© 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
HISTORY
A Province That Became a Kingdom and is again a *** Province ***     he word Wessex, meaning as it literally does, West Saxons, was known to our ancient forebears long before the Roman Empire extended its borders beyond Italy and mainland Europe to encompass these fair islands that are our homeland and our birth right. After the last of the Roman Legions had left British shores, around the year 410 AD the presumably doomed province of Wessex was left to fend for itself. This once prosperous and productive Province rapidly declined to a combination of a collapsed economy, famine, plague and internal political feuding,and to all of this was added the repeated incursions of the marauding Picts and the Scots - Irish, who had crossed the Irish Sea and were now settling in what we now know as South West Scotland. It was also probable that there were already many Germanic warriors who, with their families, resided in various parts of East and West.      Britain   they   may   well   had   previously   been   employed   by   the   Romans   as   mercenary   troops,   possibly   manning   their   Forts,   in   their   efforts   to stop the Picts and the Scots - Irish on their nefarious raids.
Not   long   after   the   Romano   forces   had   departed,   along   came   the   Friesians,   Franks,   Swedes, Angles   and   Saxons. These   additional   combined forces   certainly   assisted   in   keeping   the   marauders   at   bay,   but   they   soon   moved   on   to   other   parts   of   Britain   to   colonise   them   to   their   own   way of life. Thus began the decline of the province of Wessex into virtual obscurity. At   some   point   toward   the   end   of   the   5th.   Century,   or   perhaps   the   beginning   of   the   6th   century AD,   these   hostile   advances   were   halted   by   the Romano   -   British,   with   the   final   crushing   defeat   of   them   at   the   battle   of   the   fated   Mons   Badonicus   in   South   West   Britain.   It   was   around   this period that the mythical King Arthur appeared on the Cornish and West country scene. It   is   mentioned   in   the Anglo   -   Saxon   Chronicle   of   495 AD   that   a   tribal   army   led   by   Cerdic   arrived   here   and   took   control   of   the   pockets   of   Jutes and   Saxons   that   had   settled   in   the   West   of   the   land.   Some   6   years   after   his   arrival   he   started   to   galvanise   into   being   the   embryo   state   of Wessex   and   by   519   AD   he   was   declared   as   the   first   King   of   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex.   When   Cerdic's   Son,   Cymric,   became   King   upon   his Father's   demise   in   534   AD,   he   started   to   even   further   expand   his   Kingdom   over   the   area   that   we   now   know   as   Salisbury   Plain.   This expansion   continued   under   the   Kingship   of   Cymric's   Son,   Ceawlin,   to   include   the   area   of   the   Chiltern   Hills   bounded   by   the   Cherwell   Valley; and   by   the   time   of   his   death   in   591 AD   he   had   expanded   his   control   to   include   the   areas   of   Bath,   Cirencester   and   Southern   Gloucestershire. According to the records no attempts were made to include the London area in to the Kingdom of Wessex. Even   more   expansion   of   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   took   place   after   Cynegils   had   been   crowned   King   of   Wessex,   because   he   invaded   other regions   to   include   Cornwall   (Cerbiu)   and   Devon   (Defnas)   within   his   realm.   Cynegils   was   baptised   as   a   Christian   by   Birinus   seven   years   prior to   his   death   in   642   AD.   It   was   in   the   time   around   the   end   of   the   6th   Century   that   Surrey   (Suthria)   fell   under   the   yoke   so   that   Wessex   now held   sway   over   a   vast   area   that   stretched   from   the   borders   of   Kent,   everywhere   south   of   the   River   Thames   (Pater   Tamus),   Sussex   and   far west   beyond   the   Tamar   River.   Thus   by   802   AD   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   was   the   most   powerful   of   all   of   the   Saxon   Kingdoms.   It   was   also recorded   that   around   this   time   the   Kingdom   of   Dumnonia   (West   Wales)   was   defeated   by   the   might   of   Mercia,   and   the   then   King,   Egbert,   later fought   and   beat   the   forces   of   Marcia   at   the   Battle   of   Ellandon   (Wroughton   near   Swindon)   despite   being   out   -   numbered,   not   long   after   his return   home   he   started   another   successful   campaign   to   control   the   Cornish   area   completely.   He   also   invaded   Kent,   where   he   at   once   placed one   of   his   Sons   on   the   Throne;   because   of   these   feats   the   Kings   of   Wessex   were   honoured   with   having   the   prestigious   title   of   Bretwalda (Warlord of Britain) bestowed upon them. The Kings that followed on after Egbert until 887 AD included Aethulwulf, Aethelbald, Aethelbert and Aethelred. Therefore,   we   now   come   to   the   most   famous   of   all   our   Saxon   Kings,   Alfred   the   Great.   