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Mercia was an ancient Anglian kingdom, occupying the central part of England between Northumbria on the north and Wessex onthe south. East Anglia was on its east border and Wales on its west.

Founded about 582, it was independent and occasionally powerful, especially under Penda (626-655), and Offa, the builder of the famous dike on the Welsh border (757-795). It merged into the Kingdom of Wessex under King Egbert around 827.