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HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY of the
EARLY BRITISH KINGDOMS
PART 3: AD 600-699

c.600 - Welsh bard, Prince Aneirin of the Northern Pennines, writes the poem, Y Gododdin, recording the events of the Battle of Catterick.

601 - The Synod of Chester. Death of St. Asaph, Bishop of Llanelwy.

602 - St. Augustine of Canterbury meets with the Welsh Bishops at Aust near Chepstow. He accuses them of acting contrary to Church teachings, failing to keep Easter at the prescribed Roman time and not administering baptism according to the Roman rite. He also insists that they help in the conversion of their enemy, the Saxons, and look to Canterbury as their spiritual centre. The Welsh tactfully decline.

604 - The Welsh Bishops meet for a second time with St. Augustine of Canterbury. He neglects to rise to greet them, lectures them again and insists they submit to him. The Welsh send him packing. They refuse to recognise the authority of a church within their enemies' territory under such a disrespectful bishop.

607 - Death of King Judhael of Domnonée. His son, Haelioc takes the throne and attempts to exterminate his brothers.

c.610 - King Aethelfrith of Bernicia overruns most of British Bryneich. King Coledauc probably withdraws to the Northern parts of the kingdom. Probable reunification of Strathclyde, probably due to Northumbrian pressures in the border regions.

612 - Death of St. Kentigern, Bishop of Glasgow. Death of King Hoel III of Brittany.

613 - King Aethelfrith of Bernicia invades Gwynedd in order to route out his old enemy, King Edwin of Deira. A united British force (Gwynedd, Powys, Pengwern and Dumnonian warriors) clashes with his army at the Battle of Chester. Kings Iago of Gwynedd and Selyf Sarffgadau of Powys and Prince Cadwal Cryshalog of Rhos are all killed but the victor is unclear. The Battle of Bangor-is-Coed follows in quick succession. King Bledric of Dumnonia is killed in the fighting and 1000 monks are massacred by the Northumbrians.

614 - King Cynegils of Wessex invades the old tribal territory of the Durotoges and defeats the local army (probably under the British aristocracy based in Wareham) at the Battle of Bindon.

c.614 - Proposed annexation of Powys by the Dogfeiling Prince, Eluan Powys, with the help of his brother, King Cynddylan of Pengwern, "oppressor of the Cadelling". The sons of the Cadelling king, Selyf Sarffgadau of Powys, are later described as "landless oafs". The Tarvin-Macefen boundary between Powys and Mercia is delineated.

616 - Prince Hereric of Deira id poisnoned at the court of King Ceretic of Elmet.

617 - King Edwin of Deira invades and conquers Elmet. King Ceretic of Elmet is killed in the fighting.

c.620 - King Tewdrig Fendigaid of Glywysing & Gwent abdicates in favour of his son, Meurig. King Llywarch Hen is expelled from South Rheged, probably by King Edwin of Deira. Llywarch flees to Powys and becomes a famous bard.

c.623 - King Edwin of Deira is baptised by Prince Rhun of North Rheged, according to the Historia Brittonum. This may have been at the old Royal Court of South Rheged.

625 - King Cadfan of Gwynedd dies and is buried at Llangadwaladr where his memorial stone can still be seen. His son, King Cadwallon, succeeds to the throne. St. Tysilio re-founds the Monastery of Meifod.

c.625 - Death of King Haelioc of Domnonée. His brother, Judicael, succeeds to the throne.

c.626 - The rivalry between King Cadwallon of Gwynedd and King Edwin of Deira reaches a climax. Edwin invades the Ynys Manaw (Isle of Man) and then Ynys Mon (Anglesey). Cadwallon is defeated in battle and is besieged on Puffin Island. He eventually flees to Brittany.

629 - St. Paulinus meets Blecca, the Praefectus Civitatis of Lincoln, and converts him to Christianity.

630 - The West Saxons invade Gwent. King Meurig defeats them, with the help of his aging father, at the Battle of Pont-y-Saeson. Death of King Neithon of Strathclyde.

c.630 - King Penda of Mercia besieges Exeter (possibly held by King Clemen of Dumnonia). King Cadwallon of Gwynedd lands nearby, from his Deiran imposed exile in Brittany. He negotiates an alliance with King Penda of Mercia and a united British and Saxon force moves north to re-take Gwynedd. The Deirans are defeated at the Battle of the Long Mountain and Cadwallon chases them back to Northumbria. The British ransack Northumbria and bring the kingdom to its knees.

632 - King Idris of Meirionydd is killed fighting the West Saxons on the Severn.

