Kent is a historic county located in the southeastern corner of England.
In Octavius’s reign it was ruled by Aldolf. In Vortigern’s time it was the kingdom of Gwyrangon, but given by Vortigern to the Saxon leader Hengist. Saxons continued to occupy it throughout Arthur’s reign.
King Vortimer fought a battle against Hengist in Kent, and Horsa and Vortigern’s son Vortiger were slain. Many years later, when Mordred seized the throne of England, most of Kent allied with him. Arthur offered it to Mordred as part of a peace treaty that was never achieved. Kent was a hotly contested piece of land during the time in which Arthur was said to thrive. It was one of the first to fall under the control of the Saxons.
In the Arthurian period Kent would seem to have been under Anglo-Saxon rule and at this time, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, may have been ruled by King Aesc (from year 512), son of Hengist, who reigned AD 488-512. William of Malmesbury says Aesc did not enlarge his father’s kingdom, but had to defend it. This implies he had a formidable foe, such as Arthur, with whom to contend.
In Dryden’s King Arthur, it is ruled by Oswald, Arthur’s Saxon enemy.
Kent | 0 to 1000 AD
Roman Era | 43 to 410 AD
In the first century AD, the Roman Empire invaded and conquered Britain, including the region of Kent. The Romans established a network of roads and towns in Kent, including Durovernum Cantiacorum, which would later become the city of Canterbury. This city became a major administrative and trade center. Kent was part of the Roman province of Britannia, and its fertile lands were used for agriculture.
Early Anglo-Saxon Period | 5th to 7th centuries
After the Roman withdrawal from Britain around 410 AD, Kent became the first area in England to be settled by the Anglo-Saxons. The Kingdom of Kent was established, and it is considered one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. Its rulers were known as the Jutish kings. Kent was frequently involved in conflicts with neighboring kingdoms and was part of the early struggles for dominance among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Kent had a significant role in the conversion to Christianity in England. In 597 AD, Saint Augustine arrived in Kent on a mission sent by Pope Gregory the Great. He was granted permission to establish a church, which later became Canterbury Cathedral. Ethelbert, the King of Kent, converted to Christianity and played a crucial role in the spread of Christianity in England.
Late Anglo-Saxon Period | 8th to 9th centuries
Kent was ruled by various Anglo-Saxon kings and overlords during this period. The kingdom saw periodic Viking raids and invasions, which were common throughout England. The Vikings established the Danelaw, a region under Viking control, which included parts of Kent.
10th Century Onward | After 700 AD
After the Viking Age, Kent continued to be an important region in England, and its history is closely tied to the broader history of the country. It remained a center of Christianity, with Canterbury as a major ecclesiastical center. Kent was eventually absorbed into the Kingdom of England as the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were unified under English rule.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle | 9th century
Historia Brittonum | Probably Nennius, early 9th century
Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470
King Arthur; or, the British Worthy | John Dryden, 1691