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Gwerthefyr Fendigaid,
King of Gwerthefyriwg
(Born c.AD 402)
(Latin: Vortimoricus; English: Vortimer)

Vortimer, as he is generally known to history, was the eldest son of the tyranical High-King of Britain, Vortigern Vorteneu (GofM). As a young man, Vortimer had probably met St. Germanus of Auxerre on his first visit to Britain in AD 429. The saint may have blessed him, like his brother Brydw, and, ever since, he was given the name Fendigaid or "the Blessed" (DNF, Eliseg's Pillar). He was the short-lived ruler of what became Gwent, but during the early 5th century was actually named after him as Gwerthefyriwg (Bartrum 1993, Bk of Llandaff, DNF). If his legendary ancestry is believed, he would appear to have inherited the area through the maternal line as a great grandson of Eudaf Hen (the Old).

It was this young warrior King who took up the British cause against his fatherís pro-Saxon policies and fought the Germanic invaders in at least three distinct battles during the AD 450s: Derguentid (Crayford), Rithergabail (Aylesford) and Lapis Tituli (Richborough) (HB, GofM, ASC). He was defeated in the first, but victorious by the last. One legend claims that he was actually set-up as High-King in his fatherís stead at this time (GofM). Vortimer was later poisoned by his Saxon step-mother and, on his death bed, persuaded his fellows to bury him in the chief port of Britain upon a "brazen pyramid" (GofM) (probably the Roman Triumphal Arch at Richborough (DNF)) as a talisman to keep the Saxon invaders away (TYP). Vortigern, however, revealed his sonís resting place to his wife and the Saxons had him re-interred in Caer-Lundein (London) (TYP).

Vortimer had married and fathered at least three daughters, Madrun, Anna and Afrella, though apparently no sons (LBS). His kingdom was inherited by the eldest.

 

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