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East Anglia and the invading Angles

Posted in Geography, Historical articles, History, Interesting Words, Invasions on Tuesday, 29 November 2011

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This edited article about English history originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 864 published on  5 August  1978.

The first Briton, picture, image, illustration

One of the invading Angles who established themselves in East Anglia by Richard Hook

There are a number of anglers in East Anglia but this is not the reason for the area’s name.

Originally this was the Eastern territory of the Angles, who were forced to leave their home in Angeln, in Northern Germany, at the end of the 5th century. These were the people who, with their neighbours, the Saxons, came to settle in Britain after the Romans had left, and gradually forced the original Britons westwards into Wales and Cornwall.

The Angles were a fair-haired, aggressive race who conquered large tracts of England – indeed, the word “England” simply means “land of the Angles”. They divided the land they conquered into several areas, of which East Anglia was the only name to survive. But this territory was further divided into two kingdoms: one to the North, where the nord folc lived, and one to the South, where the sud folc lived. These names have also survived – they are our modern Norfolk and Suffolk.

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