were Germanic invaders who came from the Danish-German
border and conquered most of Roman Britannia,
giving the country its later name, England
(Angle land), and dividing it up into seven
Kingdom of the Angles
and the Ruthwell Cross
was the warlord who carved out the northern-most
Anglian kingdom, Bernicia, north of Hadrians
Wall, in the fertile farmlands around
the River Tweed. This
led to a struggle over territory in the
6th and 7th centuries with the Britons,
who were based at Dumbarton on the River
Clyde. It was a struggle that the Britons
seemed to lose.
power was in the ascendant. In 603 they
defeated Aedan, Gaelic King of Dál
Riata, at the battle of Degsastan.
In 638 the Bernicians took Edinburgh from
the Britons, but greater success followed
under their great warlord Oswui (641-670).
In a series of campaigns Oswui conquered
Dumfriesshire, Galloway, Kyle and the
Lothians. To the south he took the Angle
kingdom of Deira, that covered Yorkshire,
and forged a new kingdom - Northumbria.
So great was Oswuis power that both
the Picts and the Gaels recognised his
overlordship. Only after the Picts defeated
the Angles at Dunnichen in 685 AD did
Northumbrian expansion halt and their
overlordship was finally broken.
power of the Angles was smashed in 867
AD when the Vikings, under Ivarr and Halfdan,
took York. All of Northumbria south of
the Tyne was lost. The Angles barely held
on in Bamburgh, their kingly status reduced
to that of an Earl. Soon the Angles, with
their power depleted, looked to the new
kings of Alba, like Constantine II, for
protection from the Vikings in York.
In 954 Illuib, King Constantines
son, captured Edinburgh, and Anglian power
finally crumbled in Scotland when Malcolm
II defeated the Northumbrians at the Battle
of Carham in 1018 - taking the Scottish
frontier to the Tweed.
Earls still played a part in Scottish
history. Earl Siward helped Malcolm Canmore
drive Macbeth from the kingship
of Alba at the Battle of Dunsinnan - Macbeth
didnt actually die there, as is
related in Shakespeares play, but
died three years later at Lumphanan in
Aberdeenshire at the hands of Malcolm
After the Norman conquest of England,
the last Anglian Earl of Northumbria decided
Scotland was a safer option than England
and fled to Malcolm's court for sanctuary.
for Ruthwell Cross Factsheet