Coel Hen "The Old" of Rheged, King of Northern Britain, Dux Britanniorum (c.370 - 420) MP

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Nicknames: "The Splendid", "Old King Cole", "Ol' King Coel", "Hen", ""The Old" King of Northern Britain", "aka Coilus (III) Votepacus; Guotepauk (Godhebog Guotepauc Godebog) = `the Magnificent/Splendid'; `Old King Cole' (WLEDIG ?); prob. last Roman Duke of BRITAIN; High Kin..."
Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Coilsfield, Tarbolton, England
Occupation: Head of several post-Roman Brythonic Royal families of the Hen Ogledd, the "Old North" covering modern Northern England and Southern Scotland, britisk konge i Wales og Nord-Britania
Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Coel Hen "The Old" of Rheged, King of Northern Britain, Dux Britanniorum

King Cole

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see King Cole (disambiguation).

King Cole or Coel is the name of a figure, or multiple figures with similar names, prominent in British literature and legend since the Middle Ages. Early Welsh tradition knew of a Coel Hen (Coel the Old), a leader in Roman or Sub-Roman Britain and the progenitor of several kingly lines in the Hen Ogledd ("the Old North"), the Brythonic-speaking part of northern England and southern Scotland. Later medieval legend told of a Coel, apparently derived from Coel Hen, who was the father of Saint Helena and the grandfather of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Other similarly-named characters may be confused or conflated with the Welsh Coel. The traditional "King Coel" may be the historical basis for the popular nursery rhyme "Old King Cole".[1]

Context and evidence

Coel Hen appears in the Harleian genealogies and the later pedigrees known as the Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd (The Descent of the Men of the North) at the head of several post-Roman royal families of the Hen Ogledd.[2] His line, collectively called the Coeling, included such noted figures as Urien, king of Rheged; Gwallog, perhaps king of Elmet; the brothers Gwrgi and Peredur, and Clydno Eiddin, king of Eiddin or Edinburg.[2][3] He was also considered to be the father-in-law of Cunedda, founder of Gwynedd in North Wales, by his daughter Gwawl.[4] The genealogies give him the epithet Godebog, meaning "Protector" or "Shelterer".[2] The poem Y Gododdin mentions some enmity between the "Sons of Godebog" and the heroes who fought for the Gododdin at the Battle of Catraeth.[3]

As an ancestor figure, Coel Hen compares to Dumnagual Hen, who is likewise attributed with founding kingly lines in the Hen Ogledd. According to Welsh tradition the region of Kyle was named for Coel, and a mound at Coylton in Argyll was regarded as his tomb.[5] Projections back from dated individuals suggest that Coel Hen lived around AD 350 – 420, during the time of the Roman departure from Britain.[3] In his widely-criticized book[6] The Age of Arthur, historian John Morris suggested that Coel may have been the last of the Roman Duces Brittanniarum (Dukes of the Britons) who commanded the Roman army in northern Britain.[7] According to Morris he may have taken over the northern capital at Eburacum (York) to rule over what had been the northern province of Roman Britain. Upon Coel Hen's death, his lands would have been split between his sons, Garmonion and Cunedda II, and later his grandsons, Dunwal Moelmut, Cunedda III, and Gwrwst Ledlwn, thus creating the many old northern kingdoms of Britain.

[edit]Later sources

In his Historia Anglorum, Henry of Huntingdon mentions that a King Coel of Colchester was the father of Saint Helena and therefore the grandfather of Constantine the Great.[8][9] The same claim appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, in a passage using some of the same words. However, Henry appears to have written this part of the Historia Anglorum before he knew about Geoffrey's work, leading J. S. P. Tatlock to conclude that Geoffrey borrowed the passage from Henry, rather than the other way around.[10] The source of the claim is unknown, but it may have come from a lost hagiography of Helena.[10]

