Cerdic, King of the West Saxons

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Cerdic

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Saxony, Germany
Death: Died in Wessex, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Elesa; Elesa and Unknown Wife
Husband of N.N Queen of Wessex and Gorpe
Father of Cynric, King of Wessex and Crioda, King of West Saxons
Brother of (Poss) daughter of Elesa Mother of Withgar

Occupation: koning van Wessex
Managed by: Sally Gene Cole
Last Updated:

About Cerdic, King of the West Saxons

From The ancestry of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert by George Russel French 1841

In the year 495 one of these leaders, called CERDIC "the most noble and powerful of the Saxon chiefs", with his son Cenric, and a considerable force, landed in the south-west of England, and although he met with a more obstinate resistance from the Britons than the other tribes of Saxons had encountered, his perservering valour enabled him in the year 519 to establish the kingdom of Wessex, or West Saxony. The greatest opposition which Cerdic had to encounter was from Arthur, Prince of the Silures, whose actions have been so magnified by the early British bards and chroniclers, one of whom asserted, "God has not made since Adam was, the man more perfect than Arthur," as to lead some modern writers to doubt his very existence.Cerdic claimed a descent in common with all the founders of the Heptarchy, from Wodin or Odin, "king of men" who is placed 200 to 300 years after Christ, and whilist the Icelandic documents would derive Woden from Memnon and a daughter of King Priam, the Saxon chroniclers present us with a pedigree of Cerdic from the patricarch Noah.Ch 1 pg 3

Cerdic of Wessex

Cerdic of Wessex (died 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex (See House of Wessex family tree).

Bron: http://fabpedigree.com/s036/f014287.htm

Cerdic (Cedric) of the GEWISSAE (ANCIENT SAXONY)

    First King of the WEST SAXONS (WESSEX); (Serdic?)
   Note: Origin of the Anglo-Saxon race (acc. King Alfred): ``In the year that was past from the birth of Christ 494, then Cedric and Cynric his son landed at Cerdices ora [Cerdic's ore] from five ships.''
   But some scholars think Cerdic was a Briton with Alfred fabricating an Anglo-Saxon pedigree for political purposes.
    Born:  abt. 467    Died:  534

--------------------

Cerdic is considered to be the founder of the Brittish Monarchy. Some have proposed that he is the King Arthur of the Camelot legends.

Cerdic (from the early British name represented by modern Welsh Caradog; died 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex (See House of Wessex family tree), and as such an ancestor of virtually every royal throne in Europe.

Official life and career

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him in 508, and to have fought at Charford (Cerdic's Ford) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514). Cerdic is said to have died in 534 and was succeeded by his son Cynric.

The early history of Wessex in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is clearly muddled. David Dumville has suggested that Cerdic's true regnal dates are 538-554. Some scholars suggest that Cerdic was the Saxon leader defeated by the British at the Battle of Mount Badon, which was probably fought sometime between 490 and 518. This cannot be the case if Dumville is correct, and others assign this battle to Ælle or another Saxon leader.

It should also be noted that while Cerdic's area of operation was, according to the Chronicle, in the area north of Southampton, there is also stronger archaeological evidence of early Anglo-Saxon activity in the area around Dorchester-on-Thames. This is the later location of the first West Saxon bishopric, in the first half of the seventh century, so it appears likely that the origins of the kingdom of Wessex are more complex than the version provided by the surviving traditions.[1]

Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that Cerdic is purely a legendary figure, and had no actual existence, but this is a minority view. However, the earliest source for Cerdic, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was put together in the late ninth century; though it probably does record the extant tradition of the founding of Wessex, the intervening four hundred years mean that the account cannot be assumed to be accurate.[2][3]

Descent from Cerdic became a necessary criterion for later kings of Wessex, and Egbert of Wessex, progenitor of the English royal house and subsequent rulers of England and Britain, claimed him as an ancestor.

Origins

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides a pedigree tracing Cerdic's ancestry back to Wōden and the antediluvian patriarchs. However, this pedigree has been shown by Kenneth Sisam to have resulted from a process of elaboration upon a root pedigree borrowed from the kings of Bernicia, and hence prior to Cerdic himself it has no historical basis.[4]

Curiously, the name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility that Cerdic's mother was British and that he was given a name used by his mother's people; if so, this would provide evidence for a degree of mixing, both cultural and biological, between the invaders and the native British. Alternatively, the use of a British name may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became Anglicised over time. This view is supported by the non-Germanic names of some of his successors including Ceawlin, Cedda and Caedwalla. If this were the case then the records of Cerdic landing in Britain, which were written down many generations after the events they purport to portray, must be looked on as being in the realms of legend.[5]

J.N.L. Myres noted that when Cerdic and Cynric first appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 495 they are described as ealdormen, which at that point in time was a fairly junior rank. Myres remarks that,

   It is thus odd to find it used here to describe the leaders of what purports to be an independent band of invaders, who origins and authority are not otherwise specified. It looks very much as if a hint is being conveyed that Cerdic and his people owed their standing to having been already concerned with administrative affairs under Roman authority on this part of the Saxon Shore.

Furthermore, it is not until 519 that Cerdic and Cynric are recorded as "beginning to reign", suggesting that they ceased being dependent vassals or ealdormen and became independent Kings in their own right.

Summing up, Myres believed that,

   It is thus possible ... to think of Cerdic as the head of a partly British noble family with extensive territorial interests at the western end of the Litus Saxonicum. As such he may well have been entrusted in the last days of Roman, or sub-Roman authority with its defence. He would then be what in later Anglo-Saxon terminology could be described as an ealdorman. ... If such a dominant native family as that of Cerdic had already developed blood-relationships with existing Saxon and Jutish settlers at this end of the Saxon Shore, it could very well be tempted, once effective Roman authority had faded, to go further. It might have taken matters into its own hands and after eliminating any surviving pockets of resistance by competing British chieftains, such as the mysterious Natanleod of annal 508, it could 'begin to reign' without recognizing in future any superior authority.

Some would disagree with Myres, as Cerdic is reported to have landed in Hampshire. Some also would say that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle proves that Cerdic was indeed a Saxon, however it does not prove that he had no Celtic blood. Some scholars believe that it is likely that his mother was a British Celt who left for the Continent or perhaps was a Continental Celt. Geoffrey Ashe postulates he may be a son of Riothamus.

Modern times

The name "Cedric" (in place of "Cerdic") arose from a misspelling in the novel Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.

Cerdic is the main protagonist in the historical novel Conscience of the King (1951), by the English author Alfred Duggan.

In the 2004 film King Arthur, Cerdic and Cynric were depicted as Saxon invaders, and were killed, respectively, by Arthur and Lancelot at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus). Cerdic was portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.

Bernard Cornwell names him as a rival of Aelle of Sussex, in his Warlord Chronicles.

Cerdic's name may be commemorated in the name of the village of Chearsley, Buckinghamshire, which appears in the Domesday Book (1086) as Cerdeslai. This is assumed to be the place mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Cerdicesleah, where King Cerdic and his son Cynric defeated the Britons in 527.

--------------------

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him in 508, and to have fought at Charford (Cerdic's Ford) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514). Cerdic is said to have died in 534 and was succeeded by his son Cynric.

The early history of Wessex in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is clearly muddled. David Dumville has suggested that Cerdic's true regnal dates are 538-554. Some scholars suggest that Cerdic was the Saxon leader defeated by the British at the battle of Mount Badon, which was probably fought sometime between 490 and 518. This cannot be the case if Dumville is correct, and others assign this battle to Ælle or another Saxon leader.

It should also be noted that while Cerdic's area of operation was, according to the Chronicle, in the area north of Southampton, there is also stronger archaeological evidence of early Anglo-Saxon activity in the area around Dorchester-on-Thames. This is the later location of the first West Saxon bishopric, in the first half of the seventh century, so it appears likely that the origins of the kingdom of Wessex are more complex than the version provided by the surviving traditions.[1]

Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that Cerdic is purely a legendary figure, and had no actual existence, but this is a minority view. However, the earliest source for Cerdic, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was put together in the late ninth century; though it probably does record the extant tradition of the founding of Wessex, the intervening four hundred years mean that the account cannot be assumed to be accurate.[2][3]

Cerdic is allegedly an ancestor to Egbert of Wessex, and therefore would be an ancestor of not only the modern British monarchy under Elizabeth II, allowing the British Royal Family to trace its roots back over 1500 years, but virtually every royal lineage in Europe.

[edit] Origins

Curiously, the name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility that Cerdic's mother was British and that he was given a name used by his mother's people; if so, this would provide evidence for a degree of mixing, both cultural and biological, between the invaders and the native British. Alternatively, the use of a British name may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became Anglicised over time. This view is supported by the non-Germanic names of his father, Elesa, and some of his successors including Ceawlin, Cedda and Caedwalla. If this were the case then the records of Cerdic landing in Britain, which were written down many generations after the events they purport to portray, must be looked on as being in the realms of legend.[4]

J.N.L. Myres noted that when Cerdic and Cynric first appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 495 they are described as ealdormen, which at that point in time was fairly junior rank. Myres remarks that "It is thus odd to find it used here to describe the leaders of what purports to be an independent band of invaders, who origins and authority are not otherwise specified. It looks very much as if a hint is being conveyed that Cerdic and his people owed their standing to having been already concerned with administrative affairs under Roman authority on this part of the Saxon Shore." Furthermore, it is not until 519 that Cerdic and Cynric are recorded as "beginning to reign", suggesting that they ceased being dependent vassals or ealdormen and became independent Kings in their own right.

Summing up, Myres believed that It is thus possible ... to think of Cerdic as the head of a partly British noble family with extensive territorial interests at the western end of the "Litus Saxonicum. As such he may well have been entrusted in the last days of Roman, or sub-Roman authority with its defence. He would then be what in later Anglo-Saxon terminology could be described as an ealdorman. ... If such a dominant native family as that of Cerdic had already developed blood-relationships with existing Saxon and Jutish settlers at this end of the Saxon Shore, it could very well be tempted, once effective Roman authority had faded, to go further. It might have taken matters into its own hands and after eliminating any surviving pockets of resistance by competing British chieftains, such as the mysterious Natanleod of annal 508, it could 'begin to reign' without recognizing in future any superior authority."

