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924 092 447 816 

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The Saints of Wales and Cornwall and 

SUCH Irish Saints as have Dedications 

IN Britain 





In Four Volumes 

London : 
The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion 

New Stone Buildings, 64, Chancery Lane 



A. -1-5 (o3f L 
Publishers' Note 

The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, in 
issuing the fourth and last volume of The Lives 
of the British Saints, desire to express their thanks to 
those subscribers who by their contributions enabled 
the Council to carry the undertaking to a satisfactory 
conclusion. Some of the further support hoped for on 
the production of the first volume, is still required to 
meet the heavy expense incurred in the publication 
of the complete work, and the favourable recep- 
tion accorded to the Lives by the Home and Foreign 
Press, justifies the further appeal which is now made, 
for additional subscriptions. To the joint authors, 
the Society and the subscribers are most deeply 
indebted for many years of ungrudging and unre- 
munerated labour. For the Society, E. Vincent Evans, 
Secretary, and Editor of Transactions. 

Contents of Volume IV 


The Lives — 

S. Nectan — S. Ystyffan . . . . . . . ' i 

List of Illustrations ....... iv 


Genealogies of the Welsh Saints — 

{a) Bonked y Seint ....... 369 

(fe) Bonhed Seint Kymry . . . . . .371 

Asaph {Vita Sancti Assaph) ..... 373 

Beuno ......... 374 

Cawrdaf (Cywydd Cawrda Sunt) ..... 374 

Collen (Buchedd Collen) ...... 375 

Curig (Appended to Bucked Ciric) .... 378 

Cybi (Vita S. Kebii) ....... 379 

„ (Teulu Cybi Sani and Y Saitk Gefnder Sant) . . 383 

S. Cyndeyrn or Kentigern (Grants by Maelgwn Gwynedd) . 384 

S. Cynhafal (Cywydd Cynkafal Sani) .... 386 

S. Deiniol (Tke Life of S. Deiniol) . .■< . . . 387 

„ (Cywydd i Ddeiniel Bangor) .... 393 

S. Doged (Owdl S. Doget) ....... 393 

S. Dwynwen (Cywydd i Ddwynwen) ..... 395 

S. Dyfnog (Cywydd i Ddyfnog) . . . . . " . 396 

S. Gwenfrewi or Winefred (Buchedd Gwenfrewi) . . . 397 

S. Gwyndaf Hen (His "Sayings ") . . . . . 424 

S. leuan Gwas Padrig (Bucked Jeiian Guas Badric) . . 425 

S. Llawddog or Lleuddad (Biiched Leudoc St.) . . . 426 

(Cywydd i Lowddog) . . . 428 

S. Llonio (Owdl Llonio Sant) ...... 429 

S. Llwchaiarn (Cywydd Llwckaiam) . . . . .431 

S. Mechell (Malo) (Cywydd i Fechell Sant) . . . 432 

S. Mordeyrn (Cywydd i Fordeyrn) ..... 433 

S. Mwrog (Cywydd i Fwrrog Sant) ..... 435 

The 20,000 Saints of Bardsey (Cywydd i'r Ugain Mil Saint) 436 

,, (Cywydd Arall i'r Ugain Mil Saint) . . 437 

Addenda et Corrigenda ........ 439 

Index ............ 445 

List of Subscribers ......... 475 


List of Illustrations 


S. Noyala. From Statue at Noyal-Pontivy ..... facing 14 

Reliquary at Llanidan. Photo by Wm. Marriott Dodson . . „ 16 

Tomb of S. Non at Dirinon. From " Archcsologia Cambrensis " . ,, 22 

S. Non's Chapel, (a) S.-W. angle ; (b) Remains of Masonry . ,, 24 

S. Pabo. From Slab at Llanbabo. Photo by Wm. Marriott Dodson ,, 38 

S. Patrick. From Window at S. Neot . ■ . . . ■ ,, 7°' 
S. Paul of Leon. Group of Crosses at Ploudalmezou . . .,,&<> 

S. Paul of Leon. From Statue at Lampaul-Guimiliau . . . ,, 86 
S. Petroc. (a) From Statue at S. Petroc Minor; (b) From Rood 

Screen at Lew Trenchard ... ....,, 102 

S. Pompaea delivered to be educated. From her Shrine at Langoat . ,, lo6' 

S. Pompaea, leaving Britain with S. Tudwal. Froyn her Shrine . ,, 108 
S. Rhychwyn. From Sixteenth Century Glass in Llanrhychwyn 

Church. Photo by Wm. Marriott Dodson ....,, 114 

Tomb of S. Ronan at Locronan. ......,, 122 

S. Samson, (a) Camp and Cave at Stackpole ; (b) Cave at Stackpole „ 150. 
S. Samson, (a) Sailing towards Armorica ; (6) Presiding at the 

Council of Prelates . . . . . . . ,, i60' 

S. Sidwell. From Statue at S. Sidwell's Church, Exeter . . ,, 174 

S. Seiriol. From Fifteenth Century Glass at Penmon . . . ,, 178 
S. Sannan. From Modern Glass in Llansannan Church {from original 

drawing by Mr. H. Gustave Hitler) ...... 192 

S. Teilo. From Fifteenth Century Glass at Plogonnec, Finistire . ,, 240 

S Tyrnog. From Modern Glass at Llandyrnog. (Drawing by A. C.R.) „ 260 

S. Thegonnec. From Statue at S. Thigonnec . . . • ,, 262 

CapelTrillo, Llandrillo-yn-Rhos. Photo by Wm. Marriott Dodson . „ 264 
S. Twrog. From Window at Maentwrog Church. Photo by Win. Marriott 

Dodson ............ 280 

S. TyssiUo. From Statue at S. Suliac ......,, 302 

S. Ursula, [a) The Inscription of Clematius, Cologne ; (6) The Trea- 
sury of the bones of S. Ursula and her Companions, Cologne . . ,,314 

S. Winwaloe. From Statue at Kernuz .....,, 362 



Vol. iv. 

S. NECTAN, Bishop, Martyr 

A REPUTED son of Brychan, according to the lists given by William 
of Worcester and Leland. His great foundation was at Hartland, 
Devon ; but he had other churches, at Wellcombe, where is his Holy 
Well, at Poundstock, where he has been displaced to make room for 
S. Neot, and at Ashcombe, in Devon. He had a chapel at Trethevy 
in Tintagel, and another at S. Winnow, which has been restored, and 
is still in use. Anciently there must have been one at Launceston, 
for a Nectan fair is there held on his day. There was also one at 
S. Newlyn. 

The account of the Martyrdom oi S. Nectan is in an extract from 
his Legend at Hartland, made by William of Worcester. He was 
fallen upon by robbers, at Nova Villa, i.e., New Stoke, where now 
stands the church ; and his head was struck off. After which, he took 
up his head and carried it for the space of a stadium, a little over 
600 feet, to the spring near which he had dwelt in his cabin, and then 
he placed it on a stone, which long remained dyed with his blood. 

Nectan, or Nechtan, is not a Welsh name, nor even, originally, an 
Irish name, but is Pictish.^ Nectan does not occur among the sons 
of Brychan given by the Welsh authorities. 

The late Rev. R. S. Hawker, of Morwenstow, related, as a legend 
picked up by him there, that when Morwenna was dying, her brother 
Nectan came to minister to her, and she bade him bear her to the cliff, 
and turn her head so that with her dying eyes she might look towards 
Wales. But Mr. Hawker was a man of hvely imagination, and the 
story may be merely hen trovato. 

William of Worcester says that Nectan's day is June 17. This is 
also Nectan's day in the Exeter Calendar, in the Altemps Martyrology 
of the thirteenth century, and in a Norwich Martyrology of the fifteenth 
century [Cotton MS. Julius, B. vii). Curiously enough, the Irish 
Martyrologies give " The Sons of Nectan " on the same day. They 
are said to have been of Drumbric, but in what part of Ireland is not 

1 In Welsh it assumes the form Neithon, and occurs in Bede as Naiton. 


1 B 

2 Lives of the British Saints 

known, nor are their names recorded. Wilson, in his Martyrology, 
1640, gives February 14, and for this he must have had some authority, 
as on this day a fair is held at S. Nectan's Chapel, in S. Winnow. The 
feast at Hartland and at S. Winnow is on June 17. 

S. Nectan's Well is at Stoke, near Hartland Church. 

A tradition exists at S. Winnow that S. Nectan hved at Coombe, a 
ruined farm near S. Nectan's Chapel, and that he was martyred at 
Tollgate, some distance off. 

S. Nighton's (Nectan's) Keive is a waterfall at Trethevy where was 
his chapel. 

S. Nectan is represented on the tower of Hartland Church, and in 
the west panel of the Churchyard cross, as a Bishop. 

Nicolas Roscarrock says : " The Life of S. Nectane at the end of a 
booke very auntiently in the library of Martine Collidge in Oxford, 
which my learned and laborious friend Mr. Camden haveing took a 
briefe note of which he imparted to me, and when I importuned to gett 
me a coppie of the life at lardge which by report was not very longe, hee 
found att the second search that it was imbezled, being cutt out of the 
booke and carried away. ... I have besides a manuscript that 
telleth me that the day of his feast is the i8th of May, and that he was 
a Martyr and buryed att the monastery of Hartland . . . and sonne 
to S. Brachan or Brechanus a great name of Wales, and this note 
following which I received off Mr. Cam:'.en my fore-named friende, 
and necessary I thinke to bee layde downe." Then come the usual 
Life names of the children of Brechanus. The MS. was probably the 
same as that consulted by William of Worcester. Roscarrock adds 
that a bone of S. Nectan was reserved as a relic in Waltham Abbey. 

S. NEFFEI, Confessor 

Neffei was, according to the late lists, a son of Brychan by his 
third wife, Proistri, a Spaniard. He and his broth ers-german, 
Pasgen and Pabiali, are said to have left this country and gone to 
Spain, where they became " saints and principals." ^ But the authori- 
ties are late. 

Neffei is, no doubt, a misreading of the Dettu, or Dedyu, of the 
Cognatio, given as the name of a son of Clydwyn, son of Brychan. In 

1 Peniarth MS. 178 (sixteenth century), p. 21 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 428 ; 
lolo MSS., pp. Ill, 119, 140. 

S. Nefydd 

fact, Hugh Thomas (d. 1741), the Breconshire herald, makes him, as 
Nevith, a son of Clydwyn, and adds that he " was King of Brecknock 
and had issue a son called Tudor ... he went with Pasgen who was 
the son of St. Dingad and Pabiel or Pabien to Spain where they were 
aU Saints." 1 

S. NEFYDD, Confessor 

There is considerable confusion respecting the Brychan saint of this 
name. It is given in the lolo documents — our sole authority — as the 
name of — (i) a son of Brychan ; (2) a son of Rhun Dremradd ab 
Brychan ; (3) a son of Nefydd Ail ab Rhun Dremrudd ; and (4) a 
daughter of Brychan. 

As son of Brychan he is said to have founded the church of Llan- 
nefydd, Denbighshire, and afterwards to have become a bishop in the 
North, where he was slain by the pagan Saxons and the Picts. ^ 

The Cognatio knows nothing of a Nefydd as related to the Brychan 
family ; and the lolo notices say nothing of either Nefydd ab Rhun 
or his son, beyond giving the former a brother, Andras, and the latter 
a son, Tewdwr Brycheiniog.^ Nefydd is a well-attested man's name, 
the best known being Nefydd Hardd, who lived in the twelfth century. 

Bishop Forbes identifies him with Neveth, who was killed by the 
Picts and Scots and is esteemed a martyr. " The ecclesiastical dis- 
trict of Neuyth (Nevay), now united to Essie, near Meigle, lies within 
the old Pictish territory. Perhaps S. Neveth was buried at Neuyth." * 
Skene also brings Nefydd ab Rhun up North, where he was bishop, and 
thinks his name is probably preserved in Rosneveth, now Rosneath.^ 

Llannefydd Church has been dedicated for centuries to the Blessed 
Virgin, with festival on her Nativity, September 8 (in Lhuyd, " Gwyl 
Vair Dhiwaetha "). The name is usually spelt in early documents 
Llan-yfydd, -ufydd, or some similar form, which Leland " and others 
have, properly enough, rendered " fanum obedientiae." Ufydd, or 

"■ Harleian MS. 4,181, f. 720;. ^ lolo MSS., pp. iii, 119, 120, 140. 

^ Pp. 121, 140. * Kalendars of Scottish Saints, 1872, p. 420. 

s Celtic Scotland, 1887, ii, p. 36. 

" Itin., V, p. 62. In Willis-Edwards, S. Asaph, i8oi, i, p. 383, the church is 
given as dedicated to S. Efydd. Edward Lhuyd, in his notes on the parish (1699), 
says, " There are stones on end, etc., by the churchyard wall, which are called 
Bedd iFrymder, with a circular dike about them. He [Frymder] was a saint 
according to the inhabitants." Ffrymden's grave is also mentioned in Peniarth 
MS. 267, and Llanstephan MS. 18. - 

4- Lives of the British Saints 

Ufudd, meaning " obedient, humble," is the present-day local pronun- 
ciation of the second part of the name, and it may possibly be regarded 
as a Christian name derived from an adjective, like Afan from Amandus. 
However, in support of Nefydd it may be mentioned that we find two 
other supposed sons of Brychan in the neighbourhood, Cynbryd at 
Llanddulas, and Cynfran at Llysfaen ; and the disappearance of the 
initial n might well be due to that letter being the final one in Llan 
and Ffynnon, just as Llanidan, with its Ffynnon Idan, in Anglesey, 
has resulted in the confusion there of Aidan with Nidan, the proper 

Ffynnon Ufj^dd, a small bath at the bottom of a field below the 
village, is now in a dilapidated and uncared-for condition. Huw 
Lhfon informs us in a cywydd written in 1604, when the stone-work 
round the well was reconstructed by the Vicar, Evan Morris, that cures 
were effected by bathing in it three Fridays in succession. 1 

For Nefydd as a daughter of Brychan see S. Hunydd. ^ Theophilus 
Jones,^ and others, make her also patron of Llannefydd. 


S. NEOT, Hermit, Confessor 

The material available for the Life of this saint has been collected 
by the Rev. G. C. Gorham, Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, in 
his History and Antiquities oj Eynesbury and S. Neot's in Huntingdon- 
shire, London, 1820, in the Appendix, pp. 249-63. 

In Asser's Acts of King Alfred a reference occurs to the " Life of the 
holy father Neot " (ut in Vita Sci Patris Neoti legitur), showing that 
there was a contemporary biography of the saint, written between 877 
and 893, unless the passage be an interpolation. 

This, however, no longer exists, but to this probably reference is made 
in an Anglo-Saxon Life of the saint, composed in the eleventh century. 
" He was in youth, thus the Book saith, set to biblical lore," and 
again, " It is said in writing that this saint went to Glastonbury." 

Eight MS. Lives of Neot exist ; but these may be reduced to four ; 
three being merely abstracts, and one a copy. 

^ The poem occurs in a seventeenth century MS. of Welsh Poetry, at f. 1246, 
at S. Beuno's (Jesuit) College. 

2 iii, p. 285. ' Breconshire, ed. 1898, p. 31. 

S. ISeot 5 

1. The Anglo-Saxon Life, MS. Cotton Vespasian, D. xiv, a tract of 
twelve pages. The scene is laid in the West of England, and no men- 
tion is made of the translation of the body into Huntingdonshire. 
It was probably a Homily for the Church and College of Priests at S. 
Neot's, Cornwall. It omits all the miracles attributed to the saint in 
the other Lives, but has in it one legend not in the rest. But it con- 
tains the strange anachronism, common to the other Lives, which 
asserts that Neot, who died about 877, was ordained by Elpheg, Bishop 
of Winchester (936-51). It has been printed by Gorham, pp. 256-61. 

2. A second Life in the Bodleian Library, Bodley 535, a MS. cf the 
twelfth century. It omits the legendary tales, respecting the saint'i 
residence in Cornwall. A copy of this Life was seen in 1538 by Leland 
in the library of S. Neot's Priory,'^ and another fell into his hands at 
Croyland.^ The prologue begins : " Incipit prologus de vita Sli Neoti 
presbyteri et confessaris " ; and the Life begins : " Scs igitur Neotus 
fecunde Britanie que nunc Anglia dtf." It has been very inaccurately 
printed by Whitaker, in his Life of S. Neot, London, i8og, pp. 339-65 ; 
and extracts by Gorham, in his Appendix, pp. 261-3, also an account 
of the Translation, pp. 266-70. 

In Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. Parker 161, is a thirteenth 
century abridgment of this Life. 

3. A third Life, MS. Cotton Claudius, A. v, written at the close of 
the thirteenth or early in the fourteenth century. The prologue 
begins : " Incipit plogus in vitam Sancti Neoti abbatis " ; and the Life 
begins : " Diis aut. noster jhc. xpc." It is from this Life that the 
fabulous tales respecting S. Neot's residence in Cornwall are derived. 
It has been printed by Mabillon, from a MS. formerly at Bee, in Acta 
SS. 0. s. B. saec. iv, 2, pp. 324-36 ; and by the Bollandists, Acta SS. 
Jul. vii, pp. 319-29. 

From this Life, John of Tynemouth composed his biography, which 
is printed in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice. 

4. A metrical Life, Magdalen College, Oxford, MS. 53, a composition 
of the fourteenth century, based on the third Life. It has been very 
incorrectly published by Whitaker in his Life of S. Neot, pp. 317-38. 

Considerable obscurity hangs over the birth-place and parentage of 
S. Neot. His biographers make contradictory statements upon these 
points. The father of Neot is variously stated to have been King of 
the East Angles, ^ King of the West Angles (West Saxons ?) and of 
Kent,* and Tetrarch of Kent;^ but they agree in the name of the father, 

1 Leland, De Script., C, cxiii. ^ Leland, Itin., iv, app. pp. 1-2. 

' MS. Bodley 535. * MS. Cotton Claudius, A.v and John of Tynemouth. 

^ Mabillon and Acta SS. 

6 Lives of the British Saints 

though giving it in various forms as Fidulf, Eldulf, Edulph and 
Adulph, which are all variations of Ethelwulf, who was the father of 
King Athelstan (illegitimate, d. 854), and of King Ethelbald (858- 
60), Ethelbert (860-6), Ethelred (866-71), and Alfred (871-901). 

We may suspect that he was an illegitimate son of Ethelwulf."-: 
In early life he had some inducements to enter the army, but he was 
a little man, far below the average height, and that probably weighed 
on him in his abandonment of a mihtary profession, in which he would 
incur ridicule, and his adoption of the religious life.^ He retired to 
Glastonbury, where he assumed the monastic habit. 

There he became eminent for his literary attainments, as well as 
for his piety and modesty of demeanour ; and he delighted in spending 
the night in prayer in the church. 

Having been admitted to Holy Orders he was made sacristan of the 
abbey ; but at last, yearning for the solitary life, he abandoned Glas- 
tonbury, accompanied by an attendant, named Bari, and sought refuge 
in Cornwall. He probably went first to S. German's, where he may 
have rested awhile and instituted inquiries as to where he could find a 
suitable retreat. Thence he would take the road to Liskeard, and 
perhaps he made his first lodgment at Menhenniot (Maen-hen-Neot). 
the Old Stone of Neot. This, however, can only be matter of conjec- 
ture. From thence by a very ancient road leading from Liskeard to 
Bodmin and Wadebridge, along which at intervals are prehistoric 
camps, he travelled till he dropped down on an exquisitely beautiful 
valley, through which dances a crystal stream that flows out of Dozmare 
Pool on the great moors to the North. Behind rose furzy downs to the 
height of nine hundred feet, crowned by an earthwork, and before was 
Goonzion, over which climbed the ancient track, past a quadrangular 
camp, probably of Roman construction. 

The valley was dense with wood, " a very fair place," says the author 
of the Anglo-Saxon Life, a sweet sunny valley, sheltered from cold 
blasts, and there, on the steep slope of granite and turf and moss, bask- 
ing in the full sun, Neot planted himself for the rest of his days. The 
Saxon name for the place was Hamstoke, the pasture under the stockade 
on the heights above, where Enghsh soldiery had been kept to overawe 
the Britons of West Wales. 

Hard by in a dell, where was level lush sward, a clear spring gushed 

1 " Non de matrimonio natus," Roger of Wendover, Flores Hislonar., and 
Matt. Westmonast., ad an. 837. 

2 To this day, at S. Neot's, Cornwall, the people speak of him as " our little 
S. Neot," and show a stone on which he had to mount to throw the key into the 
lock so as to open the church door. " Aspectu angelicus, sed corpcrJ? brevitate 
alter Zacheus." John of Tynemouth. 

S. Neot J 

forth irom under the oak-clothed hill, and here Neot constructed his 
fi,sh-pond. Upon the • rock where was his oratory, there he set up a 
cross as his preaching station. A tall shaft, covered with Celtic inter- 
laced work, remains in the churchyard, and can hardly be later than 
the time of the saint. 

Here Neot remained for seven years, and then departed on pilgrim- 
age to Rome to obtain the Pope's blessing and counsel respecting some 
scruples that had arisen in his mind as to the expediency of changing 
hi ; eremitical life; The Pope dissuaded him from solitary devotion, 
and exhorted him to return to Cornwall, and to " scatter the Word of 
God among the people." ^ 

In compliance with this paternal advice, Neot again sought his Corn- 
ish valley, and founded there a College of Clergy, gathered about him- 
some religious brethren, and became their Abbot. 

It can hardly be supposed that, when he arrived at Hamstoke, Neot 
can have been able to speak or understand the British tongue, and he 
must have confined his ministrations to the handful of English soldiers 
in the fort. But he had found on the spot a British hermit named 
Guerir, and though Guerir retired and left the place clear for the- 
Saxon eremite, it is possible enough that thiJs did not take place till 
Neot had resolved on turning his hermitage into a monastery. The 
seven years may have sufficed to enable Neot to acquire the tongue of 
the natives, perhaps assisted by Guerir, and now he energetically set 
to work to declare the whole covenant of God to the natives in their 
own tongue. Local tradition, fondly clung to still, tells how they one 
and all made excuse, alleging that the crows came down in such 
flights on their fields as to destroy the prospect of crops, and that 
accordingly they could not spare the time from watching their fields- 
to attendance on his. discourses. 

Then Neot summoned the crows to him and empounded them in the 
old Roman camp on Goonzion Down, and bade them remain there 
during the time of Divine worship and instruction. And they obeyed.^ 
Perhaps it was at the period when Alfred was at Exeter that he found 
time to visit his half-brother. The Danes had possession of Exeter,, 
but when the winter of 876-7 was over, Alfred collected forces and 
hastened into Devonshire and besieged the city, and sent his fleet to 
watch the mouth of the Exe to prevent transports laden with troops 
and provisions entering the river and relieving the garrison. 

1 MS. Bodl. 535 ; MS. Cott. Claudius, A. v. 

2 The entrenchment is no-w called " Cro-w Pound." The woman at S. Neot who 
told the story to the writer said : " Some people doubt that this was so. But S. 
Neot was a very holy man. There is Crow Pound, and there on the opposite side- 
of the valley is the Rookery." 

8 Lives of the British Saints 

The Danes in Exeter were reduced to the greatest extremity ; and 
as no help appeared, they were obhged to sue for permission to make 
a conditional retreat. They gave him hostages, and swore many 
oaths beside. Early in August, 877, they left Exeter, and retreated 
northward. It was probably now that Alfred found opportunity to 
pay a hasty visit to Neot. He had been to the place before according 
to Asser, who relates how that Alfred had been afflicted by a very 
troublesome malady since his childhood, " but once . . . when he 
was on a visit to Cornwall for the sake of hunting, and had turned out 
of the road to pray in a certain chapel, in which rests the body of S. 
Guerir, and now also S. Neot rests there," he prayed to be delivered 
cf this infirmity, and his petition was soon after granted. 

But now that he came to see Neot, the latter took occasion to rebuke 
him. " When he was a youth," says Asser, " influenced by youthful 
feelings, he would not listen to the petitions which his subjects made 
to him lor help in their necessities, or for relief from oppressors ; but 
repulsed them and paid no heed to their requests. This gave much 
annoyance to the holy man Neot, who was his relative, and who often 
foretold to him that he would suffer great adversity on this account ; 
but Alfred neither attended to the reproof of the man of God, nor gave 
heed to his prediction." 

When Alfred visited Neot, the latter renewed his reproofs, and a 
long lecture is supplied out of the imagination of the late Latin 
biographer, and of the earlier Anglo-Saxon writer. 

Probably, owing to the difficulties and distresses of the times, it had 
been quite out of Alfred's power to relieve those who had appealed to 
him. Neot must have known that, and have only exhcrted him to 
refuse the petitions in a more gentle and courteous manner. 

The well-known story of Alfred and the cakes was taken into A Ijred's 
Lije by Asser, who was a contemporary ; he quotes from the Vita Sti 
Neoti, already written. Asser's Lije reaches only to 887, before the 
death of Alfred, but it is not possible to admit that this story stood in 
the original of Asser's Lije. It was ingrafted into it at a later 

According to the advice of Neot, Alfred is said to have sent contribu- 
tions to restore the Enghsh school at Rome, which had been founded 
by Ina, King of the West Saxons. 

The death of Neot must have taken place before 878, and the victory 
of Ethandune, for, the night previous to the battle, Alfred dreamt that 
Neot appeared to him in shining apparel and promised him victory, 
and that during the battle, he encouraged his men by assuring them 
that the little man was actually engaged fighting for them. 

S. Neot 9 

S. Neot was buried in the church that bears his name in Cornwall, 
but the body was stolen. 

About the year 974, Earl Alric, a powerful noble in Huntingdon- 
shire, and his Countess Ethelfleda, founded a priory at Eynesbury 
subordinate to Ely. But a patron saint was wanting to give popularity 
and to bring money to the new foundation. What made the Earl and 
his Countess think of Neot we do not know, but it was resolved to 
obtain possession of his body. The management of the theft was com- 
mitted to the guardian of the shrine, who was heavily bribed to 
decamp with the sacred deposit trusted to him. He absconded from 
Hamstoke on S. Andrew's Day, November 30, and he reached Eynes- 
bury on December 7. 

When the inhabitants of Hamstoke, or Neotstoke as it was now 
called, found that the body of their saint had been carried off, their 
rage was excessive. But the sanction to the theft had been previously 
obtained from Brithriod, Abbot of Ely, Ethelwold, Bishop of Win- 
chester, and King Edgar, so that the poor Cornish men had no chance. 
They sent an armed band into Huntingdonshire to forcibly bring back 
their treasure, but Edgar despatched troops " to drive the Cornish men 
out of the village, and to put them to the sword in case of resistance." 

A more scandalous story of robbery can hardly be found, only to be 
exceeded in shamelessness by some of the " Inventions " of sacred 

It remains to add some of the legends that have attached themselves 
to the story of S. Neot. 

He is said to have been so diminutive in stature that to say Mass he 
was constrained to stand on an iron stool at the altar, and this stool 
was long preserved at Glastonbury. 

As he was too small a man to be able to reach the lock of the Abbey, 
the lock complacently descended to a position suitable to his conveni- 
ence. As Mr. Whitaker remarks, " In the soberer style of truth, the 
lock was lowered in consequence of S. Neot's distress. . . . Thus, 
what was left, as a consequence of a little alteration made, and a 
memorial of a little event in the life of the saint, was shaped by the 
plastic imagination of devotees into the memorial of a miracle that had 
never been wrought." 

His pond was stocked with fish as food for the saint, but on condition 
that he took only one for his daily meal. The stock consisted of but 
two for ever, like a guinea in a fairy purse. It happened, however, 
that Neot fell ill, and his servant Bari, in his eagerness to please his 
master, cooked the two, boiling one and frying the other. Great was 
the consternation of the saint, and he ordered the fish to be thrown 

I o Lives of the British Saints 

back into the tank. \"\'hen this was done, the boiled and grilled fish 
revived and sported unconcernedly in the water, and when the proper 
meal was prepared, the saint on tasting it was immediately restored to 
health. The story is common to several Celtic saints. 

At another time S. Neot was praying at his well, when a hunted deer 
sought protection at his side. On the arrival of the hounds the saint 
reproved them, and none dare approach, and the huntsman, affected 
by the miracle, renounced the world, and hung up his bugle in the 
monastery church of Bodmin. 

Again, oxen belonging to the saint had been stolen, and wild deer 
came of their own accord to replace them. When the thieves beheld 
S. Neot ploughing with his stags, they were conscience-stricken, and 
returned the cattle they had carried off. 

There is a well-preserved window of the fifteenth century in the 
Church that contains the legend of S. Neot in a series of subjects, and^ 
a tablet with the story of S. Neot in rhyming couplets of the seventeenth 
century. The Holy Well has been restored. 

His festival is on July 31, but curiously enough Whytford gives 
July 8. At S. Neot's the feast is kept on the last Sunday in July. 

S. NEWLYNA, Virgin, Martyr 

The Church of Newlyn, in Cornwall, is described in the Exeter 
Episcopal Registers as that Stae Neuline (Bronescombe, 1263). Bishop 
Bronescombe dedicated it, on reconstruction, on September 28, 1259, 
as Ecclesia Stae Niwelinae. It is similarly described by Bishop Quivil, 
1283 ; Bishop Bytton, 1309 ; Bishop Grandisson, 1332, 1349, ^tc, 
and by Bishop Stafford, 1400. 

Newlyn is the same as the Breton Noualen, Latinized into Noyala. 
Unhappily, there is extant no Life of this saint. This is greatly to be 
deplored, as it would perhaps throw a flood of light on early Cornish 
history, if the conjecture we offer, and which shall be mentioned pre- 
sently, be accepted. 

All known of S. Newlyna is from tradition, which asserts that she was 
a virgin from Cornwall, who crossed into Armorica, along with her 
nurse or foster-mother, and arrived at Bignan, in Morbihan, where she 
was put to death by a local chieftain named Nizam, who cut off her 
head. She is, in fact, a Breton replica of S. Winefred. When she wa 
beheaded, she rose, took up her head in her hands and carried it as far • 

S. Newlyna 1 1 

as Noyal-Pontiv}', full thirty miles. As shall be shown presently, this 
fable springs from a very simple source. 

Pontivy possesses a chapel dedicated to the saint, and the local story 
there is that she was beheaded on a stone which is shown near it. In 
this chapel there was a juhe, or rood-screen, on which her legend was 
depicted. This was wantonly destroyed in 1684, by order of the Vicar- 
General of Vannes, because it obstructed a full view of a gaudy reredos, 
in the debased style of the period. This tasteless construction has been 
swept away, and the paintings that formerly decorated the screen have 
been reproduced in stained glass in the parish church, and on the walh 
of the chapel. In the chapel is the Holy Well. 

The inscriptions that were under the paintings on the juhe were, 
happily, copied by the cure into the parish register at the time of the 
destruction. They are as follows : — 

1. Comment Sent Noial en son commencement hantait I'eglise et 
donnant lomone aulx pauvres pour I'amour de Dieu. 

2. Comment Sant Noyale et sa nourice passa la mer sur une feille,. 
et vindrent en Bretagne. 

3. Comment un tirant nomme Nezin par auctorite cuida tant faire 
a Saincte Noyale renonce a la loy de Dieu at estre son epouse. 

4. Le dit Nezin cruel et plespute que la Ste vierge a luy ne s'etait 
accorde en lieu qu'on appelle le Bezen la fit decoller et autres de sa 

5. Du dit Bezen Sainte Noyale porta sa teste, vint a Noyal, I'ange 
de Dieu si la conduit avesque sa nourice. 

6. Sainte Noyale et sa nourice se reposa a la fontaine et picqua son - 
bordon d'ont sortit une fresne. Dessus sur une pierre faict sa prieres 
la merche y est encore entiers. 

7. Sainte Noyale en ce mesme lieu si trepassa et alia a Dieu, auquel 
lieu s'entens estait desert pour le temps. 

The parish church, which has an early tower and spire, was mainly 
built in 1420, and was well restored in 1888, when the stained glass win- 
dow was erected, which not only gives the subjects from the destroyed ■ 
screen, but fills out the story from current tradition. This is the 

1. S. Noalhuen distributes her patrimony among the poor in Britain, 
before crossing the sea. 

2. The saint traverses the channel on a branch of a tree. (The 
ancient representation made her cross like S. Bega and S. Hia on a. 

3. S. Noalhuen is solicited in marriage by the chieftain, Nezin, but. 
refuses, him, sayiijgrthait she had dedicated her virginity to Christ.. 

1 2 Lives of the British Saints 

4. S. Noalhuen and her nurse kneel in prayer on a rock, and pray to 
be granted the grace of perseverance. 

5. The tyrant in a rage has Noalhuen decapitated. Local tradition 
has it that the saint occupied a desolate spot in the parish that now 
bears her name, but vexed by the pursuit of Nezin, she withdrew to 
Brignan, seven leagues distant, and to a place called Le Bezon in that 
parish. Nezin, hearing of her flight, pursued her, renewed his solicita- 
tions, was again repulsed, and decapitated her there. 

6. S. Noalhuen rose up, took her head in her hands and returned 
to her old haunt, attended by her nurse. 

7. Arrived there, she and her nurse knelt on a stone, still pointed 
-out, as bearing the impress of her elbows and knees. She planted her 
staff, and it became a tree. 

8. Whilst on her way back, she heard a girl address her mother 
nidely ; this so shocked her that she resolved on departing to a more 
solitary spot. 

g. She accordingly pursued her course, till she came to the edge of a 
vast forest, near a stream, and there she died. 

10. Above her tomb a chapel was erected. Nizan or Nezin, full of 
wrath, resolved on its destruction, by damming up the stream. But 
the dyke burst, swept him away, and he was drowned. 

It will be seen how that, by misplacing one picture, the story of her 
wanderings with her head in her hands may have originated. She 
fled from her pursuer, and the flight has been transferred to the period 
subsequent to her decapitation. To the present day a strong feeling 
exists at Noyal against a girl of that parish seeking a husband in 
Nezin, where the tyrant and murderer is said to have lived. 

A cantique in Bret en is sung at the Pardon at Noyal- Pontivy to a 
popular melody. It contains the legend run into verse. 

The explanation of the story suggested is this. But it must be taken 
as a mere conjecture. 

Noyal- Pontivy is a very large parish, in fact, before 1790 it was the 
largest in the diocese of Vannes, comprising, around Noyala, five trejs, 
or villages, each with its church. But at S. Geran (Geraint) was the 
minihi, or Sanctuary, whereby the tribe was recruited, and this indi- 
cates that the original centre of the district was not at Noyala but at 
S. Geran. 

We know, from the Life of S. Leonore, that the British colonists who 
came over regarded themselves at first as still under the rule of their 
native princes in Britain. Now Geraint, prince of Domnonia, has left 
his traces here, at S. Geran, and at Le Palais in Belle He. This prob- 
ably means that when the colonists from Domnonia settled on the Blavet 

S. Newlyna 1 3 

and about the Morbihan, they set apart a certain portion of the land 
as dominium, demesne for their native prince. Such a demesne, may- 
be, was Noyala-Pontivy, with its ecclesiastical centre and minihi at 
S. Geran. The whole of this district bears to this day traces of having 
been visited, and settled by the Domnonian royal family. At Guemene 
is the martyrium of Selyf or Solomon, son of Geraint ; Gildas, Geraint's 
grandson, is represented all along the Blavet and at Cleguerec. Cen- 
nydd, the son of Gildas, is also much to the fore there. 

After the death of Geraint, and his son Selyf, who occupied the 
domain at Noyala ? We do not know. 

Now from the Acts of S. Cybi, son of Selyf, we know that an attempt 
was made to raise him to the throne, but it failed. Constantine, whom 
Gildas attacked with such malignant hate, established himself as 
King of Cornwall, and Cybi was obliged to fly. 

If Newlyna were sister to Cybi, the same cause may have induced 
her to depart as well. It is significant that her foundation in Cornwall 
adjoins that presumedly of Cybi, at Cubert (later dedicated to S. 
Cuthbert), and that of his friend Elian, whom we may with some 
confidence equate with S. Allen. She could not go with Cybi to 
Ireland on a visit to S. Enda at Aran, and she resolved to take refuge 
on the royal dominium in Letavia. Possibly enough, she carried off 
with her two princes of the royal blood to save them from the fate 
that had befallen two of the same family whom Constantine had 

Having reached the royal demesne, Noyala attempted to establish 
herself there. But a steward, Nizan, either acting in his own interest, 
or that of Constantine, murdered her and the two princes. 

These latter are called in Breton the Dredenau, and their chapel is 
close to the river. According to the local legend, their bodies were 
thrown into a marsh, and found by a pig, which was mauling them, 
when they were recovered and given decent burial.^ 

Such is a suggested explanation of the story. Documentary evi- 
dence is wanting, as the Acts of S. Noyala, or Noualen, are lost. The 
Welsh have not preserved the Pedigree of the descendants of Selyf 
because they had no territorial or clan rights in Wales, and all Cornish 
records are lost. 

Nicolas Roscarrock has a different version of the story. He says : — 
" S. Nuline or Newline (April 27) virgin martyr of Cornwall, was daugh- 
ter of a King who in contempt of Christian religion martyred her with 
his own hands." 

^ See on the SS. Dredenau, vol. ii, pp. 357-8. 

14 Lives of the British Saints 

S. Newlyn is patroness of the parish of Newlyn East, and probably 
had at one time a chapel at Newlyn West, by Penzance, where, it may 
be, she took ship for Armorica. 

' In the diocese of Vannes she is patroness of two parishes. Her 
martyrdcm caused the centre of the parish of Geraint to be ransferred 
from S. Geran, which sanii to be a mere trej, to where is now the parish 
■church, where her b:dy was preserved. And the erection of a castle 
at Pontivy, in the eleventh century, caused the population to gravitate 
about that, and to form there a town. It is now supposed that 
Pontivy takes its name fro n Iv)^ a monk of Lindisfarne ; but it is far 
more likely that it had there a chapel of S. Divy or David who was — if 
the suggestion put forward above be allowed — the first cousin of S. 
Noyala. She is also patroness of two parishes in the diocese of Rennes, 
and of one in that of S. Brieuc. 

The Feast at Newlyn is on November 8. The Pardon of Noyala in 
Brittany is on July 6. In the Church of Noyal-Pontivy she is repre- 
sented as a maiden holding her head in her hands. She appears in 
the Missal of Vannes of 1457, and the Breviary of Vannes of 1660, on 
July 6. 

Nicolas Roscarrock, as we have seen, gives as her day April 27. 
He gives the following curious note : "In Newlin is a chapel of S. 
Nectan and yard belonging to it, and four stones on a mount or hill at 
the north-west corner where the crosses and reliques of S. Peran, S. 
Crantocke, S. Cuthbert and S. Newlan were wont to be placed in Roga- 
tion Week at which time they used to meete ther, and had a sermond 
made to the people, and the last was preached by the person Grand in 
Queen Marie's tyme, as I have been creditably informed by a priest 
who had been an eye witness. The one of these four stones ben taken 
from thence and turned into a cheese presse about the year 1580 by a 
gentlewoman named Mistress Burlace, was in the night tyme carryed 
back by one, willed so by after her death or by some thing assuming 
her personage, and remaineth on thike hill wher it ded." 

S. NIDAN, Priest, Confessor 

NiDAN, the son of Gwrfyw ab Pasgen ab Urien Rheged, was Peri- 
glawr or Confessor to the monastery of Penmon.^ He was the founder 
of the church of Llanidan, in Anglesey. 

>■ Peniavth MS. 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 5 (as Idan) ; Myv. Arch., 
pp. 416, 428 ; Cambro-Brlt. Saints, p. 268 ; lolo MSS., pp. 106, 127. For the 
dropping of the initial n, cf. lisan and Nissien. 


From Status at Noyal-Pontivy. 

S. Nidan 


The old church, one of the largest in the Island, which consisted of 
nave and side aisle and chancel, has long since been abandoned and 
allowed to fall into ruin, and a new church erected in a more conveni- 
ent spot, near Bryn Siencyn. But two bays of the West end retain 
their roof, and are kept in repair, as well as the North and South 
porches. The latter has a stoup for holy water that remains perpetu- 
ally replenished in a manner that is not easily explained. All the 
■church and churchyard is dry, yet there must be a spring beneath the 
south porch from which the water rises through capillary attraction to 
the stoup. The latter may be emptied, but speedily fills again. The 
level of the water in it is not always the same, at times drops fall from 
it ; and the entire porch is covered with an overgrowth of ivy and moss 
and weed. The churchyard around is still in use, and the roofed 
portion of the church serves as a mortuary chapel. 

In the roofed part is preserved a curious stone reliquary, resembling 
a small stone coffin, with a coved lid of the same stone, which is placed 
on an oak buffet against one of the walls. It is of a fine grained sand- 
stone, and measures 26 inches long, 14 inches broad, and about 18 
inches high. The front is open, to enable the relics to be seen. It was 
discovered, containing some pieces of bone, about the year 1700, under 
the altar, some two feet down, where probably it had been concealed 
at the Reformation. It is probably of the fourteenth century, and is 
apparently unique in Britain, as is also the phenomenon of the ever- 
filling stoup. 1 

Nidan is known in Scotland, whither he is said to have gone with S. 
Kentigern, as one of the 665 monks who accompanied him from Llan- 
•elwy, and he made a foundation at Midmar. " The neighbouring parish 
to his in Anglesey is Llanfinen ; and it is curious that not far from 
Midmar is Lumphanan, afterwards said to be dedicated to S. Vincent, 
but primarily to S. Finan, for the name is only a corrupted form of 
Llanfinan, while Midmar is not far from Glengarden, which is dedicated 
to S. Mungo (Kentigern), so that we have here a group of Celtic dedica- 
tions in the heart of Aberdeenshire." ^ Nidan, it should be mentioned, 
was related to S. Kentigern, his father, Gwrfyw, being that ; aint's first 

S. Nidan is entered in the Martyrology of Aberdeen on November 3, 

1 It is described and illustrated in Arch. Camb., 1870, pp. 129-34; cf. ibid., 
1863, p. 260. 

^ Forbes, Kalendars of Scottish SS., 1872, p. 420 ; Skene, Celtic Scotland, 1887, 
ii, p. 193. Llanidan and Llanffinan are not adjoining parishes, though not 
far apart. Owing to their, propinquity some have supposed the former church 
to be- dedicated to S. Aidan of Lindisfarne. But Aidan's festival falls on August 
31. See further, iii,' p. 19. 

1 6 Lives of the British Saints 

but on September 30 in the Welsh calendars in Peniarth MSS. 186, 
187, and 219, the lolo MSS., Additional MS. 14, 882, and Prymers of 
1618 and 1633. 

The Saint is locally supposed to have lived at Cadair Idan in the 
parish. Hendre Idan is also in the parish. His holy well, Ffynnon 
Idan, is at Plas Llanidan, about 200 yards from the old church. It is 
built over, and has steps to go down into it. 

S. NINNOCHA, Virgin, Abbess. 

The authority for the Life of this taint is a Vita in the Cartulary of 
Quimperle, edited by P. de Berthou, Paris, i8g6, from the original MS. 
in the possession of Lord Beaumont, at Carlton Towers. 

This Life was recomposed from an original written in rude style, 
" Vitam Sanctae Ninnocse in quodam Hbello rustico stilo digestam 
reperientes, maluimus potius incomposite materiel rectam simpU- 
citatam in scribendo servare quam plus justo minus eam emendando 
seriem narrationis depravare." 

This Life had already been printed in the Acta SS. Boll. Jun. i, 
pp. 407-1 1 . It had, moreover, been used by the author of the Chronicle 
of S. Brieuc, and by Albert le Grand, and by Lobineau. ^ 

The Vita is of httle historical value, as it abounds in anachronism?,, 
some of which, however, may be only apparent, and due to our ignor- 
ance of the history of the times. 

Ninnoc was a daughter of Brychan of Brycheiniog, and akin to Gur- 
thiern,! nown also as Gunthiern, and is possibly the same as Gwynllyw. 
If a daughter of Brychan she was his sister-in-law. - 

Brychan married a wife Meneduc, " ex genere Scotorum, fihaip 
Constantini regis, ex stripe Juliani Csesaris." 

This is certainly an astounding statement. The writer lived so late 
that he means Scots by Scoti and not Irish ; for the Scots had Kings 
of the name of Constantine, but never the Irish. As to the stock of 
Julian Caesar, the writer would make Julian precede Constantine, if he 
does not intend, what is more probable, Julius Caesar. 

But may not this be an amphfication by the redactor, and the Con- 

^ Le Grand, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, ed. 1901, pp. 270-3 ; Lobineau, Vies 
des Saints de Bretagne, ed. 1836, i, pp. 55-60. 

' " Quidam vir nobilis fuit in Combronensia regione, Brochan nomine, ex 
genere Gurthierni, rex honorabilis valde in totam Britanniam." 



o g 

IB ^1 
o I 

Q I 
►J § 
o . 

w i 


H f 



S. Nmnocha i 7 

stantine, who was the father of Meneduc, may have been Constantine 
(Cystennin) Gorneu ? S. Cybi's age can be fixed with some degree of 
nearness, as dying c. 554 ; he was grandson of Geraint, who was grand- 
son of Cystennin Gorneu. Allowing thirty-three years for a generation, 
that would be about right for the period of Brychan and Ninnoc. 
That Brychan ever had a wife of the name of Meneduc we do not 

According to the author of the Vita, Brychan had fourteen sons. 
This statement shows an acquaintance with the Welsh traditions, which 
indeed, by counting in his grandsons, give him considerably more. The 
sons of Brj'chan, our author goes on to relate, " dispersi sunt per 
regiones multas in exihum." Of course, he adds that this dispersion 
was due to their desire to preach the Gospel everywhere, and does not 
allude to a compulsory expulsion, due to the Brychan family, as Irish, 
being driven out of Brycheiniog. 

Brychan and his wife were very angry at losing all their sons, and 
he vowed to give tithes if another child were granted him. But tithes 
did not come into consideration until later. Brychan, moreover, went 
into a mountain and built an altar there, and fasted forty days and as 
many nights during Lent, and then returned to his wife, and procreated 

When the child was born, one Columcille happened to be at 
the court of Brecknock and baptized the child. This is, of course, 
absurd. Columcille never did visit Wales, and he lived over a century 
later. What the redactor found in the original text was that an Irish 
Abbot (Scottomm abbas) of the name of Colum was there and baptized 
the babe, and he jumped to the conclusion that this was the renowned 
Columcille. There are some twenty saints of this name, beside Colum- 
cille, commemorated in the Irish Martyrologies. Ninnoc was held at 
the font by a kinsman of Brychan, named Gurgentelu Ilfin, and by his 
wife Gwennargant, and the child was given as a baptismal name that of 

The Welsh know of no Gwengustle as daughter of Brychan ; but there 
was a daughter Gwen, of Talgarth, and a daughter Tudhistil, of whose 
name there are various corruptions, Tangwystl among others. But the 
relationship to Brychan must not be pressed too closely, as all that is 
meant by " children of Brychan " is that they were of his blood, and 
inherited tribal rights in Brycheiniog. 

Gwengustle was fostered by Gurgentelu and his wife, till such time 
as she reached a marriageable age, when her father designed to dispose 
of her to a son of a King of the Scots. 

Now, it fell out that at this time Germanus had arrived in Bry- 

VOL. IV. c 

1 8 Lives of the British Saints 

cheiniog, sent thither by S. Patrick. This has shocked the BoUandists 
and other critics who have assumed that Germanus of Auxerre is 
meant. But this was Germanus, the disciple, perhaps the nephew, of 
Patrick, who later became Bishop of Man. 

Moved by his exhortations, Gwengustle resolved on leading a virginal 
life, and as she remained constant in her determination, Brychan con- 
sented to let her depart for Llydaw. She departed in seven vessels, 
taking with her her foster-parents and two bishops, Morhedrus and 
Gurgallonus, and two others unnamed, together with " Magna turba 
tarn presbyterorum quam diaconorum, necnon et sanctimonialium 
virginum atque utriusque sexus hominum." 

Now this migration to Brittany, and not to Cornwall, whither most 
of the Brychan family had gone, is significant. If we are right in our 
surmise, Germanus came from Western Brittany, and if he moved 
Gwengustle to migrate, it is not at all improbable that he recommended 
her to go to his native country. Moreover, Gunthiern, if the same as 
Gwynllyw, ^\■hich is doubtful, was there already, perhaps ; and he was 
her brother-in-law. Moreover, -where she came ashore was in the 
district where Gunthiern had settled. 

The boats arrived at Poull Ilfin in Broweroc. At this time Weroc was 
Count of the British in those parts, the present department of Morbihan 
(500-50). She at once sent a deputation to ask his permission to 
settle, and he granted them Ploemeur, near Lorient, where they 
formed a plebs, and Gwengustle a monastery for her women, and the 
men who were ecclesiastics, cne also for themselves. 

Three years later, Weroc was hunting in this district, when a stag he 
was chasing fled for refuge to the church, and sank there exhausted at 
the feet of the saint. When Weroc arrived, the Bishops — all four — 
and the clergy and nuns were singing lustily the Psalter, and in the 
midst lay the fatigued and frightened stag. Weroc spared the beast, 
and made a handsome donation to the saint. 

Then follows an episode that is a fraudulent interpolation. The 
redactor makes Weroc summon a council under S. Turiaf, Archbishop 
of Dol, and in this council signs, seals and delivers a deed of donation of 
land to S. Ninnoc. There was no archbishopric of Dol till the ninth 
century, and S. Turiaf lived in the eighth century. Moreover, Weroc 
called Judual, Count of Rennes, to witness it, and Judual was not 
restored till after Weroc was dead, and this precious deed of donation 
was drawn up, says the redactor, in the year 458 ! Judual was not 
restored till 555. 

The Life ends abruptly with this forged donation. There is no ac- 
count of any further events in thehfe of the saint, and not a word about 

S. Nmnoc6a 1 9 

her death. This is pretty clear proof that the editor had an incom- 
plete MS. Vita before him, which he manipulated in his own way. 
Where it abruptly concluded there he tacked on the spurious title- 
deed ; but he did not venture to complete the story of her life. 

The name by which she is generally known, Ninnoc or Ninnocha, is . 
not a Christian name ; it means Little Nun. The termination oc is 
in Irish apphed to men, and ait or at to women. But her true name was 
Gwengustle.i She was probably called Ninnat, incorrectly changed 
when the name Latinized to Ninnoca. Apparently she is known at 
Scaer as S. Candida or S. Gwen, though there is no record of a grant of 
land being made to her there. In the parish of Tourch, near Scaer, is a 
chapel to S. Candida, in the hamlet of Locundu, formerly LocungufE. 
In 1619 the dedication is given to Sainte Vengu. Vengu is an inter- 
mediate form of Guenguff, white and gentle.^ Gwengustle became 
Guengu, then Vengu, and this name was replaced by a later partial 
equivalent, Candida, after 1619. At Scaer is her fountain, a large 
brimming well that pours forth abundance of water, and which supplies 
the town by a conduit. It is built up on one side, and carved stones lie 
scattered about where an overplus supplies a tank in which the 
women do their household washing. 

- The Church of Scaer, a modern vulgar imitation Norman erection, 
contains a statue of the saint as an abbess holding a book in her left 

At Ploemeur, in the chapel of the Priory of S. Ninnoc, is a statue of 
her as an abbess, in long floating robes, and with a stag at her feet. 
She is invoked by mothers in maladies of children. 

Albert le Grand gives as her day June 4, as also Lobineau. At 
Scaer the Patronal Feast is held on the first Sunday in August. The 
Pardon at Ploemeur is on the second Sunday in May. 

It is remarkable that in Ireland S. Ninne, a virgin, receives a cult 
on June 3, the day befare Ninnoc. Of her no recird remains. 

A Ninoch is invoked in the Dunkeld Litany among the virgins and 

1 There is a virgin whose name ends in oc in the Irish Martyrologies, Sporoc 
or Sproc, daughter of Colum, venerated on June 30 ; and in the Book of Leinster, 
fol. 3Soa, " Coemgen mo Comloga Coemoc soror." 

2 Bulletin de laSoc. archeol. de FinisUre.T. xx, 1893 — Article by the Vicomte 
de Villiers du Terrage on the Parish of Tourch. Hugh Thomas, the Breconshire 
herald, who gives some particulars respecting her in Hmleian iWS. 4,181, fol. -ya, 
from Albert le Grand, mentions her as Nenoc. 

2 Lives of the British Saints 


S. NOE, Confessor 

A SAINT of this name (also as Nvvy) had a chapel formerly in the 
parish of Skenfrith, in Monmouthshire. It formed, with the small 
manor of Blackbrook, in which it was situated, part of the possessions 
of Dore Abbey, and was served by the monks of that Abbey. The 
chapel has long been a ruin, but the site can te traced a few hundred 
yards to the east of Blackbrook (house). '^ 

The chapel and bridge of S. Xoe occur on a seventeenth century 
map of Skenfrith parish ; and there was also a well there under his 

Noe or Noy as a man's name is not altogether rare. It is best 
known in the name of Noe ab Arthur, the eighth century King of 
Dyfed ; and it also occurs as Nougoy, Nougui, Nogui, etc., in pedigrees 
and charters. These latter forms stand for what would now be written 
Nywy ; and the e of Noe is, no doubt, a survival of the Old-Celtic long 
e, now wy.'^ 

It may be mentioned that in the Skenfrith Noe or Noy there is just 
a possibility that we may have S. Tenoi's name, with the familiar to- or 
ty- dropped, as in Llansoy and Foy. 

S. NOETHON, Confessor 

NoETHON, Noethan, or Nwj'thon, was a son of Gildas.^ In the late 
documents printed in the lolo MSS. he is said to have been a " saint," 
i.e. monk, of Llantwit, and also, apparently, of Llancarfan ; and in 
one document therein he is the father of Cynddilig, Teilo Fyrwallt, 

1 Col. Bradney, History of MonmoiUhshive, 1907, i, pp. 63-4. Sir Richard 
Morgan, the Judge, in his will of 1546, left 55. for the repair of S. Noe's Chapel. 
It is called Llannoyth in Speed's map, 1610. 

^ Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 246-7 ; ii, pp. 201-2. 

2 Peniarth MS. 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 5 (1527) ; Cambro-British 
Saints, p. 268 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 416, 426, 428; lolo MSS. ,p^. 102, 117, 137. The 
Welsh saintly pedigrees favour the form Noethon or Noethan. The name is the 
same as that borne by a Pictish King, who began to reign in 706, under the Gaelic 
form Nechtan, becoming Neithon or Nwython in Welsh, and is given as Naiton 
by Bede, Hist. Ecdes., v, 21. Though Nectan and Noethan represent the same 
name, their pedigrees and festivals prevent our identifying the two saints 
noticed in this volume. 

S. Noethon 

2 I 

andRhun. Heisusually coupled with his brother, S. Gwynog. There 
were formerly chapels of Gwynog and Noethon near the church of 
Llangwm Dinmael, in Denbiglishire, but they have long since been 
converted into a mill and a kiln respectively. This appears to have 
been his only dedication, at any rate in Wales. 

The festival of SS. Gwynog and Noethon is given on October 22 in 
the Calendars in Peniarth MSS. 27, 186, 187, 219, Jesus College MS. 
141, Mostyn MS. 88, Llanstephan MS. 117, Additional MS. 14, 882, 
and the Prymer of 1546 ; on the 23rd in those in the lolo MSS., and 
the Prymers of 1618 and 1633 ; and on the 24th in that in Peniarth MS. 

Noethon is identified by Bishop Forbes with Nethan, who was 
venerated at Cambusnethan. " This district was a Welsh or Cymric 
colony, the neighbouring parish of Cambuslang being dedicated to S. 
Cadoc." ^ Cadoc was certainly in this district, where he is said to 
have restored Caw to life, which may mean no more than that the old 
chief was baptized, when at an advanced age, and so entered on a 
regenerate life. 

The day of S. Nethan in the Aberdeen Martyrology is given on Octo- 
ber 26. Nicolas Roscarrock says, " Saint Naithan whom I finde in a 
British Calendar placed on the 23 of October." He also conjec- 
tures that the S. Neightan or Negton who received a certain amount of 
veneration in Cornwall was this Naithan, but it seems more probable 
that Neightan is only another form for Nectan of Hartland, a reputed 
son of Brychan. 

Noethon does not appear to have gone to his father Gildas in Brit- 
tany ; at least, he has left no trace of his presence there. 

In the story of Culhwch and Olwen a Nwython is given as father of 
Run, Llwydeu, and Kyledyr Wyllt, and is said to have been killed by 
Gwyn ab Nudd, and to have had his heart taken out and forced to be 
eaten by his last named son.^ His sons Run and Kyndelic are men- 
tioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth as having been among the men of 
rank that were summoned by King Arthur to his coronation at Caer- 
leon. ^ 

A chieftain or warrior named Nwython (once with his son Neim) is 
mentioned in the Books oj Aneirin and Taliessin.^ It would not be 
possible to identify either of these with the son of Gildas. 

' Kalendars of Scottish Saints, 1872, p. 420. 

^ Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 109, 134, 141. 

3 Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 200. 

* Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, pp. 86, 91, 103, 193. 

2 2 Lives of the British Saints 

S. NON, Widow 

NoN, sometimes styled Bendigaid, or the Blessed, was the daughter 
of Cynyr of Caer Gawch, in Menevia, by Anna, the daughter of Gwrthe- 
fyr Fendigaid.i Cynyr is said to have been regulus of a district which 
afterwards became called Pebydiog, or Dewisland. He was father also 
of SS. Gwen, Banhadlen, and Gwestlan or Guistlianus, bishop of Old 

What is known of S. Non is to be found, almost entirely, in the Life 
of S. David by Rhygyfarch, and in the Lives based upon it. Her 
legend is said to have existed in 1281 in the service book of her church at 
Altamon, but nothing is now known of it. There is a mystery written 
in Breton, Buhez Santes Nonn, which was for many years acted on her 
festival at Dirinon. A MS. of it, of about 1400, was found there and 
published at Paris in 1837 by the Abbe Sionnet. An account and 
abstract of it was published in the ArchcBologia Cambrensis for 1857-8 ; 
and it was re-edited, with a French translation, by E. Ernault in the 
Revue Celtique for 1887.2 It consists of three parts — the Life of S. 
Non ; the miracles wrought at her tomb ; and the life and death of 
S. David. It is taken from Rhygyfarch's Life, with some additions 
from Geoffrey of Monmouth. 

The legend which relates the circumstances attending S. David's 
birth has been already told,^ and need not be repeated here. It is 
quite possible that the story of her seduction by Sant is founded on a 
misapprehension. The mediaeval biographer, finding that she was 
called Non, assumed that she was a nun, and he presents the outrage 
accordingly as being doubly odious. Rhygyfarch says that she \\ as of 

1 Peniarih MSS. 12, 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 415, 423, 428 ; 
Cambro-British Saints, p. 26s ; lolo MSS., passim. She is sometimes called Nun ; 
in the Latin Lives of S. David, Nonna and Nonnita. The latter form occurs, as 
the Goidelic genitive of a man's name, on an inscribed stone in Tregoney church- 
wall, Cornwall, and in the name Eglwys Nynyd, Nonnita's or the Nuns' Church 
(or Convent) , now a farm-house, about a mile from Margam Abbey. With the 
last-named may be compared Llanlleianau, in Llanbadrig, Anglesey. Nonna 
was a name borne by several women, notably, the mother of S. Gregory Nazian- 
zen. Nonnitus was a man's name, and there was a sixth century Irish bishop, 
Ninnidh or Nennidius. Evidently the names Capel (Maes) Nonni, Maes Nonni, 
and Castell Nonni, in Llanllwni parish, do not involve a saint's name. Accord- 
ing to Breton tradition Non's true name was Melaria, in which we detect the Welsh 
Meleri, which the Cognatio gives as the name of S. David's paternal grandmother. 

^ viii, pp. 230-301, 405-gi. 

^ ii, pp. 288-92. There is a persistent tradition at Llannon, Cardiganshire, 
that S. David was born there. The church of Caermorfa, in which Gildas endea- 
voured to preach before the pregnant Non (ii, p. 290), is claimed to have been 
located there, on Morfa Esgob ; and David, it is said, in after years, apportioned 
the Morfa among the poor fishermen of the place. Moreover, as a child, he used 
to walk to school every day to Hen Fynyw, a distance of about five miles. 









aS". Non 2 3 

singular innocence of soul, and that she had no other children. i But 
■Irish authorities represent her as mother as well of Magna, mother of S. 
Setna,- and of Mor, mother of S. Eltin.s It is accordingly quite prob- 
able that she was the wife of Sant, and that it was not till after her 
husband's death that she retired from the world. 

Non's sister, S. Gwen (Wenn), was wife of Selyf, Duke of CornwaU, 
who lived at Gallewick, " between the Tamar and the Lynher." * 

It was, apparently, clue to this relationship, that Non was induced 
to settle in Cornwall. There her principal foundation was at Altarnon, 
an important parish, covering over 11,200 acres, with Church, Holy Well 
and Sanctuary. The Holy \^'ell supplied a tank, into which persons 
who were insane were precipitated, with the idea that this would cure 
them. Drainage has drawn the water away, and all traces of the spring 
have disappeared, and the tank hr.s been filled in. Another church 
bearing her name is Bradstone, in Devon, by the Tamar. Another is 
Pelynt, where is her Holy Well. Boyton Church is supposed to be 
dedicated to the Holy Name {Nomen), but more probably had an earlier 
dedication to Non. The Holy Name is a comparatively modern intro- 
duction into the Calendar. The festival was not brought in till between 
1420 and 1500. In 1530 Pope Clement VII conceded to the Franciscan 
Order the use of an office for the Holy Name, but it was not till 172 1 
that Innocent XIII extended the observance to the whole Latin 

Boyton had a church long before the introduction of the Holy Name 
into England as a festival. It is marked in the Taxation of Nicolas IV 
(1288-91). The village Feast is in the second week in August, and the 
Day of the Holy Name is August 7 in the Salisbury and York Calendars. 

The day, however, appointed for commemoration by the Franciscans 
was January 14. 

At Grampound is a chapel of S. Non, also a Holy Well ; and a Holy 
Well bearing her name at Portscatho in S. Gerrans. 

William of Worcester, copying from the Calendar of S. Michael's 
Mount, says, " S. Nonnita, mother of S. David, lies in the church of 
Altarnon, where S. David was born." Dewi certainly was not born 
there, and her body reposes at Dirinon, near Brest, in Finistere, where 
is a chapel that contains her tomb, with a recumbent figure on it, and 
where also is her Holy Well. Her tomb is one of the most beautiful, 

^ Cambro-Bntish Saints, p. 119. 

2 Colgan, Acta SS. Hibern., Vita 2.da Sti Senani, p. 540, rede 536 ; De Sedonia 

Episcopo, pp. 572-3- 

3 Shearman, Loca Patriciana, Tab. vi. Ogygia, p. 330. 
1 Vita S. Kebii in Cambro-Bntish Saints, p. 183. 

24 Lives of the British Saints 

as well as remarkable, sepulchral monuments in Lower Brittany.'- 
At Dirinon is shown the rock on which she was wont to kneel in prayer, 
till she had left therein the impress of her knees. In Brittany she 
appears to have been held in greater veneration than her son. 

The dedications toS. Non in Wales are Llanerchaeron and Llannon (a 
chapel under Llansantffraid, replacing an earlier one in ruins), in Cardi- 
ganshire ; and Llannon, in Carmarthenshire. There were chapels, now 
extinct, called Llannon, under Llanbadarn y Garreg (Cregrina), in 
Radnorshire, and Ilston in Glamorganshire. There is also a ruined 
chapel of hers, a httle to the south of S. David's, on the edge of the 
cliffs." Near it is her Holy Well, of which Fenton wrote : " The fame 
this consecrated spring had obtained is incredible, and still is resorted 
to for many complaints. In my infancy, as was the general usage with 
respect to children at that time, I was often dipped in it, and offerings, 
however trifling, even of a farthing or a pin, were made after each 
ablution, and the bottom of the well shone with votive brass. The 
spring, like most others in this district, is of a most excellent quality, 
is reported to ebb and flow, and to be of wondrous efficacy in com- 
plaints of the eye." ^ 

The Non dedications in Wales, as elsewhere, are generally in the 
immediate neighbourhood of David churches. 

The following tercet occurs among the " Sayings of the Wise " * : — 

Hast thou heard the saying uttered by Non ? 
The mother of Dewi Sant was she — 
" There is no madness like contention " 
(Nid ynfyd ond ymryson). 

Dafydd ab Gwilym, in the fourteenth century, and other mediaeval 
Welsh bards, frequently allude to her personal beauty ; ^ and Lewis 
Glyn Cothi notes her posthumous miracles.^ 

' For a description and illustration see Arch. Camb., 1857, pp. 249-50. In 
Brittany her name occurs in Lennon, a parish of Finist^re, in Lannon (Bannalec), 
and in Crec'h Nonn (Begard). Nonn is a stream-name in Cart, de Redon ; so also 
in Abernon, near S. David's. 

^ See ii, pp. 291-2, and Arch. Camb., 1898, pp. 345-8. 

" Pembrokeshire, ed. 1811, p. 112 ; ed. 1903, p. 63. Browne Willis, in his 
Survey of S. David's, 1717, p. 53, says, " Some old simple People go still to . . . 
offer Pins, Pebbles, etc., at this Well." One of the streets of S. David's is called 
Nun Street. There is a Ffynnon Non near Llannon Chapel, Cardiganshire. 

« lolo MSS., p. 258. 

5 Barddoniaeth, ed. 1789, pp. 15, 17, 515. Sion Phylip (d. 1620), in a " Cywydd 
i ferch," says, 

" Dy lun irfryd len eurfron, 
Dy liw un wedd a delw Non." 
* Poetical Works, 1837, p. 320. 


South-west angle. 


Remains of rude stone masonry. 

S. Nuvien 2 5 

In Brittany another Non is venerated, an Irish bishop, at Penmarc'h ; 
but she is patroness of Lagona-Laoulas in the diocese of Quimper. 

In Wales S. Non was venerated on March 3, against wlrich day her 
name is entered in a number of the early Welsh Calendars. Her festival 
used to be observed with great solemnity at S. David's. 1' The Feast 
at Altarnon is on June 25, as also at Pelynt. But according to Wil- 
liam of Worcester her day was observed at Launceston on July 3. 
In the Tavistock Calendar, according to Wilham of Worcester, there 
was an entry on June 15, " Sanctus Nin, Martyr." One suspects a 
threefold blunder, either of Wilham, or of his editor Nasmith, Sanctus 
for Sancta, Martyr for Matrona, and Jun. xv for Jun. xxv. 


The lolo MSS. documents include two men of this name among 
the Welsh saints ; but they are the sole authority, and, as often, quite 

I. Nudd, son of Ceidio ab Athrwys, of the line of Coel, and brother 
of Gwenddoleu and Cof, who, with him, were " saints " of Llantwit.- 
Of Nudd we know nothing, but Gwenddoleu was a chieftain who fell at 
the battle of Arderydd, in 573. 

II. Nudd Hael, son of Senyllt ab Cedig ab Dyfnwal Hen,^ celebrated 
in the Triads as one of " the Three Bounteous Ones of the Isle of Bri- 
tain." He was one of the Men of the North, with whom he invaded 
Arfon to avenge the death of Elidyr Mwynfawr.* 

A stone discovered near Yarrow Kirk, in Selkirkshire, which cer- 
tainly commemorates members of the families of persons (perhaps one 
person) called Nudus and Liberalis, and seems as old as the sixth 
century, has reasonably been supposed to be his family monument. = 

" Nudd, a saint of Cor Illtyd, and a King," is credited with having 
founded the church of Llysfronydd, or Lisworney, subject to Llantwit, 
now usually given as dedicated to S. Tydfil. Several persons of the 
name, including a bishop, occur in the Book oj Llan Ddv. 

S. NUVIEN, Confessor 

In the Book of Llan Ddv mention is made of " villam Sancti Nuvien 
cum ecclesia," ^ and, further on, " Ecclesia Mamouric id est Lann 

1 Willis, S. David's, p. 36. ^ pp 106, 128. ' Pp. 113, 138-9. 

* Laws of Hywel Dda, ed. Aneurin Owen, fol., p. 50. 

^ Mr. Egerton Phillimore in Bye-Gones, 1889-90, p. 483 ; Sir J. Rhys, Origin of 
the Englyn, 1905. PP- lo-n- '^ Pp- 31. 43. 9°- 

2 6 Lives of the British Saints 

Uvien." ^ We believe that we are perfectly justified in identifying 
Lann Uvien with the Ecclesia Sancti Nuvien. Lann Uvien has beeii 
queried to be Llangoven," in Monmouthshire, but for no reason, we 
beheve, than merely the similarity in name. We have no doubt what- 
ever that it was the chapel at Crick, some nine miles to the south of 
Llangoven. Mamouric means Meurig's Place, the Meurig in question 
being, in all probabiUty, the Morgan wg King of the name, whose father. 
King Tewdrig, was buried at Mathern, in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Crick ; and among the places mentioned in the boundary of 
Mathern are " Aper Pull Muric " and " Aper Pull Neuynn " ; ^ but 
the latter need not necessarily be translated " the mouth of the Hunger 
Pill," as it has been.* 

The remains of the old chapel of S. Nuvien, Nyveyn, or Nyfain, are 
still to be seen, converted into a barn, in the yard of the old manor- 
house of Crick, an old house which is to-day almost in its original 
state. 5 At the east end of the chapel are two square windows, with a 
good rose window between. It appears to have been at one time 
attached to Caerwent, for in an inspeximus of 1336, recording the grant 
of the advowson of Caerwent, we read, " cum Capellis de Lannayre, 
Dynan, et Sancti Nyveyn {al. Niveyn), eidem Ecclesie annexis." ^ 
In the Valor of 1535," however, the church of Mathern is described as 
" The Parish Church of Matherne, Trikke and Rulston." Rulston is 
Runston, and Trikke must be a mispelling of Crick, which is situated 
just within the border of the old parish of Runston. 


S. NYFAIN, Matron 

This saint, whose name is spelt Nyuein and Nyuen in the two versions 
of the Cognatio, Drynwin in Jesus College MS. 20, and Nefyn in the 
later genealogies," was a daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, and the wife 
of Cynfarch Gul ab Meirchion, by whom she became the mother of 

1 P. 206. There are other instances of the disappearance of initial « due to 
Llan coming before the name. 

2 Ibid., p. 375. 3 ji^i^ _ pp 142-3. 4 Ibid., p. 369. 

5 Arch. Camb., 1909, pp. 113-4. « WiUis, Llandajf, 1719, pp. 163-7. 

' iv, p. 373- 

" Peniavth MS. 74, p. 86 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 42S ; lolo MSS., pp, iii 120 

S. Onbrit 2 7 

Urien Rheged, Efrddyl (wife of Elidyr Gosgorddfawr), and Lleuddun 
Luyddog. Urien and Efrddyl were twins, according to a Triad, wherein 
they are called one of the " Tri Aur (Gwyn) Dorllwyth " of the Isle of 
Britain. 1 

The church of Nefyn, or Nevin, in Carnarvonshire, has been sup 
posed, but wrongly we believe, to be dedicated to her. The Church 
was anciently called Llanfair yn Nefyn, with its festival on August 15,2' 
and fairs were held, Old Style, on March 24 and August 14, the eves of 
two festivals of the B.V.M. No churches are known to us as having 
been dedicated to her, nor is her festival day entered in any of the Welsh 

She is not to be confounded with the Monmouthshire male saint,, 
Nuvien, or Nyveyn. 

S. NYNNIAW, Bishop, Confessor 

The authority for Nynniaw as a Welsh Saint is a solitary entry in 
the lolo MSS?, where he is stated to have been a saint and bishop, 
and King of Gwent and Garthmathrin, whose church is in the North. 

By Nynniaw, saint and bishop, who founded a church in the North, is 
clearly intended the great S. Ninian, who is incidentally mentioned, as 
Nynias, by Bede * as having been instrumental in converting the 
Southern Picts, between the Grampians and the Forth. He was a 
Brython of royal blood, born somewhere on the Solway Firth. The 
church he founded was Candida Casa, or Whithern, in Wigtonshire^. 
which, on hearing of the death, about the year 400, of S. Martin of 
Tours, he dedicated to that saint, of whom he was a great admirer. 
Ninian is popularly known in Scotland as Ringan, and in Ireland as 
Monenn, with the endearing prefix. He is commemorated on Septem- 
ber 16. There is nothing to show that he ever was in Wales. 


In two bulls of Pope Honorius II to Bishop Urban of Llandaff is, 
mentioned Merthir Onbrit as among the possessions of the Church of 

1 Cardiff MS. 6 ; Myv. Arch., p. 392. 

2 Willis, Bangor, p. 275 ; Cambrian Register, iii (1818), p. 225. , 
^ P. 136. '^ Hist. Eccl., iii, 4. 

2 8 Lives of the British Saints 

Llandaff.i Nothing seems to be now known of Onbrit, but it is clear 
that a saint is intended, as Merthyr would only be used in that colloca- 
tion. Petra Onnbrit is named in the boundary of the grant of Tull 
(Toll) Coit by Elfin, son of Guidgen, to Bishop Berthguin,^ in the time 
of King Ithel ab Morgan. Twll Coed was also called Bella Aqua, i.e. 
Fairwater, Llandaff ; and, no doubt, Merthir Onbrit was in the 
immediate neighbourhood. 


In a list of the sons of Cunedda Wledig that has unaccountably been 
incorporated into one Achau'r Saint document printed in the lolo 
MSS.^ is found his son Oswael, whom, it is to be presumed, we are to 
reckon among the Welsh saints ; but there is no reason whatever to 
justify us in so doing. His name occurs earliest as Osmail, later Ismael 
(in the Vita S. Carantoci) and Oswael, but more regularly Ysfael. 

There is no church found dedicated to him ; but he has left his name 
to Mais Osmeliaun, in Anglesey, now probably represented by Llan- 
/aes. Later antiquaries have mixed him up with S. Oswald, and 
wrongly made Osweilion to be the district round Croes Oswallt, or 
Oswestry. * 

Curiously enough, S. Oswald is patron of a church, Lantec in ancient 
Goelo, now in Cotes du Nord. He is represented in the church as a 
chubby boy crowned and sceptred. He has replaced some Celtic saint 
of a similar name, but hardly Oswael, son of Cunedda, as this latter 
belongs to an earlier age than the British saints of Armorica. Most 
probably he takes the place of Usyllt, the father of S. Teilo. 

S. OUDOCEUS, Bishop, Confessor 

The only authority for the Life of this saint is a Vita in the Book 
oj Llan Dclv that was written or recomposed in or about 1150, but the 
Life was probably based on pre-existing material used as lections on 

^ Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 32, 43. 

2 Ibid., p. 189. One of the laity signing the grant was named Aironbrit. 
^ P. 122. For early Usts of Cunedda's .sons see Y, p. 183, and 
Cambro-British Saints, pp. loo-i. ■> See Q-mev\'s Pembrokeshire, i, p. 296. 

*S'. Oiidoceus 2 9 

the feast of the saint. It is printed in the Liber Landavensis, edited by 
'^'^ • J. Rees, Llandovery, 1840, pp. 123-32 ; more correctly in the Book 
oj Llan Ddv, ed. Evans and Rhys, Oxford, 1893, pp. 130-9. An epi- 
tome, very meagre, in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglim. Also in Acta. 
SS. Boll, 2 JuHi, i, p. 320, from Capgrave. 

Oudoceus 1 was the son of Budic, a refugee prince of Armorican 
Cornugallia, but born after his return to Brittany. The eariy history 
of Armorican Cornugalha is most obscure. We know that this por- 
tion of the Western peninsula had been colonized from Britain, at an 
eariy period. We hear of a king, Grallo, who ruled there about 470 to 
505. Then there would appear to have ensued a fresh inroad of im- 
migrants from Britain, under a chief called Jan or John Reith, which is 
translated as Lex.^ It would seem that these new colonists set up 
their own prince and expelled the family of Grallo. 

The Cartulary of Landevennec ^ gives the order differently. After 
Grallo it inserts Daniel Dremrud " Alammanis rex fuit." Then comes 
Budic with his brother Maxenri, then Jan Reith. " Hue rediens 
Marchel interfecit et paternum consulatum recuperavit." Then 
Daniel Unna, followed by Gradlon Flam and Concar Cheroenoc, and 
then Budic Mur. The Cartulary of Quimper * follows this with only a 
verbal addition to the effect. " Budic et Maxentii duo fratres ; ho rum 
primus rediens ab Alamannia, interfecit Marcell et paternum con- 
sulatum recuperavit." In the Cartulary of Quimperle is also a 
reproduction of the same list.^ 

Out of these contradictions it is not possible to arrive at any conclu- 

^ Oudoceus is Oudoce (with old e = modern Welsh wy) with a Latin termina- 
tion. In the Cartulary appended to the Vita S. Cadoci,^ 61, he occurs under a 
later form, Eudoce Episcopus. The name appears in Welsh as Oudocui, later 
Euddogwy, as in Lann Oudocui, later becoming Llan Euddogwy, which is now 
cut down to Llan-dogo (on the Wye). 

^ " Quidam nobilis apud transmarinos (Britannos) exstitit, cui cognomen erat 
Lex vel Regula ; vir quidam genere regius, terra, familiis, opibusque admodum 
opulentus. Qui quoniam juxta divinum prseceptum leges utrique sexui con- 
venienter aptabat, Lex vel Regula nominabatur. Is post desolationem Frixionum 
et Corsoldi ducis, nostram adiens desertam Cornugalliam (parata) classe mare cum 
maximo apparatu transmisit, regnum accepit, habitavit, excoluit. Post ejus 
decessum Daniel filius ejus regnum tenuit ; cui successit filius Budic." Vita 
S. Melons, Analecta Boll., T. v, 1886, p. 166. In another Life ; " Multi autem 
credentes, secularibus negociis abrenunciantes . . . et Deo adherentes . . .. 
virtutum effulsere ovantes. De quorum coUegio quondam, antiqua ut didicimus 
relatione, fuit vir Christianissimus Johannes nomine, nobilis, ortus Britannorum 
genere, quem Dominus de ultra marinis partibus ductu angelico in Cornubiam. 
disposuit transmeare. ... Et expletis annis vits suje, regnavit filius ejus 
Daniel pro eo." Lect. of Brev. Maclov., 1537, f. 277. 

