In 519, a man called Cerdic landed on the southern coast of England with 5 ships and a band of Saxon adventurers. 1,500 years later his descendants still provide the monarchs of England. This History of England Podcast covers Cerdic and the start of the kingdom he formed by 530.
At first the Britons appealed to Rome to come back and help them. They sent a piteous note to Aetius, the last effective Roman general which read:
‘ The Barbarians push us back to the sea, the sea pushes us back to the barbarians; between these two kind of deaths we are either drowned or slaughtered’.
Who was Cerdic ?
The background of the founder of the British Monarchy is not simple. Cerdic is a British name, not Saxon. So who was he ? He may simply have had a British mother - and so be a Saxon with a British name. Or he may have been a local Romano British official. Or maybe he was a British prince come to seek his fortune.
Cerdic arrived at the mouth of the River Test, and over the next 6 years he fought the local British kings, as you can see in the map. These culminated in the battle at Netley Marsh, where he defeated Nathanleod.
Cerdic died in 534, was bruied at Hurstboourne Tarrant in hampshire, and handed the kingdom on to his Grandson, Cynric.