The earliest accounts of king Leir and his three daughters is in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, written in the twelfth century. Though it probably draws on previous sources, they have not been securely identified. Geoffrey described Leir as the son of Bladud. The basic story of his three named daughters and the love test is outlined, and Leir is credited with founding Leicester. In Geoffrey's version, Leir was buried at Leicester in a tomb under the river Soar. He offered a happy ending, with Leir restored to his kingdom by Cordelia's aid, thus providing some excuse for the ending which Nahum Tate made in 1681 for Shakespeare's play.
Subjects: British History.