Appendix 19
Henry Blois is as devious as always in appearing to be speaking as Merlin
back in the sixth century. He employs the device we have witnessed before
of anchoring in time, references to his own HRB, and also to known events
in the British Annals.
Henry’s aim is to speak prophecy as if it were the confused misinterpreted
rambling of a mystic whilst leaving no doubt as to the person he is referring
to; yet causing confusion, because of the apparent anachronism. In the
confusion the Norman reader could take special notice of Cadwalader. In
the HRB we hear of Cadwallo:
Now, a little later, a son was born unto King Cadvan of the Queen his wife,
and thereafter were the two boys, whereof the one was called Cadwallo and
the other Edwin. And when in course of time their boyhood had grown into
youth, their parents sent them unto Solomon, King of the Armorican
Also in the HRB: Discord having thus arisen betwixt them, and the men of
both having harried the lands of the other in a number of armed forays, both
at last met on the further side of Humber, and in the battle that was fought
Cadwallo lost many thousands of his men and was put to flight, making his
way in such haste as he might through Albany unto the island of Hibernia.
But Edwin, after he had won the victory, led his army through the provinces
of Britain, and burning the cities, did grievously torment the citizens and
husbandmen. But whilst that he was thus giving a loose unto his cruelty,
Cadwallo was ever endeavouring to return unto his country by ships, but
could never make shift to do so, for that unto whatsoever haven he steered his
course there was Edwin with his host to meet him and forbid his landing. Now
there was come unto him a certain right cunning wizard out of Spain, by
name Pellitus, who was learned in the flight of birds and the courses of the
stars, and did foretell unto him all disaster that might befall, and along of him
it was that Edwin had witting of Cadwallo's return so as thus he was able to
meet him, shatter his ships and drown their crews, and close every port
against him. Cadwallo, therefore, not knowing what to do, and well-nigh
falling into utter despair of ever returning, at last bethought him or going
unto Solomon, King of the Armorican Britons.
Cadwallon ap Cadfan which the HRB refers to as Cadwallo died in 634
AD and was the King of Gwynedd. He was the King of the Britons who
invaded and conquered Northumbria, defeating and killing its King, Edwin.
His conquest of Northumbria made him the last Briton to hold substantial
territory in eastern Britain.
He is therefore held as national hero by the Britons and as a tyrant by
the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria. Geoffrey in the HRB has Cadwallo
surviving until after the Battle of the Winwaed in 654 or 655. Geoffrey is
never one for dates, just general era, so as not to disagree with the British
annals. Henry Blois, as we have shown in appendix 18, is really trying to
cause an insurrection in England against Henry II through Cadwaladr ap
Gruffydd c.1096-1172. The prophecy is certainly aimed at the modern era
not only by the spelling of Cadwalader but the fact he is linked to Conan of
Brittany in the same era.
Cadwaladr was the third son of Gruffudd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd,
and younger brother of Owain Gwynedd. Together with his brother Owain,
Cadwaladr led three expeditions (113637) against the English stronghold of
Ceredigion to the south killing the lord of Ceredigion, Richard Fitz Gilbert de
Clare. During the reign King Stephen, Owain and Cadwaladr extended the
boundaries of northern Wales almost to the city of Chester. They captured
five castles in the north of Ceredigion then later in the year launched a
second invasion, inflicting a heavy defeat on King Stephen’s lord of
Ceredigion, at the Battle of Crug Mawr, just outside Cardigan.
In 1137 they captured Carmarthen. Cadwaladr later married Richard
Fitz Gilbert de Clare's daughter Alice (Adelize) de Clare. Gruffudd ap Cynan
died in 1137 and was succeeded by Owain Gwynedd, Cadwaladr’s elder
brother. Cadwaladr was given lands in northern Ceredigion by him. The
forces of King Stephen of England had been besieging Lincoln Castle in 1141
but were themselves attacked by a relief force loyal to Empress Matilda and
commanded by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, the Empress’ half-brother.
HRB iv
See appendix 18
Cadwaladr joined with Ranulph, Earl of Chester in the attack along with
Robert of Gloucester’s forces. In fact a later prophecy in the Vita Merlini
which (we shall cover shortly) shows Henry has added prophecies after the
fact which did not occur in the updated set in HRB:
I see Lincoln walled in by savage soldiery and two men shut up in it, one of
whom escapes to return with a savage tribe and their chief to the walls to
conquer the cruel soldiers after capturing their leader, refers directly to the
battle of Lincoln.
The GS author, Henry Blois, narrates the same events that Ranulph Earl
of Chester staying at Lincoln castle had heard of King Stephen’s entry into
Lincoln and escaped to raise the army of Robert of Gloucester and
Cadwaladr:the Earl of Chester sent to Robert Earl of Gloucester, Miles also,
and all who had armed themselves against the King, and likewise brought
with him a dreadful and unendurable mass of Welsh.
Henry Blois, as we witnessed in the HRB, despises the Welsh and calls
them savages later in the VM. In the Gesta Stephani he holds the same
opinion of them, ‘dreadful’! Henry refers to Cadwallader as ‘revered’. But
in 1156 he is in the guise of Merlin predicting a revolt of the Celts against
Norman rule i.e. Henry II. Looking back in time to 1141, Henry Blois
bother, was captured at the battle of Lincoln and taken prisoner to Earl
Robert’s castle in Bristol. Cadwaladr was only probably at Lincoln because
of his marriage alliance to Alice de Clare, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert
de Clare.
In the intervening years, after the battle of Lincoln, King Stephen died
and Cadwaladr had a quarrel with his brother Owain which led to his exile
in England. Henry II invaded Gwynedd in 1157 right at the time Henry Blois
is trying to incite insurrection in the prophetic words of Merlin. As we now
know through history his plan did not come to fruition. Like Conan in
Brittany, Cadwaladr was appeased by Henry II, the terms of the peace
agreement between King Henry and Owain Gwynedd included the
stipulation that Cadwaladr should be given back his lands at Hess in
It is a known that Henry II put stead in the earlier prophecies of Merlin
along with his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry Blois’ plain aim was to
incite both Celtic leaders to take up the crown of Brutus by rebellion against
King Henry II. The Cornish and the Scots were only included for the aura of
credibility of the prophecy; a total rebirth of the Christian Celtic nation
ridding itself of foreign rule.
Motivating the Celts to their (prophetic) destiny, Henry Blois coaxes
them to join forces to obtain self-rule and the return of the crown of Brutus.
It just so happens that Henry II who is numbered the sixth’ is replaced by
the ‘adopted one who is seen as the ‘seventh’ in John of Cornwall’s set of
Merlin prophecies also concocted by Henry Blois. The Celtic belief of
Arthur’s return is interchangeable with the utopian ideal of the Briton state,
a state which existed from Brutus to the Romans and then to Arthur in
Henry Blois’ concocted faux-history.