Collective name for the Angles and Saxons, who, along with the Jutes, conquered much of Britain between the fifth and seventh centuries AD.
The Angles settled in East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria; the Saxons in Essex, Sussex and Hampshire, most notably on the Isle of Wight. The Angles and Saxons came from the Schleswig-Holstein area, and may have united before the invasion, while the Jutes are usually said to have originated in Jutland.
There was probably considerable inter-marriage with Romanised Celts, although the latter’s language and civilisation almost disappeared.
Following the invasion and conquest, a number of kingdoms were set up, commonly referred to as the Heptarchy (‘Seven kingdoms’), which survived until the early ninth century, when they were united under the overlordship of Wessex.