There is a line of thinking among some British historians, linguists, and at least one geneticist that the Germanic-speaking people of eastern Britain did not arrive as part of a Germanic invasion following Roman rule, but rather were natives of Britain who had lived continuously in villages undisturbed since the Bronze Age, possibly originating from Scandinavia.
I have two websites as examples that I'll link to below, but here is an example of their arguments:
- No 5th century writers mentioned a language change in Britain.
- The native Britons could have adopted neighboring Celtic art and other customs while still speaking a Germanic language.
- There were an estimated 2.5 million Britons that would have had to have been completely replaced by the invading Germans.
- There is no archaeological evidence of a discontinuity reflecting the displacement of 2.5 million people from eastern Britain.
- A British geneticist believes that only about 250,000 immigrants added to a native population of about 2 million already in Britain.
- The same geneticist (a Dr. Oppenheimer) has concluded that English must be an ancient 4th branch of the Germanic family.
- A Dr. Forster argues that Germanic-speaking Scandinavians had already come to Britain before the accepted chronology allows.
- Latin was only a lingua franca used by the more important classes of society and not the common language of the English people.
- Excavations at West Heslerton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, for example, show continuous habitation from the Bronze Age
- If the narrative that the Germans were originally invited over as mercenaries is true, there should be more Welsh words in English.
- The conventional narrative of the Germanic invasion of Britain is said to have been promoted by James I for political reasons.