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There were seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, each with their own ruling dynasties, called the ‘Heptarchy’ (meaning ‘seven’). We have already looked at Wessex in the south, but ‘next door’ was the small kingdom of Sussex. Along the south coast lay Kent, probably the oldest of them all. Then came Essex, the kingdom of the East Saxons, and to the north of them was East Anglia. In the Midlands there was a kingdom of the Middle-Angles, which eventually morphed into the mighty kingdom of Mercia, which became the most powerful of them all for a time.