Some would disagree with Myres, as Cerdic is reported to have landed in Hampshire. Some also would say that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle proves that Cerdic was indeed a Saxon, however it does not prove that he had no Celtic blood. Some scholars believe that it is likely that his mother was a British Celt who left for the Continent or perhaps was a Continental Celt. Geoffrey Ashe postulates he may be a son of Riothamus.

Cerdic is the main protagonist in the historical novel Conscience of the King (1951) by the English author Alfred Duggan.

In the 2004 film King Arthur, Cerdic and Cynric were depicted as Saxon invaders, and were killed, respectively, by Arthur and Lancelot at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus). Cerdic was portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård. Bernard Cornwell names him as rival to Aelle of Sussex, in his Warlord Chronicles.

--------------------

Founder of the West Saxon kingdom, or Wessex. All the sovereigns of England except Canute, Hardecanute, the two Harolds, and William the Conqueror are said to be descended from him. A Continental ealdorman who in 495 landed in Hampshire, Cerdic was attacked at once by the Britons. Nothing more is heard of him until 508, when he defeated the Britons with great slaughter. Strengthened by fresh arrivals of Saxons, he gained another victory in 519 at Certicesford, a spot which has been identified with the modern Charford, and in this year took the title of king. Turning westward, Cerdic appears to have been defeated by the Britons in 520 at Badbury or Mount Badon, in Dorset, and in 527 yet another fight with the Britons is recorded. His last work was the conquest of the Isle of Wight, probably in the interest of some Jutish allies.6

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~havens5/p24016.htm

This website traces Cerdic back through mythological ancestors to a questionable link to Noe (Noah from the Bible- Add 25 more relations above Cerdic...and another 8 relations to get to Adam)

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~havens5/p24051.htm

--------------------

Cerdic (Cedric) of the GEWISSAE (ANCIENT SAXONY)

    First King of the WEST SAXONS (WESSEX); (Serdic?)
   Note: Origin of the Anglo-Saxon race (acc. King Alfred): ``In the year that was past from the birth of Christ 494, then Cedric and Cynric his son landed at Cerdices ora [Cerdic's ore] from five ships.''
   But some scholars think Cerdic was a Briton with Alfred fabricating an Anglo-Saxon pedigree for political purposes.
    Born:  abt. 467    Died:  534

Poss. HM George I's 27-Great Grandfather. Poss. HRE Ferdinand I's 24-Great Grandfather. Poss. Agnes Harris's 31-Great Grandfather.

Wife/Partner:       Gorpe
Possible Child:       Creoda of the GEWISSAE
Alternative Father of Possible Child:       Cerdic of WESSEX [alt ped]

______ ______ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ ___ ___ ___

/ -- Baeldaeg of the AESIR + ==&=> [ 155 ,,D,&]

/ -- Brond (Brand Brandr) of SCANDINAVIA

| | or: Bernic (q.v. : Brond's son)

/ -- Nanna of SCANDINAVIA + ====> [ 1]

/ -- Frithugar DEIRA of ANCIENT SAXONY

/ -- Freawine (Freovin) of ANCIENT SAXONY

/ | (skip this generation?)

/ -- Wig (Uvigg Wigga) of ANCIENT SAXONY (355? - ?)

/ -- poss. Gewis (Gewisch) of ANCIENT SAXONY (383? - ?)

/ | or: poss. Eafa (Effa) I of ANCIENT SAXONY

/ -- Esla (Esle) of ANCIENT SAXONY (411? - ?)

/ | or: Effa II (Esla's son)

/ -- poss. Elesa (Elistus) of ANCIENT SAXONY (439? - 514?)

| / -- Gevar (Sea-King) in DENMARK

/ -- poss. daughter of Gevar

- Cerdic (Cedric) of the GEWISSAE (ANCIENT SAXONY)

 

-- (missing)


 His (poss.) 3-Great Grandchildren:       Cuthgils of WESSEX   ;   Celdric (King) of WEST SAXONS   ;   Chad of WESSEX   ;   Cuthwulf (Cutha) (Under-ruler) of WESSEX   ;   Audur IVARSDOTTIR (Queen) of HOLMGARD   ;   Roric SLINGEBAND (King) of LETHRA

--------------------

Cerdic, First King of Wessex

Cerdic (from the early British name represented by modern Welsh Caradog; died 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex (See House of Wessex family tree), and as such an ancestor of virtually every royal throne in Europe.

Official life and career

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him in 508, and to have fought at Charford (Cerdic's Ford) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514). Cerdic is said to have died in 534 and was succeeded by his son Cynric.

The early history of Wessex in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is clearly muddled. David Dumville has suggested that Cerdic's true regnal dates are 538-554. Some scholars suggest that Cerdic was the Saxon leader defeated by the British at the Battle of Mount Badon, which was probably fought sometime between 490 and 518. This cannot be the case if Dumville is correct, and others assign this battle to Ælle or another Saxon leader.

It should also be noted that while Cerdic's area of operation was, according to the Chronicle, in the area north of Southampton, there is also stronger archaeological evidence of early Anglo-Saxon activity in the area around Dorchester-on-Thames. This is the later location of the first West Saxon bishopric, in the first half of the seventh century, so it appears likely that the origins of the kingdom of Wessex are more complex than the version provided by the surviving traditions.[1]

Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that Cerdic is purely a legendary figure, and had no actual existence, but this is a minority view. However, the earliest source for Cerdic, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was put together in the late ninth century; though it probably does record the extant tradition of the founding of Wessex, the intervening four hundred years mean that the account cannot be assumed to be accurate.[2][3]

Descent from Cerdic became a necessary criterion for later kings of Wessex, and Egbert of Wessex, progenitor of the English royal house and subsequent rulers of England and Britain, claimed him as an ancestor.

[edit] Origins

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides a pedigree tracing Cerdic's ancestry back to Wōden and the antediluvian patriarchs. However, this pedigree has been shown by Kenneth Sisam to have resulted from a process of elaboration upon a root pedigree borrowed from the kings of Bernicia, and hence prior to Cerdic himself it has no historical basis.[4]

Curiously, the name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility that Cerdic's mother was British and that he was given a name used by his mother's people; if so, this would provide evidence for a degree of mixing, both cultural and biological, between the invaders and the native British. Alternatively, the use of a British name may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became Anglicised over time. This view is supported by the non-Germanic names of some of his successors including Ceawlin, Cedda and Caedwalla. If this were the case then the records of Cerdic landing in Britain, which were written down many generations after the events they purport to portray, must be looked on as being in the realms of legend.[5]

J.N.L. Myres noted that when Cerdic and Cynric first appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 495 they are described as ealdormen, which at that point in time was a fairly junior rank. Myres remarks that,

   It is thus odd to find it used here to describe the leaders of what purports to be an independent band of invaders, who origins and authority are not otherwise specified. It looks very much as if a hint is being conveyed that Cerdic and his people owed their standing to having been already concerned with administrative affairs under Roman authority on this part of the Saxon Shore.

Furthermore, it is not until 519 that Cerdic and Cynric are recorded as "beginning to reign", suggesting that they ceased being dependent vassals or ealdormen and became independent Kings in their own right.

Summing up, Myres believed that,

   It is thus possible ... to think of Cerdic as the head of a partly British noble family with extensive territorial interests at the western end of the Litus Saxonicum. As such he may well have been entrusted in the last days of Roman, or sub-Roman authority with its defence. He would then be what in later Anglo-Saxon terminology could be described as an ealdorman. ... If such a dominant native family as that of Cerdic had already developed blood-relationships with existing Saxon and Jutish settlers at this end of the Saxon Shore, it could very well be tempted, once effective Roman authority had faded, to go further. It might have taken matters into its own hands and after eliminating any surviving pockets of resistance by competing British chieftains, such as the mysterious Natanleod of annal 508, it could 'begin to reign' without recognizing in future any superior authority.

Some would disagree with Myres, as Cerdic is reported to have landed in Hampshire. Some also would say that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle proves that Cerdic was indeed a Saxon, however it does not prove that he had no Celtic blood. Some scholars believe that it is likely that his mother was a British Celt who left for the Continent or perhaps was a Continental Celt. Geoffrey Ashe postulates he may be a son of Riothamus.

[edit] Modern times

The name "Cedric" (in place of "Cerdic") arose from a misspelling in the novel Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.

Cerdic is the main protagonist in the historical novel Conscience of the King (1951), by the English author Alfred Duggan.

In the 2004 film King Arthur, Cerdic and Cynric were depicted as Saxon invaders, and were killed, respectively, by Arthur and Lancelot at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus). Cerdic was portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.

Bernard Cornwell names him as a rival of Aelle of Sussex, in his Warlord Chronicles.

Cerdic's name may be commemorated in the name of the village of Chearsley, Buckinghamshire, which appears in the Domesday Book (1086) as Cerdeslai. This is assumed to be the place mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Cerdicesleah, where King Cerdic and his son Cynric defeated the Britons in 527.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerdic_of_Wessex

--------------------

Cerdic is considered to be the founder of the Brittish Monarchy. Some have proposed that he is the King Arthur of the Camelot legends.

Cerdic (from the early British name represented by modern Welsh Caradog; died 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex (See House of Wessex family tree), and as such an ancestor of virtually every royal throne in Europe.

Official life and career

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him in 508, and to have fought at Charford (Cerdic's Ford) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514). Cerdic is said to have died in 534 and was succeeded by his son Cynric.

The early history of Wessex in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is clearly muddled. David Dumville has suggested that Cerdic's true regnal dates are 538-554. Some scholars suggest that Cerdic was the Saxon leader defeated by the British at the Battle of Mount Badon, which was probably fought sometime between 490 and 518. This cannot be the case if Dumville is correct, and others assign this battle to Ælle or another Saxon leader.

It should also be noted that while Cerdic's area of operation was, according to the Chronicle, in the area north of Southampton, there is also stronger archaeological evidence of early Anglo-Saxon activity in the area around Dorchester-on-Thames. This is the later location of the first West Saxon bishopric, in the first half of the seventh century, so it appears likely that the origins of the kingdom of Wessex are more complex than the version provided by the surviving traditions.[1]

Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that Cerdic is purely a legendary figure, and had no actual existence, but this is a minority view. However, the earliest source for Cerdic, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was put together in the late ninth century; though it probably does record the extant tradition of the founding of Wessex, the intervening four hundred years mean that the account cannot be assumed to be accurate.[2][3]

Descent from Cerdic became a necessary criterion for later kings of Wessex, and Egbert of Wessex, progenitor of the English royal house and subsequent rulers of England and Britain, claimed him as an ancestor.

