Monday, October 11, 2010

Who's on First?

History does record that those who remained on the Island after the Roman legions where withdrawn requested military assistance in 410 AD. Honorius, the western Emperor responded by "enjoining and authorizing them to look to their own defence."

"Who's on first?" was the question of the day. Each prior Roman province was left to its own defense. At least they were given authority to defend themselves. Scant historical records and accounts exist to help us understand what really happened. Northern Britain (from Yorkshire to the Clyde) seemed to organize their defenses along the northern frontier. Coel Hen who some believe to be the legendary "Old King Cole" is credited to be the first local ruler to help stabilize this area. [ca. 410-430 AD] Southern Britain (England south of Yorkshire) seemed to organize around the tribal leaders from the southern tribes including the Cornovii. Here is identified a "High King" of Britain. Our Jones families' legends begin with this person called "Vortigern" or in the Latin "Vitalinus". In the Welsh language he is called "Gwrtheryn Gwrthenau" or Vortigern the Thin! He came to power around 425 AD, and is believed to be the first post-Roman ruler to be declared "High King". Vortigen is the 11th in descent from Beli Mawr. Perhaps it is this linage that gave him the right to be called "High King". Our Jones family comes through this line, but much more will be said about this.

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