The Celtic Literature Collective

The Quarrel of Arthur and Huail, and the Death of Huail ap Caw
The Chronicle of Elis Gruffudd
ca. 1550

Kaw o Brydain was the name of a chieftain woh ruled of Edeirnion, in North Wales. He had two sons, Gildas and Huail. Huail was gwr gorhewg anllad 'cheeky and wanton'. He obtained possession of one of Arthur's mistresses. Arthur cam to spy upon the pair, and a fierce combat took place between him and Huail. Finally Huail wounded Arthur in the knee. After this peace was made between them, on the condition that Huail should never reproach Arthur with regard to his wound. Arthur returned to his court at Caerwys, but for ever after he remained slightly lame.

On a subsequent occasion Arthur dressed himself in women's clothes in order to visit a girl at Rhuthum. Huail chanced to come there, and he recognized Arthur by his lameness, as he was dancing in a company of girls. These were his words: Da iawn yw downshio velly oni bai'r glun 'This dancing were all right if it were not for the knee'. Arthur heard them and knew who had spoken them. He returned to his court where he caused Huail to be brought before him, and he reproached him bitterly with his faithlessness. Huail was taken to Rhuthun, where Arthur cutt off his head on a stone in the market-place, whcih to this day is known as Maen Huail.


1. According to Bromwich, the stone is still there outside Barclay's Bank in Rhuthun.


Bromwich, Rachel. Trioedd Ynys Prydein. Cardiff: UWP 1963. pp. 409-410.

Back to Welsh Texts
Back to CLC