Tuesday 26 December 2017

Old King Cole

Coel Hen was my 49 x great grandfather and lived c350 to after 410. Also known as Coel the Old, he is believed to be the inspiration for the Old King Cole nursery rhyme.

Coel Hen ap Tegfan was the head of several post Roman royal families of the Hen Ogledd. He was also the father in law of Cunedda, founder of Gwynedd in north Wales, by his daughter Gwawl.

He lived during the time when the Romans were departing from Britain, and he may have been the last of the Duces Brittannarum (Dukes of the Britons) who commanded the Roman army in northern Britain. His lands extended from Hadrians Wall south and into north Wales.

He is believed to have taken over Eboracum(York) to rule over this province. Upon his death his lands were split between his two sons Garmonion and Cunedda II, and later split further amongst his grandsons, creating the many old northern kingdoms.

Old King Cole was a merry old sole
And a merry old sole was he.
He called for his pipe in the middle of the night
And he called for his fiddlers three. Every fiddler had a fine fiddle
And a very fine fiddle had he.
Oh there is none so rare as can compare With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

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