Rhita Gawr

The Arthurian connection of Ricca (or Ritta) may have originated from the HRB. Iolo Morganwg mentions a story of Rhita Gawr and he gave the source as a o Lyfr Iaco ap Dewi. Rhita settled a dispute between kings Nynnio and Peibio by conquering them and cutting off their beards. He did the same with all the other 28 kings that challenged him and made a mantle from the beards.

That this may not have been an invention of Iolo is the fact that Ricca may well have been of one generation earlier than Arthur since JC 9 and JC 10 indicate that to be the case for the brothers Nynnio and Peibio. This generational placement is in line with Culhwch ac Olwen which indicates that Eigr was married to a Ricca, chief elder of Cornwall.

One possible speculation, if Iolo’s story has any historical basis, is that if Eigr’s husband was indeed the paramount British ruler it would suggest his conflict with him was not over a damsel but rather over which ruler would have supremacy over the British kingdoms.

Nynnio and Peibio ruled in S. Wales and the Liber Landavensis locates a Tref Rita there.

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Nowy ab Arthur

The Liber Landavensis states:

“Noe ab Arthur … gave … ,in the first place, Penn Alun, with its territory, without any payment to mortal man, besides to God, and to Archbishop Dubricius, and the church of Llandaff … and also Llandeilo fawr, on the banks of the Towy, with its two territories, where Teilo, the pupil and disciple of St. Dubricius dwelt; and likewise the territory of the Aquilensians, on the banks of the river Tâf. Noe placed his hands on the four Gospels, and committed to the hand of Archbishop Dubricius this alms forever …[1]

… the lands of the Church of Llandaff, namely, Penaly, and Llandeilo fawr, and Llandyfrgwyr, which had before belonged to Archbishop Dubricius, and from the time of Noe son of Arthur …”[2]

Baring-Gould and Fisher noted:

“The grant of Llanddowror, with Penally and Llandeilo Fawr, to Dubricius by Nouy or Noë ab Arthur1 is clearly a forgery, as the latter lived at a much later period. Noë was the father of Sannan, the mother of Elisse, King of Powys circa 725-750, to whose memory the Valle Crucis pillar was set up.”[3]

Bartrum, referring to the above authors wrote:

“Noe filius Arthur occurs in the Book of Llandaf as the donor of land in Penalun [Penally] in Dyfed (BLD 77), but the charter is clearly a forgery (LBS II.401), pretending that the original recipient of the land was Dubricius.”[4]

Although Bartrum did not accept the above genealogy cited by Baring-Gould and Fisher, see Sanan ferch Elise, he dated Nowy to c. 580 and came to the same conclusion concerning the authenticity of the charter. The reality is that this entry was not a forgery. Nowy ab Arthur belonged to gen. 1, see Why Bartrum’s dating of the Demetian Arthur is wrong, as did Dubricius as can be seen in the table below.

Gen. JC 9 seg.
JC 10a
13 Morgan Hen Morgan Hen
12 Owain Owain
11 Hywel Hywel
10 Rhys Rhys
9 Arthfael Arthfael
8 Gwriad [Gwriad]
7 Brochwel Cenedlon
6 Rhys Briafael Frydig
5 Nudd Hael Llywarch
4 Morgan Tewdwr
3 Athrwys Peibio Glafoeriog
2 Meurig Arberth
1 Tewdrig St. Dyfrig (Dubricius)
0 Llywarch [Efryddyl]
-1 Nynnio Peibio
-2 Erb
-3 Erbic
-4 [Creirwy]
-5 Meurig
-6 Enynny
-7 Erbic
-8 Meurig
-9 Caradog Freichfras

Note, it was through Cenedlon’s marriage to Briafael Frydig that her descendants becaume rulers of Glywysing. Morgan Hen died in the year 974 and Dubricius in the year 612. In Culhwch ac Olwen the brothers Nynnio and Peibio appear transformed into oxen.

[1] Rees, W. J., 1840, 321
[2] Ibid., 374
[3] Baring-Gould, S., Fisher, J., 1908, 401
[4] Bartrum, P. C., 2009, 579