Hengist, King of Kent, was born in Jutland (Denmark) to Chieftan Wictgils. The identity of his mother is not known. He had a brother, Horsa
. It is not known which of the brothers was the elder but since Hengist is always referred to first it is likely he was the elder.
of the Britons called for assistance from the brothers Hengist and Horsa to help him fight the Picts and Scots. By this time the brothers were Jutish chieftans from Jutland (Denmark).
Hengist and Horsa landed at Wippidsfleet (Ebbsfleet) in Kent. They brought with them a number of armed Angles and Saxons.
Hengist and Horsa joined forces with King Vortigern and supported him fighting the Picts in the north.
King Vortigern married Hengist’s daughter, Rowena.
King Vortigern gave the brothers the Isle of Thanet.
Vortigern’s son, Vortimer, was unhappy about his father’s marriage and the fact that he had given land to the Saxons, and led a rebellion against him. The rebellion ended when Vortimer was killed. Some sources claim that Vortimer was poisoned by his step-mother, Rowena.
Hengist and Horsa were dissatisfied with the land they controlled and wanted to expand their territory.
Battle of Aegaelsthrep (Aylesford)
Horsa was killed during this battle with King Vortigern. Vortigern’s son, Catigern was also killed in the fighting. Hengist, now in control of Kent, formed the first Saxon kingdom in the land, declaring himself King of Kent.
Peace of Salisbury/Treachery of the Long Knives
After the death of his brother, Hengist called for peace and summoned Celtic leaders to Salisbury Plain for talks. However, when they arrived the Saxons massacred the Celts.
Vortigern either left Kent after the Battle of Aegaelsthrep (Aylesford) or he escaped the massacre at Salisbury. Either way it is believed that he fled to Wales. He then disappears from the records.
Battle of Crayford
The Saxons led by Hengist and his son, Oisc, fought the Britons and killed around 4,000 men.
Battle of Wippedsfleot
Hengist and his son killed twelve leaders of the Britons. Following this battle Vortigern left Kent and is thought to have gone to Wales. Hengist, now in control of Kent, formed the first Saxon kingdom in the land.
Hengist and Oisc attacked the Britons seeking to gain further control.
Hengist died. He was succeeded as King of Kent by his son, Oisc.