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King Hoel Mawr of Brittany -  Nash Ford PublishingHoel I Mawr,
King of Brittany

(Born c.AD 491)
(Welsh: Hywel; Latin: Hovelius; English: Howel)

As a son of Budic II's first marriage, King Hoel the Great was nephew to the famous High-King Arthur of Britain. Tradition says he spent much of his childhood in exile at the court of King Aergol Lawhir of Dyfed and it was in that kingdom that he was revered as a saint at the church he established in Llanhowel. In his youth, Hoel also spent a considerable amount of time at King Arthur's court and, although he returned to Brittany when his father was recalled, he was soon asked back to help his uncle overcome the Saxon scourge. Hoel supposedly landed at Southampton and immediately moved north with a considerable army to assist King Arthur at the Battle of Dubglas, the Siege of Caer-Ebrauc (York) and the Battle of Celidon Coit, before being besieged himself at Caer-Brithon (Dumbarton Rock). Hoel's greatest hour, however, was at the triumphant Battle of Mount Badon. Later he took part in Arthur's continental campaigns, conquering Gaul and enabling Arthur to establish his government in Paris! Hoel then returned to his own Kingdom, where King Tristram of Lyonesse was supposed to have helped him to victory during a Breton Civil War. Hoel probably ruled jointly in Cornouaille with his ageing father. They. Apparently, both died in the same year (545) and were succeeded by Hoel's eldest son, Tewdwr Mawr. Literary writers have transformed Sir Howel into a Knight of the Round Table, but as most information about him comes from these and later sources, his historicity is in some doubt.


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