Alfred   was   born   at   Wantage,   AD   849,   his   arrival   as monarch   was   at   the   time   when   Britain   as   a   whole   was   in   a   devastating   state   of   turmoil.   In   865   AD   the   Vikings,   whose   sole   intent   was   to capture,   occupy   and   control   the   whole   of   these   islands,   had   invaded   the   East   of   England.   This   they   started   to   do   by   systematically destroying the Kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia and then Mercia. In   their   deadly   process   they   succeeded   in   killing Alfred's   older   Brother,   which   is   the   only   reason   that Alfred   was   crowned   King   in   871 AD.   But fortunately,   by   874   AD,   South   Marcia   had   somehow   managed   to   survive   the   ravages,   and   killings   of   the   vicious   Viking   hordes   and   willingly accepted   Alfred   as   their   King.   Miraculously   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   was   the   only   survivor   of   all   of   these   wicked   and   barbaric   Viking onslaughts. Ultimately   under   the   lead   of   Alfred,   and   his   off   -springs,   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   grew   from   strength   to   strength,   and,   at   the   height   of   it's powers   was   literally   covering   all   of   the   following   modern   Counties,   Hampshire,   Berkshire,   Cornwall,   Devon,   Somerset,   Dorset,   Wiltshire,   part of Sussex, the Isle of Wight and Surrey.    Eventually   both   Saxon   and   Dane   were   united   under   one   King,   Athelstan   (895   -939   AD),   Grandson   of   King   Alfred,   who   went   on   to   annexe East Anglia in 918 AD and completed the conquest of West Wales around 920 AD to become the first official King of all England in 925 AD. King Athelstan   was   indeed   a   brave   and   distinguished   soldier;   he   pushed   the   boundaries   of   his   almost   united   kingdom   to   the   furthest   extent that   it   had   yet   reached. At   the   same   time,   of   course,   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   no   longer   existed,   just   as   the   Province   of   Wessex   disappeared under the influence of the Roman Empire, all having now been superseded by the new Kingdom of England. In   927 AD Athelstan   took   back   York   from   the   Danes,   and   forced   the   submission   to   him   of   King   Constantine   of   Scotland   and   all   the   northerly Kings. All   five   of   the   Welsh   Kings   likewise   agreed   to   pay   homage   to   him   and   decided   to   pay   him   a   huge   annual   financial   tribute.   He   further eliminated   the   underlying   apposition   still   prevalent   in   Cornwall.   In   937 AD Athelstan   led   a   force   of   British   to   defeat   another   invasion   made   by the then King of Scotland who had the alliance of the Danes and Irish from the Dublin area. Under   the   rule   of Athelstan   the   Law   Codes   were   strengthened   over   his   large   Kingdom;   a   new   currency   was   introduced   and   regulated   for   the first   time,   buying   and   selling   was   mainly   confined   to   the   Burhs   or   Burghs   (Towns),   thus   encouraging   town   life.   Some   areas   of   the   Midlands and   the   Danish   influenced   towns   were   consolidated   by   him   into   Shires,   whilst   overseas   he   built   alliances   with   the   Western   Rulers   of   Europe by marrying off four of his half sisters to them. He   was   also   a   great   and   avid   collector   of   works   of   art   and   religious   relics,   these   he   would   then   give   to   many   of   his   followers   and   churches   in order   to   gain,   and   retain,   their   support.   Upon   his   death   in   939   AD   he   was   reverentially   interred   in   Malmesbury   Abbey,   this   was,   indeed,   a most fitting place for Athelstan to lie, he being a King who had been such an ardent supporter and endower of the Abbey. Moving   on   from   those   turbulent   and   formative   years   of   more   than   one   thousand   years   ago,   arriving   now   at   the   modem   War   years   of   1914   - 1918   and   from   1939   -   1945,   and   again   from   1950   right   up   to   the   present   day,   there   has   been   an Army   Division   known   as   the   43rd.   Wessex Division,   comprising   of   Battalions   of   Regiments   from   the   Counties   of   Dorset,   Wiltshire,   Somerset,   Devon   and   Cornwall.   Together   with   the necessary, even essential, auxiliary elements of Artillery, Ambulance, Medical, Transport, Mechanical, Electrical and Educational support. All   members   of   the   Wessex   Division,   then   and   now   proudly   wear,   as   a   Shoulder   Flash,   the   Wyvern,   that   Golden   two   legged,   mythical   Dragon --   like   Bird,   on   a   black   background.   