Benoye

Banoic, Banoyc, Banoyk, Baynok, Benoic, Benoich, Benoyc, Benwick

The name of a kingdom, a city and a castle. The more famous Benoye, or Benwick, was in France. There seems to have been another Benoye, in Britain – the dukedom of Duke Ansirus the Pilgrim. Ansirus’ daughter, Alice La Beale Pilgrim, married Sir Alisander le Orphelin and they retired

into their country of Benoye, and lived there in great joy.

Glennie identifies Albany, the area of Scotland roughly between the Firth of Tay to the east and Loch Fyne to the west, possibly with the Firth of Forth as part of its southern boundary, as Benoic.

Alice heard of Alisander and journeyed down to see him when he was defending the site of the castle La Beale Regard, which I consider likely to have been somewhere near the southern coast of England. Since Alice’s father had the custom of being in Jerusalem every third year, a simple jaunt all the way across Logres might have seemed little enough to her, so Albany remains a strong contender for Benoye.

On the other hand, Benoye might have neighbored La Beale Regard, being perhaps somewhere in Dorsetshire or Wiltshire.

Or Benoye might have been the country not of Alice’s father, but of Alisander’s father, Prince Boudwin. Boudwin was the brother of Mark of Cornwall; Mark murdered Boudwin, and Boudwin’s wife had charged Alisander to avenge his father.

But, as the book saith, King Mark would never stint till he had slain [Alisander] by treason.

It seems likely that Prince Boudwin’s principal holdings would have been in or near Cornwall. Had Alisander returned to his father’s lands in this part of the country, would he not have attacked Mark first? Also, Malory tells us that Alisander never came to Arthur’s court; it seems that he should have managed that trip, had he remained in southern or south-central Logres or in Cornwall, within reach of such major court cities as CamelotCaerleon, and London.

Mark, however, might have contrived to get an assassin up into Scotland. All in all, I prefer Glennie’s identification of Albany as the British Benoye.


See also
Benwick | The Legend of King Arthur