Origins

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides a pedigree tracing Cerdic's ancestry back to Wōden and the antediluvian patriarchs. However, this pedigree has been shown by Kenneth Sisam to have resulted from a process of elaboration upon a root pedigree borrowed from the kings of Bernicia, and hence prior to Cerdic himself it has no historical basis.[4]

Curiously, the name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility that Cerdic's mother was British and that he was given a name used by his mother's people; if so, this would provide evidence for a degree of mixing, both cultural and biological, between the invaders and the native British. Alternatively, the use of a British name may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became Anglicised over time. This view is supported by the non-Germanic names of some of his successors including Ceawlin, Cedda and Caedwalla. If this were the case then the records of Cerdic landing in Britain, which were written down many generations after the events they purport to portray, must be looked on as being in the realms of legend.[5]

J.N.L. Myres noted that when Cerdic and Cynric first appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 495 they are described as ealdormen, which at that point in time was a fairly junior rank. Myres remarks that,

   It is thus odd to find it used here to describe the leaders of what purports to be an independent band of invaders, who origins and authority are not otherwise specified. It looks very much as if a hint is being conveyed that Cerdic and his people owed their standing to having been already concerned with administrative affairs under Roman authority on this part of the Saxon Shore.

Furthermore, it is not until 519 that Cerdic and Cynric are recorded as "beginning to reign", suggesting that they ceased being dependent vassals or ealdormen and became independent Kings in their own right.

Summing up, Myres believed that,

   It is thus possible ... to think of Cerdic as the head of a partly British noble family with extensive territorial interests at the western end of the Litus Saxonicum. As such he may well have been entrusted in the last days of Roman, or sub-Roman authority with its defence. He would then be what in later Anglo-Saxon terminology could be described as an ealdorman. ... If such a dominant native family as that of Cerdic had already developed blood-relationships with existing Saxon and Jutish settlers at this end of the Saxon Shore, it could very well be tempted, once effective Roman authority had faded, to go further. It might have taken matters into its own hands and after eliminating any surviving pockets of resistance by competing British chieftains, such as the mysterious Natanleod of annal 508, it could 'begin to reign' without recognizing in future any superior authority.

Some would disagree with Myres, as Cerdic is reported to have landed in Hampshire. Some also would say that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle proves that Cerdic was indeed a Saxon, however it does not prove that he had no Celtic blood. Some scholars believe that it is likely that his mother was a British Celt who left for the Continent or perhaps was a Continental Celt. Geoffrey Ashe postulates he may be a son of Riothamus.

Modern times

The name "Cedric" (in place of "Cerdic") arose from a misspelling in the novel Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.

Cerdic is the main protagonist in the historical novel Conscience of the King (1951), by the English author Alfred Duggan.

In the 2004 film King Arthur, Cerdic and Cynric were depicted as Saxon invaders, and were killed, respectively, by Arthur and Lancelot at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus). Cerdic was portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.

Bernard Cornwell names him as a rival of Aelle of Sussex, in his Warlord Chronicles.

Cerdic's name may be commemorated in the name of the village of Chearsley, Buckinghamshire, which appears in the Domesday Book (1086) as Cerdeslai. This is assumed to be the place mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Cerdicesleah, where King Cerdic and his son Cynric defeated the Britons in 527.

--------------------

Cerdic, First King of Wessex

Cerdic (from the early British name represented by modern Welsh Caradog; died 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex (See House of Wessex family tree), and as such an ancestor of virtually every royal throne in Europe.

Official life and career

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him in 508, and to have fought at Charford (Cerdic's Ford) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514). Cerdic is said to have died in 534 and was succeeded by his son Cynric.

The early history of Wessex in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is clearly muddled. David Dumville has suggested that Cerdic's true regnal dates are 538-554. Some scholars suggest that Cerdic was the Saxon leader defeated by the British at the Battle of Mount Badon, which was probably fought sometime between 490 and 518. This cannot be the case if Dumville is correct, and others assign this battle to Ælle or another Saxon leader.

It should also be noted that while Cerdic's area of operation was, according to the Chronicle, in the area north of Southampton, there is also stronger archaeological evidence of early Anglo-Saxon activity in the area around Dorchester-on-Thames. This is the later location of the first West Saxon bishopric, in the first half of the seventh century, so it appears likely that the origins of the kingdom of Wessex are more complex than the version provided by the surviving traditions.[1]

Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that Cerdic is purely a legendary figure, and had no actual existence, but this is a minority view. However, the earliest source for Cerdic, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was put together in the late ninth century; though it probably does record the extant tradition of the founding of Wessex, the intervening four hundred years mean that the account cannot be assumed to be accurate.[2][3]

Descent from Cerdic became a necessary criterion for later kings of Wessex, and Egbert of Wessex, progenitor of the English royal house and subsequent rulers of England and Britain, claimed him as an ancestor.

[edit] Origins

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides a pedigree tracing Cerdic's ancestry back to Wōden and the antediluvian patriarchs. However, this pedigree has been shown by Kenneth Sisam to have resulted from a process of elaboration upon a root pedigree borrowed from the kings of Bernicia, and hence prior to Cerdic himself it has no historical basis.[4]

Curiously, the name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility that Cerdic's mother was British and that he was given a name used by his mother's people; if so, this would provide evidence for a degree of mixing, both cultural and biological, between the invaders and the native British. Alternatively, the use of a British name may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became Anglicised over time. This view is supported by the non-Germanic names of some of his successors including Ceawlin, Cedda and Caedwalla. If this were the case then the records of Cerdic landing in Britain, which were written down many generations after the events they purport to portray, must be looked on as being in the realms of legend.[5]

J.N.L. Myres noted that when Cerdic and Cynric first appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 495 they are described as ealdormen, which at that point in time was a fairly junior rank. Myres remarks that,

   It is thus odd to find it used here to describe the leaders of what purports to be an independent band of invaders, who origins and authority are not otherwise specified. It looks very much as if a hint is being conveyed that Cerdic and his people owed their standing to having been already concerned with administrative affairs under Roman authority on this part of the Saxon Shore.

Furthermore, it is not until 519 that Cerdic and Cynric are recorded as "beginning to reign", suggesting that they ceased being dependent vassals or ealdormen and became independent Kings in their own right.

Summing up, Myres believed that,

   It is thus possible ... to think of Cerdic as the head of a partly British noble family with extensive territorial interests at the western end of the Litus Saxonicum. As such he may well have been entrusted in the last days of Roman, or sub-Roman authority with its defence. He would then be what in later Anglo-Saxon terminology could be described as an ealdorman. ... If such a dominant native family as that of Cerdic had already developed blood-relationships with existing Saxon and Jutish settlers at this end of the Saxon Shore, it could very well be tempted, once effective Roman authority had faded, to go further. It might have taken matters into its own hands and after eliminating any surviving pockets of resistance by competing British chieftains, such as the mysterious Natanleod of annal 508, it could 'begin to reign' without recognizing in future any superior authority.

Some would disagree with Myres, as Cerdic is reported to have landed in Hampshire. Some also would say that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle proves that Cerdic was indeed a Saxon, however it does not prove that he had no Celtic blood. Some scholars believe that it is likely that his mother was a British Celt who left for the Continent or perhaps was a Continental Celt. Geoffrey Ashe postulates he may be a son of Riothamus.

[edit] Modern times

The name "Cedric" (in place of "Cerdic") arose from a misspelling in the novel Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.

Cerdic is the main protagonist in the historical novel Conscience of the King (1951), by the English author Alfred Duggan.

In the 2004 film King Arthur, Cerdic and Cynric were depicted as Saxon invaders, and were killed, respectively, by Arthur and Lancelot at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus). Cerdic was portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.

Bernard Cornwell names him as a rival of Aelle of Sussex, in his Warlord Chronicles.

Cerdic's name may be commemorated in the name of the village of Chearsley, Buckinghamshire, which appears in the Domesday Book (1086) as Cerdeslai. This is assumed to be the place mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Cerdicesleah, where King Cerdic and his son Cynric defeated the Britons in 527.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerdic_of_Wessex

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D: 0534

S:

Acceded in 532 at Winchester, England

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KING CERDIC1 OF WESSEX was born before 495, and died in 534[3]. [64, 46]

King of the West Saxons 519-534, was a Saxon earldorman who founded a

settlement on the coast of Hampshire, England, in 495, assumed the title of

King of the West Saxons in 519, and became the ancestor of the English royal

line.

"A.D. 495. This year came two leaders into Britain, Cerdic and Cynric, his son,

with five ships. ...

519. This year Cerdic and Cynric undertook the government of the

West-Saxons; the same year they fought with the Britons at a place called

Charford. From that day have reigned the children of the West-Saxon kings.

530. They conquered the isle of Wight. ...

534. This year died Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons. Cynric his

son succeeded to the government, and reigned afterwards twenty-six winters."

(Anglo-Saxon Chronicle)

AR: (1-1)

"The Royal Line" chart has this person going back to Zarah, son of Judah of the

Bible. Noted, "the Viking chief who set up the Saxon Kingdom, 508 AD"

Child:

i. KING CYNRIC2, b. before 534, d. in 560.

Notes:

Name Cerdic

Birth 0467, Lower Saxony

Death 0534

Occupation Saxon invader who established himself as King of Wessex

Father Elesa

Mother Isaive

Spouse Guignier

Children

1 M Cynric

Death 0560

Notes for Cerdic

Cerdic and his son Cynric landed in the area of Southhampton in 495 A.D., and then moved north into what is now Hampshire and Wiltshire to found The Kingdom of the West Saxons or Wessex. Cerdic met great resistance from the last of the Romano-Britons under a shadowy leader who lays as good a claim as any to having been the "real" King Arthur. Cerdic was crowned as the 1st King of West Saxons at Winchester 532, although some say he reigned from 519 on. The times were very chaotic, and although leaders such as Cerdic are historical figures, much of the actual history is shrouded in legend.

