Bosworth Toller's


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  • noun [ masculine ]
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Bret-walda, an; m.
A ruler of the Saxons in Britain, the chief Saxon king in England; Saxonum in Britannia rex supremus. Turner and Lappenberg suppose that the Bretwalda was elected by the other Saxon kings and by the collected nobility and other electors in Britain, becauseHunt. lib. ii. about A. D. 1148, says, 'Omnia jura regni Anglorum, reges scilicet et proceres et tribunos in ditione sua tenebat:' — Ecgbryht wæs se eahteða cyning, se ðe Bretwalda wæs Egbert was the eighth king, who was the Bretwalda,
    Chr. 827; Th. 112, 21, col. 1.
— There does not appear to be any historical evidence that the Bretwalda denoted any special title or office. The word is given in this alphabetical order because it occurs once in the Chronicle, and is thus written by historians; however, its more correct form appears to be brýten-walda, q. v.
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  • Bret-walda, n.