Essex

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Essex,

one of the early kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England. It was settled probably in the early 6th cent. by Saxons who traced their royal line back to a continental Saxon god instead of to Woden, as did the rulers of other early kingdoms. Essex eventually included the modern counties of Essex and Middlesex, most of Hertfordshire, and London. Under the influence of his uncle, Æthelbert of Kent, King Sæbert of Essex accepted (c.604) Christianity, but the kingdom lapsed into heathenism when his successors expelled (617) Mellitus, bishop of London. In c.653, however, at the request of King Sigbert, Oswy of Northumbria sent Cedd to convert the East Saxons and to build churches. The submission of Essex to the overlordship of Wulfhere of MerciaMercia
, one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, consisting generally of the region of the Midlands. It was settled by Angles c.500, probably first along the Trent valley.
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 marked the beginning of a long domination by the larger state. In 825, Essex joined other eastern kingdoms in submitting to Egbert of Wessex and became an earldom. Heavily settled by the Danes, it became part of the DanelawDanelaw
, originally the body of law that prevailed in the part of England occupied by the Danes after the treaty of King Alfred with Guthrum in 886. It soon came to mean also the area in which Danish law obtained; according to the treaty, the boundary between England and
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 by the treaty of 886, but was retaken by Edward the Elder of Wessex in 917. Its most famous later earl was ByrhtnothByrhtnoth
or Bryhtnoth
, d. 991, alderman of the East Saxons. Leader of the English forces in the battle of Maldon, he was killed in the battle and was buried at Ely.
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, who was killed in the battle of Maldon in 991.

Essex,

uninc. city (1990 pop. 40,872), Baltimore co., NE Md., a suburb of Baltimore. Mostly residential, there is some light industry production.

Essex,

county (1991 pop. 1,495,600), 1,520 sq mi (3,938 sq km) SE England, on the Thames River and the North Sea, one of the "Home Counties" of London. ChelmsfordChelmsford,
city (1991 pop. 91,109), county seat of Essex, SE England. It is a market center (especially for cattle) for the surrounding agricultural district. Manufactures include electrical equipment, radios, ball bearings, rope, and agricultural equipment.
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 is the county seat. The land rises from the low, irregular coastline to undulating pastoral country. Streams and salt marshes are plentiful. Administratively, the county is divided into 12 districts: Epping Forest, Harlow, Uttlesford, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Basildon, Castle Point, Braintree, Maldon, Rochford, Colchester, and Tendring.

The chief crops of Essex are wheat, barley, sugar beets, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables. There is market gardening for London and some dairy and sheep farming. Oyster fisheries are also important. Industries include petroleum refining, chemicals, machinery, textiles, cement, processed foods, electrical goods, and nuclear power generation. Essex was once part of the kingdom of the East Saxons; Roman and Saxon remains are at ColchesterColchester
, city (1991 pop. 87,476) and district, Essex, SE England, on the Colne River. The city is a grain and cattle market. The oyster fisheries of the Colne are important; an annual event is the October oyster feast.
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 and MaldonMaldon
, town (1991 pop. 14,754) and district, Essex, E England, on the Blackwater estuary. Maldon is a market town with iron foundries and other small industries. The Maldon area has long been known for its sea salt; salt has been harvested there for more than 2000 years.
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. Popular resorts line the coast, where Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea, formerly county districts, are now administratively independent.

Essex

 

a county in southeastern Great Britain, on the North Sea. Population, 1.4 million (1976). The capital is Chelmsford.

The coastline of Essex is indented by the estuaries of the Thames, Blackwater, and Stour rivers. The county has an intensive agriculture that includes the raising of wheat, barley, and sugar beets; fruit and vegetable growing; and dairy cattle raising. The main industrial centers are the cities of Southend-on-Sea, Shell Haven, Colchester, and Harwich, which is a port.

The Saxons founded the kingdom of Essex in the early sixth century, during the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain. The kingdom probably included not only the territory of the present-day county of Essex but also the areas that are now Middlesex and London. The Christianization of Essex was completed in the midseventh century. Essex became subject to Mercia in the late eighth century and was conquered by Egbert, king of Wessex, in 825.

Essex

1
2nd Earl of, title of Robert Devereux. ?1566--1601, English soldier and favourite of Queen Elizabeth I; executed for treason

Essex

2
1. a county of SE England, on the North Sea and the Thames estuary; the geographical and ceremonial county includes Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea, which became independent unitary authorities in 1998. Administrative centre: Chelmsford. Pop. (excluding unitary authorities): 1 324 100 (2003 est.). Area (excluding unitary authorities): 3446 sq. km (1310 sq. miles)
2. an Anglo-Saxon kingdom that in the early 7th century ad comprised the modern county of Essex and much of Hertfordshire and Surrey. By the late 8th century, Essex had become a dependency of the kingdom of Mercia