Campaigning for a Sovereign & Pagan Mercia in the Midlands
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SOVEREIGN MERCIA

HISTORY

MYTHOLOGY

The Kingdom of Mercia was founded in AD 527 by King Icel, who led his people, the Angles – or Engla, after whom the English are named – across the North Sea to Britain. From small beginnings along the River Trent, Mercia – or Mierce, meaning ‘march’ – gradually expanded to include all the present-day Midlands. Originally Pagan, it was converted to Christianity in 655, and later became the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, reaching its height under King Offa (reigned 757–796). Mercia was conquered by the Danes in 874, but survived in reduced form until 4 December 918, when it was finally annexed by the Kingdom of Wessex.

According to the Oera Linda Book, the Angelara (Angles), ancestors of the Mercians, were part of an ancient confederation of ten nations, or tribes, all of whom identified as Frisians, after their divine ancestress, Frya. The other nations were the Saxmanna (Saxons), Juttar (Jutes), Lêtne (Letts), Stjurar (Sturii), Sêkæmpar (Sicambrians), Kâd-hêmar, Landsâton, Mârsata and Holtsâta. These ten nations inhabited a vast swathe of Northern and Western Europe, including the British Isles, during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and created the Megalithic civilisation of standing stones, circles and alignments, spanning the entire continent.

The earliest Mercian ancestor recorded by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is Scéaf, who had been washed ashore as a child after a flood (dated by the Oera Linda Book to 307–306 BC – not to be confused with the Great Flood of 2194–2191 BC), and chosen as King of the Angles. His descendants were the Scyldings. Later, when the Angles migrated to Britain, they became divided into a number of rival dynasties, with the senior line, known as the Iclings, ruling Mercia.
The original homeland of the Frisian peoples, destroyed in the Great Flood of 2194 BC, was known as Atland, or Aldland (the ‘Old Land’), and was situated in the North Sea. Known today as Doggerland, after the Dogger Bank, this submerged landmass is well known to modern archaeologists, and is believed to be the birthplace of the Anglo-Frisian, or North Sea Germanic (Ingvaeonic) language family, of which modern English and Frisian are the only surviving branches.

Mercia in the Dark Ages ▲

Shakespeare ►

Atland in the Bronze Age
◄ Lady Godiva
After its annexation by Wessex in 918, Mercia regained autonomy under a series of ealdormen, later known as earls. These survived until shortly after the Norman Conquest, and their descendants, the Arden family, remained prominent in Warwickshire for centuries thereafter. William Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, was a member. The direct line died out in 1643.
The Frisians, as the Oera Linda Book makes clear, were a matriarchal society run by an order of celibate priestesses. Worshipping unclad at sacred sanctuaries such as stone circles, they survived in myth and legend into Christian times in stories of witches. Another such tale involves Lady Godiva, wife of Earl Leofric of Mercia, riding naked through the streets of Coventry, Warwickshire.
 

MERCIAN RULERS

RUNIC FUTHORC

Kings of the Angles
Scéaf ~ Bedwig ~ Hwala ~ Hrathra ~ Itermon ~ Heremod ~ Sceldwéa ~ Béaw ~ Tætwa ~ Géat ~ Godwulf ~ Finn ~ Frithuwulf ~ Fréalaf ~ Fréawine ~ Frithuwald ~ Woden ~ Wihtlæg ~ Wermund ~ Offa of Angel ~ Angelthéow ~ Éomer
Kings of the Mercians
Icel 527–? ~ Cnebba ~ Cynewald ?–584 ~ Créoda 584–593 ~ Pybba 593–606 ~ Céarl 606–626 ~ Penda 626–655 ~ Éowa 635–642 ~ Péada 653–656 ~ Wulfhere 658–675 ~ Æthelred I 675–704 ~ Cœnred 704–709 ~ Céolred 709–716 ~ Céolwald 716 ~ Æthelbald 716–757 ~ Béornred 757 ~ Offa 757–796 ~ Ecgfrith 787–796 ~ Cœnwulf 796–821 ~ St. Cynehelm 798–812 ~ Céolwulf I 821–823 ~ Béornwulf 823–826 ~ Ludeca 826–827 ~ Wiglaf 827–839 ~ Wigmund 839–840 ~ St. Wigstan 840 ~ Lady Ælfflæd 840 ~ Béorhtwulf 840–852 ~ Burgred 852–874 ~ Céolwulf II 874–883 ~ Æthelred II 883–911 ~ Lady Æthelflæd 911–918 ~ Lady Ælfwynn 918
Earls of the Mercians
Ælfhere 957–983 ~ Ælfric Cild 983–985 ~ Wulfric Spot ?–1004 ~ Éadric Stréona 1007–1017 ~ Léofwine 1017–1023 (or 1017–1032) ~ Léofric 1023–1057 (or 1032–1057) ~ Ælfgar 1057–1062 ~ Éadwine 1062–1071
The Anglo-Frisian futhorc, or runic alphabet, comprised 33 runes, each with a phonetic value (listed below), and inherent magical and divinatory properties.

(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)
(9)
(10)
(11)

f
u, v
th
o
r
c
g
w
h
n
i

(12)
(13)
(14)
(15)
(16)
(17)
(18)
(19)
(20)
(21)
(22)

j
eo
p
x
s, z
t
b
e
m
l
ng

(23)
(24)
(25)
(26)
(27)
(28)
(29)
(30)
(31)
(32)
(33)

oe
d
a
ae
y
ia
ea
qu
k
st
g

The oldest runic alphabets had 24 runes, to which another nine were later added to take account of phonetic shifts in the Anglo-Frisian languages. The sole surviving manuscript of the Oera Linda Book is written in a 13th century development of these 33 characters, apparently influenced by the Roman alphabet.