CERDIC AND KING ARTHUR

By Andrew Godsell

Copyright 2002

On New Year's Day 1995 I began reading "Jude the Obscure", the last of Thomas Hardy's famous Wessex novels, and recorded in my diary that 1995 marked the centenary of the publication of the book. I added:

This year also marks the one thousand five hundredth anniversary of the

invasion of Hampshire by Cerdic the Saxon in 495. Cerdic went on to establish

the kingdom of Wessex, which in turn united England. In the nineteenth century

Thomas Hardy created a fictional Wessex in his novels. Now I feel great affinity

for the area of Wessex, as it has provided the home of my ancestors, through

whom I have been given a place in the history of both Wessex and England.

Even as I wrote about Cerdic, I was aware that the detail was not certain. The life of Cerdic forms a central part of the mystery of the Dark Ages, the period of British history following the departure of the Romans – a time when literacy, and the recording of events, were not important concerns in this country. As the Romans withdrew from what is now England and Wales, during the early part of the fifth century, the native Britons came under attack from the Scots and Picts, the inhabitants of the modern-day Scotland, a territory the Romans had not conquered. Vortigern, the High King of Britain, hired Saxon mercenaries from Germany, to assist in the defence of England and Wales. Relations between the Britons and Saxons soon became strained, and the latter started to make conquests here, as did the Angles and Jutes, two other Germanic tribes. The Saxons, Angles, and Jutes were three distinct groups within Germany, but as they made inroads in Britain they merged in our national consciousness, becoming known as the Anglo-Saxons. At that point in our history the term English is synonymous with the Anglo-Saxons, which in turn means that the English first appear as German conquerors, pitched against the British, rather than native inhabitants of the land that became England. Tradition recalls that King Arthur led the Britons in their fight against the Saxons. Arthur is a colossus in legend, but the historical detail of his life has become shrouded in obscurity.

The prime source for Cerdic's role as the founder of Wessex is the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", but this only features short references to the process. The dates set out in the "Chronicle" are not certain, and historians have challenged the implication that Cerdic was a Saxon. In 1995 most of my knowledge of Cerdic was derived from an interesting analysis of his significance by Frank Stenton, in "Anglo-Saxon England", a book I had read five years earlier. Stenton's brilliant, 700 page, survey of the period was published in 1943, as part of The Oxford History of England. Nearly sixty years after its first appearance, "Anglo-Saxon England" remains a great favourite among historians. Much of the detail has been superceded by later works, but Stenton's panorama has never been equalled. Stenton reproduced the entries in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" that relate to Cerdic, and the establishment of Wessex. These annals run as follows:

495 Two chiefs, Cerdic and his son Cynric, came to Britain with five ships in the place called Cerdicesora, and fought with the Britons the same day.

501 Port and his two sons Bieda and Maegla came to Britain with two ships in the place called Portesmutha, and killed a young British man, a very noble man.

508 Cerdic and Cynric killed a British king called Natanleod, and five thousand men with him. That land was afterwards called Natanleaga as far as Cerdicesford.

514 The West Saxons, Stuf and Wihtgar, came to Britain with three ships in the place called Cerdicesora, and fought with the Britons and drove them into flight.

519 Cerdic and Cynric took the kingdom, and in the same year they fought with the Britons where it is now called Cerdicesford.

527 Cerdic and Cynric fought with the Britons in the place called Cerdicesleaga.

530 Cerdic and Cynric took the Isle of Wight, and killed a few men in the place called Wihtgaraesbyrg.

534 Cerdic died, and his son Cynric ruled for twenty-six years, and they gave the Isle of Wight to their nephews Stuf and Wihtgar.

Stenton succeeds in untangling some of the confusion, and repetition, inherent in these entries, which appeared in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" nearly four centuries after the events took place. Stenton argues that the quarter of a century of warfare leading to Cerdic establishing the kingdom of Wessex, suggested by the "Chronicle", is the result of the duplication of events. Later scholars have shown that duplication in this part of the "Chronicle" occurs at nineteen year intervals, due to the annals having originally been written in tables that were used to calculate the dates for Easter, which repeat in nineteen year cycles. The entry for 527 is very similar to that of 508, and the entry for 514 may be a repeat of 495, but with the names of the invaders changed. Stenton mentions an entry inserted in the "Chronicle" when it was translated from English to Latin, by Ealdorman Aethelweard – a great grandson of King Ethelred I - late in the tenth century, restoring an early annal omitted from other versions of the "Chronicle", which stated that Cerdic conquered Wessex in the year 500. Stenton also points out that a genealogy of the Wessex monarchs, attached as a preface to some manuscripts of the "Chronicle", records that Cerdic arrived in 494, and conquered Wessex six years later. Stenton believed that the restored annal for the year 500 came from a source independent of the reference to Cerdic's conquest of Wessex in the genealogy. It therefore appears that the entry for 519 actually relates to Cerdic gaining control of Wessex in 500. Cerdicesora, Cerdicesford, Cerdicesleaga, and Natanleaga have all been associated by historians with the area between Southampton and the southern part of the current Hampshire/Wiltshire border. Cerdicesford is probably Charford in Hampshire, or possibly Downton in Wiltshire – the two villages are only a mile apart. Natanleaga is apparently Netley Marsh, to the west of Southampton. South west Hampshire, and south east Wiltshire appears to have been the territory seized by Cerdic in 500, following which he, and his descendents, embarked upon the creation of a much larger Wessex.

Cerdic establishing the kingdom of Wessex just six years after his original invasion, without a protracted war, is consistent, as Stenton demonstrates, with our earliest source for the events of the period, "The Ruin of Britain" written by Gildas, a British monk. Stenton believed that this work was written in the years immediately prior to 547, and subsequent historians agree that Gildas wrote in the 540s. Gildas surveyed the conflict between the Britons and Saxons, and recorded that a British victory in the Battle of Badon Hill, which took place in the year of his birth, led to a peace which was maintained at the time of his writing, forty four years later. The evidence of Gildas, and the work of many scholars in recent decades, places the Battle of Badon Hill within a few years of 500. I shall return to that famous battle later in this narrative.

The entries for 495 and 534 in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" indicate that Cynric was the son of Cerdic, in contrast to the genealogies recorded for the Wessex monarchs, which consistently and, in Stenton's view, correctly show Cynric to be the son of Creoda, with the latter being the son of Cerdic. These genealogies actually feature elsewhere in the "Chronicle". Cynric is said to have ruled Wessex from 534 to 560. Even if he was only a youth in 495, Cynric would probably have been aged over 80 by the time of his death, which appears unlikely. It is also doubtful that Cerdic could have had an adult grandson in 495, but himself died thirty nine years later in 534. The insertion of Creoda between Cerdic and Cynric probably pushes the birth of the latter to around 490 – I shall explain the reasoning behind this date later in the narrative - which makes more sense. As a genealogist who has traced his ancestry back five hundred years, I am accustomed to the confusion of names, and identities, that is common in our literate age. This confusion is much more prevalent when we make use of sources that date from the Anglo-Saxon period. It appears to me that the annalists, recording events that were already part of the distant past, simply confused two of Cerdic's descendants, and that it was Creoda, rather than Cynric, who joined the invasion of 495. Alternatively Cerdic may have had a son, or other kinsman, named Cynric who joined the invasion, but was not the man who became King of Wessex in 534. The date of Cerdic's death is not clear. The "Chronicle" places it in 534, but if the nineteen year dating error applies to this entry, the event would have occurred around 515. This corresponds with the genealogical preface to the "Chronicle", which suggests that Cerdic ruled Wessex for sixteen years, from 500 to 516. It may be that Creoda then ruled Wessex from 516 until the accession of Cynric, his son, in 534.

King Alfred the Great was believed to be descended, via his mother Osburg, from Stuf and Wihtgar. This descent is mentioned in the biography of Alfred written by his contemporary, Bishop Asser. Stenton records that Stuf and Wihtgar were Jutes, and speculates that they were the sons of a sister of Cerdic and a Jutish man. Stenton writes "tradition is unanimous" that Cerdic was a Saxon, but suggests the name is British, probably being a version of the Welsh name Ceretic. Stenton floated the possibility that Cerdic was the son of a Saxon father, and British mother. Modern scholars generally do not accept the detail of Stenton's two identifications of inter-tribal marriage, but his indications were an important step towards enlightenment, and the questioning of tradition.

Besides the work of Stenton, my main source of knowledge about Cerdic in 1995 was the material on him in "The Saxon and Norman Kings" by Christopher Brooke (published in 1963) - which I had read way back in 1978. Brooke, writing a generation after Stenton, was able to develop some of his predecessor's themes. Brooke suggested that Cerdic was the same as the Welsh name Ceredig, and that Cerdic was "a Welsh soldier of fortune who became a Saxon war-leader". A few pages later Brooke writes of Cerdic that "His name is Celtic, and it is possible that he was himself of Celtic birth, or the son of a Celt who had joined the English insurgents – an event not uncommon in the confusion of barbarian invasions". Wessex did not assume that name, and a clear identity as the land of the West Saxons, until the eighth century. Prior to that it was known as the land of the Gewisse. Stenton had mentioned this in passing, and Brooke expanded the point. The latter historian suggested that Gewisse meant confederates, and indicated that the people who founded the territory which became Wessex were a combination of several tribes. Brooke does not take his search for Cerdic's original identity beyond this point, but provides an excellent survey of the genealogies ascribed to the kings of Wessex. Brooke quotes the paternal ancestry of King Alfred, as recorded by Asser, and developed from the same source as the genealogies set out in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle". I reproduce the ancestry in Table 1.

The list, spanning 44 generations, takes Alfred's ancestry back to Adam, and therefore his partner Eve, at the dawn of mankind. The pedigree is, in fact, a very long red herring. The genealogy was produced in the ninth century to assert the important position of the Wessex monarchy in world, and Christian, history. During the period of over three hundred years between Cerdic's establishment of the kingdom of Wessex, and the unification of England initiated by his descendent King Egbert, all of the monarchs of Wessex stressed their descent from Cerdic. He was always seen as the vital figure in the history of the kingdom, and the carriage of Cerdic's blood was a prerequisite for any potential successor to the Wessex throne. The links from Alfred back to Cerdic have a historical basis, but almost all of the remainder of the pedigree is fiction. The monarchs of each of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England liked to trace their ancestry back to Woden, a Teutonic God. Elesa is the correct name of Cerdic's father, but Gewis is shown by Brooke to be an invention of the Wessex genealogists, who sought a reason for the territory having originally been the land of the Gewisse. Brooke shows that several generations either side of Woden were adapted from the genealogies of the kings of Bernicia, in Northumbria, and Lindsey, in Lincolnshire. Anglo-Saxon mythology then merged with the genealogies set out in the Bible, giving Alfred, and Cerdic, a descent from Noah, via his son Seth. According to the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", Seth "was born in Noah's Ark". A few generations earlier, the genealogy reaches the original Seth, brother of Cain and Abel, and their father Adam, the Biblical founder of the human race.

