Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia



This personage occurs for the first time in Geoffrey where, as Artgualchar, he is described as an earl or count of Guarensis (Warwick). Richard Grafton, in his ‘Chronicle at Large’ (1569), says he was a Knight of the Round Table and first Earl of Warwick.

Champion of justice in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. In Spenser’s allegory, Artegall the son of King Cador of Cornwall and bore arms of Achilles. He is Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton, whom Spenser once served as secretery.

Artegall was raised by the goddess Astraea. Gloriana, the Fairy Queen, assigned him to liberate the kingdom belonging to the maiden Irena from a giant named Grantorto. The maiden warrior Britomart fell in love with Artegall after seeing an image of him, in Fairy Land, in a mirror.

With their faces hidden by visors, Artegall and Britomart encountered each other in duel, but Britomart eventually recognized her opponent and Artegall became entranced by Britomart’s beauty. They agreed to marry, but Artegall had to leave Britomart to finish his quest.

After several successful adventures, Artegall was enslaved by Queen Radigund of the Amazons. Britomart learned of his plight from his squire, Talus, and rescued him. In further adventures, Artegall was joined by Arthur. Eventually, he arrived at Irena’s kingdom and killed Grantorto in combat.

The Faerie Queene | Edmund Spenser, 1570-1599