Such   a   heraldic   device   is   also   incorporated   in   the   official   Flag   of   Wessex.   Several   Schools   in   the   South West,   a   Local   Radio,   the   Wessex   Regionalist   Party,   the   Wessex   Constitutional   Convention,   many   Hotels   and   businesses,   use   it   as   an emblem.   The   Wyvern   is   proudly   displayed   on   the   many   Flags   that   are   proudly   flown   throughout   the   whole   of   Wessex   on   St. Aldheim's   Day, the 25th of May each year. From   the   fore   -   going   it   is   to   be   hoped   that   you   will   discern   that   an   attempt   has   been   made,   to   describe   as   briefly   as   is   possible,   the   long   and turbulent   history   that   has   become   so   much   a   part   of   the   historical   factuality's   of   our   now   newly   revived   Province   of   Wessex.   Our   newly formed   Masonic   Province,   under   the   guidance   and   leadership   of   the   Provincial   Grand   Master,   R.W.   Bro.   Malcolm   Bums,   will   adhere   to   the concepts   and   ideals,   whenever   it   is   possible   to   do   so,   to   those   idealistic   thoughts   and   intentions   of   one   of   our   most   pious   and   religious Monarchs of England, King Athelstan. Athelstan   was   the   enlightened   King   who   gave   so   much   to   our   heritage. The   total   number   of   Courts   in   a   Province   is   10,   we   have   the   intention to   cover,   very   adequately,   this   Province   of   Wessex,   so   enabling   those   several   excellent   precepts,   ones   that   we   all   hold   close   and   dear   to   our hearts,    to    be    adopted,    utilised    and    acclaimed    for    the    benefit    of    all,    especially    the    many    sincere    individuals,    those    truly    dedicated Freemasons, who will flock to become members of the Order of Athelstan in the Province of Wessex. We   shall   stand   arrayed,   figuratively,   under   the   respected   and   distinctive   Banner   of   the   Wyvern,   the   ancient   historical   and   heraldic   Emblem   of Wessex. Worshipful Brother George E. R. Gardner,  Founder Member and Primus Eminent Prior of Malmesbury Court № 100.  Provincial Eminent Prior of the Province of Wessex.  2008 Back to the Top of the PAGE      HOUSE OF WESSEX (Family Tree)               A
                   © 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
The Provincial Grand Court of WESSEX
HISTORY
A Province That Became a Kingdom and is again a  *** Province ***     he word Wessex, meaning as it literally does, West Saxons, was known to our ancient forebears long before the Roman Empire extended its borders beyond Italy and mainland Europe to encompass these fair islands that are our homeland and our birth right. After the last of the Roman Legions had left British shores, around the year 410 AD the presumably doomed province of Wessex was left to fend for itself. This once prosperous and productive Province rapidly declined to a combination of a collapsed economy, famine, plague and internal political feuding,and to all of this was added the repeated incursions of the marauding Picts and the Scots - Irish, who had crossed the Irish Sea and were now settling in what we now know as South West Scotland. It   was   also   probable   that   there   were   already   many   Germanic   warriors   who,   with   their   families,   resided   in   various   parts   of East and West Britain,
they   may   well   had   previously   been   employed   by   the   Romans   as   mercenary   troops,   possibly   manning   their   Forts,   in   their efforts   to   stop   the   Picts   and   the   Scots   -   Irish   on   their   nefarious   raids.   Not   long   after   the   Romano   forces   had   departed,   along came   the   Friesians,   Franks,   Swedes,   Angles   and   Saxons.   These   additional   combined   forces   certainly   assisted   in   keeping the   marauders   at   bay,   but   they   soon   moved   on   to   other   parts   of   Britain   to   colonise   them   to   their   own   way   of   life. Thus   began the decline of the province of Wessex into virtual obscurity. At   some   point   toward   the   end   of   the   5th.   Century,   or   perhaps   the   beginning   of   the   6th   century   AD,   these   hostile   advances were   halted   by   the   Romano   -   British,   with   the   final   crushing   defeat   of   them   at   the   battle   of   the   fated   Mons   Badonicus   in South   West   Britain.   It   was   around   this   period   that   the   mythical   King   Arthur   appeared   on   the   Cornish   and   West   country scene. It   is   mentioned   in   the Anglo   -   Saxon   Chronicle   of   495 AD   that   a   tribal   army   led   by   Cerdic   arrived   here   and   took   control   of   the pockets   of   Jutes   and   Saxons   that   had   settled   in   the   West   of   the   land.   