Heptarchy

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Heptarchy A government by seven persons; also, a country under seven rulers.☞ The word is most commonly applied to England, when it was divided into seven kingdoms; as, the Saxon heptachy, which consisted of Kent, the South Saxons (Sussex), West Saxons (Wessex), East Saxons (Essex), the East Angles, Mercia, and Northumberland.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n heptarchy A government by seven persons; also, a group of seven kingdoms or governments: in the latter sense used only in English history, of the seven principal Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Essex, Northumbria, East Anglia, and Mercia. There was no formal division into seven kingdoms, but their number varied at different times, and frequently a particular kingdom, as Northumbria or Mercia, obtained the preponderance. The period of the heptarchy is regarded as ending in 829, when Egbert, king of Wessex, became overlord of the other kingdoms.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Heptarchy hep′tär-ki a government by seven persons: the country governed by seven: a period in the Saxon history of England—a misleading term in any other meaning than merely this, that the chief kingdoms at various periods from the 5th to the 9th century were seven—Wessex, Sussex, Kent, Essex, East Anglia, Mercia, and Northumbria
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Hepta-, + -archy,: cf. F. heptarchie,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. hepta, seven, archē, sovereignty.

Usage

In literature:

Lord Arthur Sibthorpe, son of the Duke of Tavistock, with a pedigree from the Heptarchy.
"Round the Red Lamp" by Arthur Conan Doyle
We could restore the Heptarchy or the stage coaches if we chose.
"What's Wrong With The World" by G.K. Chesterton
The Heptarchy didn't mould itself into a nation in a day.
"The Prime Minister" by Anthony Trollope
Why, we have been waiting ever since the Heptarchy.
"The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
At my suggestion, he fixed the trees to the date of the Heptarchy, a period of heavy ploughing.
"The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete" by George Meredith
Associated Words: septenary, septuple, septette, septenate, septemvirate, septemvir, heptarchy.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming
No more eikosiarchies, dodecarchies, or heptarchies even!
"Ancient Egypt" by George Rawlinson
We revive the Heptarchy.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 11, 1914" by Various
It was old before the Saxon heptarchy.
"The Gypsies" by Charles G. Leland
As early as the Saxon Heptarchy, there was a monastery on Lindisfarne.
"Grace Darling" by Eva Hope
***