Bewnans Ke is an Arthurian play, the first addition to the corpus of literature in Middle Cornish since the discovery of John Tregear’s Homilies in 1949.


The first section of the play deals with the confrontation of Saint Kea, a Celtic saint venerated in Cornwall, Brittany and elsewhere, with Teudar, a local Cornish tyrant. Later a second section deals with King Arthur’s quarrel with the Roman emperor Lucius Hiberius, concerning the tribute the Britons were forced to pay to Rome and with Queen Guinevere’s adultery with Arthur’s nephew, Mordred, ending with a scene in which Guinevere regrets her behavior. The rest of the play is missing.


The manuscript containing the text was discovered among the papers of the late Emeritus Professor J. E. Caerwyn Williams donated to the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, by his widow, the late Gwen Caerwyn Williams, in 2000; it is now known as NLW MS 23849D.


  • George, Ken, ed. 2006. Bywnans Ke. Liskeard: The Cornish Language Board. ISBN 1-902917-57-X.
  • Thomas, Graham, and Nicholas Williams, eds. 2007. Bewnans Ke: The Life of St Kea. Exeter: Exeter University Press; Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales. ISBN 0-859898-00-8.

External linksEdit