Geoffrey's largely fictional Historia Regum Britanniae expands upon Henry's brief mention, listing Coel as a King of the Britons following the reign of King Asclepiodotus.[11] He states that, upset with Asclepiodotus's handling of the Diocletianic Persecution, Coel began a rebellion in the duchy of Caercolun (Colchester), of which he was duke. He met Asclepiodotus in battle and killed him, thus taking the kingship of Britain upon himself. Rome, apparently, was pleased that Britain had a new king and sent a senator, Constantius Chlorus, to negotiate with Coel. Afraid of the Romans, Coel met Constantius and agreed to pay tribute and submit to Roman laws as long as he was allowed to retain the kingship. Constantius agreed to these terms but, one month later, Coel died.[11] Constantius married Coel's daughter, Helena, and crowned himself as Coel's successor. Helen later gave birth to a son who became the Emperor, Constantine the Great, giving a British pedigree to the Roman imperial line.[12]

[edit]Notes

^ Opie and Opie, pp. 134-5.

^ a b c Bromwich, pp. 256–257.

^ a b c MacQuarrie, p. 5.

^ Koch, p. 458.

^ Bromwich, p. 314.

^ N. J. Lacy, A history of Arthurian scholarship Arthurian studies, 65 (Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2006), pp. 9-10.

^ Morris, p. 54

^ Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum, Book I, ch. 37.

^ Greenway, pp. 60–61.

^ a b Greenway, p. civ.

^ a b Thorpe, p. 17; 131.

^ Harbus, p. 74.

[edit]References

Bromwich, Rachel (2006). Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Triads of the Island of Britain. University Of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1386-8.

Greenway, Diana (Ed.); Henry of Huntingdon (1996). Historia Anglorum: The History of the English People. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198222246.

Harbus, A. (2002). Helena of Britain in Medieval Legend. D. S. Brewer.

Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1851094407.

MacQuarrie, Alan; A. Grant & K. Stringer (Eds.) (1993). "The Kings of Strathclyde". Medieval Scotland: Crown, Lordship and Community (Edinburgh University Press): 1–19.

Morris, John (1973). The Age of Arthur. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Opie, I.; Opie, P. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Oxford University Press.

Thorpe, Lewis (Ed.); Geoffrey of Monmouth (1966). The History of the Kings of Britain. London: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-044170-0.

Coel Hen was married to Ystradwal, the daughter of Cadfan, who was born about 360 and was much younger than Coel. They had three children, St. Ceneu c382, a daughter Gwawl c384 who married Cunedda Wledig of the family line, and Garbanion c392.

Ceneu had three sons Mor c 422, Gwarst Lledlwm (the Ragged) and Dyfnwal Moelmud (the Bald and Silent) c425. Mor had three sons, Einion c450, who fathered Eliffer Gosgorddfawr (Of The Great Army) c484 married to Erfiddyl, Ceidio c488 and Rhun Ryfedd Mawr (of great Wealth). The second son of Mor was Arthwys c 455, who it has been claimed was the real King Arthur. Arthwys had two sons, St.Pabo Post Prydain c470 – 530, whose daughter Arddyn Penasgell (Wing Headed) c510 married Brochfael Ysgythrog of the family line. The second son was Cynfelyn c474. The next son of Mor was Morydd c456, who in turn fathered Morfryn Frych (the Freckled), who after marrying Alden was later to become a king in the Gwynedd area.

Ceneu’s second son Gwarst is known to have fathered two sons, Meirchion Gul (the Lean) c422 and Masgwid Gloff c444, King of Elmet. Meirchion Gul had three sons, which caused the Rheged kingdom to be split. The first was Cynfarch Oer (the Dismal) c461, King of North Rheged, and the second Elidyr Llydanwyn (the Stout and Handsome) c464. They married two sisters Nyfain and Gwawr, the daughters of Brychan. The third was Idno c466 who had no offspring. Masgwid Gloff had five sons, Llaennog c475, King of Elmet and his brothers Einion c477, Arthwys c479, St. Cynllo c481 and Ceredig c483, none of whom became kings or had family.

