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Lindsey, kingdom of

Lindsey, kingdom of. Lindsey was one of the smaller kingdoms of early Anglo-Saxon England and its existence must always have been rather precarious. Bordered in the north by the Humber and the east by the North Sea, it followed the Trent in the west, taking in the Isle of Axholme, and the Witham in the south, including Lincoln itself. The name—the island of Lincoln—reflects its character, surrounded by sea, marshes, and fens. A list of the kings of Lindsey has survived, though Stenton called it ‘the obscurest of English dynasties’. It starts, conventionally, with Woden and ends with Aldfrith, probably in the 8th cent. In the 7th cent. Lindsey was disputed between Mercia and Northumbria, changed hands repeatedly, and seems to have been more of a subkingdom than an independent state. Converted by Paulinus c.630, Lindsey had its own bishopric from 678 which did not survive the Danish invasions of the 9th cent. An area of heavy Scandinavian settlement, it became one of the ridings of the later county of Lincolnshire and was itself divided up into ridings. These divisions lasted and Lindsey was given its own county council in 1888, the county town being Lincoln.

J. A. Cannon

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