William Camden (1551 –1623) was an English antiquarian and a herald for Queen Elizabeth who, in 1586, published Camden's Britannia. It included a section on Southampton.

He appears to have not correctly understood the date of the move from the Saxon site at Hamwic to the new site at Hampton.

"For here the shores, retiring themselves a great way back into the land, and the Isle of Wight also butting full upon it, does make a very good harbour, which Ptolemy calls the mouth of the river Trisanton.

"Ninnius  gives it almost the same name when he terms it Trahannon mouth."

These identifications from ancient writings are now thought incorrect.

Daily Echo: Britannia.

"As for the river running into it, at this day it is called Test. It was in old time Ant, or Anton: as the towns standing upon it, namely Amport, Andover and Hanton do testify.

"Upon this Haven stands South-hanton, a little City."

The River Anton still feeds the Test "In [The Domesday Book] this whole shire is expressly named Hantscyre, and the town itself, South-hanton.

"Near which, to the North-east, there flourished in old time another of that name: which seems to be [Roman] Clausentum, by the distance of it on the one side from Ringwood, and on the other from Venta."

Venta being the Isle of Wight.

Daily Echo: William Camden bust, Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.

"Clausentum was seated in that place which now they call S. Maries; and reached even to the Haven:"

He incorrectly suggests the Roman Clausentum was around St Marys, where the later Saxon town of Hamwic was. He then correctly identifies the “true” site at Bitterne); "and may seem also to have taken up the other bank or strand of the river: For, a little above at Bitterne over against it, I was shown the rubbish, old broken walls, and trenches of an ancient castle, and the Roman Emperor’s ancient coins are now and then there digged up."

"When all became wasted by the Danish wars, old Hanton also was left as a prey in the year of our Lord 980. to be sacked and rifled by them:"

The Saxons moved in about 900 to the “new” town, in the north end of our “Old Town”, though some may have remained on the original site "That action of the most powerful Canute King of England and Denmark, reproving the baseness of a flattering Courtier who pretended that all things would obey his royal will and pleasure, was in this place."

Canute was King of England from 1016 and this is possibly the first time the Canute story was linked to Southampton.

Daily Echo: 1800s map showing "River Test or Anton".

"And King William the Conqueror had in [Southampton] but four-score men and no more in his domain."

William took over the “new” Saxon town, built walls around it, and a castle inside. William kept about 80 noblemen in the city, but also a large force of soldiers, to protect it from being retaken by the Saxons.

"Over 200. years ago when Edward the Third, King of England and Philip Valois bustled for the very Kingdom of France, it was fired by the French, and burnt to the ground."

This is a reference to the 1338 raid. By that time the Norman town was already well-established where the Old Town is now, and it was that town that was sacked, not the old Saxon one.

Daily Echo: William Camden.

"Out of the ashes whereof, presently sprung the town which now is to be seen, but situated in a more commodious place between two rivers:"  Here Camden first mentions the move to the “Old Town” site "for number of houses, and those fair- built, much renowned, for rich inhabitants and concourse of merchants, wealthy: fenced round about with a double ditch, strong walls, and turrets standing thick between: and for defence of the Haven, a strong Castle it hath of square stone, upon a Mount cast up to a great height, built by King Richard the Second."

This is shown on John Speed’s map of Southampton, 1611.

Daily Echo: SeeSouthampton logo. Image: Echo

Jack Wilson is a tour guide with SeeSouthampton.co.uk .