^ Ed. De la Borderie, Rennes, 1888, p. 172. 

* Printed in Bulletin de la Commission diocSsaine, Quimper, 1901, p. 35. 

5 Ed. L. Maitre et Berthou, Paris, 1896, p. 51. 

30 Lives of the British Saints 

sion with an approach to confidence. . We may perhaps accept M. de 
la Borderie's opinion as we lack sufficient evidence to form any other, 
but it is a conjecture, and nothing more. He supposes that Grallo left 
no direct heir, and that Jan Reith came over and seized on the princi- 
pality and transmitted it to his son Budic. Budic left two sons, Mehau 
and Rivold. Mehau was murdered by his brother, who also dispatched 
his nephew Melor. 

On the death of Rivold, ambassadors from Cornubia or Cornugallia 
went to South Wales, where was living Budic, of the house of Grallo, 
who had been driven from Cornubia by the invaders. 

The Life of S. Oudoceus informs us that Budic was the son of a cer- 
tain Cybrdan, who had been expelled from his principality of Cornu- 
gallia, and he " came with his fleet to the region of Demetia (Dyfed) in 
the time of Aircol La whir, who was King thereof." ^ Budic, who must 
have been young when he fled to Dyfed, married there Anauved, 
daughter of Ensic,^ and sister of S. Teilo, and by her had two sons, 
Ismael and Tyfai, who both entered religion. Ismael became a disciple 
of S. David, and Tyfai, having been accidentally killed, is esteemed a 
martyr. Whilst Budic resided in Dyfed, deputies from Cornubia 
arrived to announce to him that the usurping king was dead and that 
the people were ready to welcome him.^ Budic collected vessels and 
embarked, with his family of retainers and doubtless a number of 
Welsh adventurers who hoped to get something in the new land. 
Where Budic landed we do not know. The date of his arrival was 
about the year 545. Soon after Anauved became a mother again, of 
a son who was named Oudoceus. 

Now some time previously, before Budic had heard of the change of 
aspect of affairs in Brittany, his brother-in-law, Teilo, had exacted from 
him a solemn promise, that, if he became again a father, he would give 
this child to the Church. As De la Borderie says, " L'eveque semble 
avoir voulu confisquer a son profit toute la lignee de sa soeur 
Anaumed." * 

1 Aircol La whir, according to the BooU of Llan Ddv, was son of Tryfun, and was 
King of Dyfed. The early pedigrees (circa tenth century) in Harleian MS. 3,859 
give him as a son of Triphun map Clotri, of the line of Constantius and Helen, 
and as father of Giiortcpir, whowas the father of Cincar, etc. Y Cymmj'odor.ix, 
p. 171. 

2 In the original, " Anauued, daughter of Ensic, whose mother was Guenhaf, 
daughter of Liuonui, from which Anaumed" [sic), etc. The correcter form of 
Ensic's name is Usyllt. 

^ " Missis legatis ad eum de nativa sua regione Cornugallia ut sine mora cum 
tota sua familia et auxilio Brittannorum ad recipiendum regnum Armoricae 
.gentis veniret, defuncto rege eorum ilium volebant recipere natum de regali 
progenie." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 130. « Hist, de Bretagne, i, p. 435. 

S. Oucloceus 3 I 

Possibly Budic might have found it convenient to forget his promise, 
but Teilo came to his territories, met him and insisted on his observance 
of the vow. 
^ About a couple of years after Budic had gone to Cornubia the terrible 
Yellow Plague broke out in Wales, 547 ; and Teilo, who thought that 
the better part of valour was discretion, fled to Armorica, and remained 
there nearly eight years. Budic's hesitation about surrendering his 
son was overcome when his wife presented him with a fourth, Tewdrig. 
Then, knowing what was certain to ensue after his death, if he left 
two brothers to contend for the sovereignty, he readily enough allowed 
Teho to remove Oudoceus from the land, and thus secure him from 
being murdered, as had been Meliau by his brother Rivold. 

Before proceeding to the further life of Oudoceus, it may be as well 
to relate what followed in Brittany. 

Budic can hardly have lived beyond 570, and Tewdrig was born 
about 550. Budic was concerned about the future of his son, and he 
accordingly entered into an arrangement with MacHau, Bishop of 
Vannes, and Count of Broweroc, by which each engaged to defend and 
protect the other's children, in the event of one of them dying, and 
this alliance was sealed by an oath. 

No sooner, however, was Budic dead, than Macliau entered Cornubia 
and expelled Tewdrig, who remained for long a wanderer. However, 
he did not lose courage, and in 577, having collected a body of followers, 
he swooped down on the Bishop, killed him and his son James, and 
recovered possession of Cornubia. ^ 

Oudoceus was born about 545 or 546, when his father Budic returned 
to Cornugallia or Cornubia in Brittany, and in 556, when Teilo with his 
refugees from the Yellow Plague went back to Wales, Oudoceus 
accompanied him. 

We do not know the date of the death of Teilo ; accordingly not that 
of Oudoceus's succession to the abbacy and bishopric ; but he can 
hardly have been under thirty-five when elected into the room of his 
uncle. That would be in 580. 

He does not seem to have revisited Brittany. His brother Tewdrig 
was prince then in Cornubia, and Oudoceus maj' have thought it 
inadvisable to appear in his territories, lest Tewdrig, who was his junior 
by a few years, should misunderstand his purpose in returning, and 
have his throat cut. But doubtless he sent some of Teilo's disciples 
to the foundations made by that saint in Armorica, to see to their wel- 
fare and maintenance in good discipline. He had, moreover, plenty to 

1 Gres;. Turon., Hist. Franc, iv, c. 16. 

3 2 Lives of the British Saints 

occupy him in Wales. He was particularly interested in assuring his 
hold over Penally and Llandeilo Fawr. We are informed that he 
visited them and met with an unpleasant experience on his way back. 
He had gone there relic-hunting. Returning from a visit to S. David's 
with some rehcs, he went to Llandeilo Fawr, where he collected " rehcs 
of the disciples of S. Teilo his maternal uncle, and these he placed in a 
suitable coffer." ^ From Llandeilo Fawr he went on to Penallt in 
Cydweli, his " family bearing the rehcs reverently, the holy cross going 
before, and singing psalms." Then certain men rushed down on them 
from the rocks shouting, " Shall these clerics get away, laden with 
gold and silver, and, with so to speak, the treasure of Saints Dewi and 
Teilo ? Let us catch them, and enrich ourselves with the great store 
of gold and silver metal." ^ 

The legend as a matter of course makes the men become rigid and 
blind, tih restored by the prayer of S. Oudoceus. What really took place 
was probably this. Oudoceus had nothing to do with S. David, and 
never went to his shrine at all, but he did desire to get hold of the body 
of his uncle that was preserved at Llandeilo Fawr ; and, at the same 
time, he carried off all the gold and revenue he could coUect in that 
place andPenallt. Themcn of Penallt, and probably those also of Llan- 
deilo Fawr, did not relish this ; the prosperity of their churches de- 
pended on the possession of relics of their founder ; as little were they 
pleased to be despoiled of the treasure in metal, and to have to pay dues, 
and probably arrears, to the representatives of Teilo. A disturbance 
ensued, but a compromise was effected. 

Another story told of S. Oudoceus is, that, when he was thirsty one 
day, passing some women who were washing butter, he asked for a 
draught of water. They answered, laughing, that they had no vessel 
from which he could drink. Then he took a pat of butter, moulded it 
into the shape of a bell, filled it at the spring, and drank out of it. And, 
lo ! it was converted into a golden bell ; and so it remained in the 
Church of Llandaff till it was melted up by the Commissioners of 
Henry VHI. 

Einion, King of Glywysing (roughly, modern Glamorganshire) , was 
hunting one day, and the stag took refuge under the cloak of S. Oudo- 
ceus. The saint seized the occasion to beg the prince to make him a 

^ " Quod sibi placuit de sacris reliquiis sumpsit . . . et secum attulit, et de 
loco sue proprio Lan Teliau maur sumpsit secum de reliquiis discipulorum Sancti 
Teliaui matruelis sui." Book of LI an Ddv, p. 135. 

^ " Nunquid clerici isti onerati auro et argento et ut sic dicamus thesauro 
sanctorum Deui et Teliaui de manibus nostris evadant ? Immo capientur, et 
ablatis illis omnibus rebus suis ditemur multo pondere metalli auri et argenti." 

S. Ottdoceus 3 3 

grant of that bit of land, on the Wye, now represented by the parish of 
Llandogo, which the stag had encompassed in the day's hunt. The 
possessions of the abbey of Teilo beyond the Towy created friction. 
Cadwgan, the king, determined to drive Oudoceus out of them, and 
Oudoceus, unable to resist by force of arms, cursed his territory, and 
from that time forth the jurisdiction over Penally, Llandeilo Fawr, 
and Llanddowror seems to have ceased, ^ though the biographer pre- 
tends that Cadwgan was brought to his knees and obliged to make 

In the time of Oudoceus began the ravages of the Saxons in Gwent. 
In 577 the fatal battle of Deorham had cut off the Britons of Wales from 
those in Devon and Cornwall, and it had left the Severn Valley and 
those of the Wye and Usk open to be entered and ravaged at any time. 
The Hwiccas had settled in the rich land of Gloucestershire and 
Worcestershire, and as they stretched their limbs, they laid hold of 
ever more and more soil and wrenched it from the Britons. They 
crossed the Wye, laid Ewyas waste, and devastated the valleys of 
the Dore and of the Worm.^ A slice of what is now Herefordshire 
was lost to the British. 

One day, when Oudoceus was wrapt in devotion, sobbing and crying, 
a monk ran to him with the announcement that some beams that had 
been cut for his buildings, and had been left where hewn, in the wood, 
were being carried off. Oudoceus jumped up, seized a hatchet, and 
ran off to the banks of the Wye to see after his beams, and found that 
the depredator was none other than Gildas the historian, who was just 
then spending some time in retreat on the Isle of Echni (the Flat 
Holm) in the Bristol Channel, and who wanted timber for his own 

Oudoceus shouted to him, as he rowed away with the beams, to come 
back and restore or apologize, but Gildas turned a deaf ear to entreaty 
and objurgation, and Oudoceus in a rage brought down his axe on a 
mass of stone hard by with such force as to split it, and the split re- 
mained as witness to the same till the time when the biographer wrote. 

Unhappily for him, the story is chronologically impossible. Gildas 

1 " Volens (rex) sanctum virum cum sua familia expellere de patria sua ultra 
Tyui, et sanctus Oudoceus reliquit patriam illius sub maledictione, et ab illo 
tempore remansit parrochia dividente Tyui duos episcopatus sicut dividebat 
duo regna." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 133. 

" " In tempore suo venerunt tribulationes et vastationes Saxonum in dextra- 
lem Britanniam, et maxima in confinium episcopatus sui, in tantum quod vi 
supervenientis gentis Saxonicae parrochiam suam a Mochros supra ripam Guy ex 
ilia parte usque ad rivulum Dor, ex ista parte et usque ad Gurmuy [the Worm], 
et ad ostium Taratyr [the stream by Dindor] in Guy flumine. Et factis his 
vastationibus ex utraque parte super parrochiam episcopatus." Ibid., pp. 133-4- 


34 Lives of the British Saints 

died in 570, and Oudoceus was not bishop till 580. All we can conclude 
from the story is, that the remembrance of Gildas as a masterful and 
unscrupulous man lingered on. The story may be true so far that it 
belonged to an earher period, and to Teilo, and later on attached 
itself to Oudoceus. 

Meurig, the King of Morganwg, had committed murder. The case 
was gross, for he and Cynuetu, whom he slew, had come before Oudo- 
ceus and had sworn over relics to keep peace and friendship together. 
\'ery soon after, Meurig killed Cynuetu. Thereupon, Oudoceus called 
together the three abbots of most consequence in the district, Concen, 
Abbot of Llancarfan, Catgen, Abbot of Llantwit, and Sulgen, Abbot 
of Llandough, and hurled a curse upon the King and all his family, 
and cut off his land by interdict from Baptism and Communion, for 
the space of two years and more.^ 

The statement is open to grave objection. It is the earliest known 
incidence of an interdict on a land and its innocent people. No such a 
far-reaching interdict was known in the Western Church till the 
eleventh century at the earliest. Excommunications there were, and 
censures, but the monstrous iniquity of a general interdict was re- 
served for popes to commit. Almost, if not the first instance is that 
of Hadrian IV, in 1155, who put Rome under an interdict because a 
Cardinal had been mortally wounded in a popular tumult ; but Louis 
VI had been threatened with one earlier in the same century, for 
laying his hands on Church property. Alexander III, in 1180, placed 
Scotland under an interdict. It is true that in the Life of S. Eligius, 
d.c. 659, written at the close of the seventh century, that saint is 
said to have interdicted the celebration of Divine Service in a cer- 
tain church, because the priest thereof had refused obedience to his 
commands ; but that was a different thing to an interdict on a 
whole people. 

The Celtic abbots and bishops were free enough with their curses, 
but they never sank quite to such a depth as to involve the innocent 
with the guilty in excommunication. 

Meurig was brought to penance and to pay for remission by making 
over four " villas " to the see of Llandaff. 

Morgan, another King of Morganwg, had appeared at Llandaff, with 
his uncle Frioc, to take oath that they would live together in amity. 
Nevertheless, Morgan treacherously slew his uncle. Another synod 
was called, and he was put to penance, and obhged to release the mon- 
asteries of Llancarfan, Llantwit and Llandough from all royal services 
before he could obtain absolution. ^ 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 147. 2 Ibid., pp. 152-4. 

S. Oudoceus 3 5 

Guidnerth of Gwent had basely murdered his brother. This was a 
practice so common, and recognized as a matter of course, that he was 
surprised to find that Oudoceus regarded it in a serious light. Oudoceus 
excommunicated him for three years, and afterwards bade him leave 
Britain, and remain for a year in exile in Armorica.^ 

Tlie Book oj Llan Ddv bears abundant testimony to the brutal 
savagery and the unbridled lust that prevailed in the sixth century. If 
Teilo and Oudoceus and his successors made the princes and other 
delinquents pay heavily for absolution, it was because through their 
pockets their consciences could be reached, and the truth impressed 
upon them that murder and adultery were sins against God as well as 
man. There can be very little doubt that Oudoceus was a strong man, 
and that his politic act in bringing the three great abbots of the three 
monasteries of Morganwg to act with him, paved the way to the supre- 
macy of the abbey of Llandaff, and the formation of the episcopal 
diocese with episcopal rule over Morganwg. Oudoceus died on July 2, 
at Llandogo, which he had chosen as his retreat, near the close of his 

The year in which he died is not known ; it seventy years old, then 
the date was about 615. 

Into the Life of Oudoceus was thrust a statement, absolutely desti- 
tute of foundation, that he had gone to Canterbury and had tendered 
his submission to S. Augustine, and had received consecration from his 
hands. ^ As Rees well says, " The legend, for it deserves no better 
name, is so contrary to authentic histoiy, and inconsistent with the 
state of the Welsh Church for two centuries after the time of Oudoceus, 
that it does not require a serious refutation." ^ 

Oudoceus managed to extend the patrimony of the Church of S. 
Teilo into Brecknock, and to extend it in Monmouthshire. The grants 
recorded in the Book of Llan Ddv as made to him must not be accepted 
without caution. In one it is said that he had lost Lann Cyngualan, 
in Gower, from the time of the Yellow Plague till that of Athrwys, 
son of Meurig.* Oudoceus did not come to Wales till the plague was 
over. But perhaps we may read this as a loss of this estate to the 
Church of Llandaff from 547, not to Oudoceus personally. 

S. Oudoceus has found his way into many English Calendars. He is 
in that of the Sarum Missal, that of York, and that of Hereford. He is 

' Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 180-1. 

2 "Missus est sanctus Oudoceus cum clericis suis predictis Merchui et 
Elguoret et Gunnbiu, cum legatis trium abbatum et regis et principum ad Doro- 
borensem civitatem ad beatum Archiepiscopum ubi sacratus est." Ibid., p. 132, 

' Rees, Essay on the Welsh Saints, p. 274. ' Book of Llan Ddv, p. 144. 

36 Lives of the British Saints 

in the Oxford Calendar ; in that of Canterbury. Cathedral, circa 1050 
in the Exeter Calendar of the end of the twelfth century., Harl. MS. 863 
in the S. Alban's Calendar of the twelfth century, MS. Reg. 2 A. x 
in that of Hyde, of the middle of the eleventh century ; in an Ely 
Calendar of the thirteenth century, Harl. MS. 547 ; in the Tewkesbury 
Abbey Calendar, circa 1250, MS. Reg. 8. C. ^di ; in the Reading 
Abbey Calendar, 1220-46, Cotton MS. Vesp. E. v ; and many others. 
This liberal admission into the English Calendars is entirely due to the 
fable of his having submitted to be consecrated at Canterbury. The 
one Welsh Calendar in which he is inserted is that in Allwydd Paradwys, 

The only church that regards S. Oudoceus as patron, beside the 
Cathedral Church of Llandaff, where he shares the honour with SS. 
Dyfrig and Teilo and SS. Peter and Paul, is Llaneuddogwy, now Llan- 
dogo, in Monmouthshire.^ It is on the Wye, a little below Monmouth, 
and was the place granted to him by King Einion, after whom it was 
occasionally called Llaneinion. 

He was succeeded as Bishop of Llandaff by Berthwyn. 

The shrine of S. Oudoceus at Llandaff, as also those of SS. Dyfrig and 
Teilo, were stripped about the year 1540. The mitred head and an arm 
of each of the saints' statues, all of silver, got into the possession of 
one of the canons, but he had to surrender them (about 1557)-^ 


The various documents printed in the lolo MSS. are alone respon- 
sible for saints of this name. They mention three. 

(i) Owain, sometimes called Owain Finddu, or the Black-lipped, 
the son of Macsen Wledig (the Emperor Maximus) by Elen Luyddog, 
of Carnarvon.^ .He had as brothers, Ednyfed, Peblig, and Cystennin, 
and is said to have been the father of S. Madog. No churches are 
mentioned as being dedicated to him. 

Triads of the Third (or latest) Series assert that, after the departure 

1 Willis, Llandaff, 1719, append., p. 9, wrongly gives it as dedicated to " S. 
Dochoe, Nov. 25." " Fontem Sancti Eudaci " is mentioned in a document circa 
1 190 as being in the parish of Dixton, by Monmouth, and falling into the Wye at 

2 Arch. Camb., 1887, pp. 226, 229, 233; Cardiff Records, 1898, i, p. 376. 
Leland, Collect., 1774, i, p. 104, says, " Cranium S. Odothei apud LLandaf." 

3 igig MSS., pp. 113, 138. The pedigrees in Jesus College MS. 20 make him 
father of Nor, and son of Maximianus, i.e. Maximus. 

S. Pabai 3 7 

of the Romans, he was elected by national convention to be supreme 
ruler of Britain. - Under him, it is said, Britain was restored to a state 
of independence, and the annual tribute, which had been paid to 
the Romans since the days of Julius Csesar, was discontinued.'^ 

He is buried at Dinas Ffaraon, now known as Dinas Emrys, near 
Beddgelert, having been slain by a Goidelic giant named Eurnach or 
Urnach, on whom Owain at the same time inflicted a deadly 

(2) Owain, son of Urien Rheged, who is said to have been the founder 
of the church and castle of Aberllychwr, or Loughor, in Glamorgan- 
shire ; but he was a distinguished warrior and hero of Romance 
lather than a saint. 

According to the " Stanzas of the Warriors' Graves " he was buried 
at Llanmorfael, i.e. Loughor, a church said to 'have been originally 
founded by the mythical Bran Fendigaid.* He was the father of S. 

(3) Owain, son of the tenth century Glamorgan King, Morgan Hen, 
who " built the church and castle at Ystrad Owen (in Glamorgan), 
where he and his wife were buried." * The church is regarded as being 
dedicated to a S. Owain ; and Browne WiUis gives August 14 as the 
parish feast. ° 

Not one of the three has any title to be included among the Welsh 

It may be well to mention that there is no relationship whatever 
between the Welsh name Owain or Owen and that of S. Ouen or Owen 
(from Audoenus), the seventh century bishop and patron of Rouen, who 
has several dedications in England, and is commemorated on August 
24. No doubt WiUis meant him, but made a mistake in the date. 

S. PABAI, Confessor 

This saint was a son of Brychan. In the two Cognatio versions his 
name is spelt Papay, and in Jesus College MS. 20, Papai, but in the 
later hsts, Pabal, Pabiali, and Ffabiah. He, and his two brothers, 
Neffei and Pasgen, were sons of Brychan by his Spanish wife Proistri. 

^ Myv. Arch., pp. 402-4. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 81 ; Greal, 1805, p. 18 ; Sir J. Rhys, Celtic Folklore, pp. 564-5. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 38. ■• Ibid., pp. 14, 221. 

6 Llandaff, 1719, append., p. i ; Parock. Anglic, 1733, p. 178, 

3 8 Lives of the British Saints 

The three went to Spain, where they became " Saints and principals " 

S. PABO, King, Confessor 

Pabo was the son of Arthwys ab Mar ab Ceneu ab Coel, and one of 
the Men of the North. ^ He is usually called Pabo Post Prydain (Pry- 
dyn), i.e. Pabo the Pillar or Bulwark of Pictland, which implies that 
he was a great war " prop " to his countrymen in North Britain.^ In 
the Old- Welsh genealogies in Harleian MS. 3,859 his pedigree is given 
in an incorrect form, Pappo Post Priten map Ceneu map Coylhen.* 
He was brother to Eliffer Gosgorddfawr, Ceidio, and Cynfelyn, and 
father of Dunawd, Cerwydd, Sawyl Bcnisel (also Benuchel), and Ard- 
dun Benasgell. 

" He was a King in the North, and was driven from his country by 
the Gwyddyl Ffichti (Pictish Goidels) and came to Wales, where he 
received lands (in Powys) from Cyngen Deyrnllwg, the son of Cadell 
Deyrnllwg, and his son Brochwel Ysgj^throg." ^ Topographically, 
however, he is entirely associated with Gwynedd. He founded the 
Church of Llanbabo, subject to Llanddeusant, in Anglesey, and there is 
a Llanbabo near Llyn Padarn, in Carnarvonshire, and near Conway, 
in the parish of Llangystenin, are Pabo hamlet, Hill, and Station. 

He has been supposed to be " the oldest of the saints of Anglesey,'' ^ 
where he is traditionally called " King Pabo." He is buried there at 

1 Peniarth MS. 178 (sixteenth century), p. 21. ; lolo MSS., pp. iii, iig, 
140 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 425, 428 ; Dwnn, Heraldic Visitations of Wales, ii. 

P, M- 

^ Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd ; Myv. Arch., p. 428 ; lolo MSS., p. 105. On p. 125 
of the last named work, Gwenasedd, mother of S. Asaph, is wrongly stated to have 
been his wife instead of his son Sawyl's. Pabo is a rare name ; it occurs also in 
the pedigree of the mythical Beli Mawr as given in Peniarth MS. 131, p. 77. Sir 
J. Rhys, Arthurian Legend, -p. 298, derives, palaeographically, the name Palomydes 
from Pabo. Pabu enters into several Breton place-names, such as Lan-babu, Tre- 
babu, etc. It is a name given by the Bretons to S. Tudwal. The parishioners 
of Llanbabo were formerly generally called " Gwyr Pabo." 

' The epithet " Post Prydein "is given also by Llywarch Hen to Urien Rheged 
(Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 268 ; Myv. Arch., p. 85), and by Llygad Gwr 
to Gruffydd ab Madog (Myv. Arch., p. 238). For references to the similar epithet, 
" Post Cad Ynys Prydain," see ii, p. 383. 

* y Cymmrodor, ix, pp. 174, 179. 

5 lolo MSS., pp. 126-7. He is said to have been granted the site of Llanbabo 
by Cadwallon Lawhir. 

" Myv. Arch,, p. 428. 


From slab at Llanhabo, 
[Photo by Wm, Marriott Dodson.) 

S. Pad am 3 9 

Llanbabo, where is a large sculptured slab, with his figure and the leg- 
end, in Lombardic capitals, " HIC lACET PABO POST PRVD . . ." i 
The church is an unpretending little structure, of the fourteenth 
century, situated on a lonely ridge. Lewis Morris wrote, " There is a 
tradition at Llanbabo that Pabo and a son and daughter of his were 
buried in that churchyard, over against certain faces cut in stones to 
be seen to this day in the south wall of that church, and against one 
of these faces Pabo's tombstone was by accident discovered in Charles 
ILs time, as I was informed in 1730, or thereabouts." ^ It was found 
by the sexton, about six feet down, in digging a grave. The slab is 
now set upright against the south wall inside the church, by the font. 
The effigy is of about the middle of the fourteenth century, when the 
church was rebuilt. The head is crowned with a simple circlet and 
three fleurs-de-Hs, and in the right hand is a sceptre. The sculptor 
who designedand executed it appears to have also sculptured S. lestyn 
in Llaniestyn church, in the same island. Pabo himself lived during 
parts of the fifth and sixth centuries, for his son Dunawd, according 
to the Annates Camhrice, died in 595. 

A tradition states, in the following lines, that he and his queen were 
buried at Llanerchymedd, which is not far distant from Llanbabo — 

Yn Llanerch'medd ym Mondo 
Y claddwyd Brenin Pabo, 
A'r frenhines deg ei gwedd, 
Yn Llanerch'medd mae hono.' 

Pabo's festival is November g, which occurs in the calendars in the 
lolo MSS., the Welsh Prymers of 1618 and 1633, Allwydd Paradwys 
(1670), and in a number of Welsh almanacks of the eighteenth century. 

S. PADARN, Abbot, Bishop, Confessor 

The main authority for the Life of S. Paternus or Padarn is a Vita 
in the Cotton MS. Vespasian A. xiv (early thirteenth century), pub- 
hshed by Rees in the Cambro-British Saints, pp. 188-97. This had 

1 Arch. Camb., 1861, pp. 299-300 ; 1874, pp. 110-2; 1908, pp. 95-8 ; West- 
wood, Lapidavium Wallics, 1876-9, p. 193 ; where there are illustrations of the slab. 

2 Celtic Remains, pp. 339-41 ; Angharad Llwyd, Hist, of Anglesey, 1833, p. 
216. The effigy is also referred to in the Morris Letters, ed. J. H. Davies, 1907-9, 
i, p. 286 ; ii, pp. 91, 93. 101-2. 

3 The last part of the first Une is sometimes given as " ym Mon, do," ; and for 
the last line is substituted, " Ym mynwent Eglwys Ceidio," a chapel subject to 
Llanerchymedd . 

40 Lives of the British Sai7i.ts 

been seen by John of Tynemouth, who condensed it {Cotton MS. 
Tiberius E. i), and his version was printed in Capgrave's Nova Legenda 
AnglicB (ed. 1901, ii, pp. 274-9), and repubhshed by the Bollandists, 
Acta SS., April 15, ii, pp. 379-82. Fragments more or less extended 
of this Life passed into the Breviaries of Treguier, S. Malo, etc. There 
is also a Life in the Breviary of Leon, 1516, but it is late, and confounds 
Paternus of Vannes with his namesake of Avranches. 

]\L de la Borderie in his Saint Paterne, sa legende et son histoire, 
Vannes, 1892, made an attempt to analyse the Life, with partial suc- 
cess. Mgr. L. Duchesne's Saint Paterne, eveque de Vannes, in the 
Revue Celtique, 1893, is a further contribution. 

The Vita was originally composed in Wales, and contains a good 
amount of genuine historical tradition ; but this fell into the hands 
of an ecclesiastic of Vannes, who altered and adapted it for polemical 
purposes. In many an instance a knowledge of the localities where a 
saint passed his life is the best possible commentary on the documentary 
record. We trust by this means to clear up one of the main difficulties 
encountered by students of the Life of S. Padarn. 

It will be well, first of all, to give a summary of his legend before 
proceeding to its critical examination. 

Padarn was born in Armorica, and was the son of Petran and Guean, 
and was of noble race. Petran abandoned his wife and child that he 
might go to Britain to embrace the religious life. But from Britain 
he went on to Ireland, there to complete his monastic training. 
Padarn remained with his mother. 

One day, she had laid in the window the cloth intended as a garment 
for her boy, when an eagle swooped down, carried it off, and lined his 
nest with it. At the end of a twelvemonth, the cloth was recovered 
uninjured, and was put to the use for which it was oiiginally intended. 
Years passed, and then Padarn resolved on going in quest of his father. 
He departed to Britain with a large company of monks. The names 
of three other leaders of companies, who were his cousins, were Hetinlau, 
Catman, and Titechon. In the Breviary of S. Malo they are given as 
Tinlatu, Cathinam, and Techo. In the Legendarium of Treguier they 
are Cuilan, Cathinan, and Techocho. 

The companies reached Britain, and Padarn settled with his party 
in Mauritana, where he became the head of a monastery containing 847 
monks. After having organized it, he departed for Ireland, where he 
found his father, but was quite unable to induce him to return to his 
■wife and domestic duties. 

In Ireland two Kings were at this time engaged in warfare — quite 
an ordinary condition of affairs — and Padarn succeeded in reconciling 

S. Padarn 4 1 

them. That accomphshed, Padarn returned to his monastery in 
Britain, which he found in a iiourishing condition, and augmented by 
tlie arrival of a monk named Nimannauc, who had crossed over from 
Letavia on a floating rock. 

Padarn now founded a number of churches in Ceretica, and confided 
them to his disciples Samson, Guinnius, Guipper and Nimannauc. 
The peace of his community was speedily disturbed by Maelgwn 
Gwynedd, who made war on Deheubarth, and arrived with a large 
army at the mouth of the Clarach. To find an excuse for pillaging the 
property of Padarn, Maelgwn left with him a number of hampers, 
which, he said, contained his treasure. On his return he demanded 
them back, when they were found to be filled with moss and gravel 
only. Padarn vowed that he had not meddled with the contents, and 
demanded of Maelgwn that he and his two stewards, who had placed 
the hampers in his custody, should undergo the ordeal of plunging their 
hands in boiling water. The stewards scalded their hands and arms, 
but those of Padarn were unhurt. Maelgwn was struck with blind- 
ness, and only recovered his sight at the intercession of the Saint. He 
then made a grant of land to Padarn between the rivers Retiaul 
(Rheidol) and Clarach. 

Soon after, an angel bade S. David take with him Padarn and Teilo 
and go to Jerusalem. The three accordingly visited the holy city, 
where they were consecrated by the Archbishop ; and Padarn received 
from him a present of a choral cope and a staff. On their return the 
three divided Britain into three dioceses between them. 

The tunic was the occasion of a dispute with " a certain tyr annus, 
named Arthur," who demanded that it should be given to him. As 
this was refused he stormed and threatened, when the earth swallowed 
him up to the chin. Only on his making humble apology was he 
released from his unpleasant and humiliating situation.^ 

Caradog Freichfras, in those' days, extended his kingdom beyond 
Britain into Letavia. Then the Armoricans came to him, beseeching 
him to induce Padarn to return to them. On his visiting Britain, 
Caradog accordingly went to Padarn, and requested him to accompany 
him to Letavia, and become there the rehgious instructor of the people. 

NowPadam had spent twenty-one years in Wales, and had ruled 
over three churches. The first had formerly been called the Plain of 
Heli,but after he had settled there it became the metropohs of Padarn ; 
the second, further inland, was called Agam's Cross, ^ where he had 

1 The story was probably associated with the place-name Llys Arthur, in the 
parish of Llanbadarn. 

2 This has been identified with Llangorwen. Owen's PembrohesJiire. ii, p. 449. 

42 Lives of the British Saints 

overcome Maelgwn's stewards, ^ Graban and Terillan ; and the third 
where was his place of sohtary retreat. He had spent seven years in 
each. Caradog induced Padarn to accompany him, and this with the 
undertaking that, whilst he was absent, none should interfere with his 
foundations in Wales. Padarn then bade farewell to his monks, and 
accompanied Caradog into Letavia, " ubi multa a falsis fratribus 

Now at this time Samson exercised metropolitan authority over all 
the churches of Armorica, and received a tribute from them all. As 
he was going round his vast diocese, he came near to Guenet, where 
Padarn had built a monastery. Then one of Samson's monks malici- 
ously advised him to order Padarn to come to him, in token of sub- 
mission to his authority. This he did, and the message reached Padarn 
as he was dressing, and forthwith, half clothed, with one boot and stock- 
ing on, he ran to meet Samson. The metropolitan was so pleased with 
this token of obedience that he ordained " that although all the dio- 
ceses throughout Letavia should pay tribute to him, the diocese of 
S. Padarn should be free from this charge." 

" And the city of Guenet is the episcopal seat of S. Padarn, in which 
is a church of S. Peter the Apostle." This Caradog appointed, retain- 
ing therein for himself only one hall. " After these things the Saints 
appointed seven dioceses throughout Letavia, and that they should 
assemble on a mountain, and confirm their union to remain for ever. 
In which synod Padarn suffered much from envious and false brethren, 
and he confirmed his union with the six principal Saints, he the seventh. " 
However, fearing lest through their intolerance some occasion of 
quarrel should arise, he left Letavia, and went among the Franks 
where he died on the 17th of the Kalends of May (April 15). 

" And the Armoricans celebrate those three solemnities, that is to 
say, the Kalends of November when he formed perpetual union with 
the principal Saints of Letavia, and the day of his decease, and the 
day on which he received episcopal ordination, namely, the 12th of 
the Kalends of July" (June 20). 

After the death of Padarn Letavia was afflicted with famine, and 
considering that this was due to the loss of the relics of S. Padarn, 
driven out of the country " by false and injurious brethren," the people 
of Armorica sent into the land of the Franks, and brought back his 
body, and laid it in the city of Guenet. 

The narrative concludes with an epilogue. 

Whilst Padarn was at Jerusalem, in the presence of the Patriarch, 
the three southern kingdoms were placed under the ecclesiastical juris- 

^ In the MS. pretores, not precones, as printed. 

S. Pada7~ji 43 

diction of the three Saints. S. Padarn obtained episcopal rule over 
the kingdom of Seisil ; S. David over that of Rein, and S. Teilo over 
that of Morgant. 

Now, on a certain day, one of his servants, who had gone into the: 
woods, fell among thieves and was murdered. On inquiry it turned out 
that the murderers were the servants of the governor, Eithir.^ And 
as blood-fine, Eitliir was compelled to grant land to Padarn from the 
ditch of Li uluuin between two rivers, the Retiaul (Rheidol) and the 
Peit (Paith), to the sea coast. And Padarn informed Eithir, son of 
Arthat, that he should be honourably buried in the cemetery of his 
church, where his solemnity would be celebrated ever afterwards by 
the reUgious community there. 

Such is the Legend, which we shall now proceed to dissect. 

There were three Saints of the name of Paternus, or Padarn. 

(i) Paternus, first Bishop of Vannes, appointed to that See in a 
Council held at Vannes in 465, or within a year or two of that date. 
Of him nothing authentic is known beyond this solitary fact. 

(2) Paternus, Bishop of Avranches, 552-65, whose Life was written 
by Venantius Fortunatus, and is published in Mabillon, Acta SS. 
0. S. B., ssec. i, pp. 152-3, ed. 1668 ; better and fuller, s£ec. ii, append., 
pp. 1,100-1,104; and in Acta SS. Boll-, April 16, ii, pp. 427-50. 
See also Surius, April 16, ii, p. 180. He was born at Poitiers, and 
brought up by his mother Julitta, a widow for nearly sixty years. He 
was sent to the monastery of Enesio or Ansion, now Saint Jouin ; then 
embraced a solitary life, at Sesci, now Saint Pair, near Granville, about 
510 ; was chosen Bishop of Avranches in or about 552 ; subscribed the 
decrees of the Council of Paris in 555 or 557 ; and died at Saint Pair 
about 565. 

He was accordingly contemporary with the third Paternus, and in 
his youth was in somewhat similar circumstances. He was brought 
up by a'widowed mother, Juhtta, and the third Paternus by the grass- 
widow, Guean. This has led to a confounding of Guean with Julitta. 
In the Leon Breviary of 15 16 the mother of Paternus of Vannes 
is given as Julitta, and the lections are taken textually from the 
Life of Paternus of Avranches by Fortunatus, only in place of 
Paternus (of Avranches) going to Neustria and becoming Bishop of 
Avranches, he is made to go to Vannes and become bishop there. 

(3) Paternus, Bishop of Llanbadarn Fawr, was called Padarn in 
Wales, and the Welsh genealogies give as the name of his father 

1 Thesairapa's name is, no doubt, preserved in Lan Eithyr, on the Mynach, 
above Devil's Bridge. The Paith joins the Ystwyth at Rhyd y Felin, a Httle way 
from Aberystwyth. 

44 Lives of the B?'ttish Saints 

Pedrwn/ which is the Petran of the Vita. Pedrwn was brother of 
Amwn Ddu and of Umbrafel and of Gwen Teirbron, mother of S. 

The migration to Britain was not so voluntary and inspired by so 
austere a motive as is represented in the Legend. All the brothers 
had been constrained to fly, probably from the ambition of one of 
them, that may have been the father of Weroc, who established 
himself as Count of Vannes. 

The grandfather of Padarn was Emyr Llydaw, and he was of 
Broweroc, which is the present department of Morbihan, and which 
obtained its name from Weroc who obtained the mastery over the whole 
of it. Amwn, Umbrafel, and Gwyndaf Hen, brothers of Pedrwn, took 
refuge in Morganwg, and married three sisters, daughters of Meurig 
ab Tewdrig, the King. But as Pedrwn had been married in Armorica, 
before the exodus, it is probable that he was older than the others. 

When Padarn came to Wales he settled where is now Llanbadarn 
Fawr, on Cardigan Bay, by Aberystwyth, which the author of 
his Life calls Mauritana, " maritima ecclesia," and " ecclesia in 
maritima." The place had formerly been called Campus (in 
Welsh, Maes) Heh, from heli, " brine," which was translated 
" maritima," of which, in all probability, Mauritana is a corruption. 
The parish of Llanbadarn is a very extensive one still, but anciently it 
embraced an area of about 125,000 acres. ^ 

Of the companions of Padarn, his cousins (consohrini) , Titechon, 
Techocho, or Techo, can be identified as Tydecho, son of Amwn Ddu, 
who we must suppose had come over to Llydaw, to see how matters 
stood, and whether there was any chance of recovering the rights of 
the family in Broweroc. Catman or Cathinan is Cadfan, who is said to 
have crossed with Padarn and Tydecho. Hetinlau (for which we 
should possibly read Ketinlau), Tinlatu, or Cuilan is not so easily 
identified, but it is not improbable that Cynllo is meant. ^ 

Others named by the Welsh authorities as having come over are 
Cynon, Trunio, Dochdwy, Mael, Sulien, Tanwg, Eithras, Sadwrn, 
Lleuddad, Tecwyn, Maelrys, and Henwyn. Trunio was first cousin of 
Padarn, son of Dyfwng. Sadwrn was son of Bicanys of Armorica, 
and nephew of Emyr Llydaw. Lleuddad was son of Alan ab Emyr 
Llydaw, and Maelrys son of Gwyddno ab Emyr, and accordingly both 

1 Peniafth MSS. 12, i5, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., p. 428, etc. In the 
lolo MSS. Pedrwn is called, on p. 105, Pcdredin, and on p. 133, Pedrvn, 

2 Bevan, S. David's, S.P.C.K., 1888, p. 103 

' Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 454. But Cynllo could be " cousin " only in a 
remote degree. He has dedications in South Cardiganshire. 

S. Padar?! 4 5 

his cousins ; so was also Henwyn, son of Gwyndaf. It would seem then 
that this was a second family migration, caused perhaps by Weroc, who 
would not parcel up the authority he exercised among these claimants 
to family rights and territories. 

The reason assigned for the grant of land made by Maelgwn Gwynedd 
to Padarn is that he was defeated in a fraudulent attempt to obtain 
an excuse for pillaging Llanbadarn. But the trial by ordeal of boiling 
water is a medieeval importation into the story. 

Maelgwn was struck by blindness. This unfortunate and much 
abused King is said also to have been blinded by S. Kentigern, for 
invasion of privilege, and to have been restored at the prayers of the 
Saint. He was also surrounded by thick darkness, so that he could not 
see, by S. Cadoc, and similarly relieved ; then for a second offence 
again blinded, and again restored. He must have become quite accus- 
tomed to these alternating deprivations of sight and recovery. 

The disciples of Padarn are said to have been his first cousin, Samson, 
Guinnius, Guipper, and Nimannauc. Guinnius may be the saint who 
has given his name to Llanwynio, in Carmarthenshire, or to Llanwnws, 
in Cardiganshire. That Samson was with Padarn is not stated in the 
Life of S. Samson, but it is very probable that he visited and stayed 
with his cousin for a while. Xear the entrance to Llanbadarn Church 
is an ancient stone called Carreg Samson, and there is another with the 
same name on the mountain near Llanddewi Brefi. 

The story of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the ordination by the 
Patriarch, and the division of South ^^'ales into three dioceses made 
before him, was a deliberate fabrication of the Welsh ecclesiastics in 
the twelfth century, when they were struggling to maintain their inde- 
pendence, and that of their churches, from subjection to Canterbury. 
This can hardly have been invented before iioo. The story was 
adopted into the Lives of S. David and S. Teilo, with notable dif- 
ferences. The biographer of each of these latter Saints strove to 
accommodate the incident to the exaltation of the See of Menevia or 
of Llandaff respectively. 

There is in the Legend of S. Padarn no indication of the See of Llan- 
badarn having been merged in that of Menevia, which took place after 
720. ]t is therefore probable that there was extant some very early 
Life of the Saint, certainly of Welsh origin, which was embroidered on 
by a redactor in the twelfth century, and, as we shall see presently, 
further altered and disfigured by a second redactor in Vannes. 

The diocese of Llanbadarn extended over portions of Cardiganshire, 
Brecknockshire, and Radnorshire, and the stories of the quarrels of 
Padam with Maelgwn and with Arthur are introduced for the purpose 

46 Lives of the British Saints 

of explaining the tenure of lands in these parts by the church of 
Llanbadarn. Arthur is spoken of as a tyrant, and wholly without 
heroic qualities, showing that the Life was composed before Geoffrey 
of Monmouth had thrown a false glamour over this rather disreputable 
prince, who generally figures in the Legends of the Welsh Saints as an 
egregious bully, with nothing of the " White Arthur " about him. 

The next episode in the Life is that of Caradog Freichfras extending 
his rule into Vannes, and installing Padarn as Bishop there. This is 
utterly unhistorical. Weroc was Count still, till about 550, possibly a 
year or two later, when he died at an advanced age, and was succeeded 
by his son Canao. Albert le Grand, in a vain attempt to accommodate 
history to fable, proposed to identify Weroc with Caradog. The Bishop 
of Vannes at this period was Modestus, who subscribed the decrees of 
the first Council of Orleans in 511, and he was succeeded by Macliau, 
son of Weroc, who forced himself into the vacant See shortly after 550, 
and was killed in 577. 

The Church of Vannes, dissatisfied with its late origin, lias fabled 
that it possessed three Bishops of the name of Paternus. Le Mene, 
in his Histoire du diocese de Vannes, well says, " En resume, pour nous, 
Saint Paterne I est fabuleux," a supposed Paternus of the period of 
Conan Meriadoc. " Saint Paterne II (mais qui en realite est bien 
Saint Paterne I, puisque I'autre n'a pas existe) est le premier eveque de 
Vannes," i.e., Paternus, appointed by the Council of Vannes, circa 465. 
" Saint Paterne III est etranger au diocese," i.e. Padarn of Llanbadarn 

The confusion arose thus : — 

Caradog Freichfras was lord of Celliwig, a principality in Cornwall 
between the Lynher and Tamar, of which the town of Callington and 
the Manor of Kelliland are the modern shrunken representatives, but 
which formerly probably extended over the Bodmin Moors. Caradog 
has given his name to Caradon, the dome-like height that dominates 
Callington. In this region are to be found the Petherwyns, North and 
South, dedicated to S. Paternus. The two parishes, together with their 
daughter churches of Trewen and Werrington, stretch over 18,400 
acres. Caradog, as prince of Celliwig, very probably did invite Padarn 
there, and made over to him the district of Petherwyn. A Breton 
ecclesiastic of Vannes, reading the Legend of S. Padarn, at once sup- 
posed that the name contained, in its suffix, the name of his own 
Guened, and he was the more satisfied that it did in that his Church 
venerated a S. Paternus as its bishop. He had at hand no means of 
verifying dates, and so he concluded that the Paternus of Petherwyn 
■was tl^.e Bishop of Vannes. 

S. Padarn 4 7 

Very probably, in the Welsh Life, he read of Samson having visited 
Padam. In fact, when Samson was on his way to Armorica, he landed 
at Padstow, where he encountered Winiau, who may be the Guinnius 
of the Life of S. Padarn, and who was the founder of Lewannick, in 
proximity to Petherwyn. 

S. Samson then travelled along the old Roman road to Camelford, 
and thence turned south, along what is now the road to Launceston. 
That he visited his first cousin in Petherwyn, hardby,is more than prob- 
able. He could hardly pass him by. He went on thence to Sou thill. 
The incident of Padani running to welcome his cousin, when he heard 
that he was approaching, half shod as he was.i existed in the original 
story. It is just one of those httle touches of nature hkely to be true, 
and very unlikely to form a part of the laboured inventions of pro- 
fessional hagiographers. But when this story came into the hands of 
the Vannes redactor, he saw his opportunity for making polemical use 
of it. 

Not till 848 was it that Dol was erected into a metropolitan See, and 
that by Nominoe. The editor of the Life was so ignorant that he was 
unaware of this, and committed the gross anachronism of making 
Samson metropolitan of Brittany in the middle of the sixth century, 
just three centuries too early. Nominoe constituted seven dioceses, 
Dol, S. Malo, S. Brieuc, Treguier, S. Pol de Leon, Vannes, and Quimper, 
and elevated Dol to be an archbishopric with jurisdiction over the 
other six. Some of these had not been bishoprics before, only abbeys. 

Vannes and Quimper writhed under the new arrangement, and 
sought release, and subjection to the distant Tours, which had laid 
claim to metropolitan rights over all Brittany, a right not readily 
acknowledged by the British colonists. 

To obtain an excuse for release a Quimper hagiographer fabricated 
a Life of S. Corentine, which, regardless of chronology, made that 
Saint seek consecration from S. Martin of Tours ; and so the redactor of 
the Life of S. Padam used his opportunity of adapting the story of 
the Saint who bore the same name as the first bishop of Vannes to make 
him shake himself free from the jurisdiction of Dol. The gathering of 
the seven Saints on a mountain is another introduction by the editor. 
Shortly after 550, a gathering of Saints took place on the Menez Bre 
to curse Conmore, Regent of Domnonia. All we really know about it 
is due to the Life of S. Huerve that was recomposed in the thirteenth 
century, and in it, it is represented as a " conventus praesulum et popu- 

' Similarly, S. David ran, half bhod, to save the life of S. .\idan, when informed 
that there was a project for murdering him. Cambyo-British Saints, p. 236. ' 

48 Lives of the British Saints 

lorum, ut excommunicarent prsefectum regis, Conomerum." ""^ The 
redactor knew of this gathering, and, indeed, it was commemorated in 
the Calendars, and he employed it to suit his purpose. He says 
nothing about Conmore, but makes it a synod of the seven bishops, 
who met to confirm their unity and delimit their dioceses. Again he 
exposes his ignorance in making seven bishoprics in Brittany in the 
sixth centur}'. 

The biographer goes on to relate how that Paternus abandoned his 
See of Vannes, and departed to the country of the Franks, where he 
died. " Letaviam deserens. Francos adivit, ibique in Domino obdormi- 
vit. " The reason of his inserting this was that he had heard of a Pater- 
nus of Avranches, who had died there, and he supposed that he must 
have been the same as his Paternus, whose body in his time reposed at 
Vannes. So he made the people of Vannes send into the land of the 
Franks and fetch it thence. 

From Welsh sources we derive but little information about S. Padarn. 
If we may trrtet the lolo MSS.,^ he for awhile placed himself under 
instruction by S. lUtyd. After that he estabhshed a community of 120 
members in Cardiganshire at Llanbadarn Fawr. The Vita, however, 
gives the number as 847. From the Latin hexameters of John,^ son 
of Bishop Sulien of S. David's, and brother of Rhygyfarch, who wrote 
at the close of the eleventh century, we learn that he was traditionally 
believed to have remained at the head of Llanbadarn for twenty-one 
years, and this is confirmed by the Latin Life. In the Life of Elgar 
the Hermit it is stated that he was buried in Bardsey.* 

We now come to the chronolog}' of his Life. This is not easy to 
determine with any approach to exactitude. 

It is not possible to determine precisely when took place the migra- 
tion of the " Chorus ecclesiasticus nionachorum " from Aimorica, but 
it was early in the sixth century, probably within the first twenty 
years of that century. 

S. lUtyd founded Llantwit about 476. 

If we allow that the meeting between Samson and Padarn took 
place in Cornwall, that must have been between 525 and 545, if our 
scheme of chronology of Samson's Life be accepted. It is probable 
that the Cornish monastic foundation preceded that of Llanbadarn. 
Padarn was for twenty-one years at this latter centre. During this 

1 De la Borderie, Saint Herve, Rennes, 1892, p. 269. ^ Pp. 105, 132. 

3 At the end of C.C.C. Camb. MS. 199, a MS. probably written at Llanbadarn. 
It contains an invocation to S. Paternus. The hexameters are printed in Haddan 
and Stubbs, Councils, etc., i, pp. 663-7. See also the Collected Papers of Henry 
Bradshaw, 1889, p. 465. Book of Llan Ddv, p. 3. . 

S. Padar?! 49 

period he had skirmishes with Arthur, who fell, according to the 
Annaks Cambrics, in 537, and with Maelgwn, who died in 547. 

We have no fixed datum for determining any event in the life of the 
Saint, and all that we can say relative to his death is that it took place 
about the middle of the sixth century. 

Granting that Llanbadarn was a diocese, and not an archmonastery, 
with its subordinate settlements or churches, its extent as well as its 
duration are uncertain. It included, at any rate, the northern half 
of Cardiganshire, with Breconshire north of the Irfon (which latter 
seems to have formed the short-lived See of Llanafan, so called), and 
the western portion of Radnorshire, as defined by the presence of 
churches decUcated to S. Padarn.^ Padarn seems to have been suc- 
ceeded by Cynog, who died in 606 [Annales Cambrics), after having 
become successor to S. David at S. David's. The last notice of it 
as a See is in the year 720, when it is recorded t?iat many of the 
churches of Llandaff, Menevia, and Llanbadarn, meaning the three 
dioceses of South Wales, were ravaged by the Saxons.^ Its sup- 
pression is said to have been effected in consequence of the murder 
of their bishop by the people of Llanbadarn.^ It was merged, 
probably soon after 720, in the See of S. David's as Llanbadarn 
had previously absorbed that of Llanafan. 

Some trace of the connexion of Llanbadarn Fawr with, and its sub- 
ordination to, S. David's, lingers in the local tradition that the clergy of 
Llanbadarn came anciently at stated times with offerings to the clergy 
of S. David's, and that the canons and clerks of the latter church met 
them in procession at a place called Pont-halog, and conducted them 
along a road, now bearing the name of Meidr-y-Saint.* 

The churches dedicated to S. Padarn in Wales are Llanbadarn Fawr,-^ 

^ It is worthy of note that there are two Afan churches in Breconshire, and 
one in Cardiganshire, situated in the neighbourhood of Padarn ones. There is a 
Ffynnon Ddewi also in Llanbadarn Fynydd. 

2 Brut y Tywysogion (Gwentian) , p. 5, supplement to Arch. Camb. for 1864. 
The church of Llanbadarn has been pillaged, devastated, or burnt down many 
times — in 720, 987, 1037, 1106, and 1257. The Bishop of Llanbadarn is men- 
tioned, lolo MSS., p. 147, as having been one of the seven Welsh bishops who- 
" disputed " with S.Augustine. S. Cynydyn ab Bleiddud was a periglawr 01 
confessor in Cor Padarn, ibid., p. 125. 

' Giraldus Cambrensis, /Zw. Caw6., ii, c. 4. His name is not known. It is a 
mistake to suppose that he was theldnerth of the Llanddewi Brefi inscription: 
see Sir J. Rhys, Origin of the Englyn, Y Cym-mrodor, Vol. xxviii., pp. 43-6. 

* Jones and Freeman, Hist, of S. David's, 1856, p. 47. 

^ The Radnor church of the name is sometimes given the appendage "ym 
Maelienydd " (Peniarth MS. 147). What is now Aberystwyth was anciently 
known as Llanbadarn Gaerog (the Fortified). A pool, called Pwll Padarn, can bo 
seen at low ebb between the College rocks and the Castle. It was formerly much 
used as a bathing place (Wales, 1896, iii, p. 64). 


50 Lives Of the British Sai?its 

Llanbadarn Trefeglwys (or Fach), under Cilcennin, and Llanbadarn 
Odwyn, under Llanddewi Brefi, in Cardiganshire ; . and Llanbadarn 
Fawr, Llanbadarn Fynydd, and Llanbadarn y Garreg, under Cregrina, 
in Radnorshire. There is a Ffynnon Badarn near Aberllwyfeni, in the 
parish of Talyllyn, ]\Icrionethshire ; and a Sarn Badarn (his Causeway) 
in Llanerfyl, Montgomeryshire, as well as another, still to be seen, on 
the coast between Prestatyn and Gronant, in Flintshire.'^ At Llan- 
beris, in Carnarvonshire, Padarn has liis Nant, Llyn, and Dol. About 
two centuries ago the remains of a Capel Padarn were visible there at 
Llwyn Padarn in Dol Badarn, on the lake-side. But these may very 
well have derived their name from some other Padarn. One of the 
modern churches of Llanberis is dedicated to S. Padarn. 
One of the " Sayings of the Wise " tercets runs - : — 

Hast thou heard the saying of Padarn, 
The correct, powerful preacher ? 
" What a man docs God "vvill judge " 
(A wnelo dyn Duw a'i barn). 

Padarn was " an excellent singer," and, in recognition of his talent, 
received when he was at Jerusalem a staff, or baton, and a silk choral 

In the Triads, Dewi, Padarn, and Teilo are distinguished as the " Three 
Blessed Visitors of the Isle of Britain." * 

The foundations of the Saint in Devon and Cornwall are North and 
South Petherwyn. Werrington was another, according to the bull of 
Celestine III to the Abbey of Tavistock, which speaks of Werrington 
(Wulrington) as a church of S. Paternus. On the reconstruction of 
the church it was rededicated to SS. Martin and Giles. 

We need not concern ourselves with Breton churches of S. Paternus 
as they refer to Paternus, Bishop of Vannes, and not at all to this 
S. Padarn, who never was a Bishop or settler in Armorica. 

An early thirteenth century Welsh Calendar, Cotton MS. Vesp. A. 
xiv, gives as his day April 15, the day on which he died. It also gives 
on September 23, " S*' Paterni Ep. Ordinatio." A pre-Norman Calen- 

1 Ashton (Wm.), Battle of Land and Sea, igog, p. 164. 

^ lolo MSS., p. 255 ; also in "Verses of the Hearing," Myv. Arch., p. 128. 

' " Paterno baculus et choralis cappa pretiosissimo serico contcxta, eo quod 
ilium egregium cantorem videbant." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 106. His staff was 
called Cirgiien (not Cerirguen as in the printed Vita), whatever may be its mean- 
ing. It is given as Cyy^MfiMM in the Old- Welsh quatrain m the C.C.C. Camb. MS. 
already mentioned, printed in Arch. Camb., 1874, p. 340. Is it pos.sible that Llan- 
gorwen took its name from the staff .' " Cwlwm yr hen Badarn " and " Caniad 
Gwyddor o waith Pencerdd Padarn " are the names of two old Welsh airs ; 
Ceiriog, Y Bavdd a'r Cerddoy, pp. 47-S. 

■■ Myv. Arch., pp. 391, 402. 

aS*. Padog 51 

dar at Evesham (added to later), Cotton MS. Vitell. A. xviii, gives only 
September 23. The Gloucester Calendars of the thirteenth century 
(Bodleian MS. Rawlin- on Litt. f . i), and that in Jesus Coll.^ Oxford MS. 
ex., and one of the fifteenth century [Additional MS. 30,506) give April 
15. So does Allwydd Paradwys, 1670. Whytford, in his Addicyons 
to the Martiloge, also gives April 15. He says, " The feest of saynt 
Paterne, y' with saynt Dauid went vnto lerusale, where he receyued 
sodeynly y'^ grace of togues to speke in euery laguage, and was there 
made bysshop byy'= handes of y<= patriarke, and after came in to eng- 
lond where he had the reuelacyon of augels, and reysed two persones 
to lyf, w' many other gretemyracles." He makes no mention of the 
fable of his having been Bishop of Vannes. 

In Brittany the following give April 16 — MS. Missal of Treguier, of 
fifteenth century ; Missal of Vannes, 1530, Breviary of Vannes, 1589, 
Proper of Vannes, 1660 and 1757, and subsequent Propria. Also the 
Breviary of Quimper, 1642, 1701, and 1835, and the Breviary of Leon, 
1516 and 1736. The thirteenth century Breviary of S. Yves and 
Albert le Grand give the same day, as do also the Welsh Calendars 
in Peniarth MS. 191, the lolo MSS., Additional MS. 14,912, and 
the Prymer of 1633. 

May 21, the Ordination of S. Paternus, is entered in the Vannes 
Missal, 1530, and in the Breviary of 1586 ; but in that of 1660 it is 
altered to " Translatio S*' Paterni." 

September 23 is given in the S. Malo Missal of 1609, and in the Bre- 
viary of 1537, and in that of Dol of 1519 ; but the 24th in the MS. 
Missal of S. Malo of the fifteenth . century. June 20 and Novem- 
ber I, mentioned in the Vita, do not have him entered in any 

November 12 occurs as a festival of S. Padarn in the Welsh Calendars 
in Peniarth MSS. 187, 219, the lolo MSS., and the Prymers of 1618 
and 1633, but it is the festival of Paternus, Priest, Martyr, at Sens, 
circa 726. 


Llanbadock, the name of a church and parish a little to the south of 
the town of Usk, in Monmouthshire, postulates/ either a saint Padog, 
or (but much less likely) a brook of the name. Nothing is known of a 
S. Padog. The church, however, is usually said to be dedicated to S. 

5 2 Lives of the British Sai7its 

Madog ; ^ but the church-name itself undoubtedly points to P as the 
initial letter. Among the earlier spellings are, Lampadok, in the Tax- 
atio of 1291 ; ^ Lanpadoc, 1306-7 ; ^ and Lampaddoc, in the fourteenth 
century appendix to the Book oj Llan Ddv.* 


Padrig, son of Alfryd ab Goronwy, of Gvvaredog in Arfon, lived in 
the time of S. Elfod, bishop of Caergybi (Holyhead), and was a saint 
of S. Cybi's Cof there, and also of that of S. Beuno at Clynnog. In the 
late documents he is given for brothers, SS. Meigan, Cyffyllog, and 

Padrig founded Llanbadrig on the northern coast of Anglesey, on 
the margin of the cliffs above the sea. The parish is a long, narrow 
strip of land stretching inland, for about six miles, to Pen Padrig, near 
Llanbabo. According to one account it was the Apostle of li-eland 
that founded the church before embarking for Ireland, having been 
detained some time in Anglesey through stress of weather. The parish 
wake was held on March ly.^ 

There is, however,another version of the story, which is to thiseffect, 
that the saint was wrecked on the Middle Mouse, or Ynys Badrig, a 
little isle about a mile off the coast, on his way to Wales, from visiting 
lona. He succeeded in crossing to the mainland, and built the church 
on the cliff in memory of his escape. It contains a very early Chi-Rho 
cross. This could be no other than Padrig ab Alfryd, as lona was not 
founded till 565. Ffynnon Badrig, the Saint's Holy Well, is reached 

^ Browne Willis, ParocJi. Anglic, 1733, p 206, the Llandaff Diocesan Calendar, 

- P. 27S. In the Taxatio of 1254 the clnirch is called " Eccl. de Lanmadok." 

^ G. T. Clark, CartcB, iv, p. 36. 

* P. 321. In the Valov of 1535, iv, pp. 365, 369, it is Lanbadoke, and Llan 

^ Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., p. 42S ; Cardiff 
MS. 25 (p. 116) ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 267 ; lolo MSS., pp. 104, 143-4, 
153. Peniarth MS. 12 (fourteenth century) gives his father's name by mistake 
as Morudd. Padrig is a somewhat late Welsh form ; if early it would have been 
Pedrig. Albryt, Alvryt, and Alfryd occur as the Welsh form for the English 
name Alfred in the Bruts and elsewhere. Gwaredog is mentioned in the Welsh 
Life of S. Beuno. Padrig ab Alfryd is continually confounded with the Apostle 
of Ireland; even in one Welsh version of "S. Patrick's Purgatory " (e.g. that in 
Hafod MS. 23, p. 262) Padrig ab Alfryd is substituted. There is a Hell's Moutlj 
on the coast of Llanbadrig, which may well have suggested it. 

1^ WiUis, Bangor, p. 280 ; Angharad Llwyd, Hist, of Anglesey, p. 217. 

S. Pasgen 5 3 

by a goat-path that descends the cliff ; and the Saint's Foot-prints 
(01 Traed Sant Padrig), when coming up the rock past it, are said to be 
still visible. On the south side of the altar in the church is a niche, 
and this shows that in the fifteenth century, when it was sculptured, 
the saint had been identified with the Apostle, for the bracket that 
sustained his statue is ornamented with writhing serpents. The 
niche is now occupied by a Pastor Bonus. 

Several place-names here perpetuate the remembrance of Padrig, as 
Dinas Badrig (his Fortress), Pen Padrig (his Headland), Porth Badrig 
(his Port), Rhos Badrig (his Moor), and the island already mentioned. 
Ffynnon Badrig is now neglected, the bare spring alone remaining. It 
was formerly much resorted to, and celebrated for its cures, especially 
in the case of children. 

There is a strange story in the Icelandic Landndma Boc of a certain 
Orlygr Hrappsson, who " had been fostered under Patrick the Bishop 
and the Saint in the Sudereys. He desired to go to Iceland, and he 
begged Patrick the Bishop to go with him. The Bishop gave him 
timber for building a church, which he was to take with him ; also a 
plenarium, an iron bell, and a gold penny ; also consecrated earth to 
be laid under the main posts of the church, and to consider this as 
consecration, and he should dedicate it to S. Columcille." ^ 

Orlygr first reached a bay which he named after his foster-father, 
Patrechsf jord, and finally settled near the rr outh of the Faxa river. As 
this took place between 860 and 870, it is very obvious that the Patrick 
referred to was not the Apostle of Ireland ; and as Padrig ab Alfryd 
belonged to the latter half of the sixth century, the foster-father of 
Orlygr cannot have been he. The Catalogue of the early bishops of 
Sodor and Man is very incomplete ; it contains no Patrick among them 
in the ninth century ; but it does not follow that there may not have 
been one then, unknown to fame. 

S. PASGEN, Bishop, Confessor 

Pasgen was, according to the Vespasian version of the Cognatio 
de Brychan, a son of Brychan, but according to the Domitian version 
and the Brychan list in Jesus College MS. 20, a son of Dingad, of Llan- 
dovery, who was son of Brychan. The late Brychan lists make him 

1 Landndma Bdcin Islendinga Sogur, Copenhagen, 1829, pp. 12-13 ; ed. 1843, 
pp. 42-3. The word helga, saint, as prefixed to Patrick, is a later addition. ■ 

54 Lives of the British Saints 

son of that great father of saints. ^ He, Xeffei, and Pabiah, are said to 
have been his sons by Proistri, his Spanish wife. The three went to 
Spain, where they entered rehgion, and Pasgen there became a bishop.^ 
There existed formerly a stone, inscribed with simply the name 
" Pascent," in the churchyard of Towyn, Merionethshire, which has 
been supposed to be his monument, inasmuch as he had sisters (or 
aunts) , Cerdych, and Gwenddydd or Gwawrddydd, connected with the 
place.' Pasgen, however, is a fairly common name in early Welsh 
history. It is the Welsh form of the Latin Pascentius. 


S. PATRICK, Apostle of the Irish 

Of S. Patrick we do not propose to give a Life. To do this would 
be a most difficult undertaking, owing to the confusion that reigns in 
the several versions of his history. Alclyde, Wales, Brittany, even 
Glastonbury lay claims severally to him as a native. What we propose 
to do is to show that five Patricks have been fused into one. 

1. Palladius, sent by Pope Celestine. 

2. Patrick, whom we will call Magonius or Mawon, born in Wales. 

3. Patrick MacCalpurn, the author of the Conjession. 

4. Patrick, nephew of the former, son of Sannan, the Deacon. 

5. Patrick ab Alfryd, of Anglesey. 

Palladius may have been with Germanus of Auxerre. So also may 
have been Patrick Magonius. 

Patrick MacSannan was with Germanus, Bishop of Man. 

Previous writers have accepted the Conjession as the basis of all that 
is authentic relative to the great Apostle of the Irish. Dr. Todd treats 
in his masterly work of Patrick MacCalpurn, and asserts and proves 
that into, the legendary Lives has been grafted much from a lost Vita 
of Palladius.* Dr. Todd supposed that the place of his birth, Banna- 
venta, was Dumbarton ; Professor Bury that it was some place "'in 

' Myv. Arch., p. 419; lolo MSS., pp. iii, 140. 

2 Peniarth MS. 178 ; Myv. Arch., p. 428 ; lolo MSS., p.. 119.. 

^ Hugh Thomas, the Breconshire herald, Harleian MS. 4,181, f. ayi, says, " It 
seemes he was buried by one of his Aunts in Towin Churcliyard in Mefionithshire 
by a Tombstone there Jnscribed thus PASCSNT to this S'.." For the stone 
see Camden's Britannia, ed. 1789, ii, 541.' - , ' ■ '■ >.■.:.>.,. ' 

* Todd, S. Pdtnck, Apostle of Ireland, -Dublin, '1S64, ;.-' 

S. Patrick 55. 

South-western Britain, perhaps in the regions of the lower Severn."^ 
Most probably it was Daventrj'. The place is thrice indicated in the 
Itinerary of Antoninus as Bannaventa (with variations). Daventry is 
on an old Roman road, near the point where cross the roads which, 
coming from north and east, I'un towards London. The determinative 
Berniae is found only in the Confession. 

Dr. Lanigan,^ anxious to save his being sent on the Mission by Pope 
Celestine, makes but one Patrick, and puts his death at 465, the date, 
as we shall see in the sequel, of the death of Sen Patrick, or Patrick 
Magonius. Mr. Newell ^ admits the interpolation of the lost Acts of 
Palladius into the Life of Patrick, and puts his decease as occurring 
in 492 or 493. Dr. Stokes * gives 445 as the date of the founding of 
Armagh, but does not enter into the question of the date of his death ; 
he would, however, seem to accept the earlier date. Mr. Shearman ^ 
allows that there wei"e three Patricks, i.e. Palladius, who died in 432 ; 
Sen Patrick, who died in 461 ; and Patrick MacCalpurn, whom he sets 
down as dying in 493. 

Professor Bury places the birth of Patrick MacCalpurn as occun^ing. 
about the year 389, and his death in 461. 

Dr. Zimmer has attempted to reduce all Patricks to one, i.e. to 
Palladius, and to show that the Patrick of legend was nonexistent.'* 
He has, however, been completely refuted by Professor Hugh 
Williams. " 

We will take the mission by Celestine first of all. This need not be 
a matter of party feeling. It is one of fact, and that is all. If the 
evidence be satisfactory, no Protestant need object to it. 

That Palladius, who was also called Patrick, was consecrated and 
sent to Ireland" to the Scots believing in Christ " admits of no doubt. 
It is possible that he inay have been a deacon of Germanus, but of this 
there is no certainty. Prosper of Aquitaine, in his Chronicle, says — 
" Agricola, a Pelagian, son of Severianus, a Pelagian bishop, corrupted 
the churches of Britannia by insinuation of his doctrine ; but, by the 
instrumentality of the deacon Palladius {ad actionem Palladii diaconi), 
Pope Celestine sends Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, in his stead {vice 
sua) to displace the heretics and direct the Britons to the Catholic 
Faith." This implies neither that Palladius was deacon of Germanus 

^ Bury (J. B.), Life of S. Patrick, London, 1905. 

- Lanigan, Ecd. History of Ireland, Dublin, 1829. 

3 NeweU (E. J.), S. Patrick, S.P.C.K., 1890. 

' Stokes (G. T.), Ireland and the Celtic Church, London, 1892. 

= Shearman (J. F.), Loca Patricinna, Dublin, 1882. 

Zimmer, The Celtic Church in Britain and Ireland, trans. Meyer, London, 1902. 

' In Zeitschrift fiir Celtifche Philologie, ,iv, 1903. 

56 Lives of the British Saints 

nor of Celestine. And, in 431, he says, " Palladius was consecrated by 
Pope Celestinus, and sent adScotos in Christum credentes," as their first 
bishop. That he was the only one so commissioned by Celestine is 
shown by Prosper under date 437, where, in praising Celestine, he says, 
" Et ordinato Scottis episcopo dum Romanam insulam studet servare 
Catholicam fecit etiam barbaram Christianam." 

Dr. Todd says, " We infer that the whole story of Patrick's con- 
nexion with S. Germain and Mission from Celestine should be regarded 
as a fragment of the lost history of Palladius, transferred to the second 
and more celebrated Patrick, by those who undertook to interpolate 
the authentic records of his Life. The object of these interpolaters was 
evidently to exalt their hero. They could not rest satisfied with the 
simple and humble position in which his own writings, his Confession 
and his Letter to Coroticus had placed him. They could not concede to 
Palladius the honour of a direct mission from Rome, without claiming 
for Patrick a similar honour ; they could not be content that their own 
Patrick should be represented as one unlearned, a rude and uneducated 
man, even though he had so described himself. The biography of 
Palladius ' alio nomine Patricius,' supplied them with the means of 
effecting their object, and gave to the interpolated story the appearance 
of antient support." ^ 

Tirechan, in his Notes or Collections illustrative of the Life of Patrick, 
says, ' ' Palladius episcopus primo mittitur, qui Patricius alio nomine 
appellahatur . . . deinde Patricius secundus ab anguelo Dei, Victor 
nomine, et a Celestine papa mittitur cui tola Hibernia credidit, qui earn 
pene totam baptizavit. " ^ 

That Patrick MacCalpurn was ever with S. Germanus of Auxerre, 
though accepted by Professor Bury, rests on no good ground. Patrick 
is not mentioned as a disciple of Germanus in the Life of that Saint by 
Constantius. Nor does Patrick in his Confession, which is a defence of 
himself and of his n.ission against detractors, make any reference to 
Germanus, or to a mission from Celestine. He bases his defence on 
•other grounds. It is to us inconceivable that when Patrick found that 
his right to act as an apostle to the Irish was disputed, he should not 
at once have appealed to the fact of his commission from the occupant 
■of the Chair of S. Peter, had such a fact occurred. 

There can be no reason to doubt that Patrick, son of Calpurnius, born 
at Bannaventa, son of a deacon and decurion, grandson of Potitus the 
priest, is the great Saint whom all Ireland honours. When aged six- 
teen, he was carried away by Irish pirates, and sold into captivity in 

■* Todd, op. cit., pp. 320—1. 

2 Tripartite Life, ed. W. Stokes, ii, p. 332. 

S. Patrick 5 7 

Ireland to Milchu in Dalaradia. After six years of slavery he escaped, 
•and crossed the sea, whither to is not stated in his Conjession. But he 
went to his family in " the Britains," and whilst with them the inner 
voice came to him summoning him to go back to Ireland and carry the 
Gospel to the warm-hearted, generous people he had got to know there. 
Following the call he went — whither he does not tell us, possibly to 
Lerins, but he does not say so, and our authority for this is late and 
untrustworthy — but he was certainly in Gaul, and Lerins was hardly in 
that, it was in the Provincia. At any rate, he knew and expresses 
affection for the Saints of Gaul. He was consecrated at the age of 
forty-five, and then at once proceeded on his mission. God abund- 
antly blessed his work, and as the old Irish saying has it, " Not to 
Palladius, but to Patrick, God granted the conversion of Ireland." 

The date of his death next demands consideration. Professor Bury, 
to save the commission from Celestine, wholly unproved, places 
Patrick's decease in 461. The best authorities give 493. Tighernach 
gives the date of the death of Patrick MacCalpurn — 

From Christ's Nativity, by a joyful step. 

Four hundred upon dear ninety, 

Three noble years after that, 

To the death of Patrick the Chief Apostle.^ 

Accordingly 493. 

The Chronological Tract in the Lebar Brecc says — " Patrick com- 
pleted his victorious course ... in the twenty-seventh year (of the 
solar cycle), the Calends of January (falling) on a Friday, and the first 
year after the Bissextile ; the sixteenth, moreover, of the Calends of 
April, of that year was on a Wednesday, and the thirteenth (of a 
lunar month) was thereon. When came to pass the obit of Patrick, 
son of Alpum, namely, in the tenth year of the reign of Lugaid, son of 

This is so precise that there is no escaping from the conclusion that 
it was a recorded date before the Tract was drawn up. According to 
Sir W. R. Hamilton, all these astronomical definitions agree with the 
year 493, except 27 for the solar cycle, which to agree with the Calends 
of January on Friday, should be 26. ^ 

Again, Lugaidh Mac Laoghaire came to the throne of all Ireland in 
483, according to the best authorities ; ten years after that gives 493. 

Again, in the same treatise it is said that S. Brigid's death took place 
thirty-three years after the death of Patrick, and as she is set down in 
the Annals oj Tighernach to have died in 523, this would give 490. 
But Brigid's death date is not determined for a year or two ; anyhow, it 

» Tirechan's Collections in the Tcj^aj-ijfeij/e, ii, p. 573. = JUd., ii, p. 333. 

5 8 Lives of the British Saijits 

could not be made to fit at all with Bury's date of 461. The Afinals 
oj the Four Masters give 493 as the year of Patrick's decease. The very 
early Annals in the Book of Leinster give Patrick's death as occurring 
after the succession of Lugaidh to the throne, but how many years after 
is ncjt stated. 

We may therefore conclude that there existed a strong conviction 
among the Irish Annalists that Patrick son of Calpurnius, author of 
the Conjession, died in 493. 

The Annals of Innisj alien, however, give the date 465. It has been 
supposed that the date of Patrick's death has been thrust forward to 
493 so as to make him equal the years of Moses, i.e. 120. If he did 
die in 493 he could not well have been commissioned by Celestine, who 
died in 432. 

We will now look at what can be gathered relative to the Second 
Patrick, whom the Annalists call Sen Patrick, but whom we will call 
Patrick Magonius. 

That there were more Patricks tlian one in Ireland may be suspected 
from the words of Tirechan, who quotes Ultan, who died in 656. 
Tirechan says : " Inveni quatuor nomina in libro {ad)scripta Patricio 
apud IJUanum episcopum Conclmburnensium, Sanctus Magonius, qui 
est clarus ; Succetus, qui est [deus belli veljortis belli) ; Patricius {qui est 
pater civiuin) ; Cothirthiacus, quia servivit quatuor domibus Magorum." ^ 
So also the scholiast on the Hymn of Secundinus. " Now he had four 
names — Sucat, that was given to him by his parents ; Cothraigh, his 
name froin Miliuc ; Magonius, from S. Germanus ; Patricius, from Pope 
Celestine." ^ 

The same is repeated by other writers.^ 

It did not occur to Tirechan and the others that possibly enough 
these, or three of these, names were given to differentiate one 
Patrick from another, or that Cothraigh was identical with Patricius, 
being the Irish form assumed by the Latin name, the Irish changing P 
in C. 

Oengus in his Felire says that this earlier Patrick was the tutor of 
the " Old Patrick of Glastonbury of the Gaels in Saxonland," but also 
" Old Patrick of Rosdala in Magh-locha." This is Ruisdela or Ros- 
dalla in West Meath. He was commemorated on August 24, whereas 
the later Patrick's day was March 17. 

Fiacc in his Hymn clearly intimates that there was a Patrick before 

1 Tirechan's Collections in the Tripayiite Life, ii, p. 302. 

^ Libcv Hymnorum, ii, p. 7 ; see also p. 3. It is generally agreed that the; 
name Sucat is to be equated with the Welsh hygad, ready for battle, warlike. 
" Tripartite Life, ii, pp. 303, 385, 391, 441, 510 ; also i, p. 17. 

S. Patrick 5^ 

the great Apostle, and he probably is not in this case referring to 

" Patrick's soul from his body after labours was severed. 
God's angels on the first night (after his death) for him kept wake, 
When Patrick departed, he visited the other Patrick : 
Together the}' ascended to Jesus, Mary's Son." i 

The scholiast shows that Sen Patrick is meant, for he says : " This 
is what Patrick MacCalpum promised to Sen Patrick, that they should 
go together to heaven. And this (authors) declare, that Patrick abode 
from the i6th of March to the end of the first month of Autumn (Aug. 
24th) . . . and angels with him, awaiting Sen Patrick. Some say 
that in Rossdela, in the region of Magh-locha Old Patrick's remains 
used to be ; but it is more correct to say (that they were) in Glastonbury 
of the Gael, a to\\nin the south of England." - 

The Book oj Leinster sets Sen Patrick as the next to succeed to the 
See of. Armagh after Benignus, disciple of S. Patrick, but this is 

In a piece of old Irish verse, quoted by Archbishop Ussher, Sen 
Patrick is spoken of as head of the ancient Wise Men of Ireland.^ 

It may fairly be admitted that there existed a tradition in Ireland 
that there was working there at Rossdela a Patrick, who intervened in 
time between the departure of Palladius and the coming of Patrick 
MacCalpurn. And the annalists bear this out. The Annals oj the- 
Four Masters insert at the date 457 the death of Sen Patrick, but, place 
the death of the Great Patrick at 493 ; and the entries of a Patrick in or 
about this earlier date in the other yl 7{««7s may apply to this Sen Pat- 
rick, unless we suppose, with Whitley Stokes and Bury, that the date 
of the true Patrick was deliberately altered to 493, so as to give him the 
years of Moses. The Annals oj Ulster give 457 ; those of Innisfallen 
465; those of Boyle 464. According to Nennius he died in 460. The 
Annals of the Booli oj Leinster give, his death before that of llaoghaire 
in 460. , 

Now, if there were two Patricks, how is it that the biographers are 
silent relative to the previous work of him of Rossdela ? How is it 
that no Life of him .remaips ? . • 

The explanation would seem to .be that the biographers incorpor- 
ated his Acts, as they did also those of r'alladius in the amplified Life 
of the great Pitrick. 

