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Deira

Deira

[dey-ruh]
Deira, old English kingdom between the Humber and the Tyne rivers. In the late 6th cent. it was united with Bernicia, to the north, to form Northumbria.

Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Britain. Located in the eastern part of modern Yorkshire, it stretched from the River Humber to the River Tees. Its first recorded king, Aelle, reigned from AD 560. By the last quarter of the 7th century it had been united with its neighbour Bernicia to form the kingdom of Northumbria.

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Deira was a kingdom in Northern England during the 6th century AD. It extended from the Humber to the Tees, and from the sea to the western edge of the Vale of York. It later merged with the kingdom of Bernicia to the north to form the kingdom of Northumbria.

The name of the kingdom is of Brythonic origin, perhaps from Deifr, meaning "waters", or from Daru, meaning "oak", in which case it would mean "the people of the Derwent", a derivation also found in the Latin name for Malton, Derventio.

According to Simeon of Durham it extended from the Humber to the Tyne, but the land was waste north of the Tees. After the Kingdom of Ebrauc was annexed by Edwin, York (Ebrauc) became its capital. Before this it is likely that the capital would have been at or near Pocklington.

The first Anglian king of whom we have any record is Ælla, who flourished in the later 6th century after conquering the realm from the Britons in 581. After his death, Deira was subject to king Æthelfrith of Bernicia, who united the two kingdoms into Northumbria. Æthelfrith ruled until the accession of Ælla's son Edwin, in 616 or 617, who also ruled both kingdoms until 633.

Osric, the nephew of Edwin, ruled Deira after Edwin, but his son Oswine was put to death by Oswiu in 651. For a few years subsequently Deira was governed by Æthelwald son of Oswald of Bernicia.

Bede wrote of Deira in his Historia Ecclesiastica.

Kings of Deira

Reign Incumbent Notes
559/560 to 589 Aella
(Aelli)
ÆLLA YFFING DEIRA CYNING
ÆLLA REX DEIRA
589/599 to 604 Aethelric
(Aedilric)
ÆÞELRIC IDING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELRIC REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Bernician Dynasty
593/604? to 616 Aethelfrith ÆÞELFERÞ ÆÞELRICING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELFERÞ REX DEIRA
Killed in battle
Deira Dynasty
616 to 12/14 October 632 Edwin EDVVIN ÆLLING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
EDVVIN REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed in battle by Cadwallon of Gwynedd and Penda of Mercia
late 633 to summer 634 Osric OSRIC ÆLFRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSRIC REX DEIRA
633 to 5 August 642 Oswald OSVVALD BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVALD REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
Killed by Penda, King of Mercia; Saint Oswald
642 to 644 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFRIÞING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
644 to 651 Oswine OSVVINE OSRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSVVINE REX DEIRA
Murdered
summer 651 to late 654 or 655 Æthelwold ÆÞELVVALD OSVVALDING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELVVALD REX DEIRA
654 to 15 August 670 Oswiu OSVVIO ÆÞELFERÞING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX NORÞANHYMBRA
Restored
656 to 664 Alchfrith ALCHFRIÞ DEIRA CYNING
ALCHFRIÞ REX DEIRA
670 to 679 Aelfwine ÆLFVVINE DEIRA CYNING
ÆLFVVINE REX DEIRA

References

Notes

Further reading

  • Geake, Helen & Joanthan Kenny (eds.) (2000). Early Deira: Archaeological studies of the East Riding in the fourth to ninth centuries AD. Oxford: Oxbow. ISBN 1-9001-8890-2
  • Higham, N.J. (1993). The Kingdom of Northumbria AD 350-1100. Stroud: Sutton. ISBN 0-8629-9730-5

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