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Iago, King of Gwynedd
(c.560-613)
(Latin: Iacobus; English: James)

Iago was the son of King Beli ap Rhun. In AD 588, this ageing monarch offered sanctuary to the exiled King Edwin of Deira. Edwin was but a toddler of four years, who had managed to escape with some of his fellow countrymen when the power-hungry, King Aethelfrith of Bernicia, invaded his homeland and murdered his father. Iago seems to have raised Edwin along with his own son, Cadfan. This act of compassion was not without risk however, for, as the young Deiran grew older, he became a threat to Aethelfrith's position as King of a united Northumbria. The Bernician eventually marched on Gwynedd in AD 613. Iago rallied the combined British armies of the South behind him, and the two clashed at Caer-Legion (Chester). The outcome was unresolved and both sides claiming victory, but one thing is certain: King Iago was killed in the slaughter.

 

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