Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Cynric

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CYNRIC (d. 560?), king of the Gewissas or West Saxons, the son of Cerdic [q. v.], is said to have landed with Cerdic at Cerdicsora, at the mouth of the Itchen, in 495, to have taken part in his battles, and with him to have been raised to the kingship in 519. Some genealogies, however, make him the son of Creoda, who is represented as the son of Cerdic, and this would remove the difficulty as to the length of life attributed to him by the generally accepted record. It has been suggested that his name may be 'an abstraction from the establishment of the cynerice' or kingship (Plummer). He is said to have succeeded his father Cerdic in 534, and to have reigned twenty-six years. After the battle of Mount Badon in 520, the progress landward of the West Saxons has been supposed to have been checked for some thirty years, during which they are pictured lying quiet 'within the limits of our Hampshire' (Green). Be this as it may, in 552 Cynric is said to have fought with the Britons at the place called Searobyrig, or Old Sarum, and to have put them to flight; he probably stormed the fortress. He again fought with them in 556, in conjunction with his son Ceawlin at Beranbyrig, probably Barbury camp in Wiltshire. Of this battle Henry of Huntingdon gives an account, which of course cannot be accepted as historical. Cynric is said to have died in 560, and to have been succeeded by Ceawlin. That he also had a son who is called Cutha rests on as good authority as we have. A third son, Ceowulf, has also been given him, but it seems probable that he was the son of Cutha. That Cuthwulf was a son of Cynric seems not to rest on good authority.

There are, however, so many apparent discrepancies between the pedigrees of the early descendants of Cerdic that it is dangerous to speak dogmatically on the subject.

[A. S. Chron. ed. Plummer, who compares the W. Saxon pedigrees in the notes of his vol. ii.; H. Huntingdon (Rolls Ser.); Guest's Orig. Celt.; Green's Making of England.]

W. H.