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Iago, King of Gwynedd

(Latin, Iacobus/English, James)

Iago was the son of King Beli ap Rhun. In 588, this ageing monarch offered sanctuary to the exiled King Edwin of Deira. Edwin was but a toddler of four years, who had managed to escape with some of his fellow countrymen when the power-hungry, King Ęthelfrith of Bernicia, invaded his homeland and murdered his father. It was an act of compassion, not without risk, for, as the young Deiran grew older he became a threat to Aethelfrith's position as King of a united Northumbria. The Bernician eventually marched on Gwynedd in 613. Iago rallied the combined British armies of the South behind him, and the two clashed at Caer-Legion (Chester). The outcome was unresolved and both sides claiming victory, but one thing is certain: King Iago was killed in the slaughter.


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