The Anglo Saxons were worse than the vikings.

Dec 2011

Athelstan was followed by his two brothers, Edmund and Eadred, it was Eadred who arrested Archbishop Wulfstan, the Norse king maker of York.
Edmund who was 16 at Brunanburh, had to retake the Five Boroughs shortly after his half brother's death. The difference in politics is probably down to the mothers of the three half brothers.
Edmund and Eadred's grandfather, Sigehelm, Ealdorman of Kent, had been killed at the battle of the Holm with the York/Essex Vikings after they declared Æthelwold ætheling (nephew of Alfred the Great) King of the Danelaw. Their father Edward the Elder had ordered a general retreat of the Wessex fyrd, but the Kent fyrd disobeyed and engaged the Viking army alone, Æthelwold and the Viking leaders were also killed. Edward married Sigehelm's daughter seemingly to placate Kent who thought his retreat cowardly. The crown would eventually go to Edmund's two sons.
Sep 2015
The invading army would be small and some would even return back to France. But this is not to be confused with the colonizing forces that followed. (1)The invasion killed about 30% of the local population. Now, (2)they didn't marry the locals; they replaced their elites entirely. To control the English, (3)they built castles all over England. Then the skilled workers and merchants (with their family) would travel from all over France to England (not just Normandy, only landless knights from Normandy would most likely travel there). (4)This was akin to a system of apartheid. The elites also had more children (higher survival rate and less morbidity). In the long run 10-20% is reasonable. In fact, the French could have become a majority there had the Plantagenet not lost to Phillip II. Before the French king cut off the Plantagenet, (5)England was basically a colony of France. People were constantly migrating there seeking opportunities. It wouldn't be high (the French historically don't like to migrate) but over a long period of time it added up. A low figure of 10% and a high figure of 20% is reasonable. And these would be concentrated in the South of England. This is reflected on genetics map as well. (6) South of England looks like North Western France.
BOLD Point 1: No way.
BOLD Point 2: Nope, wrong again.
BOLD Point 3: And again, not the case.
BOLD Point 4: Complete not the case.
BOLD Point 5:
BOLD Point 6: South England looks like north-east England.
Sep 2015
Eryl Enki said: Another point to make. Before the invasion 10-30% of the population in England were slaves (slaves not serfs).
Really? Where do you get this from? You can't keep quoting these figures whilst refusing to supply the references when requested. Russell and Darby both claim a figure of around 28,000 for the whole country.

Darby, H. C. (1977), Domesday England,
Russell, J. C. (1948), British Medieval Population
10%-30% might be about right.

Maurois (1937) says 30% in the west country. (yes he was French).
Morton (1938) says 9% nationally.
Sir Frank Stenton might be worth anyone's time, cough, splutter...

And recent scholarship might also be worth a glance?
Sep 2015
This I might provide. I'm just operating from memory (which is accurate in my case). The 28,000 you are referring were those listed in the book not the number of outright slaves.

Economists (about slaves being a sizeable minority)
How Norman rule reshaped England

According to the Domesday Book census, over 10% of England's population in 1086 were slaves (after the Normans not before)

Davis, David Brion (1970). The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture. Pelican Books. p. 53
The Normans had abolished slavery by about 1100 - see previous in this thread.
Council of London 1102 was a key moment.

Slaves were emancipated from royal estates in large numbers in the west country. We also know they were emancipated in some numbers from the many wills extant from the period - a certain amount of time after things began to calm down after the conquest.
Aug 2011
This I might provide. I'm just operating from memory (which is accurate in my case). The 28,000 you are referring were those listed in the book not the number of outright slaves.

I am happy to accept that two different scholars studying the same Domesday Data will arrive at differing answers. One factor is what words they use to indicate slave, another being how they treat overlapping hundreds, where the information is on ecclesiastical land for example. There are others such as the different ways the recorders wrote the information down on the several circuits. It is not necesarily a harmonised terminology. That is why I always prefer to see the text along with explanations of how they arrive at their figures. Darby counts slaves from Serui and Ancillae and lists them by county, Shropshire 918, Somerset 2120, Staffordshire 240, Warwickshire 281, Wiltshire 281 etc and arrives at the figure 28,164. If someone disagrees with his definition of slave or doesn't agree with how he manages overlapping data, they provide their reasons. But, one has to be able to have access to it.

