History Files


European Kingdoms

Celts of Armorica





FeaturePositioned to the far east of Armorica or within the borders of Cornouaille according to varying sources. Set up by the new wave of British settlers during the mid-fifth century, Poher was a minor principality which seemed to change hands a great deal from the sixth century onwards between Britons and Franks, after Blois had fallen in 491 and the Frankish border closed up to the Vannetais (Brittany) area.

(Additional information by Geoffrey Tobin.)

fl c.520

Cyn-March ap Meirchion / Mark

King of Cornubia. Also prince of Poher?

fl c.540

Conomor / Cunomorus 'the Cursed'

Prince of Poher. Usurper king of Domnonia.


Conomor's name means 'great dog'. In the Life of St Pol de Leon (St Paul Aurelian) completed in 883, there is a 'King Marc whose other name is Quonomorus', or Cunomorus, meaning 'hound of the sea'. This may be a confusion between this Conomor, prince of Poher and king of Domnonia and the Cyn-March ap Meirchion of Cornubia, or even the Marcus Conomari of Dumnonia, who had ruled in the early fifth century. It is hard to be sure if both Cyn-March and Conomor hold any power in Poher, or if the former is merely present due to the aforementioned confusion.

fl 910s

Mathuedoi / Malhuedoc I

'Count of Poher'. m daughter of Alain I. Inherited Vannes?


The Loire Vikings invade, slaying Count GourmaŽlon in battle and occupying Brittany. They establish their main naval base at the mouth of the Loire (at the southern edge of Brittany's lands), laying waste to Nantes, and then they use Brittany as a springboard for attacks on the Western Franks and the English (possibly in support of their kin in East Anglia).

Count Mathuedoi is married to the daughter of the late Alain the Great, and his son, Alan, is the godson of Edward the Elder, king of Wessex and the English. Mathuedoi puts to sea with a great multitude of Bretons and travels to meet Edward: 'this king had great trust in him because of this friendship and the alliance of this baptism'. Brought up from infancy with ∆thelstan (Edward's eldest son), 'Alan is strong in body and very courageous, and does not care to kill wild boars and bears in the forest with an iron weapon, but instead uses a wooden staff'.

936 - 942

Having already encouraged a failed Breton rebellion against the Vikings, the monk Yann de Landťvennec now calls on Alain to return to Brittany, which he does in 936 with the blessing and support of ∆thelstan of Wessex. Meanwhile, the future Hugh the Great of Aquitaine is organising the return of Louis IV to France. Alain's campaign against the Loire Vikings is successful and he is declared Duke Alain II. Then he allies himself with his cousin, Judicael of Nantes (called 'Berenger' by the Franks) and Count Hugh II of Maine to attack the Seine Vikings (the Normans). The presence of a powerful cousin in Nantes who bears a distinctive Late Romano-British/Breton name would strongly signal that this town is still part of Brittany.

936 - 952

Alain II the Fox

Son. Count of Poher. Duke of Vannes & Nantes, and Brittany.