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better foundation than this :—that there was a Corstopitum on the Wall near Newcastle, and that the name of Quimper was Curiosopitum. Also :—that a troop raised among the Cornovii of the Severn Valley had been sent to guard the Wall, as noticed in the Notitia Dignitatum, “Sub dispositione ducis spectabilis Britanniarum, per lineam valli, Tribunus cohortis Cornoviorum.” The Notitia gives us information relative to the disposition of troops during the period between the reign of Constantine and the retreat of the Roman armies.
Now if Cornovii from the Severn basin had been stationed on the Wall, when the troops were recalled, they would go whither summoned. If they dispersed, they would return to their own homes. Moreover Corstopitum is not the same name as Curiosopitum, of the Coriosoliti.
What we do know is that Cunedda and a large body of men, who did hold the Wall, after the withdrawal of the Roman legions, when unable to keep out the barbarians any longer, took refuge, not in Armorica, but in Gwynedd, where they drove the Irish out of all the north and west of Wales, and established themselves in Gwynedd and Ceredigion, and portions of Powys. It is more probable that the native Britons of Cornwall founded the Armorican Cornubia, when forced to migrate by the occupation of the entire west of the peninsula by the Irish from Ossory, and the whole north-east and the Tamar down to the mouth by the settlers from Brecknock, who were also of Irish extraction. It is significant that something like fifty saintly Celtic patrons in Cornwall should also be culted in Finistère, whereas there is not a trace of any saint from the district of the Otadini having ever effected a colonisation there. But no argument can be based on identity of names, for the name Cornubia for Cornwall does not occur earlier than the end of the 7th century. Previously the whole peninsula is spoken of as peopled by the Dumnonii.
On settling in Armorica, the colonists from the beginning organized themselves into tribes. But the tribal system had to be modified to meet the new conditions.
The ancient tribe consisted of those who were united by blood. In all the Celtic tribes the tie of kinship, of blood relationship, was that which bound them together. But in process of time this went through considerable modification, and upon blood-relationships other links were forged, those of mutual rights and mutual protection. “ This new idea of mutual protection very soon entered most forcibly into tribal development, and almost eclipsed the original idea of the tie of blood-relationship being the basis of tribal society. The tribe VOL. 1.
was to a great extent reorganised upon these new ideas, which played the most important part in the later tribal development.” 35 This alteration was forced on the colonists, as annually fresh arrivals came to the coast, and solicited adoption into the already constituted plebes, if they were not numerous enough themselves to form an independent plebs.
Thus the tribe was reorganised on a broader basis. It formed a plou, the Welsh plwyf, consisting of the original band that had come over, made up of tribesmen, under their hereditary chief, who disposed of his clansmen in their trefs, and the settling of controversies among them took place in the chieftain's lis. That the regular cantref was formed is improbable, the trefs were fewer, and were multiplied as fresh settlers arrived and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the chief and were received into his tribe by adoption.
The artificial character of the organisation apparently may be traced in the settlement of Fragan, the father of S. Winwaloe. He was married to Gwen Teirbron, she being an Armorican Briton by birth. So as to have as many plous, nuclei for tribal formations, he not only established one near S. Brieuc, and a second in the county of Léon, but also constituted a plou for his wife, Gwen, near S. Brieuc, and another near his own place in Léon.
The consolidation of the plous under sovereign princes came somewhat later. The first to exercise sovereign jurisdiction in Dumnonia was Rhiwal, about the year 515,36 but he did not venture to do so without the permission of the king of the Franks. 37
Rhiwal, who died about 520, was succeeded by his son Deroc, who ruled till about 535, and to him succeeded his son Jonas, who died about 540, leaving a son Judual. Conmore, Count of Poher, married the widow of Jonas, and usurped the rule over Domnonia. Judual, fearing for his life, fed to S. Leonore, who facilitated his escape to the court of Childebert. This Frank king confirmed Conmore in his
35 Willis Bund, The Celtic Church of Wales, p. 59.
36 “ Riwalus Britanniæ dux filius fuit Derochi ... Hic Riwalus, a transmarinis veniens Britanniis cum multitudine navium, possedit totam minorem Britanniam tempore Chlotarii regis Francorum ... Hic autem rexit Britanniam tempore Dagoberti filii Clotharii.” Ex Cod. MS. S. Vedasti Dom Morice, Preuves, i, 211; Mabillon, Acta SS. O.S. B., sæc. ii. The statement that Rhiwal possessed all Little Britain is an exaggeration. This is the Rhiwal who received and welcomed S. Brioc. De la Borderie supposed they were distinct personages because he placed the period of S. Brioc earlier than need be, misled by the assumption that Brioc had been a disciple of Germanus of Auxerre.
37 Le Baud, Hist. Bretagne, 1638, p. 65. The passage is quoted under S. Brioc further on. Also the late Chron. Briocense, quoted by De la Borderie, Hist. Bret., i, 353.
usurpation, made him his lieutenant in Brittany, and retained Judual in honorary restraint at Paris, till S. Samson obtained leave in 554 to organise an insurrection for the overthrow of Conmore, who was killed in 555, and then Judual was elevated to the throne of Domnonia. The pedigree of the princes of Domnonia, as well as can be made out, is as follows :
Rhiwal arrived in Domnonia
Léon was probably, as already said, colonised from Gwent, or at all events the chief who consolidated the settlement there under his rule, and gave the name to the land, probably came from Gwent. His name was Withur. In the Life of S. Paul of Léon he is mentioned as the chief ; he died probably about 525. According to the Life of S. Tudwal, Deroc, son of Rhiwal, exercised rule in Léon, perhaps by usurpation in the old age of Withur. It is singular that no mention is made of him in the Life of S. Paul. About the year 520 Deroc became Prince of Domnonia.
