Morcant Bulc, King of Bryneich
(Born c.AD 540)
(Welsh: Morgan; Latin: Morganus; English: Morgan)
Morcant succeeded to the Kingdom of
Bryneich in the late 6th century, probably uniting the divided kingdoms of
his uncle, Bran Hen, and father, Cuncar.
Despite his evil reputation, he should probably not be identified with
King Morken who persecuted St. Kentigern.
It was during Morcant's reign that King Urien
of Rheged managed to pull together a coalition of the squabbling British
Kings to fight against the expanding Anglians under King Hussa of Bernicia.
The allies included Kings Riderch Hael
(the Generous) of Strathclyde and Gwallawc
Marchawc Trin (the Battle Horseman) of Elmet, as well as Morcant.
The alliance was extremely successful and lasted for some years, but it
was always shaky. Despite almost wiping out the invaders, rivalries and
petty jealousies were running rife in the British camp. Around AD 590,
just when total victory was almost in sight, with King Hussa driven from
Din-Guardi (Bamburgh) and besieged on Ynys Metcaut (Lindisfarne), Morcant
paid a foreign assassin, named Llofan Llaf Difo (Severing-Hand), to
cruelly murder Urien Rheged at Aber Lleu (Ross Low). Perhaps, Morcant felt
he should be leading the British party in his own kingdom. He, no doubt,
thought he could do just as well as Urien. It was not to be, however. The
assassination caused the British alliance to collapse. The Anglians rose
up once more and pushed back deep into Bryneichian territory. Morcant had
entered into a blood feud with the Royal House of Rheged, but he appears
to have managed to defeat and kill its new King, Owein.
The Bryneich dynasty, however, barely survived. His son, Coledauc,
and grandson, Morcant, ruled for only a
few years more.
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