With the death of Arthur (King), or someone who might have been Arthur (King) or some people who put together were something similar in terms of power & prowess of Arthur (King), The Britons were in a parlous situation as the fashionable trend amongst nearby folk was to invade.
The Picts and those confusing folk who came from Ireland, the Scots of course did this the easy way by trampling around and over Hadrian’s Wall, which due to government cut-backs (some things never change) was under-staffed and in need of repair. However, the channel still called the Mare Germanicus by educated people was positively heaving with folk arriving from the mainland. There were a rather plain speaking people called The Franks, but they didn’t stay long as they had to go back and invent France. Three peoples quite organised geographically from north to south as The Jutes, Angles and Saxons having heard that Arthur (The King) or Arthur (The Collective Noun) had simply become legendary decided to also try their luck once more.
At first all did not go as planned because of Ambrosius Aurelianus. He claimed he was the Last of The Romans. As The Saxons were often employed by the Romans they became dreadfully confused and naturally lost The Battle of Mount Badon; this was most unfortunate for them as they’d already lost it to Arthur (The Legendary King). Some British bards were making things worse by suggesting that Ambrosius had been there before Arthur (The Whoever) anyway.
They did however then have a stroke of luck with Vortigen who upon becoming king employed The Saxon (and possibly The Angles) to fight The Picts (and possibly The Scots and The Jutes). Vortigen was to be later condemned for handing over Britain to the Saxons but to be fair he was only consulting the roman rule book and Doing As The Romans did; but since he was not in Rome at the time this was bound to fail. Things might have sorted themselves out but for the arrival of Hengist & Horsa who were either brothers and Saxon Warlords or a firm of Corporate Lawyers. In view of the speed in which they overwhelmed the Britons the latter is likely, particularly as they knew all of The Angles; Vortigen was thus obliged to resign without benefit of a pension package. At this stage his son Vortimer turned up. He was likely a man of large girth as he pushed The Saxons back and might have saved Britain had he not been poisoned by Vortigen’s saxon wife Rowena who aside from being a pagan was the first wicked step-mother; either that or an excuse to cover up the lack of British leadership. Vortigen tried to be king again, but on being told he was probably not a person but just a title gave up and retired to Wales, which had just been invented. (ahead of France).
Thus unable to stop the invaders progress The Britons has no option but to retreat and face up to the fact that they would have to re-invent themselves if they had any hope of not going the way of those Beaker Folk (though some, it was suspected were still lurking about Stonehenge and having tremendous fun just misleading everyone with tall tales – probably about 120 feet in some cases). Thus the once Celts, once (in some cases) the Britons became as follows:
Irish: This was because no one had really thought to bother them much and so they had remained quite Celtic. So apart from some entrepreneurial types who had naturally opted for piracy the Irish had become rather established, and could prove at the drop of a ballad that Arthur (King or Legend) had had nothing to do with them. Thus they set their lives to the pursuits of culture and each other’s cattle, sheep, etc. And it might be noted, possibly invading The Isle of Mann, which truth be known had been minding its own business.
Scots: Having successfully ensured that no one really knew who lived beyond Hadrian’s Wall, the folk there picted upon the notion that Scottish had a more lyrical tone than Pictish. When they thought about the latter it sounded rather peevish, which would not suit warriors, which again sounded better than bandits and cattle-raiders and sheep rustlers.
Welsh: Upon successfully moving everything worth moving beyond the rivers Dee, Severn and Taff Gwynedd, Powys, Dyfed and Seisyllwg, Morgannwg and Gwent emerged as independent Welsh kingdoms. Since these folk had access to much of the acquired culture (that which was not burnt by the Saxons, Angles and Jutes) of some 500 years they set to concentrating upon the noble pursuits of song, poetry, myths, attacking each other when not looking and of course peering across the Dee, Severn and Taff to keep a look out for a chance to snatch back land, cattle, sheep, etc
Cornish: Actually deserve a mention, because they were also Britons. They would have actually been welsh but for The Battle of Dyrham in in 577AD, which was won by the Saxon cheating and launching a surprise attack. This effectively separated Cornwall from Wales and quite rightly the Cornish thought they would manage quite nicely by themselves; this was proven when they got back at the Saxon at Hehli in 722AD, the location of which The Cornish kept to themselves so that the Saxons couldn’t get back at them or find their cattle, sheep etc.
Aside from the above two memorable dates: As bards never troubled themselves with dates, the surviving druids were whiling away their times carving out the runic versions of ‘Told You So ‘and the few monks, priests etc were more occupied with staying alive no one was yet keeping an accurate historical record. However, it can be assumed that somewhere about between 550 AD & 634 AD (the latter date is an estimate inserted to make this seminar look good), what we recognise now as England was effectively under joint-management of the Angles & Saxons; the Jutes having been expelled for protruding into business which did not concern them.
Thus The Isles as we know them today were sort of organised out. Saxons and Angles strutting about like they owned the place (which in most cases they did); while Welsh, Cornish, Scots and Celts honed some weapons, rustled, squabbled over who was a king but more importantly invested in Culture. (the employment of which always proved anything that went wrong was always the fault of The Saxons or Angles and naturally a traitor)
All might have sorted itself out but for The Vikings, who we will be looking at in the next seminar.