Essex History


The area which Essex now occupies was ruled in pre-Roman times by the Celtic Trinovantes tribe. A dispute between them and another tribe was used as an excuse for a Roman invasion in 55 BC, and they allied with Rome when Claudius returned in 49 AD. The Trinovantes later fought with the Iceni tribe against Roman rule as the Romans did not accept that in the Iceni tradition women could be rulers and therefore after Boudicca became ruler they sought to take power which was not part of the agreement that they had come to.

Following the Norman conquest the Saxon kingdom formed the basis of a county in 1139 under the first Earl of Essex, Geoffrey de Mandeville. Dick Turpin, the infamous highwayman was born in Essex in 1705.

The development of the county was due to the railway in Victorian times. Some of the railways were built primarily to transport goods but some where deliberately planned to cater for commuter traffic; they unintentionally created the holiday resorts of Southend, Clacton and Frinton-on-Sea. Much of Essex is protected from development near to its boundary with Greater London and forms part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.