Lindsey was a sixth century British kingdom, of obscure origin and with almost no recorded history of any significance


Geographically the kingdom of Lindsey was centred on the old Roman colonia of Lindum or modern Lincoln, and cut off from the rest of the country by the Trent valley to the west, marshes and wetlands to the south, and on the other two sides by the sea and the Humber estuary.


It has its own king list,

  • Caedbaed
  • Beda
  • Bubba
  • Biscop
  • Eanferth
  • Eatta
  • Aldfrith
but unfortunately no clear regnal dating exists for these kings. Caedbaed is believed to have reigned around 570, Beda, Bubba and Biscop during the early to mid seventh century with Aldfrith perhaps in the early eighth.

Caedbaed is supplied with the appropriate geneology and is supposedly the son of Cueldgils son of Cretta son of Winta son of Woden. In any event Caedbaed is one of those Brythonic derived names, which taken together with the fact that the name Lindsey is obviously derived from the Roman Lindum, implies that the kingdom was established on a co-operative basis between native Romano-British and Germanic immigrants or mercenaries.


All we really know of the kingdom of Lindsey is based on a few scattered references in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.

For the year 628 he tells us that,

Paulinus also preached the word to the province of Lindsey, which is the first on the south side of the river Humber, stretching out as far as the sea; and he first converted the governor of the city of Lincoln, whose name was Blecca, with his whole family.
And the reference to the governor of the city of Lincoln might be taken to imply that Lindsey was no longer an independent by then. And we could also presume from the fact that Oswald's remains were interred at Bardney Abbey that it was subject to Northumbria (at least by 642.)

A reference for 669 to one Wulfhere, king of Mercia granting land for the construction of a monastery in Lindsey would indicate that control had passed to Mercia by then. Later Bede tell us that Ecgfrith, king of Northumbria "having overcome and vanquished Wulfhere" retakes Lindsey, but by 678 Aethelred, Wulfhere's successor "had recovered that province"

And that is all we know.

Sometime in the early seventh century Lindsey became subject to Northumbria, either due to the efforts of Edwin or Oswald or both. (Since there was a significant interregnum between the two, when Lindsey would have been left to its own devices.)

And that afterwards control passed between Mercia and Northumbria in the later part of the century.

Lindsey survives into modern times as one of three Parts or traditional administrative subdivisions of the county of Lincolnshire, which is the second-largest county in England (after Yorkshire, which is also divided into three regions, called ridings). It is in the north, going up to the River Humber, and containing the city of Lincoln. It is slightly higher than the rest of Lincolnshire, as it contains the Lincoln Wolds. It is mainly wide-open farmland. To the south are the other two parts, Holland and Kesteven.

After the 1974 reorganization of local government, it ceased to be an administrative region. The northernmost parts on the banks of the Humber, including Grimsby and Scunthorpe, were grouped into the unloved and ill-fated "administrative county" of Humberside. There are now district councils called East Lindsey and West Lindsey.

The name Lindsey looks like it means island on the River Lindum, but the ending -eg (modern -ey) was normally only used for small islands, not the whole river-bounded region of Lindsey. The earlier form of the name is Lindisse, which is inconclusive. Source for this:

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