Perhaps the next chief was Ewen, who is mentioned in the Life of S. Goulven as having his lis or court at Lesneven, and who was engaged in repelling an invasion of Saxon or Frisian pirates on the coast. But if so, he has been confounded by the writer of the Life with another Ewen of Léon who lived much later. Soon after, Conmore, Count of Poher, began his encroachments by annexing Léon, and thenceforth it formed a portion of Domnonia.
Cornubia, or Cornugallia, was formed into a principality earlier
than Domnonia. The Cartularies of Landevennec, Quimperlé and Quimper give the following list of the princes :-(1) Rivelen Mor Marthou ; (2) Rivelen Marthou; (3) Cungar; (4) Gradlon Mur; (5) Daniel Dremrud ; (6) Budic et Maxenri duo fratres. [Horum primus rediens ab Alamannia interfecit Marchell 38 et paternum consulatum recuperavit.]39 (7) Jan Reith, Huc rediens Marchel interfecit ; (8) Daniel Unva ; (9) Gradlon Flam; (10) Cungare Cherovnoc; (11) Budic Mur, and six others to Alan Caniart, who died 1040, and to Hoel V, who died 1084.
The list is mainly fabulous. The contest of one king with Marchell, attributed in the Cartulary of Quimperlé to Budic, is attributed in that of Quimper to Jan Reith. According to the Life of S. Melor, Jan Reith did not succeed Budic, but preceded him, and was the father of Daniel. We must admit the existence of Grallo the Great, who ruled from about 470 to about 505. After him confusion reigns in the Catalogue. Budic certainly did not take refuge in Alamania. We have no means of determining who Grallo was, and whether Budic was of his family.
Budic had two sons, Miliau and Rivold. Miliau reigned for seven years, which were years of prosperity in the land. He was assassinated by his brother Rivold in or about the year 537, and Rivold then married his brother's widow, and obtained the assassination of his nephew Melor in 544. Rivold himself died in the same year ; and then it was that Budic II, who had been a refugee in Demetia, returned to Cornubia and became king. We are now on safer ground. He seems to have lived till 570, when he left a son, Tewdrig, who was driven from his principality by Macliau, bishop of Vannes and count of Bro-weroc. Tewdrig, however, raised a body of men, attacked Macliau and killed him in 577, and recovered his principality. Of this there is nothing in the catalogue of princes, and we may well question whether any reliance can be placed on the names that occur earlier.
Daniel Dremrud may perhaps be recognised as the founder of Plou Daniel in Léon. Jan Reith is probably purely mythical.
After the death of Tewdrig the history of Cornubia remains a blank for a tract of time. If there were princes, they left no trace in history.
38 Gregory of Tours, in his Libri Octo Miracularum, Lib. i, mentions a barbarian chief of the name of Marchil Chillor, who besieged Nantes in 497. Is it possible that this can be the same man ?
39 This passage is in the list in the Quimperlé Cartulary. That of Quimper agrees with that of Quimperlé.
The pedigree of the princes of Cornubia, for what it is worth, as made out from the Lives of S. Melor and S. Oudocui, is as follows :
Tewdrig, S. Tyfai, m. S. Ismael, S. Oudocui, expelled 570,
B. Llandaff. restored 577, d. c. 586.
The dynasties of Brittany have been thrown into the utmost confusion by historians attempting to construct pedigrees on the principle that all Brittany was subject to a single king from the latter part of the fifth century, and by acceptance of the fable of Cynan Meiriadog 40 as a basis for their reckonings. Taking Geoffrey of Monmouth's preposterous nonsense as if it were genuine history, they have proceeded to extravagances in no whit less absurd.
In the eighteenth century Gallet, a priest of Lamballe, drew up a genealogy of the house of Rohan, and with the object of flattering the family derived its descent from Cynan Meiriadog and from the family of S. Patrick.
Gallet was quite unaware that Brittany in the early period of its history was not an undivided kingdom, and that it comprised independent principalities and equally independent counties. In the manufacture of the genealogy he collected all the material he could, all the names of counts and princes he was able to find in the records
40 The fable of Cynan Meiriadog had its origin in this. Nennius says that after Maximus had taken soldiers from Britain to assist him against Gratian, he did not send them back to Britain, but he planted them from the pond on the Mons Jovis (the Gt. S. Bernard) to the city of Cantquic and to the western hill of Cruc Ochidient. The next to speak of this is Eudo, Bishop of Léon in 1019, and he names Conan Meriadoc. Then came Geoffrey of Monmouth and developed the whole story. See De la Borderie, Hist. de Bretagne, ii, 441-63. But he goes too far in saying “ le glorieux Conan Meriadec doit prendre place dans la brumeuse phalange des monarques imaginaires." He makes no allowance for genuine Welsh traditions.