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The first known mention of Middlesex stems from a royal charter of 704 between king Swæfred of Essex, abdicating king Æthelred of Mercia and succeeding king Coenred of Mercia, granting some land to bishop Walhere in Tuican hom (Twickenham) in the provincia called Middleseaxan.
The name reflects the situation of these people being in the middle between the South Saxons, the East Saxons and the West Saxons, and distinguishing them from the Angles in the north. Unlike these neighbours, the Middle Saxons did not manage to create a lasting kingdom of their own. According to G. F. Bosworth (1913), 'there is no evidence that Middlesex was originally a separate kingdom, and we may say with a considerable amount of certainty that it formed part of the kingdom of Essex (...).' The area was part of the Kingdom of Essex at the beginning of the 7th century, but was ceded to Mercia in the 9th century (825).