Arthurian Notes & Queries, 3 (2009)
In all but the most eccentric theories about the origins of Arthur it is agreed that he was indeed a Briton, be he a real or imaginary one. Sometimes he is an emperor; more often he is a king, or a general, of the Britons. But inevitably the question follows, which Britons? Who were the Britons that he supposedly led? The following article suggests that, if Arthur existed all, then the answer to this question might be the Britons of Lincolnshire.
This is, of course, something of a departure from the usual theories of a ‘historical Arthur’ but, unlike many of these popular theories, this conclusion follows from a consideration of the latest historical and archaeological research. It has its genesis both in research into the Late Roman and Early Medieval East Midlands and in a critical examination of hypotheses regarding the supposed historical reality of the most famous legendary inhabitant of Britain during this period. From the latter study several key themes emerged, which are elaborated upon and discussed below. What was particularly striking, however, was the almost complete unwillingness of theorists who believe there actually was a historical Arthur to address one possibility for his area of operations that appears in even the earliest sources that refer to him as a figure of history: specifically, Lincolnshire.