Coel


    1. Coel
      Coel of Kaercolun

      According to a sixteenth-century manuscript, an ancestor of Arthur through his mother. Stuart-Knill also claims he was one of Arthur's ancestors.

      He was possibly a historical figure who flourished in the North Country in the early fifth century (c. 410s - c. 430s). Tradition gives him a wife named Stradwawl (road-well) and a daughter called Gwawl (wall), which tends to reinforce this. Gwawl may have been the wife of Cunedda. J. Morris suggests that he was the last Dux Brittaniarum.

      A great body of legend grew up about him. He was thought to have been the founder and ruler - king (Henry of Huntingdon), duke (Geoffrey of Monmouth) - of Colchester, tradition pushing him back some centuries. Geoffrey says he took the throne of Britain from King Asclepiodotus in the early fourth century. He acquiesced the power of Rome on the condition that he be allowed to keep the crown. He died soon afterwards.

      His city, according to legend, was besieged by the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus (ruled AD 305-306) for three years, after which the roman warrior Constantine married Helena, Coel's daughter, and became king. Their son was Constantine the Great (born AD 265). A fourteenth-century manuscript says Coel became king of all Britain and died in AD 267.

      His historicity is uncertain. The adjective hen (old) was applied to him. There can be little doubt he was the Old King Cole of nursery rhyme.


      See also
      Cole | The Legend of King Arthur



    2. Coel Godebog

      The father of Ceneu and great-great-great-great-grandfather of Myrddin (Merlin) in Welsh tradition.