Gwendolen Read

Gwendolen Read

6 December 1067, Bath – 15 May 1149

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Gwendolen Read was an English Cyntha and Hycathic community leader best known for being directly involved in the New Forest Incident of 1100.

New Forest Incident

Gwendolen was one of three Hycathae who were responsible for the killing of King Willem Rufus by Hycathic magic on 2 August, 1100. They ambushed him in the course of a Hycatha-hunt. The other participants were Sybil Hart from Winchester, and Meredith Eymor, one of the first post-Norman Conquest leaders of a Hycathic community. All three were arrested and sentenced to Reckoning. They chose to divide the burden of the sentence equally; it is therefore unknown whether Gwendolen committed the fatal act or merely assisted.

Gwendolen was forthright in her defence of her and her compatriots’ position. She eventually succeeded in convincing the Octal to exonerate them and usher a lawfully recognised defence of self-defence into the Hycathic codes.

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