Britannia, by William Camden

ornament

REGNI.

Small N NEXT the Attrebatii to the East, the Regni (call’d by Ptolemy Greek text,) inhabited those Counties which we now call Surrey and Southsex; with the sea-coast of Hamshire. As to the Etymology of the name, I am inclin’d to conceal my present opinion; because it is possible it may be as much out of the way, as if I should affirm the Greek text to be so called from their being a Regnum or Kingdom, to which the Romans granted the Privilege of continuing under Kingly government. For, as Tacitus tells us, Cogidunus King of the Britains had certain Cities put under his Jurisdiction, according to an ancient custom of the Romans; with no other design but that they might have Kings their slaves. But this conjecture, to my self does not appear probable, and to others will seem absurd; and so I give it up. As for the Etymology of the Saxon names (which are of a later date) I readily close with them, since they have such a clear appearance of truth: namely, South-sex from the South-Saxons; and Surrey from the Southerly situation with regard to the river. For that this is the meaning of Suth-rey, no one can deny, who considers thatOfre, in Saxon, is a Bank. Vid. Southwark.Over-rhey in the old Saxon signifies Over the river.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06