Tag Archives: Seaxnet

Æscwine of Essex

Title : King of Essex

Reign : c.560-587

Born :

Died :

Spouse :

Parents : Offa

Imaginary depiction of Æscwine from John Speed's 1611 "Saxon Heptarchy".

Imaginary depiction of Æscwine from John Speed’s 1611 “Saxon Heptarchy”.

Precious little is known regarding Æscwine and is listed as the first king of the East Saxons (Essex) in the Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies presumably from the ninth century.  It is stated that he is the father of Sledd, and then the son of Offa, son of Bedca, son of Sigefugi, son of Swæppa, son of Gesecg, son of Seaxnet the legendary founder of the Saxons.

More information is then given in later chronicles from the 12th and 13th Centuries, including, Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum, Roger of Wendover’s Flores Historiarum and Matthew Paris’ Chronica Majora.

It is possible that Æscwine was not a Saxon from Essex but a Jute from Kent.  Æscwine name is more Jutish in origin.  Essex was originally formed into a kingdom by the more aggressive Kent.  Firstly by Eormenric and secondly by his son Æthelbert I.  Bede places Eormenric’s death at 560.  It is possible that Æthelbert ruled in Essex while his father ruled in Kent and then on the death of his father another person of importance in Kent then ruled on in Essex, Æscwine.