The Tomsaete or Tomsæte (dwellers of the Tame valley[1]) were a tribe or clan in Anglo-Saxon England living in the valley of the River Tame in the West Midlands of England from around 500[2] and remaining around Tamworth throughout the existence of the Kingdom of Mercia.[3] The tribe was identified as Anglian Mercens who came from the north, following the Trent Valley, and eventually settling along the valleys of the Tame.[1]

An Anglo-Saxon charter of 849 describes an area of Cofton Hackett in the Lickey Hills south of Birmingham as "the boundary of the Tomsæte and the Pencersæte",[4] and another charter of 835 describes Humberht as "Princeps of the Tomsæte",[5] suggesting that the group retained its identity long after being subsumed into Mercia.[6] The said boundary between Tomsæte and the Pencersæte often had Late Iron Age hill forts that also served as collecting points for territorial produce.[7] As part of Mercia, the Tomsaete was considered an important early group that settled in the heartland.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Willenhall History". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  2. ^ Appleby Magna History Archived 2009-09-11 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "A historical timeline of Wirksworth" Archived 2012-02-19 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Hooke, Della; Sawyer, P. H. (1990). "Ninth-century lease with boundary clause". Worcestershire Anglo-Saxon charter bounds. Boydell & Brewer. pp. 135–142. ISBN 0-85115-276-7. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Humberht 1". Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  6. ^ a b Kirby, D. P. (2000). "The Tribal Hidage". The Earliest English Kings. Routledge. p. 10. ISBN 0-415-24211-8. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  7. ^ Rotherham, Ian (9 May 2013). Cultural Severance and the Environment: The Ending of Traditional and Customary Practice on Commons and Landscapes Managed in Common. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789400761599.