Alain II Hir

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Alain II Hir, "Alain II the tall", (c.630-690), also known as Alan Hir was a king of Brittany who succeeded his father Saint Judicael as ruler of Domnonée and high king of the Bretons. Little is known about his life. He is mentioned as the brother of saints Judoc and Winnoc,[1] and as an ally of Cadwaladr (Cadwallader), the last King of the Britons.


Alain was the son of Judicael and his wife Morone. He may have succeeded when his father retired in 640, though the date of his accession is not known. Judoc may have been the heir, but renounced his claim. He was succeeded by his son Urbon. Another of his sons was called Budic.


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cadwaladr fled from Britain during a devastating plague. He sought help from Alain to restore the British to power in their homeland, but he then received an angelic visitation which told him that he must renounce his crown and go to Rome as a penitent. If he did so the British people (Welsh and Bretons) would be reunited in the future and the English (Anglo-Saxons) expelled from the land. King Alain then consults books of prophesies written by the Sybils and by Merlin, discovering that "these and other prophecies accorded to the divine answer that Cadwaladr had heard" (in the version reported in The Chronicles of England). Alain assures Cadwaladr that he must do as the heavenly voice commanded.[2]


  1. Brian Daniel Starr, Dictionary of Saints, 2013, pp.222; 353.
  2. Rutter, Russell, "Printing, Prophecy and the Foundation of the Tudor Dynasty", Prophet Margins: The Medieval Vatic Impulse and Social Stability, pp.123-149.

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