■*■ Liber Hymnorum, ii, p. 35. . .. ' 

:... 'i'.Quo.ted -by^ Stakes, :Tripartite,Lifc\ ii,.p. 4-7-.: . ■ 

^ A.ntiq. Eccl. Jirit., 1639, ii,, p. So.i. ■,■'. . : , .:; ' 

6o Lives of the British Saints 

Now, the Welsh tradition is that a Patrick was born in Gower, in 
Glamorganshire, the son of Mawon, Mawan, or Maewon (once given 
Maenwyn as epithet) — all forms derived from the Latinized Magonius — 
and that he was the Apostle of the Irish. ^ An apostle he may have 
been, and he may well have been the Sen Patrick of the Annals. We 
have, unhappily, but late and bad authority for this Patrick — the 

Padrig, " Principal of Caerworgorn," " supreme teacher of the nation 
of the Welsh," before the destruction of Caerworgorn (afterwards Llant- 
wit Major), is said to have been carried away to Ireland thence, and 
not to have returned to Wales. ^ " Padrig Maenwyn, of Gowerland, 
who converted the Irish to the Faith in Christ. His church is that of 
Aberllychwr " (Loughor).^ Aberllychwr is doubtless the Leucarum 
of the Romans. The present church is dedicated to S. Michael. 

Humphrey Lhuyd, however, in his Commentarioli Britannicos 
Descriptionis Fragmentum, Cologne, 1572, fol. 636, says, " Hie vero in 
Rosea valle natus juit magnus ille Patritius qui Iverniam Christiana 
fidei imbuit ; " and George Owen, in his Description of Penbrokshire,* 
tells us that he " founded a monastery at St. Dauides out of the w''*' 
was afterwardes founded the Cathedrall Churche there." He further 
mentions as being in ruins in his time a Capel Padrig, a place of pil- 
grimage in the parish of Nevern, Pembrokeshire. ^ There is clearly 
confusion here between the Patricks. 

It is, of course, possible that at the destruction of Caerworgorn, its 
superior, Patrick, may have been carried into captivity, but this state- 
ment looks suspiciously like a transference to Patrick Magonius of the 
captivity of Patrick MacCalpurn, though the latter was only sixteen 
years old when made a captive. That any one of the Patricks was 
born in Menevia cannot be admitted. There is no evidence to support 
the assertion of Humphrey Lhuyd. But that the great S. Patrick had 
a hand in the foundation of the monastery there is borne out by what 
we know from other sources. Patrick did, we judge, establish a school 
there under Maucan or Ninio for the training of missioners for the 
Irish Church. 

There is a site now, close to Ty Gwyn, where are to be traced the 
foundations of a chapel of S. Patrick ; and Porth Padrig, the Gate of 
S. David's, leading to Ty Gwyn and Porth Mawr, bears the name of the 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 104, 131, 134, 153. Nennius (ed. San Marte, p. 63) gives his 
cognomen as Maun (in Modern Welsh, Mawn) ; but the Magonius of the Irish 
writers is a Latinization of an eariierform still, before the intervocalic g was lost. 

2 Ibid., pp. 43, 69, 131, 134. 

' Ibid., p. 104. There is a sandbank near Llanelly called Cefn Padrig. 
^ Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, p. 220. ^ Ibid., p. 509. 

S. Patrick 6 1 

apostle of the Irish. There is besides a rock called Carn Badrig on 
the moor hard by. Eisteddfa Badrig, his Seat, is mentioned in the Lives 
of S. David as the spot from whence he beheld in a vision the whole 
island of which he was to be the apostle. 

But we must again distinguish between Padrig Mawon of Gower and 
Padrig ab Alfryd of Arfon and Anglesey, with whom he has been con- 
founded. This latter lived in the time of S. Elfod, bishop of Caergybi 
(Holyhead), and was a saint of S. Cybi's Cor, and also of S. Beuno's at 

We must eliminate another Patrick, of whom we know only on late 
authority, the son of S. Gwyndeg, son of Seithenin, King of Gwyddno's 
Plain. He was brother of Cynyr of Caergawch, and consequently great- 
uncle of S. David.'- If he ever had existence, he belongs to an age 
earlier than that of Padrig ab Alfryd. 

Having thus cleared the ground, and put aside Patrick MacCalpurn, 
the true Apostle of the Irish, also Patrick, son of Alfryd, and Patrick, 
son of Gwyndeg, we return to the consideration of Patrick Mawon. 

An loloMSS. document says, "The foundation of the Emperor Theo- 
dosius and Cystennin Llydaw was Bangor lUtyd, which was regulated 
by Belerus, a man from Rome ; and Padrig, the son of Maewon, was 
principal of it, before he was carried away captive by the Irish." ^ 
As we have already seen, there is a confusion here between Patrick 
Mawon and Patrick MacCalpurn. Moreover, Caerworgorn is meant, 
which was a college before Illtyd was born to the religious life. Illtyd 
founded his monastery near the ruins of Caerworgorn, which had been 
devastated and left without inhabitant. 

Theodosius the Younger was Emperor of the East from 408 to 450. 
But in 423, on the death of Honorius, West and East were united under 
his sceptre, till 425, when Valentinian became Emperor of the West. 
Theodosius may have been interested in Britain, where his great-grand- 
father, Theodosius, had served so brilliantly against the Picts and 
Scots ; and if he did found Caerworgorn it was between 423 and 425. 

The lolo MSS., speaking generally, are an untrustworthy authority, 
as we cannot tell always whence many of these documents and notices 
came from originally, or their real date, but they give testimony, at all 
events, to a rooted tradition in South Wales that a Patrick was there, 
a native, and a teacher, and it is possible enough that this Padrig ab 
Mawon was the Patrick Magonius of Ireland, to be identified, we 
think, with Sen Patrick, who died in 457 or 460. 

We come now to the most difficult problem of all. Whether either 

1 lolo MSS., p. 141- - ^*'<^-. P- '34- 

62 Lives of the British Sai^its 

of the Patricks was with Germanus of Auxerre, and ordained by Celes- 
tine. Palladius was sent to Irelandby Celestinein43i; and Celestine 
died in 432. It is incredible that Palladius can have begun his work 
in Ireland, failed, crossed to Alba and been killed, and that the news 
should have reached Celestine before his death. 

As Mr. Newell observes : " The date 432 was chosen for Patrick's 
arrival (in Ireland) because in that year Celestine died, and it was 
therefore the latest year in which he could have given a commission 
to Patrick. An earlier date would not have suited, because the mis- 
sion of Palladius took place in 431. The confusion between Patrick 
and his unsuccessful namesake, which helped the story, accounts for 
the circumstance that no other pope was selected than Celestine. But, 
to enable Patrick to reach Ireland the very next year to Palladius, it 
was necessary to crowd within the narrow compass of one year, or a 
little more, the landing of Palladius in Ireland, his preaching and rejec- 
tion by the people, possibly his departure to the country of the Picts in 
Northern Britain, his death, and the return of some of his disciples 
with the news to the Continent. It is not probable that in those days 
of slow transit all these events could have occurred in so small a space 
of time, especialty if, as some legends assert, Palladius stayed in Ireland 
long enough to found three churches." ^ It may seem incredible 
that there should have been several similarly named, working in Ire- 
land ; but the name Patricius was a title equivalent to " gentleman," 
and was very extensively adopted. Gibbon says that at this very 
period, " the meanest subjects of the Roman empire assumed the 
illustrious name of Patricius." - 

In considering the difficult que.stion of discipleship to Germanus, 
we shall have, in the first place, to give the conflicting accounts of the 
biographers relating to that association. 

A. In the Confession nothing is said of this discipleship. 

B. Nor in the Hymn of Secundinus ; but that is laudatory and not 

C. The Hymn of Fiacc is of a different character, but it is not earlier 
than the eighth century.-' As, however, its claims are to be the earliest 
record, apart from the Confession, we will take it first. 

It is silent as to the Roman mission, but asserts that Patrick was 
educated by Germanus. 

I ,'' ■Np\vell,op.\c/;., pp. 5 [-2. 

^ D;clina and Fall (ed. Milman and Smith), London, 18,58-9, viii, p. 300. 

^ It mentions the desertion of Tara that took place in 560. It refers to written 
accounts, and begins, " Patrick v,-as born in Ncmthur, as is related in stories." 

S. Patrick 6 3 

1* [The angel] sent him across to Britain . . . 

So that he left him with Germanus in the South, in the Southern part 
of Letha. 

In the Isles of the Tyrrhene Sea, he fasted in them, as one estimates. 
, He read the Canon with Germanus, this is what writings narrate." 

And it says that he was sixty years in Ireland. 

There is a vagueness in this, and an appeal to records, which could 
not have been the case had the Hymn been composed by Fiacc. 

D. Tirechan made a collection of Notes on the Life of the Saint, 
from the dictation, or copied from a book [ex ore vel libra), of his tutor. 
Bishop Ultan of Ardbraccan, who died in 657. As he mentions the 
recent plague of 664-8, it must have been composed after that. He 
had before him a lost work, entitled Commemoratio Laborum, ascribed 
to Patrick himself. He gives two versions of the Chronology of 
Patrick's Life. In- the first he says that after his escape from captivity 
Patrick wandered during seven years, then spent thirty years in one 
of the islands called Aralensis, and that he died in 436. The Isle 
Aralensis must be Lerins in the archdiocese of Aries ; or, Aralensis 
may be a corruption of Lerinsis. 

In the second account he says that Patrick, after his escape, studied 
for thirty years, and taught for seventy-two, and died at the age of a 
hundred and twenty. He says nothing about study under Germanus, 
nor of a mission from Celestine till at the end of his account after he 
has mentioned his death, and to that is tacked on a passage apparently 
,by another hand, in which the mission of Palladius, " also called 
Patrick," is mentioned, and then is added, " Then is the second Patrick 
sent by the angel of God, named Victor ; and he is sent by Celestine, 
the pope." 

E. Muirchu Maccu Machtheni wrote Memoirs of S. Patrick in obedi- 
•ence to the command of Bishop Aed of Sletty, who died in 698 or 700. 
They are contained in the Book oj Armagh, but the first leaf is wanting. 
Greith spitefully suggested that the leaf had been purposely abstracted 
by Protestants, because it contained a record of the Roman Mission. ^ 
However, a Brussels transcript has been discovered, and has been 
printed by the Jesuit Hogan in the Analecta Bollandiana ; ^ and it 

•, contains no mention of the mission from Rome ; but it does assert that 
Patrick studied with Germanus at Auxerre. " Transnavigato igitur 
tmari dextro Britannico, accepto itinereper Gallicas Alpes ad extremum, 
jUi corde proposuerat, transcensurus, quendam sanctissimum episcopum 
.Alsiodori civitate principem Germanum summum domim invemt. Aptit 

^ Greith, Geschichte der allirische Kirche und ihrc Vcrhindung mil Home, 
JFreiburg, 1867. " Analecta Boll., i, pp. 549 et scq. 

64 Lives of the British Saints 

quern non parvo tempore demoratus." Germanus sends Patrick with. 
Segetius to Rome, and on their way they hear in Ebmoria of the death 
of Palladius from Augustine and Benedict, who had been his com- 
panions ; and then " declinaverunt iter ad quendam mirabilem hominum, 
summum Episcopum, Amatorege nomine in propinquo loco habitantem, 
ibique Sanctus Patricius . . . episcopalem gradum ah Amatorege sancto- 
Episcopo accepit. Etiam Auxilius Iserninusque et coeteri injerroris 
gradus eodem die quo Sanctus Patricius ordinati sunt." Thence with- 
out going to Rome, Patricl-c starts for Britain. Amatorege, it 
may be remarked, is from tlie Irish Amatorig. Ainmire, as Amator 
would be rendered in Irish, becomes in Dative and Accusative Aimnirig. 

F. To Tirechan's Collection is a sort of Appendix, partly in Latin 
and partly in Irish, containing notes on the missionary labours of 
disciples of Patrick. Who wrote these, and when they were written, , 
we do not know. One of these is to this effect : " Patrick and Iser- 
ninus, that is Bisliop Fith, were with Germanus in the city of Olsiodra 
(Auxerre). But Germanus said to Iserninus that he should go into 
Ireland to preach. And he was ready to obey to whatever part he 
should be sent, except to Ireland. Germanus said to Patrick, ' And 
thou, wilt thou be obedient ? ' Patrick said, ' Be it so if thou wishest.' 
Germanus said : ' This shall be between you, and Iserninus will not 
be able to avoid going into Ireland.' " 

G. The scholiast on Fiacc's Hymn, who wrote in the eleventh century,, 
says : " When S. Patrick had received the angelic vision calling him to 
go to Ireland, he applied to Germanus for advice. S. Germanus said to 
him, ' Go to the successor of S. Peter, namely, Celestine, that he may 
ordain thee, for this office belongs to him.' Patrick therefore went 
to him, but Celestine gave him no honour, because he had already sent 
Palladius to Ireland." After this repulse, Patrick went to the islands- 
of the Tyrrhene Sea, that is to say, to Lerins. Then, after a hiatus in 
the MS., occur the words " Mount Arnon." Patrick thereupon 
returned to Germanus, who sent him a second time to the Pope, 
accompanied by Segetius, a priest. Celestine by this time was made- 
aware of the failure and death of Palladius, and no longer raised, 
difficulties. " Then was Patrick ordained in the presence of Celestine 
and Theodosius the Younger, King of the World. Amatorix, Bishop - 
of Auxerre, was he who conferred orders on him (i.e. Patrick) ; and 
Celestine was, they say, only one week alive after ordaining Patrick." *■ 

Here is a jumble of strange anachronisms. Only a year is allowed 
to elapse between the first visit to Celestine and the second, yet in the- 
meantime Patrick had been to Mount Arnon. 

^ Scholiast in Stokes, Tripartite Life, ii, p. 421. 

S. Patrick 6 5 

Celestine died in July, 432. Arr.ator, Bishop of Auxerre, in 418, 
and was succeeded by Germanus. Celestine had not ascended the 
papal chair before 422. Tlieodosius never was in Rome, as far as we 
know, and he certainly was not there in 432. He was only Emperor 
of the West as well as the East, as we have seen, between 423 and 425. 

Next, the scholiast informs us that Patrick received the sanction of 
Sixtus, and departed with the relics of SS. Peter and Paul. This last 
paragraph is taken from the story of Palladius. 

H. Another version of the story is given in the Vita Tertia ^ printed 
by Colgan. 

In this we are told that Patrick, after passing four years with S. 
Martin at Tours, spent nine more in an island called Tamarensis, to 
which Martin had sent him. Then Patrick went to Rome, being ad- 
vised thereto by Germanus, who sent with him Segetius as witness to 
his good character. On his way to Rome Patrick turned aside, de- 
clinavit iter, to a certain Bishop Amator, who consecrated him bishop. 
He was well received by Celestine. Leaving Rome he went to Mount 
Amon, a rock in the Tyrrhene Sea, in the city Capua. Whilst there, 
the news of the death of Palladius arrived, and Patrick received his 
commission from Celestine. 

/. The tale in Colgan's Vita Quarta is this, which closely resembles 
his Vita Secunda : Patrick was with Germanus, who sent him to Rome 
with Segetius, but did not obtain consecration because Palladius had 
been already commissioned. Patrick crossed the Tyrrhene Sea and 
was well received by Celestine, who sent him to Ireland bejore he had 
heard of the result of the mission of Palladius. On his way back to 
Auxerre, Patrick met Augustine and Benedict, in the city Euboria, 
who informed him of the failure of the mission. Then Patrick went 
to Bishop Amatorex, and from him received consecration. 

K. The amphfied Nennius of 858 ^ contains insertions from an Irish 
source. Among these is this : " Audita morte Palladii episcopi, alius 
legatus Patricius . . . a Celestino papa Romano . . . monente et 
suadente Sancto Germano episcopo, ad Scottos in fidem Christi conver- 
tendos mittitur. Misit Germanus seniorem cum illo ad quemdam, homi- 
nem tnirahilem, summum episcopum, Amatheum regem in propinquo 
habitantem.. Ibi sanctus . . . episcopalem gradum Amatheo rege 
Episcopus sanctus accepit. Et nomen quod est Patricius sumpsit, quia 
prius Maun vocabatur." 

L. The Fifth Life given by Colgan is that by Probus, lecturer in the 

^ Colgan, Trias Thaumaturga, Louvain, 1647. 

2 Zimmer, Nennius Vindicatus, Berlin, 1893 ; Stokes, Tripartite Life, i,. 
p. cxvii. 


66 Lives of the British Saints 

school of Slane, who was, says Colgan, burned in the tower of that place 
by the Danes in 950. It is addressed to Paulinus, Bishop and Abbot 
of Indedhnen, near Slane, who died in 920. 

According to Probus, after spending four years with S. Martin, 
Patrick goes to hermits in the desert, and is with them eight years. 
Then he goes to an island where he remains nine years. After that he 
visits Senior, a Bishop dwelhng on Mount Hermon, on the south side of 
the Ocean, in a city fortified with seven walls. By him he is ordained 
priest, and is sent to Rome. On his way thither he visits Germanus, 
who despatches the priest, Segetius, with him to the pope. But meet- 
ing with Augustine and Benedict at Euboria, and hearing of the death 
of Palladius, he goes out of his way to a bishop, Amator, and by him is 
consecrated Bishop. Then at once Patrick proceeds to Ireland. 

This narrative is followed by two conflicting stories. One is that he 
did not go to Rome at all ; the other is, that he did go, and returned 
with the Apostolic benediction. 

M. Joscelyn, Monk of Furness, wrote a Life of S. Patrick about the 
year 1185. He was an indefatigable collector of material, which he 
pieced together as best he might. This is Vita Sexta in Colgan. He 
represents Patrick as placing himself under the tuition of S. Germanus, 
and after that of S. Martin. But Martin was ordered by an angel to go 
to the island of Tamarensis, whereupon Patrick returned to Germanus, 
who sent him to Rome with Segetius. On his way he stopped in an 
island of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Then he proceeded to Rome, where he 
was consecrated by Celestine himself, and despatched to Ireland. But, 
before leaving, he resided for awhile on Mount Morion, near the 
Tyrrhene Sea, by the city of Capua. 

N. The Tripartite Life was written the end of the tenth or early in 
the eleventh century, after 936 or 945, as it mentions Joseph, Arch- 
bishop of Armagh, who died on one or other of these dates ; it is uncer- 
tain which. It is, accordingly, earlier than the Compilation of Joscelyn, 
but is printed by Colgan as Vita Septima. This has been edited by 
Dr. Whitley Stokes for the Rolls Series. 

According to the Tripartite Lije, Patrick resolves on going to Rome ; 
he crosses the Iccian Sea (the English Channel), and traverses France 
(venerit in Franciam) ; crosses the Alps into Italy, where he meets 
Germanus, and studies with him in Italy. Then he goes to Tours to 
S. Martin. Then ensues a curious disjointed paragraph : " Auxerre 
was the name of a city of which Germanus was the illustrious bishop. 
Aralanensis was the island called, in which S. Patrick studied with him. 
He was thirty years old when he came to Germanus, and he remained 
with him thirty years more." After that, he went io Ireland. " At a 

S. Patrick 67 

certain time when Patrick was in the Tyrrhene Sea, he came to a place 
where there were three other Patricks." 

When aged sixty, Germanus sent Patrick to Rome, with Segetius as 
his companion. He was well received, and Celestine, having heard of 
the death of Palladius, consecrated him bishop with his own hands in 
the presence of Germanus and Amatus, King of the Romans. 

One naturally asks why Germanus sent Segetius with Patrick, if he 
himself was to be in Rome. The blundering compiler, to escape the 
conclusion that Patrick was ordained by Bishop Amator or Amatorex, 
converts the latter into Amator Rex Romanorum. 

0. In the Betha Patraic, in the Book of Lismore, an Irish homily on 
the Life of the Saint, the order is much that of the Tripartite. Life, but 
Patrick has a priest Egidius sent with him, and he is consecrated by 
Celestine in the presence of Matha, King of the Romans. ^ The homily 
in the Lehar Brecc is mainly a summary from the Tripartite Life. 
i ' " On comparing these narratives," says Dr. Todd, " no unprejudiced 
mind can doubt that the writers of these collections allowed themselves 
the utmost licence in dealing with their authorities." But tbeyhad 
authorities, and the difficulty that was theirs, and which they solved 
variously, was how to weave into one narratives belonging to three 
different personages. They were all actuated by one predominant 
purpose. By hook or by crook Patrick must be made to receive his 
commission from Rome, and as Palladius, also called Patricius, had 
done that, the reception of a commission from Celestine was duplicated 
and made to refer also to Patrick MacCalpurn. 

What were the materials that had to be dove-tailed together ? 
a. They possessed a lost Life of Palladius, and they made some use 
- , of that. 

/3. They had the Confession of Patrick MacCalpurn. 
■y. Also a text relative to a Patrick who had been with S. Martin of 
> Tours. Xow Martin's death is variously set down as occurring 

in 397, 402, 403, or 412. The date cannot be accurately 
determined, but 397 is that which finds most favour. If any 
Patrick was with Martin, it must have been Patrick Magonius. 
' <^. Also a record of a Patrick who was for a while in Lerins. 
" e. As well a statement that a Patrick was with Germanus ; and 
Nennius says that the Patrick who was with Germanus was 
i Maun, i.e. Magonius. 

' ^. Also that Patrick was ordained bishop by Amator, who preceded 
Germanus in the See of Auxerre, and died in 418. 

■ij ■ •. ^ 

■I., ,^ 1 Stokes, Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, Oxford, 1890. 

68 Lives of the B?'itish Saiitts 

y\. There was as well some record or legend of Patrick having been in 
Capua. But what the Mount Arnon there was it is idle to 

One source of error may at once be pointed out. Letha, Letavia, 
Llydaw was Armorica. The scholiast on the Hymn of Fiacc misunder- 
stood this and converted Letha into Latium. Now, as we have shown 
in the article on Germanus, Bishop of Man, that Saint, kinsman of 
Patrick MacCalpurn, and uncle of Patrick MacSannan, was of Letha ; 
and the compilers may have confused one Germanus with the other, 
and Patrick MacSannan, pupil of the Armorican Germanus, with 
Patrick MacCalpurn, and also with Patrick Magonius. 

We judge that the compilers had four documents at least, which they 
laid under contribution to piece into one. A. A lost Life or Notice of 
Palladius. B. A lost Life of Patrick Magonius. C. The Writings, 
notably the Confession of Patrick MacCalpurn. D. Possibly a Life of 
Patrick MacSannan, disciple of Germanus, Bishop of Man ; the Life of 
this latter is, in part, preserved in Nennius' History of the Britons. He 
was confounded with Germanus of Auxerre. 

The conclusions we are inclined to draw may be thus summed up : 

1. That Palladius alone was commissioned by Celestine in 431, and 

that^he failed, and died in 432. 

2. That there was a Patrick working in Ireland at some time 

between 432 and the arrival of Patrick MacCalpurn, probably 

in 455- 

3. That this is the Sen Patrick of the Irish, and that he was also the 

Padrig ab Mawon of the Welsh, born in Gower. 

4. That this Patrick Magonius may have been with S. Martin of 

Tours before the death of the latter, variously given as 397 
or as late as 412. 

5. That, quitting Martin, he went to Lerins. 

6. That he was consecrated by Amator, predecessor of Germanus 

in the See of Auxerre, before 418. 

7. That he became first head of the College of Caerworgorn, in or 

about 425. 

8. On the destruction of Caerworgorn, he went to Gaul, and visited 

Auxerre to take counsel with Germanus, whom as a priest he 
had known, but who was now bishop, 
g. That Germanus advised him to go to Ireland, news having arrived 
of the failure of Palladius, and that he sent him to Rome with 
Segetius as witness to his orthodoxy and character. 
10. That Patrick Magonius went to Rome, where he received com- 
mission from Sextus III, who had just mounted the throne of 

S. Patrick 69 

S. Peter, July, 432. (See the Scholiast on the Hymn of Fiacc.) 

11. That he went thence direct to Ireland, in the same year, and 

laboured there. 

12. That Patrick MacCalpurn, having arrived in Ireland, about the 

year 455, he gave advice to this Patrick. This latter is repre- 
sented as the daltha or pupil of Sen Patrick. 

13. That Patrick Magonius died in 460, or thereabouts. 

14. That Patrick MacCalpurn laboured till 493, when he also died. 

15. That in attempting to fuse these Lives together, the Compilers 

were met with the difficulty of the length of time between the 
supposed commission by Celestine and the death in 493, and 
solved it by making Patrick attain to the years of Moses, 120 

How much of the story of Patrick MacSannan may have coloured 
and confused the narrative, it is impossible to say. 

It will be advisable to conclude this notice with a few words relative 
to this Patrick MacSannan. 

Our authorities are of no good quality, but they serve to show that 
a tradition existed relative to such a person. 

He is reported to have been a son of the deacon Sannan, a reputed 
brother of Patrick MacCalpurn. Joscelyn, in speaking of S. Lomman, 
says : " Sanctus Patricius filiolus ejus, qui post decessum patrui sui 
Britanniamremeans injata decessti ; et inGlasconensiecclesid sepultus est 
honorifice." ^ The term filiolus ejus may mean no more than that the 
younger Patrick was pupil, and spiritual child of Lomman. And 
Glasconensi ecclesid is a mistake for Glastonbury. Oengus says that it 
was by some held that Sen Patrick was buried at Glastonbury. 

There was a Padenabera, by Glastonbury, named in Domesday, now 
Pamboro', insula vinifera, and always included in the home possessions 
of the Church of Glastonbury. No tradition attaches Padarn to that 
celebrated monastery, but one did hold that a Patrick was there, and 
the bones of this Patrick were among its most treasured relics.^ This 
may, however, have been a later Patrick still. An interpolator of 
Malmesbury's Chronicle relates that he discharged episcopal duties 
about the year 850 ; and Higden of Chester says that the Abbot Patrick 
flourished at Glastonbury in the middle of the ninth century. This, 
more probably, is the Patrick whom the monks of Glastonbury fraudu- 
lently attempted to pass off as the Apostle of Ireland. 

Patrick MacSannan was probably born in Armorica, whither the 

' Colgan, Trias Thaumat., p. 166. 

2 Ussher, Antiq. Eccl. Brit., 1639, ii, pp. 893-6. 

70 Lives of the British Saiiits 

family of Calpurnius had fled, if any reliance can be placed in the pre- 
face to the Hymn of Secundinus (B) . But this, according to Dr. Whitley 
Stokes, is not earlier than the eleventh or twelfth century. " Thus it 
happened, namely, that the seven sons of Sechtmaide, King of the 
Britons, were in exile, and they ravaged Armorica. A party of Britons 
of Ailcluaide chanced to meet them in Armorica. Calpurn, son of 
Fotaid (Potitus), Patrick's father, was killed there, and then Patrick 
was captured, and his two sisters there." ^ This was Patrick MacGal- 
purn, but we cannot admit that he was captured in Letavia. Patrick 
Junior became the disciple of Germanus the Armorican, his uncle, son 
of Restitutus of the Hy Baird, and went with him to Paris. When 
S. Patrick MacCalpurn went to Britain to collect missionaries Germanus 
probably left Paris, taking with him the younger Patrick, and trans- 
ferred him to Patrick MacCalpurn, who delivered him to Lomman to be 
trained. ^ 

In the Vita Tertia, in Joscelyn, and in the copy of the Tripartite Life 
used by Ussher,^ it is said that Patrick spent some years in the insula 
Tamarensis. This has been conjectured to be the Island of S. Nicolas 
off the mouth of the Tamar ; and it is noteworthy that S. German's is on 
a creek of the same river, near by. The Third Life was derived from a 
Cornish or British text, probably preserved at Glastonbury. If a 
Patrick was in this isle of the Tamar it must have been Patrick Mac- 
Sannan, as there is reason to suppose that the Cornish church of S. 
German's was founded not by Germanus of Auxerre, but by Germanus 
the A]-morican. Moreover, there is foisted into the Life of S. Patrick, 
the strange story of his being in Mount Arnon in Capua, in the South'of 
Italy. Capree is probably meant, and the Armorican Germanus was, 
according to his legend, some time in the South of Italy. 

These curious notices of the Isle of Tamara, and of Capree (Capua) 
cannot be mere invention. They were found somewhere, in a Life of a 
Patrick, though not in that of Patrick Magonius, or of Patrick Mac- 
Calpurn, and we may suspect that they were grafted into the text of 
the compilations from a Life, now lost, of Patrick MacSannan. 

If our suggestion be not accepted, and the earlier date be given to 
Patrick MacCalpurn, then his chronology, to which we cannot con- 
sent, is as follows, according to Professor Bury : — 

He was born in the year 389, and was taken captive in 405. He 
escaped from captivity in 411-2, and went to Lerins in 412. In Lerinshe 
remained t\\ o or three years only, to 414 or 415. Then he proceeded 

^ Liber Hymnorum, ii,, p. 3. 

2 See under S. Brioc and S. Germanus B. of Man. 

^ XJssher, op. cit., ii, p. 835. 


From Stained Glass at S. Neot, Cornwall, 

S. Patrick 71 

to Auxerre in 415 or 416, and was ordained Deacon by Bishop Amator 
between 416 and 418. Professor Bury thinks that his ordination to 
deacon's orders has been mistal<en by his biographers for his conser- 
cration to be Bishop many years later. Germanus succeeded Amator 
in 418, and Patrick remained at Auxerre till 432, when Germanus con- 
secrated him Bishop. This is against all evidence. 

Germanus at once sent him to Ireland. He left Ireland and visited 
Rome in 441-3, when Leo the Great was Pope. Of this no hint is 
given by any of his biographers. He returned to Ireland and founded 
Armagh in 444. He wrote his Letter to Coroticus and his Confession in 
advanced age, and died in 461. 

S. Patrick is found in almost all Western Martyrologies and Calendars 
on March 17. Sen Patrick, whom we identify with Patrick Magonius, 
occurs, as already stated, in Irish Martyrologies on August 24, so also is 
a Patrick ostiarius, who had been abbot of Armagh, and who was laid 
there " in a stone grave." 

The dedications to S. Patrick in Wales have been very few, and con- 
fined to Pembrokeshire. They were of chapels, which are now extinct. 
Capel Padrig at S. David's, already mentioned ; Capel Padrig, in 
Nevem ; and Paterchurch, or Patrickchurch, in Monkton. Pencarreg, 
in Carmarthenshire, is doubtful, whether to him or to S. Padarn. Sarn 
Badrig (Patrick's Causeway), off the Merionethshire coast, stretches 
into the sea for over 20 miles, about nine of which are dry at low tide. 
It is a natural formation. No legend has been preserved to account for 
filename. There is a Ffynnon Badrig, as well as a Bron Badrig, in Llan- 
bedr, below Harlech ; and another Ffynnon Badrig in a field by 
Govilon Station, near Abergavenny. It is enclosed, and supplies most 
of the villagers with water. 

The references to him in mediaeval Welsh literature are not as numer- 
ous as might be expected. One sixteenth century poet, Hywel Eur- 
drem, wrote an awdl to him (e.g., in Additional MS. 14, 971), and 
another alludes to the Staff of Jesus (Bachall Isu)} fabled to have been 
given him by our Lord, or by a certain solitary on an island in the 
Tyrrhene Sea. Gwas Padrig (Anghcized Cospatrick), his tonsured 
servant, or devotee, occasionally occurs as a personal name. leuan 
Gwas Padrig was the original patron of Cerrig y Drudion. 

"■ " Ffon a ddanfones lesu 
I Badrig, da fenthyg fu." 

72 Lives of the British Saints 

S. PAULINUS, or PEULIN, Bishop, Confessor 

It is much to be regretted that no Life of this famous teacher of 
Saints has come down to us. As it is, there are but few particulars 
about him on record. 

From the Life of S. David we learn that David, after he had received 
his earher education at Yr Henllwyn, or the Old Bush, went on to the 
" Scribe Paulinus, a disciple of S. Germanus, a bishop, and in a certain 
island led a life agreeable to God, who taught him in three parts of 
reading, until he was a scribe. " David remained with his instructor for 
a lengthened period, and a pretty story is told of him during those 
youthful years. His master became blind, and his eyes gave him 
great pain. He called his disciples to him one by one to look at them 
and bless them, but he derived no benefit. At last he called to David 
to come and look at them, but David replied, " Father, don't bid me 
to look at your eyes, for during the ten years that I have been under 
your instruction, I have not so much as once looked into your face." 
Paulinus was greatly moved by his modesty, and bade him stretch 
forth his hand, for then, said he, " I shall be quite well." No 
sooner had David touched his eyes than his sight was restored, and 
Paulinus blessed him " with all the blessings that are written in the 
Old and New Testament." ^ It is most probable that Paulinus had 
succeeded Maucan as head of Ty Gwyn. 

In the Life of S. Teilo ^ Paulinus is introduced as a great religious 
teacher, and he had Teilo and David as contemporary disciples, but it 
is not stated where. 

He was alive at the time of the Synod of Brefi, held probably in 545, 
and he was the aged bishop who advised the assembly to send for his 
old pupil David. ^ 

Paulinus is the patron of Llangors, in Breconshire. In the Taxatio 
-of 1291 the Church is given under the translated name Ecclesia de Mara, 
and in the Cartulary of Brecon Priory as the Church of S. Paulinus de 
Lancors and of S. Peuhnus de Mara.* In the parish-list in Peniarth 
MS. 147 (c. 1566) it is Llangors Peylyn Sant. ^ There was in the modern 
parish of Ystradffin (S. Barnabas), formerly a chapelry in Llanfair-ar- 
y-bryn, Carmarthenshire, a chapel at Rhandirmwyn dedicated to him, 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 122-3. In the Welsh Life, ibid., p. 104, Pauhnus 
is said to have been " disciple to a holy bishop in Rome." In Giraldus's Vita, 
/Jpera, iii, p. 384, he is " Germani discipulus." 

^ Booh of Llan Ddv, p. 99, where he is called Poulinus. 

^ Cambro-British Saints, pp. no, 137. 

^ Arch. Camb., 1883, pp. 44-5, 144-54. 

^ J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 918. 

fS. Paulinus j 3 

known as Capel Peulin,^ and the present chapel-of-ease there is re- 
dedicated to him. A tablet in the porch states that the chapel was 
•originally founded in 1117, and rebuilt in 1821. It is situated not 
very far from Llanddewi Brefi. 

A stone found long ago in a field called Pant-y-polion, near Maes 
Llanwrthwl, in the parish of Caio (a little further south again from the 
scene of the S3mod), and now removed for preservation to Dolau Cothi, 
bears a remarkable epitaph, cut in debased Latin capitals, and 
couched in two rugged hexameters : — 


" Guard of the Faith, and Lover of his Land, 
Liegeman of Justice, here Paulinus lies." ^ 

The stone being found not far distant from both Llanddewi Brefi 
and Capel Peulin, leaves very little doubt that it was intended to com- 
memorate S. Paulinus, and records his traditional virtues. His 
festival occurs in the Demetian Calendar (S) only, where, in the copy 
in Cwrtmawr MS. 44, of the sixteenth century, it is entered on Novem- 
ber 22, as " Gwyl Polin, Escob." 

The sixteenth and seventeenth century Glamorgan antiquaries of 
the lolo MSS., who next to Geoffrey of Monmouth, have done more 
than any one to pollute the " well undefiled " of Welsh history, have 
led modem Welsh writers entirely astray as to Paulinus, whom they 
call Pawl. 

They say, " Pawl, saint and bishop, of Cor lUtyd, was the son of 
Meurig ab Tewdrig. He founded a Cor where Ty Gwyn ar Daf is, 

^ It is mentioned asCapella S. Paulini in an agreement of 1339 (HarleianMS. 
1249) between Bishop Gower of S. David's and the Abbot of Strata Florida, to 
which abbey the chapel was then attached. 

2 For the inscription, with observations thereon, see Sir J. Rhys, Origin of the 
Englyn, 1905, pp. 2-5 ; also Westwood, Lapidarium WallicB, p. 79. The name 
PauUnus occurs in two other early inscriptions, one at Port Talbot {Arch. Camh., 
1899, pp. 145-6), and the other at Llandyssilio, Pemb. [ibid., i860, p. 54), but there 
is nothing to lead one to suppose that either refers to this saint. There is a 
Demetian commote or district called Pelunyawc, no doubt for Peuliniog, " the 
Land of PauUnus," probably the person commemorated in the Llandyssilio 
inscription. The district was situated in Cantref Gwarthaf, through which runs 
the boundary line between the counties of Pembroke and Carmarthen. With the 
name cf. Rhufon-iog, Anhun-iog, etc. 

^ The late Archbishop Benson. 

7+ Lives of the British Saints 

in Dyfed," ^ that is, the village of Whitland, in Carmarthenshire, but 
popularly called locally Hendy Gwyn. Again, " Fflewin and Gredifael, 
sons of Ithel Hael of Llydaw, were saints of Cor y Ty Gwyn ar Daf in 
Dyfed, where they were with Pawl, a saint of Cor lUtyd, superintending 
a Bangor," which, it is said further on, was founded by the same trio.^ 

They fell into error through the fact that the Carmarthenshire Ty 
Gwyn and Whitland were matched by the Ty Gwyn and (through the 
mistake of copyists of a couple of centuries earlier) the Whitland that 
were associated with Paulinus. ' 

Rhygyfarch merely says that the place where David went to Paulinus 
was " in insula quadam." Giraldus calls it " Vecta Insula," ^ the 
Isle of Wight ! The Welsh Life mentions no place. That it was Whit- 
land is based on fourteenth and fifteenth century MSS. of the Life of 
S. David, which describe Paulinus as residing " in insula Withlandi." * 
These, however, do not state that it was on the Tdf. As a matter of 
fact there is no pi-oof whatever that there was a monastery of any sort 
at Whitland prior to the Cistercian abbey founded in the twelfth cen- 
tury. Ecclesiastically, Whitland is to-day the English alias of Eglwys 
Fair Glyn Taf. 

The first mention that we have of Y Ty Gwyn ar Daf is in the Laws 
of Hyvvel Dda ; but the preambles to the Codes are conclusive evidence 
that there was no religious foundation of the name there in the first 
half of the tenth century. In the preamble to the Demetian Code it is 
said that Hyuel " ordered that house (' Y Ty Gwynn arTaf jm Dyuet ') 
to be constructed of white rods, as a lodge for him in hunting, when he 
came to Dyfed ; and on that account it was called Y Ty Gwyn." " 
So the name, as well as the monastic foundation there, are later than 
Paulinus and David by some centuries. 

The statement that this Pawl-Paulinus was the son of Meurig ab 
Tewdrig, King of Glamorgan, is impossible, as that King was contem- 
porary with S. Oudoceus, by whom he was excommunicated. 

Later writers still have identified Paulinus with Pawl Hen of Mana',\- 
— no doubt the Manaw on the Firth of Forth — who was father of the 
Anglesey saints, Peulan, Gwyngeneu, and Gwenfaen, but he is nowhere 
entered as a saint in the saintly genealogies. The equation of Pawl Hen 
with Paulinus is, it need hardly be said to-day, a philological impossi- 
bility. Paulinus could only yield now Peulin, and the Pevl Hen of the 

'^ lolo MSS,, p. 139. With Pawl or Paul for Paulinus, cf. Sadwrn of Llan- 
sadwrn (Anglesey) and the Saturninus of the inscribed stone there. 

^ Ibid., pp. 112, 114. ' Opera, iii, p. 384. 

* ii, pp. 293-4. See Mr. Phillimore's note in Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, pp. 
425-6. ^ Ed. Aneurin Owen, folio, p. 164. 

S. Paulits Aurelictiius 7 5 

sixteenth century Peniarth MS. 75 (for Pawl Hen) would appear in 
present-day Welsh as Paul Hen, that is, Paul the Aged. 

In the Achau'r Saint in Cardiff MS. 5 (1527), p. 120, is entered a, 
mysterious " Pawl vab pawlpolinvs." ^ 

S. PAULUS AURELIANUS, Bishop, Confessor 

The Life of S. Paul of Leon by Wormonoc was written in 884. The 
author was a disciple of Wrdestan, abbot of Landevenec, and he dedi- 
cated his work to Hinworet, Bishop of Leon. This Life exists in a MS. 
of the twelfth century in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris {MS. Lat. 
16942) ; also in a MS. of the same century in the same collection (17004) ;_ 
and there are copies of it of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 
These have been collated and published by Dom Plaine in Analecta 
Bollandiana, 1882, i, pp. 208-58. 

M. Charles Cuissard has contributed different readings from a 
Fleury Codex : Revue Celtique, 1883, v, pp. 417-58. 

These pubUcations are a great boon, as the Life printed in the Acta 
SS. Boll., March, ii, pp. 111-20, was unsatisfactory. A Life in ,Du 
Bosc, Bibl. Floriac., was a summary from the Life by Wormonoc made 
by a monk of Fleury in the twelfth century. Bibl. Floriac, Lugdun.,, 
1605, pp. 418-28. 

Wormonoc informs us that he based his work upon an earlier Life,^ 
and what he adds is oratorical flourish, with which we could welljlis- 

Further information relative to S. Paul is obtainable from the Lives 
of S. Tanguy and S. Joevin. But these are late. For S. Tanguy we 
have only Albert le Grand, and for S. Joevin, the Breviary Lessons 
for his feast, in the Chuijch of Leon, Acta SS. Boll., March, i, p. 138, 
and a Life by Albert le Grand. 

We have likewise the Life, of S. Goulven, written in the thirteenth 
. century, but based on earlier material. It has been pubHshed by De 
la Borderie, Rennes, 1892. 

Paul is also mentioned iii the Life of Gildas by the Monk of Rhuis, 
Paulus Aurelianuswas born in Penohen (Penychen,a cantref of South- 

1 In Cambro-British Saints, p. 270, it is printed " Pawl vab Pawlpolins," and 
correctly as in the MS. from wh,ich tlie copy is taken. 

2 " Cujus g'esta, 'quamvis nostro lucidius qiiartl ut ante primitus veteri con- 
structione depiita sunt, aucta videantur florui.<ise labore, ha;c tamen quicumqu© 
veterum chartis rcscribere velit, prohibere non videbor; " c. 2. 

76 Lives of the British Saints 

€ast Glamorgan) about tlie year 480. He was the son of a Romanized 
Briton of high dignity. ^ He had eight brothers, of whom two only are 
named, Notolius and Potolius, and three sisters who are numbered 
among the Saints.- The name of one sister only is given by Wor- 
monoc. It is Sitovolia, in whom we may be justified in recognizing 
Sativola, well known in the ancient diocese of Exeter. From the Legend 
of another sister, Jutwara, we ascertain that the third of the holy 
sisters was Wulvella. Eadwara is also mentioned, but this name is 
a reduplication of Jutwara (Aod Wyr, Acd the Virgin). These 
names have been Anglicized and Latinized almost past recognition in 
their original form. 

The name of the father was Porpius (or Perpius) Aurelianus. He was 
a count, and, as we learn from the Life of S. Jutwara, was twice mar- 
ried, the second time to a woman who hated her step-daughters, and 
worked them much evil. 

Wormonoc tells us that the family lived in a district called Brehant 
in the British tongue, in Latin " Guttur receptaculum pugn»." This 
is the Welsh Breuant, " the Windpipe ; " and it is the eighth wonder of 
Britain mentioned by Nennius — " a cave in the region of Gwent, having 
wind constantly blowing out of it." ^ Clement of Alexandria had 
already said something about this cave. " The compilers of narratives 
say that in the island of Britain there is a cave situated under a moun- 
tain, and a chasm on its summit ; and that, accordingly, when the wind 
falls into the cave and rushes into the bosom of the cleft, a sound is 
heard like cymbals clashing musically. And after, when the wind is 
in the woods, when the leaves are moved by a sudden gust of wind, 
a sound is emitted like the song of birds." * 

Giraldus describes a remarkable cave in Barry Island, but in it the 
clash of the waves rolling in sounds like smiths at work in the bowels 
of the earth. ^ 

Against his father's wishes, at a very early age, Paul went to S. 
lUtyd, and was placed by him at Ynys Pyr or Caldey Isle.* Such voca- 

^ " Paulus, cognomento Aurelianus, cujusdam Comitis, nomine Perphii, 
viri secundum seculi dignitatem excellentissimi filius; " c. 4. 

2 " Tresque sorores sanctse formam Trinitatis, tria sapientia; sive divinae sive 
humanse genera regentis assimilantes, legimus habuisse; " c. 4. 

^ " In regione quas vocatur Gwent est ibi fovea, a qua ventus inflat per omne 
tempus sine intermissione, et quando non flat ventus in tempore aestatis, de ilia 
fovea incessanter flat, ut nemo possit sustinere neque ante foveas prof unditatem ; 
et vocatur nomen ej us Vith Guint Brittanico sermone, Latine vero Flatio Venti ; ' ' 
ed. Mommsen, p. 215. 

* Clem. Alex. Stromata, vi, 3. 6 Itin. Camb., i, c. 6. 

^ " Erat quaedam insula Pyrus nomine, Demetiarum patriae in iinibus sita, in 
<jua et Iltutus; " c. 6. 

S. Paulus Aurelianus 77 

tions whilst still young were not uncommon. Gregory of Tours tells 
the story of a boy of twelve who desired to become a recluse, after 
having been placed in the service of a merchant. He persisted in 
his resolve, in spite of his master's opposition, and he was at length 
granted a cell in a vaulted crj^pt, in which he lived for eight years and 
then went mad, and broke down the wall that enclosed him. He 
never recovered his senses.^ 

In Ynys Pyr Paul made the acquaintance of Saints David, Samson, 
and Gildas. He and they were afterwards removed to Llantwit, where 
they were employed by Illtyd in banking out the Severn, so as to reclaim 
tracts of rich alluvial soil. They were also set to scare away the birds, 
when the com was in the ground. The boys amused themselves with 
netting the wild fowl and turning them into the barn, and then they 
conducted the abbot into it, to show him the place full of their captures. 
This is worked up in the story into a miracle, and is attributed alike 
to Samson, Paul, and Gildas. It was a boyish prank in which all 

At the age of sixteen Paul was weary of being set to scare the wild 
birds, and of toiling at dyke-making, and he with twelve other rebels 
ran away, and set up wattled cells, and built an oratory on the confines 
of his father's land. 

They were clearly playing at being saints ; but play became serious, 
at least with Paul, who stuck to his solitude, and remained there a 
good many years, and in course of time was ordained priest, by whom 
we are not informed, but it wa~. probably by Dubricius. He lived in 
great sanctity, drinking only water, eating nothing but fiish and vege- 
tables, and clothing himself in skins. 

He at last wearied of his life in Gwent, and went off with a number 
of companions to a certain King, Mark Conomanus, who ruled at Caer 
Banhed over "peoples speaking four tongues." '■^ Caer Banhed does 
not occur among the cities of the Britons, given by Nennius. In the 
Life f f S. Cadoc is a Bannauc, and there Cadoc established a mon- 
astery, about 528-9. This was after that Paul had been there, and 
Cadoc may have desired to follow up Paul's work. 

The King desired to have Paul as bishop in his land, but to this the 
Saint would not consent. 

^ Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc, viii, c. 34. 

2 The " peoples speaking four tongues " is borrowed from Bede, who, writing of 
Oswald, King of Northumbria, who reigned from 634 to 642, says," denique omnes 
nationes et provincias Britannia:, quas in quatuor linguas, id est, Brittonum, 
Pictorum, Scottorum et Anglorum divisje sunt, in ditione accepit," Hist. EccL, 
iii, 6. Much stress cannot be laid on the words used by Wormonoc, but they 
seem to indicate that the place Caer Banhed was in the north of Britain. 

7 8 Lives of the British Saints 

. Mark had seven bells, which were rung to summon his nobles to 
dinner. Paul coveted one of them and asked for it. The King re- 
fused, and the Saint in a huff departed from his realm. It was quite 
in the way of a hot-tempered Celtic ecclesiastic to take umbrage at a 
trifle, and to throw up his work, if he were not accorded at once what 
he demanded. The bards had a right to demand what they desired, 
and might not be refused. The Saints considered that they had stepped 
into all the prerogatives of the bards. After having quitted the King, 
Paul went to visit his sister " in illius patrise extremis finibus, id est, 
in littore maris Britanici degebat." The description apphes to Corn- 
wall, and especially to the Land's End district. Paul's purpose was 
to leave Britain and cross over into Armorica. For this purpose he 
would naturally go to Cornwall. On Penzance Bay his sister ^'\^ulvella 
had a settlement at Gulval, and hard by he planted himself where is 
now the parish of Paul. To the scanty information given us by Wor- 
monoc, we may add something that may be gathered from foundations 
presumedly made by him on his way. His sister, Sativola, was in 
Exeter, outside the walls of the British city, adjoining which grew up in 
later times the Saxon city of Exanceastre.^ Within the British city 
was his church, S. Paul's. 

Near Asburton is the parish of Staverton, with the church dedicated 
to S. Paul, and although the patron is now held to be Paul the Apostle, 
it is conceivable that the latter has supplanted Paulus Aurelianus, for 
On the confines of the parish is the Holy Well of Gulval, or Wulvella. 
Paul's sisters Sativola and Wulvella had a foundation at Laneast, near 
Launceston, and close by, if we mistake not, Jutwara was settled at 
Lanteglos, by Camelford. 

On reaching his sister's settlement, she complained to him of the 
encroachments of the sea, and he bade her accompany hiiPi to the beach, 
and mark out the tide-line with a row of pebbles. She did so, he prayed, 
and the pebbles grew into rocks that broke the force of the waves, and 
thenceforth the tides ceased to eat into the land. Wormonoc informs 
us that the way Paul took along the strand was in his day called " Paul's 
Walk." Divested of its miraculous garnishment, we can see what 
actually took place. There had, undoubtedly, been encroachments of 
the sea in Mount's Bay. The buried forest in the marsh above the 
Marazion railway station testifies to the subsidence of the land. What 
Paul effected for his sister Wulvella was to bank out the tide, as taught 
him by S. Illtyd. 

The Cressar Reef and the Long Rock were traditionally supposed 

^ Kerslake, in Journal Brit. Archceol. Assoc, x, p. 356. 

aS*. Paulus Aurelianus 79 

to have grown out of the line of pebbles laid by Wulvella. And he 
formed a foundation on the same bay, now the parish of Paul. 
, After a while, he crossed into Brittany, and landed on the isle of 
Ouessant. There he constructed a monastery, consisting of a chapel, 
and thirteen little huts of turf and stone. The site was chosen because 
he found there a spring of wholesome water, with fertile soil about it. 
The port where he disembarked still bears his name, Porz-Pol, and his 
monastic foundation is where now stands the village of Lampol, in a 
glen opening on to the harbour, and facing south-west. The warm 
Gulf Stream flowing into the bay keeps the temperature there always 
mild, but the site is much exposed to the furious gales from the Atlantic. 

The disciples who had come to Brittany with him were Conoc, also 
called Toconoc, who was placed as masterover the rest, under Paul him- 
self ; Decan, a deacon ; Jahoef, better known as Joevin, a nephew 
■of Paul ; Towedoc, Gwelloc, Bretwyn, Tigernomagle, Toseoc, Sith- 
redus (i.e. Citharedus, a harper), Boi, Wyrman (Winniavus, MS. 
Floriac), Lowenan, Toech, Chiel and Ercan. None of these had made 
foundations in Wales or in Cornwall, but most of them have left their 
impress in Brittany. ^ 

Paul did not, however, remain long in the isle of Ouessant. He again 
took ship, and, passing the Varrec ar Mar'ch du (Rock of the Black 
Horse) off the He Molene, he entered the port on the mainland that 
has since borne his name, Lampaul Plouarzel. Thence he directed his 
steps to the land of Ach, that lies between the rivers Elorn and Aber- 
benoit, and here he resolved on establishing a monastery, in a plou of 
the name of Telmedou, now Ploudalmezou. The high tableland was 
then as now windswept and treeless, but in every dip and dimple there 
was rich vegetation and a tangle of forest. 

The exact spot selected by him was where in a drop of the land, a 
good spring of water gushed forth. Settlers from Britain were already 
scattered over the district, and the pagus of Ach had been divided into 
a hundred trejs,'^ but there was no chieftain over the colonists, and 
they doubtless welcomed Paul, and were ready that he should organize 
them ecclesiastically. 

■ A cousin now left him to establish himself at a little distance in 
sohtude. His name was Peter, and he planted a cell now called Ker- 
ber (Caer-peder),^ but this was done with the consent of Paul. Another 

1 Plaine, Vita S. Pauli, p. 28, note. 
, 2 " In ea plebe reperit quendam fundum, qui modo, deo donante, perpetua 
•est oblatio eidem sancto, ita ut una ex tribibus ejus, quas centum numero . . . 
habet, dicatur; " c. 37. 

^ " In ipso fundo quemdam locum cujusdam fontis lucidissimi larga effusione 

8o Lives of the B?~itish Saints 

of the company, desiring to live a solitary life — his name was Vive- 
hinus, or Vivian — wandered forth, and finding a copious spring in a. 
sheltered spot, constructed for himself a hut of branches. But a buffalo 
was wont daily to seek this spring to drink of it, and resenting the intru- 
sion, broke down the hut with its horns, and trampled on the fragments. 
Vivian re-erected his habitation, but next day the beast returned, and 
again destroyed it. \A'hen this had gone on for some days Vivian 
appealed to S. Paul for assistance. Paul visited the spot, took a liking 
to it, and agreed to take it over as his own.^ So soon as a number of 
the monks had occupied the place, the buffalo abandoned it, and they 
were left in peace. 

This is the place that now bears the name of Lampaul Ploudalmezou. 
It lies in a dip. The highland about was strewn with the megalithic 
m'onuments, dolmens and menhirs of the primeval inhabitants. The- 
monks left the former unmolested, as covering the dead of the pagan 
aborigines, but such of the menhirs as received a religious cult, they 
sanctified by cutting them into crosses, and several such remain about 

The spring still flows. It is in the churchyard, which is full of stately 
trees. The land gently falls to the shore and broad sands. The coast 
is girdled with countless reefs and rocky crags and with islets of granite, 
that break the fury of the waves from the North. 

Paul did not remain long in this part of the land. He was uneasy lest 
his occupation should lack sanction, and he resolved on visiting the 
chieftain who exercised a nominal rule over the country of Leon. 

He accordingly went east, travelling across the tableland, descend- 
ing into the valley cleft by the streams that found their way to the 
ocean, then mounting again. At last he reached a plebs occupying a 
stony district, where was a Caer Wiorman, now Plouguerneau. To 
reach Ihis, he crossed the Aber Vrach at the old ford used by the- 
Romans, above where the tide reaches and swells the basin of the river. 
Immediately after crossing, his companions complained of thirst. Paul 
marked out where he bade them dig. They did so, and found what 
they required. Three springs gushed forth, and these are still shown at 
Prat Paul beyond the ford. When he had elicited these springs, he 

clarissimum atque suaviEsimum. Ipse vero locus dicitur modo villa Petri; " c. 
37. Plaine following Courson makes the place Lamber in Ploumoguer. But 
see Canon Abgrall's note in the new edition of Albert le Grand, p. no. 

1 " Utque ejusdem loci amoenitatem valde sibi placentem aspexit. Prater, 
inquit (Paulus) carissime Vivehinus, iste locus si tibi placet, mens erit, eo meus 
sit tuus. Et ille, Magister, ait, benignissime, omnia qua; mea sunt vel esse: 
po.ssunt, tua sunt et mea," c. 38. 


Group of Crosses at Ploudalmezou. 

aS'. Paulus Aurelianus 8 i 

begged that one of them should thenceforth be reserved for the use of 
himself and his disciples. ^ 

Whilst Paul was in Plouguerneau, a swineherd approached, and 
the Saint inquired of him who it was that claimed jurisdiction over the 

" His name is Withur," replied the fellow, " and I am one of his 
swineherds. He is a good and God-fearing man, and he has been con- 
firmed in rule by King Childebert. If you wish to visit him, I will 
put you in the way of doing so." 

An old Roman road ^ led due east, and along this Paul and his 
comrades, guided by the pig-driver, travelled for two days, till they 
reached the \\ estern gate of a ruined Roman town, probably Ocismor. 
They found the ancient city surrounded by an earthen embankment.* 
Within were no other inhabitants than swine, a bear and a buffalo, and 
in a hollow tree a swarm of bees. The bear was driven by the monks 
into a pitfall where it was despatched. They took the honey from the 
bees, and were much refreshed by it. 

After having well rested among the ruins, the swineherd conducted 
Paul to where is now the fishing village of Roscoff. The Count Withur, 
he informed him, had retired to the isle of Batz, that lay off the coast. 
Paul crossed to the island, where he found the old chief engaged in 
completing a copy of the Four Gospels which he had transcribed with 
his own hand. 

Withur was delighted to see him, not only as united by a common 
love of God, but also because they were cousins, and came both of them 
from Gwent.* 

It can hardly be matter of doubt that Paul knew all along that his 
kinsman was settled in this portion of Armorica, and that this was his 
main inducement in coming to settle in Leon. 

Paul now told Withur his story, and when he had come to his quarrel 
with King Mark over the bell, a man arrived with a large salmon just 
caught ; and on opening the fish, lo ! the bell was found inside it. 
Such is the legend. It is one of the common myths that have attached 
themselves to various personages. In some the thing found in the fish 
is a ring, in others a key. As the bell, still extant, weighs eight pounds 

1 " Sanctus vir oraturus unum suis fontem tribuereprecatur; " c. 42. 

2 " Sanctus itaque Paulus cum suis eodem pastore prasvio iter arripiens, 
per viam publicam sua; a loco ecclesiae plebis pra;dicta; ad soils occasum ducitur 

abiens ; " c. 43. 

' " Oppidum autem tunc temporis per circuitum erat muris terreis tempore 
prisco mira proceritate constructis circumceptum; " c. 44. 

■' " Quos duplicata tenebat propinquitas, nam carnalis nexu origmis conso- 
brini, spiritualis autem quod est in Christo, fratres erant ; " c. 48. 

VOL. IV. ^ 

82 Lives of the British Saints 

and a half, and is seven and a half inches high, the salmon must have 
been of extraordinary size to have contained it. 

The real fact was, we can hardly doubt, that when Paul lamented his 
lack of a bell, Withur said that he possessed one and would present it 
to him. Wormonoc tells us that the Count gave as gifts to his cousin, 
the site of the old Roman Castle, the island of Batz, the book of the 
Gospels he had transcribed and the bell, which acquired the name of 

A story is introduced by the biographer at this point concerning the 
deliverance of the inhabitants of Batz from a monstrous serpent or 
dragon, by Paul, who bound his stole round the beast, led it to the edge 
of the sea, and precipitated it into the waters. We shall return to this 

Paul now established his monastic centre in the ruined town of 
Ocismor, but he had also a house in Batz, and Withur abandoned the 
island to reside in one of his other mansions. 

According to Wormonoc, Withur urged Paul to be ordained bishop, 
but he would not listen to the proposal, and the Count had recourse to a 
stratagem to obtain his consecration. He complained that owing to 
the difficulties of the way, his age, and the duties of his station, he could 
not visit Paris and discuss certain matters of importance with Childe- 
bert, and he asked Paul as a favour to convey sealed letters from him, 
by his own hand to the Frank King. Paul assented and went to Paris 
attended by twelve monks and a certain number of serfs. Withur, in 
the letter, had asked Childebert, so soon as he had read the epistle, to 
have Paul consecrated bishop. And this the King did. 

Wormonoc read the story through later day eyes. What really 
occurred was almost certainly other. Withur, no more than Paul, had 
any idea of the episcopal office as exercising jurisdiction. In Celtic 
monasteries a bishop was retained as a necessary functionary for the 
conferring of orders, but the jurisdiction was in the hands of the abbot 
or abbess. The reason why Withur urged Paul to go to Paris was to 
obtain confirmation from the Frank King of his tenure of the ten trejs 
in the land of Ach, and of those bits of territory Withur had himself 
ceded to him. 

But Childebert had Gallo-Roman ideas as to the office of a bishop. 
He was quite willing to ratify the grants and allow Paul authority over 
the pagus of Ach, but he must be quahfied to exercise this jurisdiction 
. by being consecrated bishop. Paul resisted as strenuously and as long 
as he could, but Childebert was peremptory, and Paul returned to 
Leon a bishop. 

He now undertook with great energy a mission work throughout his 

aS*. Paulus Aurelianus 83 

diocese, and was warmly assisted by Withur. He destroyed the 
" temples," whatever they were, and if the people were not to be won 
by persuasion he had recourse to compulsion of a somewhat severe 
.character ; ^ for he found that the bulk of the population was wholly 
pagan. ^ This applies doubtless to the indigenous inhabitants and 
not to the British colonists. He built chapels, and established monas- 
tic cells throughout the district accorded to him. 

At length, on the plea that he was worn out with age, he resigned the 
charge of his monastery and See to his nephew Johoevius or Joevin, 
and retired to the island of Batz. It was there that he was visited by 
S. Brendan about the year 526, but this was long before his resignation 
(see under S. Brendan). Although, according to Wormonoc, he 
surrendered his direction of the monastery and See because of his age, 
it is possible that an entirely different motive actuated him. In or 
about 550 Samson of Dol began to agitate for the elevation of Judual 
to the throne of Domnonia, and to effect a revolution against Conmore, 
then regent of Domnonia and Leon, and vice-gerent for Childebert. 
Paul was placed in a delicate situation. He was the principal ecclesias- 
tical head in the district where Conmore had the centre of his power. 
If the revolution failed, and he had acted energetically against the 
regent, he would inevitably suffer severely. He deemed it advis- 
able to place his nephew and disciple Joevin in his place, a man 
of frail and failing health, who ruled for one year only, and then died. 
On his death, Paul set up another man of straw, Tigernomagle, also 
not likely to live long, and he died just over a year from his appoint- 
ment. This was in 555, precisely when Judual had succeeded in de- 
feating and slaying Conmore. Now that all danger was over, Paul 
resumed the episcopal oversight of his diocese, and came forward to 
meet Judual returning from victory where is now Lampaul GuimiHau. 
He was able to satisfy Judual that he had worked for him, and was 

■ rewarded by the grant of land in that part. ^ 

We come now to the consideration of the story of S. Paul and the 
great serpent or dragon. That in Wormonoc's Life is the same as that 
.of S. Meven and the dragon. In Wormonoc's Life, Paul precipitates 
the monster into the sea at Batz ; in that of S. Meven, this latter throws 
him into the Loyre. But there are two versions of this dragon myth in 

■ 1 " Quosdam quidem volentes clementer ac benigne persuadens, quosdam 
autem nolentes districte feriendo corripiens, omnes tandem convertit ad fidei 
verse unitatem ;" c. 62. 

' 2 " Eadem ad quam venerat patria totius pane Christiana; religionis expers 

erat; " c. 57. 
: « " Judualus . . . illud territorium quod modo dicimus Pauli . . . m per- 

■ petua oblatione . . . tradidit sancto ; " c. 63. 

84 Lives of the British Saints 

the life of S. Paul. According to the Life of S. Joevin, Paul went to 
Le Faou, where the dragon devastated the land, and led it up towards 
Leon, when a message reached him that the dragon had left its child 
behind at Le Faou and he sent it back thither to fetch its offspring, 
and then he conducted both to Batz, where he flung them into the sea. 

There are three ways in which we can interpret these myths. 

(i) That they sprung out of an attempt to explain the fact that the 
Saint was represented in art as trampling on the Old Serpent, the Devil. 
But this does not apply in the case of S. Paul, as Wormonoc wrote before 
artistic representations existed. 

(2) That they symbolized the Saint's destruction of those wicker- 
work images in which human sacrifices were offered. The Druids, 
according to Cjesar, enclosed their victims in wickerwork figures, and 
built fires about them. It is possible that these basket figures may 
have been given the shapes of dragons, and that the story of the saints 
destroying such monsters may mean no more than that they put an end 
to these human sacrifices. The bonfires at Midsummer and at the 
" Pardons " in Brittany may be trace . of these old rites. 

(3) That they represent some great enemy of the Church, some per- 
secutor against whom they waged a determined warfare, and whom 
they overcame. 

Now Conmore, Regent of Dorr nonia, who annexed Leon, had begun 
his career as a favourer of the Saints, but he changed his conduct to- 
wards them, and they assumed a determined and inveterate hostility 
towards him. Seven of them met on the Menez Hom and solemnly 
cursed him. Gildas and Samson and Meven left no stone unturned to 
effect his destruction ; and it is quite possible that in the dragon, mas- 
tered and destroyed by Paul, Conmore may be signified. Paul, by 
resigning his bishopric and abbacy, retired into a private situation, and 
was the more able, and at liberty, to use all his personal influence 
against the usurper. Whether he were one of the seven on the moun- 
tain, who cursed and excommunicated Conmore, we do not know, but 
it is quite possible that he was one. His plea of feebleness and old age 
certainly could not apply if he were able to go as far as Le Faou to 
agitate against the usurper. 

It is certainly remarkable that Wormonoc does not mention 
Conmore in his Life of S. Paul, and yet Conmore was the most potent 
figure in the political history of Domnonia and Leon at the time. We 
strongly suspect that Conmore is meant in the two versions of the 
taie of Paul and the dragon ; but if so, then the conflict with and sub- 
jugation of the monster is out of its proper historical position in the Life 
by Wormonoc, but correctly placed in the Life of S. Joevin. Paul 

S. Paulus Aurelianus 85 

now founded a monastery at Gerber on the site of the great battle in 
which Judual finally defeated Conmore, and placed over it as head 
Tanguy, a convert who had murdered his sister, in a fit of unreasoning 

Gerber afterwards came to be called Le Relecq. The name Relecq, 
Relegou, Abbatia de reliquiis, was given to it because of the vast 
accumulation of bones on the spot, after the battle. It was founded 
about the year 560. 

After retaining the episcopal charge for a few years, worn out with 
age and desirous of rest, Paul resigned once more, and was succeeded 
by Cetomerin. Then he retired to the isle of Batz, where he had built 
a church. Several of his monks kept him company. So frail and thin 
was the old man as to be all but transparent.^ 

On Batz S. Paul died at an advanced age. Authorities differ as to 
whether he were a hundred, a hundred and two, or a hundred and four 
years old. 

In determining the dates of the Life of S. Paul we have little that 
is reliable to go upon, and we can only hope to give them approxi- 
mately — 

Born in Penychen ........ c. 479 

Goes to S. lUtyd at Ynys Pyr c. 490 

Deserts S. Illtyd, and founds a cell along with other boys. 0. 496 

Ordained priest . . . . ■ ■ • • '^^ S°4 

Goes to Caerbanhed c. 506 

Leaves and goes into the South-west of Britain . . c. 508 

Crosses into Armorica . . . . . ■ . c. 510 

Consecrated Bishop . . . . . . . . c. 516 

Visited by S. Brendan c. 526 

Resigns his See and succeeded by Joevin . . . . 553 

Death of Joevin and succession of Tigernomagle . . . 554 

Death of Tigernomagle, Paul resumes his office. 

Defeat and death of Conmore and elevation of Judual . 555 

Foundation of Gerber . . . . • ■ . c. 560 

Death of S. Paul at the age of 100 0. 579. 

The date of the second resignation, and the elevation of Cetomerin, is 
quite uncertain, and the date of Paul's death is as uncertain. It is 
generally taken to have occurred between 570 and 579, but the Domini- 
cal letter A can only stand for 573 or 579, and the latter is the preferable 

S. Paul of Leon seems to have had no day of commemoration m 
England. He was confounded with Paulinus of York, whose day is 

1 " Cutis solummodo atque ossa igne divini amoris arefacta remanisse vide- 
bantur, et quasi per lucidissimum vitrumita per palms ejus interiorasohs radios 
splendescere videres;" c. 64. 

86 Lives of the British Saints 

October lo, and this is also the day of the Translation of S. Paul of 
Leon. But Paulus Aurelianus died on March 12, being a Sunday. 

March 12 is observed as his feast in the diocese of Leon, but some 
Brittany Breviaries give March 13. 

S. Paul is patron of the City of Caer Paul, or S. Pol-de-Leon, founded 
by him among the ruins of Ocismor ; also of the isle of Batz, and of the 
churches already mentioned as of his founding. 

In Wales he receives no recognition, and his establishment in Gwent, 
wherever it was, no longer bears his name. 

In Devon, however, is the church of S. Paul in Exeter. 

Possibly he may have been the original patron of Staverton. 

In Cornwall he is patron of Paul by Penzance. There the feast is 
observed on October 10, the day of his Translation, as also that of 
Paulinus of York. In 1259 Bishop Bronescombe calls the church that 
of S. Paulinus. 

The bell given to S. Paul by Withur is preserved in the Cathedral of 
S. Pol-de-Leon, and his reputed stole, a piece of Oriental woven work, 
representing huntsmen on horseback, with falcons on their wrists, and 
dogs at their feet, is kept at Batz. 

In art S. Paul is represented as a bishop trampling on a dragon. He 
is invoked in the tenth century Celtic Litany published by Mabillon 
and Warren. '^ 


S. PEBLIG, Priest, Confessor 

Peblig was the son of Maxen Wledig, or Maximus, and Elen Luyd- 
dog,^ and brother of Owain, who, after the death of Maximus, was 
acknowledged as King of all Britain, and who refused to pay the tribute 
demanded of Britain by the Romans. Cystennin, Ednyfed and Gwy- 
thyr (Victor) were also sons of Maxen. Peblig is esteemed the founder 
of Llanbeblig near Carnarvon, and indeed its parish church. 

1 Revue Celtique, 1888, pp. 21, seq. ; 1890, p. 137. 

' Peniarth MSS. 12 and 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 269 ; 
Myv. Arch., pp. 416, 429 ; lolo MSS., pp. 102, 113, 138. His genealogy is also 
given in the Welsh Life of S. Ursula in Peniarth MS. 182 (circa 1514). He is 
referred to in a poem in Gweithiau lolo Goch, ed. Ashton, p. 496 ; and is one of the 
saints whose protection is invoked for Henry VII {Jolo MSS., p. 314). Peblig, 
as a name, is rare. There is an obscure reference to a Peblig in the Book of 
Taliessin (Skene, ii, p. 139). 


Fiom Statue at Lampaul-Guimiliai, 

S. Peblig . :■ 87, 

The River Seiont makes a great loop ; after running :outh-\vest 
it turns abruptly north to discharge its waters into the Menai Straits. 
In this finger of land between the river and the Straits lay the ancient 
town of Segontium. The neighbourhood teems with memories of Elen, 
the wife of Maximus, and mother of Peblig. Here, among the crumbling 
remains of the to\vn, he founded his church. The Irish had taken 
advantage of the departure of Maximus with the flower of the British 
youth in 387, to fall upon the coast of Wales, and to occupy it. But 
probably the Roman walls of Segontium held them at bay, and though 
they spread over the country and held Mon in force, they did not ven- 
ture to break into the fortified town. So only can we account for the 
foundation of Peblig in Segcntium. 

Carnarvon is of much later date ; the castle erected there by Edward 
I has drawn the town about it and left desolate the site of the old city 
of Segontium, and the church of S. Peblig is left in the fields, with 
only a hospital and a workhouse as neighbours. Within the town of 
Carnarvon was formerly a chapel to S. Helen, but it has disappeared. 
Speed, on his plan of the town of Carnarvon, 1610, gives " Lone 
PebHke " as the name of the road leading out of the town towards 
Llanbeblig. The name Peblig is derived from the Latin Publicius, 
through the form Puplicius. 

The Welsh Calendars give the festival of Pebhg on July 3, which 
occurs in those in Peniarth MSS. 27, 186, and 219, Jesus College MS. 
141, Mostyn MS. 88, the lolo MSS., Llanstephan M S . 117, Additional 
MS. 14, 882, and the Prymers of 1546, 1618, and 1633. It is, however, 
on the 2nd of July in Peniarth MS. 187, in error, as is also the 4th, 
which Browne Willis gives. ^ 

Nicolas Roscarrock enters him as " S. Piblick, priest, confessor." 
Robert Myddelton, in a complimentary Ode to Bishop Richard 
Davies of S. David's [Peniarth MS. 98), written in 1574, alludes to the 
Bishop as a Peblig for speech — 

" Pebhg urddedig iraidd ddwediad." 

In Llanstephan MS. 167 (of end of seventeenth century) is a poem, 
entitled " Owdl i Beblyg Sant," by the fifteenth century priest-bard 
Syr Gruffydd (Fain) ab Llywelyn, but the heading is misleading, as it 
treats entirely of our Lord's Passion and Crucifixion. ^ 

1 Bangor, p. 272. ^ „ t •' 

2 In Cardiff MS. 7 (late sixteenth century) it is " Owdwl yr lesv o Gaernarton. 

88 Lives of the British Saints 


S. PEDRWN, Confessor 

Pedrwn was the son of Emyr Llydaw, and the father of S. Padarn.^ 
He was a saint of Cor Illtyd, according to the lolo MSS.,^ and the 
brother of Amvvn Ddu, Umbrafel, Gwyndaf Hen, Gwen Teirbron, and 
others. He is mentioned as Petranus in the Life of S. Padarn. 

That Life tells us ^ that Padarn was born in Armorica of noble 
parents, being the son of Petran by his wife Guean. Soon after the 
birth of the child, Petran left its mother and it that he might g 5 to 
Ireland to embrace the religious life. Years afterwards, on being told 
whither and wherefore his father had gone, Padarn was inspired to 
follow the same life, and resolved on going in quest of his father. He 
departed to Britain with a large company and settled in Mauritana, 
afterwards Llanbadarn Fawr, in Cardiganshire, where he founded a 
monastery. Having organized it, he departed for Ireland, where he 
found his father. He stayed a while with him, and then returned to 
Llanbadarn, leaving his father in Ireland ; and this is the last we hear 
of him. His name occurs in no Irish Calendar. 

S. PEDYR, Confessor 

According to the saintly genealogies, Pedyr, or Pedr, was a son of 
Corun ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig, and brother to SS. Carannog 
and Tyssul.* In the Progenies Keredic (in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv), 
however, Ceredig's son Corun is made to be the father of SS. Keneu 
and Tyduic, whilst his son Corin is father of Pedyr Lanwaur. But 
clearly the same son is meant by Corun and Corin. It is not known 
where the church was of which this Pedr was evidently the saint. The 
waur of the name might stand for either Wawr or Fawr. There was a 

1 Peniarth MSS. I2, i6, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., p. 428, etc. In the 
lolo MSS., p. 105, he is called Pedredin, and on p. 133 Pedryn. By the Padran 
ab Peitwn (or Hedd) ab Emyr Llydaw of Myv. Arch., p. 429, is meant S. Padarn. 
Petrun, Petrwn, or Pedrwn is probably the Latin name Petronius. 

^ P. 132. His title to be regarded a Welsh saint rests on this passage. 

' Cambro-British Saints, pp. 189-91. 

^ Peniarth MS. 16 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 265 ; Myv. 
Arch., p. 429. Pedyr, later Pedr, is the usual Welsh form of the name Peter. In 
the Book of Llan Ddv we have Llan Petyr, etc. Peder, son of Glywys, and an- 
other, a son of Kyngar, occur in Jesus College MS. 20. In Cornish the name was 
Pedyr or Peder. 

S. Peirio 8 9 

Gwawr daughter of Ceredig and mother of Gwynllyw, and another the 
daughter of Brychan. There are two Llanfawr Churches/ but their 
dedications are S. Deiniol and the Holy Cross, respectively. Mr. Philli- 
more - thinks that Lanwaur is likely to mean Lampeter, the local 
Welsh S. Peter being superseded there by the Apostle. 

It has been supposed ^ that some of the many Llanbedr or S. Peter 
Churches are dedicated to this Welsh S. Peter ; but very improbably 
we think. The pre-Norman dedications to S. Peter in Deheubarth 
appear to be only Llanybyddair, Lampeter, and Lampeter Velfrey, 
so that the possible dedications to the Welsh saint are very few. In the 
case of the first-named it is quite evident that the Apostle's name has 
been read into it. In the fourteenth century Hengwrt Charters pub- 
lished by Sir Thomas Phillipps it occurs as Lannehetheyr and Llany- 
heddeir;* and Lewis Glyn Cothi, in the fifteenth century, makes it rhj^me 
with Mair.^ 

S. PEIRIO, Abbot, Confessor 

Peirio was a son of Caw.^ He is also represented as son of Gildas, 
and therefore grandson of Caw, and to have founded Llanfair y Myn- 
ydd,' now called S. Mary's Hill, near Bridgend, in Glamorganshire. 

He entered the congregation of S. Illtyd, and, according to the lolo 
MSS., succeeded him as principal of Llantwit, where he lies buried.^ 
These notices, it should be mentioned, are late. 

PhUologically, it would not be possible to equate Peirio with the Piro 
or Pirus who occurs in the Life of S. Samson as head of Ynys Pyr or 
Caldey Isle. The island monastery would seem to have been originally 
Llan lUtut, and Llantwit accordingly was Llantwit Major. But the 
earlier name fell into obHvion and was replaced by that of Ynys Pyr (or 
Byr). The term Insula is variously applied to an actual island and to 

1 For these churches, see iii, pp. 498-9. 

2 Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 469. ^ E.g., Myv. Arch., p. 429. 

