Name: Leir of Britain
Name: Llyr (Lear)
Birth: in Britain
Death: in 849 BC Ligora-ceaster, Leicester, England 1
Occupation: King in Britain 909–855 BC 1
Occupation: King in Britain 852–849 BC 1
Burial: beneath the River Soar near Leicester 1
Leir is a legendary ancient king of the Britons, as recounted by Geoffr ey of Monmouth. His story is told in much-modified and romanticized fo rm in William Shakespeare's King Lear. In the drama, some names are identi cal to those of the legend (e.g. Goneril, Regan, Cordelia), and the even ts are very similar.
It is often claimed that there is a link between Leir and the Welsh and Ir ish sea-gods Llyr and Ler (derived from Common Celtic *Leros "Sea"), but t he names are not etymologically related. According to Geoffrey, Leir is t he eponymous founder of Leicester (Legra-ceaster or Ligora-ceaster in Angl o-Saxon), called Cair Leir in Old Welsh, where Leir (along with Anglo-Sax on Legra or Ligora) is a hydronym derived from Brittonic *Ligera or *Ligor a.
In Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae, Leir followed his father, King Bl adud, to the kingship of Britain and had the longest reign of all the kin gs at sixty years. The date of his reign is not clear, but Geoffrey says t hat Leir's father lived at the same time as the Biblical prophet Elijah (9 th century BC). He built the city of Kaerleir (Leicester) along the ban ks of the River Soar.
Unlike his predecessors, he produced no male heir to the throne but had th ree daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia, whom he favoured mos t. As he neared his death, he planned to divide the kingdom among his thr ee daughters and their husbands. Goneril and Regan flattered their fath er and were married off to the Duke of Albany and Duke of Cornwall respect ively, each being promised half of the kingdom to inherit. Cordelia, howev er, refused to flatter her father, feeling that he should not need speci al assurances of her love, and was given no land to rule. Aganippus, the k ing of the Franks, courted Cordelia and married her, although Leir refus ed her a dowry. Some time later, Leir became old, and the two dukes who h ad married his older daughters rebelled and seized the whole of the kingdo m. Maglaurus, the Duke of Albany, maintained Leir in his old age, protecti ng him with 60 knights. However, Goneril disapproved of such extravagan ce and after two years decreased Leir's bodyguard to only thirty. He fl ed to Cornwall, where Regan decreased his guard to only five knights. He f led back to Albany and pleaded with Goneril, but he was given only one kni ght for protection.
Fearing his two older daughters, he fled to Gaul and his youngest child. N earing insanity, he was nursed back to health by Cordelia, after whi ch he was held in high honour in Gaul by the leaders, who vowed to resto re him to his former glory. Leir, Cordelia, and Aganippus invaded Brita in at the head of a large army and overthrew the dukes and their wives. Le ir reclaimed the throne of Britain and reigned for three more years unt il his death. He was succeeded by Cordelia, who buried him in an undergrou nd chamber beneath the River Soar near Leicester. It was dedicated to t he Roman god Janus and every year people celebrated his feast-day near Lei r's tomb.
Father: Blaiddyd of Britain b: in Britain
- *Regan verch Llyr Rhagaw b: in Ligora-ceaster, Leicester, England
- Goneril verch Llyr b: in Ligora-ceaster, Leicester, England
- Cordelia verch Llyr b: in Ligora-ceaster, Leicester, England
- Title: Wikipedia