To understand who these people were, maybe it is necessary to
accept that there might have been a longstanding affinity between
Jute and Saxon. Such a relationship could have been strengthened in
adversity, when Ælle and Aesc were decisively defeated by the
Romano-British at Mount Badon.
The tide had turned against
the settlers, and if the bretwalda, Ælle, had had in mind a campaign
to advance westwards after his victorious year in 491, then the
triumph of the Romano-Britons at Badon would have brought a halt to
those ambitions. Some archaeologists have told us that there is
evidence in English pottery of the early sixth century, found in
Germany, to suggest a backwash of settlers returning from Britain.
This could have been because of a continuing Romano-British
resurgence down the upper and middle Thames Valley during the two
decades after Mount Badon. In other words the descendants of the
foederati, the new settlers and any pro-German or mixed race people
were now in disarray.
A group called the Gewisse (compare Old
English 'gewis' meaning certain and the cognate Welsh 'gwyddys'
meaning 'is known', in other words, those who are informed), reputed by Bede to
have come from this region, might have been pushed eastwards during
these years, losing the territory they had occupied. This crisis
could have precipitated a deepening of brotherhood between Saxon and
Jutish tribesmen, between the Gewisse and the Cantware in whose
kingdom the latter had potentially resettled, thus strengthening bonds already
forged under the leadership of the Bretwalda. A timetable of events
based on the idea that the Jutes, Saxons and kindred descendants of
the foederati, were stalwart brothers in arms, is given below.
Conjectural language timeline
Since they are
sometimes considered to have been Frisians, perhaps the fifth and
sixth century Jutes who settled in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
came from southern Jutland, rather than the northern part of the