* Cart. S. Johannis Bapt. de Caermarthen, 1865, pp. 22-5, 53. 

5 Gwaith, 1837, pp. 227,231. " PrysgByddair," ibid., p. 225, is a place-name. 
Byddair occurs in place-names elsewhere ; e.g. Crug y Byddair, a township of 
Bugeildy parish, and Rhydybyther, in Eglwysilan (Cardiff Records, v, p. 409). 

" lolo MSS., pp. loi, 109, 116, 136, 142 ; Myv. Arch., p. 429. 

' fbid., p. 220. 

* Ibid., p. 103. Piro is given as lUtyd's successor in a list of the Abbots of 
Llantwit found in a deed at Llandaff (Appendix to Williams's Monmouthshire, 1 796, 
p. 50)- 

go Lives of the British Saints 

a monastic settlement on the mainland ; so that when, as in the Vita 
GildcB we read : " Quae insula usque in liodiernum diem Lanna Hilduti 
vocitatur," it is uncertain whether Caldey or Llantwit is meant. 

The Vita Samsonis says, however : " Erat non longe ab hoc monas- 
terio (i.e. Hilduti) insula qusedam nuper fundata a quodam egregio viro 
ac sancto presbytero, nomine Piro." 

Whether Piro, or Pirus as he is called in the Book oj Llan Ddo, be the^ 
same as Peirio, brother or son of Gildas, is uncertain ; probably not."- 

Piro, as head of Llan Illtut in Caldey, was not quite the right man for 
such a position. He got so drunk one night that, in returning to his 
ceh, he tumbled into the well, and was pulled out dead. After this 
catastrophe S. Samson was elected head to replace him, but the rule 
under Piro had been so lax, that Samson found it impossible to bring 
the young monks into discipline, and threw up the abbacy in disgust. ^ 

Rhosbeirio, subject to Bodewryd, Anglesey, is dedicated to the mem- 
ory of Peirio. Leland calls it " Bettws Rosbeirio." ^ In the Record of 
Caernarvon land at " Rospyriaw " is m.entioned as being held " de Sco 
Birryow." * 

S. PEITHIAN, Virgin 

Peithian or Peithien was a daughter of Caw and sister of Gildas.* 
She, like her sisters Cywyllog and Gwenabwy, settled in Anglesey, 
where they had oratories or churches bearing their names. 

She is mentioned in the Life of Gildas by the inonk of Rhuis, where 
she is called Peteova.* " Egreas (Eugrad), with his brother Alleccus 
(Gallgo) and their sister Peteova, a virgin consecrated to God, having 
also themselves similarly (with their brother Maelog) given up their 
patrimony and renounced worldly pomp, retired to the remotest part 
of that country (namely, Anglesey), and at no long distance from each 
other, built, each one for himself, an oratory, placing their sister in the 

1 The Pyr or Pir of Ynys Byr and Manor-bier is Latinized Porius in a sixth 
century inscription on a stone near Trawsfynydd ; and also in the name Vorti- 
porius (Guortliepir) of Gildas. 

^ See further and more fully in the Life of S. Samson. 

3 Collect., 1774, p. 88. " 1838, pp. 59, 61. 

5 Peniarth MS. 75 (Peithien) ; lolo MSS., p. 143 ; on p. 117 it is spelt Peillan, 
and on p. 137, Peithini. 

" Gildas, ed. Hugh Williams, p. 326. To yield Peithian we should have ex- 
pected her name to appear as Pettiona or Pectiona. The f or m is, of course, 
a misreading for n. 

S. Peris gr 

middle one. Both of them alternately, each on his own day, used tO; 
celebrate with her the Daily Hours and the Mass ; and taking food with 
her after the Vespers, and returning thanks to God, they returned before 
sunset, each to his own oratory ; for each of them used to celebrate the 
vigils separately in his own oratory. They were buried in the oratories 
which they had built, and are preserved there, famous and illustrious 
for their constant miracles, and destined to rise again in glory." 

The neighbouring churches of Llaneugrad and Llanallgo preserve 
the names of the two brothers, but there is no Llanbeithian lying 
between them, or anywhere else in the neighbourhood, to testify to her 
presence there. The two churches are situated in the ancient commote 
of Twrcelyn, with which Caw was associated. 

Ynys Peithan is mentioned in the Book oj Llan Ddv ^ as part of a 
grant made by Rhiwallon, the son of Rhun, to Bishop Joseph of Llan- 
daff, who died in 1043. It bordered on the River Taff, in Glamorgan- 


The lolo MSS. documents include Peredur, the son of Elifer Gos- 
gorddfawr, as well as his brother Gwrgi, among the Welsh Saints. They 
were saints, or monks, of Llantwit, and Peredur was at one time its 
principal or abbot. ^ 

But there is not the slightest ground for regarding either Peredur 
or Gwrgi as a Welsh saint. They belonged to North Britain, and met 
their death there as men of war, in 580. Probably enough Peredur 
never set foot in Wales. See what has been said under S. Gwrgi.* 

Peredur as a character is partly historical and partly mythical. He 
seems to have been the original of the Perceval of Romance. 

S. PERIS, " Cardinal " 

This saint is merely entered in the older Bonedds as " S. Peris, Car- 
dinal of Rome," * with nothing to indicate that he was a Welsh saint,, 

1 Pp. 257-8. Peithan is, apparently, a diminutive of Peith (later Paith), 
found also in Peith- wyr, the Welsh for the Picts {Book of Taliessin) . A Peithan 
who had a son named Wit, is mentioned in the Gododin, 

2 Pp. 105, 128.' Zimmer derives the name from the Latin Peritorius. 

3 iii, p. 207. 

i Peniarth MSS. 12, 16 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 5 (1527), p. 119. Pens 
is sometimes said to have lived in the thirteenth century, but his insertion in 

92 Lives of the British Saints 

beyond his inclusion among those that are usually so regarded. There 
is, however, a Peris mentioned — but his existence is very doubtful, 
and certainly his identification with the " Cardinal " — as one of the 
dozen sons of Helig ab Glanog of Tyno Helig, whose lands the sea over- 
whelmed, of whom it is said that they thereupon became saints of 
Bangor on Dee, and that afterwards some of them went to Bardsey.^ 

To Peris is dedicated Llanberis, and Llangian, under Llanbedrog, 
both in Carnarvonshire, but the latter in conjunction with Cian, his 
servant, of whose pedigree we also know nothing. 

The festival of Peris occurs on December ii in the calendars in Peiii- 
arth MSS. i86, 187, 219, the Grammar of John Edwards of Chirkland, 
1481, Additional MS. 14,882, the Prymers of 1618 and 1633, and 
Allwydd Paradwys, 1670. Browne Willis also gives him the same day 
under Llanberis and Llangian. 2 Rees, however, says July 26.^ 

Ffynnon Beris, his Holy Well at Llanberis, is a little distance from 
the church, in front of a cottage under a rock called Tynyffynnon, in 
which formerly its " priestess " lived. The waters of the well were 
supposed to cure rickety children and scrofulous and rheumatic per- 
sons, who were to bathe in it.* Two " sacred fish " have always been 
kept in the well, and they were believed to be the successors of a long 
series of others which have inhabited it in an unbroken line from the 
days of S. Peris. Two new trout were put in in 1896. These fish, like 
the eel of some other Holy Wells in Wales, are the Welsh counterpart 
to the Irish Salmon of Knowledge. 

Invalids in large numbers came during the eighteenth and the first 

Peniarth MS. 16, of the early thirteenth century, is presumptive proof that he 
hved earher. The only Peris of earlier date that we have come across is that 
mentioned under the year 1070 in Brut y Saeson, as one of the three Papal Legates 
present at Winchester at the deposition of Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury : 
" a legate from Rome (i.e. Bishop Hermenfride) and two priests of Cardinals, 
leuan and Peris " (Myv. Arch., p. 665a). But in the document recording the 
Council the priest-cardinals are referred to as " presbyteros Johannem et Petrum 
cardinales " (Wilkins, Concilia, i, p. 322). Peris occurs several times for Peter 
also in the Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester, ed. Aldis Wright, 1887, see index to ii, 
p. 1,002. The name is derived Irom the same origin as that of the Parisii, whose 
territory corresponded with the modern diocese of Paris ; and that of the Paris! of 
Early Britain. Henricus Peris occurs among a number of Welsh names in a 
Penrice document of 1323 (Clark, CartcB, iv, p. 109). 

1 lolo MSS., p. 124 ; cf. Myv. Arch., p. 429. See iii, p. 261. 

2 Bangor, 1721, pp. 272, 275. 
' Welsh Saints, p. 302. 

' Carlisle, Topog. Diet, of Wales, 181 1, s.v. Llanberis; Cathrall, N. Wales, 
1828, ii, p. 140 ; J. Evans, Letters written during a Tour through N. Wales in 
1798, ed. 1804, pp. 180-1. In Cathrall it is added, " A poor woman, who lives in 
a cottage near the spring, has a few pence given to her by strangers for showing 
one or two large trout which she feeds in the well." 

S. Peris g 3 

half of the nineteenth century to bathe in the well and drink of it& 
waters ; and the oak box (Cyff Peris), into which the visitors dropped 
their offerings, is still in its place in the church. The tradition is that 
if one of the fish came out of its hiding place when an invalid took some 
of the water for drinking or for bathing purposes cure was certain ; 
but if the fish remained in their den the water would do those who took 
it no good. Persons often enticed them out by throwing in something- 
for them to eat. Two fish only are to be put in the well at a time, and 
they generally five in it for about half a century. If one dies before the 
other, it would be of no use to put in a new fisli, for the old one would 
not associate with it, and would die. The experiment has been tried. 
The last of the two fish put in the well about fifty years previously died 
in August, i8g6. It had been blind for some time. It measured 17 
inches, and was buried in the garden adjoining the well.^ 

The offerings put by the devotees into Cyff Peris were, wholly or in 
part, handed over to the Parish Clerk in consideration of his services. 
The particulars which the Llanberis Terriers give under this item are of 
such interest that we transcribe them in full. The one dated 1776 — 
the earliest extant it would appear — states, " The Clerk's Wages is 
65.41^., and is Paid by the Churchwardens yearly upon Easter Monday 
with the money that are taken out yearly from a box made in a Timber 
in the Body of the Church, which are put in by Strangers that now and 
then come to a virtuous well that is in this Parish, and when the Box is 
too short the wages is made up by an addition from the Parish ; and 
the Clerk gets beside, one shilling every Marriage, and Burial Offerings." 
The details are fuller in the Terrier of 1814, in the handwriting of the 
Rev. P. B. Wilhams, then Rector of the parish — " The Clerk's Wages 
are 6s. 4d., and paid by the Wardens. There is an Alms Box in the 
Church, the key of which is kept by the Wardens, and into which 6d. 
and 4d. pieces were formerly put very frequent!}' by persons who 
either bathed their children, or came themselves for that purpose, in 
St. Peris's Well, within a quarter of a mile of the Church, and cele- 
brated in former days for the Cure of Wens, Warts, Rickets, Rheuma- 
tisms, etc. These small offerings to the Saint amounted at the end of 
the year to a considerable sum, but at present they are very trifling." 

Peris's name is perpetuated at Llanberis in the names Llyn Peris, 
Nant Peris, Llwyn Peris, and Gorphwysfa Beris (his Resting-place). 
Edward Lhuyd, in a letter written in 1693, says, " I have seen a fellow 
march nine times about Gorphwysfa Peris a Carnedh under Snowdon 
hill ; repeating y" L'''' Prayer, and casting in a stone at every turn : 
whence I am apt to imagine y' St. Peris or some one else lies buried 

1 Arch. Camb., 1899, p. 334. 

94 Lives of the British Saints 

there ; tho' their tradition be onely that he was used constantly to 
rest there after he came up y'^ steep hill below it." ^ Nant Peris was 
formerly known as Nant y Mynach yn Eryri. Peris and Padarn are 
locally believed, through their occurrence in the topography, to have 
retired to this secluded spot for religious contemplation. 

Cair Peris, or Caer Beris, of the Nennian Catalogue, Geoffrey's 
\A'elsh Brut, and the Triads, is Porchester. A stream, Nant Peris, 
runs into the sea at Llansantffraid, in Mid-Cardiganshire, where there 
is also a Hafod Peris. In the parish of Llanganten, near Builth, is 
" a mound, partly natural and partly artificial, on which it is said stood 
a castle, called Castell Cae Beris ; "^ or rather, Caer Beris. These 
instances show the distribution of the name, as such. 

Peris is one of the many Welsh Saints to whose guardianship Henry 
VII was committed in a poem.^ 

S. PERWAS, Confessor 

Leland * gives under Llanrhuddlad, in Anglesey, a chapel called 
Bettws Perwas, and renders the name Perwas as " a swete servant." 
In a MS. of 1590-2 ^ it is given as Llan Berwas ; but the chapel is 
long since extinct. Of Perwas nothing is known. 


S. PETROC, Abbot, Confessor 7] 

The authority for the Life of this man, who has left a deeper impress 
on the West of England than any other Saint, is a Life by John of 
Tynemouth, printed by Capgrave in the Nova Legenda AnglicB, and 
reprinted in the Acta SS. Boll., Jun. i, pp. 400-2. The original of this 

1 Arch. Camb, 1848, pp. 2.^e,-6. It is the " Sedes Peris " of Llywelyn's charter to 
the Abbey of Aberconwy, 1:98 (Dugdale, Monast., v, p. 673). It is at Pen-y-pass. 

- Theo. Jones, Breoonshive, ed. 1898, p. 293. 

3 lolo MSS., p. 314. 
I* Collect., 1774, iv, p. 87. 

' Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 912. 

S. Petroc 95 

epitome is now lost. There is a brief Life in Lambeth Library, MS. 
99. fo. igoa, of the 14th century. To this may be added mention in 
the Vita S. Cadoci.^ 

According to this last he was the son of Glywys, King of Gljnvysing. 
His eldest brother was Gwynllyw the Warrior. He left South Wales, 

rejectmg the vanities and transient allurements of the world ; des- 
pising woridly for heavenly things, he began to adhere firmly to God, 
and gave up his country, his kindred, and at last all the things of this 
worid. Leaving home, he reached Cornwall, in the district called 
-Botmenei (Bodmin), where, throughout his life, he served God most 
devoutly, and erected a very large monastery in His honour." 

On the other hand, the Welsh Pedigrees say that he (as Pedrog) was 
a son of Clement, a Cornish regulus.^ It is possible to reconcile these 
•statements if we suppose Clement to have been brother or cousin of 
GwjmUjrw, and to have headed the South-east Wales invasion of North- 
east Cornwall. Petroc had probably no choice but to adopt the ecclesi- 
astical profession. 

John of Tynemouth says he was " Natione Cumber," and he was 
followed by William of Worcester, who says, " Sanctus Petrocus, rex 
patriae Cumbrorum, id est partis borialis regni Anglic reliquit regnum 
fratris suo junioris, jacet in pulchro scrinio apud Bodmun ecclesiam 
-coram capeUa Beatse Marias." * 

That Petroc came from Cumbria is most improbable ; no other in- 
stance of a saint from this part occurs in Cornwall, whereas a great host 
of the family from South Wales did settle there. The mistake is only 
an apparent one, for the distinction between Cumbria and Cambria 
had not then been established. Both forms are in point of origin the 
same.* Petroc was, in fact, a native of Glywysing, in South Wales. 

Taking with him sixty companions, he entered a monastery at an 
■early age, and received the religious habit. 

After some years Petroc went to Ireland, where he studied for twenty 
years, reading profane and sacred hterature. Where he was, we are not 
■informed, but he was probably with Eoghain or Eugenius of Kilna- 
manach, for we are told that Coemgen, when a child of seven, was com- 
mitted to him to be reared for the monastic life, and we know that 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 22-3. 

2 Peniarth MS. 16 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Jesus College MS. 20 ; Cardiff MSS. 5 
■(p, 120) and 25 (p. 117) ; Llanstephan MS. 28 (as Pedrogl) ; Myv. Arch., p. 429. 

■ In late writers he is sometimes confounded with Pedrogl Paladrddellt (Myv. 
Arch p. 411). Petroc or Pedrog is really Peterkin, i.e. Peter with the diminu- 
tive oc. 

^.Lambeth MS. 99, " Petrocus spreto regimine m Cambria regnandi. 

* Sir J. Rhys, Celtic Britain, 1904, p. 144. 

96 Lives of the British Saints 

Coenigen was a disciple of S. Eoghain, who was his uncle.'- Eoghain 
had been himself trained by S. Mancen, or Ninio the Old, at Ty Gwyn. 

Leland gives but a meagre outline of the Legend : — 

" Ex Vita Petroci. 
Petrocus gener Camber. 
Petrocus 20 annos studuit in Hibernia. 
Petrocus reversus est ad suum monasterium in Cornubia. 
Petrocus obiit prid. non. Julii." ^ 

Leland, it will be seen, makes Petroc a Cambrian and not a Cumbrian, 
and he allows us to understand that the monastery in which he had 
studied as a boy was in Cornwall. 

Coemgen died in 617 according to the Annals oj the Four Masters. 
He is said to have lived to the age of 120 years, which is absurd. He 
may have lived to near a hundred. Eoghain, the presuined master of 
Petroc, died in 570. Coemgen cannot have been a pupil of Petroc but 
a junior fellow disciple. 

The twenty years of his schooling in Ireland elapsed, Petroc returned 
to Cornwall, and he went back in the same boat in which he had crossed 
the sea to Ireland. He had disciples with him. The wind was favour- 
able, and he entered the Hayle or Camelmouth at Padstow, then called 
Laffenac. He arrived at an unpropitious moment, when harvesters 
were busily engaged in carrying their corn. And when the ship-load 
of monks asked for water, they replied rudely that they had none to 
give them, they must look out for water for themselves. 

Alford,^ citing Capgrave, says that these harvesters were Saxons ; 
but Capgrave, or rather John of Tynemouth, does not say so. The 
men were in haste to carry their corn, fearing rain, and did not care to 
be delayed by a party of travellers just arrived. There were plenty of 
springs accessible. Let these men go and find water for themselves.. 
The story is introduced merely as an excuse for giving Petroc an occa- 
sion to elicit a spring miraculously, which he did at once with his staff. 

On landing at Padstow, Petroc inquired whether there were any 
servants of God there, and was informed that one, Samson, lodged 
near. There can be no manner of doubt that this was the great S. 
Samson. His chapel stood above the harbour, where is now Place 

^ Ussher, after quoting John of Tynemouth, adds, " Quo tempore S. Coem- 
genum sive Keyvinum, GUndelacensem postea Abbatem, a septimo usque ad 
duodecimum astati.s annum, in literis ac Sanctis moribus ab eo fuisse institutum, 
vitje Coemgeni scriptor memorat." De Britann. Eccl. Pyimord., ii, p. 1,058 
(ed. 1639). This is not mentioned in the Life of S. Coemgen in the Cod. Salaman. 

2 Itin., iii, p. 52. ^ Annates Eccl., ii, 10. 

aS*. Petroc g n 

\Vhen Samson heard of the arrival of the party from Ireland, he was 
not overpleased, and prepared to depart. Petroc visited him, and 
Samson received him with chilling reserve and stiffness. ^ However, 
when Petroc kissed him and conversed with him, he relaxed. It was, 
however, obvious that there was not room for both in the same place. 
Samson had already received a rebuff from some monks residing near 
by, and he departed to estabhsh a monastic settlement elsewhere, at 

Here we have some means of arriving at an approximate date. Sam- 
son was in Cornwall from about 527 to 546 ; but the date of his arrival 
m Cornwall cannot be fixed with certainty, as will be seen when we 
come to deal with him. 

Coemgen had been with Petroc, if we may trust the Life quoted by 
Ussher, for five years ; that would be till Petroc left. If Coemgen 
were bom in 520, he was sent to the monastic school as a mere child. 

Petroc arrived in Padstow harbour about the year 543 ; but an 
earher date would suit better the chronology of the Life of Samson. 
At Padstow, Petroc remained for thirty years, to about 573. 

He was wont daily to stand from cock-crow to dawn in the water 
chanting psalms. He ate nothing but bread, except on Sundays, when 
he had a good bowl of porridge. 

At the end of thirty years an untoward affair happened, which induced 
him to depart on pilgrimage to Rome. There had been an unusually 
rainy season . His disciples and the people of the country round resorted 
to him to complain, and he promised them that on the morrow the 
weather would change. But next day it poured as before, and his 
credit as a prophet and miracle-worker was so damaged that he deemed 
it advisable to disappear for a whUe.^ He accordingly resolved on 
departure on the plea that he desired to visit the holy places. 

The story of his travels is purely mythical. He sought Rome first, 
and then Jerusalem. From Jerusalem he started for India, and reached 
the ocean. There he fell asleep on the shore. On awaking, he saw a 
large silver bowl ^ swimming towards him on the waves. It was large 

^ " Sampson ita membris diriguit, ut instumentum, quo terrain evertere 
solebat, manu movere non posset, . . . et accedente Petroco, in ejus salutation© 
Sampson saxeo illo rigore solvitur." 

^ " Concitato ventorum turbine facta est pluvia magna valde. Et cum ob hoc 
conquesti essent discipuli sui, compescuit murmur eorum vir Dei, pollicitans in 
crastinum aeris serenitatem . . . Etcum in crastino noncessasset pluvia, vir Dei 
cepit moestus fieri ; seque ipsum presumptionis arguere, quod aliter esset pollicitus 
quam Deus providerat." The biographer is too discreet to say that it was due 
to discredit, through failure of prophecies, that Petroc went away. He intimates 
that Petroc had planned to go, before this unfortunate affair. 

^ Lambeth MS. 99, " in quodam vase vitreo . . . defertur." 


■98 Lives of the British Saints 

■enough to contain him ; so casting down his sheepskin and planting his 
staff in the sands, he boldly entered the silver vessel. It was at once 
wafted over the blue sea without sail or oar, till he reached a certain 
island, on which he landed. There he spent seven years, living all the 
while on a single fish which he caught daily, and which, however often 
it was eaten, always returned sound to be eaten again. ^ 

At the end of the seven years the shining bowl again appeared. He 
took his place in it, and was carried back to the spot where he had left 
his sheepskin and staff ; and lo ! a wolf had kept guard over them all 
the time he had been away. Then he returned to Cornwall, and the 
wolf, perfectly docile, accompanied him. 

It is abundantly clear that into the legend has been introduced a 
pagan myth of a divinity sailing in the silver bowl of the moon over the 
heavenly ocean. 

When Petroc returned to Cornwall, he found that his misadventure 
in prophecy had been forgotten. 

Whilst Petroc was at Padstow, Tewdrig ruled in Cornwall, the 
notorious tyrant who figures in the legends of S. Fingar and S. Kea. 
Tewdrig had a tank into which he cast all the vipers that were found 
and brought to him ; and into this tank he threw thieves and such 
criminals as were sentenced to death. On the decease of Tewdrig, his 
son put an end to this method of execution ; however, one serpent had 
grown to such a size on human flesh, that no one dared to approach 
and destroy it ; and it does not seem to have occurred to any one to 
leave it severely alone in the tank to die of starvation. So S. Petroc 
was sent for and he promptly went to the monster, and banished it 
beyond the seas. This is perhaps an allegorical way of saying that 
Petroc extirpated the lingering paganism in Cornwall, at which Tewdrig 
had connived. Tewdrig does not seem to have been quite so bad as he 
has been represented, for Leland informs us that he made grants of 
land to Petroc, as did also Constantine, who was either his contempo- 
rary, or his successor. " Regnabant eo in Cornubia sjeculo, duo reguU, 
fama celebres, Theodorus et Constantinus ; quorum cum Ubertate 
turn pietate adjutus, locum condendo aptissimum monasterio accepit ; 
cui nomen patria lingua Bosmanach a monachis inditum." ' 

The spot chosen was Bodmin, where a hermit Guron had a cell by a 
Jioly well. This cell Guron surrendered.^ 

' The classic reader will remember Helios in his golden bowl sailing to the 
Isle of Aea2a. Here we have, not the sun in the gold bowl, but the moon-god in 
the silver bowl. 

^ Leland, De Script. Britan., lyog, p. 61. 

' Leland, Collect., 1774, i, p. 75. 

aS*. Petroc 99 

, Bodmin became Petroc's most famous foundation. But he must 
have travelled much and consecrated many sites in Devon, and it is 
possible that Buckfast was a Petrocian foundation. 

Whilst Petroc was at Bodmin his interview took place with Constan- 
tine, which led to the conversion of that prince. Constantine was 
hunting a fawn, and it fled for refuge, and hid under the mantle of 
Petroc, who kept the hounds at bay tOl the King came up. This led 
to conferences, and to Constantine's conversion from a disorderly life. 

It is related in the Legend that Petroc remained long in prayer, and 
that even when rain fell heavily, whilst so engaged, he disregarded it 
and did not seem to be incommoded by it. 

One day when he and a certain unnamed holy bishop were in con- 
verse, a richly coloured mantle [palla) floated down from heaven, and 
fell between them. At once ensued a holy contention betwixt them, 
each asserting that the cloak was sent to the other. As neither 
would yield, a waft of wind carried up the mantle again, and, shortly 
after, down came two in its place, and thus each was gratified. This 
story has probably been transferred bodily from the Legend of 
S. Patrick. 1 

A poor dragon got a splinter in its eye, and hastened to Petroc, who 
cured it. A woman had drunk water in which was newt-spawn, and 
a salamander was hatched in her stomach, and greatly tormented her. 
Petroc extracted the beast when it had grown to the length of three feet. 

Petroc died at an advanced age on June 4. 

In the Life of S. Petroc it is not said that the Constantine who was 
converted by him was the King of the country but " Constantinus, a 
certain rich man." But according to Leland it was Constantine the 
King who made grants to him, and the church of S. Constantine is near 
Padstow, and he was commemorated in the Bodmin Calendar. 

Now, it was against this prince that Gildas wrote with such rancour 
in 540 or 544, so that he was a contemporary of Petroc at Padstow. If 
we take seven years as the duration of Petroc's pilgrimage, then he 
returned to Cornwall in 576. The conversion of Constantine took place 
according to the Annales Camhrice, in 589 ; according to those of Ulster 
in 588 ; those of Tighernach give 586 ; but these Annals are sometimes 
out by four years. ^ 

It is accordingly quite probable that Constantine the King did owe 
his conversion in his old age to Petroc. 

1 Tripartite Life, i, p. 109. 

2 The Vita S. Constantini make? him die " Circa annos Domini quingentos 
septuaginta sex," i.e., ten year.s earlier than the date in the Annals given for his 

lOO Lives of the British Saints 

We may roughly assume that the death of Petroc took place about 
590 or 595. 

Petroc had as his pupil Dagan, who died in 640. 

That Petroc was visited whilst he was at Padstow by his cousin 
Cadoc is probable enough, for S. Cadoc's chapel and well are near 
Padstow, and Cadoc died in 577. 

Consequently, we have sufficient data for being able to fix the period 
of S. Petroc, and to conjecture the date of his death within a few years. 

The body of S. Petroc was preserved at Bodmin, and remained there 
till 1177, in which year, " immediately after the Epiphany of our Lord, 
a certain canon of the Abbey of Bodmin, named Martin, secretly carried 
off the body of S. Petroc. Flying with it, he passed beyond the seas, 
and conveyed the body to the Abbey of S. Meven in Lesser Britain. 

" When this transaction became known to Roger, Prior of Bodmin, 
and to the Canons who served God in the same place, the aforesaid 
prior, with the advice of his brethren, went to Henry, King of England, 
son of the Empress Matilda, that by his powerful aid they might recover 
the body of S. Petroc, of which they had been fraudulently deprived. 
The King granted his aid to their entreaty, and by his letters commanded 
Roland de Dinan, Justiciary of Brittany, without delay, to cause the 
body to be restored. When, accordingly, Roland received the King's 
command, he went with a powerful armed band to the Abbey ofS. 
Meven, and ordered that the body should be surrendered. When the 
abbot and his monks were unwilling to comply, he added threats that 
he would use force to obtain it, unless it were voluntarily surrendered. 
When they heard this, they feared to incur the displeasure of the King 
of England, and therefore restored that blessed body to the aforenamed 
Roger, prior of Bodmin, on the Lord's Day (Clausi Pentecostes), being 
the feast of S. Gervasius and S. Protasius, martyrs, the 13th before the 
Calends of July (June ig), and the sacred body was restored in all its 
integrity, without the least diminution ; the abbot and monks ot S. 
Meven having sworn on the relics belonging to their church that they 
had not retained any portion of the body, but had restored it wholly 

" When this was done, the aforesaid prior of Bodmin, returning with 
joy to England, brought the body of the blessed Petroc, closed in an 
ivory case, to the city of Winchester. And when it was brought into 
the King's presence, the King, after having seen and venerated it, 
permitted the prior to return in peace with his Saint to the Abbey of 
Bodmin." ^ 

^ De Vita et Gestis Henrici II et Ricardi I, ed, Hearne, 0.\:on, 1735, i, pp. 
228-9, also Roger Hoveden s.a. 1177. 

S. Petroc I o I 

Either the monks and abbot of S. Meen perjured themselves, or 
else they fraudulently pretended afterwards to have kept some of the 
rehcs. They either retained a portion of the skull, or substituted 
some other skull for it, which they offered to the veneration of the 
credulous and which remained to the Revolution in the Abbey church 
of S. Meen. 

The ivory reliquary is still extant at Bodmin in the charge of the 

The day on which S. Petroc was commemorated was that of his 
death, June 4. On this day Whytford in his Martiloge says, " The 
deposicyon of Saynt Patryke a confessore," which is a blunder for 
Petroc. So also the York Missal, the Exeter Calendar, the eleventh 
century Hyde or Newminster Calendar, the Wells Ordinale, the Reading 
Calendar 1220-40, the Evesham Calendar, etc. 

In the Bodmin Antiphonary as well, his Exaltation on September 14, 
and his Translation on October 8. 

At S. Meen he is venerated on June 4, and September 4. There he is 
called Saint Perreux. September 4 is probably the day when the 
stolen body was brought to S. Meen. 

June 4 occurs in the MS. Missal of S. Malo of the fifteenth century, the 
MS. Calendar of S. Meen of the fifteenth century. Breviary of S. Malo, 
1537, and the Welsh Calendars in Peniarth MS. 187, the lolo MSS., the 
Prymers of 1618 and 1633, and Allwydd Paradwys. 

September 4 in the MS. Calendar of S. Meen, of the fifteenth 

There are three churches of S. Petroc in Wales, Llanbedrog, in Car- 
narvonshire, Verwick,^ in Cardiganshire,and S. Petrox, in Pembrokeshire. 
In Devon and Cornwall are — the Church and Priory of Bodmin, the 
parish churches of Padstow, and S. Petroc Minor, or Little Petherick, 
Trevalga, Harford in Devon, Clannaborough in Devon, Egloskerry (con- 
jointly with S. Curig), Tormohun,^ South Brent, Newton S. Petrock. 
He had also a chapel and Holy Well at Petton in Bampton,^ and a 
church at the entrance to Dartmouth harbour, the chapel to the castle. 

1 Verwick is in one charter called " Ecclesia S. Petroci da Berwyke " (Mrs. 
Pritchard, Cardigan Priory, London, 1904, p. 147) ; in others, " Ecclesia S. Petri 
de Berwicke " (ibid., pp. 144, 151). The three Welsh dedications are near the 
coast. It is very probable that he founded these churches on his way back from 

2 Will of one Bartlett, 1517, C.C.C. The late Mr. Mallock of Cockington 
informed us that he possessed a series of wills of persons who resided in Cocking- 
ton between 1540 and 1600, and in the first of these he found mention of " the 
Churchyard of Saynt Patrox of Torremoont." 

2 Oliver, Monasticon, p. 445. 

I02 Lives of the British Saints 

The parish church of Lydford, that of Hollacombe, one in Exeter, a 
chapel in the Cathedral at Exeter/ and a chapel at Barnstaple.^ 

Both Hollacombe and South Brent belonged to the Abbey of Buck- 
fast, which was of extremely early and unknown foundation, before the 
Conquest. This leads to the supposition that the original abbey was a 
foundation of S. Petroc, the daughter churches bearing his name. 

At Dunkeswell there is a Holy Well called S. Patrick's, probably S. 
Petroc's. Polwheel says that the earlier dedication of Kenton was 
to S. Petroc ; now it is to All Saints. He is represented on the pulpit. 

Judging by the Revel, Lew Trenchard had S. Petroc as its patron, 
later S. Peter. 

In Brittany he is patron of Saint Perreux, in Morbihan, and of 
Tregon, in C6tes-du-Nord. 

The chapel of S. Perreux, a trej in S. Vincent sur Oust, in Morbihan, 
is mentioned in the Cartulary of Redon, in or about 862, so that this 
cannot be due to the theft of the relics in 1177. There was also a 
priory of S. Petreux at Plerguer, near Dol. 

At Padstow, in the parish church, is a statue of the saint as an abbot 
standing on a dragon. 

In art he should be so represented, or with a silver bowl in his hand, 
and a wolf at his side. 

There is also a sculptured figure of him on the South side of the 
altar in the parish church of Padstow. He is represented with a cowl 
over his head ; he is bearded, his right hand rests on a crutched staff.. 
In his left is a book, and at his feet is his wolf. 

In Wales he is more especially associated by tradition with Llanbe- 
drog. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was there con- 
sidered to be " beneficial to offer to Pedrog for gangrenes." ^ His 
Holy Well, Ffynnon Bedrog, is on Bryn Du, in the parish. It enjoyed 
a great reputation formerly, and many traditions linger of the miracu- 
lous cures effected by its waters in every conceivable ailment. Some 
years ago a round vessel of dark stone was found at its bottom full of 
pins. Thieves could be discovered by it. A bit of bread thrown on its 
surface by the injured person sank at the mention of the thief's name 
among a number of suspected persons. 

Sir Lewis Newburgh, the rector of the parish, in 1535 deposed, " It' 

^ Athelstan gave some relics of S. Petroc to the Cathedral at Exeter. 

^ Dr. Oliver gives a chapel at Westleigh, licensed June 17, 13 10. It is one of 
his blunders. Westleigh is a Rectory, and on the above date the Church was 
dedicated to S. Peter, and not to S. Petroc. 

* Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 913. The MSS. read Kangren 
and Cancrau. 


From statue at S. Petroc Minor, 


From rood screen, 
at Lew Trenchard, Devon. 

S. Peula?i 103 

I y sayd Lewis had a Relyk callyd Gwawe pedrok & the ferj/n therof 
was iiijii & nowe I had nothyng but y' it standyth yn Schurch by 
the comandement of the Ordenar." 1 

Pedrog is named among the many Welsh and other saints to whose 
guardianship Henry VII is committed in a Welsh poem.^ 

We append for convenience an approximate chronology of the Life of 
S. Petroc. 

S. Petroc born ....... 

Goes to Ireland for schooling in the monastic life 
S. Goemgen goes to him as fellow-pupil 
S. Petroc returns to Cornwall and lands at Padstow 
He departs on pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem 
Returns to Cornwall and founds Bodmin Monastery 
The conversion of Constantine .... 

Dies about the age of ninety .... 

'ca 504 

c- 523 

c. 538 

c. 543 

i^- 573 

c. 580 

c. 589 

c. 594. 

The dates are approximate only, let it be well understood. 

S. PEULAN, Confessor 

Peulan was, according to the sixteenth century Peniarth MS. 75, 
the son of " Pevl Hen o Vanaw," who would appear to-day as " Paul 
Hen o Fanaw," and not " Pawl Hen o Fanaw," as his name occurs in 
the late pedigrees. ^ Paul had a daughter, Gwenf aen, who is the patron- 
ess of Rhoscolyn, and a son, Gwyngeneu, patron of the extinct Capel 
Gwyngeneu, both near Holyhead. He is sometimes said to have hailed 
"from the North," which is equivalent to saying that he was from 
Manaw, a district Ipng on the Firth of Forth. He is said to have 
married Angad Coleion,* which looks like a corruption of " (Bot)ang- 
harat yngolemawn " — apparently Bod Angharad, a township in the 
commote of Coleigion or Coleion, near Ruthin. •' He has been wrongly 
identified with S. Paulinus. 

Peulan is the patron of Llanbeulan, in Anglesey. He was a disciple 
of S. Cybi, and followed his master to Anglesey. Among the ten dis- 
ciples that saint had with him in Cornwall are mentioned Maelog, Llibio, 

1 Valor oi 1535, vi, p. xxxiii. " Gwawe pedrok," no doubt, stands for " Gwaew 
Pedrog," his spear, whatever may be the legend. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 314- 

3 Myv. Arch., pp. 426, 429. Peulan means " Little Paul." See what has been 
said under S. Beulan, i, p. 208. 

* Myv. Arch., p. 426. ^ Hafod MS. 16, under Kowy = Cwyfan. 

I04 Lives of the British Saints 

and Peulan/ and there are churches dedicated to the three in Anglesey, 
all close to each other, as also to those of Gwenfaen and Gwyngeneu. 
He was one of the dozen " seamen " who formed Cybi's t&ulu or 
" family." ^ 

The festival of Peulan is given as November i in the Welsh Prymer 
of 1633 and by Browne Willis, ^ but as November 2 in the Welsh Prymer 
of 1618. Angharad Llwyd, however, says the Wakes at Llanbeulan 
were on March 17.* 


S. PIALA, Virgin, Martyr 

PiALA was the sister of S. Fingar. Although she is regarded as a 
martyr, it is not stated in the Acts of S. Fingar that she was killed. It 
is more probable that she was not, as her church, S. Phillack, occupies a 
site near, and the parish embraces the old caer or palace of Tewdrig at 
Connerton. It is possible that after the butchery of her brother and 
some of his attendants, the King deemed it advisable as blood-fine to 
■give her land on which to settle. The Irish occupied the whole of 
Penwith and the Lizard district, and he may have found it more 
advisable to come to terms with them than to fight them. 

S. Piala has had to make way for FeUcitas as having a place in the 
Roman Martyrology. In the Taxatio of 1291 the church is " Ecclesia 
Sanctae Felicitatis ; " and so in all the Episcopal Registers. In the 
Bodmin Antiphonary March 7 is given as the day of S. Felicitas, but 
this is the feast of the Carthaginian Martyr of that name. 

Garaby in his Vies des Saints de Bretagne, S. Brieuc, 1839, gives Ste. 
Piale, Vierge et Martyre, c n February 23, but for this there seems to be 
no authority, and no churches or chapels bear her name in Brittany, not 
even in the parish of Plu^'inger, her brother's most important settle- 

At S. Phillack the Feast is on November 20. 

S. PINNOCK, Bishop, Confessor 

S. PiNNOCK in Cornwall is Cynog. The name remains unaltered in 
the adjoining parish of Boconnoc. See S. Cynog. ^ 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 183. 2 Mosiyn MS. no, p. 189. 

1721, p. 279. * Hist. Anglesey, ,p. 220. 5 ij^ p. 269. 

S. Pi 



There is no Feast at either S. Pinnock or Boconnoc. 
In the tenth century Litany pubhshed by D'Arbois de Jubainville is 
an invocation of S. Pinnuh.^ 

S. PIRAN, Abbot, Bishop, Confessor. 

S. PiRAN of Perranzabuloe is to be identified with S. Ciaran of 
Saighir. To this identification Mr. Plummer objects, and suggests 
that Piran is to be equated with Ciaran of Clonmacnois.2 But not 
only is S. Piran's day in Cornwall the same as that of S. Ciaran of 
Saighir in Ireland, but also John of Tynemouth identifies them — 
" Beatus autem Piranus qui a quibusdam Keranus vocatur in Comu- 
bia ubi quiescit Piranus appeUatur." * He is giving an epitome of 
the Life of the Saint of Saighir. It is quite true that in the Irish Lives 
there is no record of Ciaran having been in Cornwall, but they state 
that he spent thirty years out of his native land, and these local Lives 
are very vague as to what the saints did when out of Ireland. There 
are no grounds for supposing that Ciaran of Clonmacnois was in Corn- 
wall. Moreover, S. Kewe in Cornwall is a foundation of, or is dedicated 
to, Ciwa or Cuach, the nurse of the Saighir Saint, and S. Buryan is a 
foimdation of his disciple S. Bruinach. The North and West of Corn- 
wall teem with churches dedicated to Irish Saints from the South of 
the island. 

John of Tynemouth derived his Life doubtless from that used at 
Perranzabuloe. We know that he travelled about England collecting 
material for his Lives of the Saints. At all events, he testifies that 
the tradition was that Piran cf Cornwall was the same as Ciaran of 
Saighir. But, indeed, the commemoration in Cornwall of Piran on the 
same day as Ciaran of Saighir in Ireland proves as much. Whytford 
merely says on March 5, "In ComweU ye feest of Saynt Pyrane called 
also Saynt Keran borne of the nobles of yrelonde in the tyme of Sa5mt 
Patryke." And though he does not say he was of Saighir, still the 
locating him in the days of S. Patrick shows which Ciaran was meant. 

To the authorities for the Life of S. Ciaran given under that 
head, add that in Plummer, Vitae SS. Hiherniae, I, pp. 217-33. This is 
from the MS. in Bishop Marsh's Library, Dubhn, and is that published 
by Colgan, Acta SS. Hib., i, pp. 458 et seq. 

1 Revue Celtique, xi, p. 148. 

2 Vitae SS. Hiberniae, Oxford, 1910, i, pp. H, note 3, lii, note i. 
' Capgrave, Nova Legenda, Vita S. Pirani. 

io6 Lives of the British Saifits 

As bearing upon our identification i of the name Ciaran with the 
Welsh Caraun, now Caron, we may here add that one of the Ciarans is 
actually called Caraun in one MS. of the Annales Cambria, namely MS. 
B, of the late thirteenth century, in the Breviate Domesday, at the 
Record Office. For the " Dormitatio Ciarani " of MS. A it reads 
" Dormitio Karauni." 


S. POMP^A, Widow 

Alma Pomp.<ea is represented in the Life of S. Leonore as his 
mother. Pompsea is named in that of S. Tudwal as his mother, and 
there can be little doubt that one and the same person is meant. 

Pompaea was sister of Rhiwal, who crossed over from Britain with 
a large following and settled in Domnonia. Neither the Life of S. 
Tudwal nor that of S. Leonore mentions the name of her husband, but 
tradition has it that he was Hoel the Great. The title " Great " has 
been attached to his name through the romance of Geoffrey of Mon- 
mouth. Had he been a man of importance the biographers would not 
have failed to say so. The author of the Second Life of S. Tudwal 
makes him a native of Scothia, but this Life is of little value. The 
author of the First Life says, " Mater ejus Pompaia erat nomine, soror 
Riguali comitis, qui primus venit de Brittonibus citra mare, et Tut- 
gualus venit post eum." The author of the Third Life says," Sanctus 
igitur Tutgualus regise stirpis parentibus majoris Britannise accolis 
oriundus extitit." 

We know nothing of his mother but what we are told by tradition. 
This says that she crossed over with her son, being then a widow, and, 
brought as well with her, her daughter Scseva, and both embraced a 
religious and m.ortified life. 

Pompaea lived at no great distance from her son's great monastery at 
Treguier, but there are no traces of her near his earlier settlement at 
Lanpabu. She died at Langoat near La Roche Derien, and is there 
buried. Her tomb was formerly in the midst of the choir, but the church 
was rebuilt in 1782, and now looks much like a railway station, and 

' ii. pp. 135-6- 


From, her Shrine at Langoat. 

S. Probus 107 

then the tomb was removed to the north side of the nave. This tomb 
is of the end of the fourteenth century or beginning of the fifteenth, 
and is interesting. The saint is represented resting on it, and round the 
sides are compartments with bas-rehefs representing various scenes in 
her hfe : (i) her birth ; (2) her being dehvered by her father and mother 
to be educated by the clergy ; (3) her marriage to Hoel ; (4) her 
voyage to Armorica ; (5) her almsgiving ; (6) homage paid to her by the 
nobles and princes of Brittany ; (7) she is visited by S. Tudwal and S. 
Gonery ; (8) her death, assisted by S. Tudwal and S. Scaeva. Above 
the tomb is a wooden painted reliquary containing some of her bones. 
In the church is a statue of S. Tudwal represented as a pope, and in 
stained glass of S. Scaeva as a nun. 

Pompaea is commonly called Copaia, an interesting token that there 
was here an Irish colony, unable to pronounce the Brythonic name and 
so changing it to the Goidelic form. She is patroness of Botzelan as 
well as of Langoat. 

She is invoked for the cure of sick children. 

The Pardon is on the last Sunday of July. Her day is given by 
Garaby as July 26 ; but her name does not occur in any ancient 
Breviaries and Calendars. 

S. PROBUS, Confessor 

Nothing is known of this Saint, who, with S. Grace, is the patron of 
the stately church that bears his name in Cornwall. Two skulls found 
in a recess in the wall, and beheved to be those of SS. Probus and Grace, 
have been enclosed in a case, and laid beneath the altar. On the 
screen, dated 1691, is an inscription, " Jesus hear us, Thy people, and 
send us Grace and Good for ever." 

The church was made collegiate by Athelstan in 926. 

Sherborne Abbey, as shown by the first Saxon endowment of Cen- 
walch, was Lamprobi, or the Church of Probus. In a Terrier of Sher- 
borne Abbey, 1145, the name of the place is given as Propeschirche, 
yet no entry is made in the Sherborne Calendar of a commemoration of 

the patron. 

The parish feast at Probus is on the first Sunday after July 5. There 
are fairs also on April 5 and 23. 

io8 Lives of the British Saints 

S. RHAIN, King, Confessor 

Rhain, generally called Rhain Dremrudd,^ or the Red-eyed, was 
the son of Brychan Brycheiniog, and his name occurs as that of his 
second son in the two Cognatio lists. According to the pedigrees in 
Jesus College MS. 20, he had a son named Rigeneu. 

All that is known of him for certain is that he succeeded his father 
as King of Brycheiniog. In the Domitian version of the Cognatio 
he is entered as " Rein Vrem Rud qui post patrem suum regnavit." 
The later Kings of Brycheiniog traced their descent from Brychan 
through him. There is no list of these kings ; but one of them, in 
the seventh century, was Augustus (Awst),^ who was followed some- 
what later by Teudur (Tewdwr) ab Rhain and Elgistil (Elwystl) ab 
Awst, who divided the sovereignty between them.^ In the time of 
King Alfred, Elise ab Tewdwr was King. 

In the Life of S. Cadoc * we have an account of Rhain's deliverance, 
through the interposition of his nephew, from the hands of the men 
of GwynUywg, when he had made a foraging expedition into their 
territory. They defeated him at four different places, one of which 
afterwards became known as PwU Rhain, and ultimately they 
besieged him, but S. Cadoc got him free, and made him enter into 
an agreement with him. 

No churches are known to be dedicated to Rhain nor is his festival 
entered in any calendar. It is very probable that Cair Rein (Caer 
Rhain), the old name of Acombury Camp, a little to the south of 
Hereford, was named after him.^ 

Rhain's name is a good illustration of how the children of Brychan 
have been multiplied in the later lists, through the misreading of 
copyists. By Rhain is intended the sons who are therein called Rhaint, 
Rhawin and Rhun. 

Of him as Rhain it is stated that he " is a saint in Lincolnshire and 
has a temple in Manaw." ' The latter part of this statement is evi- 
dently derived from the Domitian Cognatio entry, " Run ipse sanctus 

^ Rein, or Rhain, occurs in the early pedigrees in Harleian MS. 3,859, and else- 
where, under the earUer form Regin, i.e., the Latin Reginus, a name occasionally 
found among the Romans. The name seems to occur on an early inscribed stone 
at Conwyl Caio. It would be historically impossible to derive Rheinwg, " the 
Land of Rhain," an early name of Dyfed, from the son of Brychan. The epithet 
Dremrudd is borne by a few others ; e.g., Kenelaph Dremrud in Jesus College MS. 
20, and Daniel Dremrudd in Cart, de Landevennec, p. 54 

2 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 146, 154. ' Ibid, pp. 167-8. 

^ Camhro-British Saints, pp. 55, 96. ^ Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 279. 

s Peniarth MS. 178 (pt. ii) ; Llanstephan MS. 187 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 429 ; 
Jolo MSS., p. III. 

S. Rheithian 109. 

ycallet (sic) in Manan " ; but this clearly stands for the entry in Jesus 
College MS. 20, " Runan yssyd jmy [lie] a elwir Manaw," which in its. 
turn represents the Vespasian Cognatio (the oldest Brychan docu- 
ment), " Kynon qui sanctus est in occidental! parte predicte Mannie." 1 

As Rhaint he is said to have been " killed in England by the pagan 
Saxons ; " 2 and as Rhawin " killed on Pont Run in Merthyr Tydfil." ^ 

As Rhun he was father of Nefydd and Andras and " was killed by 
the pagan Saxons at Pont Run, where he defended the bridge against 
them." « Pontyrhun, it should be mentioned, is on the Taff at 
Troedyrhiw, below Merthyr Tydfil. The entry is amphfied under 
the notice of S. Tudfyl, wherein it is said that " she was killed by the 
pagan Saxons while she was there (at Merthyr Tydfil) holding inter- 
course with her father — -who was an aged man, and she had her brothers 
there with her visiting their father— when the unbelieving Saxons 
and Gwyddyl Ffichti pagans rushed upon the place where they were. 
Rhun Dremrudd, son of Brychan, was there slain ; and Nefydd, son 
of Rhun, who was a beardless lad, being roused by seeing his father 
slain, collected men to him and routed his enemies." ^ 

The lolo MSS. in two entries mention a Rhun as son of Gildas,. 
who was a saint at Ystumllwynarth (Oystermouth), but in one 
other entry he is made to be son of Nwython ab Gildas." 


S. RHEITHIAN, Confessor 

Nothing whatever is known of this saint beyond the fact that he 
is the patron of Llanrheithan or Llanrheithon, . subject to Llan- 
rhian, in the Deanery of Dewisland, Pembrokeshire. In Egerton 
MS. 2,586, fo. 405a, George Owen (1552-1613), the historian of Pem- 
brokeshire, has written this note — " g. caron Uanrithon 5 m(ar)tij," 

1 It is curious to note that the parish church of Marown, in the Isle of Man, 
dedicated to a S. Maronog or Marooneg, is called the church of S. Runi (in the 
genitive) in a manorial roll of 1511 (Moore, Manx Names, 1903, p. 137). 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 119, 140- 

= Ibid, pp. III. 119, 140 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 423, 429. 
* The same references. '' lolo MSS., p. 121. 

s Ibid, pp. 137. 139 '• cf. Mabinogion, p. log. 

1 1 o Lives of the British Saints 

i.e., " the festival of Caron of Llanrheithan is on the 5th of March." ^ 
From this note it would appear that the church was regarded as being 
dedicated to S. Ciaran or Caron. 

A S. Terethianus occurs in the Cartulary of Quimperle, whom M. 
J . Loth "- thinks is probably the same as the Torithgen and Torithien 
of the Cartulary of Redon, and the Torithian of the Bodmin Gospel. 
The name occurs also in Old Cornish as Terithian. Its first syllable 
is the well-known honorific prefix to, in Welsh tj ; and the second 
part of the name is exactly identical with the Welsh name, the sex 
of which is, moreover, determined by Terethianus. 


The lolo MSS. in one entry ^ give as a Welsh saint, " Rhiallu ab 
Tudwalch Carnau, prince of Cornwall, by Dyanwedd, daughter of 
Amlawdd Wledig, his mother." The entry bristles with misreadings. 
He was a warrior, being one of " the Men of the North," and cannot 
be regarded as a Welsh saint. His true pedigree is given thus in the 
thirteenth century Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd {Pemarth MS. 45) — 
" Huallu, son of Tudfwlch Gomeu, prince of Cornwall, and Dywana, 
daughter of Amlawdd Wledig, was his mother." 

His mother's sister, Tywanwedd, was the wife of Hawystl Glofi. 

S. RHIAN, Abbot, Confessor 

Nothing is known of this saint's pedigree. He is patron of Llan- 
rhian, in the Deanery of Dewisland, Pembrokeshire. He is called 
by Wilham of Worcester,* who gives his day, " S. Ranus abbas," 
and by Leland,'' " S. Reanus Abbas." There was a S. Ranus or Rayn 
commemorated in a chapel near the town of Crewkeme in Somerset, 
according to William of Worcester "^ ; and the name survives in " S. 
Rayn Hill," on the Chard road, about three miles west of Crewkeme. 
But this is almost certainly S. Regina or Reine. 

' Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, p. 289. 2 Revue Celtique, 1909, xxx, p. 300. 

' P. 106. " Itin., p. 164 ; Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 289—90. 

' liin., V, 29. ' Jtin., p. 163 ; Nightingale, Somerset, p. 527. 

S. Rhiell 


March 8 is given as the festival of S. Rianus, Ep., in the Haroldstone 
<alendar in Additional MS. 22,720, and also by George Owen in a note 
in Egerton MS. 2,586, fo. 405a. Browne WiUis 1 and ChaUoner hke- 
^se give him the same day. 

S. RHIDIAN, Confessor 

We are not given this saint's pedigree, but he is said to have been 
a member of Cor Cenydd, at Llangenydd, m Gower.^ He is presumed 
to be the patron of Llanrhidian Church and Llanrhidian Chapel 
(in the same parish), in the Deanery of West Gower, Glamorganshire. 
Llanrhidian, however, is generally regarded as being dedicated to 
S. lUtyd, a dedication supported by the presence there of a holy weU 
•of that saint.^ Possibly Rhidian stands for Tridian, which see. 

A late document printed in the lolo MSS. "^ says, " Brynach Wyddel 
■was King of Gwynedd, comprising the Isle of Man, Anglesey, and 
7\xfon ; and he was the first king of those countries who received 
the Christian Faith and Baptism, through the instrumentahty of S. 
Rhidian of Gower and Rheged. He first founded churches in Gwy- 
nedd ; and he lived in the time of the Emperor Macsen Wledig." 

Brynach was the Eumach or Umach Gawr, father or grandfather 
of Serigi Wyddel, who was killed at Dinas Ffaraon, near Beddgelert. 


Among the several chapels " ohm peregrinationis causa erectae " 
in the parish of Nevem, Pembrokeshire, was " CapeU ReaU." Since 
George Owen's day its name and aU have entirely disappeared. 

No saint of the name of Rhiell is known to us. It is a rare female 
name, one of the name being a daughter of Llywarch Hen. Rhiell wg 
was the name of one of the ancient di\dsions of South Wales, being 

1 Paroch. Anglic, 1733, p. 176 (as Rheanus). 2 loig MSS., p. 108. 

3 Luard, Annales Monastici, i, p. 18 (s.a. 1185), where it is called Landridian. 
In the Valoy of 1535 (iv, p. 388) the name is spelt Llanredeon. A Lan Ritian 
■occurs in the Cartulary of Landevennec, p. 16. 
, * Pp. 84-5. 

112 Ijtves of the Bj^itish Saints 

the same as Seissyllwg. It is just possible that the chapel was called, 
after the Rhiell of this district name.^ 



The usual Achau'r Saint have nothing to say of Rhuddlad or Rhydd- 
lad. The saint has been supposed to be a daughter of a king of Lein- 
ster,2 but on what authority it does not appear. The saint is the- 
patron of Llanrhyddlad, at the foot of Moel Rhyddlad, one of the 
highest mountains in Anglesey. 

September 4 is given as the festival of S. Rhuddlad in the calendars 
in Peniarth MS. 172, Additional MS. 14,882, the lolo MSS., Allwydd' 
Paradwys, and the Prymers of 1618 and 1633. 

S. RHUN, see S. RHAIN 

S. RHWYDRYS, Confessor 

Rhwydrys or Rhwydrus was the son of Rhwydrim (Rhwydrhieni, 
or Rhodrem), King of Connaught, in Ireland.^ By Rhwydrim may 
possibly be meant Raghallach mac Uadhach, King of Connaught, 

Rhwydrys is the patron of Llanrhwydrys, subject to Llanfairyn- 

' Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, p. 309 ; ii, p. 222. 

2 Ro-\ylancls, Mona Antiqua, ed. 1766, p. 157. 

3 Myv. Arch., p. 429. Sir J. Rhys (Celtic Folklore, ii, p. 531) would derive the- 
name from an early form Redo-rostus. The folk-etymologist attributes the 
foundation of Llanrhwydrys Church to an old fisherman of the place named 
Rhys, who possessed a specially constructed net (rhwyd) , of his own work,' which 
greatly excelled his fellow-fishermen's in the hauls it brought him ! (Hugh, 
Owen, Yr Henafiaethydd, Amlwch, 1890, pp. 69-70). In the Valor of 153; (iv,. 
p. 429) the church is called Llan Rodris. 

S. Rhychwyn 1 1 j 

ghomwy, in Anglesey, where his festival was observed on All Saints- 
Day/ or the first Sunday in November.^ 

Rowlands, in his Mona Antiqua,^ supposes that he came from 
Ireland to Anglesey at the same time as S. Rhuddlad. 

S. RHYCHWYN, Confessor 

The documents differ as to the parentage of this saint. Some 
pedigrees * make him one of the sons of Helig ab Glanog, " whose 
territory the sea over-ran ; " and the lolo MSS. ^ add, " and after- 
wards some of them went to Cor Cadfan in Bardsey. They lived in 
the time of Khun ab Maelgwn." Other sons of Helig, in the older 
pedigrees, were Boda, Gwynin, and Brothen. In other pedigrees ^ 
he is entered as son of Ithel Hael of Llydaw. 

Rhychwyn is the patron of Llanrhychwyn, subject to Trefriw, in 
Carnarvonshire. The church is situated on a rocky eminence on a 
hiU-side, and out of the original parish which it served there have 
been carved the parishes of Trefriw and Bettws-y-Coed. It is locally 
called " Llywelyn's Old Church," Prince Llywelyn ab lorwerth having, 
owing to the difficulty of access, built the church at Trefriw, where 
he had a residence. 

Gwallter Mechain (d. 1849) says,' " On a window in Llan Rhychwyn 
Church in Carnarvoii in stained glass the pictures of S'. David and 
S*. Rhychwyn, each holding a pastoral Crook in their hands. ' Sancte 
Davyt. Sancte Rhychwyn. Orate pro benefactoribus istius fenestree 
que vitriata fuit m.d. xxxiii.' Imperfect, the glass being broke in 
some places." The glass is now still more imperfect.* 

Rhychwjm's festival is given en the 12th of June in the calendars 

1 WUlis, Bangor, 1721, p. 280. 

2 N. Owen, Hist, of Anglesey, 1775, p. 58. ^ Ed. 1766, p. 157. 

* Cardiff MSS. 5 (p. 118), 25 (p. 118) ; Myv. Arch., pp. 418, 429. The name 
is not common. There was a Rhychwyn Farfog o£ Bodrychwyn in Rhos, be- 
tween Bettws-yn-Rhos and Llannefydd, where is also a Mynydd Bodrychwyn, 
to which maybe added a Moel Rhychwyn between Llanehan and Llansantffraid. 
This Rhychwyn was an ancestor of S. Egryn, and also of Braint Hir, founder of 
one of the Fifteen Tribes of North Wales. 

s P. 124. " Myv. Arch., pp. 427, 429-30. 

^ Miscellanies, i, p. 222, in the National Library of Wales. 

* For a good description of this quaint old church (the window included) see 
North, The Old Churches of Arllechwedd, Bangor, 1906, pp. 102-n ; cf. Cathrall, 
Hist, of N. Wales, 1828, ii. p. 115. 


114 Lives of the British Saints 

in 'Peniarih MSS. 187 and 219, in the Welsh MS. notes to the calendar 
in a copy of the Preces Privatce of 1573 in the S. Beuno's (Jesuit) Col- 
lege Library, and in some Welsh Almanacks of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Occasionally 1 it is given as the loth of June, and this is the 
generally accepted date. 

In the Llanrhychwyn Terrier of 1811 it is stated, " There is paid 
yearly to the said Rector [of Trefriw] by the Churchwardens of Llan- 
rh3'chwjm the sum of thirteen shillings and sixpence as due by ancient 
custom for reading Evening Service and a sermon in the said Church 
of Llanrhychwyn on the first Sunday after the twenty-first of June, 
it being the Saint's Day, Founder of the said Church." 

S. RHYDDERCH HAEL, King, Confessor 

Rhydderch Hael, or the Munificent, has his pedigree traced back 
to Macsen Wledig, or Maximus the Usurper, and his wife Elen, daugh- 
ter of Eudaf. Their son Ednyfed was father of Dyfnwal Hen (Dumng- 
ual), who was father of Cedig (Clinoch), father of Tuathal Tuath 
Claidh (Tutagual Tutclut), who married Ethni Wyddeles, an Irish 
woman, and by her became the father of Rhydderch Hen or Hael, 
who was born and brought up in Ireland, where also he had been 
baptized. 2 

It is unnecessary here to repeat what has already been said relative 
to the Kingdom of Cumbria or Strathclyde, as this has been spoken 
of under S. Cyndeyrn. Enough that Rhydderch and Urien headed 
the Christian party among the Northern Cymry, composed of those 
who retained something of the traditions of culture from the Roman 
occupation, and boasted some of the Roman blood in their veins, 
and Gwenddoleu and Morcant (or Morken), who placed themselves at 
the head of the reactionary and pagan party. 

In the great battle of Arderydd (573) the latter were completely 
defeated. Thereupon Rhydderch, having established himself at 
Dumbarton, recalled S. Kentigem from Wales, whither he had fled 
from the persecution of Morcant. Kentigern returned at the head 

1 Willis, Bangor, 1721, p. 274 ; Cambrian Register, 1818, iii, p. 223. 

2 Harleian MS. 3,859 and Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd in Peniarih MS. 45. Tud- 
glud means " Clydesland." The lolo MSS., on pp. 106 and 136, include him 
among the Welsh Saints. " Dominus . . . suscitavit super regnum Cambrinum 
in regem Rederch nomine ; qui a discipulis sancti Patricii in Hiberniam baptiza- 
tus fuerat fide christianissimum." Vita Kentigerni in Pinkerton, IT, pp. 62-3. 


From i6th century Glass in Llanrhychwyn Church. 
(Photo by Wm. Marriott Dodson.) 

S. Rhydderch Hael 115 

of six hundred and sixty-five monks and clerics, none too many for 
the work before them of rechristianizing all Cumbria. Rhydderch 
and his people, Joscelyn tells us, went to meet Kentigem and his party 
when they heard that they were nearing the borders of Cumbria. 

Then an assembly was convened, and Kentigem announced the 
truth to all who were gathered together. Rhydderch made a some- 
what abject submission of himself to the bishop. Casting off his 
royal garments, on bended knees, and with joined hands, he did homage 
to him, and delivered over to him lordship and principality over aU 
his kingdom, he himself to take a second place after Kentigem. ^ 

Rhydderch's queen was named Langweth or Languoreth, who 
carried on an intrigue with a young and handsome soldier, and in a 
fit of amorous imprudence, she one day presented him with a gold ring 
from her finger, that had been given to her by her husband. 

Some time after this, Rhydderch was out hunting, and the young 
man who attended him and he distanced the escort, and becoming 
tired and hot, lay down for a nap beside the river Clyde. 

The young man was soon asleep, with his arm stretched out, and 
then the king observed his wife's ring on the finger. His first impulse 
was to kiU the man, but he controlled himself, and lightly drew off the 
ring and threw it into the Clyde. 

When the youth awoke he did not notice his loss. On his return 
to the palace Rhydderch vented his wrath on the queen, charged her 
with being an adulteress, and threatened, unless the ring were pro- 
duced, that he would openly proclaim her and thrust her from her 
place at his side. 

Langweth, in great alarm, sent to S. Kentigem, and informed him 
of the circumstances. 

Then the saint bade the messenger of the queen take a hook and 
fish in the Clyde, and bring him his first capture. Presently the man 
had a bite, and drew out a salmon, which, when cut open, had the lost 
ring in its stomach. 

This was at once taken to Langweth, who rushed into the presence 
of Rhydderch with it, and showed it to him in the presence of his whole 

The king then fell to abject apologies, went down on his knees to 
her, entreated her pardon, and bade her impose upon him any penance 

' " Vestitus . . . regiis se exuens, genibus flexis, et manibus junctis, cum 
consensu et consilio magnatum suorum, hominium suum sancto Kentigerno 
obtulit ; eique dominium et principatum super universum regnum suum tradidit, 
iUumque regem se patriffi rectorem sub ipso nominari voluit. . . . Undemosino- 
levit ut per multorum aunorum curricula, quam diu regnum Cambrinum in sue 
statu perduravit, semper princeps episcopo subditus fuerat." Vita Kentigerni, p. 69. 

I 1 6 Lives of the British Saints 

up to death, she might devise as a punishment for having falsely 
accused her. She graciously forgave him, " and so the king and the 
queen and the betrayer were all recalled to favour and mutual love." 

A scandalous story, but happily not true. It is but an adapta- 
tion of an Aryan folk tale, of mythological origin, that occurs in Hero- 
dotus, in the Provencal romance of Magelone, and elsewhere. 

One day a harper from Ireland appeared at the court of King Rhyd- 
derch, and played before the king on " tympanum and harp " on the 
feast days of Christmas. And at the Epiphany the king ordered that 
the man should be rewarded. The bard scornfully rejected the pre- 
sents ; gold and silver, fine raiment and horses, he said that he had 
in plenty at home ; what he demanded was a bowl of ripe black- 
berries. Rhydderch had recourse to S. Kentigern, who reminded 
the king that one day, when out hunting, he had thrown away his 
cloak over a growth of brambles, and that possibly enough, this might 
have protected the fruit from the frost, as the king had not thought 
of recovering his mantle. Search was made, and under it were found 
sufficient blackberries to fill a bowl, which was accordingly given to 
the bard. This latter had threatened, unless they were produced, 
to lampoon the king and make him ridiculous as far as his word went. 

Queen Langweth had been barren, but by the prayers of the holy 
bishop she conceived and bare a son, whom Kentigern baptized, 
and to whom he gave the name of Constantine. 

Rhydderch was also in close communication and friendship with 
S. Columba, from whom he received the assurance that he would not 
meet death at the hands of his enemies but would die peacefully on 
his own piUow,"- which took place in 6oi or 612, and he was succeeded 
by his son Constantine. 

He is distinguished in the Triads as one of the Three Munificent 
Ones of the Isle of Britain, the other two being Nudd Hael and Mor- 
daf Hael. 

The following occurs among the " Sayings of the Wise " ; ^ 

Hast thou heard the saying of Rhj'dderch, 

The third munificent one, the enthroned of love ? 

" Frequent is seen extreme hatred after extreme love " 

(Gnawd rhygas gwedi rhyserch).. 

The " Stanzas of the Graves " in the Black Book of Carmarthen^ 
state that he was buried at Abererch, in Carnarvonshire, but it is 

' Adamnan, Life, of S. Columba, i, c. 15, where he is called Roderc filius Tothail. 
2 lolo MSB., p. 255. It occurs in much the same words among the " Stanzas 
of the Hearing " in Myv. Arch., p. 128. ^ Evans's ed., 1906, p. 64. 

S. Rioc 117 

more probable that he Ues within his own kingdom. The Hoianau in 
the same book style him " the champion of the Faith." ^ 

S. RHYSTYD, Confessor 

Rhystyd or Rhystud was the son of Hywel Fychan ab Hywel 
Faig (called also Hjrvvel Farchog) ab Emyr Llydaw,^ and the brother 
of S. Cristiolus. His name represents the Latin Restitutus, the name 
borne by the earliest known bishop of London, who was present at 
the Comicil of Aries in 314. 

Rhystyd is the patron of Llanrhystyd in Cardiganshire. His Fes- 
tival occurs in one calendar only, the South Wales calendar denomi- 
nated S, in which it is said to be on " Dyw lau y Cadgoriau cyn Dyw 
Nadohg," i.e., Thursday in the Ember Week before Christmas. 
A fair was held. Old Style and also New Style, at Llanrhystyd on the 
Thursday before Christmas.^ 

The lolo MSS.* give another saint of the name, who is distinguished 
by being called Rhystyd Hen, the Aged or Senior. He was bishop 
of Caerleon-on-Usk, and of the race of Bran ab Llyr Llediaith ; but 
he was descended from too mythical a stock to be considered 

S. RIOC, Bishop, Confessor 

Rioc, or Riocatus, was a British Bishop who visited Lerins and 
made acquaintance with S. Faustus, afterwards Bishop of Riez, and 

1 Evans's ed., 1906, p. 52. 

2 Cardiff MS. 5 {1527), p. 117; Cambro-British Saints, p, 269; lolo MSS., 
p. 133 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 420, 429. See iii, p. 289. Restitutus was a not uncom- 
mon name among ecclesiastics. It occurs in inscriptions as Restutus, whence 

^ Another fair was held there on " Dydd lau Cablyd," i.e., Maundy Thursday, 
Dafydd ab Gwilym in one of his poems obscurely associates Rhystyd with S. 
Dwynwen ; — 

" Rhystud Sant, rhyw ystod serch, 
A'i ehnedd ar lanerch, 
A'i ben ar Ddwynwen enyd, 
Huno bu'n hwya'n y byd " ; 

for which see ii, p. 389. * Pp. 116, 136. 

1 1 8 Lives of the British Saints 

the latter gave Rioc two of his books to take back with him to Britain, 
about the year 450, but possibly later. It was not till 462 that Faustus 
was elevated to the See of Riez.^ 

A Rioc, a British Bishop, laboured along with S. Patrick in Ireland. 
Whether the same, or another of the name, we have no means of ascer- 
taining. But it is not improbable that they were identical, for they 
belonged to the same epoch, and communication with the South of 
Gaul and with Rome was not infrequent. According to some of the 
early authorities, Patrick himself had been at Lerins. 

Rioc, who assisted Patrick, is said to have been son of one Conis.* 
The Litany of (Engus invokes him under the name of Mo Rioc as 
one of the foreign saints buried in Ireland, who travelled beyond 
the sea, along with twelve companions. He is there styled Hy Loegha, 
or Hy Laingh, but that is because he became Abbot of Inis Bofinne, 
which was situated in the territories of a clan of that name. 

Some authorities have even inade him a nephew of S. Patrick by 
his sister Darerca, but no confidence can be placed in the lists of the 
children of the supposed sisters of Patrick ; and Rioc is mentioned 
as the brother of S. Mel.^ 

Very little is recorded of Rioc, and what is related is fabulous. It 
is said that Patrick found some difficulty in converting Eoghain, 
brother of Laoghaire the High King. Eoghain was a very ugly man, 
and he begged that if he were baptised he might become better looking. 
" What shape do you choose," asked the Apostle. 
" I should desire the appearance of the youth who is carrying thy 
box," replied Eoghain. Then Patrick put both Eoghain, and the 
youth, who was none other than Rioc, into one bed, and threw his 
cloak over them. 

When they awoke, lo ! Eoghain had become exactly like Rioc, 
the tonsure alone excepted. 

" But still I am unduly short in stature," said the prince. 
" What height do you desire to be ? " asked Patrick. 
" That of the staff thou boldest in thy hand," said Eoghain. And 
straightway he shot up to the desired height.* 

Rioc was placed by S. Patrick in Inis Bofinne in Lough Ree. He 
would seem also to have been at Kilkenny, where the three churches 

^ See under S. Faustus, iii, pp. 1-3. 

2 Tripartite Life, ed. Stokes, i, p. 83, " When Patrick went across the sea to 
journey to Ireland, Bishop Muinis came after him and after his brothers, viz., 
Bishops Mel of Ardachad, and Rioc of Inis Bofinne ; and they are the sons of Conis 
and Darerca, Patrick's sister." 

" List of Relations of the Saints, in the Book of Leinster, quoted in Ibid., ii, p. 
549. ^ Ibid., i, p. 152. 

S. Rioc 119 

were founded by S. Patrick, S. Mel and S. Rioc. The site of S. Rioc's 
church is on the western side of Kilkenny and is now called S. Rock's. 
' ' A cemetery, waUed in about fif t j' years ago, exists here ; there 
are no traces of any building within its ambit ; a large pool of water, 
called Walkin's Lough, existing here from time immemorial, has been 
drained within the last thirty years, and S. Rock's Well was tradi- 
ditionally beUeved to have been concealed beneath its waters." ^ The 
weU W21S accidentally discovered in 1812.2 

Doubts have been expressed as to whether the Rioc of Inis Bofinne 
be the same as Rioc the labourer with S. Patrick, by Ussher and 
others, as the former was a contemporary of S. Aedh of Slieve-Laing, 
who died in 588. It this were so, as there is reason to suppose, then 
they were distinct personages, but have been confounded by the 
Martyrologists. The story in the Life of S. Aedh is as follows. Rioc 
went to visit this saint during Lent in his island, and Rioc had no 
other food to set before him but meat. Aedh blessed what was given 
him and ate without scruple.^ 

We may accordingly place the centre of the sphere of the work of 
Rioc, Patrick's British assistant, at Kilkenny and not in Lough Ree. 
That Rioc should have gone to Armorica, and there sought disciples 
and fellow workers in the mission field, is more than probable. But 
there were two of the name in Armorica as there were two in Ireland. 
The second Rioc was a disciple of S. Winwaloe. Lanriec by Concameau 
has the second as patron, but the former is perhaps the patron of Saint 
Rieu in the diocese of S. Brieuc. It has, however, cast him aside and 
has substituted for him S. Regulus, Bishop of SenHs. The Martyrology 
of Sarum has on February 6 the commemoration of SS. Rioc, Mel, 
Muinis and Melchu. 

But the Irish Martyrologists give S. Rioc on August i, either as 
Rioc or with the endearing prefix mo. He also occurs on this day in 
the Drummond Calendar. His " patron " day at Kilkenny was on 
August I, or the First Sunday in August, and was such a scene of 
revelry and dissipation that it was at length put down. East of Kil- 
kenny is the church of S. Maelog, one of Rioc's companions, called 
" Malach Brit," as being a Briton by birth. 

On February 6 Whytford has — " In Yrelond ye feest of Saynt Mele, 
Saynt Melke and Saynt Munyse bysshops and of Saynt Ryoke an 
abbot, aU four breder and neuewes unto Saynt Patryke by liis syster 

^ Shearman, Loca Patriciana, 1882, p. 280. 
2 O'Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints, viii, p. 8. 
' Acta SS. Hib. in Cod. Sal., p. 356. 

I 2 o Lives of tJie British Saints 

Saynt Darerke, all men of synguler sanctite and grete myracles." 
Nicolas Roscarrock also gives him on the same day. 

At Trefiagat, in Cornouaille, S. Rigat or Riocatus is regarded as 
patron, and his feast is observed on June 21, but in the church he is 
not represented as a Bishop. 

S. RUAN or RONAN, Abbot, Confessor 

Leland, quoting the Life of S. Breaca he found in the library of 
the monastery of S. Michael's Mount, says that along with her came 
" Sinninus abbas . . . Maruanus Monachus, etc." '^ 

Maruanus is a misprint of Heame for M-ruanus, or a mistake by 

Moruan is Ruan, with the common prefix mo ; and Ruan is a con- 
traction for Ruadhan, " the Red." He was known as Moronoc in 
Ireland, and was a disciple of S. Senan of Iniscathy, who is the Sin- 
ninus of the text. Moronoc is the equivalent to Moruan, the sufhx 
oc being given indiscriminately with that of an, as Aedan is also known 
as Mo-aed-oc or Maedoc. 

He had a cell at Inis Luaidhe or Inislua, under Iniscathy, and is 
so named in the Martyrologies of Tallaght and O'Gorman on July 22. 
Apparently, he came to Cornwall along with Senan and a large party, 
of which one band, seven in number, with three women as well, went 
on, after a brief stay, and arriving in the estuary of the Ranee, after 
founding churches, went on to Rheims, where they were received by 
S. Remigius, about 509." 

We may accordingly place the date of their arrival in Cornwall 
at the close of the fifth century. 

Ruadhan must have remained some time in Cornwall, for there 
are three churches there, founded by him, as well as the chapel of 
Polruan opposite Fowey. 

Probably he accompanied his master Senan into Brittany, for the 
parish of Plouzane (Plebs Senani), which regards the latter as its 
patron, is in the neighbourhood of S. Renan, of which Ruan was the 

No Life of Ruadhan or- Moronoc of Irish origin now exists, and what 
we know of him is from a Life in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris, 

> Itin., iii, p. 15. "^ i pp. 105-6. 

S. Ruait or Ronan 121 

MS. lai. 5,275, of the thirteenth century, but which was apparently 
composed in the eleventh century. It is given in the Catalogus Codi- 
cum hagiograph. Bihliothecce Nat. Paris, by De Smedt, Brussels, 1889, 
T. i, pp. 438-58. Dom Plaine published a French Translation in the 
Bulletin de la Societe archeologique de Finisiere, T. xvi (1889), p. 263 
et seq. Albert le Grand, in his work on the Lives of the Saints of 
Brittany (1636), drew his material for the Life of S. Renan from the 
Breviaries of Quimper and L6on, in which the Life was given in nine 
lections ; but this is very incomplete. 

According to the Vita Renan was an Irishman, and his parents had 
been converted by S. Patrick. He left his native land at an early 
age, and went to Britain to be there trained for the religious life, and 
he was there ordained priest. The Welsh have no mention of him 
in their ecclesiastical records ; he must therefore, if he was in Wales, 
have been in statu pupillari, and have made there no foundations. 
Moreover it is improbable that he would have been allowed, as an 
Irishman, to settle there. 

It is therefore probable that he returned to Ireland, and placed 
himself under the direction of S. Senan of Iniscathy. As already 
suggested, he accompanied Senan to Cornwall, and there remained 
for some time. After awhile he crossed with Senan to Leon, landing 
in the estuary of the Aber Ildut. As Lanildut stands at the mouth 
of the river, it is conceivable that Ronan may have come along with 
lUtyd as well as Senan, and that all three established their lans in 
the district about the same time. But this is mere conjecture. 

For some reason unknown, Ronan left his first foundation, and 
migrated south, and took up his abode on the northern slope of the 
prolongation of the Montagues Noires, overlooking the Bay of Douar- 
nenez. Here the country was enveloped in the vast forest of Nemet or 
Nevez, except the open moor that now forms the crown of the mountain. 
It may be only a coincidence, but it deserves notice, that S. lUtyd 
receives a cult and has a chapel in the adjoining parish of Plogonnec, 
on the south slope of the mountain. It is remarkable that both in 
Leon and in Comouaille, Ronan is in close proximity to lUtyd. 