633 - The British, under King Cadwallon of Gwynedd, meet the Northumbrians in the Battle of Hatfield Chase. King Edwin of Deira is killed in the fighting and Cadwallon is victorious. Cadwallon is later besieged at York by Edwin's cousin and successor, Osric. The former is again victorious.

634 - King Cadwallon of Gwynedd slays both Kings Eanfrith of Bernicia and Osric of Deira rather than negotiate peace with them. Eanfrith's half-brother, Oswald succeeds to a united Northumbria. He gathers a force and clashes with King Cadwallon of Gwynedd at the Battle of Heavenfield. Cadwallon is killed and Oswald victorius. Cadafael Cadomedd usurps the Gwynedd throne and ousts Prince Cadwaladr. Civil War ensues in the kingdom. Death of the great poet, King Llywarch Hen of South Rheged, supposedly aged one hundred.

635 - King Judicael of Domnonée submits to the overlordship of King Dagobert of the Franks. An alliance is drawn up and the borders of the Breton kingdom agreed.

c.635 - King Meurig of Glywysing & Gwent invades Ergyng and re-unites the two kingdoms in the right of his wife. Probable extinction of the House of Bryneich. King Morcant the Last looses his last Cheviot outposts to the Northumbrians.

636 - King Judicael of Domnonée abdicates in order to enter the Monastery of St. Meven at Gaël. His brother, St. Judoc, declines the throne and flees to Ponthieu.

637 - Death of the retired King Judicael of Domnonée.

638 - Din-Eidyn (Edinburgh) is besieged by the Angles of Northumbria and they almost certainly conquer Gododdin. Probable death of King Rhun of Gododdin. Princess Rhiainfelt, heiress of North Rheged, marries Prince Oswiu of Northumbria. Northumbria embraces North Rheged in a peaceful takeover.

640 - Death of St. Tysilio, Abbot of Meifod.

642 - King Penda of Mercia commands a united British and Mercian force against King Oswald of Northumbria at the Battle of Maes Cogwy (Oswestry). The British contingent includes the army of Kings Cadafael Cadomedd of Gwynedd, Eluan of Powys and Cynddylan of Pengwern. Oswald is killed, and possibly Eluan also. The Mercians become dominant in Midland Britain. King Owen of Strathclyde halts Scottish expansion by killing King Domnal Brecc of Dalriada at the Battle of Strathcarron.

c.645 - Gwynedd and much of Wales is in the grasp of famine. Would be King Cadwaladr Fendigaid of Gwynedd flees to Brittany. Civil War continues in his kingdom.

c.650 - King Cloten of Dyfed marries Princess Ceindrech of Brycheiniog and unites the two kingdoms.

655 - King Cadafael Cadomedd of Gwynedd and his army join King Penda of Mercia and march on the Northumbrians. Penda clashes with King Oswiu at the Battle of Gai Campus (Winwaed), but Cadafael withdraws before the battle begins.

c.655 - King Morfael of Pengwern (re-)takes Wall (Staffs).

656 - King of Oswiu of Northumbria invades Pengwern and kills King Cynddylan in battle. His brother, King Morfael, and the remains of the family flee to Glastening. Mercians take control of Pengwern and may have invaded Powys at this time.

658 - King Cenwalh and the Wessex Saxons make a push against Dumnonia (possibly under a King Culmin). They are victorious at the Battle of Penselwood and the Dumnonia-Wessex border is set at the River Parrett. Death of King Judicael of Brittany.

661 - King Cenwalh of Wessex invades Dumnonia. He is victorious at the Battle of Posbury. Saxon settlers found Somerset in Eastern Dumnonia.

662 - Death of King Brochfael of Meirionydd

664 - Plague devastates Gwynedd. Probable death of King Cadafael Cadomedd there. King Cadwaladr Fendigaid of Gwynedd reasserts himself in his kingdom by sending his son, Ifwr, from Brittany to be regent. The Synod of Whitby determines that the Northern British should comply with the doctrines of Rome.

665 - The Second Battle of Badon

675 - Death of St. Judoc.

c.680 - St. Boniface educated at a Celtic Christian Monastery in Exeter.

682 - The West Saxons "drove the British [of Dumnonia] as far as the Sea" (possibly around Bideford). King Cadwaladr Fendigaid of Gwynedd dies on, or just after, a pilgrimage to Rome.

685 - St. Cuthbert visits Carlisle. King Ecgfrith of Northumbria marches his army north to engage the Picts at the Battle of Nechtansmere. The Scots and Strathclyde Britons probably join the Picts in a thorough defeat of the Saxon forces. The latter withdraw and lose much land south of the Forth to King Dumnagual of Strathclyde in the process.

690 - Death of King Alain II Hir of Brittany.

Part 4: AD 700-804

 

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