Hengest and Horsa - the Founding Fathers. When we talk about the formation of English identity, culture and heritage there is no time in our history that is as important as the Anglo-Saxon period. It is no exaggeration to say that without them there would simply be no England and therefore no English. The term Anglo-Saxon refers to the Angles and the Saxons – two of the founding tribes of the English nation.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that the “Englisc” first arrived on these shores in the year 449, invited here by the Romano-Britons to fight the Picts who were invading from the north. The most famed of these early adventurers were Hengest and Horsa who arrived with their warriors in three ships. In the following years many more warriors crossed the sea and settled lowland Britain, bringing with them their families, their religion and their way of life. From the coast they gradually pushed inland up the rivers with small squadrons of ships whose crews became the founders of new communities as they advanced from East to West and north up through the midlands.
It is these first Anglo-Saxon and Jutish war bands who are traditionally regarded as being the founders of England and the English nation. During the next four centuries, the Saxon, Angle and Juttish settlers together with the northern Vikings and the Britons who remained would become known collectively as the English. Their ancestors would go on to shape the modern world in which we live like none ever had, or will ever do again.
These were the early pioneering days for the English people. No one had that much more than the next man and no one was that much more important than anyone else. They picked their own leaders who ruled by consent rather than by force and intimidation, and justice was dispensed in open-air moots in full view of the people.
One of the factors that have marked England out from the very earliest times has been the libertarian instinct of her people, an inheritance of our sea-faring ancestors, who brought with them a confident, stoic and positive outlook on life.
There are those who would say that these ideas of the freeborn Englishmen and Anglo-Saxon democracy are a romanticised myth but it is this very ideology that has shaped the development of English society and our political and social history. It is no coincidence that many of the movements and ideas that have shaped the modern world first took root here in England and they can be traced directly back to those first boatloads of warriors who splashed up on our beaches all those years ago.
The idea of an early Anglo-Saxon democracy is at the core of the English radical tradition and it was an outlook that many paid a heavy price for, but it was also the inspiration behind such things as, the English Revolt (peasants' Revolt), the Bill of Rights, Magna Carta, the Levellers, Diggers, Parliamentarians, 19th century trade union movement and the Chartists.
It also inspired those who wrote the American constitution, one of the greatest documents ever written. It was Thomas Jefferson, one of the revered Founding Fathers of America who said of them “..the Saxon Chiefs from whom we claim the honour of being descended and whose political principles and form of government we have assumed” He proposed in 1782 that Hengest and Horsa be included on the Great Seal of America because of the values of freedom and liberty that he believed that they represented. For Hengest and Horsa, the warrior brothers who laid the very foundation stones of the modern English nation, there can be no greater tribute than this.
History matters and we forget it at our peril.
- Printed, bagged and finished in Nottingham, England.
- Senlak White Dragon Rebel English woven patch on left sleeve
- Heather red version - also available in heather navy
- 100% cotton premium quality T-shirt.
- From our Premier Patriotwear clothing range
- Senlak - Rebel English Apparel
- Weight: 203gsm.
- Size (to fit) - Small: 34/36", Medium: 38/40", Large: 42/44", XLarge: 46/48", XXLarge: 50/52"
Senlak - The Lowdown
It's an "England" clothing range that's just a little bit different. The Senlak White Dragon logo is inspired by the White Dragon of the Anglo-Saxons. The dragon banner was the original flag of the English and predates the Cross of St George by many hundreds of years - it is the ancient emblem of the English and is a strong statement of our unique culture and heritage.
The English have a rich history of radical thought and action. We don't like others imposing their views on us and we don't like being told what to do. So for all those non-conformers, the free thinkers and the rebellious. For those that don't always believe everything that the "clever people" tell us and for all those generations scattered around the globe who still remember who we are and all we have achieved - We embrace you all.
Two fingers to "their" status quo and long live the Rebel English.
"Only dead fish swim with the tide"