Here Ronan established a cell. The inhabitants of the neighbour- 
hood were pagans, the early non-Aryan population, speakmg an 
agglutinative tongue, that had strewn the country with their mega-' 
lithic monuments, and who had been untouched by GaUo-Roman 
civilization, and had been unconverted to Christianity. Ronan set 
diligently to work to preach the Gospel to them. 

A peasant listened with attention to his instructions, and visited 
him so often, that his wife, Keban, thought that. he was neglecting 


Lives of the British Saints 

his domestic duties, and feared lest he should be drawn to desert her 
and embrace the monastic hfe. 

She concealed her little girl in a chest, and went to Ouimper, where 
she complained to King Grallo, that Ronan was a were-wolf, that he 
changed his form nightly, and ravaged the sheep-folds round the 
forest, and had even carried off and devoured her child. King Grallo 
had Ronan arrested, and after a few days exposed to his hunting 
dogs, which, he said, would tear him to shreds, if they snuffed anything 
of the wolf about him. 

But the hounds fawned on the hermit ; whereupon popular opinion 
veered about, and proclaimed Ronan a saint. On a search being in- 
stituted in the woman's house, the child was found concealed where 
she had placed it. She does not seem to have been punished for 
bringing the false charge ; she certainly was in evidence, with senti- 
ments unchanged, later on. 

If we translate this story out of legendary language into that of 
plain sense, it resolves itself into this. Grallo was a Christian ; but 
as the bulk of the natives over whom he ruled was pagan, he was 
unable to treat the accusation as frivolous. What he did was to keep 
Ronan by him for a few days, and familiarize the hounds with him, 
allowing the Irish hermit to feed them. Consequently, when, on a 
set day, he was exposed to them, they treated him as a friend. 

The revelation of Keban's malice did not make her less virulent. 
After awhile she spread a grave accusation against Ronan of another 
sort, and his position became so intolerable, that he resolved on leaving 
that part of the country. 

He accordingly departed for Domnonia, and settled near Hillion, 
on the Anse d'lffignac. There he was found one morning dead in his. 
cell, in the attitude of prayer. 

The body was taken back to Locronan in the Forest of Nevez, 
in a wagon drawn by a couple of oxen. When Keban saw it coming 
she was in the act of washing clothes, and she rushed at the oxen, 
belaboured them with her washing-bat, and broke one of their horns, 
all the while screaming out that Ronan was no Saint, and that it was 
an absurdity making such a to-do about his body. At the present 
day, a cross stands on the spot where tradition says that Keban beat 
the oxen. No peasant raises his hat as he passes " Keban's Cross." 

The body was laid at Locronan, and a glorious church with an 
adjoining chapel of the Peniti is attached to it, and the latter con- 
tains the tomb of the saint. On it Ronan is represented as a bishop, 
and it is supposed that he was a bishop when he arrived in Brittany. 
The tomb is of the sixteenth century. 










S. Ruan or Ronan \ 2 3 

At Locronan the feast of the saint is observed on the Second Sun- 
day in July, and every sixth year with especial dignity. 

A procession leaves the church in the afternoon, and makes the 
circuit of the Minihi, or sanctuary of the saint, singing a Breton Guerz 
or ballad of S. Ronan, which is given in the new edition of Albert le 
Grand, Vies des Saints, igoi, p. 211. 

The scene is wonderfully striking. The women are in white with 
headdresses of mediaeval cut ; their gowns rich with embroidery and 
spangles. The procession winds about the mountain with fluttering 
banners, and crosses gleaming in the sun ; and the summer air, as it 
fans over the heather, comes laden with the scent of frankincense 
and snatches of song. The adjoining parishes arrive for High Mass 
in the morning, headed by drummers, and at the Sanctus, elevation 
and Communion, a roH of drums supplements the tinkle of the bell. 
The pure, sweet faces of the women, the intense devotion of men and 
women alike, and the beauty and poetry of the whole Tromenie, makes 
of this commemoration a very scene of Christianity in its most idylUc 

The story of the relics of S. Ronan is unlmown. Probably they 
were carried away at the time of the ravages of the Northmen, but 
there is no record as to whither they were taken. 

All we Icnow is that in 960, Ordgar, Earl of Devon, translated those 
of S. Rumon, who is identical with Ronan or Ruan, to the Abbey of 
Tavistock that he had founded. In 913 and 914 the coast of Cor- 
nouaille was devastated by RoUo, the Northman, and the Abbey of 
Landevennec was destroyed. The monks and clergy fled the country, 
carrying with them the bodies of their founders and of other saints, and 
at the same time many of these were conveyed to Britain. Whether 
that of Ronan was then taken over we are not told. But in 1219 
relics of S. Ronan were at Quimper in the Cathedral. Perhaps some 
of the bones of the saint were brought back, when the Breton exiles 
returned to their native land. But is the Rumon of Tavistock the 
same as the Ronan of Brittany and the Ruan of Cornwall ? It would 
appear so. Leland saw the Life of S. Rumon in the Abbey Library 
of Tavistock, and made from it some all too scanty extracts. He 

says : — 

" Rumonus genere fuit Scottus Hibemensis. Nemea sylva in 
Comubia plenissima ohm ferarum, S. Rumonus faciebat sibi orato- 
rium in sylva Nema;a." And then foUows the entry :— " Falemouth. 
Ordulphus, dux Comubije, transtuht ossa Rumoni Tavistochium." ^ 

This shows that the monks of Tavistock identified their Rumon 

1 Itin., iv, pp. 152-3. 

124 Lives of the British Saints 

with Ronan or Ruari. The Nemea sylva is the Nevet in Armorican 

On the other hand, William of Mahnesbury, in his Gesta Pontificwm, 
says of Tavistock Abbey : — " Rumonus ibi sanctus praedicatur et 
jacet episcopus, pulchritudine decoratus scrinii, ubi nulla scriptorum 
fides assistit opinioni. Quod non solum ibi sed et in multis locis Anglise 
invenies, violentia credo hostilitatis abolitam omnem gestorum noti- 
tiam, nuda tantum nomina, et si quK modo prstendunt miracula 
tantum sciri." ^ 

Whether William of Malmesbury had been at Tavistock, and had 
there learned that no Life of the Saint existed in his day {circ. 1120), 
we cannot say ; but in Leland's time Rumon had been identified 
with Ronan. 

In Devonshire Romansleigh has him as patron. This parish be- 
longed to Tavistock Abbey. In the charter whereby it was granted 
to the Abbey it is entitled Leigh, so that it acquired its patron later. 

At Meavy is a Ronan's cross. An inscribed stone at Mitchel bears 
on it RuANi ic Jacet. 

The churches bearing his name are : — 

The Parish Church of Ruan Major ; the Parish Church of Ruan 
Minor, with his Holy Well ; the Parish Church of Ruan Lanihorne 
(Lan-ruan) ; a chapel at Polruan opposite Fowey, now called Lanlaron, 
a corruption of Lan-ruan. 

There was formerly a chapel dedicated to him at Redruth. 

The Exeter Calendar of the twelfth century, and the Exeter Legen- 
darium of Bishop Grandisson (1366) give as S. Rumon's day, August 
30. William of Worcester, on the information of Thomas Peperell, 
notary of Tavistock, says that his death took place on August 28, 
and that the feast of his Translation was observed on January 5. But 
he extracted from the Calendar at Tavistock August 30 as S. Rumon's 
Day. This also is his day in the Sarum Calendar. 

In Brittany his day is June i — Brev. Leon, 1516 ; Miss. Leon, 1526 ; 
Brev. Corisop., 1642, 1701, 1835 ; also the Cartulary of Quimper, 
1272, gives his feast as occurring in June, but does not specify the 

Ronan in Brittany is generally represented as a bishop. As such 
his figure lies on his tomb at Locronan ; but he has no special symbol. 
His story is reproduced in a series of panels on the pulpit at Locronan. 

It is a curious fact that Audieme in Finistere was dedicated to S. 
Rumon, but has changed its patron to S. Ra5miond Nonnatus. It 
is possible that some Bretons returning from Britain may have brought 

^ Rolls Series, p. 202. 

S. Rydoch 125 

there from Tavistock a parcel of the rehcs of S. Rumon, and that they 
were unconscious that Rumon of Tavistock was identical with their 
own Ronan. 

In reckoning the dates of S. Ronan' s life we have not much to go 
by. He arrived in Cornwall at the very end of the fifth century, and 
crossed to Brittany about 500. 

He left Leon, and migrated to Locronan, about 510, where he was 
brought into relation with King Grallo, to whom, however, M. de 
la Borderie gives a rule in CornouaiUe from 475 to 505, but who prob- 
ably was some ten years later. 

The date of the death of Ronan can be only matter of conjecture, 
as occurring approximately about 540. 

The reUcs of Ronan were carried away from Brittany in 880, and 
were brought back, in part, to Ouimper about 950. 

S. RYDOCH, Confessor 

This was one of the sons of Brychan. In the Vespasian Cognatio 
he is entered thus — " Rydoch (i. ludoc) in francia ; inde dicitur ton 
Ridoch (i. eurus) Windouith." ^ " De vent " is written above the 
last word. In the Domitian Cognatio the entry runs — " Ridoc Gwin- 
douut in Francia inde dicitur CoUis Ridoc Gwindouut." In Jesus 
College MS. 20 it is — " Reidoc in France, at the place called Twm- 
breidoc after his name." Llanstephan MS. 187 [circa 1634) states 
that Rhidorch and Rhodawrch (clearly one and the same person), 
the sons of Brychan, " assumed the rehgious habit at the place called 
Tomriwch in France." Practically the same notice occurs in Peniarth 
MS.. 178 (sixteenth century), where they are called Ridaorch and 
Rodoch, with the addition that they are esteemed as " honoured 
saints " in France. Peniarth MS. 75 (sixteenth century) mentions 
him simply as Rydderch, " in France." 

In the later Brychan Usts he is called Cadog, and it is added that 
" he was made bishop by his brother Dyfrig," and that " he went to 
France, where he lies buried." ^ 

1 Cf " Est aliud mirabile in regione quae uocatur Guent . . . Vith Guiat 
Brittanico sermone, Latine autem flatio uenti." De Mirabilibus Britanniae, 
Hist Brit. c. Ixx, ed. Mommsen, p. 215. Vith Guint stands for modern Chwyih. 
Gwynt, wherever that and the Hill of Rydoch may be. 

2 Jolo MSS., pp. Ill, 119, 140 ; ^V"- ^rch., p. 419. 

126 Lives of the British Saints 


Sadwrn Farchog, or the Knight, was the son of Bicanus Farchog 
of Llydaw, and a brother of lUtyd and nephew of Emyr Llydaw.i 
His mother, according to another account, appears to have been Riein- 
guHd, daughter of Amlawdd Wledig, King of Britain, ^ and not a sister 
of Emyr Llydaw. He married his kinswoman Canna, daughter of 
Tewdwr ab Emyr Llydaw, by whom he became the father of S. Crallo. 
On his death Canna married AUtu Redegog, and had by him S. Elian 
Geimiad. Sadwrn, in his old age, came over to Wales with S. Cadfan. 

To Sadwrn are dedicated the churches of Llansadwrn, in Carmar- 
thenshire, and Llansadwrn, in Anglesey. He was buried at the latter 
place, where was found about 1742, whilst digging a grave, his tomb- 
stone, now bearing the following fragmentary inscription ; — 





The stone is a small block, broken, and is now let into the chancel 
wall. His name, however, has been wrongly cut, as Satuminus can 
only represent in Welsh Sadymin, whilst Sadwrn stands for Satumus.* 
" An uncouth head projecting from the wall of the church, on the 
inside, is said to be intended for the head of S. Sadwrn " ^ — now, 
however, shown on the outside. 

The festival of S. Sadwrn is given as November 29 in the Calendars 
in Peniarth MSS. 172, 186 and 187, Llansiephan MS. 117, the 
lolo MSS., the Welsh Prymers of 1618 and 1633, and Allwydd Parad- 
wys (1670)." It is not improbable that he has been confounded with 

' lolo MSS., pp. 132, 134. Lewis Glyn Cothi (fifteenth century) says of the 
subject of one of his elegies, who was very aged at the time of his death : — 

" Oediawg o farchawg, da ei foes, ydoedd, 
Mai Sadwrn neu Idloes." Poetical Works, 1837, p. 332. 

2 Cnmhro-British Saints, p. 158. See iii, pp. 304-5. 

'' Sir J. Rhys, Origin of the Welsh Englyn, 1905, p. 31, suggests the original to 
have been : — 

" Hie beatus vir Saturninus sepsemet iacit. 
Et sua sancta coniux. Paterna cui sit terra levis." 

He is disposed to regard the epitaph as belonging to the earlier half of the sixth 

* But cf. Paul and PauUnus used for the same saint, supra, p. 74. 

5 Angharad Llwyd, Hist, of Anglesey, 1833, p. 297. 

« Willis, Bangor, 1721, p. 28z, gives November 30. 

S. Sadwrn of Henllan 127 

the martyr bishop, Saturninus, of Toulouse, whose day is also Novem- 
ber 29 ; in fact, he is entered as Sadwrn Ferthyr against the day in 
the sixteenth century Demetian Calendar (S). 

On a tomb now in Beaumaris church, removed at the Dissolution 
from Penmon, are niches containing figures of saints, several, as far 
as can be judged, local saints. One of these may represent Sadwrn. It 
is the statuette of a knight in armour, with a sword girded at his side, 
but holding a pilgrim's staff in his left hand, and raising the right in 
benediction, with a small shield slung from that arm. He is bearded, 
but the face is much mutilated. A companion figure is probably 
intended for S. Canna. She is represented veiled, but with a crown 
above the veU, holding in her left hand a book, and in the right a staff 
which is flowering. 

There is a Ffynnon Sadwrn, in a neglected condition, in the parish 
of Llandudno, situated near the Little Orme's Head. A lane there 
takes its name from it. 

One entry in the lolo MSS. ^ gives as a saint Sadwrn Hen ab Cynyr 
of Caer Gawch, the father of S. Sadymin, and brother of S. Non and 
others, but nothing further is known of him. 

The Book of Llan Ddv gives a Saturn as abbot of Llandocheu or Llan- 
dough, and also of Llantwit, and Tref Saturn is mentioned in the 
boundary of Merthyr Mawr, Glamorganshire. ^ 

S. SADWRN OF HENLLAN, Priest, Confessor 

Sadwrn of Henllan, in the County of Denbigh, is known to us only 
through the Legend of S. Winefred by Robert, Prior of Shrewsbury. 
Winefred, on quitting Holywell, went to a hermit Deifer, of Bodfari, 
who sent her on to the venerable Satumus or Sadwrn, who would 
inform her what to do. On arriving at Henllan, she and the saintly 
eremite spent the night together in prayer, and he gave her much 
good advice. He also informed her that he had been instructed from 
heaven to pass her on to S. Elerius at Gwytherin. It is curious to 
observe how reluctant both he and Deifer were to be encumbered 
with her, and how they sought to pass her on from one to another. 

1 P. 141. 

^ See index, p. 418, and p. 214 ; cf. Cambro-Bntish Saints, p. 93. Coed and 
-Castell Sadwm occur in the parish of Llanbedr y Cennin, Carnarvonshire. 

12 8 Lives of the British Saints 

Sadwrn accompanied Winefred part of her way, gave her his bless- 
ing, and sent her forward under the guidance of his deacon.^ 

Henllan must have been an important foundation. Until the 
iniddle of last century it served an area of sixteen miles by about seven 
in its greatest length and breadth. It adjoined Bodfari where was 
the cell of Deifer. The church has a detached tower, built on a spur 
of rock in a corner of the churchyard, whence the bells can be heard 
further than from the lower level of the church. 

The Welsh genealogies give no information relative to this Sadwrn,. 
who cannot possibly be identified with Sadwrn Farchog, as he lived 
considerably later. But he is most probably the Sadwrn who is said 
to have been a saint and ^erjg^awr or confessor of Bangor Asaf,^ at S. 
Asaph, which may account for the former connection of Henllan 
with that Cathedral Church. Lhuyd mentions Ffynnon Sadwrn as 
being in Foxhall ground. The spot now forming the cross roads near 
Henllan Church is called Bwlch Sadwrn, his Pass. 

The Welsh MS. additions to the calendar in a copy of the Preces 
PrivatcB of 1573, in the S. Beuno'.- (Jesuit) College Library, give " Gw. 
Henllan," i.e. the Festival of Henllan, against November 29. Browne 
Willis ^ gives the parish the same festival day. 

S. SADYRNIN, Confessor 

Sadyrnin was the son of S. Sadwrn Hen ab Cynyr of Caer Gawch.*" 
He is the patron of Llansadyrnin, or Llansadwrnen, subject to Laug- 
harne, in Carmarthenshire, which has been supposed ^ to be dedicated 
to Sadyrnin, Bishop of S. David's, who died in 831," or to Saturninus, 
the third century bishop and martyr of Toulouse. 

Sadyrnin is the Welsh form of Saturninus. Allwydd Paradwys, 
1670, gives the festival of " S. Sadwmyn " on November 29, con- 

1 See the Buchedd Gwen Vrewy in the Appendix to this vol. ; also Bishop Fleet- 
wood, Li/e of S. Wenefrede, 171 3, pp. 73-5- He is not mentioned in the earlier 
Life of S. Winefred. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 107. ' Bangor, 1721, p. 364. 

<i lolo MSS., p. 141. Sadyrnin, a hero, and Sadyrnin, father of Morgan Fawr, 
are mentioned in Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, ii, pp. 176, 219. 

5 Bevan, S. David's, S.P.C.K., p. 54. 

'> Annates Catnbriif, p. 13 ; but the name would more correctly appear to-day 
as Sadyrnfyw (Hael). 

S. Saeran 129 

founding this saint, probably, with his namesake of Toulouse. The 
same day is given him in a Welsh almanack of 1692, and subsequently. * 

S. SAERAN, Bishop, Confessor 

This saint was the son of Geraint Saer, or the Wright, of Ireland.* 
To him the church of Llanynys, in the Vale of Clwyd, is dedicated. 
A statement by Rice Rees, made on insufficient evidence, has been 
the means of perpetuating an error respecting the true dedication of 
this church, which is, that it was originally founded by Mor (Mar) 
ab Ceneu, and that it had been ascribed to Saeran merely from the 
circumstance of his having been buried there. ^ He founds his state- 
ment on a poem attributed to Llywarch Hen, printed in the Myvyrian 
Archaiology,* wherein Llanynys would appear to be mentioned under 
the name Llanfor. But he has entirely ignored the variant readings ; 
moreover, this latter portion of the poem does not form part of the 
Red Book text. 5 

There can be no doubt whatever that the church is dedicated to 
S. Saeran alone,® and not to SS. Mor and Saeran, as has been the 
fashion since Rees's day. 

Saeran's festival, which occurs on January 13, carries us one brief 
step forward in his identification. This day, in the Martyrologies 
of Tallaght and Donegal, is the festival of S. Saran, Bishop ; but nothing 
further seems to be known of him.' 

A Saran us was one of the Irish ecclesiastics, " doctors and abbots," 
to whom Pope John TV sent a letter, in 640, about the observance of 
Easter and the Pelagian heresy. ^ This was Sarin Ua Critain, who 
died in 661 or 2 ; but it is very doubtful whether he was the same 

1 Willis, Paroch. Anglic, 1733, p. 188, Nov. 19, by mistake. 

2 Peniarth MSS. 74, 75, and 182 (sixteenth century) ; Cardiff MS. 25 (p. 39) ; 
Myv. Arch., p. 429. 

^ Essay on the Welsh Saints, 1836, pp. 117-9, 271, 334. 

4 p. g6. 5 Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 266, 

6 J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 914 ; Peniarth MS. 121, p. 113 ; 
Cambro-British Saints, p. 270 ; Myv. Arch., p. 429 ; Willis, Bangor, p. 278. 
Sometimes the Church is called Llan Saeran, as in Llanstephan MS. 199, fo. 71 b. 
See also iii, p. 498. 

' O'Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints, i, p. 192. * Bede, Hist. Eccl., ii, c. 19. 

3 Possibly the Irish name occurs in the place-name Trimsaran, midway between, 
Kidwelly and Llanelly. 


130 Lives of the British Saints 

Edward Lhuyd in his notice of Llanynys {1699) says, " Their wakes 
next Sunday after St. Hilary ; but their Saint is call'd Sairen whose 
Tomb they shew w^^ an Jnscription of ab' 3 or 4 hundred years 
standing. Ffynnon Saeren is in Dre Vechan " (township). His 
tomb lias now disappeared. There is a well called Ffynnon Sarah 
in the parish of Derwen, not far from Llanynys, which may possibly 
be a Saeran Well. It is a large square bath of rude masonry, with 
steps to go down it. 

The festival of S. Saeran, on January 13, is given in the calendars 
in Jesus College MS. 22, Peniarth MSS. 187 and 192, Mostyn MS. 
88, Llanstephan MS. 181, the Welsh Prymers of 1546 and 1618, the 
MS. additions to the calendar of a copy of the Preces Privatce of 1573 
in the S. Beuno's (Jesuit) College Library (also on the 14th) and by 
Nicolas Roscarrock, and Browne Willis. ^ 

" Nawdd Saeran " (his protection) is invoked in the, hagiologically, 
well-known Ode to King Henry VH.^ 

S. SAMLED, Confessor 

Nothing is known of this saint. In the lolo MSS.^ he is stated 
to have his church at Cilfai, in the cantref of Gorfynydd, in Glamorgan- 
shire, which is known as Llansamlet. His name is also spelt Saimled 
and Siamled.* The parish is given as Llansambled in the Valor of 


" Fons S'ti Yltuti " is mentioned in the fourteenth century as 
being in Llansamlet.^ 

S. SAMSON, Bishop, Confessor 

The authorities for the Life of S. Samson have been subjected to 
critical examination by the Abbe Duchesne ' and by M. de la Bor- 
derie,^ but we do not think that the last word has been said upon 

1 Bangor, pp. 278, 326. ^ lolo MSS., p. 314. 

' 3 Pp. 109, 146. ■* J. G. ^va.n5, Report on Welsh AfSS., i, p. 919. 5 j^^ p^ ^g-,^ 
« W. LI. Morgan, Antiquarian Survey of Gower, London, 1899, p. 266. 
' Catalogues episc. de la prov. de Tours, Paris, 1890, p. 95 ; and Pastes episc . 
de I'ancienne Gaule, Paris, 1899, T. II, pp. 381-2. 
» Hist de Bretagne, Rennes, 1896, T. I, pp. 560-64. 

S. Samson 


There must have existed a Life, which we will call A, that has been 
lost. Whether it were by the author of Vita zma, and was a first 
edition, we are unable to say, but it is probable that it was so, and 
this was afterwards recast. by him into the shape in which we now 
have it. 

I. This Vita ima was published by Mabillon in his Ada SS. 0. S.B., 
sffic. I, Venice, 1733, pp. 165-86. Collated with other copies of the 
same, it has been reprinted in the Acta SS. Boll., Jul, T. vi, pp. 

This was composed by a monk of Pental, and was dedicated by 
him to Tighemomagl, Bishop of Dol, of whom this further is known, 
that he was the educator of S. Turiaf.i The author informs us as 
to his sources. He says : " What I relate I obtained from a vener- 
able old man, who spent almost eighty years in a house founded by 
Samson beyond the sea, living there a monastic life very orthodox, 
and he related to me, with great readiness, many of the admirable 
acts of the saint, assuring me that all this had been told by the mother 
of the saint to a very holy deacon, the uncle of this venerable old man, 
and himself cousin of Saint Samson. Not only so, but this deacon, 
named Enoch, had brought across the sea many and dainty words 
(i.e. a written account), in polished style, of his (Samson's) more won- 
drous works performed on this side of the sea, in Britannia (Armorica) 
and Romania (Gaul). And the aforesaid venerable old man had them 
read before me with pious care, without ceasing, in the monastery that 
he inhabited." ^ 

Consequently, for the first part of Samson's Life, that passed in 
Britain, the authority was the relation made by the Saint's mother 
to Enoch, a kinsman of Samson, and this relation was made to 
Enoch near the time when her son was alive ; that thus, there 

^ Acta SS. Boll., Jul., T. Ill, pp. 614-25 ; also Abbe Duine, Saints de 
Domnonee, Rennes, 1912. 

^ " Primo autem omnium, credi a vobis me volo, quo[d] uon juxta adinven- 
tionis meae temeritatem nee juxta inordinata et incomposita audita, hsec verba 
collecta sunt, sed juxta hoc quod a quodam religioso ac venerabili sene [audivi], 
in cujus domo, quam ultra mare ipse solus Samson fundaverat, ille per octogen- 
arios fere annos Catholicam vitam ducens propissimisque [or piissimisque] 
temporibus ejusdem supradicti St. Samsonis, matrem \in the text mater] ejus 
tradidisse avunculo suo sanctissimo diacono, qui et ipse diaconus consobrinus esset 
Sancto Samsoni, mihi veraciter aiSrmabat, multaque de ejus admirabilibus gestis 
misericorditer referens. Et non solum hoc ; sed etiam quamplura ac delicata, 
de ejus prodigiosioribus actibus quaa citra mare in Britannia ac Romana 
mirabiliose fecit, verba supradictus diaconus, Henocus nomine, congruis stiUs 
polita ultra mare adportavit, et ille, de quo nuper prefati sumus, venerabilis senex 
semper ante me, in isto monasterio commanens, pie legere ac diligenter faciebat." 
Vita ima, Prol., in Acta SS. Boll., Jul., VI, p. 573. 

132 Lives of the British Saints 

intervened between his hero and his biographer but a single 
generation, that of the old monk who was over eighty. This is a 
guarantee for the historic value of the main facts, but allowance 
must be made for the exaggerations of an affectionate and admir- 
ing mother; then for further embellishment by the deacon Enoch; 
next for additional colours laid on by the imagination of an 
old monk of something like ninety years ; and finally for the last 
touches given by the biographer. The result has been, as we shall 
see, that the early life of Samson has been distorted in a strange 
manner, and that circumstances, in themselves not extraordinary, 
have been shown to us through a cloud of miraculous marvel. 

The record must have been committed to writing seme forty or 
fifty years after the death of Samson. 

For the second portion of Samson's Life, that passed in Armorica, 
the Vita xma reproduces the written narrative possessed by the old 
monk Henocus. 

" All this," says M. de la Borderie, " is deduced with certainty from 
the formal testimony of the author, in his prologue ; and it is 
difficult to imagine a safer source for an historical narrative, for it 
emanates from two persons of the family of Samson, who had the 
best means of knowing, the one, his mother, in Britain ; the other, 
Enoch, on the Continent." This is so far true as to the substance of 
the story. The embroidery must be ruthlessly cut away, worked over 
the threads by the affection and family pride, and the prevailing love 
of the marvellous, and the Celtic proneness to exaggeration in the 

The writer, who had received his information from the old monk, 
desired to complete and check the story, by visiting the localities men- 
tioned in the record, and collecting such reminiscences of his hero as 
still lingered about them. He accordingly visited the monastery of 
Llanilltyd, where Samson had passed his youth, that of Ynys Pyx, of 
which he had been for a while head ; he sought out the desert by the 
Severn, and venerated the oratory to which the saint had retired after 
leaving Ynys Pyr. He saw and read the letter which the Synod had 
despatched to Samson, inviting his attendance ; he also touched the 
cross cut by the saint on a menhir in Cornwall. 

Of the marvels related, it is not necessary to say much. Some are 
obvious exaggerations, as when a viper is magnified into a monster ; 
some are the commonplaces of hagiological romance ; the dove that 
appears thrice, when Samson is ordained deacon, priest, and bishop ; 
and the dragon he finds in a cave and precipitates into the sea, repeated 
thrice. , 

S. Samson 133 

Unless a biography were padded out with marvels, it had no chance 
of becoming popular ; and a writer had to consult the prevailing taste 
of his day. 

One of the marvels recorded, that of the snappmg of the poisoned 
vessel, the biographer borrowed from the Life of S. Martin. The story 
of the sterility of Samson's mother Anna, he appropriated from Scrip- 
ture. But all reserves made, the Life of S. Samson is one of the most 
valuable documents we possess relative to the early history of the 
Church in Britain and in Armorica. 

The Vita xma consists of two distinct parts, both by the same hand, 
but differing in character. The first is a biography of Samson from 
the cradle to the grave. The second is a sermon preached at Dollon 
the Feast of the Saint. It contains a number of incidents from the 
Life of Samson not included in the first part. 

It is, however, probable that the original biography A contained 
these in their proper chronological sequence. We may be sure that 
the author, knowing these incidents, would have included them in his 
narrative in their proper place. But when he was called upon to 
preach a sermon on the glories of S. Samson, he made a cento of the 
miracles from his biography ; and as he was well pleased with this pro- 
duction, he published a second edition of his Life, without those 
anecdotes, and issued his sermon as a second part to the Vita Samsonis. 

This seems to be the most probable explanation, as it accounts for 
the sequence in the Vita zda which was apparently based, not on the 
Vita ima, as we now have it, but on that Life in its original form. 

The sermon, being an independent composition, might well have 
contained some of the stories given in the Vita. But it does not. The 
author has taken care not to repeat himself. 

Of this Vita xma, some of the MSS. extant are without the prologue 
and without the Second Part or Sermon, but no copy of the supposed 
first edition exists.^ 

2. The Vita 2da was published by Dom Plaine, O.S.B., in the Ana- 
ledaBollandiana, T. VI (1887), pp. 79-150. Dom Plaine was nothing 
of a critic, and he attempted vainly to show that this Life was the most 
ancient of all, and that it was the composition of a contemporary. It 
is actually based on the Vita xma, which it follows textually in places, 
but, as we suppose, not the Vita xma as we have it, but the text A, the 
first edition before it was altered and cut about and the Sermon added 
to it. 

1 " Je crois sans peine que la Vita Samsonis tat composee une cinquantaine 
d'annees au plus apres la mort du saint, et quelle entrelace dans son tissu les sou- 
-venirs d'un contemporain de Sanason." Abbe Duine, Saints de Domnonie, 
JRennes, 1912. 

134 Lives of the British Saiitts 

It is divided into two Books, but unlike the Vita zma, as we have it, 
the two form one complete whole. The First Book is devoted to the 
Life of Sanison in Britain, the Second to his Life on the Continent. 
Each book is preceded by a prologue in verse, and is followed by a 
metrical epilogue. The prologue and epilogue of the Second Book 
inform us that the Life was composed by order of Louenan, Bishop of 

Now, happily, we know when Louenan occupied the chair of S. Sam- 
son. A letter has been preserved written by Rohbod, Provost of the 
Chapter of Dol, to Athelstan, in which he says that during a period of 
tranquillity in Armorica, Edward the Elder, father of Athelstan, had 
written to Louenan, Archbishop of Dol, desiring to be admitted into 
the fellowship of prayer and good works of the Church of S. Samson. 
When Rohbod wrote, he and the monks had abandoned Dol, flying 
before the Northmen.^ The time of tranquillity to which he refers 
came to a rude termination in 907. Edward the Elder reigned from 
901 to 924. Consequently, the Life dedicated to Louenan must have 
been written at the very end of the ninth century or in the tenth before 

Either the author had before him an earlier text of the Vita una than 
any we possess, or else he showed considerable ingenuity in picking 
out the anecdotes found in the homily and adjusting them into what 
he supposed was their proper place in the narrative. One shifting of 
an incident was performed either by him or by the first biographer in 
his revision for a second edition. 

In the Vita ima, after the author has told us of how Illtyd foretold 
the future greatness of the infant Samson, he goes on to give an in- 
stance of lUtyd's prophetic vision, when he was on his deathbed. 
Illtyd died 527-37. 

Now, one of two alternatives must be adopted. Either the first 
biographer had given this account of Illtyd's death in his first edition, 
at the point in Samson's career when Illtyd's death occurred, but in 
his second edition removed it to his account of Samson's birth to enforce 

^ " Quae prius in prosa resonant ex tempore prisco 
Me resonare jubet Louenan episcopus, amplas 
Samsonis per metrum virtutes venerandi 
Decantare jubet." 
" Louenan, la;tus, largitor, longanimisque 
Princeps pacificus patrise, defensor egentum, 
Samsonis sedis venerandae pastor haberis." 

From the words of the prologue it is clear that a prose text of the Life of Samsoa 
did exist before the writer undertook his task. 

' WilUam of Malmesbury, Gesta regum Anglits, Rolls ed., I, p. 221, note. 

S. Samson 135 

the value of the prophecy of Illtyd made when the child Samson was 
presented to him ; or else the compiler of Vita zda removed the anec- 
dote from this place and grafted it into his story at the place to which 
chronologically it belongs. It seems to us more probable that in A the 
death of Illtyd was given in its proper historical place, that the writer 
of Vita 2da found it there and copied it into his narrative, and that 
the author of Vita xma changed the position of the anecdote for the 
purpose above suggested. 

The second Biographer softens down characteristic incidents such as 
might shock the finer susceptibilities of a later age. Thus, the author 
of the First Life franldy admits that Samson lost his temper in the 
presence of Childebert, and broke out into violent language. The 
second Biographer merely says that Samson persisted till he had carried 
his point with the Frank king. 

The earlier writer says that when Samson arrived at Docho, he sent 
to the monastery there to ask permission to remain awhile in it ; but 
that the monks refused to receive him, and bade him go on his way. 
The composer of the Second Life did not relish this snub administered 
to his hero, so he altered the incident, and made the monks entreat 
Samson to remain with them, but that he refused to do so. Neverthe- 
less, as we shall see in the sequel, this later writer has preserved in his 
account of this transaction something from A which the author of Vita 
zma exscinded from his second edition. 

The compiler was either very ignorant, or, what is more probable,, 
was very unscrupulous. He pretends that Childebert invested Sam- 
son with the archiepiscopal ofhce, and granted him jurisdiction over 
aU Brittany ; ^ whereas Dol was not raised to be an archiepiscopal 
see till after the victories over Charles the Bald by Nominee in 850. 
This was so near to the time of the author that we cannot acquit him 
of dishonesty. He must have known that Dol was made metropoli- 
tan quite recently. 

The Vita zda is valuable, for it contains matters relative to the early 
history of Brittany not to be found in the First Life. 

A curious discrepancy is found between the two Lives relative to an 
attempt made to poison Samson by two of his cousins. 

According to Vita xma this attempt was made after that Samson had 
been ordained priest, and it is impUed that he was celebrant on the 
ensuing Sunday, when, as he administered the sacred elements (bucella) 
to one of these cousins, the man was seized with a fit. But the author 

» " Tunc S. Samson de manu Hilberti imperatoris et verbo et commendatione 
archiepiscopatum totius Britannia recipiens . . . prospero itinere ... ad 
Dolum pervenit." 

136 Lives of the British Saints 

of Vita 2da says that this took place when Samson was a deacon, and 
it was when Samson, acting as deacon, administered the chaHce, that 
the man was struck. " Cum Sanctus Samson cahcem de altare ele- 
vasset, sicut mos diacono est, ille accepit de manu Sancti Samsonis, et 
de iUo communicavit." No object was to be gained in altering the 
particulars, and we suspect that it stood thus in A, from which the 
author of the Vita 2,da worked, and that the author of Vita Tma made 
the change in his second edition, having found that he had been in error 
in his first. 

All that portion of the Life of S. Samson which relates to his doings 
on the Continent is much fuller in Vita zda than in Vita xma ; it gives 
us historical particulars lacking in the first. In both Lives the 
narrative of the marvels wrought at the Court of Childebert is extrava- 
gant, but, as we shall show, are borrowed from other Lives. Vita ima 
sticks closer to the original text A, but Vita ada retains the historical 
sequence of events disturbed in Vita ima. The author of Vita ima 
was but a poor Latinist. The author of the Second Life was to some 
extent scholarly. He belonged not to the British generation of settlers 
at Dol, as he shows by his absurd etymologies of Dol and Rotinon. 

3. The Third Life is that in the Liber Landavensis, ed. Rees, Llan- 
dovery, 1840, pp. 8-25 ; the Book of Llan Ddv, ed. Evans and Rhys, 
■Oxford, 1893, pp. 6-24. This book was written about the year 1150, 
and the Life was compiled about the same time. Vita ima serving as 
basis. This was condensed. The reluctance of Samson to go to his 
sick father, and the insistence of Pirus that he should obey the sum- 
mons is omitted, as is also the account of the drunkenness of Pirus ; 
but the fact of Samson having lost his temper and breaking out into 
abusive language is retained. The interview with Winiau and the 
refusal of the monks of Docho to entertain him is cut out. So also is 
the anecdote of lUtyd's prevision on his deathbed of the lot of two 
brethren. Samson is priest when the attempt is made on his life by 
his cousins. On the other hand, a few local traditions are inserted, as 
that lUtyd and Dubricius were asked by Amwn and Anna to pray that 
they might be given a son. The name of Samson is imposed on the 
child by lUtyd when he baptizes him. The story of the birdscaring 
from'^the corn, and the driving of the fowl into a bam, is imported intT 
the Life from that of S. lUtyd, but abridged. In the Vita 2da the story 
is told of Samson late on in his life and as occurring in Neustria."- 

The lateness of the composition is shown by Dubricius being 
styled Archbishop, a title given to him by Geoffrey of Monmouth ; 

* Cambro-British Saints, p, 170. 

*S'. Samson 137 

and by making the bishop's throne of Do! metropolitan over all 

4. John of Tynemouth further condensed this Life, and his conden- 
sation is in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice. This is of no value. It 
adds nothing to what we already possess. 

. In the Salisbury Breviary of 1483 three lections are provided for 
S. Samson's Day, giving an account of his birth, his ordinaLijn as 
deacon, and his consecration as bishop. 

The Exeter Breviary, drawn up by Bishop Grandisson in 1366, also 
gives three lections ; the first concerns his birth, the second relates 
a miracle in the harvest field, and the third sums up the rest of his 
life. 2 

5. A Life was composed by Balderic, Abbot of Bourgueil and Arch- 
bishop of Dol (1107-30). He took as his basis the Vita 2,da. This is 
an elaborate literary work. " Prologue soigne, transition limee entre 
la premiere et la secunde partie de I'ouvrage, antitheses, alliterations, 
cadence de la phrase, rien ne manque de ce qui charmait tous 
les lettres au commencement du xiie siecle." ^ It adds nothing. 
Balderic omits the drunkenness of Pirus. He transforms the theomacha 
into a phantom that vanishes, so as to avoid the fact of Samson having 
killed the unfortunate woman. When the Breviary of Dol was drawn 
up in 1519, the lections were taken from the text of Balderic, with, 
however, an addition, relative to the fable of Samson having been Arch- 
bishop of York, which is inserted in the second lesson. 

The text of Balderic has not been printed in its entirety. It exists 
as MS. in the Bibl. Nat., Paris, MS. lat. 5,350. 

For a bibUography of S. Samson, see F. Duine, Notes sur les Saints 
Bretons, Rennes, Simon, 1902, pp. 9-25 ; and the Dictionary of Na- 
tional Biography, under the head of Samson. 

For the MS. copies of the Lives enumerated, see J. Loth, Appendice 
a L' Emigration Bretonne en Armorique, Paris, Picard, 1883. 

In the lolo MSS. are several references to S. Samson, but these are 
too late and uncertain to be of much value. 

" S. Samson of Bangor Illtyd, the son of Am\vn Ddu, King of Graweg 
in Armorica. He was Bishop of that Bangor and after that of York, 
and subsequently in Armorica. He lies buried in Illtyd's church." " 

^ " Unde principatus totius Britanniae apud Dolum juste constare videtur 
usque hodie." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 24. 

2 Nicolas Roscarrock in his MS. Lives of the English Saints gives a summary 
of the Life of S. Samson, but it is taken from Capgrave. 

' Abbe Duine, Notes sur les Saints Bretons, p. 19. 

■* Jolo MSS., p. 105. A list of the abbots of Llantwit mentioned in the Booh 
of Llan D&v is given in Birch, Marram Abbey, pp. 4-5. 

138 Lives of the British Saints 

Graweg stands for Broweroc. Samson never was at York. His^ 
namesake and not he was buried at Llantwit. The later Samson said 
to have been Abbot there is supposed to have lived in the early ninth 
century. It is questionable, however, whether there was more than 
one Samson Abbot of Llantwit, namely he of Del. 

" S. Anna, the daughter of Uthyr Bendragon, and mother of Cynyr 
of Caer Gawch. Afterwards she became the wife of Amwn Ddu, of 
Bangor Illtyd, King of Graweg in Armorica. A son of hers by that 
Amwn was S. Samson of lUtyd's choir." ^ 

Here we have two Annas confounded. Anna, mother of Samson,, 
was daughter of Meurig, and Anna wife, not mother, of Cynyr, was the 
daughter of Gwrthefyr (Vortimer). 

" Samson, son of Amwn Ddu, King of Graweg, ab Emyr Llydaw, 
and Anna, daughter of Meurig ab Tewdrig, King of Glamorgan, was 
his mother. He was a saint and bishop of Illtyd's choir, where he lies 
buried." ^ 

" S. Anna, daughter of Uthyr Bendragon, and mother of S. David ; 
and before that {sic) she was wife of Amwn Ddu, son of Emyr Llydaw. 
She had a son of that Amwn, by name Samson, a saint of Illtyd's 
choir." ^ 

Among the founders of churches in Glamorgan, Samson, Bishop and 
Saint of Illtyd's choir, is named as founder of Marcross, near Llantwit.* 
In Norman times the dedication was changed to that of the Holy 

In dealing with the Life of S. Samson, two fictions have to be dis- 
posed of, neither of which receives any countenance from the Lives 
above mentioned. These fictions are : — 

(i) That Samson was Archbishop of Menevia. 

{2) That Samson was at one time Archbishop of York. 

The second is the earliest. This Samson's fictitious existence we owe 
to Geoffrey of Monmouth. But there was a Samson, son of Caw, who 
is stated to have had a church dedicated to him at York. That this 
Samson, if he ever lived, was at York is doubtful in the extreme. 
Then the Church of Dol, desirous of maintaining its archiepiscopal 
position, supposed at first, and next confidently asserted, that 
Samson had been Archbishop of York, and had received the paU, 
before he migrated to Armorica. 

A Samson was, indeed. Bishop of S. David's, but at a far later period. 
Certainly Samson ab Caw never was a bishop there. Giraldus Cam- 
brensis,^ who gives the succession of the " Archbishops " of Menevia, 

1 lolo MSS., p. 107. 2 Ibid., p. 132. ' Ibid., p. 141. 

■* Ibid., p. 221. ^ Itin. Catnb. II, c. i. 

S. Samson 1 3 9 

names them in this order. David, Cenauc, Ehud, Ceneu, Morwal,. 
Haerunen, Elwaed, Gumuen, and so en to the twenty-fifth, who was 
Samson. Now, as David died in or about 589, and he was the con- 
temporary of Samson of Dol, it is obvious that tlie twenty-fourth bishop 
after him cannot have been Samson ab Amwn Ddu. But Giraldus,, 
blind to this, goes on, " In the time of Sampson, the pall was translated 
from Menevia in the following manner. A disorder called the Yellow 
Plague, and by the physicians the Icteric passion, of which the people 
died in great numbers, raged throughout Wales, at the time when Samp- 
son held the archiepiscopal see. Though a holy man, and fearless of 
death, he was prevailed upon, by the earnest entreaties of his people, 
to go on board a vessel, which was wafted, by a south wind, to Britan- 
nia Armorica, where he and his attendants were safely landed. The 
See of Dol being at that time vacant, he was immediately elected bishop. 
Hence it came to pass, that on account of the pall which Sampson had 
brought thither with him, the succeeding bishops, even to our times, 
always retained it." 

This is a marvellous jumble of impossibihties. There were two 
outbreaks of the Yellow Plague, one in 547, lasting to 550,1 i^^ other 
in 664.^ A third great mortality of a different nature took place in 
682-3.^ S. Samson was contemporary with the first, but not by a 
word in his Life is it intimated that he fled because of it. On the con- 
trary, we know from the Life of S. Teilo, that Samson was already at 
Dol, when Teilo fled from Wales on account of the pestilence. 

The immediate predecessor of Samson, Bishop of Menevia, was. 
Arthwael, who succeeded Asser. This Asser, there is reason to suppose,, 
was the bishop whom King Alfred summoned from Wales to his court. 
He styles him " Asser, my bishop," and he conferred on him the Bishop- 
ric of Sherborne. Asser merely says of himself that he went to Alfred 
(in 884) " out of the furthest coasts of Western Britain." 

We cannot positively affirm that Asser, the Bishop of Alfred, was. 
the Asser, twenty- third Bishop of Menevia, but at all events they were 
contemporaries if not identical persons. 

The legend of Samson, first Archbishop of York, then of Menevia, 

and lastly of Dol, was fabricated and set afloat for a polemical purpose, 

to support the claims of S. David's, and of Dol, to be metropolitan sees. 

Having disposed of these fictions, we may now address ourselves to 

the Life itself. 

^ AnnaUs Cambria, ed. Phimmore, in Y Cymmrodor.lX.p.iSS- With this 
agree the Irish Annals. Those of the Four Masters, after giving a hst of deaths, 
say under 548, " aU died of the plague Crom Chonaille. This was the first Buile 
Chonaille." ' ^ Anglo-Saxon CJiron., sub anno : Bede, Hist. Ecd., Ill, c. 27. 

^ Annales Camb., sub. anno. 

140 Lives of the British Saints 

According to the Vita ima Amon or Amwn, the father of Samson, 
was of Demetia, and his mother of Deventia. " Pater ejusdem Sancti 
Samsonis Demetiano ex genere, Ammon nomine, et ejus mater 
Dementia {al. Deventia) provincia proxima ejusdem Demetias, Anna 
nomine." ^ 

The Vita zda says, " Pater . . . Demetiano ex genere Amon no- 
mine, exortus est. At mater ejus, Anna non ine, de Venastia provincia, 
quas proxima est eidem Demetiffi, exorta est." ^ 

The Life in the Book of Llan Ddv, " Fuit vir Amon regah prosapia 
de regione Methiana (for Demetiana), et uxor ejus, Anna." ^ 

Demetia is Pembrol<:e and part of Carmarthen, Deventia, Dementia 
(i.e. de Ventia), Venetia is Gwent, which at that time included Mor- 

The apparent conflict between the statements in the Lives and in the 
genealogies relative to the origin of Amwn may be reconciled. He was 
a refugee in Demetia from Llydaw, to which his family in an earlier 
generation had emigrated from Demetia. 

The Welsh genealogies that make the grandfather of Emyr Llydaw 
brother of Cystennin, the grandfather of Arthur, cannot be trusted 
implicitly, yet in the Life of S. lUtyd, that Saint is spoken of as a kins- 
man of Arthur.* S. Tudwal's mother was the sister of Rhiwal who 
made himself master of Domnonia in Brittany, having crossed over 
from Britain, and she was wife of Hywel according to Breton tradition. 
Hywel Farchog was the brother of Amwn, and founder of the church of 
Llanhowell, near S. David's, in Demetia. 

Anna, the mother of Samson, was daughter of Meurig ab Tewdrig, 
a King of Morganwg. The brother of Amwn, Umbrafel, married 
another daughter of Meurig, and by her had three children, before that 
Amwn and Anna had any. 

The story of the birth of Samson has been already told.'' It is 
suspicious, as it looks as though i t is an importation from the Biblical 
accounts of the births of Samson and of Samuel. It does not agree 
happily with what the biographer himself tells us, that Samson had 
five brothers and a sister. If Samson were the child of the old age of 
Anna, she must have become a prolific mother late in life. Moreover, 
Anna lived on tiU late in the life of her famous son, so that she can hardly 
have been well-stricken in years when Samson was bom. 

When Samson was given to Amwn and his wife, he was baptized by 

1 Vita ima, ed. Acta SS. Boll., Jul., vi, p. 574. 

2 Vita 2da, ed. Plaine (separate issue), Paris, 1887, p. 6. 
^ Book of Llan Ddv, ed. Evans and Rhys, p. 6. 

* " Consobrinus." Vita S. Iltuti in Camb.-Brit. Saints, p. 159. 
5 i, pp. 161-2. 

, S. Samson 1 4. r 

S. Illtyd [yUa 31a), who called him by the name of the great judge of 
Israel. At the age of five, the child was committed to Illtyd to be 
educated {yita ya). The Life by John of Tynemouth says that he was 
not surrendered to lUtyd till aged seven. 

Under his master Samson studied hard, for lUtyd was the most 
learned of aU the Britons in the Scriptures, in Philosophy, to wit, 
Geometry, Grammar, and Arithmetic, and he was " genere magnificus 
sagacissimus et futurorum prsescius " (Vita ima). The reading 
" genere Magicus " is incorrect. 

He was taught letters by means of little tablets or dies, on each of 
which a letter was inscribed, and he showed great quickness of appre- 

On one occasion he had a discussion with Illtyd on some question, 
probably the interpretation of a passage of Scripture. Together they 
searched the sacred volume, but could arrive at no solution. On the 
third night Samson hit on an explanation, which he supposed was in- 
spired by an angel, and this he communicated to his master, who- 
accepted it.^ 

At the age of fifteen Samson began to practise fasting, but was repri- 
manded by S. Illtyd, who said, " My httle son, it is not proper that you 
should injure the health of your small body in its early bloom by 
excessive abstinence." 

Illtyd employed his pupils in repairing the old dykes that had been 
erected by the Roman legionaries to keep out the tides of the Severn.-^ 

On a Sunday, when Dubricius " papa " visited the monastery for 
the purpose of conferring orders, three were submitted to him, two to be 
ordained priests, Samson to be received into the diaconate. Then it 
was, as the three genuflected, that a dove flew in at the window, and 
when the bishop raised his hand to lay it on the candidate for the dia- 
conate, the bird perched on Samson's shoulder. There may be truth 
in the story. If Samson fed the pigeons of the monastery one of them 
may well have entered and singled out the youth by whom it was accus- 
tomed to be fed. * Gregory of Tours tells the story of a pigeon fiutter- 

1 " Sub uno eodemque die vicenas eleas tesserasque agnovit totas." Vita 

ima, p. 576. 

2 The author of Vita ima says that he knew what was the subject of dispute, 

but omitted it for the sake of brevity. 

3 A stone was found in 1878 near GoldcUft, bearing a Roman inscription, show- 
ing that the legionaries stationed at Caerleon were employed on the dykes. Hist. 
Traditions relating to Gwent, by W. N. Jones, Newport, Mon., 1897, Pt. I, p. 117. 

4 " Veniente Dubricio papa ad ejusdem domum die Dominica . . . ab 
eodem papa diaconus ordinatus est. Tres fratres ibidem ordinati sunt, duo in 
presbyterii, ille tertius in diaconatus ofiado ; sed cum ad veniam flectendam juxta 
morem fratres compellerentur, vidit sanctus papa una cum magistro Eltuto- 

142 Lives of the British Saints 

ing in a church whilst the cantors were singing, then coming down and 
perching on the hand of a youth. When he sought to drive it away it 
returned and settled on his head. Gregory does not pretend that the 
bird was supernatural.^ 

The favour shown to Samson by his master roused the jealousy of 
two of the brethren, nephews of lUtyd, one of whom was a priest, the 
other was not in Orders [sine gradu). That which they dreaded was 
lest on the death of the abbot, Samson should aspire to the succession. 
Samson was first cousin once removed, to lUtyd. These brothers as 
nephews stood nearer, and me or other of them might reasonably 
expect to succeed. As Samson might prove a rival, they resolved on 
getting rid of him.- 

It was customary, no doubt, in spring, that all the inmates of the 
monastery should be given a cooling beverage to purify their blood. ^ 
The layman, Samson's cousin, who was butler, put some poisonous 
herbs into the infusion prepared for Samson. The Saint had his sus- 
picions and refused to drink. He gave the mixture to a cat [pelax], 
which died after lapping it. That a cat should drink herb tea is improb- 
able. The biographer pretends that Samson did drain the cup and was 
none the worse for the draught. We cannot reject the story altogether, 
for this same lay brother became later one of Samson's most attached 
disciples, and the story of the attempt must have been well known 
through him to many. The priest, we are informed, was attacked with 
a fit next Sunday when receiving the communion from the hand of 

Probably the truth was that the lay brother's heart failed him and 
he did not poison the draught, as his brother the priest had advised. 

Samson was ordained priest, and again the dove appeared. The 
biographer, however, candidly admits that nobody saw it except 
Dubricius, lUtyd, and Samson himself. 

The prejudice felt against Samson was possibly not confined to his 
cousins, and he began to feel uncomfortable in the Llantwit monastery, 
but he hesitated to ask his master to let him go, till lUtyd himself 
recommended that he should leave. 

columbam per fenestram sursum apertam . . . stare. Et non solum hoc, sed 
■etiam episcopo manum ad confirmandum eum diaconum super eum levante, 
columba in scapulam dexteram ejus descendit." Vita ima, p. 577. 

' Hist. Franc, X, 29. 

2 " Presbyter . . . metuens ipse ne propter S. Samsonem a suo hereditario 
privaretur ac destitueretur monasterio, quod post suum aviinculum sperabat 
possidere," etc. Vita ima, p. 577. 

' " Consuetudo enim erat in hujus monasterii lege herbas hortivas per pocu- 
lum ad sanitatem convenienter fricare, ac singulis fratribus in suis vasculis . . . 
ad sanitatem particulatim dividere." Ibid. 

S. Samson 143 

Then Samson departed for a monastery in Ynys Pyr, or Caldey Isle,* 
presided over by " an illustrious and holy priest " named Pirus. 

The abbot received Samson as an angel of God, and in his new 
quarters the Saint became more strict than before in his mode of life. 
No one saw him idle ; he was continually occupied in reading, writing, or 
in prayer, when not engaged on the manual tasks imposed on him. To 
enable him to pursue his studies at night, he borrowed a lantern and 
took it to his cell.^ He never lay on a bed, but slept on the ground, 
leaning his back against the wall. 

Ynys Pyr is a fertile island, rising with bold cliffs out of the sea. 
The mediaeval priory that rose on the site of the monastery of Pirus 
still stands almost intact. Near it is a copious spring. On the main- 
land opposite is Manorbier.^ 

Whilst Samson was at Ynys Pyr his father fell ill, and it was feared 
that he might die. The old man sent to require his son to visit him, 
and stoutly protested that whether he lived or died he would not 
receive the Holy Communion save in the presence of Samson. 

The messengers took a boat, arrived at Ynys Pyr, and were received 
for the night into the hospitium outside the monastery precincts. 
Next morning, when the brethren issued forth to their work in the 
fields, they found the messengers hammering at the gates clamouring 
for Samson. Samson was among those who were going out, but the 
men did not recognize him. 

The Saint, " spiritually joking," and " with a cheerful countenance," 
asked what they wanted. They repHed that they had been sent for 
the son of Amwn. Samson volunteered to convey their message to 
him, but they replied that the communication they were sent to make 
was for his ear alone. 

" Verily," said Samson, " unless you tell me your errand you shall 
not see him." 

Pirus, who was present, failed to catch the humour of this " spiritual 
joke," and informed the messengers that the monk who stood before 
them was none other than the man they sought. Thereupon the 
messengers gave the particulars. Amwn was seriously ill, and desired 
his son's presence. Anna joined in urging him to come. The old man 
believed that he could not die happily unless he saw his son once more, 
and he stubbornly refused to be communicated, unless Samson went 
to him. 

iDugdale Monast. IV, p. 130. "Insula Pyr quo alio nomine Caldea 
Bunoupatur." Leland, Itin., V, p. 24, " and agaynst this towne, or betwixt 
yt. and Tenby, lyeth Inispir, i.e. Insula Pirrhi, aUas Calday." 

'2 " Lucemam suae mansioni portans." Vita ima, p. 579. 

' For the name, see supra, pp. 89-90. 

144 Lives of the British Sai?its 

Samson replied coldly, " I have left Egypt, why should I retumi 
thither ? " 

Pirus now intervened and bade him go, not out of filial obedience,, 
but on the chance of capturing his parents for the monastic pro- 

Accordingly Samson selected a young deacon as his companion, and 
set out, taking with him a couple of horses. ^ They passed through a 
dense wood. Till of late years the whole seaboard by Tenby was bare ; 
but further inland all was forest. The strange sounds, the hooting of 
owls, and cries of hawks filled the deacon with terror. 

Presently they heard a human voice hallooing on their " right 
hand." This was more than the deacon could bear; he let go the 
bridle of the sumpter horse that he was leading, threw away his cloak, 
and took to his heels. 

Next moment a woman issued from the shades of the trees, grey- 
headed, with wildly-flowing hair, and carrying a boar-spear in her 
hand.^ Seeing the young man running she threw her spear after him 
but without injuring him ; '' however, out of sheer fright, he fell 
sprawling, and fainted. 

Samson called after him, " Do not be afraid ! " but in vain. Then 
he stooped, picked up the fallen cloak, threw it over the back of the^ 
horse, caught it by the rein, and went forward in the direction of the 

On reaching the young man, he tried to rouse him, but found him 
in a dead faint. Then Samson called to the old woman, who was 
retiring, and bade her draw near. She, not caring to lose her spear, 
hesitatingly approached. 

^ " Quare sic dicis, electe Dei ? non enim negligenter facere debes opus Dei 
. . . curam enim te opportet habere de animarum profectu ; nam merces tua 
grandis erit cum Deo, dum ubi carnalia creverunt, spiritualia per te seminentur.'' 
Vita inia, p. 579. 

2 It seems probable that this same deacon was Enoch, who afterwards com- 
municated the story. In this episode many little details are given : the spiritual 
waggery of Samson, the voice heard " on the right hand," the throwing away of 
the cloak, its being picked up by Samson, the leap of the woman " to the left," 
the presence of the deacon in the room when Amwn makes his confession, the- 
investigation into the matter by Dubricius. All proclaim the presence of the 

' " Vidit theomacliam hirsutam, canutamque, anum decrepitam, suis vesti- 
mentis bribitam, trisulcatamque venalem in manu tenentem." Vita ima,_ 
p. 580. Vita Ida renders this, " Vidit theomacham hirsutam, canutamque, 
anum jam decrepitam ; suis vestimentis bribitam, trisulcatamque venalem in 
manu tenentem," p. 20. The Life in the Book of Llan Dav has, " Theomacha 
ursuta et cornuta cum lancea trisulcata," p. 13. 

* " Triscula lancea maleficae mulieris corpus ejus non fuit perfossum." ,, Vita- 
ima, p. 580. 

S. Samson I ^. 5 

" You hideous creature {mala forma) ! Who and what are you ? " 
rudely inquired the saint. 

The poor woman (anum jam decrepitam) ,^ thus addressed, told a 
pitiful tale. She belonged to the original inhabitants of the land, 
that had been greatly reduced in numbers, and, in fact, she and her 
mother and eight sisters were all that remained. Her husband was 
dead. 2 

Samson commanded her to revive the unconscious deacon. This, 
she replied, was beyond her powers. Her spear had not touched him ; 
he was simply paralysed with fright. Thereupon Samson cursed 
her to die on the spot. Then she sprang aside " to the left hand,'" 
fell, and expired.^ 

The story, with its minute details, must not be relegated to the 
domain of fiction. It bears every character of an actual occurrence 
described by an eye-witness. 

On reaching his father's house, Amwn ordered every one out of the 
room except his wife, his son, and the deacon, and before them made 
confession of the irregularities of his past life. Then, strongly urged 
thereto by Anna, he vowed to dedicate himself to God, and insisted 
on having his head clipped immediately. Anna was not content 
with this. " Surely it is not sufficient that you and I should serve 
God," said she ; "let us devote all our offspring to the service of 
God, and surrender all our possessions." 

" Very well," said Amwn. " It shall be as you say." 

There were present five brothers of Samson and one young sister. 
All these the parents, indisposed to do things by halves, offered to 
God and to Samson. The latter hesitated a moment, and then accepted 
the oblation made of his brothers, but declined to take his sister, 
as he foresaw that she would be addicted to the pomps and vanities 
of the world. It did not occur to the parents or to Samson to consult 
the wishes and interests of the five young men, in the matter. But 
the transaction wore another complexion. Amwn had no tribal 
rights in Demetia. Samson, his most notable son, failed altogether 
to obtain a permanent foothold there, and Amwn saw that the sole 

' Yet her mother was alive, so that she cannot have been so very old. 

2 " Theomacha sum, et gentes meae hue usque praevaricatrices vobis extiter- 
unt." Ibid. Clearly she belonged to the Silurian indigenes. 

' " Malefica ilia muher saltum pr£ecipitem in latere sinistro dans ad terram 
corruit et mortua est." Samson had said, " Deum omnipotentem imploro, ne 
ampUus aliis injuriam facias, sed dum irremediabihs es, hac hora moriaris." 
Ibid. In Vita 2da, " Etilla statim rugiens, ac in latere sinistro cadens, statim 
mortua est." 

VOL. IV. ^ 

146 Lives of the British Saints 

chance for his sons was to embrace the ecclesiastical profession. Of 
the five brothers we know the names of two only. Tydecho crossed 
into Armorica to see if he could recover something among the wreck- 
age of the family rights, but failed, and returned. Tathan, ^ possi- 
bl}', managed to plant a church, S. Athan's, near Llantwit Major. 
Whether the other three remained with Samson is doubtful. If they 
had done so their names would probably have been preserved. As 
far as we can judge, the five brothers accepted the dedication to God, 
but declined that to Samson made by their father. 

At the same time Umbrafel and his wife Afrella, the uncle and aunt 
of Samson,' professed their readiness to enter the religious life. Sam- 
son disposed suitably of his mother and aunt, and required his father 
and uncle to accompany him to Ynys Pyr. It is not said that his 
brothers agreed to attend him. 

Amwn and Umbrafel divided all that they possessed into three 
portions ; one they gave to the poor, one to the Church, and the third 
they reserved for themselves. Their sons and daughter got nothing. 

On the return journey an incident occurred that has been grossly 

As they were walking along, Amwn leading the way, followed by 
Umbrafel, they came on a patch of ground that had been recently 
burnt, and before them, in the path, lay a large snake. Amwn drew 
back and pointed it out to his brother, who thereupon also halted. 
Samson, from the rear, inquired what was the matter, and was told. 
He bade the company not be alarmed, and went forward. Amwn 
complacently sat down beside the road, and the rest did the same, 
awaiting the result. The only one who made a faint attempt to 
assist Samson was Umbrafel, who said, " It is not advisable that you 
should proceed alone against the creature ; allow me to accompany 
you." " There is really no need," answered Samson ; " sit down with 
the rest." 

When the snake saw Samson advancing towards it, it reared 
itself on its tail, hissing ; but Samson, without much difficulty, suc- 
ceeded in killing it. That this really was a poisonous serpent, and 
not a grass-snake, appears from its rising on its tail, and attempting 
to strike at its assailant. As the story travelled down, passed from 
one to another, till it reached the biographer, the viper grew till it 
became a " serpens flamineo capite pervasta deserta serpitans," and 
the creature not relishing the smell (nidorem) of Samson, eats itself, 

1 Not to be confounded with Ta-Jhan, the master of Cadoc at Caerwent. But 
the documents point to an unknown female S. Tathana as the saint. 

S. Samson 147 

beginning with its tail> As the season was the beginning of Lent, 
the serpent must have been hardly awake from its winter sleep. 

When Samson arrived at Ynys Pyr he found there Dubricius. The 
bishop was accustomed to retire to this island for the forty days of 
the great fast. 

Apparently the story of the death of the woman in the forest had 
got about, and was commented on unfavourably, for Dubricius felt 
himself constrained to investigate it. He accordingly summoned 
to him the deacon, and endeavoured to extort the truth from him. 
That Samson had killed the poor creature could not be denied. The 
question was, whether he had knocked her on the head, or had merely 
killed her with his curse. She had belonged to one of the aboriginal 
natives, and this people was credited with being given over to necro- 
mancy. In the Silva Gadelica (ed. O'Grady, 1892) occur many 
instances of Irish heroes who gloried in killing women that did not 
belong to the fair-haired Milesian stock, and who were suspected of 
uttering incantations. The woman, on her own confession, was a 
witch, at least so the deacon said, and it was a command of Moses, 
" Thou shaft not suffer a witch to live." There is no reason to sup- 
pose that Samson would have felt any scruple at killing her, but to 
slay a human being, with any other weapon than the tongue, was 
irregular and reprehensible. 

The deacon was discreet. He had the wit to tell the story in such 
a manner as to aggravate the offence of the woman, and not to com- 
promise Samson ; and as there was no other witness of the affair, 
Dubricius was fain to accept the tale in the plausible form in which 
it was served up to him.^ 

Dubricius now appointed Samson to be steward of the monastery. 
This incensed the man who had held the office previously, and he 
complained to the bishop that Samson was wasteful, and that the 
vessels of honey — we should understand mead — were nearly empty. 

Dubricius looked into the matter and ascertained that the charge 
was unfounded. This is told as miraculous. Samson, by an exhi- 
bition of supernatural power, replenished the exhausted supply. There 
are points about the tale that deserve to be noted. It was certainly 

' " Samson, quasi anguillam pusillam vidisset, ad eum cucurrit ; serpens 
vero videns eum, glebam morsu et arenam capiens . . . et in spiram se velociter 
colligens, caudam propriis dentibus rodens, emisit." Vita ida, p, 23. 

2 " Diaconum ilium, qui cum sancto Samsone viam fecerat, sanctus Dubri- 
cius papa seorsum vocans, diligenter percunctatus est ab eo cunctos eorum eventus 
in itinera. Sanctus ergo diaconus omnia per ordinem replicans, ac de sua ignavia 
., . . interroganti se episcopo nihil omnino celavit, sed cunctaeihumiliter dixit." 
Vita ima, p. 581. 

148 Lives of the Bi'itish Saints 

an extraordinary act of interference on the part of Dubricius, a visitor, 
to change the cellarers. But when we hear that the abbot was a 
drunkard, we can understand this. Dubricius was determined to 
interpose some one who was trustworthy between Pirus and the liquor.' 

Notwithstanding the precautions taken by the bishop, this " emi- 
nent man and holy priest," ^ the Abbot Pirus, got drunk one night 
in Lent, returning to the monastic enclosure. Finding the Abbey 
cellar closed to him, he had probably gone to the guest house outside 
for his drink. On his way he tumbled into the well, uttering a hideous 
howl. The monks ran to the spot, and pulled him out, but he died 
the same night. 

The well is still to be seen. It emits a copious stream, so copious 
as to turn a small mill. It is a remarkable spring, that must receive 
its supply from higher ground on the mainland. Dubricius was still 
in the monastery. He summoned the monks to a conclave, and 
insisted on their electing Samson as their abbot. 

Samson at once proceeded to reform the monastery, and bring the 
brethren into better order than had been observed under the easy 
rule of Pirus. 

This they did not relish ; they chafed at the restraints imposed on 
them, and became sullen first, and then insubordinate. 

Samson had been abbot for a year and six months, when the island 
was visited by some Irish monks on their way home from Rome. He 
seized the opportunity to escape from a situation becoming daily more 
intolerable, and, alleging a desire to visit Ireland, he quitted Ynys 
Pyr, but left his father and uncle behind in it. He seems to have 
settled for awhile at Ballygriffin, in the county of Dublin. Here are 
the ruins of a church of S. Samson, once parochial, but now absorbed 
into that of S. Doulough. "At the left-hand side, entering the avenue 
of Ballygriffin Park, some traces of S. Samson's church may still be 
seen. It consisted of nave and chancel ; together taken about eighteen 
yards in length. The churchyard is under meadow ; still a shadowy 
outline of its precincts is faintly discernible." ^ 

In South Wexford is a Bally Samson, with a ruined church, now 
regarded as dedicated to S. Catherine, but the name of the townland 
retains a memory of the original founder. 

^ ' ' Episcopus latenter ad cellas erumpere cupiens, ea hora antequam veniret 
puerum ad sanctum Samsonem ut eum in cellam venire imperaret, misit. Sanc- 
tus vero Samson causam agnovit atque in cellam continuo introiens, lanternis 
signum crucis imposuit : et dum episcopus venit, plena omnia et perfecta reperta 
sunt." Vita ima, p. 582. 

* " Insula nuper fundata a quodam egregio viro, ac sancto presbytero, Piro 
nomine." Ihid., p. 578. ' O'Hanlon, Lz't/es 0/ tte 7raA SajKZs, VII, p. 430. 

S. Samson 149 

It is probably about this latter place that a story is recorded. Sam- 
son did not care to remain in Ireland ; so many resorted to him that 
he had no peace ; so he went to the coast to cross over again into 
Wales. The vessel was ready to sail, but at that moment arrived a 
monk with a distressing tale and entreaty that Samson would assist 
his brethren out of a difficulty. At the monastery to which he 
belonged the abbot had gone raving mad, and the brothers had been 
obliged to chain him. Samson accompanied the man to his monas- 
tery and found the abbot there howling, furious, and bound hand and 
foot. He cast the evil spirit out of him, and undertook to carry him 
off with him out of the country, and so rid the brethren of a very 
undesirable head to their establishment. In return for this favour, 
they made over the monastery to Samson.^ 

He now entered the ship, taking with him an Irish chariot, that 
might serve him in his future excursions, and he arrived at Ynys Pyr 
after a prosperous voyage. The monks invited him to resume rule 
over them, but to this he would not consent. He found that his uncle 
had made more progress in religion than his father, and he despatched 
him to the monastery in Ireland that had been recently committed 
to him ; but he deemed it advisable to keep his somewhat restive and 
unbroken old father under his own eye. Samson now sought out a 
desert region near the Severn Sea (juxta Habrinum flumen).^ He 
took with him four companions, one of whom was the cousin who had 
attempted his Ufe, another was the deposed abbot from Ireland, his 
father, and another unnamed, possibly the deacon. 

He departed by boat, and, if we be not mistaken, coasted till he 
reached the creek that runs inland to Stackpole Elidor. To this there 
is a narrow entrance guarded by the Stack Rock. Within it branches 
into many creeks between steep hills. The entrance is now blocked, 
and these sheets of water are haunted by a vast number of swans. 
At the entrance on the East is the Warren strewn with prehistoric 

1 " Commendans se et totum monasterium suum [Samsoni] in decumbitione 
usque in perpetuum. De quo monasterio multa bona facta audivimus et nunc 
usque in sancti Samsonis honore colitur." Vita -zda, p. 26. 

2 It may be objected that the site of S. Samson's settlement as proposed is 
hardly on the Severn. It is actually at the mouth of the Bristol Channel. But 
the Rev. W. Done Bushell, the present owner of Caldey, writes : " Droysen, in 
his Historische Landatlas, in Ms maps of England under the Anglo-Saxon Kings 
makes the whole of the Bristol Channel to be " Saefern ' or ' Severne.' And 
only forty years ago I heard a Bristol Channel pilot swear in the Court at Cardiff 
that the mouth of the Severn was reckoned as extending as far as to Lundy. The 
old geographical tradition seems to have Ungered on." We may well suppose 
that the Severn was in Samson's time and later supposed to reach to where S. 
Gowan's Head, Lundy Isle, and Hartland Head formed a natural limit, beyond 
which began the ocean. 

150 Lives of the British Saints 

relics, kitchen middens, and hut circles, once a scene of busy life, and 
perhaps in former times an island. 

Boating up this estuary, Samson found a headland on which was 
an ancient camp (castellum admodum delicatum reperit), and in it 
a clear spring. 

On quitting Ynys Pyr for the mainland, Samson had two lines of 
country open to him, one towards the North, the other towards the 
West. To the North was Narberth, the residence of the prince of that 
region, and a country well peopled. But Samson was in quest of a 
desert. To the westward was the peninsula now forming the Hundred 
of Castle Martin. It was bounded on the North by Milford Haven 
and the tidal Pembroke River, and this must have been one of the 
wildest portions of Demetia. It was deeply cut into by the Stackpool 
fiord. It was a district admirably suited to meet the requirements 
of Samson. It was sheltered from the storms, well wooded, and cut 
off from mankind. One difficulty in the identification presents itself. 
In the camp at present is no spring of water. The old fortress con- 
sists of an elevated finger of land between two channels of water, with 
three lines of embankments drawn across the peninsula, and with 
traces of walling round the portion so cut off. 

Samson settled his disciples in the camp, constructed a rude chapel 
of timber, and then looked about for a still more solitary spot for 
himself. One day, prowling through the wood, he lit on a cave 
facing the east, " planissima et secretissima." What planissima may 
mean we do not know ; it may signify no more than that it was un- 
pretending, or else that it had a level floor. All these conditions are 
satisfied by a small cave near Bosherston, in a rock that divides the 
fiord into two branches, and is called Rock Point. It is separated 
from the camp by Bosherston Mere. The country in the immediate 
neighbourhood is exceptionally well watered, and whilst the cave and 
the camp are at no great distance apart as the crow flies, it requires 
a very considerable detour to get from one to the other. Tradition 
has it that a king was buried in this grot on a golden bed. Some years 
ago it was explored by Mr. Edward Laws, of Tenby, and it yielded 
a part of the bronze handle of a sword, and some unburnt bones of a 
human foot. A mile to the North we have Samson's Farm, Samson's 
Cross, and Samson's Bridge. Whence they get their names is un- 
known. No tradition of the presence there of our saint now remains. 

It was probably to this cave that Samson retreated, and he visited 
the camp and his companions only on Sundays, when he celebrated 
the Holy Eucharist. 

One day when Samson was praying in the cave, and had bowed 


Camp and Cave at Stackpole. 


S. Samson 151 

his face to the earth, he felt the soil damp, and driving in his staff, a 
. "^P^'l spring began to flow. There is no spring now in the cave, nor 
IS It hkely that there ever was, as it is in the limestone. It is, how- 
ever, possible that the moisture from the ground above may have 
dripped from the roof, and been collected by Samson in a basin formed 
in the floor. 

No very long time elapsed before it was ascertained whither Sam- 
son had retreated, and Dubricius, in concert with a synod, sent a letter 
to him requiring his presence. He was unable to refuse. 

When Samson arrived, Dubricius, by common consent, appointed 
him to be Abbot of the monastery, founded by S. Germanus. 

The custom of the Celtic Church was that there should be always 
three bishops consecrated together. On this occasion there were but 
two candidates. To complete the number Dubricius summoned Sam- 
son to take his place beside the other two. Again the inevitable 
dove appeared. 

How it was that Samson was put at the head of Llantwit dunng the 
lifetime of its abbot we find from the Life of S. lUtyd. That saint 
had been forced to abandon his monastery by the vexations caused 
by the stewards of the king of that part of Morganwg, and he had 
retired to the banks of the Ogmore. 

Dubricius saw that it was necessary for the well-being of the mon- 
asterj' that it should not be left without a head, and, without preju- 
dice to the rights of S. lUtyd, he appointed Samson, as not only suited 
by character, but also by ties of blood, to be temporarily Abbot of 

On a certain Easter night, as Samson was watching in the Church, 
word came to him from heaven that he was to quit Britain, and go 
to the land which had been so extensively colonised from that island. 
Such messages from heaven generally arrived when a saint had already 
made up his mind to take the step. In this instance Illtyd was 
returning to resume the abbacy, and Samson was required to make 
room for him. If we may trust the pedigree of the family, he had 
already two cousins in Armorican Domnonia, who had suffered great 
provocation from Conmore, the regent and viceroy of Childebert. 
These were S. Tudwal and S. Leonore. Paul of Leon came from the 
neighbourhood of Llantwit, and undoubtedly the political condition 
of Letavia was pretty well known there. 

The rightful sovereign, Judual, had fled for his life to the French 

^ " Abbatem eum in monasterio quod, ut aiunt, a sancto Germano fuerat 
constructum constituerunt." Llantwit had taken tlie place of Caerworgorn 
that had been destroyed by pirates. 

152 Lives of the British Saints 

court, and had been assisted in his escape by Leonora ; in revenge 
for having done this Conmore had maltreated the saint. Leonore 
had been educated at Llantwit. Tudwal also had been insulted and 
driven from his monastery. Samson thought he saw his opportunity. 
If the saints in Brittany would combine to stir up the people, and to 
overthrow the tyrant, the grateful Judual would be certain largely to 
reward them for their services. 

Accordmgly Samso:i resolved on passing over into Armorica.^ 
Before doing this, however, he skirted the margin of the Severn Sea 
(" citra Habrinum mare," Vitm i and 3 ; " circa Habrinum mare," Vita 
2), and visited his mother and aunt, consecrated their churches, and 
made inquiry into the conduct of his brothers. Learning that his 
sister had misconducted herself, he excommunicated her, and 
■" detested her accordingly." 

He did not, however, leave Llantwit without establishing one foun- 
dation which might commemorate his si ay there, and this was Marcross. 

We may suppose him travelling eastward through Gwent, perhaps 
to Oxenhall, wh^re was his mother, on a little confluent of the Severn. 
That some of his kinsmen were in that portion of Gwent which lies 
between the Usk and the Wye is tolerably certain. Machu or Malo, 
a nephew, was at S. Maughans. He was son of his aunt Dervel. 
Meugan and Henwyn (Hywyn) were his cousins. Meugan had been 
for awhile pupil at Llantwit, but had removed to Caerleon, where 
his father was abbot. Another relative was Mewan, son of Gerascen, 
Prince of Erging, and his sister, that very sister, probably, whom 
Samson had excommunicated and " detested." Her crime consisted 
in marrying rather than embracing the monastic profession. Prob- 
ably she made her peace with Samson by surrendering her son to him, 
and Mewan became a notable founder in Brittany. We may suspect 
that Samson visited Erging and Gwent Iscoed before startmg, and 
that his object was to collect disciples, preferably kinsmen, to accom- 
pany him to Letavia. 