Having disposed of the genealogy, Brooke outlines the historical development of Wessex, by Cerdic and his descendants, remarking that "their kingdom lasted until it came to absorb the whole of England, and its memory was canonised by Thomas Hardy". Brooke adds that the core of the kingdom of Wessex, consisting of Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Dorset, played the same role in Hardy's Wessex. In "Jude the Obscure", the wanderings of Jude Fawley, as he searches for love, knowledge, and work, follow in the footsteps of Cerdic's family. Jude spends part of the novel at Alfredston, this being Hardy's name for Wantage, the birthplace of King Alfred – the twelve times great grandson of Cerdic.

The foregoing paragraphs summarise the extent of my knowledge of Cerdic, and his place in history, as I began preparation of the current narrative. During the course of that preparation I found a possible identification of Cerdic, along with a fascinating, and independent, confirmation and extrapolation of that linkage. Mike Ashley's "The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens" (originally published in 1998 as "British Monarchs") is a vast compendium of every known monarch of the many kingdoms which have existed in Britain. Ashley moves beyond Brooke's hypothesis, and suggests that Cerdic may have been Caradoc Vreichfas, the King of both Ergyng and Gwent, in Wales.

Ashley's biographical sketch of Cerdic provides a good summary of the evidence we have about his life, and the conquest of Wessex. Most of this corresponds with the detail I have already provided here, but Ashley introduces some significant additional points. Ashley places the origins of the Gewisse in the English/Welsh border region. After suggesting that Cerdic's family inter-married with the Saxon invaders, Ashley speculates that "He may have been expelled from Ergyng due to his Saxon sympathies and with an army of Gewisse he may have fled across the English Channel to Brittany, where other British tribes had migrated, and from there he returned a few years later attempting to regain his lands but with an army of Saxon mercenaries". Cerdic's return was the landing in Hampshire of 495. Ashley records that Cerdic was reputedly buried at Cerdicesbeorg, located in the area of the present day Stoke, near Andover, in Hampshire. In the course of his analysis of the references to Cerdic in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", Ashley mentions Stuf and Wihtgar. Elsewhere in the book, he suggests that the "Chronicle" material about Stuf and Wihtgar "is probably all stuff and nonsense", with the annalists inventing Wihtgar to explain the name of the Isle of Wight. Ashley's amusing comment is similar to Brooke's indication that the name Gewis was imagined by the chroniclers. Cerdic may have retrospectively been surrounded with some fictitious relatives, but historians agree that he definitely existed, and founded Wessex.

In a separate entry for Caradoc Vreichfas, Ashley writes that "it is just possible that Cerdic and Caradoc may have been one and the same". Ashley's basis for this idea is the similarity between the two names, and the common role as a leader of the Gewisse. He suggests that Caradoc may have led a group of Saxon mercenaries in establishing a territory in Wiltshire, which was geographically close to Ergyng. Ashley concludes his brief biography of Caradoc with an enigmatic couple of sentences: "In Welsh legend Caradoc is shown as a contemporary of Arthur. His wife, Gurguint, was the sister of Cador of Cornwall".

After consulting Ashley's book, I found that the same identification of Cerdic had previously been made by Joseph W Rudmin and John C Rudmin, a father and son team from the USA. The Rudmins' paper "Arthur, Cerdic, and the Formation of Wessex", published in 1994, provides a wealth of evidence that Cerdic was the same person as Caradoc Vreichvras (the Rudmins' preferred spelling differs slightly from that chosen by Ashley). The centrepiece of this identification is the comparison of a series of genealogies, the majority of which I set out in Table 2. Column A is based upon the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", while the other columns were extracted from "Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts" by PC Bartrum (published in 1966). The Rudmins make a convincing case that the people shown in the genealogies are the same, but with different spellings, due to separate English and Welsh sources. The Rudmins also point out that the names of Cerdic, Elessa (his father), plus Cynric and Ceawlin (his immediate descendants) are all Celtic, rather than Saxon. The only identification here that I doubt is the suggestion that Cynric and Meuric are the same person, which derives from the Rudmins' belief that these are alternative versions of the same name, along with references to other genealogies, which merely suggest the point at a tangent. Meuric makes a single appearance, as the son of Caradoc/Cerdic in column E. The other four columns all have Creoda as the son of Cerdic, and Cynric's two definite appearances, in A and B, are as the son of Creoda. The Rudmins give their Cynric/Meuric as the son of Guignier, whereas other genealogies show Meuric to be the son of another of Caradoc's wives, namely Enynny.

The Rudmins move on from their identification of Cerdic as Caradoc Vreichvras, and present an outline of his life, which combines verifiable fact with an element of reasonable speculation. I shall provide a lengthy summary of this account, as it is an important piece of work, and the grounding for the Rudmins' further development of their theory. Cerdic was born between 425 and 430, apparently in Wales, being the illegitimate son of a woman named Isaive, through her adultery with Elessa, also known as Eliavres. Elessa was a shipping merchant, who had regular contact with the Saxons, who dominated the seas of northern Europe at that time. In 445 or 446 Cerdic, who had been crippled by polio, was miraculously cured by Saint Germanus. This legendary event, which is reputed to have occurred at Winchester, is the source of the nickname Vreichvras, a Welsh word which means "strongarm", as one of Cerdic's arms, which had been emaciated, regained its strength. An alternative explanation of the nickname has Cerdic confronting Elessa about the circumstances of his illegitimate birth, whereupon Elessa and Isaive conjure up a serpent, which wraps itself around Cerdic's arm. Cerdic is able to rid himself of the serpent with help from Guignier, his wife, and her brother, Cador, the King of Cornwall. During the 440s Cerdic acted as an interpreter for Vortigern, as the latter met with the Saxons, besides participating in British military campaigns against the Picts, and the Irish. In about 452 co-operation between the Britons and Saxons collapses, and the latter group become hostile invaders of the territory which is now England. Following the death of Vortigern, Cerdic becomes a leader of the British resistance, working alongside Cador, and the Saxon threat is suppressed in the 460s. At this point Cerdic, who has become a king in Wales, marries Guignier, and they have several children, including Creoda, Anna, and Cynric. In 470 Cerdic moves to northern Gaul, which remains a Roman province, as his impressive military force assists in the defence against the invasions of the Visigoths. The defence fails, but Cerdic reaches an accommodation with Euric, the Visigoth leader. Cerdic spends a quarter of a century in Brittany, establishing himself as King of Nantes and Vannes, following in the footsteps of other British rulers who had prospered there. In 495 Clovis, the King of the Franks, threatens the Visigoth stronghold of Alaric, the son of the deceased Euric. Cerdic, feeling that the advance of the Franks is a danger to his position in Brittany, decides to return to Britain, and sails across the English Channel, arriving in the Southampton area, a few miles south of his former home in Winchester. During the next few years Cerdic, with his roving supporters, conquers Hampshire, and some of the surrounding area, establishing himself as the king of what will come to be known as Wessex with a decisive victory in 500. Cerdic enjoys a decade of peace, as ruler of his new territory, but dies somewhere between 510 and 515, possibly as a result of conflict with a disaffected grandson, Medrawt.

The reconstruction of the life of Cerdic/Caradoc is persuasive, but there are some flaws. The most notable anomaly is that the Rudmins appear to date Cerdic's birth too early. The suggested birth in 425 to 430 would mean that in 495 Cerdic was aged between 65 and 70, which seems very late in life to begin the conquest of Wessex. On this reckoning, Cerdic was between 80 and 90 at his death, and that appears improbable for a warrior of the Dark Ages. The Rudmins acknowledge this, but point out that such a chronology is possible. On the other hand, they appear to have overlooked a related issue. Cerdic was the great grandson of Cunedda who, under the guidance of Vortigern, established himself as a king in north Wales, probably between 430 and 450. Most historians place Cunedda's birth between 380 and 400, which would in turn lead to Cerdic being born, three generations later, during the middle part of the fifth century. It therefore appears that Cerdic's apparent role as Vortigern's interpreter, and defender of the British, during the middle part of the fifth century was actually performed by somebody else, possibly the similarly-named Ceretic of Strathclyde. The Rudmins place Cerdic's move to Brittany in 470, as they believe that he was a leader of an expedition at that time, spearheaded by another British king, Riothamus. If Cerdic was born in around 450, which I believe to be the case, he would have been aged about 20 when Riothamus went to Brittany, and was probably too young to have established himself as a strong enough warrior to play a major role in such an enterprise. Although I do not accept the entire Rudmin version of Cerdic's life, this does not undermine the identification of him as Caradoc Vreichvras. The genealogies presented by the Rudmins are compelling, and there is equally strong evidence that Cerdic was a monarch in both Wales and Brittany, besides being an ally of Cador, prior to his conquest of Wessex.

Having questioned the Rudmins' suggestion that Cerdic was born between 425 and 430, I shall expand the reasoning behind my estimate. I work from the basis that Cunedda was born in around 390, this being the mid-point of the range for his birth noted above, and add twenty years for each succeeding generation, as Ashley's research suggests that is the average for monarchs of the period. This gives an approximate year of birth for Einion of 410, followed by Elessa in around 430. Cerdic is then born in around 450, his son Creoda in 470, and Cynric in 490. These dates suggest that when the conquest of Wessex began in 495, Cerdic was 45, and supported by his son Creoda, aged 25. If we take the year of Cerdic's death to be 516, then he was aged about 66. This is more likely than a death at the age of 84, which would follow from Cerdic being born in 450, and dying in 534, the latter being the date given in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle". Cerdic could have been succeeded in 516 by Creoda, who was aged 46 – or possibly an unknown kinsman. Cynric, who was only an infant when his grandfather and father began the conquest of Wessex, takes the throne in 534, at the age of 44, and dies in 560, aged 70. The methodology is admittedly crude, but it does give us a reconcilable series of dates that span a period of 170 years between 390 and 560, in contrast to the suspect suggestions of the "Chronicle" regarding the ages of Cerdic and Cynric.

