he West Saxons started out as a number of individual tribes that captured land in the south of Britain. Initially starting in the areas to the north of Isle of Wight, the West Saxons conquered lands further west into the area of Somerset and south into Dorset. Below is a list of kings of Wessex, some of which ruled their own tribes at the same time.
The rulers of Wessex called themselves the Gewisse. The third noted invasion of Britain by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is that of the Saxon Cerdic and his son (or grandson) Cynric in 495. With five ships they landed in the south where Southampton is now and moved north into Hampshire and Wiltshire. This date may have been too early and could have 519. It could be that Cerdic never existed and is a legend.
The third person listed as a king of Wessex is Ceawlin, the son of Cynric. The Anglo-Szxon Chronicles list a series of battle that Ceawlin fought in mostly against the Britons but also against the Kent.
It wasn't until the reign of Ine (688-726) that the different tribes of Wessex united under one ruler.
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The Gewisse or West-Saxons
|Ruler||Relationship to Predecessor||To
|591||Ceol||-||597||Defeated his uncle Ceawlin in battle to become ruler.|
|597||Ceolwulf||Brother||611||Brother of Ceol.|
|611||Cynegils||Son or nephew(?)||643||Ruled jointly with Cwichelm (his son?).|
|614?||Cwichelm||Son?||636||Ruled jointly with Cynegils.|
|643||Cenwealh||Son of Cynegils||672/674||During his reign Cenwealh was driven out of Wessex by Penda of Mercia. After three years in exile in East Anglia Cenwealh returned to Wessex as its ruler.|
|After the death of Cenwealh the sub-kings divided Wessex and ruled individually. It wasn't until the reign of Centwine that Wessex was reunited under a single ruler.|
|?||Cuthred||-||648?||Cuthred may have ruled part of Wessex during Cenwealh's exile.|
|672||Seaxburh||Widow of Cenwealh||673/4||As queen of Wessex Seaxburh ruled for several years after the death of her husband Cenwealh.|
|674||Aescwine||-||676||Claimed to be a descendent of Ceolwulf and may have ruled over the whole of Wessex. Aescwine defeated Wulfhere of Mercia in 675.|
|To Be Completed|