The Tribal Hidage

The Tribal Hidage is a fascinating document; a chance survival that gives us a glimpse of the tribes and proto-kingdoms that formed in the 6th and 7th centuries. There’s a good article on Wikipedia, and the map below. It is a list of thirty-five tribes that was compiled some time between the 7th and 9th centuries, and only includes peoples who lived south of the Humber estuary. The value of 100,000 hides for Wessex is by far the largest – quite possibly a deliberate exaggeration. Why it exists isn’t entirely clear; the front runner is that it was a tribute list created by a king.


6 thoughts on “The Tribal Hidage

  1. Do you happen to have a breakdown of clans and subtribes that make helped form the kingdoms in the traditional heptarchy? I can’t seem to find a good list that breaks it down by the core roots such as Gaini.

  2. It looks quite clearly to be a tribute list compiled by a Northumbrian king. It most probably dates after 616 after Elmet had been overrun as a Brittonic kingdom. My guess would be c680 under Ecgfrith.

  3. would like to photo copy of your map just for my own use in my learning of english history. thankyou

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