Amdarch was a military leader of the
Kingdom of Strathclyde, the probable son of King Dyfnwal III of Strathclyde, and noted in the historical records only as the slayer of King Cuilén of Scotland in 971.
His name occurs in various forms only in the various versions of the "
Chronicle of the Kings of Scotland", as "Amdarch", "Andarch", "Amdrach", "Radharc" and "Amthar", and as "Radhard" in an insertion to the "Chronicle of Melrose " [see Alan Orr Anderson, "Early Sources of Scottish History: AD 500–1286", 2 Vols, (Edinburgh, 1922), , vol. i, p. 476, n. 1. ] although the tendency of some medievalists to Brythonize the names of tenth centuryStrathclyde kings has meant that he is often referred to as Riderch, [e.g. Alfred Smyth, "Warlords and Holy Men", (Edinburgh, 1984), pp. 224, 226-7.] or variations thereof, such as Rhiderch [e.g. Archibald Duncan, "Scotland: The Making of a Kingdom", (Edinburgh, 1975), pp. 95-6.] or Rhydderch. [e.g. Alan MacQuarrie, "The Kings of Strathclyde", in A. Grant & K.Stringer (eds.) "Medieval Scotland: Crown, Lordship and Community, Essays Presented to G.W.S. Barrow", (Edinburgh, 1993), p. 16.] However, it has never been explained why the actual name should be ignored and the Welsh name is acknowledged as tenuous. [A.O. Anderson, "loc. cit."; Alan MacQuarrie, "loc. cit."]
The "Chronicle" calls Amdarch "Dyfnwal's son", [Alan Orr Anderson, "loc. cit.".] and it is usually presumed that this means he was the son of King
Dyfnwal III of Strathclyde, [e.g. Alan MacQuarrie, "loc. cit." .] although direct evidence for this is lacking.
Amdarch is mentioned in the "Chronicle" as the slayer of king Cuilén of Scotland, and the "Chronicle" recorded that Amdarch killed Cuilén "in "Ybandonia", for the sake of his daughter". [Alan Orr Anderson, "Early Sources", vol. i., p. 476.] While "Ybandonia" has never been firmly identified, additions to the "Chronicle of Melrose" locate Cuilén's death in Lothian, and repeat the importance of the daughter, "because of the rape of his daughter, whom the king [Cuilén] had carried for himself." ["loc. cit.".] The "
Prophecy of Berchán" confirms that Cuilén was killed by the Britons, [Alan Orr Anderson, "Early Sources", vol. i., pp. 477-8.] as does the " Chronicle of the Kings of Alba", which adds that Cuilén's brother Eochaid was also killed. ["ibid." p. 475; see also, [http://www.arts.ed.ac.uk/scothist/booklets/sh1/documents-alba.html here] .]
Nothing else is known about Amdarch. If Amdarch was ever king, for which there is no evidence, it is known that the man who would have been his successor, Máel Coluim I was king of the Cumbrians by
973, the year for which Florence of Worcesterrelated that the latter had met King Edgar of Englandat Chester. [Alan Orr Anderson, "Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers: AD 500–1286", (London, 1908), republished, Marjorie Anderson (ed.) (Stamford, 1991), p. 76-7.]
* Anderson, Alan Orr, "Early Sources of Scottish History: AD 500–1286", 2 Vols, (Edinburgh, 1922)
* Anderson, Alan Orr, "Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers: AD 500–1286", (London, 1908), republished, Marjorie Anderson (ed.) (Stamford, 1991)
* Duncan, A. A. M., "Scotland: The Making of a Kingdom", (Edinburgh, 1975)
* MacQuarrie, Alan, "The Kings of Strathclyde", in A. Grant & K.Stringer (eds.) "Medieval Scotland: Crown, Lordship and Community, Essays Presented to G.W.S. Barrow", (Edinburgh, 1993), pp. 1-19
* Smyth, Alfred, "Warlords and Holy Men", (Edinburgh, 1984)
* [http://www.arts.ed.ac.uk/scothist/booklets/sh1/documents-alba.html Chronicle of the Kings of Alba]
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