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The King's Timeline

482 Birth of Arthur at Boverton in South Glamorgan.


497 Ambrosius (Emrys Wledig) nominates Arthur as his successor and appoints his brother Uthyr and his nephew Geraint Llyngesog ('the Fleet Owner’) as Pendragons to head the British forces against the Saxons. The death of Ambrosius coincides with the appearance of a comet which is described by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Arthur is crowned leader of the Britons at Caer Vudei, ’the Camp in the Wood', by St. Dyfrig (Dubricius). Geoffrey of Monmouth identifies this place with Silchester, but it is in fact Woodchester in Gloucestershire, where, significantly, Ambrosius had his headquarters.


501 A war-band of ]utes from Kent and Gewissei from south-east Hampshire land at Portsmouth Harbour and pillage Portus Adurni (Portchester).


508 The Gewissei and their ]utish allies make a piratical raid up The Severn Sea but their advance is checked by the western Britons led by Geraint Llyngesog. ln the Battle of Llongborth (War-ship port) Geraint is slain. He is buried at Merthyr Gerein (Martyrium of Geraint) on the Gwentian shore of the Severn Estuary.

510 Arthur gives assistance to his kinsman Riwal Mawr, king of Armorican Domnonia (509-524) against an invasion of the Visigoths. The united armies of Riwal and Arthur succeed in repelling a seaborne attack by the Visigoths at Baden, situated south-west of Vannes. The Venetians of Vannes appoint Arthur (Arthmael) as their Dux. Armel (Arzel) is Breton for Arth (Arz) mael, meaning 'Bear Prince'. Arzon and the llle de Arz, south of Vannes, are both named after a mighty warrior prince called Arzur, who utilized a fortress in the Sarzeau Forest, near to which stands St. Gildas’s monastery of Rhuys. There are dedications to St. Armel at Ploermel and St. Armel, situated west and south of Vannes respectively and near to the site of Arthur’s victory over the Visigoths.

512 Uthyr Pendragon comes out of retirement to fight a battle against the Teutonic alliance and avenge the death of his nephew Geraint at the Battle of Llongborth. The Saxon Chronicle tells us that a British Pendragon is killed at Dragon Hill (near Uffington) with five thousand of his men. Arthur takes over as battle commander and fights a series of twelve important battles. Five of them are fought to subjugate the settlements of the Middle and East Angles. Another is fought against the northern Angles followed by one against the Picts. The remaining five battles are fought in south-west Britain against the Gewissei and their allies.

517 The final battle is fought at Mount Badon, just outside Bath, and Arthur’s decisive victory results in a fifty year period of peace for the Britons and enables them to become a united nation, but sadly on Arthur’s abdication in 537 the unity quickly disintegrates.

522 St. Dubricius (Dyfrig), Archbishop of Wales, resigns his see and retires to Bardsey Island.

524 Riwal Mawr, the nephew of Arthur, dies. It is reputed that he was buried at Llanilltyd Fawr (Llantwit Major) in the Vale of Glamorgan.

530 Count Gwythyr (Victor), the father of Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere), dies and she inherits his estates. Her husband, Arthur, thus gains control of the principality of Leon in Armorica (Brittany). Leon is absorbed into the Armorican kingdom of Domnonia under the joint rule of Arthur and Riwal Mawr’s son and successor Deroch (King of Armorican Domnonia 524-535).

533 Deroch requests help against an invasion of the Visigoths, and Arthur, as a result, is away from his own kingdom for four years. Medraut seizes Arthur’s realm and Queen.


537 News of the uprising reaches Arthur, who has now moved on to Ireland to defeat Llwch Llawinawg, and he returns with all that survives of his army. He lands at the little harbour (now called Cadlan —'Place of Battle')on the Lleyn Peninsula, where the family of Medraut have territory. During the ensuing Battle of Camlan Medraut is slain and Arthur is critically injured. He is taken to Ynys Afallach (Bardsey Island) to have his wounds tended. After recovering from his injuries, he abdicates, handing over his crown to Constantine, the son of Cadwy. Following the fall of Arthur, the great confederacy of,British kingdoms, which has been so effective in keeping the Saxon invaders at bay, disintegrates into its component parts.

544 St. David dies, aged 82, in his monastery at Mynyw (Menevia), where the impressive cathedral of St. David`s now stands and his bones are kept in a casket.

546 Death of St. Dubricius (Dyfrig) in retirement on Bardsey Island (Isle of Avalon).

547 Maelgwyn Gwynedd dies of the bubonic plague.

549 Marcus Conomorus (King Mark), who has now settled in Armorica, assassinates ]onas, the son of Deroch. In order to obtain the regency, Conomorus marries ]onas’s widow, and ]udwal, the rightful heir, is forced to flee to the court of the Frankish King Childebert in Paris.


554 Arthur quarrels with the usurper Conomorus and goes to Paris, where he does his best to persuade Childebert to displace Conomorus and restore ]udwal. Arthwyr's nephew, Samson, arrives and together they manage to break down Childebert’s opposition. They then return to Armorica to organise an insurrection on behalf of ]udwal.


555 The combined forces of Samson, ]udwal and Arthwyr together with reinforcements provided by King Childebert, meet the forces of Conomorus near Brank Aleg at the foot of Montagnes d' Aree and fight three fierce battles over three days. Finally, ]udwal runs the usurper through with a javelin. Conomorus falls wounded from his horse and is trampled to death in the press of the charge.]udwal, now King of Armorican Domnonia, rewards Arthwyr for his services by granting him land on the River Seiche, where today stands the village of St. Armel des Boschaux. Here he establishes a monastery. It is signifcant that the whole region of the llle et Villaine, which was granted to St Armel (Arthwyr) by ]udwal for services rendered, is the area in Brittany most associated with the legends of King Arthwyr and his Knights of the Round Table and here their memory still lingers.

562 Death of Arthwyr (St. Armel) at St. Armel des Boschaux, where he is buried in a stone sarcophagus. He lived to be 80 years of age. The true identity of this highly venerated soldier saint from Glamorgan was previously unknown to the Bretons.

During the next eleven years the death occurs of three of King Arthur's most important contemporaries and it is significant that they also spent their final years in Armorica.

565 Death of St. Samson, the nephew of Arthur, at his monastery in Dol, Armorica, where his shrine used to attract large numbers of pilgrims.

570 Death of St. Gildas, aged 94 at St. Gildas du Rhuys, where his tomb and bones in a casket can be seen.

573 Death of St. Paul Aurelian (a contemporary of Arthwyr who was also born at Boverton in South Glamorgan) at his monastery St. Pol de Leon in Armorica. He was aged 86.

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