So soon as Samson was ready he took ship, and after a prosperous 
voyage arrived at the monastery of Docho (or Dochovi).^ When 
the brethren in this place heard of his arrival, and desired that some 
wise brother [aliquis sapiens) should be commissioned to meet him, 

1 In the Life of S. lUtyd the story is differently told. In it messengers come 
from Letavia to invite Samson to become Bishop of Del, and then it is that Dubri- 
cius consecrates him. This version is untrustworthy. Del was not founded until 
Samson went to Brittany. Messengers, however, may have arrived narrating 
the political condition of affairs, and have suggested to Samson to cross into it. 

2 " Prospero navigio ad monasterium, quod Docto vocatur . . . perrexit 
itinere." Vita ima, p. 584. 

aS*. Samson 153 

they sent to him Winiavus [at. Juniavus), " a name which in the 
British tongue signifies Light." '^ He was a man divinely inspired 
and endowed with prophetic powers. 

On appearing before Samson, he inquired of him his purpose in 
coming there, and asked whither he was going. Samson answered 
evasively, " Brother, I wonder at your folly in asking the purpose 
of my journey and whither I would go, when it is written in the Gos- 
pel, ' Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, 
or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's 
sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.' " . 
Then he asked Winiau if he might be permitted to remain there for 
awhile. Winiau flatly refused, but softened the refusal by a com- 
pliment. The monks of that establishment had become relaxed in 
■discipline, and the result of so admirable a disciplinarian as Samson 
coming among them would lead to friction. On the whole, said Winiau, 
it would be advisable that Samson should go further. However, 
he recommended him first of all to make a display of his virtue in the 
province, before he shipped to the Continent. ^ Apparently, he wanted 
him to perform a miracle to prove his holiness. 

The author of Vita 2da was scandalized at this churlish refusal to 
receive Samson, and he did not scruple to alter the whole account. 
He makes Winiau entreat Samson to remain there, and gives as a 
motive that the country people round were given over to the worship 
of devils, and that he would certainly win souls if he remained. 

The whole passage is most perplexing. 

The monastery of Docho is, on the face of it, Llandough, known 
anciently as the Llan or Abbatia of Dochou, Docunni or Docguinni.^ 
But this identification does not fit the narrative happily. This repre- 
sents Samson skirting the Severn, visiting his mother and aunt, and 
then taking boat, and after a prosperous voyage he arrives at Llan- 
dough. It would hardly seem worth noting as a prosperous voyage 
if he had merely boated down the Severn such a trifling distance as 
to the mouth of the Taff by Cardiff. Moreover, to reach it " Auferreum 
mare transfretavit." There was no crossing the Severn Sea to get 
to Llandough. 

1 Regarded as a derivative of gwyn, white. 

2 " Quod exigis, ut apud nos quiescere deberes, conveniens non est, ne qui 
valde melior nobis, utpote inferioribus, condemneris, et nos de te . . . et nostris 
mentis exigentibus condemnemur. Hoc enim scire te volumus, quod jam in 
nostris prioribus institutis relaxamur." Vita ima, p. 584. 

' Book of Llan Ddv, p. 395 (inde.x). See also Birch, Hist, cf Margam Abbey, 
s.v. Docwini; Clark, Carta, i (Dowlais, 1885), No. 199 ; and this work, ii, pp. 
249, 252. 

154 Lives of the British Saints 

Moreover, Winiau could not at that time describe Morgan wg " in 
hac patria diabolico cultu, diabolo instigante, multi homines illu- 
duntur." Llandaff was three miles off, Llancarfan eight miles distant, 
and five from that was Llantwit. The country was covered with 
churches. Meurig, Samson's grandfather, had been a liberal bene- 
factor to the Church. 

Again, Winiau greets Samson as a total stranger ; but the latter 
had been for some time abbot, near by at Llantwit, where he had been 

The name of Guiniau is indeed found attached to a church in Deme- 
tia, " eccluis Guiniau (Gunniau), ubi natus est Sanctus Teliaus." "• 
He does not appear as a signatory in any of the Charters of Llandaff 
or Llancarfan, whereas the Abbot of Llandough signs repeatedly, and 
he, the wisest and most learned of the country round, has left abso- 
lutely no trace of himself in the neighbourhood of Llandough. 

We venture to suggest a solution of the difficulty. 

The same saint who gave his name to Llandough by Cardiff had 
also a church near Padstow, known in Domesday as Lannowe. It is 
now known as S. Kewe, after an Irish Saint Cigwa or Ciwa, who for- 
merly had a chapel in the parish, and then one attached to the church 
of S. Docwin. Locally Docwin is called S. Dawe. 

As a foundation of S. Docwin or Dochau, its original name would be 
the same as that of the monastery near Cardiff, Llandochau or Llan- 
dough. But we have no earlier notice of the place than that in the 
Domesday Book, which gives Lannowe. 

The text of the Life of S. Samson shows us that by a prosperous 
voyage the saint arrived at or near to a monastery of Docwin. " Pros- 
pero navigio ad monasterium quod Docto vocatur, sequentibus se 
supradictis tribus, et multis aliis felici perrexit itinere " [Vita ima) ; 
and the Book of Llan Ddv has it, " Auferreum mare transfretavit," 
he crossed over from some port in Gwent, and arrived in Padstow 
Harbour, near the monastery of Docho, Dochovi, or Dochor, which 
was Lannowe. 

If we accept this much becomes plain. 

Samson was bound for Armorica. He would naturally cross over 
first of all to Cornwall, then traverse that, and take boat again at 
some point on the south coast. 

Our reasons for suggesting this explanation are these. 

1. The fact of a church of Docwin being near it. 

2. The fact that a chapel bearing the name of Samson stood above 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 124, 255. For the church see iii, p. 23 j. 

aS*. Samson i 5 5. 

the present town of Padstow in che grounds of Place House. The site- 
is now marked by an ancient cross. That this was no insignificant 
chapel is shown by there having been an early cemetery attached. 
And it must have either preceded or succeeded that of S. Petrock 
below the rock. One can hardly imagine two cemeteries existing 
simultaneous within a stone's throw of one another. 

3. The fact that when S. Petrock arrived in Padstow Harbour from 
Ireland, he met there " Sanctum quemdam Samsonem," who received 
him as frigidly as he himself had been received by Winiau. 

4. The fact that Winiau is known in that part of Cornwall. He 
had been a disciple of Padam.i Padam settled at Petherwin. Winiau 
has left his name at Lewannick, and further south at S. Winnow, on 
the Fal, close to a settlement of S. Samson, whom he seems to have 

5. That this was on the chrect route from South Wales to Brittany.. 
We vnll now proceed with the narrative. 

After the meeting with Winiau, and the refusal of the monks of 
Docho to receive him, Samson probably halted for a while at Padstow, 
and made the Httle foundation where is now the site of his chapel 
and cemetery. He dismissed his boat, and prepared for a land 

He laded the wagon he had brought with him from Ireland 
with sacred vessels and books, harnessed horses to it, and started on 
his way to the Austean Sea, or, as the Vita 2da has it, " Mare Aus- 
trum." This cannot have been the Aust Channel, as supposed by 
the editors of the Book of Llan Ddv,^ nor can it have been the Bristol 
Channel, which was already passed. The " Austean Sea which leads. 
to Europe" can hardly be other than the English Channel. Ptolemy 
calls the extreme point of Cornwall the Antevestaeum Promontory, 
and it is possible that the Channel south of that may have been called 
the Antevestaean Sea, which the author of the Life of Samson renders. 

From this point on, almost every stage of Samson's journey is 
marked by some indelible reminiscence of the Saint. 

Opposite Padstow, covered with blown sand, but occasionally ex- 

> Vita S. Patemi, Camhro-Brit. Saints, p. 191. Supra, p. 45. 

2 " Longaevus viator mare quod Austejum vocant quicquid ad Europanii 
ducit desiderabiliter petiit." The order of his proceedings is clear enough : — 

1. He skirted the Severn, visiting his mother and other relations. 

2. He took boat and crossed the Severn Sea to Cornwall. 

3. He dismissed the boat, and with a wagon traversed the land to the sea at. 
the south which leads to the Continent. 

3 P. 387- 

156 Lives of the British Saints 

posed after a gale, are the remains of a Romano-British town. From 
it runs an ancient road over the highlands by Camelford to Stratton 
and so on to Bideford. At Camelford, however, struck off the main 
artery of traffic, by Launceston, Okehampton to Exeter, which was 
in communication with the rest of Britain by the Hard Way, the Fosse 
Way and Adding Street. By the side of this road, a few years ago, 
under a rock, was discovered the horde of a beggar who had sat by 
the wayside begging in the days of Constantius I. Along this road 
Egbert advanced in 823 and met and defeated the West Welsh in the 
decisive battle of Gavulford (Galford), in the present parish of Bride- 

The road from Padstow Harbour led up a long ascent, leaving S. 
Docwin's monastery on the left, in a snug well-wooded glen, among 
rich pastures. Samson sat in his wagon, high piled with his goods, 
some of his monks preceding, and others following. We trust that 
he found room for his father beside him, but the biographer says that 
he sat " solus." They came out on windswept downs, strewn with 
barrows that covered the dead of the ancient inhabitants of the bronze 
age. Then they reached the source of the Camel and the spot where 
in after ages it would be said had occurred the fatal battle of Camelot, 
in which fell Arthur and his nephew Modred. Now they bent to 
the East, following the great highway. The rugged heights of Rough- 
ton and Brown Willy and the stretch of the Cornish moors were on 
their right. If the season were spring, they would be ablaze with 
golden gorse. Far away, blue against the sky, stood up the range 
of Dartmoor like a long wave about to roll over and submerge the 
intervening country wrapped in oak woods. Over what is now called 
Laneast Down, travelled Samson and his monks, the wagon jolting 
along the paved road that had not been repaired since the withdrawal 
of the conquerors of the world. Choughs and lapwings screamed 
about them, and ravens croaked from the twisted thorns. 

A Winwaloe settlement lay near. Winwaloe was Samson's first 
cousin, but we cannot be sure that this colony had been founded at 
the time, however, under the shelter of the down on his right was a 
church of Sidwell and Wulvella, sisters of Paul of Leon, and all had 
come from that part of Gwent Samson knew so well. They had 
probably moved away, and Samson did not visit them. 

As Samson and his party were about to descend from Laneast Down, 
they observed a bald hill on the left [in parte sinistra), now Tregeare, 
called by the biographer Tricurium.i The hill-top was thronged 

1 " Quadam die cum per quemdam pagus quern Tricurium vocant deam- , 
bulavit." Vila ima, p. 584. The pagus is the deanery of Trig Major. 

S. Samson 157 

with people engaged in an idolatrous revel. Samson recalled what 
^\iniau had said to him, that the natives were stiU immersed in devil 
worship, and he at once descended from his wagon, and taking with 
him two of his monks, and bidding the rest remain where they were 
till his return, made for Tregeare, and, in his zeal, ran up the hiU [pelo- 
citer ad eos cucurrit). He found the people dancing around an up- 
right stone, and the chieftain {comes) of the district was looking on 
wth approval. Samson remonstrated. The people good-humouredly 
explained that no harm was meant ; they were merry-making as was 
their immemorial custom ; but some advised Samson to mind his 
own business. Certain of the company were angry at his interference.^ 

Samson persisted in his denunciation of the ceremony. It would 
seem to have been much like the Maypole dance which persisted in 
Britain, and at Padstow to our own times, pagan in origin, but it had 
already lost all its heathen signification when Samson interfered with 
the ceremony. At this moment, a boy of noble birth, who was mounted 
on an unbroken colt, and was careering about the hill, was thrown, 
fell on his head, and lay stunned on the sod. This drew off the atten- 
tion of the revellers. Samson went to the lad, made those who crowded 
round stand back, and prayed for the child's recovery. Happily, 
the boy opened his eyes and stood up. The people, supposing that 
the Saint had raised him to hfe, became more willing to listen to him. 
Instead of destroying the menhir, Samson cut a cross upon it.^ The 
revellers gave up their dancing for that year, to resume it on the next 

The stone is no longer on Tregeare height, but a very rude granite 
cross stands by the wayside from Laneast Down to Tregeare. 

Samson was now not far from the settlement of his first cousin 
Padam, and we may perhaps introduce here the picturesque incident 
of his going to him, and being met by Padam half shod, which has 
already been given under S. Padarn.^ This is not recorded in the 
Life of S. Samson. It may have stood in it and have been exscinded, 
as the Church of Vannes had laid hold of the incident to base thereon 
a claim of exemption from dues to the Metropolitan See of Dol. 

Gwithian, we are told, now induced Samson to confirm those who 

^ " Adstante inter eos eorum comite Guediana, atque excusantibus illis malum 
non esse mathematicum eanim partum in ludo servare, aliis furentibus, aliis 
deridentibus, non nullis autem quibus mens erat sanior, ut abiret hortantibus," 
etc. Vita ima, p. 584. 

2 "In quo monte et ego fui, signumque crucis, quod Sanctus Samson sua 
manu cum quodam ferro in lapide stante sculpsit, adoravi et mea manu palpavi." 
Ibid. If this be the cross above mentioned, it has been shaped out of the menhir 
at a later time. It still retains a clumsily chiselled cross. 

* Supra, p. 47. 

158 Lives of the British Saints 

had been engaged in the Mayday revel. They had aheady been 
baptized. 1 

To enhance the merits of S. Samson, the compiler of the Life in the 
Llandaff book turns Count and people of Tricurium into pagans, and 
makes the Saint convert and baptize them all. " Baptizati sunt, 
in Jesum filium Dei credentes." The Count Gwithian then informed 
Samson that there was in the same province a serpent that devastated 
two -pagos and suffered no human beings to occupy them. Accordingly, 
Samson undertook to destroy it, and next day was led to the spot 
by the boy who had tumbled olf his horse and was recovered, and 
whom Samson resolved on taking with him and promoting to be a 

It is not easy to make out what these serpents were that occur so 
frequently in the legends of the Saints. In some cases they were, as 
we have already suggested, the wicker-work figures in which human 
sacrifices were offered. In others they are symbols of some tyrant, 
or else of paganism in general. Maelgwn is spoken of by Gildas as 
" insularis draco," and in the Life of S. Meven, Conmore is almost 
certainly to be recognized under the disguise of such a monster. 

Led by the boy, Samson went to the spot, crossing a river on the 
way, the Inney. In so doing he passed Lewannick, the church of that 
same Winiau who had been the disciple of Padarn, and who had met 
him at Padstow. 

Arrived on the spot, the boy, who had hitherto preceded him, 
dropped behind, much as had Umbrafel on the way to Ynys Pyr 
when Samson killed the serpent in Demetia. Samson, however, went 
boldly forward to the cave in which was the dragon, fastened his linen 
girdle about it, dragged it forth, and flung it into the nearest river, 
which would be the Lynher. Then he elicited a spring where was 
the cave, and founded a monastery on the spot. 

The monastery was where now stands the Church of Southill, three 
miles from Callington, the centre of the old principality of Gelliwig. 
The church still has him for its patron, and his miraculous spring still 
flows, and pours forth an abundant stream. 

That Samson was brought face to face with some local tyrant, that 
he rendered him docile, and perhaps baptized him, may be the meaning 
of this fable. That something of the kind did occur we may suspect 
from the fact of his obtaining an extensive grant v\ ith the spiritual 
•oversight over Callington. Southill is one of the wealthiest parishes 

^ " Tunc comes prudens omnes ad confirmanda eorum baptismata a Sancto 
Samsone venire fecit." Vila ima, p. 584. " Confirmato itaque comite et aliis 
hominibus confirmatis baptismate sancti Samsonis." Vita icLa, p. 33. 

S. Samson 159 

m Cornwall, and covers 6,086 acres, including the town of Callington. 
The glebe comprises 252 acres, and the tithe-rent charge is £750. 
Under it are iive chapelries. The important royal manor of Kelliland 
is the shrunken residue of ancient Gelliwig. 

It is a significant fact, to be taken into consideration, that where- 
as in Demetia and Morganwg Samson obtained no grants, and made no 
foundations, except that of Marcross, in Cornwall he was recognized 
as spiritual head of a principality, or of a large portion of it, and that 
he made there at least three foundations. This points to his having 
exercised there a commanding influence, and to his stay in Cornwall 
not having been for a brief period. Near the Holy Well at SouthiU 
was found, a few years ago, an inscribed stone, to the memory? of 
Cumreonus, son of Mancus, surmounted by a V. 

Lawhitton (Lan-Gwithian) is six miles off, and was perhaps a foun- 
dation of the Count Gwithian, who, with his whole tribe, had accepted 
Samson as their patron " volentes enim apostolico excipere obsequio," 
but the Saint would accept of the " Count " no more land than sufficed 
for the maintenance of his monastery. That Gwithian abandoned 
the world and attached himself to Samson, and followed him to Ar- 
morica, is probable, as we have shown in our notice of S. Gwythian. 

Was S. David in Cornwall at the time that Samson was there ? 
Of this we can have no assurance. David's aunt S. Wenn was the 
wife of Solomon or Selyf, who had his court precisely in Gelliwig ; 
their son Cybi was not, however, born till after Samson had left. 
There is a Landew in the parish of Lezant (Lan-Sant) only divided 
by the Tamar from Bradstone, dedicated to S. Non ; so that it would 
appear that David and his family had settlements close to that of 
Samson. But not by a word in the Lives of Samson are we informed 
whether he there met David. 

According to the Vita zda it was at this period of Samson's life that 
he heard of the death of S. lUtyd. Whether this episode is rightly 
placed has been doubted. In our opinion it is so, and so stood in the 
first edition of the Vita zma, but as the author saw that it did not 
in that place much concern his hero, and that the story which exhibits 
the prevision of lUtyd would be more to the point if told at the begin- 
ning, where lUtyd foretells the future greatness of Samson as an 
infant, he transferred it to the early history in his second edition. 

Then the author goes on to relate how that Samson learned 
of the sickness of S. Dubricius and visited him. This also is supposed 
to be a displacement ; it occurs in Vita xma in the Second Part or 
Sermon. Dubricius received Samson joyfully, and commended to 
him a young deacon, Morinus. Samson did not hke the looks of the 

i6o Lives of the British Saints 

man nor relish the charge, but could not decline the trust, and he took 
back Morinus with him. Soon after, the deacon went off his head 
and died. The brethren, who supposed that his derangement of 
intellect was due to possession by an evil spirit, buried him outside 
the cemetery. Samson was uneasy. The welfare of Morinus concerned 
him closely, and he prayed for him. A consolatory dream satisfied 
his conscience. He had the unfortunate deacon dug up and trans- 
ferred to consecrated ground.^ 

One winter night a thief got into the church, and stole thence a 
cross adorned with gold and jewels, and all the money he could lay 
his hands upon. He folded the plunder in a cloth, threw it over his- 
shoulder, and ran away for the moors. There he incautiously ven- 
tured on a bog, trusting that the frozen surface would sustain him. 
But his weight broke through the crust of ice, and he floundered in.. 
He had the presence of mind to throw away what he had stolen, and 
to extend his arms. In the morning ensued a hue and cry. The 
man was tracked and found in the morass dead with cold, though 
he had not sunk below the armpits. The spoil was recovered. 

But Samson was not satisfied without extending his foundations. 
Descending to the south coast he planted a church on the Fowey 
river at Golant, and about it dispersed his disciples to make other 
settlements, as S. Mewan and S. Austell. S. Winow, the Winiau who 
had met him at Padstow, planted himself on the Fowey opposite,, 
and hard by Gwythian has left his name at Lawhitton. 

As one of the Scilly Isles is called S. Samson's, we may conjecture 
that whilst in Cornwall, the saint followed the favourite practice of 
Celtic monks and retreated to the islet for Lent, and when the pres- 
sure of business disturbed him. But of this the Lives say nothing. 

How long Samson remained in Cornwall we are not informed. 
When he considered that the time was ripe for crossing into Armorica, . 
he placed his father over his monastery at Southill and its dependen- 
cies at Golant and Padstow, and collecting his disciples from their 
several churches shipped over and took land in the mouth of the 
Guioult, and was there received by a British settler. The port of the 
Guioult is called Winnian or Winniau, and it is possible may have had 
this name given to it from the saint who had met Samson at Padstow^ 
and settled near him at S. Winnow. 

From this point the Vita ida is our best guide ; it is fuller and more 
minute in detail than the Vita 

1 The story bears a certain suspicious resemblance to that of S. Gregory the- 
Great and the monk Justus. Dialog., IV, 55. Opera S. Gregorii, Benedictine ed., 
Paris, 1705, T. 11, colls. 464-8. 


From the Cathedral at Dol : i^th century window. 


From the Cathedral at Dol: iph century window. 

S. Samson i 6 1 

The district about the Guioult was low and marshy. Samson and 
his monks rambled through it seeking a suitable spot on which to 
settle. There can be little doubt that his eyes rested covetously on 
the Mont Dol, that rises above the marshes as a conspicuous object. 
But this was too valuable as a fortress not to have been already seized 
upon. He was accordingly forced to look out for a less desirable 

One day, tired and dubious what to do, Samson stumbled on a 
spring overgrown with brambles, and where a number of locusts had 

"Ha ! " exclaimed Samson, " Locusta — in this locus sta ! We will 
accept this as a command and here abide." 

This poor pun sufficed to determine the place where Samson made 
his headquarters. The locality is Dol, so named from its meadows. 
The spring stiU flows. But the story is an importation from the Life 
of Gregory the Great by Paulus Diaconus.^ 

It may be noticed that the saint cautiously planted himself at the 
extreme limits of Domnonia, as far as might be from Conmore, but 
avoided settling beyond the limits of the British colonies. Thence, 
at a signal of danger, he could escape under Frank protection. 

That Samson had brought a large party with him appears. For 
when he went out walking, " bini et temi, quaterni et quini, seni et 
septeni per desertum ambulabant." - 

Samson was settled at Dol before the break out of the Yellow Plague 
in Britain, for among the refugees who came over was Teilo ; and 
this saint paid Samson a visit there. He was cordially welcomed, 
for, says the author of the Life of Teilo, " They came from the same 
district, they spoke the same tongue, and both had been educated 
by the same archbishop, Dubricius, by whom Samson had been 
consecrated bishop." ^ 

Whilst Teilo was with his fellow countryman at Dol, he is credited 
with having produced the spring at Cai (Kerfeuntain), near Dol, 
and with having helped Samson to plant an orchard that extended 
from Dol to Cai.* Samson wished Teilo to remain with him, but to- 

1 Gregory had started for mission work in Britain, when a locust alighted on. 
his book. " In hoc loco sta ! " he said, and halted. Opera S. Gregorii, Benedic- 
tine ed., Paris, 1705, T. IV, col. 9. 

2 Vita 2da, p. 44. ^ Vita S. Teliavi, Booh of Llan Ddv, p. 109. 

« " Ipse enim et pra;dictus sanctus Samson plantaverunt magnum nemus- 
arboreti fructiferi, quasi ad tria miliaria, id est a Dol usque ad Cai ; et decorantur 
ipsa nemora ex eorum nomine usque in hodiernum diem." Ibid. But the well near 
the garden of the presbyt^re at Carfeuntin is popularly known now as that of S., 
Samson. The well of S. Samson in the cathedral church at Dol has been recently 

voi- IV. *'■ 

I 6 2 Lives of the British Saints 

•this he would not consent ; it was his desire to go into Letavian 

When Samson was firmly estabhshed at Dol with a crowded mon- 
astery, he began, but with caution, to employ his disciples in missions 
through Brittany. His nephew Mewan was with him, young and 
energetic. Samson despatched him across the central forest of Breci- 
lien into the district of Broweroc, or Vannes, with a message to the 
aged Count there, "■ and doubtless also to Gildas, who had been a 
fellow scholar with him at Llantwit. He had almost certamly en- 
trusted a commission to Teilo to act on the mind of Budic, King of 
Letavian Cornubia, to join in the proposed revolt against Conmore, 
or at all events to remain neutral. Machu, or Malo, was also active 
for the purpose of ripening men's minds for a revolution in the region 
of Aleth and of Corseul. 

But nothing could be effected till Judual, the prince, was placed 
at the head of the movement, and he was retained in honourable 
captivity at Paris by Childebert. 

Conmore, regent of Domnonia, had thrust himself into power, from 
being mere Count of Poher. On the death of Jonas, the Domnonian 
king, he had married the widow and usurped the regency. Next, 
after the murder of Meliau, and the death of Rivold, who had assassi- 
nated his brother, he extended his authority over Leon. He was 
intriguing in Broweroc, and had managed to exasperate the Count 
there, Weroc, against him. 

Samson hastened to Paris, and was received by Childebert, who 
questioned him about his purpose in coming to Brittany. Samson 
replied, " I come from across the sea, a native of Demetia, and was 
delivered over to a most religious master in Scotia provincia." This 
is inexplicable. From what has been told us of the early history of 
'Samson he was educated at Llantwit and not in Ireland. 

Then Samson broke out into a violent tirade against Conmore, 
whom he charged with having murdered Jonas, and forced Judual 
to fly to escape being also put to death. 2 Thereupon he asked to 
see the prince. 

" I fancy he is dead," replied Childebert. 

closed by order of the municipal authoritie.s. See on the topic of Kerfontin, J. 
Loth, £a Vie de S. Teliau, Rennes, 1884, pp. 34-5 ; extract from Annates de 
Bretagne, Tomes ix and x. 

^ " Optimum esse ratus [recurrere] ad Guerocum comitem, ut ad hoc auxilium 
ferret, beatum Conaidum (i.e. Mevenum) transmittere decrevit." Vita S. Meveni, 
Analecta Boll., Tom, III (1884), excerpt., p. 5. In that the object is represented 
differently. Chron. Britann. apud Dom Morice — " Iste est Guerrocus ad quem 
iransmissus est S. Mevennus." 

2 See De la Borderie, Hist, de Bretagne I, p. 426 — 7 

S. Samson 163 

This exasperated the saint to the last degree, and he turned abruptly 
to leave, uttering contumelious words against the Idng, and threatening 
by means of potent imprecations to destroy the children of the king 
and queen, unless he were granted his request. And he left in a fury, 
attended by a Count whose favour he had won.^ 

Some of those about the king urged him to give way, and Childe- 
bert was frightened at the ghastly threat made by the saint. The 
king sent after Samson and bade him not leave that day, but come 
and dine with him. 

In the meantime the Queen, Ultrogotha, had interfered. Conmore 
had behaved loyally towards the Frank King, who had no com- 
plaint to make against him. But the biographer; resenting her inter- 
ference, represents her as in love with Judual, as consequently 
unwilling that he should be taken away from Paris, and determined to 
poison both the saint and the king. For this end she had the cup 
out of which both were to drink infused with some noxious matter. 
But when the server brought the " glass " vessel to Samson, the latter 
made the sign of the cross over it, and it snapped into four pieces, 
and the liquor flowing over the hand of the page burnt his flesh to 
the bone. 

If there be any basis for this story, it is that a hot drink was pre- 
pared, that cracked the glass and scalded the server's hand. But 
the incident is more than suspicious ; it is adopted into the Life of 
Samson from that of S. Benedict. 

Samson started up and declared that he would not eat with the 
king. 2 

. Next day, the queen sent him a handsome horse as a present. Sam- 
son was unaccustomed to the saddle, and when he mounted, the high- 
spirited beast curvetted, but he kept his seat, to the great surprise of 
the courtiers. This did not mend his ill-humour, and he protested 
that Ultrogotha had given him a wild horse, with the fell purpose of 
breaking his neck.^ 

^ " Sanctus autem Samson videns ejus seimionem eos in nihilmn ducens, iratus 
voluit ab eis discedere, minans degenerari eos a suis seminibus, si quem rogabat 
donare ei noluissent ; furibunde egrediens clamanti cum illo comite," etc. Vita 
ima, p. 586. The author of the Vita2da did not relish this and wrote, " Samson 
pertinaciter perseverabat ut Judualum inveniret," p. 48. 

2 " Communicare cum rege." " Tunc sanctus Samson non spontaneo sed 
necessario ritu communionem subiit. " Vita ima, p. 586. " Ille admensam cum 
rege sedere compellitur." Vita ida, p. 50. 

' This story is taken by the author from the account given by Paulus Diaconus, 
in his History of the Lombards, of the visit of John Bishop of Bergamo to King 
Cuningpert. Pauli Hist. Longob., VI, no. 8, Monum. German. Histor. Scriptqres 
rerum Longobard., Hanover, 1878, pp. 167-8. 

164 Lives of the British Saints 

The biographer goes on to say that Ultrogotha let loose a lion upon 
him. It is possible, but improbable, that a caged lion was kept at 
the Frank Court as a rarity ; and hearing of this the writer may have 
feigned that it was let loose against Samson. Ultrogotha made no 
disguise of her sentiments towards Samson, and when he was at the 
altar, she turned her back on him.^ The vengeance of heaven was 
now roused, her eyes started out of her head and fell on the pavement 
at her feet, blood spouted from the sockets, and she dropped on 
the pavement and died a most horrible death. Unhappily, for the 
veracity of the author, according to Gregory of Tours, Ultrogotha 
was a pious and admirable woman, and she survived her husband 

With intent to pacify his irate guest, and divert his mind from 
stirring up a revolution in Brittany, Childebert now made him a present 
of land at Pentale on the Seine, near Pont Audemer. Next, we have 
dished up again the hackneyed story of the monstrous serpent in a cave, 
tamed and led by the saint to the water, by his stole passed round it, 
and cast in. Not content with this we have also the anecdote of the 
birds that molested the cornfields driven by the saint into a bam ; 
a story told in the Lives of S. Paul of Leon and of S. Illtyd, and which 
the author of the Life in the Liher Landavensis has transferred to the 
time when Samson was a boy under Illtyd. 

The position of Pentale can be pretty certainly determined from 
the Vita Geremaris ahhatis Flaviacensis (Mabillon, Acta SS. 0. s. B., 
sac. II). It was on the banks of the Rille, and had become a large 
monastery before its destruction by the Northmen in 851. The cave 
whence Samson expelled the dragon was on the river Seine. S. Sam- 
son-sur- Rille is now united to S. Samson-de-la- Rocque, and represents 
the site of the ancient monastery of Pentale. 

But Samson was one of those men of determination, who was not 
to be diverted from his purpose. He persisted in his application to 
Childebert to release Judual and to suffer him to conduct the prince 
to Brittany. His persistence succeeded. The king permitted an 
interview, and finally gave way altogether. 

We possess too few and too partial accounts of Conmore and of the 
insurrection against his rule to be able to give a just judgment as to 
the conduct of the saints who stirred up this rebellion. Conmore 
had at one time favoured them, and had been a generous benefactor. 
But after a while they turned against him. That he was an ambitious 
man cannot be doubted, that he governed badly is not shown. He 

1 " Sed regina in sua malitia perseverans dorsum ad altare convertit, sancti 
Samsonis orationem contemnens." Vita 2da, p. 54. 

S. Samson 165 

was an upstart ; Celts ding with loyal affection and tenacity to 
their hereditary chiefs, and Conmore had taken the place of one to 
whom the people of Domnonia looked as their proper head. 

Moreover, Samson stirred up the rebellion out of family ambition, 
Judual was his cousin, as we learn from Wormonoc's Life of Paul of 
Leon,^ and he counted, should his kinsman become king, on being 
Icirgely remunerated for his political services, and also on receiving 
lands accruing to him as related to the prince. 

Samson succeeded in inducing Childebert to allow him to take Judual 
back with him (o Armorica, and the ki ig further end )wed Samson with 
the pagus of Rimou on the Couesnon, i.i the modern department 
of lUe et Vi'aine, and with the four islinds, " Lesia, Angia, Sargia, 
and Eesargia," which are apparently Guernsey, Aurigny or Aldemey, 
Sark and Jersey. 

On his arrival at Del, Samson was received with rejoicing by his 
monks, who eagerly asked about his adventures. Samson was re- 
served in his replies. The author of the Second Life stuffs out his 
answer to the brethren with passages from the writings of Isidore of 
Seville and Gregory the Great. 

Judual now made expeditions through Brittany. The Channel 
Islands we may suspect served a convenient purpose as a place for 
drilling and preparation for the outbreak.^ 

Rebellion flared throughout Domnonia and Leon. Conmore 
marched against Judual and was defeated in two battles ; in a third, 
fought on the slopes of the Monts d'Arr6e, he was kiUed by the hand 
of the young prince himself. 

The revolution having succeeded, and Judual having obtained the 
rule over Domnonia that had belonged to his father, and having 
rewarded Samson and the other great abbots for their services ren- 
dered, Samson deemed it expedient to return to Paris to report to 
Childebert what had taken place, and to obtain a confirmation of the 
cession of lands made to him. He travelled in the same Irish chariot 
in which he had made his journey from the Severn Sea to the English 
Channel.^ On the way, at a place called Rotignon, near Laon, the 
wheel came off and no blacksmith's shop was near. However, the 
monks got it on again, and supplied a temporary hnch-pin, and then 

1 " Judualus, cognomento Candidus, Domnonensis patrias magna ex parte 
dux nobilissimus, qui et ipse sancti Samsonis consobrinus dicebatur," etc. Vita 
S. Pauli Leon., ed. Plaine, c. 63. 

2 An account under S. Hoerneiu (iii, pp. 277-8) has been given already of the 
gathering of the Saints on the Menez Bre to curse or excommunicate Conmore. 

^ " Sanctus vero ulterius progrediebatur [super currum sedens] ; quem secum 
de sua patria venire fecerat." Vita ida, p. 67. 

I 66 Lives of the British Saints 

the whole party moved forward once more. They allowed their 
imaginations to run riot, and converted the incident into a miracle, 
and told it as such to Childebert when they all reached Paris, and the 
King made Samson a present of the parcel of land where the accident 
had taken place. It was given the name of Rotinon, which the author 
of the Vita 2,da derives from Kota move ; of course, it does nothing of 
the sort. 

For the third time we are given the story of the ejection of a serpent 
from a cave. 

It was perhaps on this occasion that Samson had the pleasure of 
meeting S. Germanus of Paris. He visited him at his newly-founded 
abbey of S. Vincent, and found him in the vineyard with his workmen. 
The saints embraced, and Germanus invited him to supper and to stay 
the night. Samson ascertained that the abbey lacked water, which 
had to be fetched from a distance. He possessed some experience in 
detecting springs, and with his staff he pointed out to his host where 
he might profitably dig. This has been magnified by his biographer 
into the miraculous production of a spring. The Abbey of S. Vincent 
was not founded till 556 at the eariiest. Consequently this meeting 
must have taken place at the second or on some subsequent visit to 

On his return to Dol, Samson constituted it his permanent residence. 
He exercised considerable authority over the Channel Islands, where he 
laboured to uproot the paganism that still lingered in them. In one of 
his visits he found that the natives of Lesia (Guernsey) were attached 
to the observance of the First of January. He had them assembled 
before him, harangued them on the wickedness of celebrating such 
a heathen festival, and induced them to promise to forego it for the 
future. To make sure of the young people, " who on this infamous day 
ran about the island," he gave to each a small gold coin as a memorial 
of their undertaking to abstain from the observance. ^ Whether they 
kept their promise after his back was turned may well be doubted. 
New Year's Day is observed in the Channel Islands as in France, and 
indeed at Dol itself to the present time. 

Samson was in Paris in 557, when he signed the decrees of a Council 
assembled there, " Samson peccator Episcopus." ^ 

^ " Venientibus januarii Kalendis . . . homines supradictse insulas hanc 
nequam soUemnem inepte juxta paganorum patrum abominabile exemplum prae 
ceteris celebrare consueverant . . . lUe . . . omnes parvulos, qui per illam insu- 
1am ob hanc nefariam diem discurrebant, vocavit ad se, singulisque eorum 
mercedem numismiuncelli auri quod est mensura trium denariorun donavit, 
praecipiens eis ne unquam ulterius ab illis ha;c sacrilega consuetudo servaretur." 
Vita Ida, p. 71. ' Haddan & Stubbs, Councils, ii, p. 75. 

S. Samson 167 

At this Council the bishops present passed a canon that concerned 
the Breton Sees. Some of these had been estabUshed by Childebert 
without consulting the prelates, and without the consent of the metro- 
politan of Tours, who claimed archiepiscopal jurisdiction over all 
Armorica. This had been the case with Paul of Leon, Tudwal of 
Treguier, and probably with Brioc as well. These men, having 
obtained concessions of land, had visited Paris and asked the King to 
ratify the grants, and give them ecclesiastical jurisdiction over cer- 
tain districts. In the case of Paul, the King had insisted on his taking 
episcopal orders on him, but this made the matter the worse, for the 
King by this means had become the founder and delimitor of the dio- 
cese.' The proceedings had been eminently irregular and established a 
mischievous precedent. 

The Bishops in Council could not alter what had been already done, 
but they passed a canon forbidding such proceedings for the future. ^ 
We may be sure that the old Irish and Welsh usage of having abbots 
to exercise jurisdiction over bishops ceased thenceforth in Armorica, 
and that care was taken from this time forward that the heads of the 
great monastic communities in the Sees founded by Childebert should 
be bishops. 

The age of Samson when he died is set down at a hundred and 
twenty, but this is a fiction not uncommon in the Lives of the Saints, 
as their biographers tried to show that they equalled the age of Moses. 
It is better to accept the more general statement that Samson " long- 
aevo vetustatis senio fessus," felt that his time of departure had arrived, 
and summoned his community about him, and when he had blessed 
them and said, " Bene valeatis, Christo placeatis cui famulatis," he 
entered into his rest. 

The date of the death of Samson cannot be determined with any 
certainty. It is supposed that it took place about 565. The day we 
know ; it was on the fifth of the Calends of August (July 28). 

The points for fixing the dates in the Life of S. Samson are not 

That Samson was a child of the old age of Amwn and Anna is 
refuted by the fact that both Hved tiU he left Wales, and Amwn was 
placed by his son as superior of his Cornish monastery when he crossed 
into Brittany. 

1 The synod could not have been held before 556. Sirmond placed it in 557. 
Hefele, Hist, des Candles, III, p. 552. Samson may have gone to Paris in 556, 
and in 557 it is more probable that he went there a second, not a third, time. 
But Maassen, Man. Germ, historica, Concilia, Hanover, 1893, p. 141, is of opimon 
that the date of the Council cannot be precisely determined, save that it was 
between 556 and 573. 

1 6 8 Lives of the British Saints 

We give the following conjectural chronology of his Life, which 
rests mainly on the supposition that he died at the age of 80. 

Samson born. ....... 

put as pupil to lUtyd .... 

ordained priest ...... 

converts his father and becomes Abbot of Ynys PjT 

goes to Ireland ...... 

returns and retreats into a desert . 
,, is consecrated Bishop and made Abbot of Llantwit 
,, quits Llantwit and crosses into Cornwall . 
,, receives news of the death of S, lUtyd 

meets S. Petroc at Padstow .... 

quits Cornwall and settles at Dol 
S. Teilo flying from the Yellow Plague visits Mm . 
Samson goes to Paris for the first time . 
Defeat and death of Conmore .... 

Second visit to Paris, attends Council . 
Dies ......... 




























.556 or 




The only dates that are fairly certain are those of the visit of Teilo 
and the Council of Paris. Approximately that of the insurrection in 
Domnonia, the death of Conmore and exaltation of Judual. Never- 
theless, the dates cannot err greatly. Dubricius, who consecrated him, 
died, as we have shown, about 546. He was ill, when Samson was in 
Cornwall, and resigned to retire to Bardsey. It is not possible to put 
lUtyd's death later than 537. The fellow disciples of Samson with 
lUtyd were Gildas, who died in 570, Paulus Aurelianus, who died 
about 579, perhaps David, who died about 589. The approximate date 
of the death of Teilo, who visited him in 547, was 580.^ 

S. Samson is usually represented as an Archbishop. We have 
already given a reason for this ; but we may here add a few words 
relative to the assumption of metropolitan rights by Dol. 

In 840, Nominoe, governor of Brittany, began his attempt to free his 
country from the Frank yoke. Having succeeded in this, he turned his 
attention to ecclesiastical matters. Some of the bishops were Franks, 
thrust into Breton Sees, unable to understand and to speak the lan- 
guage of their flocks, and all more or less tainted with simony. Nom- 
inoe summoned them to give an account of themselves, and dismissed 
them to the Pope, and demanded their deposition. But Rome was 
slow in moving. The bishops crept back, nothing had been done 
Then Nominoe, becoming impatient, cut the matter short, by summon- 
ing a council at Redon. Before that the bishops acknowledged that 
they had bought their promotion and laid down their crooks. This 
was in 848. Nominoe now convoked the counts and chiefs, secular and 

^ It is strange that Gregory of Tours should not once name S. Samson. 

aS". Samson 169 

•ecclesiastical, to assemble at Dol. He put Bretons into the vacant sees, 
raised their number to seven, exclusive of the old Sees of Rennes and 
Nantes, constituted Dol metropoUtan, and subjected the other six to 
it. Then he was crowned by the new archbishop in the monastic 
church raised to its new dignity. 

The Gallo-Frank Church was furious. Council after council of the 
Frank bishops denounced the usurpation, and popes fulminated in 
condemnation. All were unheeded, and Dol maintained its archi- 
episcopal title for three hundred years. 

It was not till 1199 that Dol was crushed, and the independence of 
the Breton Church ceased. " The ecclesiastical province of Dol was 
recognized neither by the Popes nor by the neighbouring bishops 
for three centuries. All the efforts of Popes Nicolas I, John VIII 
and XIII, and Leo IX to bring the Archbishop of Dol to submission, 
and to subject them to the metropolitan of Tours, were unavailing, as 
unavailing as were the efforts made in the same direction by the 
GaUic prelates, in the Councils of Toul and Rheims, in the years 
859 and 1049." ^ 

Unhappily, partisans of the autonomy of Dol had recourse to un- 
worthy expedients to bolster up its pretensions. The author of the 
Vita 2da makes Childebert grant metropolitan rights to the See over all 
Brittany. Further, Samson of Dol was confounded with a Samson who 
was supposed to have been Archbishop of York, and who transferred 
the paU to Menevia and thence to Dol. 

There is not one word about Samson, son of Amwn, having ever been 
at York in the extant Lives. 

S. Samson has found a place in most Latin Calendars and Martyr- 
ologies. His name occurs in almost all the English Calendars, but in 
very few of the Welsh. He is entered in the Leofric Missal and in 
Grandisson's Exeter Calendar and Legendarium. His day is July 28. 

An odd legend of S. Samson is told by Alanus de '^nsulis. Bishop of 
Auxerre in 1151, who died in 1203. He relates that Melanius, Machu- 
tus (Malo), Maclovius (meaning Maglorius), Pabutual (Tudwal), 
Patemus, W'aslocus (Winwaloe), and Samson were brothers all born 
of one mother at a birth. She sent them to be drowned as puppies, 
but they were rescued, and grew up to be the Seven Saints of Brittany. 
It is the same story as that told of the origin of the Guelf (Whelp) 
family, and it has been located in various places.^ 

1 Neher, Kirchliche Geographie, Regensburg, 1864, i, p, 505. See also Dom 
Morice, Preuves de I'Hist. de Bretagne, i, cols. 759-67 ; Martene Thesaurus 
Anecd'., iii (in which are collected all the principal documents relative to the 
pretensions of Dol to be metropolitan). 

2 The same story is told of S. Teilo in the Book of Llan Dav and of Lamisso, 

I 7 o Lives of the British Sai?its 

In Art S. Samson is incorrectly represented as an archbishop with 
pall and crozier. He is so figured on the tower of S. Austell, and in a 
fresco in Breage Church. 

For churches in Brittany and in France dedicated to S. Samson, see 
the Introduction to Dom Plaine's edition of the Vita zia S. Samsonis, 
and F. Duine, Notes surles Saints Bretons, Rennes, 1902, pp. 22-24, 
and his Saint Samson, Rennes, 1909, p. 21. 

The churches and chapels of S. Samson in Cornwall and Ireland 
have been already referred to. There is a church dedicated to S. 
Samson at Cricklade in Wiltshire, and he is said to have had a chapel at 
Cressage, in Shropshire. Athelstan in 933 dedicated the abbey of 
Milton Abbas in Dorset to SS. Mary, Michael, Samson and Bran- 
waladr, but the attaching of the two last names was due to his having 
acquired relics of these latter saints. The church has changed its 
patron to S. James the Great. 

Colesbome in Gloucestershire is said formerly to have been dedicated 
to S. Samson, but here again he is displaced by S. James. 

The church of S. Samson in York is almost certainly a late dedication 
since the fable had been accepted that Samson had been Archbishop of 

Marcross, in Glamorganshire, formerly under the patronage of S. 
Samson, "^ is now under that of the Holy Trinity. There is a holy well, 
Ffynnon Samson, in the parish of Llangolman, Pembrokeshire. Sam- 
son as a disciple of S. Padarn was with him at Llanbadarn, and was one 
of the four set by him over the churches of Ceredigion. No churches 
there bear his name, but he is commemorated by a stone called Carreg 
Samson near the entrance to Llanbadarn Church, and by another, of 
the same name, on the mountain near Llanddewi Brefi. That at 
Llanbadarn forms one of two crosses near the porch. It is a very thin, 
tall Celtic cross of grey granite, about eight feet above ground, having 
panels of interlacing ribbon ornament, with some figures. The other 
cross, about four feet high, is of local stone, and bears little trace of 
ornament. Legend says that the two stones together formed Samson's 
flail, and that while he was threshing corn one day on Pendinas, across 
the valley, the flail broke, and the granite part went flying in the direc- 
tion of the church, and Samson in his anger sent the other part 
after it. 

second King of the Lombards, by Paulus Diaconus. The legends are dealt with 
fully under SS. Dyfrwyr, ii, pp. 398-405. 
1 lolo MSS., p. 221. 

S. Sane tan iji 

S. SAMSON AB CAW, Confessor 

All that is known of this Samson is to be found in the seventeenth 
century Achau'r Saint printed in the lolo MSS. His name occurs in 
SIX of the lists given there of the sons of Caw.^ He was thus a brother 
of Gildas. In one of these documents ^ the entry is extended, " Sam- 
son, saint and bishop, of Cor lUtyd (Llantwit). His church is that of 
Caer Efrog (York). It -will be seen that his existence rests on no good 
authority. There was another Samson, a bishop of S. David's in the 
ninth century. See what has been said relative to both in the previous 

S. SANCTAN, Bishop, Confessor 

Sanctan was the son of Sawyl or Samuil Pennissel and of Dechtir,. 
daughter of Muiredach Muinderg (Red-necked), King of Ulster.^ His 
brother seems to have been S. Mocatoc or Madoc, who settled at Inis 
Matoc, either Inis Mogue in Templeport lake, Leitrim, or else Inis 
Fail, it is Tincertain which, but probably the former. 

Sanctan left Britain and went to Ireland, following the example of 
his brother. He settled at CiU-da-les, the situation of which has not 
been determined. But one of his foundations was Kilnasantan, in 
the County of Dublin. He has been so completely forgotten that 
the new R. Catholic Church there is dedicated to S. Anne, through a 
misunderstanding, Sanctan being supposed to be Sanct-Anna. 

Very little is known of Sanctan. The glossator to a hymn by him 
in the Liber Hymnorum says, " Bishop Sanctan composed this hymn, 
and it was on his going to Clonard westward to Inis Matoc that he com- 
posed it ; he was brother to Matoc, both of them being of British race, 
but Matoc came into Ireland earlier than Bishop Sanctan." At first 
Sanctan could not speak the Scottish tongue, but he acquired it in time. 
The hymn is one of those which are rather charms than acts of devo- 

Sanctan is commemorated in the Felire of Oengus, in the Martyr- 
ologies of Donegal, of O'Gorman, and TaUaght, on May q. There is 
another Sanctan commemorated on September 17, but of him nothing 
is known. 

» Pp. 109, 117, 137. 142-3- ^ P- 117- 

3 Martyrology of Oengus, ed. Stokes, p. Ixxxv. 

' Libsr Hymnorum, ed. H. Bradshaw Society, ii, p. 47. 

172 Lives of the British Saints 


S. SANT, Prince, Confessor. 

Sant was S. David's father. Some of tlie early genealogies give his 
pedigree as Sant ab Cedig ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig/ but authori- 
ties equally early and reliable state that he was the son of Ceredig.^ 
His mother was Meleri (in later MSS., Eleri), the daughter of Brychan. 

In all the early authorities his name occurs in Welsh as Sant, and in 
Latin as Sanctus, but late writers have persistently converted it into 
either Sandde or Xanthus, two names which are perfectly distinct from 
Sant as well as from each other. 

In the Life of S. David, Sant is represented to have been King of 
Ceredigion, which he " laid aside to acquire a heavenly Idngdom," i.e. 
became a monk. 

The story is told that when he was asleep an angel appeared to him 
and said, " To-morrow thou wilt go a- hunting, and wilt get three things 
near the river Teify — a stag, a salmon, and a swarm of bees." ^ 

These were symbols of David. The stag was supposed to kill ser- 
pents by trampling on them, and so represented conquest over evil ; 
the salmon was a Celtic symbol of wisdom ; and the bees signified the 
honey of David's discourse. 

The story of the parentage of Dav'd is unedifying, but there is good 
reason to suppose that it has arisen out of a misconception. As his 
mother's name was Non, it was supposed that she was a nun, whom 
Sant carried off, and then abandoned. But David was not her only 
son ; she was mother of other children, who married in Ireland. She 
was a king's daughter, and Sant, though he may have carried her off, 
probably retained her as his wife. 

Lezant, in Cornwall, is properly Lan-Sant, and this is certainly not 
Holy Church, a designation applicable to every Lan, but gives the 
name of a saintly founder. 

^ E.g., the Bonedds in Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45, both of the thirteenth century. 

2 Cognatio de Brychan, Progenies Keredic, Jesus College MS. 20, etc. Giraldus 
in his Life of S. David calls him " Sanctus Keritici regis filius " (Opera, iii, p. 378). 
His name, however, does not appear in the pedigree of the royal house of Ceredi- 
gion, which is carried to Ceredig through a son lusay (Harleian MS. 3,859). 
See what has been already said on the affihation of Sant to Cedig and Ceredig, 
and also on the names Sant and Non, ii, p. 287. The pedigrees in Jesus College 
MS. 20 give a Sant as son of GUws. Sant is the name of a little brook at Llan- 
tarnam, in Monmouthshire. 

' Cambro-British Saints, p. 117. 

S. Sdrllog 1 7 J 

Lezant is called Lansant in the Episcopal Registers. It is difficult 
and in some instances impossible in a MS. to distinguish between a n 
and a u. Lan has, however, become lau in several cases, as Lan 
Renan in Brittany is now Laurenan, and in South Wales Llan Aidan 
or Aeddan has been converted into Llawhaden, and Lan Gwythian on 
the Tamar has been softened into Lawhitton. 

Lezant was erroneously stated by Dr. Oliver to be dedicated to S. 
Breoc. It is true that Bishop Bronescombe did dedicate the Church of 
S. Breoc " de Lansant " on September 24, 1259, but this was S. Breock 
by Wadebridge, and Lansant is a clerical error for Nansant. 

The patron of Lezant is possibly Sant, the father of S. David. In 
the parish is Landue, which may signify the Church of Dewi or David. 
Bradstone, the adjoining parish, divided from it by the Tamar, is 
dedicated to S. Non, Sant's wife. 



In the list of Corau, or Welsh religious foundations, given in a docu- 
ment in the lolo MSS.'^ is entered, " Cor Sarllog, in Llandaff, for thirty 
saints, and Sarllog was its penrhaith, or principal." This would imply 
that SarUog was a Welsh Saint, but nothing is known of him, if he ever 
had an existence. But it is pretty evident that the compiler of the list, 
having heard of Old Sarum, which in Welsh is Caer Sallog, was anxious 
to enhance the fame of Llandaff. 

Eigen (otherwise Eurgen), the supposed daughter of Caradog, the- 
famous Caratacus who was taken captive to Rome, is said to have 
married " a chieftain named Sarllog, who was lord of Caer Sarllog," ^ 
by which is intended Caer Sallog. According to another document she 
married Sallog, lord of Garth Mathrin.^ 

» P. 152. 

2 Ibid., p. 115. On p. 7 he is stated to have been " a Roman chieftain who. 
accompanied her to Wales." 
» Ibid., p. 135. 

I 74 Lives of the British Saints 

S. SATIVOLA or SIDWELL, Virgin, Martyr 

Sativola is probably the Sicofolia of the Life of S. Paul of Leon. 
He had three holy sisters, and his biographer gives this as the name of 
one. The difficulty in the case is that Paul was son of Perpius, of 
Penychen, in Glamorganshire, whereas Sativola was of Exeter. But 
the family may have been constrained for political reasons to migrate, 
or may have been expelled. 

Leland says, "Ex vita Ste Sativolas," which he saw in Exeter in the 
Legendarium of Bishop Grandisson : — 

" Benna Pater SativoljE. (But Pater is probably a misprint for Frafer, 
as the Legend of Jutwara says that Benna was the brother's name). 
Nata Exoniffi dole Novercse a feneseca amputato capite occisa, ut 
suburbana prsedia ei prjeriperet." 

Unfortunately, the Acta Stce Sativolce are torn out of Grandisson's 

The story goes that a mower cut off her head with a scythe and that 
it was thrown into a well. It may be doubted whether the story has 
not grown out of her popular name Sidwell. 

Her mother-in-law was the cause of the death of her sister, Aude or 

S. Sidwell and her sister S. WulveUa are together patronesses of 
Laneast, in Cornwall where also is their Holy Well in good condition, 
and whence water is drawn for baptisms. She formerly had a chapel 
in Launceston.2 

The Parish Church of S. Sidwell, by Exeter, is dedicated to her, and 
here was her Holy Well. Nan Sidwell (i.e. Lan Sidwell), in Mawnan, 
may also have been tlie site of a church under her invocation. 

In Bishop Grandisson's Exeter Calendar, in his Martyrology, and 
Legendarium, August 2 is given as her day, and this is the day on which 
her Feast was celebrated in Exeter and Launceston. At Laneast the 
Feast is regulated by that at Altarnon, and falls on the last Sunday in 
July or the first in August. Among the additions to an Exeter 
Calendar of the twelfth century in the British Museum [Harl. MS 863) 
her day is given as August i, but this is probably a mistake for 
August 2. Nicolas Roscarrock, however, gives July 31. 

S. Sidwell is represented in the church of her name by Exeter and 
in the east window of the choir of the Cathedral, as carrying a scyth 
-and with a well at her side. So also on the screen m S. Mary's Steps, 
Exeter ; in stained glass at Ashton Church, and on the screen there ; 

> I, p. 186. 

2 Gilbert, Historical Survey of Cornwall, 1820, ii, p. 508. 


From a s'aiuie, S. SidJoeU's Church, Exeter. 

S. Sawyl 175 

and on the screens at Beer Ferrers, Hennock, Holne, Kenn, Plymtree, 
Whimple, and Wolborough. 

S. SAWYL, Confessor. 

The late documents printed in the lolo MSS. are the sole authorities 
for the two Welsh Saints bearing this name, which is an early form of 
the name Samuel. 

(i) Sawj'l Benuchel was the son of Pabo Post Prydyn, and he 
and his brothers Dunawd and Carwyd (properly Cerwydd) are said to 
have been Saints of Bangor Dunawd, or Bangor on Dee.^ He married 
Gwenasedd, daughter of Rhain Rhieinwg, by whom he became the 
father of S. Asaph. 

In the Old- Welsh pedigrees in Harleian MS. 3,859 his name appears 
asSamuil Pennissel,^ being credited with having a " low " instead of a 
■■ high " head. In the old Bonedd y Saint, which mentions him simply 
as father of S. Asaph, and in Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd (thirteenth century), 
he is called Sawyl Benuchel. 

He was a chieftain of North Britain, who, hke many more of that 
region at the time, had to escape southwards with his life, being over- 
powered by the enemy. He is celebrated in the Triads ^ as one of the 
tliree Trahawg or " Overbearing Ones of the Isle of Britam " ; and his 
name occurs in the long hst of Arthur's warriors whom Culhwch 
adjured to assist in obtaining for him the fair Olwen.* 

This Northern Sawyl was quite a different person from the Sauuil 
Pennuchel mentioned in the Life of S. Cadoc ^ as a dux who annoyed 
the saint and his clerics, and who, with his band, was swallowed up by 
the earth in a fossa that was still traditionally pointed out in the twelfth 
century, when Leofric wrote the Life. 

A Samuel Chendisel, which answers exactly to the Harleian Samuil 
Pennissel, occurs in Irish hagiology as the father of the British Bishop 
and Saint Sanctan, who went over to Ireland, and the husband of 
Dechtir, the daughter of a King of Ulster.* 

Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions a Sawyl Benuchel (in the Latin text 
Samuilpenissel) ab Rhydderch, who was the father of Pyr or Por.^ 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 105, 126. 

2 Y Cymmrodor, ix, p. 179. He is there made to be the father of Guitcun. 
a Myv. Arch., pp. 389. 408. * Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 112, 
s Cambro-British Saints, pp. 42-3. 

« Stokes, Martyrology of Oengus, p. Ixxxv. 

7 Bruts ed Rhys and Evans, p. 82 ; lolo MSS., p. 126. One of the 24 sons of 

1/6 Lives of the British Saints 

(2) One entry in the lolo MSS} gives " S. Sawyl Felyn (the Tawny)- 
ab Bledri Hir ab Meurig, King of Dyfed. His church is Llansawyl in 
Enilyn Uwch Cuch," by which is meant Llansawel, subject to Conwyl 
Gaio, in Carmarthenshire. His grandfather Meurig, we are told, was- 
" one of the four l<ings who bore the Golden Sword before the Emperor 
Arthur," on all high festivals. ^ The church may, or may not, be dedi- 
cated to him ; Samuel or Sawyl was by no means an uncommon 
name. A Samuel Magister, a cleric, witnessed two grants to Llandaff 
in the time of Bishop Berthwyn. 

Pistyll Sawyl, now Ffynnon Sawyl, by Penygarn in Llansawel, is 
mentioned in a patent roll, dated 1331, relatmg to Talley Abbey.* 
Sawyl is locally said to have sat down beside it and drank of its water, 
when returning on one occasion from S. David's. It supplies the village 
with excellent water. 

The festival of Sawyl is given on January 15 in the calendar in the 
Additional MS. 14,886 (1643-4). 

Briton Ferry, in Glamorganshire, was sometimes called in Welsh 
Llansawel, but incorrectly for Llanisawel,* which has nothing to do- 
with Sawyl. The parish church is dedicated to S. Mary. 

S. SEGIN, Confessor 

All that is known of Segin Wyddel, or the Goidel, is found in the 
lolo MSS.,^ where it is stated that he was a saint of Cor Illtyd (Llant- 
wit) who founded the Church of Llanfihangel, near Cowbridge, Glamor- 
ganshire, and that he has a church dedicated to him in North Wales, 
but where there we are not told. 

The name is the same as the Irish saint-name Seghin, Segenius, 
Segineus (among other forms), which was borne by the fifth abbot of 
lona, who died in 652, and by a bishop of Armagh, who died in 688.° 

Llywarch Hen was named Sawyl ; he was buried at Llangollen (Skene, Four 
Ancient Books, ii, p. 266). 

1 P. 142. 2 ibi4. 

* Carmarthen Charters, 1878, p. 63 ; Arch. Camb., 1879, p. 171. There is a. 
poem on the well in Yr Haul, 1887, pp. 272-3. 

* Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, pp. 725, 831, 919 ; Myv. Arch., p. 748. 

* Pp. 153, 220. 

" For both see Smith and Wace, Diet, of Christ. Biog., iv, pp. 600-1, 

S. Seiriol 177 

S. SEIRIOL, Abbot, Confessor 

Seirioel, later Seiriol, was the son of Owain Danwyn ab Einion 
Yrth ab Cunedda Wledig, and brother of SS. Einion Frenin and Mei- 
rion.i He is traditionally known in Anglesey as Seiriol W5m, or the 

A seventeenth century MS. printed in the lolo MSS. ^ says, " Sei- 
rioel was a saint in Cor Garmon, and afterwards Einion Frenin, of 
Lleyn, founded a Cor in Penmon (in Anglesey), over which he placed 
his brother Seirioel as principal [penrhaiih), and gave lands and pro- 
perty thereto ; and the men of Llychlyn (i.e., Scandinavia, meaning 
the Norse settlers in this country) flocked to Cor Seirioel to acquire 
useful and reHgious knowledge. Cor Seirioel and Cor Beuno were the 
most celebrated for learning of all the Corau in the country of Gwy- 
nedd." Elaeth Frenin and Nidan, both Anglesey saints, were monks 
of Penmon. 

The situation of Penmon is one of the sweetest and most peaceful 
that can well be imagined. The land rises steeply to the north, and 
the spurs of hill enfold a little basin in which trees grow luxuriantly, 
and the sun loves to linger, where flowers bloom early and the bees 
hum. It is completely shut in from the winds from the sea. Here 
under a rock is the well of S. Seiriol, still resorted to,^ and by it the 
ruins of a circular habitation and traces of a bath. The water flowing 
away fills a pond that was formerly stocked with fish. The Priory 
Church is cruciform and early Norman. It has been carefully restored. 
In the south transept is a Celtic interlaced cross, and in the round- 
headed window a fifteenth century representation of S. Seiriol. 

There are considerable ruins of the monastic outbuildings, and 
traces of the cloister. It was a Priory of the Benedictine Order, 
refounded in 1221 by Llywelyn the Great. 

Some ancient walnut and chestnut trees dating from the monastic 
occupation of Penmon still flourish there.* But, unhappily, its plea- 
sant seclusion is menaced, as the quarrymen are hewing away the 

1 Peniarth MSS., 12, 45 ; HafodMS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 424, 429 ; lolo MSS., 
pp. 102, 113. The old form, Seiryoel, occurs in the pedigree of Gruffydd ab Cynan. 
With his name compare Deinioel, now Deiniol. A MS. printed in the Cambrian 
Journal, 1859, p. 233, makes Seiriol contemporary with BenlU Gawr, and to 
have been present when the giant met his death. 

2 P. 125. 

' It was believed even in the middle of last century that if a sick person drank 
of the water of Ffynnou Seiriol he would be cured. (Transactions of the Liverpool 
Welsh National Society, 8th Session, p. 92.) 

* The supposition that Seiriol was " the first to cultivate black cherry trees " 
(Angharad Llwyd, Hist, of Anglesey, 1833, p. 211), in Welsh surian, had its origin 
in a false etymology. 


178 Lives of the British Saints 

cliff that screens Penmon from the sea on one side, and that against 
which it nestles on the other. 

Surmounting the hill, a walk over the down leads to where Ynys 
Seiriol, or Puffin Island, is seen in the sea, with a gabled tower on it in 
the centre of the island, and the ruins of a church of S. Seiriol. To this 
island the saint was wont to retire for solitary meditation, and it was 
seemingly much regarded as a happy resting-place, for the soil, when 
turned over by rabbits, exposes human bones. And here Maelgwn 
■Gwynedd was buried in 547.^ 

The island is about three-quarters of a mile long by a quarter broad, 
and everywhere, except at the southern end, nearest to Anglesey, it 
rises steeply from the sea. The whole of the top of the island 
resembles a great rabbit warren. The sound between it and the 
Anglesey coast is very deep, about 80 feet, and is under a mile wide. 
The saint's name is also borne by Porth Seiriol. 

The original name of Ynys Seiriol was evidently Ynys Lannog, 
from Glannog, the father of Helig of Tyno Helig. In English it is called 
by the Norse name Priestholm, the Priests' Island, and oftener, but 
much later, Puffin Island, from the puffins which abound in it. 

Giraldus Cambrensis says that it was called Enis Lannach, or " the 
Ecclesiastical Island, because many bodies of saints are deposited there, 
and no woman is suffered to enter it." - He adds that it " is inhabited 
by hermits, living by manual labour, and serving God. It is remark- 
able that when, by the influence of human passions, any discord arises 
among them, all their provisions are devoured and infected by a 
species of small mice, with which the island abounds ; but when the 
discord ceases they are no longer molested." 

Before the inundation, connected in Bonedd y Saint with the name 
of Helig ab Glannog, took place. Puffin Island was joined on to the 
mainland. We extract the following from the curious account given 
by Sir John Wynn of Gwydir (died 1626) : — " This Seirial hadd an 
hermitage att Penmen Mawr, and there hadd a chappell where hee 
■did bestowe much of his tyme in prayers, the place beynge then an 
uncouth desarte and unfrequented rocke. . . . From Priestholme 
to Penmen Mawr did Seirial cause a pavement to bee made, wher- 
uppon hee might walke drye from his church att Priestholme to his 
chappell att Penmen Mawre, the vale beynge very lowe grownd and 
wette, which pavem' may att this day bee discerned from Penmen Mawr 

^ To Maelgwn is ascribed the foundation of both Penmon and Caer Cybi 
iPeniarth MSS. 77 and 127, Mostyn MS. 144). 

2 Itin. Camb., ii, c. 7. Ynys Lenach is also rendered Insula Ecclesiastica in 
Peniarth MS. 169. But it is correctly Insula Glannauc in the Annales C ambries, 
s.a. 629. See iii, p. 262. The owner of the island is Sir R. Williams-Bulkeley, Bart. 


From j$ih century Glass at Pennion. 

S. Seiriol 179 

"to Priestholme when the sea is cleere, yf a man hste to goe in a bote to 
see ytt. Sythence this greate and lamentable innundacion, the waye 
and passage beynge stopped in this straight in regard the sea was 
come in, and did beate uppon the rockes att Penmen Mawre, this 
holy man Seirial, lieke a good heremite, did cause a way to bee beaten 
and cutte through the mayne rocke, which is the onely passage that 
is to passe that straight. This way leadeth from Dwygyfylchi to 
Llanvair Vechan, and is the kinges highway." ^ He further mentions 
there " a cricke uppon the rocke called Clippyn Seiriall " (his Ledge), 
and the saint's chapel, dangerously situated on the cliff. Pennant 
says - that he saw the ruins of the chapel, or as it was called, the 
saint's Gwely, or Bed ; but there is no trace of it now. Pennant, 
however, seems to have confused the two ; the Gwely used to be on 
the summit of the great central rock before it was blasted during the 
latter half of last century.^ Cil Seiriol (his Retreat), probably the 
hermitage referred to, is also in the neighbourhood as well as his Holy 
Well, Ffynnon Seiriol. 

Seiriol and Cybi were bosom friends, and used to meet frequently 
at midday at their wells at Clorach, about midway between Penmon 
and Holyhead, for converse.* There is a Ffynnon Seiriol, walled 
round, in the parish of Llaniestyn, some three miles from Penmon 
Church, on Penhwnllys farm, on the way to Clorach. The new church 
at Holyhead is dedicated to Seiriol. " Byarth Syryell " and " Biarth 
Siriell Ysa " are entered among the possessions of Penmon Priory 
in the Valor of 1535.-' The Prior of Penmon was one of the three 
spiritual lords of Anglesey. 

Seiriol was one of the " Seven Blessed Cousins " (Saints) who went 
on a pilgrimage to Rome.^ 

The festival of Seiriol occurs in but very few Welsh calendars. It is 
given on February i in those in Peniarth MS. 186 and the Prymers of 
1618 and 1633. Browne Willis ' gives February 11, and Angharad 
Llwyd * February 15. 

Lewis Glyn Cothi (fifteenth century) in one of his poems ^ satirizes 

' An Ancient Survey of Pen Maen Mawr, reprinted by W. Bezant Lowe, 1906, 
pp. 19-20 ; Arch. Camb., 1861, pp. 147-9- He wrongly makes Seiriol to be a 
brother of Helig ab Glannog. John Ray in his Itinerary, 1662 (printed in his 
Select Remains, 1760, p. 225), mentions the " large paved Caussey, visible at low 
■water." ^ Tours in Wales, ed. 1883, iii, p. no. 

3 North, The Old Churches 0/ Arllechwedd, Bangor, 1906, p. 186. 

* ii, p. 209. * iv, pp. 429-30. For buarth see under S. Llwni, iii, p. 383. 

<' Peniarth MS. 225, p. 164 ; Cambro-Brit. Saints, p. 271. 

7 Bangor, p. 282. ' Hist, of Anglesey, p. 318. 

» Poetical Works, p. 280. The passage seems to imply that Seiriol specially 
blessed cheese-making. On p. 416 the bard invokes the saint's protection.. 

i8o Lives of the British Saints 

the mendicant friars, who were the rivals of the bards, for hawking 
about images of saints made of glass and alder wood, and selling them 
to the peasantry in exchange for cheese, flour, wool, etc. He says— 

"One bears fitfully 
The Blessed Curig under the skirts of his cloak; 
Another fellow carries Seiriol 
And nine cheeses in his arms." 

S. SELYF, or SALOMON, King, Martyr 

Selyf, whom the Bretons call Salomon,*- was the son of Geraint ab 
Erbin, Prince of Devon. 

There may have been, in Brittany, two Salomons, the son of Geraint, 
and another, who lived later, murdered the King, Erispoe, son of Nom- 
inoe, the liberator of Brittany, and was himself assassinated in 874. 

Of the first M. de la Borderie disposes as having never existed. 
But M. de la Borderie knew almost nothing about the Welsh sources 
of early British History and the Pedigrees. Selyf is, moreover, named 
as the father of S. Cybi, and he is spoken of as ruling between the 
Tamar and Lynher, that is to say, in the old principality of Gelliwig, 
in Cornwall. 2 Selyf 's wife was Gwen, or S. Wenn, the daughter of 
Cynyr of Caergawch, and sister of S. Non. According to the Welsh 
Pedigrees Selyf's mother was Gwyar, daughter of Amlawdd Wledig, 
and he had as brothers Cyngar, lestyn. Caw, and Cado or Cador. Seljrf 
is only entered in the late Saintly Pedigrees as a Welsh Saint. ^ 

That the princes of Britain were granted tracts of land in the new' 
colonies founded in Armorica is probable, and would be implied by 
the statement made in the Life of S. Leonore concerning Rivold or Rig- 
huail, that he held rule over the Britons both those in the island and 
those who had settled on the mainland.* The Venetian district had 
been settled something like a century before Armorican Domnonia ; 
and there are indications that Geraint, the father of Selyf, had been 

^ The name Solomon assumes in the Book of Llan Ddv, and the Annates Cam- 
bricB the form Sehm, which later became Selyf and Selef. King Solomon is 
usually called in mediaeval Welsh Selyf Ddoeth. 

2 Vita S. Kebii, Cambro-Brit. Saints, p. 183. See what has been said on his 
pedigree in ii, p. 203, and iii, p. 47. 

' Myv. Arch., p. 429 ; lolo MSS., pp. n6, 136, 139. 

* Vita S. Leonori. HeSraeit, Catalog. Codicum hagiographicorum bibl. Latin. 
in Bibl. Nat. Parisiensi, ii, p. 153. 

S. Selyf or Salomon 1 8 i 

A wild fantastic story is attributed to Paulilianus, a writer of Leon 
in the tenth century, and who is probably Bishop Marbo, who sub- 
scribed himself Paulilianus in Britannia, Episcopus, in 954, at the 
refounding of the abbatial church of S. Pierre en Vallee, near Chartres. 
He wrote an account of the Translation of the rehcs of S. Matthew. 
This has been summarised by Le Baud.^ He says that this Salomon 
.was of holy life ; and he quotes in confirmation a chronicle of the 
Kings of Brittany, which no longer exists. Paulilianus, he goes on 
to say, relates how that the relics of S. Matthew were translated from 
Cairo to Brittany. Salomon, the King, had then to wife the daughter 
of Flavins, a patrician ; and he entered into alliance with Valentinian, 
the Emperor of the West. 

When the vessel on which was the body of the Evangelist arrived 
off the port of Ka5Tinen, Salomon went to the spot and desired to 
have the relics removed ; but the body proved too heavy to be trans- 
ported. Then Riuvallus, Duke of Comouaille, declared that obviously 
the saint was offended at the custom prevalent in Armorica of parents 
selling their children into slavery, and being required to do so, to pay 
the customary tax into the royal treasury. Riuvallus exhorted 
Salomon to put an end to this barbarous custom. Then Salomon 
placed his hand on the relics of the Evangelist and swore to do so in 
this fashion, that the children who were to be sold, should instead 
pass into the service of the Church of S. Matthew. Then only did 
the body become light enough to be transported on shore, and laid 
where afterwards arose the stately Abbey of S. ]\Iathieu. 

Salomon reigned for a good many years, but finally an insurrection 
broke out, and he was killed by his revolted subjects whilst praying 
in a church. The patrician Flavins complained to the Emperor 
Valentinian, who sent an army to chastise the rebels. Such is the 
story, manifestly fabulous, and as certainly not written by PauHlianus 
in the tenth century. 

Valentinian IH was Emperor of the West from 425 to 455. 

Geraint, father of Selyf, fell at Llongborth a century later. 

The story of the murder of Salomon is suspiciously like that of his 
namesake, who fell in 874. The acquisition of the relics, moreover, 
took place in 830.2 

If there be any truth in the story, Salomon probably fell in endea- 
vouring to extort tribute from the provincials. 

Two localities claim to be the scene of martyrdom of a King Salo- 
mon, and this gives colour to the plea that there were two of the same 

1 Hist, de Byetagne, 1638, but written in 1518. 

^ Dom Morice, Preuves, i p. 3, from a Chronicon Britannicum. 

I 8 2 Lives of the British Saints 

name who came to a violent end. One place is Langoelan in Morbihan, 
near Guemene, on the old Roman road from Carhaix. The other is 
La Martyr near Landemeau. There is a Merzer (martyrium) of S. 
Salomon at Langoelan. The Annals of S. Bertin make Salomon, the 
murderer of Erispoe, to have fallen there ; but M. de la Borderie insists 
it was at La Martyr. 

In Cornwall the Church of Lansalos was probably of Selyf's foun- 
dation. In Domesday it is given as Lansalpus. Bishop Grandisson's 
Register gives Lansalewys. Adjoining is Duloe, a foundation of S. 
Cybi. Hard by is Pelynt, of which Non, the sister-in-law of Selyf, 
is the patron. Morval again is a foundation of his wife, S. Wenn. 
In Bishop Bronescombe's Register Lansalos is given as dedicated to 
S"' Ildierna, a clerical error of gender. 

There is a Holy Well at Lansalos, and the Church possesses a sanc- 
tuary, an indication that it was an ecclesiastical tribal centre. The 
feast at Lansalos is on the Sunday after February i. The day of S., 
Salomon in the Del Calendar of 1519 is February 8. So also in the 
Breviary of S. Malo, 1537. But June 25 is the day on which the 
murderer of Erispoe is culted, according to the Missal of Vannes,. 
1530, the Vannes Breviaries of 1586, 1660, and 1757 ; and this is the 
day given by Le Grand and Lobineau. 

The Martyrology of Tallaght gives Solomon on April 11, but without 
a word to explain who is meant. 

The lolo MSS.} in one document, include another Selyf among 
the Welsh Saints, Selyf, Prince of Powys, and son of Cynan Garwyn 
ab Brochwel Ysgythrog. He fell at the battle of Chester in 613. The 
Irish annalist Tighemach calls him Rex Bretanorum,^ which seems to- 
imply that he was for a time the Gwledig or Over- King of the Cymry. 

He is distinguished in the Triads ^ as one of the three Aerfeddog, or 
Grave-slaughterers, of Britain, so called because they avenged them- 
selves on their enemies from their graves. 

This Selyf cannot be regarded as a Welsh saint ; he was simply a. 
Welsh prince. He is sometimes called Selyf Sarffgadau, or the Ser- 
pent of Battles. He was, however, the father of S. Dona, of Anglesey.. 

S. SEN AN, Abbot, Confessor 

Sen AN of Iniscathy, the bosom friend of S. David, is known 
in Wales, and was a founder in Cornwall and also in Brittany.. 

' P. 130. 2 Reyue Celtique, xvii, p. 171. 

' Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 304. 

S. Senan i 8 3 

In Cornwall he is called Sennen, in Wales Sannan,^ in Brittany 

The authorities for his Life are : — • 

1. A ]\Ietrical Life in the so-called Kilkenny Book, and in the Sala- 
manca Codex. The latter is imperfect. It is printed by Colgan, 
Acta SS. Hibern., p. 612 (the numbering of the pages is incorrect, and 
is given as 512-27). Reprinted in the Acta SS. Boll., March, i, pp. 
761-8, from a MS. of the end of the twelfth or beginning of the 
thirteenth century ; also Acta SS. Hib., Cod. Sal., coll. 735-58. 

2. A Prose Life, printed in the Acta SS. Boll., March, i, pp. 769-78 ; 
and by Colgan, p. 530 (incorrect numbering for 612) to 537. 

3. An Irish Life in the Book of Lismore, Anecd. Oxon., i8go, pp. 
54-74, and translation pp. 201-21. 

4. An Irish Life, from the Stowe collection, transcribed by Donall 
O'Duinin in 1627. This we have not seen. Hardy, Descriptive 
Catalogue, 1862, p. 124, No. 377. 

5. A Life in the Breviary of Leon, 1516, beginning, " Sanctus 
Senanus ex nobihbus Christicolisque parentibus de Scotia natus fuit." 
Of this Breviary only two copies exist, and both are imperfect. We 
have seen the copy formerly in the Library of the Freres Lamennais 
at Ploermel, now at Rennes, and have transcribed from it the Life of 
S. Senan. 

6. A Life in Albert Le Grand's Collection, but this is based on the 
lections in the Breviary of Leon, and on a transcript of a Life sent 
him from Ardfert in 1629, but with the addition of local traditions- 
collected in the parish of Plouzane. 

In the Life of S. Patrick the story is told that when the Apostle was 
preaching in Limerick, about the year 448, the Hy Figeinte received 
him gladly. Then the Corcobaskin, on the Clare side of the Shannon, 

1 Sannan is a not uncommon name in Wales, but it usually occurs as a female 
and brook name, and, under its earliest form, as Sanant. (i) Sannan (Sanant), 
daughter of Cyngen, and wife of Maelgwn Gwynedd (Cognatio de Brychan) ; 
Sannan, daughter of Nougoy (Noe ab Arthur), and mother of EUsse, King of 
Powys, c. 700-50 (Harleian MS. 3,859, Jesus College MS. 20) ; and a twelfth 
century Sannan, daughter of Dyfnwal (Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 302). 
(2) Sannan, a stream (also a farm, Glan Sannan) in Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire ; 
and Frut Sanant, a Glamorganshire brook, mentioned in a twelfth century grant 
to brother MeiUr and the brethren of Pennar (Birch, Neath Abbey, pp. 9-1 1)- 
There is a Cwm Sannan near Llanfair Waterdine, Radnorshire. None of the 
saintly pedigrees — not even those of the lolo MSS. — include a Sanan, male or 
female, among the Welsh Saints. There is, however, a pedigree in Cardiff MS. 
5 (1527), p. 120, which gives a " Sanan in Denbighshire," and makes him brother 
of Gwynhoedl and Tudno, and thus a son of Seithenin Frenin o Faes Gwyddno ; 
but the entry is most probably a mistake for " Seneuyr," given in the old pedigrees- 
as the name of another brother. 

