King of Benwick
Arthurian Literary Character
Sir Lancelot was the son of King Ban of Benwick (possibly Guenet in Brittany) by his wife Elaine. After his father's death, he was left near a lake by his mother and was taken in by the mystical Lady of the Lake who raised him. When he grew up, Sir Lancelot travelled to the British Royal Court and set up home at Castle Joyous Guard (Bamburgh Castle) in Northern Britain. He became King Arthur's trusted companion and a Knight of the Round Table. Unfortunately however, he fell in love with Queen Guinevere and commenced a prolonged affair with her. When Guinevere was abducted by King Meleagant of the Summer Country (Glastenning), Lancelot pur≠sued him in a cart, a humble mode of conveyance in which the knight was reluctant to travel. The two fought, but the villainís father pleaded with Guinevere to spare Meleagantís life. So their combat was stopped. After further insults however, Lancelot eventually slew him at Arthur's court. Sir Lancelot was also the object of the affections of Elaine the Lily Maid of Astolat (supposedly Guildford) who died of a broken heart when he rejected her. An old story tells how, while visiting her father, Lancelot went riding in Windsor Forest. He fell asleep by St. Leonardís Well (in the grounds of Legoland), just as a lady and her hunting party arrived chasing a deer. She immediately shot the poor knight in the buttocks and rode off! Another Elaine was the daughter of King Pelles of Ebrauc (York) and, when Lancelot stayed with them, the family nurse arranged for their illustrious guest to sleep with Elaine, whom he mistook for Guinevere. As a result, Sir Galahad was conceived. When this happened a second time, Guinevere discovered the pair in flagrante delicto and sent Lancelot packing. The lovers were, however, soon reunited. Years later, Sir Galahad arrived at court. He was knighted by his father and the Grail Quest began. During this adventure, Galahad outshone his father. Sir Lancelot was unable to succeed because of his sinful relationship with Guinevere, despite his promise to end the affair and to perform acts of penance. When he tried to approach the Holy Grail, he was knocked unconscious. Lancelot and Guinevere were eventually discovered together by the evil Sir Mordred. Sir Lancelot fled, but returned to rescue Guinevere from being burnt at the stake. He killed Sirs Agravaine, Gaheris and Gareth in the process. War between him and King Arthur followed but was broken off when the the latter had to return to Britain to deal with Sir Mordred's rebellion.
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