I also like to cross check against other calculations and, whilst different, they are at least of the same order of magnitude. Percentages too are variable as whatever figure has been counted, it is expressed against a 'Domesday Total Population' and some of the early estimates are as low as 1.4 million, whereas 1.9 - 2.1 million seems to be quoted thesedays. It changes the percentage value.

How to count slaves in Domesday is a major problem for, as the Hull Database points out that slaves are the 4th largest group amongst the peasantry, about 10% but, if all the slaves are counted as individuals, they amount to no more than 2%. It is pointless discussing any figures unless one knows how the figures are calculated. An article in the Economist about international trade, Brexit and quoting Nigel Farage is not the correct context for a specific claim.
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Jan 2017
Republika Srpska
  • Maki


Language says they did not mix although place names say the Celts/Romano Brits lived among the Angle-Saxons.
Interesting. This might support the idea that early Anglo-Saxon rulers deliberately segregated their realms and kept Britons and Anglo-Saxons separate. As far as I know, a similar thing happened in Visigothic Spain.
Sep 2015
The AHRC (Research) Project 2007 on Doomsday Book ran for 2.5 years:

'the most recent investigations have concluded that slaves were probably counted on the same basis as other social groups, in which case they formed 10% of the population. In this case, their virtual disappearance within a generation of 1086 was a remarkable social transformation...'

They also hint that the final number may be a twinge higher?
Nov 2010
Interesting. This might support the idea that early Anglo-Saxon rulers deliberately segregated their realms and kept Britons and Anglo-Saxons separate. As far as I know, a similar thing happened in Visigothic Spain.
By the time they'd eliminated Suevos and Byzantines and taken over nearly all the country (except those rough Vascon types up north) it was a single kingdom, albeit riven with periodic power struggles. The Hispano-Roman nobility, bishopry and remains of the infrastructure basically still functioned, but usually on a subservient basis although some of the early 'Duxes' have Roman names. Bishops names changed over time from mostly Roman to mostly Visigothic.

The large Roman slavery/freemen network was still intact, working on the farms etc, mostly owned by Gothic landlords. This system was abolished by the invaders and became much more equitable, although of course the arabs had much use for slaves in their rightful place.

There were many simmering forces beneath the surface which make it easy to understand how the kingdom became muslim double quick.

On another note don't forget the Goths had been wandering about SE and S Europe. Probably they originated in an area which is now the back end of Poland (or Scandanavia according to Jordanes), but sources in the run up to Vouille in 507 have the Goths describing the Franks as 'Germans'

So although we do use a broad term 'Germanic' for all these people - we have to question how much the Goths actually were, or considered themselves to be German - if at all! We also tend to cover Iranian/Steppe migrators with the same broad blanket at times

Saxons I think we can call German, end of?
Aug 2011
Another poster says AS migration/invasion would not have been similar to the Normans Conquest . Why wouldn't it have been similar, as in a small ruling elite completely taking over, after a decisive battle -and also the 'Harrying'. In a short period of time, people just giving up and letting them get on with it, accepting it, anyone?
They are different in several ways. Britain was not a single unified kingdom when the first anglo saxons arrived and, when they did, they came in larger numbers over a long period of time, creating their own smaller kingdoms which coalesced only later into a handful of larger kingdoms. The process was protracted. British Kingdoms persisted. When the Normans came, they had to beat the english army, led by one king of England and, having done so, the anglo saxon Witan voted for William to be king. Most of England submitted and by 1075, only 9 years after the battle, all of England was under his authority and the only major threat was from Denmark. The Normans built castles and ruled the anglo saxons by force of arms if required whereas the original anglo saxons built villages on vacated lands. There are clues to the very early kingdoms in the tribal hidage which mentions:

Most of the smaller early kingdoms have disapeared by the time of Offa, and some appear to have moved northwards. The names Spalda and Lindesfarona appear north of the Humber on Spaldington Moor and on Lindesfarne, hypothesised by some to indicate that, whilst some tribes migrated further west in Britain, others migrated north, via the sea. Overall the numbers are higher and over several generations.
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