Ceneu’s third son Dyfnwal Moelmud (the Bald and Silent), who fathered Cyngar c455 and Bran Hen (the Old) c460. Cyngar in turn fathered Morgan Fwlch c485 to become King of Bryneich. Bran Hen appears to be without issue.

Coel Hen’s daughter Gwawl, married to Cunedda, is reputed to have had eight sons who went with their father into north Wales to drive out the Irish and after whom many Welsh counties are named. Coels other son was Garbanion c390.

It can be seen from the above that from the fourth generation after Coel Hen the kingdom was split into many smaller kingdoms to satisfy the male offspring of current kings. It now became increasingly difficult to split kingdoms further and the practice began of leaving the kingdom to the eldest son or having joint kings. The female line were married off into as high a family as possible. It will be noticed that where there are more than one child a gap of two years separate them as this is thought to be an earliest/average gap for those times.

It is now proposed to list future generations under the kingdoms, as follows :-


EBRAUNC from Eliffer Gosgorddfawr.

Peredyr Arueu Dur (Steel Arms) c510 – 580

     Gwrgant Gwron (the Hero) c540
           St. Cedwyn c570

Gwrgi c510 – 580

Ceindrech Penasgell c510 (Later married Brochfael – King of Powys)

Other unknown sons.

NORTH OF SALWAY from Einion.

      Ceido c488
            Gwenddolew c520
            Nudd c522
            Caw c524

SOUTH OF SALWAY from Rhun Ryfedd Mawr.

      Perfawr (daughter) c510 who married Rhun Hir (the Tall) of Gwynedd, c508 – 586
      Rhun c492

PENNINES from St. Pabo Post (Pillar of Britain)

      Sawyl Penuchel (the Arrogant) c488 – King of North Pennines. 1st wife Deicher of Ulster.
            Nesta (daughter) c494 married Maelgwn Gwynedd – King of Gwynedd c480 – 549.
            Gwidgwn c496.
                  Cadwallon c520
            St. Madog Ailither (the Pilgrim) c498
            St. Santan c500. Bishop.
      Unknown 2nd wife.
            St. Asa c520 – 601. Bishop of Llanelwy.
            Pyr c522.
      Carwyd c498.
      St. Dynod Bwr (the Stout) c505 – 595 – King of South Pennines. Married Dwywai.
            St.Deiniol Gwyn (the Blessed) c535 – 584. Bishop of Bangor.
                  St. Deiniolen Fab (the Younger) c560.
            St. Cynwyl c537
            St. Gwarthan c539
            St. Aneirin Gwodryd (of Flowing Verse) c541
      Arddyn Penasgell (daughter) (Wing Headed) c510. Married Brochfael Ysgythrog of family.

MIDDLE BRITAIN from Cynfelyn.

      Cynwyd Cynwydion c491 – King of Cynwydion.
            Cadrod Calchfynedd c507. – King of Calchwynedd. Married Gwrgan ferch Brychan.
            Cynan Genhir c509
            Cynfelyn Drwsgi (the Clumsy) c511.

MOVED INTO WALES from Morfryn Frych.

      Myrddin Emrys (alias Merlin the Magician) c488.

NORTH RHEGED from Cynfarch Oer.

      Enynny (daughter) c476. Married Caradog Freichfras (Strong Arm) – King of Gwent.
      Erfiddyl (daughter) c478. Married Eiffer Gosgorddfawr (the Great Army) – King of Ebrauc=
      Anarawn c482. Bishop of Llydaw.
      Llew c484. King.
      Arawn c486. King north of the Salway.
      Urien Rheged c490. 1st wife Orwen ferch Ceredig. 2nd wife Morganna Le Fay (the Fair) then:-
            Owain c510, King.
                  Elffin c534.
                  St. Kentigern Garthwys c528 – 612. Bishop of Strathclyde.
                  Edwyn c550.
                  Pasgen c552.
            Deifr c512.
            Rhiwallon c514.
            St. Cadell c516.
            Elffin c518.
                  Gwaith Hengaer c545. Married Euronwy ferch Clinog.
            Morfydd c520.
            Pasgen c522. King of Gwyr.
                  Elen (daughter) c540. Married Elisedd ap Neufedd c530.
            Rhun c524.
                  Rhoedd c560.
                        Rhiainfelt (daughter) c600. Married Oswy c610 – 670. King of Northumbria.

