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"Hamtonshire," but made themselves masters of the whole of the South of England. Later, under a long line of exceptionally able kings, of whom Alfred was one, the West Saxons established their rule throughout England. After long lapse of time Wales was incorporated, Scotland and Ireland were united with the Kingdom that was formed, colonies were established, distant parts of the world conquered and annexed, until the settlement made on this spot developed into Great Britain and the British Empire. So that we can hardly exaggerate the importance of what took place in 495 when that small band of men made their first settlement here. It is particularly interesting to note that our present King Edward VII. is descended from that first settler Cerdic and his son Cynric, and that of the long line of Kings of England who have reigned from the ninth century to the present time there have been only one or two who have not been able to trace their descent from that distant leader.
The second of the striking events to which I will refer took place five centuries after the coming of the Saxons. It was the burning of the Saxon settlement by the Danes, about 980. After the Saxons had settled here and had firmly established their kingdom they were attacked by the Danes and Norsemen, people closely akin to themselves in race, and hardy sea-rovers. The country was harassed far and wide ; Winchester was sacked on one occasion, and the whole of the South coast was the scene of their battles. About 980 very severe attacks were made on this part of the country, and in one of these the old Saxon settlement of Hampton was sacked and burned. Some very interesting questions arise in connection with this attack on the town and the subsequent rebuilding, for there is a tradition that the old Saxon town was not situated where the present town is, but that it stood round about St. Mary's Church, and one of the most interesting investigations which has yet to be carried out in Southampton history will have as its object to determine how far the tradition as to the removal of the old town from its original site is true to fact. The Saxon relics discovered in the locality of St. Mary's Church are strong evidence that the town was situated in that quarter, and it is curious that almost all the Saxon remains that have so far been brought to light have been found round that site. I believe that I am right in saying that within the limits of the present walls only one remnant of Saxon times has been discovered, viz., a coin of Offa, which was found when some builders were excavating a mound on the site of the Castle keep, and a coin is a thing which might easily have been lost by some person walking over the
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