Jutes is the name of a people, some of whom took part in the “Saxon” conquest of Britain along with Saxons and Angles.


Jutes and Saxons land

Legendary OriginsEdit

The Leire Chronicle (Chronicon Lethrense), created around 1170, begins with an otherwise unknown king named Ypper ruling in Uppsala who has three sons named Dan, Nori, and Østen. Dan rules in Zealand, Møn, Falster, and Lolland, which become known jointly as Videslev, Nori rules in Norway, and Østen rules in Sweden.

The Jutes then ask Dan to aid them in beating off an attack by the Roman Emperor Augustus. When Dan is victorious, the Jutes, the men of Fyn, and the men of Scania choose him to be their king also. A council decides to call this new united land Danmark (Dania) (English: Denmark) after their new king, Dan.

It is believed, in reality, to be about the year 500 when the Danes begin to take over Jutland from the Jutes.

Early MentionsEdit

The first mention of Jutes in surviving texts may be the casual mention of Tacitus in his Germania of the Eudoses among the northern Germans.

Jutes and GeatsEdit

Some think Jutes to be identical to the Geats, a people in southern Sweden in historic times. But the Old English poem Beowulf calls the folk that would appear to be the Jutes “Eotenas” while the Geats there appear as “Gēatas”. The Old English poem Widsith also clearly differentiates Geats from Jutes.

Jutes in BritainEdit

Bede tells in his Ecclesiastical History (Book I, Chapter 15):

From the Jutes are descended the people of Kent, and of the Isle of Wight, and those also in the province of the West Saxons who are to this day called Jutes, seated opposite to the Isle of Wight.

In Book IV, 13:

AFTER Coedwalla had possessed himself of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he also took the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by cruel slaughter endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place in their stead people from his own province; having bound himself by a vow, though he was not yet, as is reported, regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land, and of the booty, to our Lord, if he took the island, which he performed by giving the same for our Lord to the use of Bishop Wilfred, who happened at the time to have accidentally come thither out of his own nation. The measure of that island, according to the computation of the English, is of twelve hundred families, and accordingly the bishop had given him land of three hundred families. The part which he received, he committed to one of his clerks called Bernwin, who was his sister's son, assigning him a priest, whose name was Hiddila, who might administer the word and baptism of salvation to all that would be saved.

Here I think it ought not to be omitted that the first fruits of the natives of that island who, by believing, secured their salvation, were two royal youths, brothers to Atwald, king of the island, who were honoured by the particular grace of God. For when the enemy approached, they made their escape out of the island, and passed over into the neighbouring province of the Jutes; where, being conducted to the place called At the Stone, as they thought to, be concealed from the victorious king, they were betrayed and ordered to be killed. This being made known to a certain abbot and priest, whose name was Cynebert, who had a monastery not far from thence, at a place called Reodford, that is, the Ford of Reeds, he came to the king, who then lay privately in those parts, to be cured of the wounds which he had received whilst he was fighting in the Isle of Wight, and begged of him that if the lads must inevitably be killed, he might be allowed first to instruct them in the mysteries of the faith. The king consented, and the bishop having taught them the word of truth, and cleansed their souls by baptism, made the entrance into the kingdom of heaven sure to them. Then the executioner being at hand, they joyfully underwent the temporal death, through which they did not doubt they were to pass to the life of the soul, which is everlasting. Thus, after all the provinces of the island of Britain had embraced the faith of Christ, the Isle of Wight also received the same; yet being under the affliction of foreign subjection, no man there received the ministry, or rank of a bishop, before Daniel, who is now bishop of the West Saxons.

This genocidal killing of the inhabitants of Wight is somewhat mitigated by Bede’s earlier claim that, in his day, the Isle of Wight is still settled with folk of Jutish ancestry.


Some Name VariationsEdit

LATIN: Iuti, Iutae; OLD ENGLISH: Ēotenas, Eotan, Ytan.

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