The identification of Cerdic as Caradoc Vreichvras is taken a step further by the Rudmins, who make the bold, and fascinating, claim that Cerdic is the historical person behind the legendary King Arthur. They suggest that the traditional idea of Arthur, as champion of the Britons, fighting against the Saxon invaders, represented by Cerdic, should be abandoned. The relationships between the Britons and Saxons are now known to have been more complex, as conflict was offset by periods of co-existence, and the life of Cerdic was a bridge between the two groups. By the time that compilation of the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" commenced, during Alfred the Great's reign, at the end of the ninth century, the people of Wessex had ceased to be aware of the joint British and Saxon origin of their kingdom. With the Anglo-Saxons having defeated the Britons in other areas of England, it was assumed that Wessex was correctly identified as the land of the West Saxons. The "Chronicle" is, however, a selective history, recording only the supposed Saxon victories in Wessex, and omitting any defeats. It also omits any mention of Arthur, unless he is accepted as Cerdic. Having established this theme, the Rudmins produce a variety of evidence that shows similarities between the life of Cerdic/Caradoc and the legends of King Arthur. The following is a summary of the main links identified by the Rudmins.

The Latin version of Arthur can be taken to mean "Strength of Arm". Cerdic's Welsh nickname, Vreichvras, is translated as "Strongarm".

Arthur was the illegitimate son of Uther Pendragon and Igerna, the latter being the wife of Gorlois, a King of Cornwall, whose name may originally have been Guor Elessa. Cerdic was the illegitimate son of a woman named Isaive, with his father being Elessa/Eliavres.

The wizard Merlin was Arthur's mentor. The name Merlin may be an abbreviation of Llyr Merini, which means "Master of the Sea" or "Wizard of the Sea", and was the nickname of Cerdic's father, Elessa.

Arthur campaigned against the Saxons in Yorkshire, and also fought against the Picts and Scots in Scotland. Cerdic fights the Saxons in northern England. Cerdic possibly also campaigned in Scotland, but the Rudmins believe that there may have been some confusion between Cerdic's activities and those of Ceretic of Strathclyde in this respect.

Arthur married Guenevere, a woman who had been raised in the household of Cador, King of Cornwall. Cerdic married Guignier, the sister Cador, King of Cornwall.

Arthur had a son named Amr. This name appears to be a form of Meuric, which was the name of a son, or grandson, of Cerdic.

Camelot, the seat of Arthur's court, was placed at Winchester by Thomas Malory, in "Le Morte D'Arthur", the famous fifteenth century compilation of the legends. Cerdic possibly spent part of his youth at Winchester, which later became the capital of Wessex.

Arthur reigned at Glamorgan. Cerdic was King of Ergyng and Gwent, which neighbour Glamorgan, and was also the ancestor of later kings of Glamorgan.

Arthur spent nine years in Gaul, and reigned at Nantes. Cerdic was King of Nantes and Vannes.

Arthur was the victor in the Battle of Badon Hill, probably fought in southern England, around the year 500. This was a decisive victory, which led to more than forty years of peace between the Britons and Saxons. Cerdic was a dominant figure in south west Britain at that time, and in 500 established himself as ruler of the territory that became Wessex. During Cerdic's reign Wessex was known as the land of the Gewisse, or confederates, in which Britons and Saxons lived in peace and co-operation.

Arthur was mortally wounded by Mordred, his illegitimate son. The "History of the Britons" written by Nennius, a Welshman, in the ninth century – a book that is one of our best sources for the historic Arthur - gives the spelling as Medrawt. Cerdic had a grandson named Medrawt.

The Rudmins assert "Nearly every element in the story of Arthur which could be historical was also an element of Cerdic's career", and conclude their narrative with this challenging suggestion:

There is no good solution to the problem of Arthur presiding over the territory

and time of the founding of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex, unless he presided

over it! If in the year 500 the ruler of south-central Britain was Arthur, and the

ruler of south-central Britain was Cerdic, then Arthur was Cerdic. For over a

thousand years, the literature of Britain has had a lost king and a forgotten

victory. Now the identity of the national hero of Wales has been discovered,

and he has turned out to be the founder of the kingdom of England. The 1500th

anniversary of the coming of Cerdic to Southampton would be an appropriate

occasion for England and Wales to celebrate their common heritage.

As a native of Hampshire, I did not notice any celebration of the anniversary of Cerdic's arrival in 1995 – apart from my personal reference to the event in the diary entry quoted at the opening of this narrative. At that time I was unaware of the Rudmins' theory. When I first read the Rudmin paper, in December 2001, my initial impression was excitement that one of the greatest mysteries, perhaps the greatest mystery, of British history had possibly been solved, combined with an element of scepticism. Throughout all of the investigations into the historic origin of Arthur, carried out by countless scholars, there did not appear to have been any previous suggestion that Cerdic was Arthur. The theory seemed almost too innovative to accept, and possibly too good to be true, with Arthur suddenly becoming the founder of Wessex, and the eventual British monarchy, rather than being a minor monarch, or obscure warrior. I soon discovered that my initial sceptism followed that expressed by other historians. When the Rudmins first unveiled their identification, it was criticised by several historians on the grounds that it featured too many assumptions, and speculative leaps. With the passage of the years, however, the Rudmin theory has gained ground among Arthurian scholars. Geoffrey Ashe, one of the leaders in this field, has encouraged the Rudmins to pursue their theory, although he does not advocate its correctness. Meanwhile there has been support for the Rudmins amidst lengthy discussion of their theory on Arthurnet, an Internet site that has been a focal point of Arthurian scholarly debate in recent years. A hope that the Rudmin theory might be correct prompted me to investigate it, and this in turn led me to find further links between the lives of Caradoc, Cerdic, and Arthur, which produced a belief that the Rudmins have made the right identification. The link from Cerdic to Caradoc, and then to Arthur, considerably lengthened and complicated the process of writing this narrative, and also, I am pleased to remark, made it more interesting than I originally envisaged.

Table 3 provides a convenient framework within which to consider the associations between the people mentioned in this narrative, most of whom share a common descent from Eudaf,

a leader of the Gewisse, who ruled in southern Wales during the fourth century. The numerous genealogies of the Dark Ages often provide conflicting evidence, and at times mix history with legend. Nevertheless by combining, and reconciling, information from the Rudmins' paper, along with the extensive genealogical and biographical material in Mike Ashley's book, and a series of pedigrees compiled by David Nash Ford, a historian who has closely studied the Dark Ages, I have built up a consistent picture. All of the years of birth are – I hasten to add – estimates. The combined genealogy shows Cerdic to be placed closer to the family of Arthurian legend than any of the other historical figures who have been suggested as possible candidates for Arthur. Although I believe that Arthur and Cerdic were the same person, I include the legendary Arthur in the genealogy, along with his father Uther Pendragon, who is almost certainly an invention of Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose "History of the Kings of the Britons", probably written in the 1130s, combines fact with fantasy, including an extended account of Arthur's heroic deeds. The people with a question mark against their name have a basis that derives from Arthurian legend rather than history. In the genealogy, Cerdic and Arthur are both shown as a great grandson of Cunedda.

Cerdic's three marriages indicate a wide sphere of influence. I believe that during the 470s, and probably the 480s, Cerdic played a leading role in the power struggle between the Britons, Anglo-Saxons, Scots, and Picts for control of territory, which stretched throughout England, Wales, and Scotland. This is basically the role set out by the Rudmins, but dated by them in the 450 and 460s. Cerdic's first wife was Enynny, the daughter of Cinmarc, King of Rheged, a territory that covered the north western tip of England. Enynny appears to have been the mother of Cerdic's son Meuric. Cerdic's second marriage was to Tegau, the daughter of Nudd Hael, King of Selcovia – which is the modern-day Selkirk in Scotland. Tegau - whose nickname Eufron means "beautiful golden-hair" - features in legend as one of the three chaste damsels at King Arthur's court. We have already seen Cerdic's opportunistic ability to reach agreements with apparent enemies, such as the Saxons and Visigoths, in order to further his aims, and the marriage to Tegau, the daughter of a Scottish king, is probably another example. The Selcovia alliance also points to Cerdic campaigning in Scotland – a link to Arthur that the Rudmins suggest, but are not certain about. Guignier, the wife most commonly mentioned by the Rudmins, was the daughter of Gereint Llyngesog, King of Dumnonia, a Dark Age territory that corresponds with the modern-day Cornwall and Devon. The Rudmins suggest that Guignier was the mother of Creoda, but it appears to me that Creoda, like Meuric, was most likely a son of Enynny. If Creoda was born around 470, it is very doubtful that he could be the offspring of the third marriage of Cerdic, who appears to have been born in about 450. Guignier's name is given in some genealogies as Gwegnier, an alternative that is equally close to Guenevere. After Cerdic's initial concentration on matters in Wales and the north, the centre of his operations moved south. His marriage to Guignier of Cornwall probably led to his move to Brittany, as there were close links between the two territories at that time, with several monarchs ruling in both areas. The Rudmins argue that Cerdic spent a quarter of a century in Brittany, but I suggest that he only spent a few years there, in between his extensive activities in England in the 470s and 480s, and the return in 495. Cerdic's sojourn in Brittany may well have lasted for about the nine years attributed to Arthur's spell in Gaul. Cerdic's activities in Cornwall and Brittany lead us to two significant genealogical linkages between his family and the Arthurian legends. Cerdic's son Meuric married Dyfwn, the latter of whom was a first cousin to Sardog, the father of Gorlois. Anna, the daughter of Meuric and Dyfwn, and therefore granddaughter of Cerdic, married Anwn Ddu, the brother of Hoel, King of Brittany. Hoel was one of the strongest supporters of Arthur during the latter's time in Brittany.

Returning to Cornwall, we find that Gereint's nickname Llyngesog means "Owner of the Fleet", which suggests a connection with Cerdic's father, Elessa, the latter of whom was known as the "Master of the Sea". Gereint appears in legend as one of Arthur's closest allies. A Welsh poem of the Dark Ages records that Gereint was killed fighting alongside Arthur at the Battle of Longborth. The poem is quoted by Richard Barber in "King Arthur: Hero and Legend", an excellent survey of the historical and literary basis of Arthurian legend, which I read in 1989. The book was published in 1986, being printed at the Camelot Press in Southampton – an origin that is even more appropriate now that Arthur is being linked with Cerdic's arrival in the Southampton area. Arthurian scholars have confidently identified Longborth with the clash at Portesmutha (now Portsmouth in Hampshire) in 501, recorded in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle". If Arthur is Cerdic, then it appears that Cerdic, supported by Gereint, the father of Guignier, was defending his new territory of Wessex against another invading army.

