Amlawdd Wledig or Anlawdd Wledig in medieval Welsh tradition is the father of Arthur’s mother Eigyr. Otherwise nothing is known of him save that Amlawdd appears as the father of particular persons in genealogies and is apparently use to make a person into a kinsman to Arthur by identifying that person’s mother as a daughter of Amlawdd.
Children of Amlawdd in Culhwch and OlwenEdit
In the medieval Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen, neither Arthur’s father nor mother are mentioned by name, however the hero of the tale, Culhwch, is said to be son of one Cyleddon Wledig by Goleuddydd daughter of Amlawdd Wledig and is said to be Arthur’s cousin. Culhwch introduces himself to Arthur as son of Cyleddon by Goleuddydd daughter of Amlawdd Wledig and Arthur immediately recognizes that Culhwch is Arthur’s “first cousin”.
In the Arthurian court list in the tale, two brothers of Arthur’s unnamed mother appear: Llydadrudd Emys (‘Red-eye Stallion’) and Gwrfoddw the Old. The two brothers are later slain by Garth Grugyn, one of the boar Trwyth’s piglings and are again said to be brothers to Arthur’s mother. So, unless Arthur’s maternal grandmother had more than one husband, they also would be sons of Amlawdd Wledig. So also would be Gweir False-valor and Gweir White-shaft, also mention in the Arthurian court list as “uncles of Arthur, his mother’s brothers”.
When Culhwch and five of Arthur’s men go forth to seek news of Olwen, they come upon a giant shepherd who introduces himself as Custennin son of Mynwyedig. Custennin’s wife also appears somewhat monstrous, but she also is a daughter of Amlawdd Wledig and accepts Culhwch as her sister’s son. Ysbaddaden Chief Giant has slain twenty-three of the twenty-four sons she had born to Custennin and the only son still alive, the youngest son, hides in a coffer by the hearth. Kay takes this son under his protection. Later, when Custennin’s son and his companions cross the balleys of the giant Wrnach’s castle, the companions praise Custennin’s son as “best of men” and from that time forth the boy is known as Goreu (‘Best’).
Children of Amlawdd in other worksEdit
In the Welsh Bruts, Arthur is son of Uthyr Pendragon by Eigyr who is specifically said to be daughter of Anlawdd Wledig. In some of the Welsh texts Cadwr, Earl of Cornwall is said to be Arthur’s half-brother, fathered on Eigyr by her first husband Gwrlais.
In the Latin Vita Iltut Abbatis the hero, Saint Illtyd, is said to be the son of Bicanus, a King of Little Britain by Rieingulid, daughter of Anblaud, King of Britain. Later Illtyd is said to be cousin to Arthur.
According to Bonedd y Saint, section 43, Tyvrydawc in Môn, and Dyeuer in Bodfari in Tegeingle, and Theyrnawc in Dyffryn Clwyd, and Thudyr in Darowen in Cyveiliawg were brothers, and the sons of Hawystyl Gloff, and Marchell their sister; and Thywanwed daughter of Anlawt Wledig was their mother. The Peniath MS. 27 version inserts the information that Marchell’s brothers were Gwynn son of Nudd, Caradoc Stout-arm, and Gwawl son of Llyminawc.
The Descent of the Men of the North in section 13, the last section, lists the otherwise unknown Huallu son of Tutfwlch Corneu, Prince of Cornwall, whose mother was Dywanw daughter of Amlawd Wledic.
In the 14th century Welsh Ystoria Trystan, King March is Arthur’s first cousin, presumably March's mother being a daughter of Amlawdd Wledig. Trystan in the same story is the son of a first cousin of Arthur, presumably the son of the sister of King March. March makes the point that Arthur therefore ought to side with March because Arthur is more closely related to March than to Trystan.
The Jesus College MS. 20 Genealogies in section 7, concerning the family of Cunedda, names Cunedda’s daughters as Tecgygyl and Gwenn, the wife of Anlawdd Wledig. This information also appears in Bonedd yr Arwyr, section 29(14). Bonedd yr Arwyr, section 31, states as well that Eigyr, mother of Arthur, was daughter of Anlawd Wledic by Gwen daughter of Cunedda Wledic.
Parentage of AmlawddEdit
The name Amlawdd is not impossibly identical in origin to Amleth. Amleth/Amlóði first appears in Book 3 of Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum, completed early in the thirteenth century. Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is based on this story after it has passed through later hands. But in Saxo’s tale, Amleth is not a tragedy. Saxo’s Amleth, a Jute and not a Dane, marries the daughter of the British king on his first trip to Britain and later marries a Scottish queen named Herminthrud and becomes a powerful lord within Britain. But in the end Amleth is slain in a war with the Danish king Viglek, who is very obviously identical to the Anglian king Whitlæg, an ancestor of the Kings of Mercia. Chronologically, Saxo places Amleth at a time when indeed he might be identical to Amlawdd Wledig.
However, if an historical Amlawdd Wledig was of Jutish origin, this has been forgotten in surviving Welsh texts.
According to the Bonedd yr Arwyr, section 31, Amlawdd is son of Kynwal, son of Ffrewdwr, son of Gwarvawr/Gwdion, son of Kadif[en]/Kadien (Gadeon), son of Cynan, son of Eudaf, son of Caradoc, son of Brân, son of Llŷr.
Later Welsh texts instead provide Amlawdd with ancestors from the Vulgate Quest. Bartrum explains (1966, p. 130) that around the year 1400 the lineage of the Grail Kings from the Vulgate Quest was adapted by the monks of Glastonbury from Enigeus (sister of Joseph of Arimathea) down to Lambor, father of the Maimed King, who in this account fathers (presumably as well) an unnamed son who is in turn the father of Arthur’s mother Ygerne. The Welsh adapted this genealogy, replacing the word filius (‘son’), which stood for the unnamed son, by Amlawdd Wledig. The earliest Welsh text known to Bartum which contains this genealogy is Peniarth MS. 178, part 1, p. 1 (by Griffith Hiraethog, c. 1545): Eigr verch Aflawdd wledig ap Lambor ap Manael ap Carcelois ap Jossue ap Evgen chwaer Josep[h a Ar]mathia.
Some Name VariationsEdit
WELSH: Amlawdd, Anlawdd, Anlawd, Amlawd, Amlawt, Amlwyd, Aflawdd; LATIN: Anblaud