Caradoc's Childhood

Caradoc Mural,Pig Meadow Lane, Liskeard

Long, long ago when King Arthur held court all over the place, King Caradoc ruled Brittany - and he was a king in need of a wife. So he asked his kingly colleague, Arthur for a wife, and Arthur gave him the hand of his niece, the fair Ysave.

The wedding was held in Vanne, and Caradoc invited everyone he knew to the celebrations - dukes, knights, lords, ladies, damsels - he didn't know any poor people, but they came to watch anyway. So many people came to the wedding that all the city trembled, and there was so much rejoicing that God's thunder could not be heard.

Ysave couldn't have been more beautiful, and Caradoc loved his new bride. Unfortunately he wasn't the only one to lose his heart to Ysave that day, for hidden in the crowd was an evil enchanter who fell in love with the beautiful bride.

The evil enchanter decided if he couldn't marry Ysave he would capture her by magic, and that is what he did.

Caradoc and Ysave returned to Nantes and in time Ysave gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Caradoc loved his son so much that he gave him his own name, Caradoc.

Young Caradoc grew smart and brave and strong and when he was ten he begged his father to let him go to King Arthur's court to learn how to be a knight. King Caradoc was loath to lose his son but knew he must let him leave to learn the skills a nobleman needed.

When the day came for young Caradoc to set off for England his father was too sad to wave his son farewell. Instead, he sent a group of nobles to look after him. Caradoc's mother Ysave should have loved him best of all. She too was very sad to see him go, and went to the shore and gave him her blessing:

"Dear son, I commend you to God. May he preserve you from all shame."

At that young Caradoc's ship set sail to Southampton as Ysave tearfully waved farewell - and a fair wind carried the boat and young prince across the sea to England and King Arthur's court.

retold by Sue Field


  • Liskeard