184 Lives of the British Saints 

entreated him to give them a bishop who might instruct them in the 
way of Life. Patrick regretfully refused, as he had not sufficient 
missioners at his disposal, but he prophesied that a child would be 
bom, who would be to them all that they could desire. The prophecy 
is given in the Book of Lismore : — ■ 

" A new child shall be born in the West 

In the Island across the sea. 
The Corco-baskin will bow 'neath his hand 

Men, women and children aUke. 
He will be splendid, royal and stately. 

With God as well as with men. 
Happy the people, and happy the Church, 

That under this child shall be." ' 

What the story shows is no more than this — that Patrick, being 
short of fellow-labourers, encouraged the Corcobaskin with hopes. 
As they received no great Christian teachers till Senan came — for 
the priest Maculatus and the deacon Latius, whom Patrick did send 
them, effected little good, and Senan, who arose forty years later, 
was their real apostle — they invented the prophecy and made it apply 
to Senan, who was bom in 488. 

The fable goes that the mother of Senan was in the garden when 
the pangs of maternity came on her, and that she laid hold of a branch 
of rowan, which immediately broke into leaf and developed bunches 
of scarlet berries. The story is not to be put aside as absolute inven- 
tion. The Irish, as with all Celts, were desirous of discovering the 
future of their children by means of omens, connected with the birth, 
as dreams, encounters with birds or beasts, and it was the function 
of the wise-woman who acted as mid-wife, to draw some prognostic 
from such event as was associated with the birth. In this instance 
■Coemgella had laid hold of a rowan-tree, laden with its berries, and 
the mid-wife fastened on this incident as affording the required omen.^ 

What she actually foretold matters little, but after Senan's life had 
fashioned itself, then it was assumed that the rowan, growing among 
rocks and on moorlands, prefigured his dwelling, not in rich pastures, 
but in deserts, and the bright clusters of the mountain ash might not 
inappropriately be assumed to represent his many monastic settle- 

Senan was bom at Magh Lacha, about three miles north-east 

' Anecdota Oxon., Book of Lismore, pp. 56, 203. 

- Colgan, Acta SS. Hib,, Vita 2da Senani, c. 6 ; Book of Lismore, p. 206. 
" Cujus nativitate tempore lignum aridum quod ejus mater manu tenebat 
confestim floruit quasi prenoscitans quod puerulus qui nascebatur florere deberet 
in domum domini sicut cedrus Libani." Brev. Leon. 1516. 

S. Senan 185 

■of Kilrush, in the county of Clare. His father's name was Gerr- 
cend, son of Dubhtach, of the race of Conaire Mor, first High King 
of Ireland. His mother, Comgella, daughter of Emach, son of Gulban, 
was a native of Altraigh. 

He had a brother named Cronan, whom his mother called Conandill, 
or " Conan darhng." He also became a Saint. He had a sister as 
well, named Conainne. 

His father, in addition to his main farm, had another at Tracht 
Termuin (the Strand of the Boundaries). When the family was about 
to move from one farm to the other, Senan was sent ahead to make 
ready for the reception of the family.^ 

One afternoon, Senan, along with his mother, was driving his father's 
cattle, and as night approached, and the way lay over the strand, 
he was afraid of pursuing his course in the dark. Hard by was a dun, 
or hill-fort, occupied by one named Mechai ; and he went with his 
drove to the gate and asked to be taken in for the night. Mechai 
was not at home, but his son was in charge, a churlish fellow, who 
rudely refused the petition ; he had no hay for the oxen during the 

Accordingly Senan was constrained to proceed with his drove, with 
the chance of some straying. The night fell dark as pitch, and as he 
pushed over the sands with the cattle he heard the mutter of the 
advancing tide, and presently the water came hissing and lapping about 
his heels. His mother became frightened and broke out into wailing. 

Presently, he saw a flare in the sky and heard yells above the growl 
■of the swelling sea. Lookmg back, he saw Dun-Mechai in flames. 
Some foes of the chief had taken advantage of his absence and of the 
darkness to set fire to it. 

This providential escape, as well as the sense of peril from the tide, 
produced such an effect on Senan's young mind, that on reaching 
liome in safety, he snapped the ox-goad across his knee, and vowed 
ihat he would embrace the ecclesiastical profession. ^ 

When he had reached the age at which he was expected to bear 
arms, he was called upon by the chief of the Corcobaskin to join in a 
raid on the Corcomroe territory, i.e. Barren in Clare. It was in vain 
that he protested his vow, he was compelled to take part in the foray. 
The Corcobaskin were defeated and driven away with loss, with the 
enemy in pursuit. Senan, running as hard as his legs could carry him, 
happily perceived a heap of thrashed corn, and dived into it. As, 
iowever, he was not wholly covered by the grain, he was drawn forth 

1 Vita 2da, c. 7 ; Book of Lismore, p. 204 ; Brev. Lion. 
3 Ibid., c. 10 ; Ibid., pp. 205-6 ; Brev. Lion. _ 

I 8 6 Lives of the British Saints 

by the heels, and asked who he was. He answered evasively that 
he was a country lad who, at the sound of arms, had concealed him- 
self out of sheer fright ; and the enemy, supposing him to be a 
person of no consequence, dismissed him unharmed. '^ 

Obviously, Senan was not of the stuff wherewith to make a soldier^ 
and after this exhibition of cowardice his parents accepted the inevit- 
able, and sent him to the Abbot Cassidan at Kerry-Cuirke, between 
Kinsale and Cork, as there was no monastic establishment in their 

Here he remained for a few years, learning to read, and then went 
to finish his studies with S. Natalis in Ossory. Natalis was son of 
^ngus MacNadfraich, King of Munster, and of Ethnea Uatach. He 
lost both his parents in the battle of Kelhston, in 489. 

" This was the rule of the school of Natalis. Each scholar had to 
go on a day, in turn, to herd the calves of the Church," Another obli- 
gation was to work the quern, but on this two had to be engaged 
■simultaneously. 2 

After a few years spent in the school of Natalis, an unpleasant inci- 
dent occurred. The biographer veils the facts as well as he can, but 
it is not difficult to read between the lines. " Senan's fame spread 
abroad throughout the territories on every side. . . . The tribes and 
kindreds used to come from every point to him. Some of them with 
alms and offerings, others to seek alms, others to seek cure of their 
diseases, some to obtain his spiritual direction, some to effect an union 
with him and to induce him to take up his residence among them." ^ 

Natalis, the Abbot, found himself thrust on one side and ignored, 
whilst the young pupil was pushing to the front and acting as master 
in the monastery. The situation became so strained that at last Nata- 
lis bade him pack. There was assumption on one side, and jealousy 
on the other. The biographer pretends that they parted on the best 
terms. Senan now went to Iniscathy, where S. Maidoc resigned to 
him his abbatial staff. So we are told ; but this is not possible, if 
the Maidoc be he who was afterwards at Ferns. What is probable is 
that Maidoc had been placed as a boy in an Irish monastery by his 
brother Gildas, and that Senan took Maidoc with him, when he now 
went to Wales ; and that he left Maidoc with S. David, with whom 
he remained for many years.* 

Before settling finally anywhere Senan resolved on travelling, 

' Vita 2da, c. 8 ; Book of Lismore, p. 205. From the latter it would seem 
that Senan ran away and hid in the corn before the fighting began, and went to 
sleep or pretended to do so. 

2 Book of Lismore, p. 206. ' Ibid.; Vita zda, c. 16. ' i, pp. 118-21. 

S. Senan 187 

He had made an intimate friend of Ciaran of Saighir, who is said to 
have been his " individuus comes semper ac socius," and now he 
entered into brotherhood with S. David. When they parted David 
presented Senan with his staff. ^ 

Senan visited Rome and Tours, and was for awhile in Brittany. 
On liis return home and a revisit to David, he landed at Ardmenedh, 
an islet off the Munster coast, where he remained for forty days and 
founded there a ceU and church. Then he departed for Iniscarra, about 
five miles from Cork. Whilst he was there a ship touched on the island, 
having on board fifty ecclesiastics, who are described as Romans come 
to Ireland to study the rules observed by the abbots there. But 
according to a more probable account only three of these were actually 
Romans. These strangers were divided into five bands, each com- 
prising ten persons, and each had placed itself under the patronage 
of one of the most illustrious abbots of Ireland. Each in succession 
had the charge of the vessel. 

One day, when it was under the command of the Senan crew, a 
violent gale arose, against which the boat laboured with difficulty,. 
and shipped many seas. The pilot went to the ecclesiastics, whilst 
they were dining, to complain that they were in extreme peril. Then 
from a table up sprang a bishop, named Mula, possibly Molua, with a 
mutton bone in his hand that he had been gnawing, ran forward, and 
signing the cross in the air with the shank-bone, cried, " O Senan, help 
us quickly, and give us a favourable wind ! " 

As the gale abated shortly after, and the wind shifted, it was con- 
cluded that this was due to Mula's adjuration with the bone, assisted 
by the merits of S. Senan. ^ 

Senan had trouble with the chief, Lugaid, who claimed territorial 
rights over the island of Iniscarra. He demanded tribute. This- 
Senan refused, point blank. Thereupon Lugaid sent one of his race 
horses on to the island to feed on its grass. By some accident the 
horse was drowned, and Lugaid was highly incensed, and uttered 
threats of vengeance. 

Senan dared him to do anything against him, and declared that he 
would not only deprive him of his place in heaven, but would also 
curse all his posterity, that none should sit in his seat and rule his- 
people.* Lugaid, who was King of the Hy Eachach, was alarmed, 
and two foster sons intervened and patched up a reconciliation. The 

1 Book 0/ Lismore, Vita ida, c. ig. " Discedens ab eo accepit proprium S. 
Davidis baculum, in amicitiae et confratemitatis pignus, secumque ducit in patriam." 

2 nid,., p. 2og ; Vita ida, c. 20. In this latter the adjuration with the bone- 
is omitted. * Ibid., p. 210 ; Vita ida, c. 22. 

1 S 8 Lives of the British Saints 

chief granted to Senan the isle free of dues, and the Saint in return 
assured to Lugaid the kingdoiii of Rathhn, to himself and his seed for 

Then Senan left Iniscarra and departed for Inis Luirghe, an island 
in the Shannon between Limerick and Scattery, and founded a church 
there. Whilst he was in this islet the daughters of the Chief of the 
Hy Figeinte came to him, and induced him to form a religious commun- 
ity for women on the mainland. He did so, and veiled these maidens. ^ 
He also abandoned to them the church he had just founded, and de- 
parted by boat, with intention of settling on Inis Mor, but the wind 
and tide carried him instead to Inis Tuaiscert, which has not been 
identified. Here he planted another church, and left in it a portion of 
;his household. 

. Then he resumed his journey to Inis Mor, now Deer Island, at the 
mouth of the Fergus. Here he erected another church, and here 
■occurred the incident with S. Setna that shall be related under the 
-heading of S. Sithney.^ 

Even here he would not tarry ; he left Setna and other holy men in 
the island, and formed an establishment in one of the Ennis Kerry 
Islands. But here, also, his stay was brief, and he went further to 
Inis Cunla, on which he constructed a cell that was designed for his 
■disciples Finan and Finnian. 

His restlessness not yet appeased, he departed again, and seeing from 
the top of a mountain that an islet lay in the mouth of the Shannon, 
;he crossed over to it, and resolved on constituting his headquarters 
there. This was Inis Cathy, now Scattery Isle. 

But no sooner was he there than the chief of the Hy Figeinte, Mac 
Tail by name, heard of it, and was offended, because he claimed that 
the island was his own. He sent over two brothers of Senan, Coel and 
Liath, to order him off. 

Liath was father of Demnan, one of Senan's disciples, and he acted 
in. this matter with great reluctance. Coel had no scruples. On reach- 
ing the island, they endeavoured to persuade Senan to quit it ; when he 
refused, Coel said, " If we do not turn him out, Mac Tail will deprive 
us of our property, and really Senan has not a shred of right to the 

' Senan left eight disciples in Iniscarra, among them, S. Fechin, son of the 
King of Muskerry, and S. Killian. The damsels were the daughters of Brendad, 
Prince of Hy Figeinte, " the first-fruits of the Eoganacht Gabhra." Vita 2da, 
■c. 23 ; Book of Lismore, p. 211. 

2 Vita Ida, c. 24. A curious incident occurs here. There are fears of en- 
croachment of the sea, whereupon Liberius offers to be buried (alive ?) where the 
tide Une is that by the merits of his body lying there the further rise of the sea 
jnay be prevented ; c. 26. 

iS. Senan 1 8 9 

island." Then he laid hold of Senan by the shoulders and endeavoured 
to force him down to the boat. Senan shouted to his lusty young disci- 
ples for assistance, and they rescued him from the hands of Coel, who' 
was forced to return unsuccessful, pelted with a hail of imprecations. 
Not long after this Coel died, and then Senan absolutely refused tO' 
give him Christian burial. 

Mac Tail now sent his Druid to curse Senan, and a lively scene- 
ensued between the Pagan and the Christian, hurling imprecations at 
each other. Neither was a bit the worse, though the writer of the Life- 
pretends that in the sequel the Druid was drowned. But as Mac Tail 
was undaunted, it does not seem that he considered that Senan was- 
very redoubtable. Mac Tail now visited the island himself, to expel 
the saint. When he reached Inis Cathy, Senan confronted him with a 
bold face. Then ensued a scene of truly Hibernian recrimination. 
" Man," said the King, " I will tie a stone to your neck and pitch 
you into the sea." 

" You dare not, and you can not do it," retorted Senan. 
" Well — I will do this," said Mac Tail ; " I have brought over my 
horses to eat up your grass." 

" I am not going to be your ostler," exclaimed Senan. 
" I purpose journeying to an assembly of the people at Corcum- 
ruadh," said the chief, " and I shall leave my horses here to depasture- 
your grass till I return." 

" God grant that you never do return ! " retorted the saint. 
No sooner was the king gone than he contrived to get the horses- 

Mac Tail was informed of this, and he was furious. His son said to- 
him, " Take care what you are about. Saints' curses fall heavy." 

" I care no more for this fellow," replied the king, " than I do for a 
black hornless sheep." 

On his way, so runs the tale, the prince's horse stumbled over a 
black sheep, threw his rider, and Mac Tail, falling on his head upon a 
stone, was killed. 

Obviously the saying about the black sheep was put into the mouth 
of Mac Tail, after the event. 

He was succeeded by a man of another stamp, Nectan Cenn-fodha,. 
who not only made grants of land to the saint, but constituted him 
Saint over the whole Tribe of the Hy Figeinte, occupying what is now 
the County of Limerick.^ 

Senan blessed his island and announced that he had obtained ai 

• Vita 2da, cc. 33, 34 ; Book of Lismore, pp. 214-6. 

I 9 o Litves of the British Saints 

favour from God that no monk crossing over from the mainland to it 
should be drowned, and that no one buried in the soil of the island 
should go to Hell.i 

One day, Senan's nephew, Donan, went out in a boat catching crabs, 
and took with him a couple of boys. As the urchins were troublesome, 
he landed them on a skerry, and proceeded with his fishing. Whilst 
he was thus engaged the tide turned and ran so strong that Donan 
could not reach the lads, who were swept off the rock and drowned, 
and all he was able to do was to secure their bodies. 

A great outcry was made among the relatives of the children, and a 
demand was made for eric, or payment in compensation for the loss. 
Senan had much difficulty in appeasing them, and only succeeded in so 
doing by protesting that to his certain knowledge the souls of the lads 
were in Paradise, and were quaking with alarm lest they should be 
recalled to reanimate their bodies. ^ These were the first dead who 
were buried in Inis Cathy. 

Whilst Senan was in Scattery Isle he was visited by Brendan of 
Birr, and by Ciaran, the Wheelwright's son, of Clonmacnois, and these 
two constituted him their confessor and spiritual guide. ^ 

There was a holy virgin, named Brigid, in the Hy Figeinte district. 
She is not to be confounded with Brigid of Kildare. She lived at Clon 
Infinde, near the Shannon, and was under the direction of Senan-. 
She had woven a habit {casula) * for Senan, but had no messenger, by 
whom to send it. So she made a hamper of holly-twigs, lined it with 
moss, laid the habit therein, with a letter to inform him that she had 
run short of salt, and also desired the Holy Communion, and com- 
mitted it to the river. It was either washed up on the beach, or re- 
covered by one of the monks who was out fishing, and was brought 
to Senan. The abbot at once packed the hamper again with two bars 
of salt, and the Sacred Host, and committed it to the tide when running 
inland, and Brigid, who was awaiting it, received it at her place. ° 

Senan was vastly particular on one point. He was determined to cut 
off occasion for the scandals that had, unhappily, been common in the 
double communities. Consequently, he stubbornly refused to allow 
any woman to land on Scattery. So strict was he that when an aged 
nun, named Cannera, arrived to die there, he refused to allow her to 
.land. Cannera had been the spiritual daughter of the great Brigid. 

* Vita 2<ia, c. 30 ; B. of L., p. 214. '^ Ibid., c. 35 ; B. of L., p. 217. 
^ Ihid., c. 36; B. of L., p. 217. 

* Casula, in Irish casta, does not necessarily apply to an ecclesiastical vestment 
used at the altar. The term is appHed to a monastic habit. 

^ Vita 2dn, c. 39., Brigid was of the family of Mac Xail. 

S. Senan - 191 

I^or some time she had lived in soUtude, but had afterwards attached 
herself to Senan, and had probably entered his house for nuns among 
the Hy Figeinte. 

According to the legend, one night Cannera saw all the churches of 
Ireland emitting rays of light ; but the greatest blaze was made by 
that of Senan. She at once went to visit him on his island. What 
follows is from the Life in the Book of Lismore. 

" Senan went to the harbour to meet her, and gave her welcome. 
You see, I have come,' said Cannera. 

Go," replied Senan, ' to your sister who dwells in yon isle to the 
East, for I cannot receive you here.' 

" ' I have come to abide here,' retorted Cannera. 

Women are not suffered to enter this isle,' rejoined Senan. 
How canst thou say that ? ' asked Cannera. ' Art thou better 
"than Jesus Christ ? He came to redeem women no less than men. He 
suffered on the Cross for women as well as men. He opens the king- 
•dom of heaven to women as surely as to men. Why then dost thou 
shut women out from this isle ? ' 

" ' You are an obstinate woman,' said Senan. 

Come now,' said Cannera, ' give me a place where I may be buried, 
and give me the Sacrament.' 

" ' I will give thee a place of resurrection on the sea-brink,' said Senan. 
' But, mind you, the sea will eat it away, and carry off your bones.' 

" ' God will grant,' said she, ' that the spot where I shall lie may not 
be the first to be swept away by the waves.' 

" ' Very well, then,' said Senan, ' come ashore.' " ^ 

Tom Moore's version of the story, " The Saint and the Lady," will 
be remembered. He missed the real beauty of the tale. 

As Senan perceived that his end drew nigh, he felt a longing to revisit 
the scenes of his early school-days, as also to pray at the cell of his aunt, 
Scath, QT Scota, at Barrymore, in Cork. Nothing has been told us of 
his boy days with this aunt ; but there was a tender spot in his heart, 
associated with her. She had been kind to him, maybe, had sympa- 
thized with his yearnings after spiritual things, which his parents could 
not understand. And so now an intense longing possessed him to see 
where the dear old woman had lived and died. Her oratory is still 
-standing, though ruinous. 

Before leaving, a characteristic incident occurred, illustrative of the 
transition state in which the Irish of these parts were, half-way 
between Paganism and Christianity. 

" We entreat you," said the virgins of Kil-eochaille, now Kill-na- 

1 B. of L., pp. 219-20 ; Vita -zda, c. 40. 

192 Lives of the British Saints 

gaillagh, when he left his boat and visited them, " give us the body of 
some lowly monk of your community to be buried by us, so that his- 
relics may be our protection." 

The Pagan usage had been to bury a child or a woman alive as a pro- 
pitiatory sacrifice to the Earth-Mother, as also in order that the spirit 
might haunt the spot and scare away foes and depredators. After- 
wards, as manners softened, a horse or a dog or a lamb was substituted 
for a human victim, when a house was built. There was a further pur- 
pose in the demand. Till a grave had been made and one buried in 
it, there was no security of tenure to land. Consequently the great 
anxiety of founders to have a corpse laid in the land on which they 
settled. That secured the inviolability of their holding. ^ 

Senan promised the sisters what they wanted, but bade them be 

Then he departed to pray at the graves of his old schoolmaster and 
his aunt. Having done this, he returned towards Iniscathy, and had 
got as far as an old thorn-tree near Kil-eochaille, when he felt that his- 
strength was gone and that his end approached. 

Kil-eochaille or Kill-na-Gaillagh is on Rossbay, over against Inis- 
cathy, and the oratory there is still standing, though ruinous. From 
where he lay — across the rippling blue water — the old man's dying eyes- 
rested on his beloved island, and beyond, the rounded hills of Clare, 
the Corcobaskin country, through which light had streamed from that 
little colony he had founded. 

Hastily, a bishop of the name of Martin was sent for, and there under" 
the thorn-tree on a windy day in early spring he was communicated 
with the Bread of Life, and died, saying, " Let me lie here till dawn." 

So all night his dead body lay where his spirit had passed. 

In the morning came his disciples from Iniscathy, among them, that 
same Bishop Mula, who had allayed a storm with a mutton bone in the 
name of Senan, to carry off the corpse. But the Sisters of Kil-eochaille 
protested. He had died there. He had promised them relics ; let 
him lie where he had died. 

To this the disciples would not consent, but to satisfy the nuns, they 
cut off the old man's thumb and left it with them.^ 

Senan died on March i, on the same day as his friend S. David, 

though perhaps not in the same year. The date cannot well be fixed. 

If he were bom in 488, and he lived to the age of eighty, he died in 568 ; 

but we cannot be certain as to the year of his birth nor as to the age 

to which he hved. 

' See Baring-Gould, Strange Survivals, London, 1892, pp. 1-35. 
2 Vita Ida, c. 42 ; B. of L., p. 221. 


Modefn Glass in Llansanndn Chufoh, 
Prom a Drawing by H. Gustav Hitler, 

S. Senan 193 

According to Albert le Grand, Senan had been abbot and bishop for 
thirty-three years when he started for Armorica, and disembarked in 
the west in what is now the parish of Plougonvelen, near the ruined 
abbey of S. Mathieu. Thence he made his way to a place called after 
him, Plouzane, where he destroyed an idol temple, and planted two- 
crosses, which remain, but which were actually boundary marks to his 
minihi, or sanctuary. The crosses surmount lechs, or early Christian 
tombstones, and stood tiU lately in a little wood called Coet-ar-c'hras, 
or the Wood of the Refuge. Near the church is his Holy WeU. The site 
of his monastery is still pointed out. On Whitsunday the procession 
of Plouzane is joined by that of Loc-maria, and the Tro Sant Sane is- 
made, or the circuit of the old sanctuary land. The Pardon is, how- 
ever, on the Sunday nearest to August lo. 

Although Senan died on March i, the day of his burial, March 8, i& 
observed in Ireland, and so entered in the Martyrology of Oengus, in 
that of Donegal, and was in that, now lost, of Cashel. Also the Drum- 
mond Calendar, and that of Salisbury. O' Gorman gives March i and 
March 8. The Martyrology of Tallaght gives March 7. Whytford 
on March 8, but he prints Fenan for Senan. Nicolas Roscarrock enters 
him on March 7 and 9, but he says that in Cornwall his feast is observed 
on April 15 ; but the Feast is nowadays kept on June 30 at S. Sennen. 
In Brittany his day is March 6, Breviary of Leon, 1516, Missal of Dol, 
1526, and Albert le Grand. 

In Wales, Sannan's day is given as on March 7 in the Calendars in 
the lolo MSS. and the Prymers of 1618 and 1633, and on March 8 in 
that in Hafod MS. 8. Allwydd Paradwys, 1670, gives April 29 as the 
Festival of Senan ; so also Cressy.^ This saint is supposed to have 
been the Senan who is mentioned in the second Life of S. Winefred, 
by Robert of Shrewsbury, as having been buried at Gwytherin beside 
S. Winefred. Sannan occurs also on June 13 in the Calendars in Jesus 
College MS. 141, Peniarth MSS. 27, 172, 186, 187 and 219, Mostyn 
MS. 88, and the lolo MSS. — so formidable an array of Calendars that 
it makes one suspect that the festival is that of another saint of the 
name, who is patron of Llansannan, in Denbighshire, as the Gwyl 
Mabsant was held there in the month of June within living memory ; 
but no such saint, of whom anything is known, has his day in that 
month. The date of one of the old fairs at Llansannan suggests another 
possible patron for the church, S. Sanctan, noticed above, ^ a 

^ Quoted in Rice Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 321. It is often assumed, e.g. 
Cathrall, N. Wales, 1828, ii, p. 166, that this was the Sannan of Llansannan. 

2 P. 171. In a poem attributed to lolo Godh {fiweithiau, ed. Ashton, p. 533)- 
occurs the hne, " A nawd Sanan Nud y seinyeu," " the protection of Sannan, the 
Nudd (Hael) of the saints." 


194 Lives of the British Saints 

British saint who settled in Ireland. The equation of the names is 
•correct ; but the fair day, May 7 (O.S.), does not quite coincide with 
liis festival. May g. 

Besides Llansannan there is dedicated to Sannan the church of 
Bedwellty (Mellte's House), in Monmouthshire. Browne Willis gives 
the festival day of the former on June 13, and of the latter on March 8. 
Sannan is also one of the three patrons of Llantrisant, in Anglesey, 
whom Willis gives as Sannan (June 13), Afan (December 17), and lefan, 
or John (August 29, the Beheading of the Baptist). 

In the township of Tref Llan, Llansannan, is a field called Tyddyn 
Sannan, near a spot called Pant yr Eglwys, where are the remains of a 
building supposed to have been a church. Close by is the hill Foel 

In Cornwall he is patron of only S. Sennen at the Land's End. 
Leland ''■ speal-;s of him as Sinninus Abbas, who came over with Breaca 
and other saints from Ireland, " qui Rom£E cum Patritio fuit," which, 
•of course, is a mistake. According to William of Worcester," Sanctus 
Senseus jacet in parochia Sancti Justi juxta Hellyston, circa 4 miliaria." 
William's writing is so bad that it is not easy to discern whether he 
wrote Sennius or Sensens. 

The old church at Plouzane was a very rude and curious circular 
structure. It was unhappily pulled down some years ago to make way 
for a vulgar modern edifice. 

There is a statue of him, without distinguishing attribute, at Plouzane 
representing him in pontifical habit blessing. 

Sennan has been supposed, on the most flimsy grounds, to be repre- 
sented by S. Kessog in Scotland. The legend of Kessog in the Martyr- 
•ology of Aberdeen is unlike that of S. Senan, except for one incident. 
Kessog as a child was playing with two other children by a pool, when 
the latter fell in and were drowned. Their parents were furious, and 
threatened to destroy all Munster unless they were restored to them 
ahve, which was accordingly done. Kessog was buried in Luss.^ 
The story of the drowned boys was imported into the Life of Kessog 
from that of Senan, but with alterations. The two saints were dis- 
linct personages. 

S. SENEWYR, Confessor 

Senewyr or Senefyr was one of the sons of Seithenin Frenin of 
Maes Gwyddno (now under Cardigan Bay), whose territory was over- 

^ Itin., iii., p. 15. ^ Forbes, Kalendars of Scottish Saints, 1872, pp. 373-4. 

S. Sennara 195 

whelmed by the sea. He had as brothers, Tudclyd, Gwynhoedl, Merin, 
and Tudno.^ Other brothers are mentiond in the later genealogies, 
and all are said to have become after the inundation saints of Bangor 
on Dee. 2 

The name of Seithenin, their father, is handed down in the Triads 
with the unenviable distinction of having, in a fit of intoxication, let 
the sea through the dams which secured Cantref y Gwaelod. 

Senewyr is very probably the patron of Llansanwyr,^ now Llansannor, 
in Glamorganshire. It is, however, entered among the possessions of 
Tewkesbury Abbey in 1180 as the chapel " Sanctae Senwarae de la 
Thawa," * with a female saint's name, possibly enough by mistake. 
In the Book of Llan Ddv,^ the place is called Nadauan, standing appar- 
ently for Nant Auan, and in the fourteenth century appendix ^ to the 
same the church is given as " Ecclesia de La (= Lan) Thawe " ; and 
again in the Valor of 1535'' as " Llansannor alias Thawe." In the 
latter part of these designations we have the name of the stream there, 
called in English Thaw, in Welsh Dawon. 

Browne Willis ^ gives the dedication of Llansannor as " St. Thaw 
alias Lythas, September i," a hopeless combination. 

S. SENNARA, Widow 

Sennara, in Breton Azenora, was the mother of S. Budoc.^ The 
church of Zennor in West Cornwall is dedicated to her. In 
Bishop Bronescombe's Register, 1270, it is Ecclesia Stas Senaras ; 
so also in those of Bishops Stapeldon, 1315 ; Grandisson, 1327 ; Bran- 
tyngham, 1370 and 1383, and Stafford, 1400. 

The parish adjoins Towednack, and forms a portion of a strip of 
extraneous foundations that cuts the Irish colony in half. At Zennor 
the feast is on May 6, or the nearest Sunday. At Plourin, in Finistere, 
where she is patron along with her son, Budoc, the Pardon is on the 
Sunday nearest to August 7. 

1 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16. 

2 Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 428-9 ; lolo MSS., pp. 105, 141. 

= Llan-sanwyr, Peniarth MS. 140, Llanstephan MS. 164, Jesus Coll. MS. 13 ; 
-sanwr, Peniarth MS. 147. 

* Claxk, CartcB, 1885, i, p. 21, where the Lenwarae must be a misreading. 

5 See index, p. 414. "^ P. 324. ' iv, p. 349. 

8 Llandaff, 1719, app. p. 2 ; Paroch. Anglic, I733.P- i99- The only possible 
name on that day is Lupus (Bleiddian, Lythan), for which see i, pp. 222-3, i". 
p. 366. s i, p. 331- 

196 Lives of the British Saints 

S. SERIGI, Martyr 

Serigi (Serygei) Wyddel was the Goidelic chief who occupied Mon 
or Anglesey till Cadwallon Lawhir, the son of Einion Yrth and father 
of Maelgun Gvvynedd, made a desperate effort to put an end to the 
Goidelic occupation of the island. He completely routed the Goidels, 
and slew with his own hand Serigi at a place called to this day Cerrig 
y Gwyddyl, near Malldraeth, in Anglesey.^ 

If the lolo MSS. are to be trusted, Serigi was the son of either Mwr- 
chan ab Eumach Hen or of Eurnach,- who is also known as Urnach 
Wyddel, and had his stronghold at Dinas Ffaraon, now Dinas Emrys, 
near Beddgelert. 

Cadwallon is said to have founded a church, called, from the above 
circumstance, Llan (or Capel) y Gwyddyl, at Holyhead, within the forti- 
fications. Sometimes it was called Eglwys y Bedd, from the fact that 
it contained Serigi's grave cr shrine, and it had an endowment distinct 
from the collegiate church of Cybi. Nicholas Owen, in his History of 
Anglesey (London, 1775), says ^: " The ruins of it a few years ago were 
removed in order to render the way to the church more commodious. 
Here formerly was the shrine of Sirigi, who was canonized by the Irish. 
It seems to have been held in exceeding great repute for several very 
wonderful qualities and cures ; but, according to an old Irish chronicle, 
it was carried off by some Irish rovers, and deposited in the Cathedral 
of Christ Church, in Dublin." 

This statement is inaccurate. The chapel still stands, in the S.W. 
comer of the churchyard, and was turned into a grammar school,* but 
the chancel was pulled down when the new entrance was made through 
the ancient walls of the Caer to the south porch of the church. The 
chancel arch still shows, but was built up. The author does not mention 
the chronicle in which is recorded the carrying off of the relics of Serigi. 
That he was ever " canonized " by the Irish is doubtful, as his name 
occurs in none of their Martyrologies. It is curious enough that the 
Welsh of Anglesey should have culted a chief of the hostile Gwyddyl 

1 Triads in Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 305. According to later 
accounts (e.g., PeniarthMSS. 75, 129, 130) he met his death at Llan y Gwyddyl, 
in Mon. Curiously, there are three remains in the parish of Towyn, Merioneth- 
shire, called Eglwys y Gwyddelod (or Gwyddyl) — one on Mynydd y Bwlch 
Glas, another in Coed Perfeddnant, and another on Mynydd Ty'n Llwyn. 

2 Pp. 81-2. But see Sir J. Rhys's observations on Serigi (probably Norse), 
Celtic Folklore, pp. 564-5, 569. 

^ Pp. 34-5 ; also Pennant, Tours in Wales, ed. 1883, iii, pp. 71-2 ; Lewis Morris, 
Celtic Remains, p. 391. 

* Dr. Wynne's, founded in 1748 ; Arch. Camb., 1870, pp. 358-9. 

S. Si ma us igj 

who had oppressed them for centuries, and who was killed in a fair 

A figure carved in granite en the ; outh door of Holyhead Church, 
holding a sword, is probably intended for the " martyr " Serigi. 



S. SIMAUS, Confessor 

SiiiAus, also named Siviau, who is now called Cieux, was a disciple 
of S. Brioc, and a monk at his Great Monastery (Landa Magna) in 
Ceredigion. When S. Brioc came to Llydaw, Simaus remained behind. 
One night, however, he dreamed that he saw a ladder reaching from 
earth to heaven, and his old master ascending it. Thinking that it 
signified his death, Simaus took ship and came to Armorica where he 
landed in the port of Cesson, now Le Leguer ; and on reaching the 
monastic settlement of Brioc, found that his master was, in fact, dead. 

On his way, in the boat, we are informed that the devil tried to 
suffocate him, but he was delivered on crying for assistance to his 

He did not return to Ceredigion, but remained in Armorica and 
founded a church where is now S. Cieux. He i; there represented in a 
statue as a monk. He reached the spot where he settled by water 
and the rock on which he is supposed to have landed is called Le Ber- 
ceau de Saint Cieux. Above the path by which he ascended from 
the shore is a cross called La Croix de S. Cieux. His spring is not 
very copious ; it falls in drops from the rock, and these are locally 
known as the Tears of S. Cieux. ^ 

His feast is kept on the Sunday nearest to June 26. 

If S. Brioc died in 530, we may put that of Simaus at some twenty 

years later. 

^ Vita S. Brioci, ed. Plaine, c. 55. 

2 Garaby, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, 1839, p. 470. 

19^ Lives of the British Saints 

S. SITH, Virgin, Abbess 

SiTH is the same as Itha orlta, whose Life has been already given," 
but here a few additional notes may be added. Her actual name was 
Deirdre, as given in the Martyrology of Donegal, and this was Latinized 
into Dorothea ; and in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice she is given, 
as " Derithea que alio nomine Itta vocatur." She is also called Mite 
or Mide Mo-Ita, with the endearing prefix. In this compound form 
her name occurs in Rosmead, Co. Westmeath, i.e. Ros M'ide. 

The Life in Bishop Marsh's Library is apparently an abbreviation of 
a longer Life (" breviter enarrari cupimus," and " alia . . . propter 
brevitatem omittimus "). Although purporting to have been written 
in the second generation after S. Itha, it cannot be so old in its present 
form. There are three anecdotes given in the Life in Marsh's Library 
not found in the Rawlinson Life. These we may briefly give. 

When S. Coemgen lay a-dying he begged that Itha might come and 
see him. When she arrived he besought her to close his mouth when 
he expired with her hand, " for I know by revelation of an angel of 
God that on whomsoever you lay your hand, when dying, him the 
angels will translate into the Kingdom of God."' This she did. 

On a certain occasion a wealthy man went to S. Itha and begged her 
to obtain for him that his mares might foal offspring only male, and 
with white heads and chestnut bodies. 2 To this she very naturally 
demurred, but as he was very urgent, she finally gave way and obtained 
from God that he had several born that year as he desired. 

When she was at an advanced age, Mac Niss-, Abbot of Clonmacnois-, 
sent messengers to her to obtain from her water that she had blessed, 
to be administered to the Abbot Aengus who was ill, and it was hoped 
that if he drank it, he would recover. S. Itha through her prophetic 
powers foresaw that this would be done,, and she told the sisters that 
she would be dead before the delegates arrived, consequently she at 
once blessed water, but she added that it would avail Aengus nothing, 
for he would be dead before the messengers returned with the water. 
And it so fell out as she had predicted. 

1 iii, pp. 324-31- 

2 " Pete Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum, qui trinus et unus cell et 
terre, maris et hominum, vestium et peccorum colores coloravit, ut ipse officiat 
colores puUorum, sicut ego volo," i.e., " ut eque mee masculos puUos albi capitis 
et rubei coloris pariant hoc anno." Vitce SS. Hibern.., ed. Plumxner, ii, p.. 125.. 

aS*. Sithney {Setna) ^99 

S. SITHNEY (SETNA), Abbot, Confessor 

Sithney, in Breton Sezni, is the Irish Setna, who was a disciple of 
S. Senan. The Latin form of his name is Sidonius. 

In the Register of Bishop Stapeldon of Exeter (1310-8) the dedica- 
tion of Sithney Church, in Cornwall, is given as that of Stus. Siduinus ; 
in that of Bishop Bronescombe (1276) it is Stus. Sidnius ; in that of 
Bishop Grandisson (1336), S. Sydnyny, (1363) Ecclesia Sti. Sidnini ; 
in that of Bishop Brantyngham (1392), Sti. Sidenini ; and in that of 
Bishop Stafford (1403), Sti. Sithnini. 

There is no Vita of S. Setna, but his acts may be collected from those 
of S. Senan of Iniscathy. A Life indeed is given by Albert le Grand, 
of S. Sezni, but it is manufactured out of that of S. Piran by John of 
Tynemouth. Where John of Tynemouth has written Geranus for 
Kieranus, i.e. the Abbot of Clonmacnois, the adapter has blindly 
followed him. No reliance therefore can be placed on this Life. S. 
Senan is also venerated in Brittany, and Albert le Grand gives his acts, 
and says he was son of Hercan and Cogella. He gives as the parents of 
Sezni, Emut and WingeUa. The true names of S. Senan's parents, 
thus mutilated, were Ercan and Coemgella, acccrding to the Metrical 
Life, Gerrgenn and Coemgell, according to the Irish Life. The father 
of S. Ciaran or Piran in John of Tynemouth is Domuel, and the mother 
is WingeUa. 

Setna was a native of Munster, and had two brother saints, Goban 
and Multeoc. His father's name was Ere, and his mother was Magna,, 
a sister of S. David. ^ 

He attached himself early to Senan, which is not surprising as his 
uncle, David, and Senan were intimate and attached friends. Setna 
was with Senan when this latter saint settled in Inis Mor (Deer Island),, 
at the mouth of the Shannon. 

One day he caught a woman washing her child's linen in the foun- 
tain whence all the community drew their drinking water. This waS' 
too much for his patience, he flew into a rage, and stormed at the 
woman, using violent language and wishing bad luck to her and the 
child. With him joined his fellow pupil, Liberius. 

Shortly after, the child disappeared, and the mother concluded that 
it had fallen over the cliffs into the sea, and, further, that this was due 
to Setna's curses. She sped to Senan and accused Setna and Liberius 
of having ill-wished her child, and thereby caused its death. Senan 
was very angry with his pupils, and ordered Liberius, as the elder of 
the two, to go and do penance on a rock in the sea, and he bade Setna. 

1 The Tract on " The Mothers of the Saints," in the Opuscula of Oengus. 

2 00 Lives of the British Saints 

row him out to this skerry, leave him there, and not return without the 
child's body. 

After some hours Setna found the urchin on the beach, paddling in 
the pools, and he at once conveyed him to his mother. The child had 
not fallen over the cliffs, but had strayed, and the woman had rushed 
to conclusions prematurely and unwarrantably. 

So Setna was bidden to go after Liberius and take a lesson not to 
be intemperate in his language for the future. ^ 

Setna must have gone to Ciaran of Saighir, for we find that he suc- 
ceeded him in the abbacy of that place, probably when Ciaran went 
to Cornwall ; but it can have been only temporarily till Carthagh 
settled there as permanent ecclesiastical head of the Ossorians. It 
is due perhaps to this temporary presidency of Setna oyer Saighir that 
the mistake arose, and the acts of Ciaran were attributed to him. 

It was whilst Setna was a member of the community of Saighir that 
an incident occurred which, though fabulous, is picturesque. 

He had gone on a visit to S. Molua of Clonfert. They sat talking of 
heavenly matters, and time flew unnoticed, till Setna started up with 
an exclamation. The sun was declining, and he feared he could not 
reach Saighir before it fell dark, and there would be risk in crossing 
the Shannon after nightfall. Then Molua bowed his head over his 
hands and prayed. Setna started, and the sun did not set till he had 
reached his monastery. The distance was from fifteen to twenty 
miles. The story has been developed out of a very simple occurrence. 
Setna succeeded in crossing the Shannon before the light was quite 
withdrawn, and as the season was midsummer it was not dark through- 
out his journey, and he got home without accident. - 

There are several Setnas in the Irish Calendars. One at Killany 
in Louth is a distinct personage. But it is not so certain that Setna, 
the disciple of Senan, was not the deaf and dumb boy set to keep cows 
■on Slieve-Bloom, whom S. Columba of Tir-da-glas saw, pitied, blessed, 
and he recovered hearing and speech ; not only so, but he also obtained 
the gift of prophecy.^ 

Columba died in 549. The date of S. Ciaran's retirement from Saig- 

^ Life in the Book of Lismore, p. 212. " Petit S. Libernus seu Liberius, Quod 
iacinus ! respondet Sidonius, Facinus est detestandum, nempe quod mulier 
•quaedam lotione vestium suae prolis defaedet et inficiat undam fontis ex quo 
aquae ad tremenda mysteria sacrificii messae soleant desumi . . . et forte rigi- 
<iius quam multis videatur expedire divinam ultionem faeminae et proli impre- 
cantur. . . . Tunc ejulans mater accurrit ad sanctum Senanum, reique narrat 
•eventum, utpote quo modo suus filius discipulorum ejus imprecationibus fuit 
extinctum," etc. Vita zda S. Senani, in Colgan, Acta SS. Hibern., c. 24, p. 533. 

2 Vita Sti. Moluis, c. 37 ; Acta SS. Boll., Aug., i ; Acta SS. Hib., Cod. Sal., 
coll. 277, 885. ^ Acta SS. Hib., Cod. Sal., coll. 291, 452. 

aS*^. Socrates and Stephen 2 o i 

liir we do not know, but it was about 500. Senan of Iniscathy died 
in 554. S. Molua, Setna's friend, died m 608. 

In the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library (B. 512) is a poetical 
dialogue between S. Findchu and S. Setna, in which the latter foretells 
the calamities that were to befall Ireland. It cannot have been com- 
posed before 1350, for it fairly correctly gives the succession of events 
in Irish history up to that date, after which it goes hopelessly wrong. 
The conclusion of Setna's story comes to us from Brittany. When 
'Carthagh assumed the rule in Saighir, to which he was entitled as 
belonging to the conquering and intrusive family from Munster, Setna 
had to retire, and probably deemed it advisable to follow his master 
•Ciaran to Cornwall, where he founded the church of Sithney. Then he 
went on to Brittany. Here the Breton Life probably may be trusted. 
He landed at Kerlouan in Leon. Near this he established himself on 
rising ground above a pleasant little bay, and formed for himself as 
well a place of retreat and solitude, now the Peniti-san-Sezni. His 
main establishment was at Guic-Sezni, and there, says the author of 
the manufactured Life, he lived till he was aged a hundred and 

His Life based on that in Albert le Grand has formed the topic of a 
Breton ballad, that is given in the edition of 1837, but not in that of 

The Bretons pretend that so many miracles were wrought by the 
body of S. Sezni, that the Irish sent a fleet, and carried it off. This 
means no more than that the Bretons did not possess his relics, because 
he did not die in Armorica. In fact, he was buried in Kinsale. He 
probably died at the close of the sixth century. 

In the Irish Martyrologies two Setnas are entered on March 9, but 
they belong to a later period. Another, probably the Setna, disciple 
of S. Senan and S. Ciaran, on March 10. 

In Brittany his feast is September 19— MS. Missal of Treguier, 
fifteenth century. Breviary of Leon, 1516, and Albert Le Grand. 

At Sithney the feast is on August 3. 

The statues representing him in Brittany give him no distinguishing 
.attributes, but he is shown vested as a bishop. 


Among the few Celtic entries in the eleventh century Martyr ologium 
Hieronymianum, MS. 50 in the Trinity College Library, Dublin, occurs. 

2 02 Lives oj the British Saints 

against September 17, " In Britannis Socris et Stephani." ^ SS. 
Socrates and Stephen appear also in one of the earUest ampHfications 
of Bede's Martyrology, and again in the modern Roman Martyrology, 
as martyrs in Britain. Rice Rees ^ quotes Cressy's Church History, 
which says that they were " two noble British Christians," and disci- 
ples of S. Amphibalus, who were martyred in the persecution of Diocle- 
tian. Father Stanton goes further, and says that the scene of their 
passion was probably Monmouthshire or South Wales, as churches were 
dedicated to them in that district. We have not been able to ascertain 
the truth of this last statement, nor to glean anything more about them. 

S. SOI, see S. TYSOI 



S. SULBIU, Confessor 

In the Book oj Llan Ddv is recorded the grant of Lann Sulbiu (or 
Suluiu) to the Church of Llandaff, in the time of Bishop Ufelfyw, by 
Meurig ab Tewdrig, King of Morgan wg, " pro redemptione animae 
suse." ^ Elsewhere it is enumerated among the possessions of that 
church under the name Ecclesia Sancti Sulbiu.* It is to-day LlanciUo, 
subject to Rowleston, in Herefordshire. 

Nothing is known of Sulbiu. His name would now have been 

1 1, p. 69. 2 Welsh Saints, p. 316. 

' P. 160. * Ibid., pp. 31, 43, 90. 

S. Sulien 203: 


S. SULIEN, Confessor 

This Breton- Welsh Saint has been entirely confounded by late 
writers with S. Silin or Giles, but the two are kept quite distinct in 
earlier writings. ^ The confusion has arisen through similarity of 
names ; but Silin cannot by any possibility be equated with SuUen, 
in Old- Welsh Sulgen.^ Sulien only is known to the Saintly Pedigrees, 
both earlier and later, whilst the calendars are the principal authority 
for Silin, who is therein usually styled " Saint," which in mediseval 
Welsh was reserved for non- Welsh Saints. It is quite clear that Silin 
was formerly regarded as the Welsh equivalent for S. Giles, the well- 
known abbot, who enjoyed a very extensive cult, which reached Eng- 
land and Scotland in the eleventh century, and whose festival is Sep- 
tember I. The equation is as early as the thirteenth century, for in 
the Ked Book of S. Asaph (fo. 138a), in a document dated 1296, Llansilin 
Church is called " Ecclesia S'i Egidii de KynUeith." ^ Salesbury also 
in his Welsh Dictionary, pubUshed in 1547 {s.vv.Dyw and Silin), gives 
SiUn as the Welsh form for Giles ; and the calendar in Allwydd Par- 
adwys, 1670, has against September i, " jEgidiws, i.e. Silin Abad." * 

Sulien came to Wales with S. Cadfan,^ who headed a great company 
from Brittany. He is usually coupled with S. Mael, who was one of the 
number, and possibly his brother. In the lolo MSS.^ it is stated that 
they, with others, " became Saints in Bangor lUtyd and in Bangor Catwg,. 
at Llancarfan, and went as saints with Cadfan to Bardsey." In an- 
other document, printed further on,'' they are said to have been " kins- 

^ E.g., the Ode to King Henry VII, lolo MSS., p. 314, where they are coupled 
together, " Sulien a Sain SiHn." 

2 Cf. the O.-Welsh forms Morgen and Urbgen for later Morien and Urien. In 
late mediaeval Welsh Sulien is sometimes confounded with JuUan, as in the 
calendar in Additional MS. 14,882 (Sept. 2), and by Guto'r Glyn, who in a poem 
calls Corwen " bro SuwUen." Silin also does duty for Julian. 

' In the Taxatio of 1254 it is " Ecc'a de Llansilyn." 

* S. Giles's early history is very obscure. He is believed to have been bom in 
Greece in the seventh century, perhaps of noble parents, and to have migrated 
to France. His name assumes the following forms — Greek AlylSio^, Lat. 
iEgidius, Ital. Egidio, Span. Gil, Er. Gilles, Egide. The n in SiUn is hypo- 
coristic, as in Meuthin, EUdan, S. Maughan's, etc. In the Welsh calendar in 
Peniarth MS. 172 (late sixteenth century) Sept. i is given as the festival of " SiUn 
ap Aron " ; but Giles's father's name is not known for certain. 

5 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 25 (pp. 26, 114), etc. 
Sulien was not a very common name. It was borne by two distinguished men in 
S. David's — one, bishop of that Diocese (d. 1088), and the other his grandson. 

6 p. 103. ^ P. 112 ; cf. p. 134. 

:2 04 Lives of the British Saints 

men of Cadfan, descended from Emyr Llydaw, who came with Cadfan 
to this Island, and are saints in Bardsey. Their churches are in Gwy- 
nedd, where they lived in great piety and holiness of life." But these 
statements are late. Sulien's father's name is nowhere given, not even 
in the later Pedigrees. ^ 

Suhen is commemorated twice in the Welsh Calendars ; (i) alone, on 
September 2, which festival occurs in the Calendars in Peniarth MSS. 
27, 172, 186, 187, 192, 219 ; Jesus College MS. 141 ; Mostyn MS. 88 ; 
Llanstephan MS. 117 ; the lolo MSS. ; Additional MS. 14, 882 (as 
" Sant Julian") ; and the Prymer of 1618 ; {2) in conjunction with 
Mael, on May 13, in the calendars in Peniarth MSS. 186, 191 (but Mael 
,alone in MSS. 187, 219) ; Jesus College MS. 141 ; Mostyn MS. 88 ; 
Llanstephan MSS. 117, 181 ; the lolo MSS. ; Allwydd Paradwys ; 
the Prymer of 1633 ; and the Demetian Calendar. The Prymer of 
.1546 May 12, by mistake. 

Sulien is, conjointly with Mael, the patron of Corwen ^ (apparently, 
■" the Stone Choir, or Church"), in Merionethshire, and of Cwm, in 
Flintshire.^ A great fair used to be held at Corwen on May 13, O.S. 
Ffynnon Sulien is about a mile and a half from the Church, near Riig 
Chapel. From it water was formerly fetched, across the Dee, for 
Baptisms. It would appear that the church of Silian, in Cardigan- 
shire, is dedicated to Sulien. Willis and Meyrick * call it Capel Julien 
or Sulien, with festival on September 2. The Tumble Mission Church 
i(modern) in the parish of Llannon, Carmarthenshire, is dedicated to him. 
Willis, under Llaniestyn, Carnarvonshire, says, " ubi in coemeterio 
■ est extructa Capella S. Suliani, S. Suliens, July 22." ^ Rhossilly, a 

1 Rice Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 220, makes him son of Hj^wel ab Emyr Llydaw, 
but without authority. 

3 In the chancel is the fourteenth or fifteenth century effig)^ of " lorwerth Sulien 
Vicarius de Coruaen." 

3 There can be no doubt, we think, that Corwen and Cwm bear the double 
. dedication. Edward Lhuyd and Browne Willis give Cwm as to Mael and Sulien, 
and the former mentions a Ffynnon Fael a Sulien there. But they give Corwen 
as dedicated to Suhen alone. Lhuyd (Parochialia, ii. p. 44, suppl. to Arch. Camb., 
1910) says, " The church is dedicated to St. Silian. Their feast is kept about y' 
beginning of j^"." So Willis, Bangor, p. 362. In a MS. of 1606 the church is 
called Llansihen (Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 913) ; of. the Llan Silyn 
(in Edernion) of Myv. Arch., p. 742. On the other hand, in a MS. of 1590-1, and 
in a poem by Guto'r Glyn to Sir Benet, parson of Corwen, it is to Mael and Suhen 
(see iii, p. 400). But Tudur Penllyn, in a poem to the same, mentions Sulien 
•only. So in a hst of fairs in Cardiff MS. 11 (i, p. 1 86) , that on May 1 3 — there was 
not one on Sept. 2 — is entered as " ffair gorwen gwyl Suhen." The dropping of 
Mael — possibly the lesser — itiay have been for brevity. 

^ Paroch. Anglic, p. 194 ; Hist, of Anglesey, p. 46. 

= Bangor, p. 275. Julian, martyr at Damascus, was commemorated on July 
-.20, and another Julian, martjnr at Rimini, on June 22. 

S. Sullen 205 

parish in Gower, is the Rosulgen of the Book of Llan Ddv, ^ which 
embodies the name Suhen. There was more than one ecclesiastic of 
the name connected with that Diocese in the time of Bishop Oudoceus — 
Sulgen, Abbot of Llancarfan, and Sulgen, Abbot of Docunni, or Llan- 

In the " Genealogy of lestyn ab Gwrgan, Prince of Glamorgan," 
printed in the lolo MSS., we are told ^ that Gorwg ab Eirchion " gave 
a new name to his court, calling it Tresilian, after a saint of that name 
whom the infidels had killed." Tresilian is still the name of a dingle 
opening to the sea, midway between Llantwit Major and S. Donats, but 
we have no means of knowing who the saint was. 

Silin = S. Giles is likewise commemorated on two days in the Welsh 
Calendars ; (i) on September i, in practically all the Calendars which 
commemorate Sullen on September 2, to which may be added the Calen- 
dars in the Welsh Prayer Books of 1567, 1664, etc., and Bibles of 1588, 
1620, etc. ; and (2) on October i, in conjunction with Garmon, or' 
Germanus, in a great many Calendars. 

The Demetian Calendar {Cwrtmawr MS. 44) gives Silin, Bishop, on 
January 27. He is in all probability S. Julian, first bishop of Le Mans,. 
in France, and not the Julian, martyr at Sora or Atina, also commemor- 
ated on this day. There was a fair at Capel S. Silin, Cardiganshire, on 
the day. Old Style, and later on February 7.* In the Calendar in 
Additional MS. 14,886 (1643-4), " Sain Silin " is entered on January 26. 

S. Giles, Abbot and Confessor, popular in England, was popular to a 
considerable extent also in Wales, under the form Silin. To him is 
dedicated the parish church of Wrexham, one of the finest churches in 
the country, the tower of which is famed as one of the " Seven Wonders 
of Wales," and on which are placed three statues of the laint, with his 
attributes. Formerly the church was given as dedicated to S. Silin, ^ 
but its patron is now recognized only as S. Giles. There was according 
to Norden's Survey, 1620, a field in the township of Acton, close to the 
town, called Erw Sant Silin.*' Browne WilHs" gives the Patronal 

^ P. 239. 2 Ihid., p. 419 (index). = P. 9. 

* In The Taylors Cussion, the common-place book of Geo. Owen (d. 1613), ed. 
Mrs. Pritchard, 1906, is given among the Cardiganshire fairs (i, fo. 766), " Capell, 
St. silin — primo septembr." 

^ E.g. in a MS. of 1590-1 (Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 914). E. Lhuyd 
{Paroch., i, pp. 107, 132) says, " Their St. Silin, and Wakes y' first Sunday after 
St. Giles." Bishop Maddox (1736-43) in MS. Z in the Episcopal Library at S. 
Asaph gives Wrexham Church as " dd. to St. Giles. W(elsh) St. Silin." 

^ Palmer, Hist, of Parish Church of Wrexham, 1886, pp. 11, 194. 

' 5. Asaph, p. 2gj ; Bangor, p. 363. At the latter reference the dedication is 
to " Sihn, though as some say to S. Giles " ; in his Paroch. Anglic, p. 223, it is to- 
S. Silien. 

2o6 Lives of the British Saints 

Pestival as S. Giles's Day, September i, " according to the observation 
of their Wake." 

To S. Giles, as Silin, is also dedicated the church of Llansilin, in 
Denbighshire, where his festival was observed on October i, which is 
in reality one of the festivals of Germanus of Auxerre, the day of his 
burial, and occurs in most of the Welsh calendars. There are two 
churches in the neighbourhood dedicated to S. Garmon, which fact, 
no doubt, brought about the alteration from the ist of one month to 
the 1st of the next. The church of Llansilin consists of two equal 
bodies of four bays, and in the north aisle was the chapel of S. Silin, 
which contained his statue on a bracket in 1534. The church under- 
went much rough treatment in 1646, during the Civil War, and the 
"" image of S. Silin " was destroyed among other things.^ Ffynnon 
Silin, in a field of Tynllan, close to the village, has been closed, but the 
water was conveyed in pipes to supply the fountain in the village in 

To him are also dedicated Letterston, where is a Ffynnon San' 
Silin, and Upton, subject to Nash, both in Pembrokeshire ; and Giles- 
ton, in Glamorganshire. Capel Sant Silm, in the lower end of the 
parish of Llanfihangel Ystrad, Cardiganshire, is long since extinct ; and 
there was formerly a pilgrimage chapel, used for solemn processions 
on certain Holy Days, which occurs as " Capell St. Sylin " and 
" Capella Scli Egidii," in the parish of Mynachlogddu, Pembroke- 
shire.^ There is an old historic house at Aber, near Bangor, called 
Bod Silin. 

Luxulyan, in Cornwall, may, perhaps, be a corruption of Lan Julian, 
or Sulian. A Juliana is given among the supposed daughters of 
Brychan.3 S. Sullien, Sulien, Lan-Sulien, Plu-Sulien, occur in 

The fleabane-wort {plantago psyllium) is called in Welsh Llysiau 


The lolo MSS. documents are solely responsible for Talhaiarn as 
a saint, whether he be taken for the sixth century bard or another 

' Thomas, Hist, of Dio. of S. Asaph, 1912, iii, pp. 19, 21 ; Gwaith GwalUer 
Mechain, 1868, iii, pp. 28, 42. 

2 Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 504, 509. ^ i, pp. 319-20. 

* Davies, Welsh Botanology, 1813, p. 214 ; Meddygon Myddfai, 1861, p. 291. 
'" Caniad San Silin " is the name of an old Welsh air (Myv. Arch., p. 1,075). 

aS*. Talhaiarn 207 

person of the name. He is made to be a native of Monmouthshire 
who settled in North Wales. " Talhaiarn Caerlleon, of Caerleon on 
Usk, the son of Garthwys ab Morydd ab Cenau ab Coel Godebog. 
Talhaiarn was feriglawr, or confessor, to Emrys Wledig, and after 
Emrys was slain he assumed the eremitical life at the place where his 
■church is in Rhufoniog." i The church meant is Llanfair Talhaiarn, 
in Denbighshire, but there can be no doubt as to its dedication to 
the B.V.M.2 In the list of Welsh parishes in Peniarth MS. 147, 
written circa 1566, the parish name is given as " Llanfair ddol 
liayarn." ' Dolhaiarn or Talhaiarn is the name of one of the town- 
ships of the parish. 

The pedigree above, which is evidently extracted from Bonedd 
•Gwyr y Gogledd, should more correctly run, Arthwys ab Mar ab Ceneu 
ab Coel, but the latter document, though it mentions four sons of 
Arthwys, does not give Talhaiarn. 

Further, Talhaiarn is mentioned as the father of S. Tangwn, and 
appears to have been a saint of Llancarfan, for among " the seven 
•questions proposed by Catwg the Wise to seven wise men in his college 
at Llanfeithin," we have the following, " What constitutes supreme 
goodness in a man ? Equity," replied Talhaiarn the Bard.* 

One of the " Sayings of the Wise " tercets runs : — ^ 

Hast thou heard the saying of Talhaiarn 
To Arthur of the splintered lance ? 
" But God there is no one strong " 
(Namyn DuW nid oes gadarn). 

Talhaiarn is credited with having composed the Gorsedd Prayer, 
■still used, of which there are three versions printed in the lolo MSS.^ 
The prayer is not early in its present form, but savours of pantheism. 
The same work contains the following notice — " Talhaiarn, the father 
of Tangwn, presided in the chair of Urien Rheged, at Caer Gwyroswydd 
(i.e. Oystermouth) after the expulsion of the Goidels from Gower, 
'Carnwyllion, Cantref Bychan, and the cantref of Is Cennen." '' On 
another page,^ S. Talhaiarn, father of Tangwyn, is mentioned as one 
of the three Chief Baptismal Bards of the Welsh Nation. And again, ^ 

1 P. 128. In Breton the name occurs cis Talouarn, and in the charter form 

= Rice Rees, Welsh Saints, p 333, gives it as SS. Talhaiarn and Mary. 

' So also Peniarth MS. 134 (1550-62), p. 243, " Llanvair dol hayarn." But 
in the Taxatio of 1291 and the Valor of 1535 dal- for dol-. 

*■ Myv. Arch., p. 776. ^ Joio MSS., p. 257. ^ Pp. 79-80. 

' P. 77. On the same page he is a disciple of " Maelgyn Hir, of Llandaff. 
-the bard and maternal uncle of S. Tejlo." 

* P. 79. s P. 167. 

2o8 Lives of the British Saints 

in a fable, entitled " Envy burning itself," wherein he gives his son. 
Tangwyn some sound advice on his going out into the world. 

Of Talhaiarn the bard we know next to nothing. He is mentioned 
by Nennius (c. 62), " Talhaern Tataguen in poemate claruit." ^ But 
some of the MSS. read " Tatanguen " for " Tataguen," and out of 
this has been evolved the " Talhaiarn Tad Tangwn " of the lolo MSS. 
To Taliessin 2 " Talhaiarn was the greatest sywedydd," prophet or 


These are given as the names of two reputed daughters of Brychan,*' 
but only one is intended, as the former name is a late corruption of 
the latter. Tanglwst, it is said, was the wife of Gwynog ab Cadell ab 
Cawrdaf ab Caradog Freichfras (as such she could not by any possi- 
bility have been a daughter of Brychan), and Tangwystl the wife of 
Cyngen, prince of Powys, and mother of Brochwel Ysgythrog. But 
Cyngen, through misreadings, has been given at least four daughters 
of Brychan as wives, for whom see under S. Tudglid, his wife's real 

There are two farm-houses, called Hafod Tanglws Ucha and Isa * 
respectively, about 5 miles from Merthyr Tydfil, which are supposed 
to have been named after Brychan's daughter. Tradition has it 
that her sister Tydfil was visiting her there at the time she was slain. 

See also under S. Tudhistil. 


This Tangwn was son of Caradog Freichfras, the Carados Brebras 
of romance, by the beautiful Tegau Eurfron, and the brother of SS. 

' Cf. the " Tedei tad awen " of the Black Book of Carmarthen, whence the^ 
" Tydain Tad awen " of the latest series of Triads. 

- Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 134. 

3 For Tanglwst, lolo MSS., pp. iii, 121, 140, Myv. Arch., p. 419 ; for Tang- 
wystl, Jesus Coll. MS. 20, Myv. Arch., p. 430. Tangwystl means " a pledge- 
of peace." It occurs in Harleian MS. 3,859 as Tancoyslt, and in Cornish as 
Tancuuestel, Tancwoystel. Tangustel is given as the name of two men in the 
Black Book of S. David's (1326), 1902, pp. 265, 267. 1 

* The name occurs also in Tangelust grange, Tanglus-lond, Tanguestellond, 
and Tare (Tir) Tanglust, situated near Pyle, in Glamorganshire, and mentioned 
in several Margam Abbey deeds. Birch, Margam A bbey, index, pp. 399, 400 ■: 
Penrice Charters — Tanglus Lond (15 16), Tanglust Land {1540). 

S. Tangwn ab Talhaiarn 209 

Cadfarch, Cawrdaf, and Maethlu.^ The older genealogies make him 
the patron saint of the little church of Llangoed, in Anglesey ; but that 
church is sometimes attributed to Tangwn and Cawrdaf conjointly,* 
and sometimes to Cawrdaf alone,^ which is certainly a mistake. 

Tangwn's day does not occur in any calendar, but the festival of 
Llangoed is given as December 15.* 


This saint is said to have been a son of the Talhaiarn noticed above,, 
but, as pointed out, the affiliation rests entirely on a misreading. We 
are told that " his church is in Somersetshire, its English name being 
Tangyntwn," ^ an imaginary " original " for Taunton (O.-E. Tantun) ;. 
but, unfortunately, that town derives its name from being the tun 
on the Tan, now Tone, which flows through it. 

Tangwn has been identified, rightly or wrongly, with the S. Tangu- 
sius of the Life of S. Beuno, with whom, at Caerwent, the latter was 
placed as pupil until " he obtained a knowledge of all the Holy Scrip- 
tures." ^ He is credited with having succeeded S. Tathan as second 
abbot of the monastery at Caerwent. 

There is a fable printed in the lolo MSS.^ entitled " Envy burning, 
itself," in which Tangwn (there called Tanwyn) is the principal actor. 
Talhaiarn, after he had given his son as liberal an education as he 
was able, called him to him one day and told him that he could do 
no more for him, and that he must now " go wherever he might be 
led by God and his destiny " to seek his fortune. Bidding him 
farewell he gave him three words of advice, " Travel not on a new 
road where there is no broken bridge on the old road. Seek not power 
where you can have love in its stead. And pass not by the place 

1 Peniarth MSS. 12, 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; lolo MSS., pp. 104, 123 ; Myv. 
Arch., pp. 420, 430. 

2 E.g., Rice Rees, Welsh SS., p. 324. 

' Myv. Arch., p. 423 ; Willis, Bangor, p. 282 ; Angharad Llwyd, Hist, of 
Anglesey, p. 284. 

* N. Owen, Hist, of Anglesey, 1775, p. 58 ; Arch. Camb., 1847, p. 327. Owen 
enters Cawrdaf (Dec. 5) as patron of the parish, and the day may be an error. 

* P. 128. The name also occurs as Taugwyn and Tanwyn, ibid, pp. 79,. 

8 Llyvyr Agkyr, p. 119; Cambro-Brit. Saints, pp. 13, 300. 
7 Pp. 167-9. It is modern, and affects the Gwentian dialect. The fable 
next given is another version of it, only the characters are different. 
V L. IV. P 

2 I o Lives of the British Saints 

"where there is a wise and pious man teaching and declaring God's 
Word and commandment, without stopping to listen to him." 

He soon found a patron in the person of a rich nobleman, who made 
him his steward. By his integrity, wisdom, and benevolence, Tangwn 
soon won the respect and affection of every one. But it was not long 
before the nobleman became very jealous of him, and meditated his 
death. He had a limekiln, and one day he went to the lime-burners 
and told them that an enemy had arrived who contemplated carrying 
him and his faithful people away captive and seize all. He would 
be the first man, he said, to pass that way after he had gone, and they 
were to throw him into the kiln, which they vowed they would do. 
On his return, the nobleman sent Tangwn, by a new road, to pay the 
lime- burners their wages. ' ' Tangwn was silent, thinking of his father's 
advice," and he went on his mission along the old instead of the new 
road. He turned aside too to hear a man preaching, and " remained 
there some time, listening to the voice of godliness and wisdom." 
The nobleman " bethought him of going to the kiln to see and hear 
how it befell," but by that time there was a fresh relay of burners, 
who did not know the nobleman, and, as instructed, " they cast him 
into the kiln, and he was burnt to ashes." Thus did " Envy burn 

There is an Alsatian version of the legend, which is known to us 
through Schiller's ballad, Der Gang nach dem Eisenhammer. 

S. TANWG, Confessor 

The earlier Saintly Pedigrees simply state that this Welsh saint 
was one of the Breton refugees who came to Wales with S. Cadfan.^ 
The later ones say that he was a kinsman of that saint, the son of 
Ithel Hael of Armorica, and " a saint of the Bangor of Bardsey, who 
came with Cadfan and Garmon ab Rhidicys to this island." ^ As 
son of Ithel Hael he would be one of a large family of saints. 

He is the patron of Llandanwg, on the shore, in Merionethshire. 
Ellis Wynne, once rector of the parish, and the author of Y Bardd 
Cwsg, in a letter written in 1720 says, " We have a Trad" ab' our 
Cch of Llandanwg y' it was a Chapell of Rest for Corpses to be trans- 
ported to y' famd Repository at Bardsey Jslad " 

1 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45, 182 (p. 39) ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 25, pp. 
26, 114; Myv. Arch., p. 429. 

' lolo MSS., pp. 106, 112, 133 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 418, 430-1. 

S. Tathan 2 1 1 

Tanwg s festival is given as October lO in the Calendars in Peni- 
arth MSS. 187 and 219, Llanstephan MS. 117, and the lolo MSS., 
but the 9th in those in the Prymers of 1618 and 1633, and by Browne 
Willis as September 9/ clearly a mistake. 

The parishioners of Llandanwg, in the sixteenth century, used to 
invoke their patron in the formula (translated), " God and Tanwg 
help us ! " 2 

In the Myvyrian Archaiology ' is an entry from one of two MSS. 
written 1578-1609, " Dannwc a Samarws y Saint ym Mhenial ym 
Meirionydd." Samarws does not appear in any other Saintly Pedi- 
gree, and the only suggestion we can make is that the two possibly 
stand for the " Tanwc ac Eithras (Ethrias) " of the ordinary Pedi- 
grees. Penial occurs repeatedly in sixteenth century documents for 
Pennal (S. Peter ad Vincula), near Machynlleth. 

S. TATHAN, Abbot, Confessor 

The authority for the Life of Tatheus or Tathan is the Vita in 
Cotton MS. Vespasian A. xiv, which has been printed, rather in- 
accurately, in the Cambro-British Saints, 1853, pp. 255-64, and most 
carefully in the Vita S. Tathei and Buched Seint y Katrin, edited by 
Mr. H. Idris Bell in 1909 for the Bangor Welsh MSS. Society. This 
Life was abridged, without any fresh details, by John of Tynemouth, 
in Cotton MS. Tiberius E. i, and the abridgement was taken by Cap- 
grave into his Nova Legenda Anglice (ed. Horstmann, 1910, ii, pp. 
361-3). Some of the legends in the Vita occur also in the Life of S. 
Cadoc, where Tathan is called Meuthi.* 

The Life, which is eminently fabulous, is of the usual homily type, 
and was evidently composed by a Norman writer. It is, however, 
interspersed with a number of scraps of poetry — a rather unusual 
feature — which renders it highly probable that the Life is based on 
an earlier one, written in leonine hexameters. 

At the outset we encounter a difficulty. The Vita says that Tathan 
was the son of an Irish king named Tathalius. The most authentic 

^ Bangor, p. 277. 

2 Leland, Collect., 1774, ii, p. 650. His protection was invoked for Henry VII. 
lolo MSS.. p. 314. ' P. 424. 

* In Meuthi and Tathan we have the familiar honorific prefixes mo and to, 
and the endearing suffix an. Cf. the Irish Molua, Moluan, and Tolua, for the 
same person. Tathan's name favours, at any rate, his supposed Irish origin. 

2 12 Lives of the British Saints 

Welsh Saintly Pedigrees do not include him, but the later ones ^ give 
him as a son of Amwn Ddu, whose wife was Anna, daughter of Meurig 
ab Tewdrig, King of Morganwg. He was thus a brother of S. Samson 
and nephew of S. lUtyd. But if Tathan were the instructor of Cadoc, 
he belonged to a full generation earlier than Samson. 

What Irish king the name Tathalius ^ represents we cannot say. 
The name is very probably Tuathal, but the only king of Ireland of 
that name about the period appears to have been Tuathal Maelgarb 
(the Bald-rough), who was king from 532 to 544. But he is too late 
to be the father of the instructor of Cadoc ; and very httle is known 
of him. 

Tathan, the legend says, was an only son, whom his parents gave 
up to be educated for the ecclesiastical profession. But this is most 
unlikely if he were an only son. Tathan was directed by an angel 
in a dream to cross over to Britain. Taking with him eight disciples,^ 
he put to sea in " a sorry boat without tackling," and " so sailed 
without a rower or sail or any oar, as the wind directed them," \intil 
they landed on the coast of Gwent, probably at Portskewett, which 
is not far from the decayed Roman town of Venta Silurum, or Caer- 

Caradog was then king of the two Gwents (Uchcoed and Iscoed), 
and presently hearing of the arrival of Tathan and his monks, sent 
him an invitation to come and see him. This Tathan declined, but 
the king, accompanied by his twenty-four knights, went to him in 
person. Caradog besought him to come and found a monastic school 
at Caerwent. Tathan acceded to his request, and the king gave him 
" a piece of land nigh unto the city, extending from the high road 
(the Via Julia) even to the river " (the Neddern brook), where Tathan 
beheld a spot most suitable for " Divine Service and the habitation 
of clergy." There he founded a collegiate church in honour of the 
Holy and Undivided Trinity and placed therein twelve canons. It 
was to this church that the body of the virgin martyr Machuta was 
afterwards brought from Llanvaches, and by Tathan's request buried 
in the floor. F pfe 

A nobleman who had ten sons desired to devote one of them to 
Religion, and with him gave a cow to supply Tathan and his monks- 
with milk. One night some evil-disposed men turned forty-seven 
horses belonging to the king into Tathan's meadow, and they spoiled 

^ lolo MSS., pp. 114, 132. 

" Caer Dathal or Dathyl is mentioned in the Mabinogion as the head-quajrters 
of Math ab Mathonwy. It was probably Pen y Gaer, near Tal y Cafn, in the 
Vale of Conway. Tuathal is properly in Welsh Tudwal. * In the sequel seven. 

S. Tathan 213 

his hay-crop. As a chastisement all the horses were struck dead, but 
on the king coming in person to apologise for his men's wicked act, 
Tathan restored them all to life. 

Some time after this incident Caradog, for some reason or other, 
left Caerwent and built a palace on the banks of the Severn (perhaps 
at Caldicot), and bestowed the city of Caerwent and the adjoining 
territory upon Tathan " for a perpetual inheritance." 

The story of Tathan's troubles with Gwynllyw, over that same 
cow, and his receiving Cadoc as a pupil, as also the story of Machuta, 
have been already told,^ and need not be repeated here. 

" After his death he was buried in the floor of the church, and 
his seven disciples that were with him clave unto their master's tomb." 

Tathan's college became a famous das. The five " presbiteri 
Tathiu " who witnessed King Griffith's privilegium,^ during the episco- 
pate of Herwald (consecrated Bishop of Llandaff in 1056), were clergy 
of Caerwent ; and the Book of Llan Ddv also mentions the " abbas 
Guentoniae urbis " and the " lector urbis Guenti." ^ 

The following particulars of Tathan occur in the late documents 
printed in the lolo MSS. " Tathan, a saint of Bangor Illtyd, was 
the son of Amwn Ddu, King of Graweg. His mother was Anna, 
■daughter of Meurig ab Tewdrig. He founded the church of Llan- 
•dathan, in Glamorgan, whence he went to Ynyr Gwent, to promote 
a Bangor at Caerwent, where he became principal. In his old age 
he returned to the church which he had founded at Llandathan, where 
he lies buried." * He became Ynyr Gwent's periglawr, or confessor.^ 
Bangor or Cor Tathan, at Caerwent, had ' ' five hundred saints. Tathan 
had also a Cor at Llandathan for five hundred saints, and he was 
principal of these two Cors." ^ Again, " S. Tathan, of Ewyasland 
(now mainly included in Herefordshire), founded Llandathan ; and 
lie had there a small Cor for forty learned saints." '' 

By Llandathan is meant S. Athan's, near Llantwit Major. But 
in the fourteenth century additions to the Book of Llan Ddv, it is 
thrice mentioned as " Ecclesia de Sancta Tathana " ; ^ and in the 
Taxatio of 1254 and the Valor of 1535 as " Ecclesia Sancte Tathane." 
In the Taxatio of 1291 it is " Ecclesia de Sancto Thathana," Sando 
being no doubt a clerical error. Who this female S. Tathana was we 
have no means of knowing ; but it is clear that the church is not 

1 iii, pp. 237, 392-5. 

2 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 270. ' Pp. 222, 243, 245. 

* P. 132 ; cf. p. 114. Ynyr was most probably Caradog's son and not his 
iather, as generally given. 

•5 P. 108.. '« P. yi.. ^ P. 220. * Pp. 320, 325, 331. 

2 14 Lives of the British Saints 

dedicated to the founder of the college at Caerwent, nor, as has also 
been supposed, to S. Athanasius (the Great), May 2.^ 

Tathan does not appear to have received an extensive cult. He 
was most probably the original patron of the parish church of Caer- 
went, now S. Stephen. The church is situated almost in the centre 
of the old city, about quarter of a mile from the Vicarage, and is mainly 
a thirteenth- century structure. As Meuthi or Meuthin 2 he was 
patron also of the now extinct Llanfeithin, in the parish of Llancarfan, 
close to the monastery of his old pupil Cadoc. 

S. Tathan's festival is December 26 (S. Stephen's Day), but it 
occurs in but very few Calendars. It is given in those in Cotton MS. 
Vesp. A. xiv (also in the heading to his Vita), Allwydd Paradwys, 
and by Nicolas Roscarrock. Wilson, 1608, gives November 23. The 
" occurrence " of the festivals accounts for the present dedication 
of Caerwent Church to the proto-martyr. 

The following occurs among the " Sayings of the Wise : " — ^ 

Hast thou heard the saying of S. Dathan 
When he had lost all ? 
" God will not portion out unjustly " 
(Duw yn anghyfiawn ni ran). 

