home page   back to the History Page

Wlencing - The founder of Lancing?
The more you consider the history of the Lancing and Sompting area, the more you realise that "they" have been here. "They" are the Neolithic people, Celts, Romans, Saxons and Normans. Their legacy are artefacts such as tools, and buildings such as Temples and Churches.

Could one of them, the Saxons, also have left us the place name of Lancing as well?

Who were the Saxons?

The Roman Emperor Claudius invaded Britain in 43 ad and for the next four hundred years, present day Sussex settled down to relative peace and prosperity. Settlements, villas and farming became the order of the day as the Romans literarily integrated with the "locals" to become "Romano British". Throughout, the area was under the protection of the Roman army.

However, by 450 ad, events elsewhere in the Roman Empire meant the removal of troops from Britain. Rome itself came under attack from "barbarians" from the North. A defenceless Britain became a target for another invasion.

The Anglo Saxon Chronicles (the history of the period written, second hand much later under the instructions of King Alfred the Great) reports that:

A.D. 477.  This year came Ella to Britain, with his three sons, Cymen, and Wlenking, and Cissa, in three ships; landing at a place that is called Cymenshore.  There they slew many of the Welsh; and some in flight they drove into the wood that is called Andred'sley.

Cymenshore is thought to be modern day Selsey and Andred'sley Pevensey. The Saxons came to Britain from their homeland in modern day Germany.

Ella was not received in triumph by the local Britains who set about repelling his invasion. Over fourteen years of battles and skirmishes ensued. The decisive battle was in 491 ad, when Ella massacred the last of the resistance at Andred'sley.

Another chronicle of the times, more contemporaneous, by a cleric called Bede reports that Ella then began "exercising supremacy over his fellows" Ella became to all intents and purposes the first King of the South Saxons, modern day Sussex.

Did Wlenking give his name to Lancing?

The three sons of Ella, Cymen, Wlenking and Cissa were given lands to rule in Sussex. Note that there are quite of few spellings of the middle named son, he is also on the record as being called Wlencing. This Wlenking/Wlencing settled near modern day North Lancing.

I have not been able to find irrefutable proof (perhaps you can help me with this) that Wlenking/Wlencing gave his name to Lancing. It does seem to be a possibility though. The words do have similarities. He lived in the area. So I am going to come down on the side of Wlenking/Wlencing and accept that Lancing is named after him.

page created 04/03/12