SOUTH RHEGED from Elidyr Llydanwyn.

      Heledd (daughter) c510. Made poems of the fall of her brother’s son Cynddylan.
      Llywarch Hen (the Old) 534 – 634. Last King of South Rheged. Had 42 children.
            Gwen c555
            Pill c556
            Llawr c557
            Mechydd c558
            Maen c559
            Dwywg c560
                  Caid c595
                        Tegid c630
                              Alcun c660
                                    Sandde c690. King of Ynys Manaw by marrying Celemion, heiress.
                                          Elidyr c720. King of Ynys Manaw.
                                                Gwriad c750. King of Ynys Manaw. Married Essylt ferch Cynan.
                                                      Merfyn Frych (Freckled) d844. K Ynys Manaw and Gwynedd.                                                                 (married Nesta ferch Cadell)

Rhodri Mawr (the Great) King Gwynedd, Powys & Ceredigion

Gwriad

Anarawd

      Nefydd c561
      Sandde Bryd Engyl (Bright Angel) c562
      Selyf c563
      Dilig c564
      Lliwer c565
      Deigr c 566
      Rhud c567
      Madog c568
      Medel c569
      Heilin c570
      Gwell c571
      Sawyl c572
      Llorien c573
      Ceny c574
      Llynghedwy c575
      Cynllwg c576
      Llewenydd c577
      Gorwynion c578
      Rhiell (daughter) c579
      Ceneu c580
      Cynddylan c581. Was said to follow Arthur’s policy when at war.
      Talan c582
      Cynfarch c583
      Rheged c584
      Gredwal c585
      Gwawr c586
      Mabon c587
      Alarch c588
      Bryw c589
      Brwyn c590
      Urien c591
      Ysgwn c592
      Ceinfron (daughter) c593
      Ragaw (daughter) c594
      Ceindreg (daughter) c595
      Gwladys (daughter) c596

ELMET from Llaennog

      Dwywai (daughter) c515. Married St. Dynod Bwr (the Stout) King of South Pennines.
      Gwallog Marchog Trin (Battle Horseman) c520.
            Ceredig c560 – 616. King of Elmet.

WITHOUT KINGDOMS

      Einion ap Masgwid c477
      Arthwys ap Masgwid c479
      St. Cynllo ap Masgwid c481
      Ceredig ap Masgwid c483

BRYNEICH from Morgan Fwlch.

      Coledog c515.
            Morgan c545.

It will be seen from the above that Old King Cole (Coel) and his descendants were kings of an area of land bigger in size than Wales and that of Wales itself the area of Gwynedd and Powys (which at that time extended out as far as Lichfield) was more than half of Wales.

These three dynasties had very close associations and inter-married frequently; a substantial population would be required to marry all of Llywarch Hen’s children. Because of this closeness the fact that Cunedda (also known as Cunorix and Wledig) of Gododin on the Scottish borders should take his army to fight off the encroachment of Irish into north Wales is not surprising, especially if promised land for his troubles.

It must be remembered that at this time the entire population of Wales was probably less than two million and the Coel lands not much more, which comprised mostly of slaves, surfs and followers of the kings or leaders and that there were very few independants.

So there we have it. Old King Cole was not just the figment of a poet’s imagination but was in fact a living, breathing King who ruled a vast area of land in northern Britain and started a dynasty that continued that rule for 400 years but also spread by marriage and conquest into some of the originators and members of my own ancesters. A merry old soul indeed. -------------------- Coel Hen or Coel the Old is known to most of us through the famous nursery rhyme:

Old King Cole was a merry old soul And a merry old soul was he. He called for his pipe, And he called for his bowl, And he called for his fiddlers, three.