Some   6   years   after   his   arrival   he   started   to   galvanise into   being   the   embryo   state   of   Wessex   and   by   519 AD   he   was   declared   as   the   first   King   of   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex.   When Cerdic's   Son,   Cymric,   became   King   upon   his   Father's   demise   in   534   AD,   he   started   to   even   further   expand   his   Kingdom over   the   area   that   we   now   know   as   Salisbury   Plain. This   expansion   continued   under   the   Kingship   of   Cymric's   Son,   Ceawlin, to   include   the   area   of   the   Chiltern   Hills   bounded   by   the   Cherwell   Valley;   and   by   the   time   of   his   death   in   591   AD   he   had expanded   his   control   to   include   the   areas   of   Bath,   Cirencester   and   Southern   Gloucestershire.   According   to   the   records   no attempts were made to include the London area in to the Kingdom of Wessex. Even   more   expansion   of   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   took   place   after   Cynegils   had   been   crowned   King   of   Wessex,   because   he invaded   other   regions   to   include   Cornwall   (Cerbiu)   and   Devon   (Defnas)   within   his   realm.   Cynegils   was   baptised   as   a Christian   by   Birinus   seven   years   prior   to   his   death   in   642   AD.   It   was   in   the   time   around   the   end   of   the   6th   Century   that Surrey   (Suthria)   fell   under   the   yoke   so   that   Wessex   now   held   sway   over   a   vast   area   that   stretched   from   the   borders   of   Kent, everywhere   south   of   the   River   Thames   (Pater   Tamus),   Sussex   and   far   west   beyond   the   Tamar   River.   Thus   by   802   AD   the Kingdom   of   Wessex   was   the   most   powerful   of   all   of   the   Saxon   Kingdoms.   It   was   also   recorded   that   around   this   time   the Kingdom   of   Dumnonia   (West   Wales)   was   defeated   by   the   might   of   Mercia,   and   the   then   King,   Egbert,   later   fought   and   beat the   forces   of   Marcia   at   the   Battle   of   Ellandon   (Wroughton   near   Swindon)   despite   being   out   -   numbered,   not   long   after   his return   home   he   started   another   successful   campaign   to   control   the   Cornish   area   completely.   He   also   invaded   Kent,   where he   at   once   placed   one   of   his   Sons   on   the   Throne;   because   of   these   feats   the   Kings   of   Wessex   were   honoured   with   having the prestigious title of Bretwalda (Warlord of Britain) bestowed upon them. The Kings that followed on after Egbert until 887 AD included Aethulwulf, Aethelbald, Aethelbert and Aethelred. Therefore,   we   now   come   to   the   most   famous   of   all   our   Saxon   Kings, Alfred   the   Great. Alfred   was   born   at   Wantage, AD   849, his   arrival   as   monarch   was   at   the   time   when   Britain   as   a   whole   was   in   a   devastating   state   of   turmoil.   In   865 AD   the   Vikings, whose   sole   intent   was   to   capture,   occupy   and   control   the   whole   of   these   islands,   had   invaded   the   East   of   England.   This they started to do by systematically destroying the Kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia and then Mercia. In   their   deadly   process   they   succeeded   in   killing   Alfred's   older   Brother,   which   is   the   only   reason   that   Alfred   was   crowned King   in   871 AD.   But   fortunately,   by   874 AD,   South   Marcia   had   somehow   managed   to   survive   the   ravages,   and   killings   of   the vicious   Viking   hordes   and   willingly   accepted Alfred   as   their   King.   Miraculously   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   was   the   only   survivor of all of these wicked and barbaric Viking onslaughts. Ultimately   under   the   lead   of Alfred,   and   his   off   -springs,   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   grew   from   strength   to   strength,   and,   at   the height   of   it's   powers   was   literally   covering   all   of   the   following   modern   Counties,   Hampshire,   Berkshire,   Cornwall,   Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, part of Sussex, the Isle of Wight and Surrey.    Eventually   both   Saxon   and   Dane   were   united   under   one   King, Athelstan   (895   -939 AD),   Grandson   of   King Alfred,   who   went on   to   annexe   East Anglia   in   918 AD   and   completed   the   conquest   of   West   Wales   around   920 AD   to   become   the   first   official King of all England in 925 AD. King Athelstan   was   indeed   a   brave   and   distinguished   soldier;   he   pushed   the   boundaries   of   his   almost   united   kingdom   to   the furthest   extent   that   it   had   yet   reached.   