chapter  1
66 Pages

Settlement and Peoples

T h e centuries from the withdrawal o f the Rom an garrisons to the consolidation o f N orm an feudal mastery saw the m aking o f Eng­ land. In later centuries there were accretions o f population from overseas, English institutions received p rofound modification, and the economy was transform ed. Yet the A nglo-N orm an England o f A.D. 1100, for all its appearance o f exotic alien culture at court and in the C hurch, contained the essential ingredients o f England: a m onarchy which had grown with the com m unity, and a people com pounded o f elem ents draw n from the four m ajor historic groups that had in their d ifferen t ways contended for and with the soil o f England - from the Rom ano-Britons, the Anglo-Saxons, the Scandinavians and the N orm an conquerors. In the eleventh century the last successful hostile settlem ents were m ade in England, and even these were in a sense superficial. T he m ain colonizing efforts were com plete by m id-tenth century, and it is with the two chief settlem ents achieved, the Anglo-Saxon and the Scandinavian, that the presen t chapter is prim arily concerned.