-------------------- King Cole or Coel is the name of a figure, or multiple figures with similar names, prominent in British literature and legend since the Middle Ages. Early Welsh tradition knew of a Coel Hen (Coel the Old), a leader in Roman or Sub-Roman Britain and the progenitor of several kingly lines in the Hen Ogledd ("the Old North"), the Brythonic-speaking part of northern England and southern Scotland.

Later medieval legend told of a Coel, apparently derived from Coel Hen, who was the father of Saint Helena and the grandfather of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Other similarly-named characters may be confused or conflated with the Welsh Coel. The traditional "King Coel" may be the historical basis for the popular nursery rhyme "Old King Cole".[1]

Coel Hen appears in the Harleian genealogies and the later pedigrees known as the Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd (The Descent of the Men of the North) at the head of several post-Roman royal families of the Hen Ogledd.[2] His line, collectively called the Coeling, included such noted figures as Urien, king of Rheged; Gwallog, perhaps king of Elmet; the brothers Gwrgi and Peredur, and Clydno Eiddin, king of Eiddin or Edinburg.[2][3] He was also considered to be the father-in-law of Cunedda, founder of Gwynedd in North Wales, by his daughter Gwawl.[4] The genealogies give him the epithet Godebog, meaning "Protector" or "Shelterer".[2] The poem Y Gododdin mentions some enmity between the "Sons of Godebog" and the heroes who fought for the Gododdin at the Battle of Catraeth.[3]

As an ancestor figure, Coel Hen compares to Dumnagual Hen, who is likewise attributed with founding kingly lines in the Hen Ogledd. According to Welsh tradition the region of Kyle was named for Coel, and a mound at Coylton in Argyll was regarded as his tomb.[5] Projections back from dated individuals suggest that Coel Hen lived around AD 350 – 420, during the time of the Roman departure from Britain.[3] In his widely-criticized book[6] The Age of Arthur, historian John Morris suggested that Coel may have been the last of the Roman Duces Brittanniarum (Dukes of the Britons) who commanded the Roman army in northern Britain.[7] According to Morris he may have taken over the northern capital at Eburacum (York) to rule over what had been the northern province of Roman Britain. Upon Coel Hen's death, his lands would have been split between his sons, Garmonion and Cunedda II, and later his grandsons, Dunwal Moelmut, Cunedda III, and Gwrwst Ledlwn, thus creating the many old northern kingdoms of Britain.

In his Historia Anglorum, Henry of Huntingdon mentions that a King Coel of Colchester was the father of Saint Helena and therefore the grandfather of Constantine the Great.[8][9] The same claim appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, in a passage using some of the same words. However, Henry appears to have written this part of the Historia Anglorum before he knew about Geoffrey's work, leading J. S. P. Tatlock to conclude that Geoffrey borrowed the passage from Henry, rather than the other way around.[10] The source of the claim is unknown, but it may have come from a lost hagiography of Helena.[10]

Geoffrey's largely fictional Historia Regum Britanniae expands upon Henry's brief mention, listing Coel as a King of the Britons following the reign of King Asclepiodotus.[11] He states that, upset with Asclepiodotus's handling of the Diocletianic Persecution, Coel began a rebellion in the duchy of Caercolun (Colchester), of which he was duke. He met Asclepiodotus in battle and killed him, thus taking the kingship of Britain upon himself. Rome, apparently, was pleased that Britain had a new king and sent a senator, Constantius Chlorus, to negotiate with Coel. Afraid of the Romans, Coel met Constantius and agreed to pay tribute and submit to Roman laws as long as he was allowed to retain the kingship. Constantius agreed to these terms but, one month later, Coel died.[11] Constantius married Coel's daughter, Helena, and crowned himself as Coel's successor. Helen later gave birth to a son who became the Emperor, Constantine the Great, giving a British pedigree to the Roman imperial line.[12]

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

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Coel Hen "The Old" King of Northern Britain, Dux Britanniorum's Timeline