In the Middle Ages, England faced a number of invasions from the Norse people living in Norway and Denmark. These raiders were known as Vikings. They attacked and invaded lands overseas to get riches and slaves which they brought back to their home countries. Some Vikings settled in the lands that they raided. They came to England after 793, and then to Northern France, where they established Normandy (the land of the Northman) in the early 10th century.
This led to Scandinavian, mainly Danish, migrants travelling to Britain from the 9th century onwards. They often settled in eastern half of England. The Anglo-Saxons, who formed the majority of the people of England at that time, fought back, and Alfred, the King of Wessex, defeated the Vikings’ Great Heathen Army in 878 at the Battle of Edington.
The Danish leader of the Vikings, Guthrum, made a peace settlement with Alfred that included the condition that Guthrum and his followers become Christian. Guthrum and Alfred divided the kingdoms of England between them, and the eastern part was known as the Danelaw, where the Danes ruled with their own laws. Many Danes settled in the kingdoms of East Anglia and Northumbria.