History Files


European Kingdoms

Northern Europe




Wehta's Folk (Angles)

FeatureWoden, legendary king of Angeln, is claimed as an ancestor figure by many of the Anglian, Jutish and Saxon tribes which migrated to Britain. Although entirely impossible to prove, one theory is that this semi-mythical figure represents a powerful Anglian king whose many sons and their descendants found or created positions of power as the Anglian peoples fragmented before and during their migration.

One of the sons of Woden, Wehta was the father of Witta, a contemporary of Offa of Angeln and ruler of the Swæfe. These people were probably located immediately to the south of Angeln, in modern Schleswig near Schwabsted. The Swæfe are generally agreed to be the Suevi, or at least a division of the core Suevi, and it is assumed that they and the Angles were related, especially as some Classical writers name the Angles as part of the Suebi confederation of tribes. Witta's father was the originator of the line of princes which migrated to Britain in the fifth century and founded the Jutish kingdom of Kent. It is possible that Hengist, by about AD 445, was an exile due to the feuds between his own people. He sought the service of a Danish prince, and journeyed with him to Frisia about 448.

(Additional information by Edward Dawson, and from The Oxford History of England: The English Settlements, J N L Meyers, from Ulwencreutz's The Royal Families in Europe V, Lars Ulwencreutz, from the Textus de Ecclesia Roffensi per Ernulphum Episcopum (The Story of the Church of Rochester up to Bishop Ernulf), known as the Textus Roffensis or Annals of Rochester, and from the Historia Brittonum, Nennius, and also from External Link: An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, page 728, by Bosworth and Toller, 1898.)


Son of Woden of Angeln (or Wihtlæg?). Originator of the Cantware.


Son. Ruler of the Swæfe.


Son. Seemingly added to the list of Saxon rulers as Guictglis.


Hnæf of the Danes is killed at the 'Fight at Finnesburg' in Frisia, as is Finn's eldest son. Finn is subsequently killed by Hengist, Hnæf's Anglian comrade in arms. Hengist appears to be the leader of a sizable portion of Hnæf's comitatus, perhaps as much of half of the force of sixty or so warriors who follow him on this visit to Frisia, and these thirty or so are all Jutes. They appear to owe allegiance to Hengist while he is in Hnæf's service alongside Hnæf's own Danish retinue. With the death of the Danish prince, Hengist is in command of the entire force, and is sworn to avenge his lord's death.

Remains of Roman Canterbury
The invasion of Roman Canterbury in British Kent was led by Hengist, but his followers included Jutes and Frisians in large numbers

455 - 488


Son. Born c.420-425. Landed in Kent as a mercenary leader.


Hengist and his brother Horsa are invited to Britain by the High King, Vortigern, and land at Ypwines fleot (Ebbsfleet) with their Jutish followers. Traditionally, they fulfil the terms of their contract by fighting back Pictish and Irish Scotti invaders and receive territory on which to settle. Very shortly they begin to carve out a kingdom of their own which they call Kent. It seems that Hengist takes with him large numbers of Frisians, which would account for archaeological findings in Kent which originate from the mouth of the Rhine.