering about – do the Kurds not want Kurdistan to invade Egypt or Greece – but you can bet on that they would do everything to prevent the Turkish jumping on them.
I do assume that is the base for your idea, that you think the Franks are like Romans.

That is why - here the Turkish have a point – if they say: If there is a Kurdistan that is a threat to us.
Like a united Saxony would have had a point, because that is exactly what happened.
While if you look what resulted out of that is a first world in Europe.
I am not so sure if the average Dutch, German, French or Belgian is very sad about his living standards and does not think that in the end we are not better of – than with the conservatives that fought that change and progress since the Roman times.

If the Saxons would have won this - that would be like modern Saudi Arabia would take over everybody in the ME – but a Saudi Arabia without oil.

And you can say about the Kurds whatever you want, compared to others around them – they do have the most progressive ideas. Terror organization yes or not – they do teach and care about environmental stuff more than some western first world countries are doing.
This is exactly the same thing what the Franks did. They had – for their time – the most progressive ideas – but they were not the Romans.

The Romans are a power house that started to increase its influence zone.
The Franks tried to become a power house to make a living first and for all.

This is why – if some vikings would have showed up in Gaul – the Romans would have wiped the floor with them and called to arms. They would have invaded.
The Franks gave a damn – if some Danes jump on some Goth on prior Roman/Gaulish territorry only because on paper that belongs to their influence zone.
The moment that vikings jumped on their core zone – that was game over. Then they hunted them cross the continent, but before this. Your problem. Not ours.

This is even why that stuff in Spain was so propaganda. It is the church applauding a one year old doing its first steps, because the church wanted them to become more like Rome and not only on paper.
That you even have the Franks motivated to go there – is because you have here the same guys – suddenly you fought against for 500 years in the north.
The only thing they cared about – is that nobody in southern France got onto the idea to threaten Frankish zones in the north.

And the last thing they cared about is an island in the Atlantic ocean west of them, like the Kurds give a damn about Egypt or India. Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Iran do care about India or Egypt.
They are like Rome. Power-players. They are established.
That is what the Kurds want to achieve and the Franks achieved and they try this in similar ways, while their conditions are not similar.

The Kurds copy more progressive ideas from the west – the Franks did the same from the Romans - that resulted of course into progress – but no Frank cared about bringing civilization to the barbarians to profit from this.
They could not, because they did not have that infrastructure.
Being Roman means something different than being Frankish even if there are similarities.

You can see this on that the Franks did not make people Frankish. If they would have done so – you would not have all that places on a map today cross Europe.
Westphalia is still a place on the map. That guys fought for 500 years their Frankish neighbours and we seperate till today from each other and live in the same state in the same country.
You do not call a Westphalian a Rhinelander or me a Westphalian. That is an insult over here.

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