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Sir Cador, Earl of Cornwall
Arthurian Literary Character

Cador first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain (1136) where we are told he was of Roman stock, but his parentage is not revealed. However, since he ruled over Cornwall, by 1457, he was recognised as one of the children of Queen Igraine by her first husband, Gorlois, Earl of that County. There is also, however, a minor tradition that his wife was a daughter of these two, so perhaps he really inherited his estates through her. She is named elsewhere as Ydain, a lady at the Court of King Caradoc Shortarm of Nantes. Cador spent some time the Breton Court after the King had rescued and then married his sister, Guignier.

At the great Siege of Mount Badon, Sir Cador commanded the British contingent that chased the invaders back to their boats at Thanet, where he killed their king, Cheldric. He took part in further campaigns against the Scots at Loch Lomond and the Gauls & Romans on the Continent. Together with Sir Lancelot, he was responsible for holding off an ambush by the Roman Emperor when taking prisoners back to Paris; and he commanded the rear guard at the Battle of Soissons. Cador was finally killed fighting the rebellious Sir Mordred at the Battle of Camlann.

Reality would seem to identify Earl Cador as King Cado, an early 6th century King of Dumnonia (Cornwall/Devon/Somerset) who appears in the Life of St. Carannog.


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