Kingdom of Deira
|Common languages||Old English, Common Brittonic|
|Historical era||Early Medieval|
• Shared crown with Bernicia
• merged with Bernicia
The name of the kingdom is of Brythonic origin, and is derived from the Proto-Celtic *daru, meaning 'oak' (derw in modern Welsh), in which case it would mean 'the people of the Derwent', a derivation also found in the Latin name for Malton, Derventio. It is cognate with the modern Irish word doire (pronounced [ˈd̪ˠɛɾʲə]); the name for County Londonderry and the city of Derry stems from this word.
Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain a number of successor kingdoms rose in northern England, reflecting pre-Roman tribal territories. The area between the Humber and River Tees was known as Deywr or Deifr corresponds to the tribal lands of the Parisi, bordered to the West and North by the Brythonic kingdoms of Elfed and Bryneich respectively, and to the East by the North Sea.
Early Deira may have centred on Petuaria (modern Brough) and archaeological evidence shows that the town was refortified. Petuaria was a great tribal centre for the Parisi, but declined in importance from the mid-fourth century (possibly as the harbour silted up). After this period, Derventio (modern Malton) may have functioned as the region's capital.
It is not known if Deira was ever an independent Brythonic kingdom, and no British king has been identified with the area from the surviving genealogies, poems or chronicles. However the area was subject to the same fractious inheritance traditions and changing power dynamic (following the Roman withdrawal) that allowed Elfed and Bryneich to become independent hereditary kingdoms in the early fifth century. In Welsh literature Deira is part of the Hen Ogledd (Old North) region, which was divided into many related kingdoms after the death of Coel Hen (Coel the Old).
The kingdom was previously inhabited by Britons and was probably created in the third quarter of the fifth century when Anglian warriors invaded the Derwent Valley. Anglian Deira's territory also extended from the Humber to the Tees, and from the sea to the western edge of the Vale of York. It later merged with the kingdom of Bernicia, its northern neighbour, to form the kingdom of Northumbria.
According to Simeon of Durham (writing early in the 12th century), it extended from the Humber to the Tyne, but the land was waste north of the Tees. After the Brythonic kingdom centred on Eboracum, which may have been called Ebrauc, was taken by King Edwin, the city of Eboracum became its capital, and Eoforwic ("boar-place") was taken by the Angles.
Archaeology suggests that the Anglian royal house was in place by the middle of the fifth century, but the first certainly recorded king is Ælla in the late sixth century. After his death, Deira was subject to king Æthelfrith of Bernicia, who united the two kingdoms into Northumbria. Æthelfrith ruled until the accession of Ælla's son Edwin, in 616 or 617, who also ruled both kingdoms until 633.
Anglian kings of Deira
|559/560 to 589||Ælla
|ÆLLA YFFING DEIRA CYNING
ÆLLA REX DEIRA
|589/599 to 604||Æthelric
|ÆÞELRIC IDING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELRIC REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
|593/604? to 616||Æthelfrith||ÆÞELFERÞ ÆÞELRICING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELFERÞ REX DEIRA
|Killed in battle|
|616 to 12/14 October 632||Edwin||EDVVIN ÆLLING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
EDVVIN REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
|Killed in battle by Cadwallon of Gwynedd and Penda of Mercia|
|late 633 to summer 634||Osric||OSRIC ÆLFRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSRIC REX DEIRA
|633 to 5 August 642||Oswald||OSVVALD BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVALD REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
|Killed by Penda, King of Mercia; Saint Oswald|
|642 to 644||Oswiu||OSVVIO ÆÞELFRIÞING BERNICIA 7 DEIRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX BERNICIA ET DEIRA
|644 to 651||Oswine||OSVVINE OSRICING DEIRA CYNING
OSVVINE REX DEIRA
|summer 651 to late 654 or 655||Æthelwold||ÆÞELVVALD OSVVALDING DEIRA CYNING
ÆÞELVVALD REX DEIRA
|654 to 15 August 670||Oswiu||OSVVIO ÆÞELFERÞING NORÞANHYMBRA CYNING
OSVVIO REX NORÞANHYMBRA
|656 to 664||Alchfrith||ALCHFRIÞ DEIRA CYNING
ALCHFRIÞ REX DEIRA
|664 to 670||Ecgfrith||ECGFRIÞ DEIRA CYNING
ECGFRIÞ REX DEIRA
|670 to 679||Ælfwine||ÆLFVVINE DEIRA CYNING
ÆLFVVINE REX DEIRA
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|volume=has extra text (help)
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