Gwrfoddw Hen, King of Ergyng
(Died c.AD 619)
(Latin: Gorbotus; English: Corbet)

Little is known of this local warrior prince who usurped the throne of Ergyng upon the death of King Cynfyn, around AD 615. He is said to have fought against the Anglo-Saxons (presumably the Mercians) and to have granted land on the Wye, at Bolgros, to Bishop Ufelfyw of Ergyng in thanksgiving for his victories. He also appears in a number of charters listed in the Book of Llandaff, which Dr Wendy Davies takes to be genuine and dates to c.AD 615-19. Gwrfoddw had a son named Erfig, but he did not succeed to the throne of Ergyng which was quickly re-taken by King Cynfyn's son, Gwrgan Fawr.

This historic character is not found using the epithet, the Old, but, nevertheless, should probably be identified with Gwrfoddw Hen of the Mabinogion attached tale of 'Culhwch and Olwen'. He appears there, a 100 years earlier, as the son of Amlawdd Wledig and maternal uncle of High-King Arthur. He supposedly died on a wild boar hunt in Brittany.

Records of the 7th century Gwrfoddw date back to that century. He is generally considered historic.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.