Tim Boucher

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Blegabred / Beldgabred (“Historia Regum Britanniae”, Geoffrey of Monmouth/Thompson tr. 1842)

SOURCE: “Historia Regum Britanniae: Book III, Chapter 19“, Geoffrey of Monmouth (1136), Translated by Aaron Thompson & J. A. Giles (1842)


Then succeeded Urianus,[33] the son of Andragius; after whom reigned in order, Eliud,[34]Cledaucus,[35]Cletonus,[36]Gurgintius,[37]Merianus,[38]Bleduno,[39]Cap,[40]Oenus,[41]Sisillius,[42]Blegabred.[43] This last prince, in singing and playing upon musical instruments, excelled all the musicians that had been before him, so that he seemed worthy of the title of the God of Jesters. After him reigned Arthmail,[44] his brother; […]”

Blaðgabreast (Wikipedia)

SOURCE: List of Legendary Kings of Britain

Listed as equivalent of Beldgabred (Geoffrey of Monmouth)

Beldgabred / Blegywyrd (Wikipedia; Geoffrey of Monmouth)

Beldgabred (Welsh: Blegywyrd) was a legendary king of the Britons as accounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. He was preceded by Sisillius III and succeeded by his brother Archmail. Geoffrey says that Beldgabred surpassed all other musicians on every kind of instrument and was claimed to be the god of minstrels.[1]

Source: Beldgabred – Wikipedia

List of legendary kings of Britain (British myth & history)

The following list of legendary kings of Britain derives predominantly from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s circa 1136 work Historia Regum Britanniae (“the History of the Kings of Britain”). Geoffrey constructed a largely fictional history for the Britons (ancestors of the Welsh, the Cornish and the Bretons), partly based on the work of earlier medieval historians like Gildas, Nennius and Bede, partly from Welsh genealogies and saints’ lives, partly from sources now lost and unidentifiable, and partly from his own imagination (see bibliography). Several of his kings are based on genuine historical figures, but appear in unhistorical narratives. A number of Middle Welsh versions of Geoffrey’s Historia exist. All post-date Geoffrey’s text, but may give us some insight into any native traditions Geoffrey may have drawn on.

Geoffrey’s narrative begins with the exiled Trojan prince Brutus, after whom Britain is supposedly named, a tradition previously recorded in less elaborate form in the 9th century Historia Brittonum. Brutus is a descendant of Aeneas, the legendary Trojan ancestor of the founders of Rome, and his story is evidently related to Roman foundation legends.

The kings before Brutus come from a document purporting to trace the travels of Noah and his offspring in Europe, and once attributed to the Chaldean historian Berossus, but now considered to have been a fabrication by the 15th-century Italian monk Annio da Viterbo, who first published it. Renaissance historians like John Bale and Raphael Holinshed took the list of kings of “Celtica” given by pseudo-Berossus and made them into kings of Britain as well as Gaul. John Milton records these traditions in his History of Britain, although he gives them little credence.

Source: List of legendary kings of Britain – Wikipedia

Historia Regum Britanniae (Geoffrey of Monmouth, 1136; British history)

Historia regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain), originally called De gestis Britonum (On the Deeds of the Britons), is a pseudohistorical account of British history, written around 1136 by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It chronicles the lives of the kings of the Britons over the course of two thousand years, beginning with the Trojans founding the British nation and continuing until the Anglo-Saxons assumed control of much of Britain around the 7th century. It is one of the central pieces of the Matter of Britain.

Although taken as historical well into the 16th century,[1] it is now considered to have no value as history. When events described, such as Julius Caesar’s invasions of Britain, can be corroborated from contemporary histories, Geoffrey’s account can be seen to be wildly inaccurate. It remains, however, a valuable piece of medieval literature, which contains the earliest known version of the story of King Lear and his three daughters, and helped popularise the legend of King Arthur.

Source: Historia Regum Britanniae – Wikipedia

Blathgabarat / Blæthgabreat (Layamon’s Brut, 1847)

SOURCE: “Brut, or chronicle of Britain: a poeticel semi-Saxon paraphrase of the Brut of Wace : now first published from the Cottonian manuscripts in the British Museum, Volume 1“, by Layamon, 1847.


IMAGES: (p. 298-299)


Layamon’s Brut (Middle English poem)

Layamon’s Brut (ca. 1190 – 1215), also known as The Chronicle of Britain, is a Middle English poem compiled and recast by the English priest Layamon. The Brut is 16,096 lines long and narrates the history of Britain: it is the first historiography written in English since the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Named for Britain’s mythical founder, Brutus of Troy, the poem is largely based on the Anglo-Norman Roman de Brut by Wace, which is in turn a version of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Latin Historia Regum Britanniae. Layamon’s poem, however, is longer than both and includes an enlarged section on the life and exploits of King Arthur. It is written in the alliterative verse style commonly used in Middle English poetry by rhyming chroniclers, the two halves of the alliterative lines being often linked by rhyme as well as by alliteration.

Source: Layamon’s Brut – Wikipedia

Roman de Brut (Norman history of England)

Roman de Brut (meaning “Romance of Brut”) or “Brut” is a verse history of Britain by the poet Wace. It is based on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, and was probably begun around 1150 and finished in 1155.

Written in the Norman language, it consists of 14,866 lines. It was intended for a Norman audience interested in the legends and history of the new territories of the Anglo-Norman realm, covering the story of King Arthur and taking the history of Britain all the way back to the mythical Brutus of Troy.

The Brut was the most popular of Wace’s works and survives in more than 30 manuscripts or fragments. It was used by Layamon as the basis for his Brut and inspired Robert de Boron’s Merlin. It contained a number of significant elaborations of Geoffrey, including the first mention of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Source: Roman de Brut – Wikipedia

Blegabredus (“Life of Merlin”, Heywood, 1812)

SOURCE: “The Life of Merlin: Surnamed Ambrosius; His Prophecies and Predictions Interpreted, and Their Truth Made Good by Our English Annals: Being a Chronographical History of All the Kings and Memorable Passages of this Kingdom,” by Thomas Heywood, 1812.


IMAGES: (p. 33)

Blegabredus (“History of England,” Milton, 1670)

SOURCE: “A Complete History of England: with the Lives of All the Kings and Queens Thereof…” by John Milton

(Note: Google Books attributes to White Kennet, 1706, but text appears to match Milton’s History of Britain – Archive)


TEXT: (Source: Dartmouth)

“But to make amends for this Silence, Blegabredus next succeeding, is recorded to have excell’d all before him in the Art of Music; opportunely, had he but left us one Song of his 20 Predecessors doings.”

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