Gwyar, the wife of Gereint and mother of Guignier, was the sister of Igerna, who was the mother of the legendary Arthur. Gwyar and Igerna were first cousins of Elessa, which means that the "Owner of the Fleet" married a cousin of the "Master of the Sea". Prior to the magical conception of Arthur, in her union with Uther Pendragon, Igerna had given birth to the two daughters of her husband Gorlois, namely Morganna and Morgause. Morganna, the witch of Arthurian legend, appears again in the genealogy as the wife of Urien, King of Rheged, the brother of Cerdic's first wife Enynny. Morgause is the half-sister with whom Arthur unwittingly committed incest, a union which produced their son Mordred. Morgause is a legendary alternative for the name of a woman who was originally called Anna. The Rudmins gave Anna as the name of a daughter of Cerdic in their paper, but Joseph Rudmin now believes that Anna was Cerdic's sister. Despite extensive research, I have not been able to find an Anna who was either a sister or daughter of Cerdic. My closest identification is the Anna who was a granddaughter of Cerdic. If Cerdic did have a sister named Anna, this could be the basis of the legend of Arthur's union with Anna/Morgause. Table 3 does not provide any other suggestion of incest, but the close inter-relationships between a series of monarchical families - which results in 26 of the 77 people in the table appearing twice - combined with the possibility of misidentification, may point in that direction. For example, the first wife of Cerdic was Enynny, a name that could be confused with Anna, and Enynny was the sister of Urien, who married Morganna, the latter of whom was the sister of Anna/Morgause.

Another interesting link illustrated by Table 3 is that to the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Iseult. Ashley shows that Mark, King of Cornwall, the uncle of Tristan, is the legendary equivalent of Cunomor, who ruled in both Cornwall and Brittany. Meanwhile Tristan may be based on Drust, the son of Cunomor. Ashley suggests that the legend of Tristan and Iseult is connected to a misplaced identification of Cunomor with Cinmarc of Rheged, but does not develop this point. The genealogies show that both Cunomor and Cinmarc had a father named Merchiaun. Cerdic's link is that he married both Enynny, the daughter of Cinmarc of Rheged, and Gwegnier, whose father Gereint was a first cousin of Cunomor. Incidentally, Thomas Hardy wrote an Arthurian play, "The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall" (published in 1923), which was based upon the legend of Tristan and Iseult. The play was set at Tintagel, and was inspired by a series of visits that Hardy made to the reputed birthplace of Arthur. I have visited Tintagel once, in May 1995, being drawn by its association with Arthur, but had no idea that in the future I would be linking the legend of Arthur to the historic significance of Cerdic, which I had written about at the start of that year.

At Tintagel I acquired "The Arthurian Tradition" by John Matthews (published in 1994), an entertaining book which provides a brief look at the historical basis of Arthur, before concentrating on the legends, and their Otherworldly element. Matthews claims that in 1982 he was part of a gathering that used Arthurian magic to summon the presence of Arthur, Guenevere, Merlin, and Morganna to Gloucestershire. It is a pity that Matthews and his fellow magicians apparently failed to ask King Arthur who he really was! On a more serious level, "The Age of Arthur: A History of the British Isles From 350 to 650" by John Morris (published in 1973) is a scholarly study of its subject. Morris points out that Caradoc Vreichvras and Cunomor each ruled territory on both sides of the English Channel, and places Caradoc's British territory between the middle Thames and the south coast of England. Although Morris does not make the connection, this appears to fit with Wessex. We have already seen Ashley make a similar point, with his suggestion that Caradoc controlled a territory in Wiltshire.

King Arthur is linked several times with Hampshire and Wiltshire, the area which formed Cerdic's Wessex. We have seen Arthur fighting in the Battle of Portesmutha, and the suggestion that Camelot was located at Winchester. Arthur's reign began with his coronation at Silchester, in Hampshire. The famous Round Table at which Arthur supposedly held council with his knights, now on display at Winchester, is known to be a forgery by the Plantagenets, who liked to stage tournaments in the style of the Arthurian romances. The Round Table was subsequently refurbished by the Tudors, a family that claimed descent from Arthur. Henry VII, who reigned exactly a thousand years after King Arthur, asserted this ancestry by naming his first son Arthur, and creating him Prince of Wales. This Arthur, who was born and baptised at Winchester, died as a youth, which meant that Henry VII was succeeded by Henry VIII, rather than a King Arthur. Winchester was the scene of an inconclusive battle between King Arthur and Mordred, immediately before the tragic conclusion at Camlann. The battle of Camlann has been placed at various locations, with Salisbury being among the prime candidates. A few miles from Salisbury, the mysterious ring of Stonehenge has associations with Arthur, and also Merlin.

Arthurian legend suggests that Cerdic fought at Camlann, as Carados, King of Estrangorre, who is a representation of Caradoc Vreichvras, is said to have been killed fighting Mordred at the Battle of Salisbury, which is an alternative name for the Battle of Camlann. It appears that Camlann was a struggle between Arthur/Cerdic and Mordred/Medrawt for control of the former's territory. If Arthur was Cerdic, then the battle would probably have been fought in Hampshire or Wiltshire, as Cerdic was based in Wessex at the relevant time. Salisbury is only 20 miles away from Winchester, the location of the clash between Arthur and Mordred that preceded Camlann. In the Battle of Camlann, Arthur killed Mordred, but the latter fatally wounded the former. Arthur was then transported by Morganna, his half-sister, to Avalon, where he died, and was buried. The Welsh annals place Camlann twenty one years after Badon Hill, which leads to a dating of around 521. We have already seen that the evidence of the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" can be interpreted to place Cerdic's death in 515 or 516. All of this suggests that Cerdic was killed between 515 and 521 in a battle against his grandson, Medrawt. Guenevere retired to a convent at Amesbury, near Salisbury, upon the death of Arthur, and spent the remainder of her life there. Guenevere's final choice of residence seems strange, given that she was a native of Cornwall, but may be explained by her husband having established himself in Wiltshire.

Avalon has traditionally been placed at Glastonbury, in Somerset, but if Arthur and Cerdic are the same person we should seek a location for his burial in Hampshire or Wiltshire, just as we look for the Battle of Camlann in the same area. Perhaps the name Avalon has connections with the River Avon, which flows through Downton – just a mile from Charford – as well as Salisbury and Amesbury. We have already seen that Cerdic is reputed to have been buried near Andover, although he may have died at Salisbury. This scenario is similar to Arthur being mortally injured at Camlann, following which his death and burial occur at Avalon. Some of Cerdic's successors as monarchs of Wessex established a royal residence at Andover. Besides Stoke, the villages neighbouring Andover include Appleshaw. Avalon originally meant the Isle of Apples.

History and science have exploded the myth of Adam and Eve, and therefore the ultimate aim of the pedigree constructed for Alfred the Great and Cerdic in the ninth century. In view of this, I suggest that the Holy Grail of British genealogy is proof of descent from Beli Mawr, a Welsh king who reigned in the first century BC, and is our earliest known historical figure. With the Rudmins having taken Cerdic's ancestry back to Cunedda, while Ashley has set out lines of descent from Beli Mawr to both Cunedda and his wife Gwawl, we can show - even if we cannot prove – that Cerdic was directly descended from Beli Mawr. The discipline of historical research suggests it is unlikely that every link in the descent, which I set out in Table 4, stretching across the first six centuries of our recorded history, is correct, but it does offer the prospect of genealogical completeness. Anybody directly descended from Cerdic can claim over two thousand years of unbroken ancestry.

The genealogical links from Beli Mawr to Cerdic include the marriage of Bran the Blessed, King of Britain to Anna, the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea, the man who is reputed to have brought the Holy Grail to Britain shortly after the death of Jesus Christ. The tale of the Holy Grail can be regarded as mere legend, along with a large part of the story of Arthur and, to a lesser extent, the life of Cerdic. Despite this, there is an enormous amount of provable history surrounding Arthur and Cerdic. In 1994 Joseph and John Rudmin published the paper that first suggested a single identity for Caradoc, Cerdic, and Arthur, in the face of some sceptism, in an attempt to stimulate debate on the matter. The Rudmins were persuaded of the common identity, and hoped to persuade others. Eight years later, a growing number of scholars accept the Rudmin idea. My consideration of the theory has added supporting evidence, which is presented here. The Rudmins point out that, at the very least, their theory "may have literary value, giving a relationship between myths, if not the historical origin of legends". The Rudmins believe, however, that they have produced something much stronger than this, with the identification of the historic Arthur, combined with a full understanding of Cerdic, and I agree with them. Even if Arthur and Cerdic are not the same person, the identification of Cerdic as Caradoc Vreichvras remains sound, and throws vital new light upon the origin of the British monarchy. The anniversary celebration of Arthur and Cerdic, in 1995, that the Rudmins hoped for did not materialise. Perhaps in 2016, or thereabouts, we will mark the 1,500th anniversary of the death of a combined Arthur/Cerdic.

Immigration

495 Saxony to Southhampton, England

Research

The entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year A.D. 854 relates the descent of Æthelwulf, Alfred the Great's father:

"And Æthelwulf was the son of Egbert, Egbert of Ealhmund, Ealhmund of Eafa, Eafa of Eoppa, Eoppa of Ingild; Ingild was the brother of Ina, king of the West-Saxons, who held that kingdom thirty-seven winters, and afterwards went to St. Peter, where he died. And they were the sons of Cenred, Cenred of Ceolwald, Ceolwald of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Ceawlin, Ceawlin of Cynric, Cynric of Creoda, Creoda of Cerdic, Cerdic of Elesa, Elesa of Esla, Esla of Gewis, Gewis of Wig, Wig of Freawine, Freawine of Frithugar, Frithugar of Brond, Brond of Balday, Balday of Woden, Woden of Frithuwald, Frithuwald of Freawine, Freawine of Frithuwualf, Frithuwulf of Finn, Finn of Godwulf, Godwulf of Great, Great of Taetwa, Taetwa of Beaw, Beaw of Sceldwa, Sceldwa of Heremod, Heremod of Itermon, Itermon of Hathra, Hathra of Hwala, Hwala of Bedwig, Bedwig of Sceaf; that is, the son of Noah, who was born in Noah's ark: Laznech, Methusalem, Enoh, Jared, Malalahel, Cainion, Enos, Seth, Adam the first man, and our Father, that is, Christ. Amen."

. . . Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 854

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Cerdic of Wessex (d. 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wessex_family_tree

Cerdic (født ca. 467, død 534) var den første kjente konge av Wessex i dagens England fra 519 til sin død. Han var av saksisk kongelig ætt, og grunnla det cerdiske dynasti, som med unntak av årene 645 til 648 styrte Wessex helt frem til England ble forent.

Ifølge Den angelsaksiske krønike steg han iland i Hampshire i 495 sammen med sin sønn Cynric. Han ledet en gruppe kjent som gewissaene, og Wessex omtales derfor i den tidlige fasen, frem til 648, som gewissaenes rike.

Han erobret området omkring Winchester, men det var ikke før i i 519, da han vant en viktig seier i slaget ved Charford, at han fikk full kontroll over vestsaksernes område. Han skal også ha nedkjempet en britisk konge ved navn Natanleod i Wiltshire. Under hans styre tok vestsakserne også kontroll over Dorset og Somerset.

I 520 ble Cerdic ifølge en kilde slått i slaget ved Mons Badonicus. Det er tvilsomt om det var han som ledet de angelsaksiske styrkene der; det er mer sannsynlig at Aelle av Sussex var den sterkeste angelsaksiske lederen. Han klarte dog å beholde makten etter dette nederlaget, og tok senere Wight og i 530 Sussex opp til Avon. Han krysset også Themsen og underla seg området frem til Bedford.

Navnet hans har vakt undring blant forskere, fordi det ser ut til å være av britisk og ikke saksisk opprinnelse. En mulig forklaring er at han hadde britisk mor og at hun hadde gitt ham navnet. Dette er interessant i forhold til spørsmålet om samspillet mellom de invaderende sakserne og den lokale britiske (keltiske) befolkningen.

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Cerdic, King of Wessex (1)

M, #102633, d. 534

Last Edited=3 Dec 2005

    Cerdic, King of Wessex was the son of Elesa (?). (1) 

He died in 534. (1)

    In 495 he came to England. (2) He gained the title of King Cerdic of Wessex in 519. (1)

Children of Cerdic, King of Wessex

-1. Cynric, King of Wessex+ d. c 560 (1)

-2. Creoda (?) (3)

Forrás / Source:

http://www.thepeerage.com/p10264.htm#i102633

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Cerdic (from the early British name represented by modern Welsh Caradog; died 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex (See House of Wessex family tree), and as such an ancestor of virtually every royal throne in Europe.

Official life and career

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him in 508, and to have fought at Charford (Cerdic's Ford) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514). Cerdic is said to have died in 534 and was succeeded by his son Cynric.

The early history of Wessex in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is clearly muddled. David Dumville has suggested that Cerdic's true regnal dates are 538-554. Some scholars suggest that Cerdic was the Saxon leader defeated by the British at the Battle of Mount Badon, which was probably fought sometime between 490 and 518. This cannot be the case if Dumville is correct, and others assign this battle to Ælle or another Saxon leader.

It should also be noted that while Cerdic's area of operation was, according to the Chronicle, in the area north of Southampton, there is also stronger archaeological evidence of early Anglo-Saxon activity in the area around Dorchester-on-Thames. This is the later location of the first West Saxon bishopric, in the first half of the seventh century, so it appears likely that the origins of the kingdom of Wessex are more complex than the version provided by the surviving traditions.[1]

Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that Cerdic is purely a legendary figure, and had no actual existence, but this is a minority view. However, the earliest source for Cerdic, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was put together in the late ninth century; though it probably does record the extant tradition of the founding of Wessex, the intervening four hundred years mean that the account cannot be assumed to be accurate.[2][3]

Descent from Cerdic became a necessary criterion for later kings of Wessex, and Egbert of Wessex, progenitor of the English royal house and subsequent rulers of England and Britain, claimed him as an ancestor.

Origins

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides a pedigree tracing Cerdic's ancestry back to Wōden and the antediluvian patriarchs. However, this pedigree has been shown by Kenneth Sisam to have resulted from a process of elaboration upon a root pedigree borrowed from the kings of Bernicia, and hence prior to Cerdic himself it has no historical basis.[4]

Curiously, the name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility that Cerdic's mother was British and that he was given a name used by his mother's people; if so, this would provide evidence for a degree of mixing, both cultural and biological, between the invaders and the native British. Alternatively, the use of a British name may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became Anglicised over time. This view is supported by the non-Germanic names of some of his successors including Ceawlin, Cedda and Caedwalla. If this were the case then the records of Cerdic landing in Britain, which were written down many generations after the events they purport to portray, must be looked on as being in the realms of legend.[5]

J.N.L. Myres noted that when Cerdic and Cynric first appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 495 they are described as ealdormen, which at that point in time was a fairly junior rank. Myres remarks that,

It is thus odd to find it used here to describe the leaders of what purports to be an independent band of invaders, who origins and authority are not otherwise specified. It looks very much as if a hint is being conveyed that Cerdic and his people owed their standing to having been already concerned with administrative affairs under Roman authority on this part of the Saxon Shore.

Furthermore, it is not until 519 that Cerdic and Cynric are recorded as "beginning to reign", suggesting that they ceased being dependent vassals or ealdormen and became independent Kings in their own right.

Summing up, Myres believed that,

It is thus possible ... to think of Cerdic as the head of a partly British noble family with extensive territorial interests at the western end of the Litus Saxonicum. As such he may well have been entrusted in the last days of Roman, or sub-Roman authority with its defence. He would then be what in later Anglo-Saxon terminology could be described as an ealdorman. ... If such a dominant native family as that of Cerdic had already developed blood-relationships with existing Saxon and Jutish settlers at this end of the Saxon Shore, it could very well be tempted, once effective Roman authority had faded, to go further. It might have taken matters into its own hands and after eliminating any surviving pockets of resistance by competing British chieftains, such as the mysterious Natanleod of annal 508, it could 'begin to reign' without recognizing in future any superior authority.

Some would disagree with Myres, as Cerdic is reported to have landed in Hampshire. Some also would say that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle proves that Cerdic was indeed a Saxon, however it does not prove that he had no Celtic blood. Some scholars believe that it is likely that his mother was a British Celt who left for the Continent or perhaps was a Continental Celt. Geoffrey Ashe postulates he may be a son of Riothamus.

Modern times

The name "Cedric" (in place of "Cerdic") arose from a misspelling in the novel Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.

Cerdic is the main protagonist in the historical novel Conscience of the King (1951), by the English author Alfred Duggan.

In the 2004 film King Arthur, Cerdic and Cynric were depicted as Saxon invaders, and were killed, respectively, by Arthur and Lancelot at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mons Badonicus). Cerdic was portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.

Bernard Cornwell names him as a rival of Aelle of Sussex, in his Warlord Chronicles.

Cerdic's name may be commemorated in the name of the village of Chearsley, Buckinghamshire, which appears in the Domesday Book (1086) as Cerdeslai. This is assumed to be the place mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Cerdicesleah, where King Cerdic and his son Cynric defeated the Britons in 527.

--------------------

  1. ID: I179795
  2. Name: King Cerdic [@ <^>v] de Wessex
  3. Sex: M
  4. Birth: 492
  5. Death: 534

Father: Prince Elesa [@ <^>v] de Wessex b: 477

Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown

Children

  1. Has Children King Creoda [@ <^>v] de Wessex b: 510

source:


http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=gilead07&id=I253485

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Cerdic (from the early British name represented by modern Welsh Caradog) was the King of Wessex from 519 to 534. He was the founder of the kingdom of Wessex and is regarded as the ancestor of all its subsequent kings. (See House of Wessex family tree).

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son Cynric in three keels (ships). He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him thirteen years later (in 508) and to have fought at Cerdicesleag (Charford, Cerdic's Ford[1]) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514). Cerdic is said to have died in 534 and was succeeded by his son Cynric.

The early history of Wessex in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is clearly muddled [2] and enters duplicate reports of events. David Dumville has suggested that Cerdic's true regnal dates are 538-554. Some scholars suggest that Cerdic was the Saxon leader defeated by the British at the Battle of Mount Badon, which was probably fought sometime between 490 and 518. This cannot be the case if Dumville is correct, and others assign this battle to Ælle or another Saxon leader.

While Cerdic's area of operation was, according to the Chronicle, in the area north of Southampton, there is also stronger archaeological evidence of early Anglo-Saxon activity in the area around Dorchester-on-Thames. This is the later location of the first West Saxon bishopric, in the first half of the seventh century, so it appears likely that the origins of the kingdom of Wessex are more complex than the version provided by the surviving traditions.[3]

Some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that Cerdic is purely a legendary figure, and had no actual existence, but this is a minority view. However, the earliest source for Cerdic, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was put together in the late ninth century; though it probably does record the extant tradition of the founding of Wessex, the intervening four hundred years mean that the account cannot be assumed to be accurate.[4][5]

Descent from Cerdic became a necessary criterion for later kings of Wessex, and Egbert of Wessex, progenitor of the English royal house and subsequent rulers of England and Britain, claimed him as an ancestor.

[edit] Origins

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides a pedigree tracing Cerdic's ancestry back to Wōden and the antediluvian patriarchs. However, this pedigree has been shown by Kenneth Sisam to have resulted from a process of elaboration upon a root pedigree borrowed from the kings of Bernicia, and hence prior to Cerdic himself it has no historical basis.[6]

Curiously, the name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility t

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Cerdic, King of the West Saxons's Timeline

467
467
Saxony, Germany
492
492
Age 25
Wessex,,,Germany
493
493
Age 26
Wessex, England
495
495
Age 28
founded a settlement on the coast of Hampshire, England
495
Age 28
Southampton
495
Age 28
Hampshire, England
519
519
Age 52
519
- 534
Age 52
519
- 534
Age 52
525
525
Age 58
Wessex,,,England