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The end of mid-Anglian paganism and the ‘Tribal Hidage’

  • E. Thurlow Leeds


The middle years of the seventh century witnessed several important changes and events in the Anglo-Saxon scene: firstly, the gradual stages of the conversion to Christianity; secondly, the resultant, but by no means uniformly final, abandonment of pagan burial rites, whether by cremation or interment; thirdly, the deposition of the Sutton Hoo ship; and fourthly, the issue of what Dr. Hodgkin has described as that interesting and important puzzle, the early assessment of population contained in the Tribal Hidage. It would be strange if archaeology were unable to cast some light upon the interaction of the first three, and it is possible, even probable, that it can contribute some help to the interpretation of the fourth.



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page 196 note 1 History of the Anglo-Saxons, ii, 401; see also p1. 53 on p. 389.

page 196 note 2 Leeds, E. T., Early Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology, pp. 96 ff.

page 197 note 1 British Museum, Guide to the Anglo-Saxon Antiquities (1923), fig. 42.

page 197 note 2 Proc. Suffolk Inst. Arch, xxvii, 17-19 ; Ipek, ix (1934), pl. 28, 12.

page 197 note 3 Corpus of Early Anglo-Saxon Great Square headed Brooches, no. 116, p. 70.

page 197 note 4 Leeds, , op. cit., pl. xxx e.

page 197 note 5 Museum, BritishGuide, etc., 13, pl. iv, 3.

page 198 note 1 Britain in the Dark Ages (Ordnance Survey, Southampton, 1939).

page 199 note 1 To the map, fig. 31 in Archaeologia, xci, 51, there can now be added nine examples from Nassington, Northants. (Antiq. Journ. xxiv, 120, pi. xxiv a), and one from Glaston, Rutland (ibid, xxx, 187). There is clearly a significant assemblage of the brooch-type in this region.

page 199 note 2 It is strange that so little notice is taken of this name. It is not mentioned in Place Names of Northants., Rutland, or Hunts., and yet both it and Feppinga, which is vouched for by Infeppingum, where Diuma, first bishop of mid-Anglia, is said to have died (? c. 575), are among early historically authenticated names. In the face of the marginal note in the Tribal Hidage there must surely be some connexion between them.

page 200 note 1 V.C.H. Hunts, i, 222–3.

page 200 note 2 Leeds, , op. cit., pl. xxii c and d.

page 200 note 3 Bede records (iii, 22) reconversion of the East Saxons. Cedd's mission for that purpose set out from mid-Anglia and may have taken south Cambridgeshire in its stride, if Diuma's influence had not extended so far.

The end of mid-Anglian paganism and the ‘Tribal Hidage’

  • E. Thurlow Leeds


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