At   the   same   time,   of   course,   the   Kingdom   of   Wessex   no   longer   existed,   just   as   the Province   of   Wessex   disappeared   under   the   influence   of   the   Roman   Empire,   all   having   now   been   superseded   by   the   new Kingdom of England. In   927 AD Athelstan   took   back   York   from   the   Danes,   and   forced   the   submission   to   him   of   King   Constantine   of   Scotland   and all   the   northerly   Kings.   All   five   of   the   Welsh   Kings   likewise   agreed   to   pay   homage   to   him   and   decided   to   pay   him   a   huge annual   financial   tribute.   He   further   eliminated   the   underlying   apposition   still   prevalent   in   Cornwall.   In   937 AD Athelstan   led   a force   of   British   to   defeat   another   invasion   made   by   the   then   King   of   Scotland   who   had   the   alliance   of   the   Danes   and   Irish from the Dublin area. Under   the   rule   of Athelstan   the   Law   Codes   were   strengthened   over   his   large   Kingdom;   a   new   currency   was   introduced   and regulated   for   the   first   time,   buying   and   selling   was   mainly   confined   to   the   Burhs   or   Burghs   (Towns),   thus   encouraging   town life.   Some   areas   of   the   Midlands   and   the   Danish   influenced   towns   were   consolidated   by   him   into   Shires,   whilst   overseas   he built alliances with the Western Rulers of Europe by marrying off four of his half sisters to them. He   was   also   a   great   and   avid   collector   of   works   of   art   and   religious   relics,   these   he   would   then   give   to   many   of   his   followers and   churches   in   order   to   gain,   and   retain,   their   support.   Upon   his   death   in   939   AD   he   was   reverentially   interred   in Malmesbury Abbey,   this   was,   indeed,   a   most   fitting   place   for Athelstan   to   lie,   he   being   a   King   who   had   been   such   an   ardent supporter and endower of the Abbey. Moving   on   from   those   turbulent   and   formative   years   of   more   than   one   thousand   years   ago,   arriving   now   at   the   modem   War years   of   1914   -   1918   and   from   1939   -   1945,   and   again   from   1950   right   up   to   the   present   day,   there   has   been   an   Army Division   known   as   the   43rd.   Wessex   Division,   comprising   of   Battalions   of   Regiments   from   the   Counties   of   Dorset,   Wiltshire, Somerset,   Devon   and   Cornwall.   Together   with   the   necessary,   even   essential,   auxiliary   elements   of   Artillery,   Ambulance, Medical, Transport, Mechanical, Electrical and Educational support. All   members   of   the   Wessex   Division,   then   and   now   proudly   wear,   as   a   Shoulder   Flash,   the   Wyvern,   that   Golden   two   legged, mythical   Dragon   --   like   Bird,   on   a   black   background.   Such   a   heraldic   device   is   also   incorporated   in   the   official   Flag   of Wessex.   Several   Schools   in   the   South   West,   a   Local   Radio,   the   Wessex   Regionalist   Party,   the   Wessex   Constitutional Convention,   many   Hotels   and   businesses,   use   it   as   an   emblem.   The   Wyvern   is   proudly   displayed   on   the   many   Flags   that are proudly flown throughout the whole of Wessex on St. Aldheim's Day, the 25th of May each year. From   the   fore   -   going   it   is   to   be   hoped   that   you   will   discern   that   an   attempt   has   been   made,   to   describe   as   briefly   as   is possible,   the   long   and   turbulent   history   that   has   become   so   much   a   part   of   the   historical   factuality's   of   our   now   newly revived   Province   of   Wessex.   Our   newly   formed   Masonic   Province,   under   the   guidance   and   leadership   of   the   Provincial Grand   Master,   R.W.   Bro.   Malcolm   Bums,   will   adhere   to   the   concepts   and   ideals,   whenever   it   is   possible   to   do   so,   to   those idealistic thoughts and intentions of one of our most pious and religious Monarchs of England, King Athelstan. Athelstan   was   the   enlightened   King   who   gave   so   much   to   our   heritage.   The   total   number   of   Courts   in   a   Province   is   10,   we have   the   intention   to   cover,   very   adequately,   this   Province   of   Wessex,   so   enabling   those   several   excellent   precepts,   ones that   we   all   hold   close   and   dear   to   our   hearts,   to   be   adopted,   utilised   and   acclaimed   for   the   benefit   of   all,   especially   the   many sincere   individuals,   those   truly   dedicated   Freemasons,   who   will   flock   to   become   members   of   the   Order   of   Athelstan   in   the Province of Wessex. We   shall   stand   arrayed,   figuratively,   under   the   respected   and   distinctive   Banner   of   the   Wyvern,   the   ancient   historical   and heraldic Emblem of Wessex. Worshipful Brother George E. R. Gardner,  Founder Member and Primus Eminent Prior of Malmesbury Court № 100.  Provincial Eminent Prior of the Province of Wessex.  2008 Back to the Top of the PAGE      HOUSE OF WESSEX (Family Tree)