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King Morgan Bulc of Bernaccia

Angles under Ida seized the Celtic Kingdom of

Bernaccia in North East England in 547 CE forcing

King Morgan Bulc into exile.

Although much later than the accepted King Arthur

period, the events of Morgan Bulcís 50 year campaign

to regain his kingdom may have contributed to

the King Arthur Legend.

 

 

Celtic Kingdoms prior to the

Anglo-Saxon invasion

 

 

 

Bernaccia (Bryneich / Berneich) was a Celtic Kingdom in the North East of England.

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The Bernaccian Britons were the descendants of the Southern Votadini tribes. The kingdom is mentioned in Old Welsh poetry, in the writings

of Nennius (800 CE) and in other records under the name of Bryneich or Brynaich.

 

It is not quite clear whether this is simply supposed to represent a Welsh version of the later Anglian Bernicia, or was the name of a preceding Celtic kingdom. However, as the name seems to derive

from the Old Celtic word Bernicc / 'berna' meaning gap or 'land of mountain passes', the latter proposal does describe the area.

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Establishing its capital at Corstopitum, just south of Hadrian's Wall, or Cataractonium (later Catreath of the Mabinogion, modern Catterick)

Bernaccia encompassed the land east of the Pennines from the Northern border of Ebrauc (North Yorkshire) to the Lammermuir Hills (Southern Scotland)that separated it from the northern Goutodin. Its traditional Northern border was from Gefron (Yeavering, bordering the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland) across to the sea to Din Guardi (Bamburgh).

 

This is midway between the Walls, but considering the fact that the kings of Bernaccia were descended from Coel Hen, King of Northern Britain, it seems likely that the remaining few miles of territory would also be claimed by them.

 

Includedin their territory was Ynys Metcaut / Innis Metcaud (Isle of Winds), the Celtic name for Lindisfarne.

 

The kingdom is would have emerged as a Post-Roman Votadini territory(neighbouring the Selgovae to the west) and its focus would have

been more to the North than towards its Southern neighbours. Like Deywr immediately to the south, Bernaccia had a group of Angles settled in its territory, and these Angles under Ida took control,

effectively renaming the kingdom with their Teutonic pronunciation of it as Bernicia.

 

TheCeltic Kings of Bernaccia††††

 

Circa 420 CE Garbanion ap Coel, Son of Coel Hen, King of Northern Britain.

 

Circa 445 CE Dyfnwal Moelmud (the Bald & Silent)

Circa 475 CE Cyngar ap Dyfnwal.

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Circa 490s - 500s CE Bran Hen

Circa 547 CE Morgan Bulc High King and Last Celitc King of Bernaccia forced into exile

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Circa 547 CE Angles under Ida take control of the kingdom, forcing out Morgan Bulc.

 

Ebrauc lays claims to Catraeth (Catterick).

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Apparently ruling the kingdom from a young age, Morgan Bulc remained the titular ruler of Bernaccia from outside his kingdom, and fought on for about 50 years.

 

He appeared to shift his power base to the Celtic Kingdom of Goutoddin (Edinburgh and Berwickshire), where he is mentioned as ruling after King Gawain absented the kingdom.

 

It is possible he also claimed the title of High King. He is part of the Confederation of British Kings of Elmet, Alt Clut and North Rheged which, in 590 attempted unsuccessfully to recover Ynys Metcaut from the Angles. He is also credited with arranging the assassination of Urien, King of Rheged (North West England, Lake District, Cheshire), and defeating his son, so fatally weakening that kingdom.

 

 

 

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