This information is taken from Richard White’s (1997) book entitled ‘King Arthur in Legend and History’ and conveys the dates of the early (Celtic) Christian Saints (and eminent monks) in Britain who mention a man named ‘King Arthur’ who lived in the 6th century CE and seems to have defended this Isle against the spread of Christianity and various foreign tribes (such as the Picts, the Irish, the Danes, the Angles and the Saxons, etc). I have added short biographical notes to each name mentioned:
548 CE Ruin of Britain – Gildas the Wise (British-Scholar monk)
800 CE – History of the Britons – Nennius (Welsh-Scholar monk)
1019 CE – Life of St Goeznovius – Cornish-Scholar monk – Bishop of Leon
1075 CE – Life of St Cadoc – Welsh-Scholar monk – Abbot of Llancarfan
1100 CE – Life of St Carannog – Welsh-Scholar monk – travelled to Ireland, Cornwall and Somerset
1100 CE – Life of St Illtud – Welsh-Scholar monk – Abbot of Llanilltud Fawr, (Glamorgan), Wales
1100 CE – Life of St Padarn – Welsh-Scholar monk associated with Britany and France in general
The author states that these Celtic (Christian) references all describe Arthur as a tyrant and a despot who continuously rallied the wild Celtic Tribes against the Christian presence! Writing in 1997, White does not mention the 10th century Cornish text held in the Vatican Library which describes Arthur as a ‘Celtic’ barbarian (translated by John of Cornwall). White then states that he doesn’t know why Arthur was so opposed to the Christian presence as he rode into battle wearing a Virgin Mary emblem on his shield!
He ignores the obvious fact that a Catholic Arthur is a propaganda creation of post-Norman Conquest (1066 CE) Britain. His grasp of philology must be terrible – even though he is obviously pursuing a Christian agenda. Whatever the case, the work of Peter Berresford-Ellis (in his 1999 The Chronicles of the Celts) clearly demonstrates the non-Christian presence of an early Arthur. What I would say is that British identity is fluid and its component parts can be isolated and studied through limiting the scope of investigation. For Christians who care – Arthur is Christian – history suggests a very different version of Arthur. Anyway, my point is to convey the number of Christian Saints who mentioned him!