Elmet

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The Kingdom of Elmet between Mercia and Deira

Elmet (Old English: Elfed ) was an independent Brittonic kingdom. It occupied the area of what was later the West Riding of Yorkshire. Elmet appears in records during the Early Middle Ages between the 5th century and early 7th century. Its neighbor to the east was the Anglian kingdom of Deira. The Anglian kingdom of Mercia was to the south. To the west it bordered on the Irish Sea. Elmet was the last surviving British kingdom in the early Anglo-Saxon period.

History[change | change source]

Elmet emerged from Roman Britain as a British kingdom. The Elmetsæte (people of Elmet) were listed in Tribal Hidage as 600 hides.[a][1] Elmet may have originally been a subkingdom of the Brigantes.[1] Ceredig, the last king of Elmet, was defeated in 617 by Edwin of Deira around Leeds in the south Pennines.[2] Edwin expelled Ceredig from Elmet and from that time on Elmet was a part of Northumbria.

The kings of Elmet had a royal residence at Campodonum (possibly near Doncaster) and another at Loidis (Leeds).[3] The Elmetsæte were apparently Christian, at least by the time they were conquered by Northumbria. Bede wrote of an abbot named Thrydwulf and his monastery in Elmet wood.[3]

Kings of Elmet[change | change source]

  • Mascuid Gloff (born c.440) - May have been the first king. He was a son of King Gwrast Lledlwm of Rheged[4]
  • Madog - Died at the Battle of Catraeth c. 600[1]
  • Gwallawg - Fought against Deira c. 585[1]
  • Ceredig - Last king; expelled from Elmet by Edwin of Deira[5]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Elmet may have been larger. At the time the Tribal Hidage lists were made the lands of Elmet may have been divided between Northumbria and Mercia. The 600 hides may have been the Mercian portion.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Christopher A. Snyder, The Britons (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2003), p. 209
  2. Mike Ashley, The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens (New york: Carroll & Graf, 1999), p. 107
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Leo Sherley Price, revsd. R. E. Latham (London; New York: Penguin, 1990), p. 132
  4. http://www.britannia.com/bios/ebk/mascuiet.html Mascuid Gloff, King of Elmet (born c.440), Britannia.com, LLC
  5. Peter Hunter Blair, Roman Britain and Early England; 55 B.C.–A.D. 871 (New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1966), p. 192

Other websites[change | change source]