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Biedcanford, battle of

Biedcanford, battle of, c.571. Though Biedcanford was clearly an important battle, it is difficult to identify. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle seems precise, attributing a victory over the Britons to Cutha, brother of Ceawlin of Wessex, who went on to take the towns of Lygeabyrig, Aeglesbyrig, Benesingtun, and Egonsham. These have with some confidence been identified as Limbury (now part of north Luton), Aylesbury, Benson, and Eynsham. But the detail is much disputed. Stenton denied that the name referred to Bedford. Historians have puzzled whether Britons could have been holding the vale of Aylesbury as late as 571. Hence Oman suggested that the struggle must have been between fellow-Saxons, while Myres argued that the event had been misplaced by at least 100 years and must refer to a 5th-cent. Saxon breakthrough.

J. A. Cannon

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