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In 410 Emperor Honorius told Britain that it would have to fend for itself. But the island was still Roman and Vortigern, the ‘Great Leader’, took control.

Implementing a strategy designed to save the island as a bastion of western civilization, Vortigern returned Britain to the unified system of military rule of the early Roman period. What followed included the employment of yet more Saxon mercenaries, defeats of Irish and Pictish invasions, political reorganization, and the return of Niall of the Nine Hostages and Conall the Red to their homeland as Romano-British agents, later becoming two of the greatest figures in early Irish history. Intense diplomatic activity persuaded the church to send bishops as emissaries to the Irish and Picts in an effort to end hostilities.

Britain was not to face a greater challenge until the twentieth century. In the fifth century the great hero was Vortigern. But his policy inevitably encountered difficulties. Criticism mounted and the church remained implacably opposed to his heresy. As a result, in stark comparison to Churchill centuries later, this war-leader has been virtually wiped from the record.

Their Finest Hour seeks to restore Vortigern to his rightful place in British history.



Published in 2010 by
Penrhyn Books,
83 Five Ashes Road,
Westminster Park,
Chester CH4 7QS

© David Leedham 2010

All Rights Reserved. Except
as permitted under current
legislation, no part of this
work may be photocopied,
stored in a retrieval system,
published, performed in
public, adapted, broadcast,
transmitted, recorded or
reproduced in any form or
by any means, without the
prior permission of the
copyright owner.

A catalogue record for this
book is available from the
British Library.

ISBN: 978-0-9565884-4-9

Book and Cover Design:
FL@33, Agathe Jacquillat
and Tomi Vollauschek,

Printed in United Kingdom



50 colour illustrations
306 pages
233 x 156 mm
ISBN: 978-0-9565884-4-9
Published November 2010