Part 1: The first wave of Jutes
With the rise of the Merovingian rulers in Gaul and the former Roman
province being peopled with new barbarian populations, settlement
for the Saxons south of the Rhine Delta was no longer an inviting
However, their own ancestral lands were coming under
increasing pressure, not least from sea flooding. Therefore, once
Vortigern had allowed Germanic mercenaries into Britain, the
opportunity for Angles and Saxons had to be taken. It would seem
that such pressing problems would not have driven the warriors of
Jutland. As adventurers, with Britain in the throes of a crisis,
they availed themselves of the chance to establish a new territories
on the Isle of Wight and in Hampshire by founding settlements among
the beleaguered Britons.
The Jutish leaders perhaps eventually
elected a king. It is contended here that by this time Ambrosius
Aurelianus would have taken the helm of a Romano-British state whose
existence was threatened on all fronts. He motivated the Britons to
take up arms and fight, inspiring young British warriors. The
phenomenal success of his military campaign was to enter legend as
the twelve battles of King Arthur, who was probably a battle leader,
perhaps called Artorius.
There is no documented history to
substantiate the idea, but it is feasible that part of the new
British sword power was turned against the early Jutish immigrants
in order to subdue them and restore Romano-British rule. Maybe it is
worth noting in this context that there might have been a rebellion,
following the British triumph at Mount Badon, in the upper Thames
The reaction of the Britons was to drive every settler from
the region. We can only surmise on this, of course, and unfortunately, the lamentations of
Gildas shed no light on these matters, but according to Bede England
was won by right of conquest.
In the South, the irreversible
breakthrough came [first] with the West Saxon capture of Salisbury in 552
[and then the defeat of the three cities in 577].
Conjectural derivation of the Meon Valley name
The derivation of the name could be Celtic, as many river names in
England can still be labelled with their modern Welsh equivalents.
Bede gives the name as Mean when referring to the Meonware. As Welsh
has come down to us today, there could be four possible candidates,
listed here in alphabetical order:
MAEN (pronounced something like 'mine'), meaning stone, which
would compare with the River Gorlech = rocky.