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Bretwalda (ruler of Britain)

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The chief of the kings of the heptarchy who exercised a certain undefined power over the other rulers; something like that of Hugues Capʹet over his peers.

“The office of Bretwalda, a kind of elective chieftainship, of all Britain, was held by several Northumbrian kings, in succession.”—Earle; English Tongue, p. 26.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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See Also:

Bretwalda