Saxon Hastings

From Historical Hastings

An early reference to Hastings, although not by name, is found in the Chronicle of Simeon of Durham, written in the 12th Century. This record, compiled from earlier Saxon documents stated that in 771, Offa, King of the Merceans, subdued by force of arms the Race of the Hastingi. Some writers claim that the name Hastings originates from this race, whereas others claim the name originated with a Danish Pirate of that name whose followers over-ran this part of the coast in about 893.[1]

The former has more likelyhood to be correct as it has been discovered that the town was known as a port long before the Viking Hastings flourished.[1]

The first mention of Hastings in the modern form is in 775 where a charter is granted by King Offa[2]

Cole, quoting from Taylor's Words and Places states that "The Hastings, the noblest race of the Goths, seem to have held the eastern part of Sussex as an independent community. Portus Novus falling into their hands after the Romans abandoned it, became the capital and thus acquired the name of Hastings by which it has been known ever since." In addition to this, the Charter granted by the Abbey of St. Denis in 790 describes Hastings as a seaport.[1]

Town Mint

Dawson, although otherwise discredited, states that there is a reference to Hastings in the law of Athelstan, where a moneyer is appointed to the Mint at Hastings. The Mint was supposed to have been (as per usual) within a fortress which leads to a potential conclusion that a castle existed here prior to the Conquest. One of the earliest masters of the Mint at Hastings was named Bridd according to Ruding in his work on coinage.Cole suggests he could be an ancestor of the Breeds family. Another writer suggest that Bridd's descendants could be the local family of Brett or Britt on the grounds that double 'D' is pronounced 'th'. Coins exist from this Mint bearing the name Bridd and occasionally Brid.[1]

References & Notes