Suffolk dating from 1900
Its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lea.
In AD 824, following the Battle of Ellandun, the kingdoms of the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the Jutes of Kent were absorbed into the kingdom of the West Saxons, uniting Saxland under King Alfred's grandfather Ecgberht.
As well as rural areas, the county also includes London Stansted Airport, the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, Lakeside Shopping Centre, the port of Tilbury and the borough of Southend-on-Sea.
Colchester in the north-east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating from before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint.
The county town is Chelmsford, the only city in the county.
For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region.
Before the Norman conquest the East Saxons were subsumed into the Kingdom of England.
After the Norman Conquest, county rather than shire became the more usual term is England's main sub-divisions, but their boundaries and role remained the same.
Before 1938, the council regularly met in London near Moorgate, which with significant parts of the county close to that point and the dominance of railway travel had been more convenient than any place in the county. Before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100.
Middlesex, Sussex and Wessex) during the Heptarchy.
Originally recorded in AD 527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what later became Middlesex (which probably included Surrey) and most of what later became Hertfordshire.
Most administration was carried out by Justices of the Peace (JPs) appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant of Essex based upon their reputation.
The JPs carried out judicial and administrative duties such as maintenance of roads and bridges, supervision of the poor laws, administration of county prisons and setting the County Rate..