Meaning of septarchy in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsɛptɑːki/


  • A group of seven districts, kingdoms, or countries, each under its own ruler; specifically the traditional seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England in the 7th and 8th centuries.

    The ‘seven kingdoms’ of Anglo-Saxon England were Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Kent, Sussex, Essex, and Wessex. The historical tradition of the seven kingdoms probably derives from Henry of Huntingdon's Historia Anglorum (1130–55). It is somewhat misleading in that the configuration fluctuated over time, with sometimes more and sometimes fewer than seven kingdoms, the boundaries of which themselves were generally fluid.


Early 17th century. From classical Latin septem seven + -archy, probably as an alteration of heptarchy.