The name Essex recorded in AD 527 originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the Early Middle Ages and has its root in the Old English Ēastseaxe (i.e. the “East Saxons”), the eastern kingdom of the Saxons
Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what later became Middlesex and most of what later became Hertfordshire as its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lea.
Colchester in the north east of the county is Britain’s oldest recorded town, dating back to before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. In changes before the Norman conquest the Kingdom of Essex was subsumed into the Kingdom of England and Essex became a county.
The East Saxon kingdom of Essex lasted for four centuries before becoming part of Wessex in the 9th Century. Saxon women were often treated equally to men and had the right to own property and make wills. Upon marriage they were able to keep their dowry and spend it as they wished. Anglo-Saxon England was Christian and the first female saints were created in England.