What the British
did after the Romans had gone.
- In AD 410, war in Europe
meant that the Roman Empire was no longer able to take care of
Britain. Emperor Honorius told the Romano-Britons that they
must look after themselves.
- A writer named Zosimus
records that the British aristocracy (the rich and powerful)
then set up their own government and threw out any of the old
Roman rulers still in Britain.
- In the North of Britain,
the commander of what was left of the army was known as the
Duke of Britain. He probably managed to keep his position of power. His
name was Coel the Old.
- Although the new
government may have claimed to control all of Britain, the
country seems to have become divided up into lots of small
- A writer named Prosper
speaks of 'tyrants' ruling these areas, usually from a large
town at the centre. They were strong or popular men who had
set themselves up as local kings without any proper authority.
- Because no-one felt
safe, there was a lot of movement of people around the
country. Irish families began to settle in Wales and many
Britons sailed to Gaul (now called France) where they started
a new country called Brittany.
to find out: What happened when King Vortigern