Galeway, Galoee, Galvoie, Walweitha, Walweithe
A province of southwest Scotland, which, in Layamon, Arthur pacified in the early days of his reign. Chrétien de Troyes describes it as a "harsh and cruel land, where the people are faithless". It was guarded by Orguelleuse of the Narrow Passage, who vowed to never let any knight leave the country alive.
Malory only mentions Galway as part of a personal name - as, for instance, Sir Galleron of Galway (who, however, is listed among twelve knights), "and all they were of Scotland", either of Gawaine's kin or well-wishers to his family. Galleron challenged Gawaine for the ownership of several properties nearby. Gawain's associations with Galloway in these romances may preserve some memory of a legend in which Gawaine was its ruler, a notion that appears in William of Malmesbury. In Escanor it is ruled by Count Brandis. There was strong connection between Ireland and Scotland in the early days.
The last Arthurian adventures Chrétien de Troyes wrote take place in the marches of Galloway. Just over the Galloway border lies the city, which may be the Guiromelant's Orqueneseles, to which the Haughty Maid of Logres sends knights for her palfrey.
Also near the border - unsure on which side - we find Ygerne's (Igraine) Rock of Canguin. A note of D.D.R. Owen's remarks that in Chrétien's time Galloway had a regretable reputation, and that four mss, include a couplet describing it as an evil land with perverse people. I cannot see that the perversity of its population in general is borne out by Gawaine's adventures, nor that the unpleasant individuals whom he encounters near Galloway are any worse than villains elsewhere.
Galloway, King of
An uncle of Erec's, this bountiful and generous monarch was at Nantes for his nephew's coronation; in Chrétien's earliest romance, we find him going with King Cadoalant, Guivret the Little, and Yder (the son of Nut) to escort Enide and Guenevere to the great hall. Presumably, if not among Arthur's vassals, the King of Galloway was among his friends and allies.
In Chrétien's last romance, however, Galloway seems to have become a land of some mystery and peril - D.D.R. Owen cites evidence that the actual country and suffered bad repute, and that four mss, include a couplet indentifying it as an evil land with perverse people. The rest of Chrétien's text may not bear this out: as I interpret the peril, it comes from a few renegade individuals; the general populace seems passively sympathetic, and if the King of Galloway was to reappear in Gawaine's adventures, it must have been in the part that Chrétien never managed to add.