CONCERNING THE MOST REMARKABLE EVENTS DURING THE HEPTARCHY OF THE ANGLO—SAXONS, TO ITS DISSOLUTION, AND THE UNION OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS: COMPRISING A PERIOD OF TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE YEARS.
THE revolution caused by the conquest of the Anglo-Saxons introduced a new face of things in Great Britain. The country formerly inhabited by the Britons was now possessed by strangers.
The very names of the towns and provinces were changed, and country divided in a very different manner from what it was by the Romans.
Great Britain, parcelled out into several kingdoms, was shared among four different nations, namely, the Britons or Welsh, the Scots, the Picts, and the Anglo-Saxons. Under the Britons were comprised all those foreigners, Romans or others, settled in the island ever since the reign of Claudius, who, being incorporated with the natives, became one people with them. The descendants of these foreigners were undoubtedly very numerous, it being the constant policy of the Romans to diminish, as far as lay in their power, the natives of a conquered country, and to send thither large colonies either of veterans, or of people taken from their other conquests.
The Britons, therefore, now retired beyond the Severn, are to be considered as a people composed of the ancient inhabitants of Great Britain and the Roman colonies. The Vandals, settled about Cambridge, were also reckoned as Britons, and involved in the same ruin with them. After the establishment of the seven kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, the Britons had nothing left but Cambria, and the western part of Danmonium. Cambria (the name formerly of all Britain) was changed by the Saxons into Wales.
As for Danmonium, it was, in all appearance, a Roman name. The Britons called that country Kennaw, from Kern, that is, in their language age, Horns, because of the many promontories that Shoot out into the sea like horns. Hence doubtless the Saxons gave it the name of Cornwall, that is to say, the country of Kernaw, inhabited by Gauls or Britons.