In igii was explored the Vicarage orchard at Caerwent, just outside 
the east gateway of the city, which was believed to cover the site of 
Tathan's collegiate church. The situation of the Vicarage with its 
glebe (28 acres in all) corresponds in every respect with the delimitation 
of the Vita. Amidst a mass of masonry, chiefly Roman, were dis- 
covered over a dozen skeletons, all lying East and West. One of 
them was enclosed in a somewhat rude coffin of stone slabs, or cist, 
and may be that of S. Tathan. On this possibility the skeleton was- 
translated in April, 1912, to the floor of the recently restored South 
aisle of the parish church, with a slab bearing a Latin inscription 
placed over it. 

S. TAVAUC, Confessor 

In the Book of Llan Ddv is mentioned, as belonging to that see,, 
villa Sancti Tauauc (Tyvauc) cum ecclesia." * It is no doubt the 

1 E.g., Willis, Survey of Llandaff, ijig, append., p. 3. 

2 In the text of the Vita S. Cadoci in Titus D. xxii the form Meuthin occurs.. 
' lolo MSS., p. 257. ■* Pp. 31, 43, 90. 

S. Tegai 215. 

same as the Lann Tivauc, in Penychen, named in a grant by Meurig 
ab Hywel, king of Glamorgan, to Llandaff in the time of Bishop' 
Joseph.! Penychen is a cantref of Eastern Glamorgan ; but we are 
not able to identify the church, nor to find any other reference tO' 
its patron saint. Llandevaud (S. Peter) is the name of a Monmouth- 
shire church. 


S. TEGAI, Confessor 

" Tegai, in Maes Llan Glassog, in Arllechwedd," and Trillo and. 
Llechid were children of Ithel Hael of Llydaw. So the older Bonedds.^ 
The later genealogies give Ithel a number of children besides, and 
add that they all came hither with S. Cadfan.^ In one pedigree * he 
is entered as " Tygai y Meisyn glassog " ; whilst others ^ give " Tegai' 
Glassawc yn Maes ythlan," and "Tygai Glasawc ym Maelan " (a 
saint of Bardsey). Llandegai is intended by these various readings ; 
but out of them a saint could not fail to be evolved.^ 

Tegai is the patron of Llandegai, in Carnarvonshire, which adjoins^ 
Llanllechid. Tradition says that he lived there at a tenement called 
Maes y Llan, latterly Tan y Fynwent, near a place called Meusyn (or 
Maes yn) Glassog, a little to the north of the church, but which now 
forms part of Penrhyn Park. He is said to have been buried in a 
stone coffin at the east end of the church, with a stone cross to denote 
the spot. The cross has been removed, it is supposed during the 
Commonwealth. The coffin was dug up in cutting a grave, and is 
preserved, as is also a portion of the cross.' 

Previously to coming to Llandegai, Tegai is said to have begiin 
to build himself a cell upon a firm spot in the fenny ground below 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 255, 257. 

2 Peniarth MSS. 12, 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16. The dissyllabic Tegai or Tygai: 
is accented on the ultima. The name possibly resolves itself to To + Cei. 

' lolo MSS., pp. 112, 133 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 427, 430. 
* Cardiff MS. 25, p. 115. 

5 Myv. Arch., p. 430 ; lolo MSS., p. 104. « iii, pp. 130-1. 

' Derfel Hughes, Hynafiaethau Llandegai a Llanllechid, Bethesda, 1866, pp. 

2 1 6 Lives of the British Saints 

Uangristiolus church, in Anglesey, still called from him Cors Dygai, 
his Fen or Marsh, ^ and through which runs the river Cefni. 
Tegai's festival is not entered in any of the calendars. 

S. TEGFAN, Confessor 

" S. Tegfan of Mon " was the son of Carcludwys ab Cyngu ab 
Yspwys ab Cadrod Calchfynydd. He was thus a brother to Alltu 
Redegog, S. Elian's father. His mother was Cenaf, daughter of 
Tewdwr Mawr, who is also sometimes said to have been Elian's mother. 
But there is a mistake somewhere ; she could not be the wife of Car- 
cludwys and Alltu. Tegfan was a periglawr, or confessor, at Bangor 
Gybi, Holyhead. 2 

He was a totally different person from S. Decumanus = Degyman, 
with whom his name is sometimes equated, but wrongly.^ 

Tegfan is mentioned in Dafydd Llwyd's cywydd to S. Tydecho, 
from which it may be inferred that he resided for some time with that 
saint and S. Dogfael at Llandudoch, or S. Dogmael's, near Cardigan. 

He is the patron of Llandegfan, in Anglesey, in which parish the 
town of Beaumaris is situated. The church is sometimes wrongly 
given as dedicated to S. Tydecho * (December 17). 

Tegfan's festival is not known, but the Llandegfan Gwyl Mahsant 
-used to be held on Easter Monday.^ 

S. TEGFEDD, daughter of Amwn Ddu, Virgin 

Tegfedd, the daughter of Amwn Ddu ab Emyr Llydaw, settled 
with her brother Tydecho in the district of Mawddwy, in Merioneth- 

1 Williams, Observations on the Snowdon Mountains, London, 1802, p. 66 
Yr Haul, 1869, p. 169. 

2 Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 25 (p. 36) ; Peniarth MS. 75 ; Myv. Arch. 
p. 430 ; Cambro-Brit. Saints, p. 268 ; lolo MSS., pp. 109, 128. See also ii, pp, 


' The name occurs as Tecmant in the O. -Welsh pedigrees in Harleian MS. 
3,859 ; Tecwant in Jesus College MS. 20. It means " he of the beautiful mouth. 
Leland {Itin. in Wales, ed. Smith, 1906, p. 134) gives Tegfan as meaning " bellus 

* Willis, Bangor, p. 281, " S. Tydecho, or as some say. Decuman " ; N. Owen, 
Hist, of Anglesey, p. 56; Lewis Morris, Celtic Remains, p. 403. 

' y Geninen, 1884, p. 319. 

S. Tegiwg 217 

shire. According to Dafydd Llwyd's cywydd to S. Tydecho ^ her 
beauty attracted a local chieftain, named Cynon,^ who carried her 
away by force, but after a sharp encounter he had to restore her, un- 
violated, and to appease Tydecho's anger by a grant of the lands of 
Garthbeibio, in the neighbourhood, which were made free of heriot, 
amobrage, and other services for ever. These privileges were granted, 
it is said, by the Pope, and confirmed by Hywel ab Cadell. 

In the calendar in Peniarth MS. 219, December 18 is entered as 
the festival of S. Tegfedd, which is no doubt her day, as it immediately 
succeeds that of Tydecho. No church is known to be dedicated to 

S. TEGFEDD, daughter of Tegid Foel, Matron, Martyr 

Tegfedd, or Tegwedd, daughter of Tegid Foel, lord of Penllyn, in 
Merionethshire, was the wife of Cedig ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig, 
by whom she became the mother of S. Afan Buallt.^ 

Tegfedd is patroness of Llandegfedd or Llandegveth, near Caerleon, 
where she was slain by the Saxons. The " villa " of Merthir Teemed 
was given by S. Cadoc to S. Teilo on settling the dispute between 
himself and King Arthur;* ar>d " podum Merthir Teemed" was 
granted to the Church of Llandaff in the time of Bishop Trican.^ 

S. TEGIWG, Matron, Martyr 

Tegiwg, Tygiwg, or Tigiwg was the daughter of Ynyr, king of 
Gwent, and her mother was Madrun, daughter of King Gwrthef}^: 

^ Printed, e.g., in the Cambrian Register, 1799, ii, pp. 375-7, and Edward 
Jones, Bardic Museum, 1802, pp. 45-6. 

2 There is a hill, Bryn Cynon, above Bryn Cywarch, in Mawddwy. 

^ Peniarth MSS. 16, 27, 45 ; Cardiff MS. 25, p. 112 ; Camhro-British Saints, 
p. 271 ; lolo MSS., p. 130. According to the so-called History of Taliessin, 
Tegid was the husband of the celebrated personage Ceridwen, by whom he was 
the father of a son, Morfran, a daughter, Creirwy — " the fairest maiden in all 
the world "—and another son, Afagddu — " the most ill-favoured man in all 
the world" {Mabinogion, ed. Guest, iii, pp. 321-6, 356-61). 

* Cambro-British Saints, p. 50. 

* Book of Llan Ddv, p. 199, of. p. 273. 

2 I 8 Lives of the British Saints 

(Vortimer) . She had as brothers, Iddon, Ceidio, and Cynheid- 

Her legend is told in the Life of S. Beuno.^ There was a workman, 
hailing from Aberffraw, in Anglesey, at the palace of Ynyr Gwent. 
He was a very handsome young fellow, and Tegiwg fell desperately 
in love with him. Nothing availing, and, " lest she should have him 
some other way," her father consented to the match. After a while 
the young benedict bethought him that he would pay a visit, in com- 
pany with his princely wife, to the old folks at home. All went well 
until they arrived at Pennard in Arfon, where they dismounted tO' 
rest. She was very fatigued with the journey, and soon slept. Look- 
ing at her, he thought of his own humble origin, and felt quite ashamed 
of himself. How could he go home " with so elegant a wife without 
a place to take her to ? " And so, " through the instigation of the 
devil," he cut her head off with his sword, and then pushed on his 
way to Anglesey. 

Some shepherds of Beuno's reported to their master that they 
had found the corpse ; and " Beuno took up the head and pressed 
it to the body, and the maid arose quite well, and related to him all 
that had befallen her." Beuno gave her the choice of returning 
to her own people or remaining with him, serving God. She chose 
the latter. Where her blood fell on the ground a crystal spring bubbled 
up, which is called Ffynnon Digiwg. 

Her brother Iddon, after a while, came in search of her, but she 
would not leave Beuno. He vowed vengeance on her deserting 
husband, and went with Beuno on his trail. They found him in the 
king's palace at Aberffraw, where he was steward, and Iddon rushed 
forward and cut his head off in turn. This caused a commotion, 
but Beuno put things right by raising the decapitated man to life 
again. ^ 

The well still exists, on the borders of Penarth, in the parish of 
Clynnog, and is now locally called Ffynnon Digwg. An aged hawthorn 
bush formerly grew beside it.* 

Tegiwg has no church dedication or festival. 

1 Myv. Arch., pp. 422, 430 ; lolo MSS., p. 129. 

" Llyvyr Agkyr LI., ed. Morris Jones and Rhys, pp. 124-5. 

' S. Beuno is reported to have raised six persons to life again, Llorcan Wyddel, 
Aelhaiarn, Deiniolfab, Deiniol Farch Du o Bowys, Gwenfrewi, and Tegiwg 
{Peniarth MS. 75, Additional MS. 31,055). 

* Cyff Beuno, 1863, pp. 59-60 ; Transactions of the Liverpool Welsh Nat. 
Society, 1892-3 Session, pp. 95-6. 

S. Tegla 219 

S. TEGLA, Virgin 

Though the Saintly Pedigrees nowhere mention any saint of the 
name, there is some probability that there was a Welsh S. Thecla. 
Through the great veneration paid to the Virgin-martyr companion 
of S. Paul, in the Eastern and Western Churches, the name Thecla 
obtained a wide use as a Christian name throughout Christendom. 
Her romantic story captivated the imagination of the Church, and 
though in the form we now have it, it can only be received as a fiction, 
there is ample proof of its high antiquity, and that Thecla was most 
probably a real person. The Ads of Paul and Thecla is one of the 
oldest books of the extant New Testament Apocrypha. 

An early Welsh dedication to Thecla would have been contrary 
to the common usage, though in the Middle Ages she might well 
have had her name prefixed with Llan, like the Blessed Virgin, S. 
Peter^ and others. But she was not a favourite saint in Britain, where 
she does not appear to have had at any time a single church dedication ; 
and this lends probability to the supposition that there was a Welsh 
S. Thecla, with a local cult, who in the Middle Ages got confounded 
with her better- known namesake. The ritual observed at her well, 
to be mentioned presently, was older than Christianity. 

The only Celtic saint of the name known to us is Thecla, otherwise 
Etha, one of the companions of Breaca, an Irish saint who landed in 
Cornwall and founded a religious settlement at Breage. This Thecla 
is commemorated on October 27 ; but there is nothing to show 
that she visited Wales. 

There are two Tegla dedications in Wales, Llandegla, in Denbigh- 
shire, and Llandegley, in Radnorshire. 

Two festival days are assigned to Tegla Forwyn (Virgin) in the 
Welsh Calendars. One is June i, but this is the day on which Thecla 
and Zosimus, martyrs, are commemorated at Antioch. It occurs 
in most of the caleridars. 

The other day is that of the companion of S. Paul — the " Proto- 
martyr " of Iconium — which the calendars in Jesus College MS. 141, 
Additional MS. 12,193 (1508), and Llansfephan MS. 117 give on 
September 23 (her day in the Western Church), and the lolo MSS. 
and the Prymer of 1618 on the 24th (her day in the Eastern Church). 
Browne Willis gives September 23 as the festival at Llandegley, and 
the 25 th at Llandegla, 1 evidently regarding the Pauline Thecla as 
the patron saint. 

* Paroch. Anglic, 1733, pp. 185, 223. Edward Lhuyd says under Llandegla, 
" Feast y= Sunday after y= 23rd of Sept." Bp. Maddox also gives the 23rd. 

.2 2 Lives of the British Saints 

One of the great fairs at Llandegla (formerly famous for their black 

■ cattle) was October 15, O.S., latterly on the 26th. This was the 
festival of Thecla, the virgin abbess of Kitzingen, in Franconia, who 
was one of the religious women sent by S. Boniface from England, 
under the headship of S. Lioba, her kinswoman, to introduce the Bene- 
dictine rule into Germany, circa 748. She was probably a nun of 
Wimborne, and perhaps originally of Barking. It is difficult to believe 
that the church is dedicated to this Saxon saint. 

According to the Valor oi 1535,^ the " Offryings apon Saynt Teglas 
.Dayis troug the eyre [amounted to] viij nobis," at Llandegla. 

Llandegla was formerly celebrated for its Holy Well, Ffynnon 
Degla, a small spring which lies in a quillet of the glebe-land, called 
■Gwern Degla. Its water was considered highly efficacious in cases 

■ of epilepsy, so much so, that one of the names for that complaint 
in the Welsh dictionaries is Clwyf Tegla, Tegla's Disease or Sickness. ^ 
As the curious superstitions and ceremonies connected with it are of 

•especial interest, carrying us unmistakably back to its pre-Christian 
divinity, we give here the two earliest accounts, differing as they do 
in some details. The earlier occurs in Edward Lhuyd's notes on 
Xlandegla, 1699. " N.B. Ynghylch Klevyd Tegla [respecting Tegla's 
Disease] : one John Abraham a smith now at Lh : Golhen when a 
Child was troubled w* Klevyd Tegla ; on which this Child went 3 
times ab* y<= Church and told y'' Lord's Prayer, and afterwards 
lay him down being in y" edge of night under y= Altar, having the 
Church bible under his head, and slept there that night. This is 
always done on Fridays. They give the Clerk a groat at y^ Well, 
and offer another groat in y« Poor's Box. A man has always a cock 
with him under y^^ Altar, A woman a hen, a boy a Cockrel & a girl a 
Pullet. These are given the Clerk, who says y' y<= flesh appears black, 
and that sometimes these Fowls, if y<= Party recover, catch y" Disease 
viz* The falling sickness. 'Tis certain says my author y" Rector, 
this I. Abr. was by this means perfectly cured & he was then ab* 13 
-y. of age." 

The other is in the handwriting of Bishop Maddox (1736-43), in 
MS. Z in the Episcopal Library at S. Asaph. " About 240 y^= from 

The church of Llandegla was in 1273, and earlier, a capella of Llangollen, and as 
-such belonged to the Abbey of Valle Crucis (Red Book of S. Asaph, fo. 44a). 
1 vi, p. xlii. 

^ It was a " spiritual " disorder. It is known also as " y clefyd bendigaid " 

(the holy disease), and " gwialen Crist " (Christ's rod). The Romans called it 

"morbus divinus (or sacer)," and the Greeks Upa, vdcros and v6<ros 'JlpuK^eiTj. 

In France and Belgium it is " Le mal S. Jean " (from the Baptist) ; but more 

-popularly, "Mal de S. Valentine," " Veltenstanz," and " Danse de S. Gui." 

aS*. Tegla 2 2 1 

the Church (about the middle of a quillet of Glebe call'd Gwern Degla) 
riseth a Well, call'd Tecla's Well, with the following letters cut in 
Freestone AGEZ ; G . . .1 In this Well the people that are troubled 
with convulsion fits or falling sickness call'd S' Teccla's evil do use to 
wash their hands & feet, going ab' the well 3 times, saying the L^^^ 
prayer thrice, carrying in a handbasket a cock, if a Man ; & a hen, if 
a Woman offering 4 pence in the s"! well. All this is done after sunset. 
Then going to the Ch yd after the same manner go ab' the Church, 
saying the L'^^ Prayer thrice, getting into the Church sleep under the 
Communion table with the Church bible under their heads, & the 
carpet to cover them all night till break of day. Then offering a piece 
of silver in the poor's box, leaving the Cock or Hen in the Church. 
They again repair to the Well & p'form as above. — ^They say sev'' 
have been heald y'by (1710). if the cock dyed in the Church, the 
Patient valaeras [?] hims. curd." 2 

The Rural Dean in 1749 " gave strict charge to the parish clerk 
at his peril to discourage that superstitious practice, and to admit 
none into the church at night on that errand." 

The well measures about 4 ft. by 3 ft. ; its four sides are intact, 
and the bottom stone-lined. The \Aater is about a foot deep. 
We were informed on the spot that it was customary to prick the 
fowl with a pin, which was afterwards thrown into the well ; and 
that in church the epileptic was to put the bird's beak into his mouth 
and blow into it before letting the bird go. " An old man once told the 
parish clerk (in 1855) that he remembered quite well seeing the birds- 
staggering about from the effects of the fits thus transferred." ^ It 
appears that the last person who went through the ceremony for a 
cure, with a cockerel, was one Evan Edwards, son of the sexton of 
the parish, about the year 1813.* 

The cock has been very generally associated with epilepsy, being 
killed or buried alive as a preservative against it. For the cure of 
epilepsy there is still practised in the north of Scotland what may 
be called a formal sacrifice. On the spot where the epileptic first 
falls a black cock is buried alive with a lock of the patient's hair, and 

1 Probably part of a monumental inscription, but not now visible. 

2 Pennant, writing later in the century, gives practically the same account 
as Bp. Maddox. He adds, " If the bird dies, the cure is supposed to have been' 
effected, and the disease transferred to the devoted victim." Tours in Wales, 
ed. 1883, ii, pp. 15-16. 

' Arch. Camb., 1856, p. 185. It is there stated that the epileptics slept " all 
night, holding a live cock in their arms." 

* Bye-Gones, Oswestry, 1888, p. 243. For an account of a cure (of an only 
son) effected at the well, with the customary ritual, see W. Jenkyn Thomas, 
The Welsh Fairy Book, London, pp. 278-81. 

22 2 Lives of the British Saints 

some parings of his nails. "■ Much the same ritual as at S. Tegla's 
Well was observed at S. Dier's Well (now closed up), at Bodfari, not 
far from Llandegla, where they offered chickens for children, a cockerel 
for a boy and a pullet for a girl, going nine times round the well. 
This was done, it is said, " to prevent their crying in the night." 2 

Tempelschlaf or incubation was, and is, a practice which, in virtue 
of its origin, belongs to Paganism. The temples of iEsculapius, the 
divine physician, were the chief centres of incubation, and were 
numbered by the hundreds. Later, patients went to sleep in churches 
and even inside the shrines of saints.^ 

S. Thecla was worshipped at Seleucia, the chief town of Isauria, 
as a Christianized Greek chthonian god, and incubation practised at 
her shrine. It was her custom to appear by night to suppliants who 
had come to her church to sleep, but her apparitions seem more usually 
to have conveyed prescriptions of remedies.* 

In Lambeth MS. 94, fo. 153& (late 13th century), is a tract con- 
taining the Vita and Miranda S. Tedce Virginis,^ which, from the 
localities of some of the miracles, had its origin obviously at Llandegley, 
in Radnorshire. Therein she is Thecla, the companion of S. Paul. 
The first miracle relates to the punishment, delivery, and repentance 
of three Radnor robbers at Llandegley ; the second to a woman 
there who was struck blind, her eyes falling out, for inveighing against 
the saint's feast ; the next miracle relates to a man named Leffius, 
blind from birth, who invokes the saint, and she appears to him as a 
beautiful girl, with two bright stars in her hand, which she puts into 
his eye-sockets, and he receives sight ; the next concerns one " Kinan 
tribunus patriae," who was healed of his pain on condition that he 
set certain prisoners free ; in another a very comely Irishman named 
Aeith (= Welsh Aedd) passes by her church on his way to Rome ; 
another mentions two women " de uilla Peona " (there are Pyon 
parishes north of Hereford) ; and the last miracle relates to a woman 
" ex pago Versigeno " (possibly Gwerthrynion, in N.W. Radnor- 

^ Mitchell, Past in the Present, pp. 146, 265. By the Greeks and Romans 
-the cock was sacrificed to ^sculapius. 

" ii, p. 342. Slit-eared calves and lambs were offered to S. Beuno, i, p. 217 ; 
and horses to S. George at S. George, near Abergele, ii, p. 246, Pennant, Tours 
in Wales, 1883, iii. p. 149. 

' Cf. S. Elian's shrine, ii, pp. 438-9. 

* Miss Mary Hamilton, Incubation, igo6, pp. 135-8. According to the Acts 
of Paul and Thecla (cap. x) she healed people " of whatsoever distemper they 
had," and "the unclean spirits were cast out," which included epilepsy. 

* The text has been published from this MS. in Gebhardt and Harnack, Texie 
Mnd Untersuchungen, Neue Folge, vi, 2. 

^S*. Tegwel 223 

The Miracula have no connexion whatever with Llandegla. The 
name of the church at Llandegley is explained, " Britannico idiomate 
Lanteglin ^ nuncupatur, quod Latine fundus Tecle sonat." 

There is a sulphureous spring at Llandegley, once much resorted 
to, but with no legend attached to it, we believe. 

Croes Degla formerly stood on Cym y Brain mountain on the 
borders of Llandegla and Llangollen parishes. 

S. Thecla or Tegla is generally supposed to have a chapel dedicated 
to her perched on an islet rock at the mouth of the Wye, by Chepstow, 
where she is said to have been murdered by pirates. The meagre 
ruins of the chapel and hermitage still exist, but the chapel is now 
called by natives and others Treacle Chapel, and it appears on Saxton's 
map as " S. Treacle Chapel." William of Worcester sometimes calls 
the islet " Rok Seynt Tryacle," and the chapel " Capella Sancti 
Teriaci Anachoritae." In the Valor of 1535 it is " Capella Sancti 
Triad ;" ^ so it cannot be a Tecla dedication. 

S. TEGONWY, Confessor 

Tegonwy was the son of S. Teon ab Gwineu Deufreuddwyd,* whose 
pedigree is traced up to Beli Mawr. He " was a saint of Bangor 
Illtyd, and was afterwards with Cadfan and Deinioel promoting the 
Bangor of Bardsey." * He was the father of SS. Llywelyn and Mabon. 
The late document printed in the lolo MSS. is the sole authority for 
him as a saint. 

The pedigrees in the thirteenth century Mostyn MS. 117 make 
him the father of Caenog and of lorwerth Hirfiawdd, founder of the 
Powysian tribe of lorwerthion, who married Aranwen, daughter of 
Brychan Brycheiniog. 

S. TEGWEL, Confessor 

Tegwel is a provected form of Dogwel, which is again a reduced 
form of Dogfael. June 14 frequently occurs in eighteenth century 

^ The name occurs a number of times, and always with the -n, which is 
probably hypocoristic. Llandeglen is the form in Giraldus, Opera, i, p. 241. 
The saint's name is sometimes spelt Teglaf in Welsh. 2 ii_ p, 501. 

3 Peniarih MSS. 12, 16, 45, etc. * lolo MSS., p. 129. 

2 24 Lives of the British Saints 

Welsh almanacks as the festival of S. Tegwel, i.e. Dogfael, which 

There was a Capel Degwel, now extinct, in Cwm Degwel, in the 
parish of S. Dogmael's, Pembrokeshire, ^ and a Llanddegwel, or Capel 
Degwel (or Dygwel), in the parish of Llanfechell, Anglesey, long since 
extinct. Bottegwal is a township of Abergele parish, and there is a 
Cwm Tecwel at Festiniog. ^ 

S. TEGWEN, Matron 

Tegwen is included among the Welsh saints in the lolo MSS. only.* 
She was a daughter of Tewdrig ab Teithfall, and wife of Alltu Redegog, 
the father of Ehan Ceimiad. She was sister to Meurig, King of Mor- 
ganwg, and Marchell, mother of Brychan. 

S. TEGWY or TYGWY, Confessor 

"Tegwy and Tyfriog in Ceredigion Iscoed " were, with Lleuddad 
and others, sons of Dingad ab Nudd Hael by Tenoi, daughter of Lleu- 
ddun Luyddog.5 Tegwy is the patron of Llandygwydd, in Cardigan- 
shire, which was formerly called Llandegwy or Llandygwy, e.g. in the 
parish list in Peniarth MS. 147, circa 1566. In the same parish is 
also Capel Tygwydd. Meyrick wrongly identifies the saint's name 
with Tegwydd, by whom he means Tegwedd or Tegfedd, daughter 
of Tegid Foel, and he gives the Gwyl Mahsant of Llandygwydd as 
January 18.^ The festival of Tygwy or Tegwy, given in the calendar 
in the Prymer of 1633, and by Browne Willis,'' is on January 13. 

"^ ii, pp. 349-51. 2 Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, p. 509. 

' For the hardening of the initial letter cf. the Radnorshire Cwm Toyddwr 
for Cwm Deuddwr, 

* Pp. 118, 137. Cenaf is also given as wife of Alltu. See ii, p. 435. 

5 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; lolo MSS., p. 103 ; Myv. Arch., 
p. 430. He is called Tygwy in Myv. Arch., pp. 418, 427 ; and, by mistake, 
Tetkwyn in Peniarth MS. 12, Tegwyn in lolo MSS., pp. 113, 139, and Dygwy, 
ib., p. 144. Among the saints invoked in a poem for Henry VII are "... a 
Theccwyn, ef a Thyccwy," ib., p. 314 ; Cardiff MS. 63, p. 318 ; but " Thegwya " 
and " Thygwy " in the copy in Cardiff MS. 7, p. 151. 

^ Hist, of Cardiganshire, 1808, pp. 46, 126. 

' Paroch. Anglic, 1733, p. 194. 

S, Tegwyn 225, 

S. TEGWYN, Priest, Confessor . 

Tegwyn, in company with Tanwg and many others, came ■with. 
Cadfan from Brittany to Wales. ^ According to the lolo MSS., he 
with others who were " kinsmen of Cadfan, descended from Emyr 
Llydaw, came with Cadfan to this Island. They were saints in 
Bardsey, and their churches are in Gwynedd, where they lived in 
great piety and holiness of life." ^ Again, " S. Tegwyn came to this. 
Island with Cadfan in the time of Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu. He procured 
wise men and divines from Gaul, now called France, to renovate Faith, 
and Baptism (Christianity) in this Island, in consequence of the decay 
and failure that had befallen the Faith in Christ." ^ 

Tegwyn is the patron of Llandecwyn,* subject to Llanfihangel y 
Traethau, in Merionethshire. There is a monument to his memory, 
originally at Llandecwyn, with an inscription in predominantly 
minuscule characters of perhaps the eighth or ninth century, which 
may be read thus, "jScti Tetquini Pri (ho)n(o)ri Dei claris(imi)que' 
Dei s(e)rvi Heli diaco(ni) me fecit -(-a-bcdef+." This may be 
translated, " (The cross) of S. Tegwyn, priest ; to the honour of God 
and the most illustrious servant of God ; Heli, deacon, made me." 
The stone, which is now at Llanfihangel Vicarage, was found in the- 
north wall of the old church in 1879, when it was being pulled down, 
to erect the present church. ° 

Edward Lhuyd, in 1699, mentions the saint's holy well — " Fynnon 
Dekwyn by plas Dekwyn not far from y" Church." This must be 
the little well by the road-side, now called Ffynnon y Foel. Y Foell 
is the ffridd called in full Moel Tecwyn. Maen Tecwyn formerly 
stood a little distance from the church in a field known to-day as Cae 
Maen Tecwyn, which adjoins the churchyard, and belongs to Has 
Tecwyn. Its exact position is now not known. The stone was des- 
troyed about the early part of the eighteenth century to build, it is- 
believed, a cow-house, Beudy'r Foel. The saint's name is also pre- 
served in the names of the two lakes in the parish, Llyn Tecwyn Ucha 
and Isa, and likewise in the name of the common, Gwyllt Tecwyn. 

Tegwyn's festival does not occur in the Welsh calendars, but Browne 
Willis * gives it as September 14, and Lhuyd says, " They keep their 
feasts Sunday next after Dydd gwyl y grog " (Holy Cross Day). 

1 Peniarth MSS. 16, 182 (p. 39) ; Hafod MS. 16; Cardiff MSS. 5 (p. 117),. 
'25 (pp. 26, 114) ; Myv. Arch., p. 430. Rice Rees, 'Welsh Saints, p. 223, gives. 
him as a son of Ithel Hael, but without authority. 

' P. 112 ; cf. p. 134. By him is meant the Degwy on p. 103, where they are- 
-made also saints of Llantwit and Llancarfan. ' Ibid. p. 108. 

.. 4 Despite the present-day form, Tegwyn is the thirteenth century spelling. 

s Arch. Camb.; 1905, pp. 237-41 ; 1906, pp. 121-4. ^ Bangor, p. 277.. 


2 2^ Liives of the British Saints 

S. TEILO, Abbot, Bishop, Confessor 

Teilo was one of the most important of the Welsh Saints. His 
Life, in its earhest form, is contained in the Booh of Llan Ddv, pp. 97- 
117 (ed. 1840, pp. 92-111). There is a Life in Cotton MS. Vespasian 
A. xiv, but this is " simply an imperfect transcript " from the Llandaff 
MS.i John of Tynemouth wrote a Life, abbreviated from the above, 
which is in Cotton MS. Tiberius E. i. This is printed in Capgrave's 
Nova Legenda Anglice, and has been incorporated by the Bollandists 
in Acta SS., Feb. II, pp. 308-10. In the rubric to the Vespasian copy 
the author is stated to have been " Master Galfrid, the brother of 
Urban, Bishop of Llandaff," who may have been Geoffrey of Mon- 

The Life in the Book of Llan Ddv has been reprinted, with an im- 
portant introduction and notes, by M. J. Loth in Annates de Bretagne, 
ix, pp. 81, 277, 438 ; and x, p. 66 ; cf. also Analecta Boll., xiv (1895), 
p. 445. There is a cywydd or poem in honour of Teilo by leuan Llwyd 
ab Gwilym, a poet of the early fifteenth century. ^ 

The Book of Lla1^ Ddv or Liber Landavensis was drawn up in the 
middle of the twelfth century for the purpose of establishing the rights 
of Llandaff against those claimed by the see of S. David's to certain 
groups of Teilo churches and villages (37 in all) within its territory, 
and against the claims of the see of Hereford in Erging or Archenfield. 
It forms the Cartulary of the Archmonastery or Cathedral Church of 
Llandaff ; and " the charters pure and simple are, on the face of them, 
genuine." It includes grants purporting to have been made between 
the sixth century and the year 1107, besides Lives of SS. Dubricius, 
Teilo, Oudoceus, and Samson, and other matter. It was reproduced 
diplomatically from the original MS. at Gwysaney, near Mold, by 
Dr. J. Gwenogvryn Evans, in 1893. 

The Life of S. Teilo was composed as a sermon to be pronounced 
on his festival at Llandaff. It begins " fratres karissimi," and con- 
tains much pious and unctuous exhortation. The author knew the 
Lives of S. Padarn and S. David, but the latter was a different version 
from that by Rhygyfarch, as in one important particular it gives an 
entirely different rendering of the incident of the vexations caused 
by Boia, whom he does not name. 

1 Baok of Llan Ddv, preface, p. xxxiii. For the variant readings of the Cotton 
MS. see pp. 360-2. 

" There are several MS. copies of it of the seventeenth century. It has been 
printed, with translation by Prof. T. Powel, in the Transactions of the Liverpaol 
Welsh. National Society, 5th Session (1889-90), pp. 64-71, and ii; the lolo MSS., 
^p._ 295-7 .^apparently from Llanover MS. B. i, ff. 630-646). 

S. Teih 


From the Life of S. Oudoceus in the Book of Llan Ddv we learn 
that Teilo was the son of Ensic and of Guenhaf , daughter of Liuonui. 
His sister Anauved was married to Budic, son of Cybrdan, an exile 
from the Armorican Cornouaille, who had taken refuge in Dyfed. 

In the Welsh Saintly Pedigrees the name of his father, who according 
to them was the son of Hydwn (Hidwn) Dwn ab Ceredig ab Cunedda 
Wledig, is variously given, in the earlier MSS., as Ensych (Peniarih 
MS. i6), Eussyllt (Peniarih MS. 45), and Enoc [Hafod MS. 16), 
and, in the later ones, as Enllech and Enlleu. The real form, in modern 
spelling, is, no doubt, Usyllt (the Latin Auxilius), which see.i 

According to the Vita, Teilo's original name was Elios, which was 
given him because " his learning shone as the sun " ; but it was 
" corruptly pronounced " Eliud, which, if it existed, would now be 
Elydd. To this was afterwards prefixed the common honorific 
particle to.^ 

He was born at Eccluis Gunniau (Guiniau),^ apparently Penally, 
near Tenby ; at any rate the church of Penally laid claim to his body, 

1 leuan Llwyd's cywydd gives him as son of Ensig ab Hychdwn ab Cedig ab 
Ceredig. The lolo MSS., p. 137, have fabricated a Teilo Fyrwallt as son of 
Nwython ab Gildas. Hydwn we are told, ihid., pp. no, 124, was a king in 
Ireland. The following pedigree will show Teilo's relationship to other Welsh 

Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig 

Cedig = 




Hydwn Dwn 


Usyllt = Guenhaf, da. 



S. Afan 




S. Non=Sant 


S. David 

1 1 

Teilo, S. JV abon Anauved = 


= Budic, Prince of 
Cornugallia, rest, 
c. 545, d. c. 570 ^ 

1 1 1 

Ismael S.Tyfei S. Oudocei 


IS Tewdrig, Prince 

of Cornugallia, 

expelled c. 570, 

re-estab. 577. 

2 The oldest recorded form of the name is Teiliau {Book of S. Chad). In Latin, 

Teliaus, Teliauus. " Congruo nomine Elios a sapientibus nuncupatus est,'' 

Book of Llan Ddv, p. 98. " Eliud scilicet qui nunc Teliau vulgo vocatur," 

Cambro-British Saints, p. 135. He is continually called Eliud in the Lives. 

It was not an uncommon name. The simple form of Teliau or Teiliau was Eliau 

or Eiliau, which was borne by several persons, especially in the Book of Llan 

Ddv, and occurs in the Carnarvonshire name Moel Eilio. The forms Eliud and 

<Eliau are not easily squared. For the successive modifications of Teliau cf. 

the name Enniaun, ii, p. 423. In Brittany he is known as Deleau and Thelo. 

' Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 124, 255. '■' , ■ 'i ' 

22 8 Lives of the British Saints 

for there was the burial place of his ancestors, and he had ancestral 
rights to land there. ^ 

From early childhood he was trained by S. Dubricius, who was 
pleased with the brightness of his intelligence, and his eagerness to 
acquire knowledge. After a while he was sent to PauUnus, who was 
master of the school at Ty Gwyn, where he became ah intimate friend 
of S. David, his fellow-pupil. And when David started his independent 
foundation in Glyn Rhosyn, where now stands the Cathedral that 
bears his name, Teilo accompanied him. 

The author of the Life now goes on to give some account of the 
Goidelic invasion' of South Wales, and derives a good deal from 
Bede's description of the Picts, and blunders over the derivation of 
their name.^ 

From the Life of S. Carannog we also know that after the first expul- 
sion of the Goidels from Dyfed they made renewed attempts to obtain 
a lodgment there. ^ For more information concerning them the bio- 
grapher refers to the Historia of Gildas. 

The Goidels planted themselves in the Menevian promontory, and 
a chief among them established his caer near where David had con- 
stituted his monastery.* This was Boia, and the remains of his strong- 
hold are visible to this day on Clegyr Fwya. 

According to the author of the Life of S. Teilo, it was this chief 
who instigated his wife to attempt the virtue of the monks by the 
blandishments of her maids. As this failed, the chief and his whole 
house were converted and were baptised.^ This is very different 
from the story in the Life of S. David. 

1 " Ob sepulturam patrum suorum et hereditarium jus." Ibid., p. ii6. 
Eglwys Wnio is also suggested ; Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 292, 321. 

2 " Quidam populi de Scithia qui sive a Pictis vestibus sive propter oculorum 
stigmata Picti dicebantur." A fantasy of Isidore of Seville. Oculorum should 
be aculeorum. Isidore says, " Scotti propria lingua nomen habent a picto 
corpore, eo quod aculeis ferreis cum atramento variarum figurarum stigmata 

' In illis diebus venerunt Scoti et occupaverunt regionem britannicam," 
Vita S. Caradoci, in Brev. Leon., 1526. " In istis temporibus Scotti superaverunt 
Brittaniam," Vita S. Carantoci, in Cambro-British Saints, p. 97. 

' " Quidam illius nefariac gentis princeps trucidando miseros incolas et com- 
burendo edes et t«mpla sanctorum a navalibus [ubi] appulerant usque Minuensem 
civitatem processisset, ibi constitit ibique suum palatium construxit." Book 
of Llan Ddv, p, 100. 

' " Quo viso, predictus persequtor et tota domus sua per gratiam servorum 
Dei catholicam fidem snsceperunt et ab eisdem in Christi nomine baptizati 
sunt." Ibid. Whytford, in the Martiloge under February 9, says, " the pictes 
.hethen men entred englonde & destroyed many places & slewe moche people, 
.& a prynce & capytayne of them went in to wales, y' by this holy saynt 
[Teilo] was couerted." , - 

aS'. Tei/o 229 

After a while David, Teilo and Padarn started on pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem.! Our biographer characteristically makes Teilo the lead- 
ing figure in this pilgrimage, but the author of the Life of S. David 
gives the pre-eminence to his hero. But the whole of the story of 
the expedition to Jerusalem is to be mistrusted, as it was an inven- 
tion, apparently, of the Welsh after the Norman invasion, to enable 
them to estabhsh the independence of the churches of Llandaff and 
Menevia against the encroachments of Canterbury. In this story 
the three saints receive episcopal consecration at the hands of the 
Patriarch of Jerusalem. The versions differ in some particulars 
from one another. 

On reaching Jerusalem the three pilgrims entered the great church. 
The inventor of the story had sufficient wit not to make Jerusalem 
in the hands of the Saracens. The people watched them curiously. 
There were three chairs, of marvellous construction, two of metal and 
one of cedar, and this latter had been the chair from which Christ 
had taught. Now the humble Teilo elected to sit in the wooden 
chair, whereupon by general acclaim he was declared the chief of the 
three, and as he had taken Christ's seat, he must preach to them there- 
from like Christ. It is an early and hagiological version of the Three 
Caskets story. 

When the saints departed from Jerusalem, after consecration by 
the patriarch, they were given three gifts, to David a marvellously 
formed altar " nam jocundius ceteris celebrabat " ; to Padarn a 
staff and a silk choral cope, because he was a fine singer ; but to Teilo 
a sweet-toned beU, with miraculous properties, because he excelled 
as a preacher. 

In Rhygyfarch's Life of S. David, it is he alone who receives the four 
■gifts, the consecrated altar, a bell, a staff, and a tunic of gold web. 

The author of the Life of S. Padarn makes his saint receive the staff 
and the tunic. We see here how each author improved the story to 
the glorification of his special hero. As M. Loth says, " It was especi- 
ally in the twelfth century that a lively struggle was engaged in 
between Menevia and Llandaff for certain territories, and as to supre- 
macy. The partisans on each side had recourse to aU sorts of argu- 
ments, and specially to the legends concerning the saintly founders 
■of these bishoprics." 

The story of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and consecration by the 

^ Contrary to Tthe ILdves loi these three saints, the cywydd by leuan Llwyd 
Tnakes them go to Rome, where Teilo was, for his eloquent preaching, presented 
with " a yellow bell," which could " bring the dead to life." The bells of Rome 
lang out oi their own accord ±0 welcome him. 

2 30 Lives of the- British Saints 

Patriarch, was invented, first of all, to support the independence of 
Menevia ; then it was .adopted and altered by the author of the Life 
of S. Teilo, to establish his supremacy over the see of S. David. J- 
But the whole episode may be dismissed as unhistorical, and as an 
interested fabrication. 

In place of this mythical journey to Jerusalem we may insert what 
perhaps took place, a brief association with S. Dubricius, abbot of 

The association is, indeed, eminently doubtful, but it is possible-. 
Dubricius had a monastery on Caldey isle. In going to and fro Dubri- 
cius may have become acquainted with him and have had him for 
awhile under his charge. But whether Teilo was with him in his early 
childhood, or after he had left the school of Paulinus, is what we do 
not know. 

It is remarkable that in the Life of Teilo there is nothing said directly 
as to any such association, but in the preface it is spoken of. The 
statement that on his consecration to be bishop of Llandaff, he under- 
took the charge that had been exercised by Dubricius is an insertion 
of the compiler of the Book of Llan Ddv.^ 

Further on there is, however, a hint to the effect that he had been 
a disciple ; for when mention is made of Teilo's visit to S. Samson 
at Dol it is added, " For they were natives of the same district, and 
had the same language, and had been educated together under the 
blessed Dubricius, the arch-ruler." * 

One may conclude that the author of the Life as we now have 
it substituted the voyage of David, Teilo and Padarn to Jerusalem 
for the account found in the original document, which he " farced "■ 
and manipulated for the account of his having been pupil to Dubricius 
and his ordination by him. 

If we look at the grants made to Teilo, we find that they consist 
in donations made by Iddon ab Ynyr Gwent in what is now Mon- 
mouthshire, and by Aircol Lawhir and Meredydd ab Rhain, kings of 
Dyfed, of lands in Dyfed. 

1 The object of the author of the Life of S. Teilo is made clear when he says 
that Teilo was elevated to the pontifical dignity in the place of S. Peter, and 
David to that in the place of S. James. " Ab universa plebe electi sublimati 
sunt pontificali dignitate Teliaus vice Petri, David vice Jacobi." 

2 " Viri sapientes et doctores ad eum studendi causa confluebant. Imprimis 
sanctus Teiliaus." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 8o. 

^ P. 107. " Sanctus Teliaus ecclesiae Landaviae cui consecratus est curam 
pastoralem accepit cum tota parrochia sibi adjacente quas fuerat Dubricii ante- 
Cessoris sui." 

* " De una regione procreati fueraut, et unius linguae viri, et simul cum beatd 
Dubricio archipresule edocti." Ibid., p. 109. 

jS. Teilo 231 

The position of Llandaff was between these patches of land. There' 
is no evidence that Teilo exercised any authority over the churches^ 
of Dubricius in Erging. 

That Teilo did more than endeavour to consolidate the rule of 
the abbot bishop over his bits of land granted here and there is not 
probable, nor did he exercise jurisdiction over the abbeys of Llan- 
carfan, Llantwit and Llandough. Where there was no bishop on the 
staff of the college, he may have been called in to ordain, but juris- 
diction he had none. It was not till under Oudoceus, his successor,, 
that the first rudiments of episcopal jurisdiction began to appear. 

There is a Teilo church within a few miles of S. David's, but this does- 
not show that Teilo at any time exercised episcopal rule in Menevia. 
It means no more than that Teilo, being of the family of Ceredig ab 
Cunedda, had certain rights to land in the district of Menevia, and. 
established a church on the scrap that fell to him. There was nO' 
diocese of Llandaff, and no diocese of Menevia ; the rule was in the 
hands of the abbots of the several monasteries, and was confined tO' 
the llans that belonged to them. All outside was under no rule what- 

But Teilo was a strong personality and active, and his commanding 
position in Morganwg, and the favour he enjoyed with the princes, 
encouraged the extension of his territories. In Teilo's time Llandaff 
became the most powerful, influential, and best endowed monastery 
in South Wales. It increased in that of Oudoceus ; it extended into 
Erging in that of Berth wyn. By degrees the conception of episcopal 
rule spread from England to Wales, and then Llandaff and Menevia 
became dioceses in the Latin sense. 

" The wide extent of country planted with monasteries by the 
central college of Llandaff is shown by the hst of Teilo churches in. 
what are now the counties of Carmarthen, Pembroke and Brecon, 
which is given in the Booh of Llan Ddv. These are no less in number 
than thirty-seven, all outside the present diocese of Llandaff, and 
most of them outside Morganwg, even when its boundaries were ex- 
tended. Twenty-five of the thirty-seven retained in later centuries- 
the name of Llan, that is, ' Monastery,' and fourteen of them bore 
the name Llandeilo, that is, ' Teilo's monastery.' ... It becomes 
therefore clear what were the relations of Dubricius and Teilo respec- 
tively to Llandaff. Dubricius was archbishop with the subordinate 
monastery of Llandaff under his authority, but was never archbishop' 
of Llandaff in any sense of the term ; Teilo, however, was episcopal 
abbot of Llandaff from the very foundation of the monastery. This 
explains many things that otherwise are puzzling. In after years- 

^32 Lives of the British Saints 

the bishop of the diocese was generally known among the Welsh as 
Esgob Teilo, ' Teilo's bishop,' never as Dyfrig's bishop ; the church 
■of Llandaff was Eglwys Deilo, ' Teilo's church ' ; the monastery of 
Llandaff was Bangor Deilo, ' Teilo's monastery,' and similarly the 
Book of Llan Ddv is Llyfr Teilo, ' Teilo's Book,' and the charter of 
the rights and privileges of Llandaff is Teilo's Privilegium." ^ 

To these may be added the common mediaeval appellation Plwyf 
Teilo, " Teilo's Plebs," for the Diocese. Teilo became convertible 
with Llandaff. 

There can be no doubt whatever that Teilo, and not Dubricius, 
was the founder and original patron of Llandaff. Dubricius is not 
■once mentioned in the ninth century marginal and other entries in 
the Book of S. Chad, which, when bought, was presented to be placed 
■on " the altar of S. Teilo." Among the signatories it contains are 
" Nobis episcopus Teiliav," and " Saturnguid sacerdos Teiliav " ; 
and it mentions " tota familia Teliaui." In the Book of Llan Ddv 
Teilo is called " patronus noster," 2 and the Cathedral Church 
" Monasterium S. Teliavi," and " Ecclesia S. Teliavi." ^ The greater 
importance of Teilo in the mind of the hagiographer is noticeable in 
the fact that his Life of him is more than double the length of that of 
Dubricius ; and it is significant that outside Erging not a single ancient 
■church is dedicated to the latter saint. 

The present dedication of the Cathedral to SS. Peter the Apostle, 
Dubricius, Teilo, and Oudoceus (the last named is left out sometimes 
in the Book of Llan Ddv) is due to the shrewd and energetic Bishop 
Urban, who so rededicated it when he rebuilt it (commenced in 1120), 
■on a larger scale, and translated thither the relics of S. Dubricius 
from Bardsey.* He wanted to establish his claim to the Dubricius 
and Oudoceus churches. 

We wiU now resume the account of Teilo's Life. 

In the year 547 appeared the Yellow Plague. The account of 
the breaking out of this terrible pestilence is curious. It was preceded 
by the appearance of a vaporous column sweeping over the land, one 
head in the clouds, and the other trailing along the ground. All 
who came within its course sickened to death, and the contagion 
ispread, affecting beasts as well as men. No medicines were of any 

" Newell, Llandaff. S.P.C.K., pp. 18-19. ^ P. 87. 

" P. 220. We have also " Mormarch presbyter S. Teliavi," p. 273. The 
Book of Llan Ddv is called his " cyrograf um, " p. 87, " gref," p. 248, and " graf- 
fum," pp. 339, 344. Elsewhere there are several persons mentioned bearing the 
■jiame Gwas Teilo (but no Gwas Dyfrig), which is a translation or imitation of a 
"well-known Goidelic formula. 

* Book of Llan Ddv, p. 86. 

S. Tei/o 233 

avail — that is no wonder considering what medicines were then in use — 
and physicians perished with the patients. The ravages of the plague 
were so terrible that the country was well-nigh depopulated. 

Teilo, in a dire fright, resolved on flying along with his community. 
He took with him a number of other bishops as timorous as himself, 
and a great many men and women as well, and escaped into Cornwall, 
where the king, Gerennius or Geraint, received him honourably, and 
constituted him his confessor. Geraint made him promise to visit 
and commmunicate him when he lay on his deathbed. But Teilo 
would not remain in Cornwall ; and there he has left the scantiest 
trace of his presence. ^ He crossed over to Armorica and visited S. 
Samson at Dol. 

Then in the Vita ensues a long account of the doings of Teilo in 
Brittany. This occurs only in the Life in the Book of Llan Ddv ; it 
is not in that in the Vespasian MS. But this need not be looked on 
with suspicion, as it was common in Saintly Biographies to confine 
the narrative to the Acts of the saint in the land where that Vita 
would be read on his feast, and the MS. in question is probably only 
a selection from the larger Life. 

We do not know exactly when Samson founded Dol, but it was 
probably about 544, not earlier, and the account in the Life of Teilo 
in the Book of Llan Ddv represents him as assisting Samson in laying 
out the orchard for the new monastery. ^ 

Teilo remained in Armorica for seven years and seven months, i.e. 
from 547 to the middle of 555, or from 548 to 556. During that time 
he was for a while in Cornouaille with King Budic, who, it is pretended, 
offered him the primacy over all Armorica. ^ He, of course, did 
nothing of the sort ; Budic had no power whatever in either Dom- 
nonia or Bro-weroc, and had great fears for himself lest the masterful 
regent Conmore should swallow up his territory. Budic was married 
to the sister of S. Teilo, and therefore ready enough to welcome him. 

^ Mr. Copeland Borlase, in his Age of the Saints, indulges in much fanciful 
attribution of churches to S. Teilo in Cornwall, that is totally void of authority, 
and contrary to statements of dedication in the Episcopal Registers. One of 
his attributions is based on a blunder made by Dr. Oliver in his Monasticon. 
For Geraint, see iii, p. 49. 

" " Ipse et predictus sanctus Samson plantaverunt magnum nemus arboreti 
fru'ctiferi, quasi ad tria miliaria, id est a Dol usque ad Cai." Book of Llan Ddv, 
p. 109. Cai is Carfeuntin, where was the original seat of Samson's monastery. 

' The angel said to him in a dream, " Obnixe tibi offerent episcopalem curam 
et privilegium totius gentis ArmoricEe." Ibid., p. 112. According to the Welsh 
text of Geoffrey of Monmouth (ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 204), in the room of 
Samson, " at the instigation of Hywel ab Emyr Llydaw, was placed Teilo (in 
the Latin, Chelianus), bishop of Llandaff." 

2 34 Lives of the British Saints 

If he offered him an ecclesiastical of&ce, it was the bishopric of Curio- 
sopitum or Quimper ; but we do not know that it was vacant at the- 

According to the legend Teilo was sent a horse from heaven on 
which to ride. 

When Teilo was about to depart he required of Budic that he should 
surrender his son Oudoceus, born since the restoration of Budic to 
his principality, to be educated by him in Britain. His final benedic- 
tion on the Armorican British was, that they should ever be good 
horsemen, seven times better as soldiers on horseback than when on. 

His stay in Armorica had been made illustrious by the usual miracle 
of subduing a dragon and hurling it into a river or into the sea.^ 

That Budic made grants to his brother-in-law whilst the latter was 
in his territories cannot be doubted. Teilo is patron there of several 
churches, as Chateauneuf-du-Faou, and Landeliau and Lennon near 
by. But he is also patron of Pledeliac, not far from Jugon. This- 
is a plou, and it means that Judual made a grant to him in Domnonia 
for services rendered to him by inducing Budic to join in the Armorican 
revolt against Conmore. Teilo is also patron of S. Thelo on the Oust, 
near Uzel, in the ancient forest of Brecilien. No trace of him is to 
be found near Dol. 

The foundations of Teilo in Cornouaille deserve to be spoken of 
more fully. They lie near the river Aulne. Chateauneuf is a lovely 
spot. The river sweeps round a hill formerly crowned by a castle, 
but on which now stands a grotesquely ugly modern chapel, that 
replaces a beautiful flamboyant structure. In the town itself is the 
church of S. Teilo. His statue has been relegated to a position of 
insignificance, to make way for saints of the Roman Calendar. 

On high ground between Chateauneuf and Carhaix is Landeliau, 
of which he is titular saint. On the road to Scaer from Chateauneuf 
is Lennon, of which he is also patron. He has a chapel in the parish 
of Plogonnec, near Quimper. Montertelot (Monasterium Teliavi), 
near Ploermel, had him formerly as patron. 

Teilo remained in Armorica till 555 or 556, after the success- 
of Judual and the death of Conmore. He had doubtless been service- 
able at the court of Budic, acting in concert with S. Samson, and he 
was rewarded by the grants in Domnonia of Pledeliau and S. Thelo. 

''■Booli of Llan Ddv, p. 113. 2 " j^ medio Tethis," ibid., p. iii ; not 


S. Teilo 235 

Then he started to return, as already stated, seven years and seven 
months after arriving.^ 

Teilo must have left some of his party at Pledeliau, to form his 
plehs there, but he took back with him most of those who had fled 
with him from the Plague. ^ He crossed to Cornwall and probably 
arrived in Falmouth Harbour, and at once went on to Dingerein, 
now marked by mounds, where was the palace of Geraint the king. 
Him he found dying, and he ministered to him in his last moments. 
A story is told of Teilo sending a stone sarcophagus adrift on the 
waves in Brittany, which floated over and served for the king's 

On his return to Llandaff Teilo set to work to organize his abbatial 
possessions, and he seems to have induced a few of the old disciples 
of Dubricius to unite under him. The names given are Junapeius, 
Gurmaet, Cynmur, TouUdauc, Juhil, Fidehs, Ismael, Tyfei and Oudo- 
ceus ; but of these the three last were his nephews, and had never 
been under Dubricius, and of the hst only one or two, Junapeius and 
Cynmur or Congur, appear in the hst of disciples of Dubricius ; Gur- 
maet, Toulidauc, Juhil, Fidelis were pupils of Teilo, and the names 
of the two last appear as witnesses to deeds of gift to the archmonastery 
of S. Teilo. 

The grants made to Teilo recorded in the Book of Llan Ddv, how- 
ever, give us several names, Arguistil, Elguoret, Convran, Judnou, 
and Guordocui. All these had been under Dubricius, and we may 
suppose that the Yellow Plague, having devastated their churches, 
they consented to remain with Teilo. 

It is somewhat remarkable that of the so-called disciples of Dubricius, 
whom Teilo is said to have drawn to him, Gurmaet and Toulidauc, 
founded churches, one in Breconshire, and the other at Carmarthen, 
and so far from submitting them to Llandaff, these churches remained 
out of the diocese till Rhydderch ab lestyn, King of Morganwg, 
gaining the sovereignty of South Wales (1023-33), annexed them 
to that diocese.^ 

Teilo is mentioned in the Life of S. Cadoc as having been called 
in, with S. David and others, by that saint to settle a dispute between 
him and King Arthur on the banks of the Usk. Cadoc, in return 

1 " Preparata itaque magna barca peractisque septem annis ac septem mensibus 
quos sanctus Teliaus duxerat in Armoricorum patria." Booh of Llan Ddv, p. 1 14. 

2 " Intravit in earn (barcam) cum multis doctoribus et quibusdam aliis 
episcopis, de quibus gens Brittannorum de sanctitate post pestilentiam recreare- 
tur." Ihid.,- p. 114. ' Ihid., pp. 253-5. 

.2 3 6 Lives of the British Saints 

'for his kindness, granted him the villa of Merthyr Tegfedd, now 
Llandegveth, near Caerleon.^ 

What negatives the assumption made later that Teilo was bishop 
with diocesan jurisdiction is the fact that not one of the great Abbots 
■of Llancarfan, Llantwit and Llandough was called in to witness a 
■charter or grant made to the church of Llandaff. It was otherwise 
.under S. Oadoceus, the successor of Teilo. 

Teilo consecrated many bishops, and sent them through the country, 
:and furnished them with districts in which to found churches. Among 
them he consecrated his nephew Ismael.- 

Probably in 577, after the Battle of Deorham, the Saxons crossed 
the Wye, destroyed wherever they went, and marched along the old 
Roman road to Abergavenny. Iddon, son of Ynyr, King of Gwent, 
blocked their way at where is now Llantilio Crossenny. Like a 
true Celtic Saint, Teilo accompanied the king to bless his forces and 
to curse his enemies, taking his clerics with him. Teilo and his clergy 
ascended the little hill where is the White Castle, above the plain, 
and the confluents of the Trothy, and thence viewed the battle, 
■shouting psalms of invocation and howling imprecations on the Saxons. 
Happily, Iddon was successful, he defeated the enemy and took much 
•spoil. In gratitude to the saint, he granted him land about the 
mount, and Teilo there built a church.^ 

Meredydd ab Rhain, King of Demetia, killed a man belonging to 
S. Teilo, who had taken sanctuary and clung to the altar. He had 
to pay for his transgression by the surrender of an estate in Carmar- 

Aircol Lawhir (Agricola the Long-handed), a preceding king, had 
kept his court at Lis Castell (Lydstep, near Tenby), and much drinking 
and rowdyness went on, resulting in frequent murders. Aircol sent 
to Teilo, who commissioned two of his disciples, Juhil (Jouil) and 
Fidelis, to remain at court and keep order. As no murders were 
committed thenceforth, Aircol made a grant of land at Trefgarn to 
Teilo. 5 

One day Teilo met a man called Cynguaiu on his way to drown 
his seven sons, all born at a birth, in the river Taf. He was too poor 

^ Cambro-British Saints, pp. 48-50. 

^ " Hismaelem consecravit in episcopum, mittens ilium ad consulendam 
ecclesiam Minuensem et jam viduatam pastore. Nam sanctus David ad Domi- 
num migraverat." " Multos alios ejusdem ordinis viros similiter sublimavit, 
in episcopium, mittens illos per patriam, dividensque parrochias sibi ad oppor- 
■tunitatem cleri et populi." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 115. 

' Ibid., pp. 123-4. « Ibid., p. 125. ^ Ibid. pp. 125-6. 

S. Teilo 21'J 

to rear them, he said. Teilo intervened and saved tlieir hves, and 
they were brought up to the reUgious hfe, and were termed the Dyfrwyr,. 
or Water Men, because they were found in the water, and hved only 
on fish. The story is somewhat hackneyed. It is told all over Europe, 
and is the traditional tale of the origin of the Guelf family.^ 

Teilo is represented by Giraldus Cambrensis as having been bishop 
of Menevia after Cenauc, the immediate successor of S. David. ^ 
It is doubtful whether Teilo survived S. David. The notion that at 
one time he occupied the Menevian see is due to a misunderstanding. 
Teilo had a church near S. David's on land that belonged to him as 
a member of the tribe of Ceredig, and Giraldus, finding that he had 
been a bishop in Menevia, supposed that he had been bishop 0/ Menevia. 
He was incapable of divesting himself of the conception of dioceses 
as existing in the sixth century in Wales. Teilo was succeeded at 
Llandaff by his nephew Oudoceus. 

When Teilo died it was at Llandeilo Fawr, in Carmarthenshire, and 
at once a dispute broke out as to the possession of his body. Llandeilo 
claimed it, because it was his residence at the time of his death ; 
Penally, because that was the burial place of his ancestors ; and 
Llandaff, because it was his principal monastic seat. 

According to the legend, gravely told by the biographer,^ the' 
corpse multiplied itself into three, so as to satisfy each claimant.. 
This is an after invention to explain the awkward fact that puzzled 
the faithful, and provoked the ridicule of the ungodly, that three 
churches possessed the entire body of Teilo. Almost certainly the 
church of Llandaff did not get hold of the sacred rehc, or it would 
have recorded the translation, and not have been obliged to accept 
this clumsy invention to justify its claim. But the hagiographer 
does not omit to say that the real body went to Llandaff. 

The impress of Teilo.'s great personality still survives in the numerous- 
dedications to him, particularly in South Wales. In Glamorganshire,, 
Llandaff Cathedral (with SS. Peter, Dubricius, and Oudoceus),* 

1 Booh of Llan Ddv, pp. 127-9. See further under SS. Dyfrwyr, ii, pp.. 

^ Itin. Camb., ii, c. i. 

» Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 116-7 ; cf the Triads, Myv. Arch., p. 391. The- 
" tria corpora " are mentioned in a Postcommunio of the Proper Mass for his- 
-Feast in a fourteenth century hand ; Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, i, p. 622.. 
With the triplication compare those of the bodies of S. Beuno, i, p. 220, and 
S. Baldred, Kentigern's suffragan. A marginal note on Llandeilo Fawr states, 
" Ubi corpus Sancti Thelyai sepultum fuit." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 337. 

* S. Paul is sometimes added in the dedication, but -without authority ; see 
Book of Llan Ddv, p. 86. Bp. Urban in 11 19 says that there -were formerly 
twentv-four canons of the cathedral, ibid., p. 88 ; but according to the lolo MSS.^ 

238 Lives of the British Saints 

Merthyr Mawr (called in the Book of Llan Ddv Lann Teliau Merthir 
Mimor), Llandeilo Ferwallt, now Bishopston, and Llandilo Talybont; 
In Monmouthshire, Llantilio ^ Crossenny, Llantilio Pertholey 
(Perth Halog), and Llanarth. In Breconshire, Llandeilo'r Fan 
(situated on the brook Mawen, was originally founded by Teilo's 
disciple Gurmaet, and called Lann Guruaet). Llywel Church is dedi- 
cated to SS. David, Teilo, and Llywel. In Radnorshire, Llandeilo 
Graban. In Carmarthenshire, Llandeilo Fawr, Brechfa, Llandeild 
Abercowin, Trelech a'r Bettws (possibly the Lann Teliau Trev i 
Cerniu of the Book of Llan Ddv, unless this is Crinow, now with no 
dedication), Llanddowror ( = Llandyfrwyr, originally called Llandeilo); 
and (Llandeilo) Cilrhedyn. In Pembrokeshire, Crunwear,^ Castell 
Dwyran, under Cilymaenllwyd, possibly Stackpole Elidyr, and Llan-i 
■deilo (Llwydarth), with church in ruins, under Maenclochog. Llan- 
deloi, in the same county, is usually given as dedicated to S. Teilo, 
but wrongly we believe ; in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
the name was written Llandylwyf and Llandeilwyf.^ The church 
of Pendine, with no dedication, under Llandawke, in Carmarthenshire, 
is most probably the Lann Teliau Penntiuin of the Book of Llan Ddv. 
A goodly number of Teilo foundations have become extinct. There 
was formerly a Llandeilo " in the same cemetery" as Hentland, in 
Herefordshire.* In Bishopston a chapel at Caswell, possibly Llandeilo 
Forth Tulon, formerly existed. Several have disappeared in Carmar- 
thenshire ; such as Llandeilo Nant Serw ; Llandeilo Garthdefir, in 
the parish of Talley, on a farm called Brondeilo, where, from under 
the hill hard by, gushes out Pistyll Teilo ; in the parish of Caio, Capel 
Pumsaint, called in the Book of Llan Ddv Lann Teliau Pimp Seint ; 
in the parish of Llanegwad, Llandeilo Rwnws ( = Brunus), its materials 
having been used up in building the farm-house of the name. There 
is a Holy Well and farm, called Ffynnon Deilo, near the village of 
Nantgaredig. In Llandeilo Fawr and neighbourhood his name is, 
or was, perpetuated by Ffynnon Deilo, in the churchyard, near the 
■east end of the church, but now covered over, and the water conveyed 
into Church Street, for general use ; Carreg or Sedd Deilo, now 
•destroyed, at Glynmeirch, on the boundary between Llandeilo and 
Llandebie parishes ; Ynys Deilo, and Maenor Deilo. Capel Teilo, 

p. 151, Cor Teilo at Llandafi was for a thousand saints. Curiously, LlandaS 
and Llanelwy derive their names from the rivers on which they are situated. 

' The old form of the saint's name is " fossilized " in Llantilio. ; 

^ In the Chronicon Monasterii S. Albani, ed. Riley, Rolls ser., 1873, ii,'p. 
192, is given the presentation in 1479 " in Rectoriam de Cornwere, alias dictam 
tandeylow Gronewern, Menevensis Dicecesis." . . - 

" Evans, Report on Welsh AfSS., i, p. 917. ■• Book of Llan Ddv, p. 275s 

S. Teilo 239 

in the parish of Kidwelly, has its south wall still remaining. Llandeilo 
JBrechf a in Ceredigion was probably the Brechf a near Tregaron ; Ystrad 
Teilo, a farm near Llanrhystyd, in the same county. Llandeilo 
Llwyn Gwaddan and Henllan, in Llanddewi Velfre parish, Pem- 
brokeshire, are extinct. Stepsau Teilo, his Stepping Stones, across 
the river Ogmore, near the church of Merthyr Mawr, no longer remain ; 
Westwood confounded them with the still existing Stepping Stones, 
fifty-two in number, set in the Ewenny, near the ruins of Ogmore 
•Castle.^ At Llandaff are Croes Deilo, a Celtic cross about three 
feet high, at Llandaff Court, and Ffynnon Deilo, on the steep hill 
•near the Cathedral. In the Old Welsh Privilegium of S. Teilo is men- 
tioned Gundy Teliau, his Gwyndy, but what is the exact ecclesiastical 
import of the name is not clear. It probably meant originally a stone 
house, like Candida Casa, now Whithern, in Galloway ; but in the 
Latin paraphrase of the Welsh the name is rendered " Curia Lan- 
-daviae." ^ In the Demetian Code of the Laws of Hywel Dda " Llann 
Teilaw " (near Maenclochog) is given as one of " the seven Bishop- 
houses (Escobty) in Dyfed," and it is stated that " the abbot of Teilo 
should be graduated in literary degrees." ^ It is not exactly known 
•what these houses were, but it is evident that they were some 
kind of monastic houses ruled by abbot-bishops. 

What is pretended to be S. Teilo's skull (Penglog Teilo) is at Llan- 
deilo, near Maenclochog. It is preserved at the farm close to the old 
church, where its hereditary custodians, named Melchior, have lived 
ioi many generations. The saint's Holy Well is a little way above 
the house. To drink the well water out of the saint's skull is, or 
rather was, believed to ensure health generally, but more especially 
■cured whooping-cough and pulmonary complaints. Its virtue, how- 
ever, depended on its being ministered by the eldest son of the tenant. 
The legend is that a faithful maid-servant from this Llandeilo was 
privileged to attend on the saint on his death-bed at Llandeilo Fawr, 
and that when dying he strictly enjoined her to take his skull, in a 
year's time from his burial at the latter place, to her home, where 
it would prove a blessing, as above, to future generations. Persons 
still, out of curiosity, resort to the place to drink water out of the 
:saint's skull. The skull, as now preserved, is imperfect, only the 
brain-pan remaining. The open sutures prove that it must have 
iDcen the head of a young person, and as S. Teilo is said to have died 

1 Evanson, Stones in the Parish of Merthyr Mawr, Cardiff, 1909, p. 20. 
" Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 1 18-9. The name is the famihar Ty Gwyn tran?- 

' Ed. Aneurin Owen, folio, p. 273. 

24-0 Lives of the British Saints 

at an advanced age, it could not have belonged to him. Moreover, 
a part of one superciliary ridge remains, and this is of slight elevation, 
so that it seems almost certain to have been part of a young person's 

It may be observed that in the Celtic Church of Ireland and of 
Scotland hereditary custodians of Saints' pastoral staffs, bells, articles 
of clothing, or other relics were quite common ; and here and there 
are a few lay families who still hold the small portion of land that was 
originally allotted to them for their services. At the break up of 
that Church the relics passed to the coarb or heir of the Saint. ^ 

In Cornwall, the only trace of Teilo is a doubtful one. There is 
said to have been a chapel and well of S. Dillo in Burian parish. 

The parishes in Brittany of which S. Teilo is patron have been 
alreadjf mentioned. The statues that represent him have no special 
attribute to distinguish him from other bishops, but a stained glass 
window in the church at Plogonnec of the fifteenth century, removed 
from the chapel at S. Deliau in the parish, represents him vested 
as a bishop, and riding on a stag — no doubt in reference to the two 
stags mentioned in his Life, which on one occasion proffered their 
assistance to carry fire wood to his monastery, and remained there 
for further labour. 

Relics of S. Teilo are shown at Landeleau by Chateauneuf. At 
Guengat, near Douarnenez, in Finistere, in the lande is a granite 
block scooped out into a sort of chair with sides on which the arms 
can rest. It is called the Seat of S. Delo, and those afflicted with 
fever are placed in it, with the expectation of a cure. The adjoining 
parish of Plogonnec has in it a beautiful flamboyant chapel dedicated 
to S. Teilo. 2 At Landeleau is a dolmen called Ty Sant Heleau, and 
in the church a stone coffin or trough known as the Lit de Saint Heleau. 

The day of S. Teilo is February 9.* On this day he is entered in 
the Llanthony Calendar, before 1170, in MS. Reg. 8, D. vii ; in a 
Tewkesbury Abbey Calendar of 1250, MS. Reg. 11, C. vii ; in the 
Calendar in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv ; the Welsh Calendar of Harold- 
ston, fifteenth century, and those in Pcniarth MSS. 40, 60, igi, Hafod 

^ Sir ]. Rhys, Celtic Folklore, pp. 397-400 ; Pembrokeshire Antiquities, Solva, 
1897, p. 75 ; J. Ceredig Davies, Folk-lore of West and Mid-Wales, 1911, pp. 299— 

° Skene, Celtic Scotland, 1887, ii, p. 418. 

' Diverres, Monographie de la commune de Guengat, in Bulletin de la Soc, 
Arch, de Finistere, T. xviii (1891). 

* There used to be a proverbial couplet in Glamorganshire about the snow, 
" Oni ddaw e'r Gwyl Deilo Ni ddaw e va-wy i drigo " ; if it did not come by his- 
festival it would not come to remain any length of time. 


From i$th ccniwy Glass at Plogonnec, Finisth-e. 

S. Tei/o 241 

MS. 8, as well as several other calendars. On this day a great fair,, 
known as Ffair Wyl Deilo, was held at Llandaff and Llandeilo Fawr, 
and is still held at the latter on February 20. The Llandaff fair 
became extinct as a great horse fair at Canton, Cardiff. February 7 
is given as his day in the calendars in the Prymer of 1546, and Peniarth 
MS. 219, circa 1615. " Gwyl Badarn a Theilo," on the Sunday before 
Michaelmas, is entered in the Demetian Calendar (S). 

At Chateauneuf-du-Faou the patronal feast is observed on the last 
Sunday in January, at Llandeleau on Monday in Whitsun week. His 
name does not appear in the old Breton Calendars, but at Dol he is 
in the Breviary of 1769 commemorated on November 29 as a double. 
At S. Thelo, however, his feast is observed on February 9. Lobi- 
neau, probably by a misprint, gives November 25 instead of 29, and 
he is followed by Garaby, Gautier du Mottay, and De la Borderie. 

S. Teilo is invoked as Iliaue in the tenth century Celtic Litany 
in the Library of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury.^ There are 
fourteenth and fifteenth century fragments of a Missa de S. Teilao.^' 

S. Teilo's supposed tomb is on the south side of the presbytery in 
the Cathedral, in a sepulchral recess beneath a Norman window, and 
on it is the recumbent effigy of a bishop in episcopal habits, in Dundry 
freestone, of about the fourteenth century. It was opened in 1830, 
when a wall was taken down which bore an inscription, dated 1736, 
stating that it was the supposed tomb of S. Teilo.'* It was anciently 
the custom for persons to take the most solemn oaths over his tomb, 
in the presence of the Bishop and Archdeacon, " super tumbam Sancti 
Theliawi et super omnia sacrosancta ejusdem ecclesiae." * His rehcs, 
apparently, never had a portable feretory. 

At the Dissolution his shrine was in the Lady Chapel, for among the 
Cathedral goods at the time was S. Teilo's " shryne of silver p'cell 
gilte of the coveringe in o' Lady Chapell," which was pulled down and 
broken ; and there were taken away, " St. Elios hedde of sylver 
gylte, an arme of the same Seynte gylte," and " Seynt Teyloes shoes 
silver beyd with stones." ^ These were portions of his silver 
statue on the shrine. According to the Valor of 1535 " the Treasurer 

1 Revue Celtique, 1888, p. 88; cf. ibid., 1890, p. 145. In the eighteenth; 
century the Welsh people were still in the habit of piously ejaculating, " Teilo- 
mawr ! " (Dr. Erasmus Saunders, View, etc., 1721, p. 36). 

2 Warren, Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, pp. 162-3 ; Haddan and 
Stubbs, Councils, i, pp. 621-2. 

3 Bp. Ollivant, Llandaff Cathedral, i860, pp. 24-5. 

4 Harley Charter 75. B. 9, of 1234; Willis, Llandaff, pp. 14-15- 

5 Arch. Camb., 1887, pp. 229, 234 ; Cardiff Records, i, pp. 376, 379- 

6 iv, pp. 34.';-6. 

VOL. IV. ^ 

242 Lives of the British Saints 

of the Cathedral received- the oblations on S. Teilo's Day in the 
■Cathedral, and to him also belonged Erw Deilo. 

Forth Deilo, as it was formerly called, is the fine north-west door 
of the Cathedral, round-headed and Transitional in character, " thro' 
which, before the Reformation, dead bodies were carry'd into the 
Church to be bury'd." ^ In the tympanum over the great west 
door is a figure of S. Teilo, with his right hand raised in benediction. 
Bishop Rushooke's seal to a Margam deed of 1384-5, among the 
Penrice MSS., has a fine figure of him ; and there was also formerly 
a large size statue of the saint in one of the niches in the chapter- 
house of Hereford Cathedral before it was destroyed during the Great 

leuan Llwyd, in his poem to S. Teilo, after mentioning the relics of 
the saint at Llandaff in his day — his body, mitre (crown), bell, and 
ritual comb — refers to an incident which occurred in the year 1403 
(Adam of Usk, Chronicon, s.a.), and invokes the saint's vengeance 
■on " the progeny of Alice Ronwen, the she-bear," who were some 
filibusterers from Bristol, who had landed at Cardiff and had attempted 
to pillage the Cathedral, but were driven back. 

One of the " Stanzas of the Hearing " tercets runs : — ^ 

Hast thou heard ■what ■was uttered by Teilo, 
A man ■who did penance ? 
" It is not good to contend against God " 
(A Du^w nid da ymdara^w). 

One of the seven questions said to have been propounded by S. 
'Cadoc to seven wise men of his college at Llancarfan was, " What 
is the greatest wisdom in a man ? " To which Teilo is represented 
to have replied, " To refrain from injuring another when he has the 
power to do so." ^ 

Teilo is celebrated in the Triads * as one of the three " Blessed 
Visitors of the Isle of Britain," the other two being SS. David and 
Padarn ; and he is credited with having been the special patron of 
some of the Welsh bards, such as Gwrhir (Gwas Teilo), Ystyffan, Mael- 
gwn Hir, and Balchnoe.^ Each of these is designated " Bardd 
Teilaw (Teliaw)," but the epithet is simply a late document misreading 
of " Bardd Teulu," a domestic bard, with no reference to S. Teilo. 

^ Willis, Llandaff, p. 12. 

^ Myv, Arch., p. 128, and in nearly the same -words in the lolo MSS., p. 

■255. 3 Myv. Arch., p. 776. * Ibid., pp. 391, 402. 

5 Ibid., p. 409 ; lolo MSS., pp. 77, 79. 

/S. Te/oi 243 


Teithfall's title to be reckoned a Welsh saint rests entirely upon 
late documents printed in the lolo MSS. 

In the " Genealogy of lestyn ab Gwrgan " occurs the following 
notice ; — " Teithfallt ab Nyniaw, called also Teithfalch in some MSS., 
was a very good, religious, wise, and heroic king. He fought valiantly 
against the Saxons, and vanquished them. He passed a law which 
made it imperative on all to contribute a portion of their wealth 
and possessions for the maintenance of religion, the clergy, learning, 
and the churches. Many of the Saxons and Picts came into Wales 
in his time, and slew a great number of the people ; burning also 
churches and choirs. He ended his days as a saint (or monk), having 
handed over the government to his son Tewdrig." ^ 

According to this document his pedigree ran, Teithfallt ab Njmiaw 
ab Bran ab Edrig ab Crair ab Meurig ab Meirchion, etc. 

Another notice states, " Teithfalch, called also Tudfwlch, was the 
son of Nynniaw. His church is Llandudfwlch, in Gower," ^ which 
we are not able to identify. Nynniaw or Nynnio was King of Gwent 
and Garthmathrin, and is also credited with having been a saint and 
bishop ; but both father and son are apocryphal as saints. Tewdrig 
was also esteemed a saint. 


It is to be presumed that the church-name Llandeloy, in Pembroke- 
shire, embodies a saint's name, Teloi, though nothing is now known 
of the saint. In two late sixteenth century lists of Welsh parishes ^ 
the name is given as Llandylwyf and Llandeilwyf . Browne WilUs * 
enters Teilo (February 9) as church-patron, but this is a mere guess, 
which is negatived by the old forms, as well as by the accent being 
on the ultima. 

I lolo MSS., p. 10. In the Book of Llan Ddv, p. 118, his name is written 
Teithfall. The Cognatio de Brychan gives a Teudfall ab Teuder ab Teudfal ab 
Annhun rex Grsecorum, who was the father of Tewdrig, father of Marchell, mother 
of Brychan, and a totally different person. 

^ lolo MSS., p. 136. For Nynniaw see supra, p. 27. 
. 3 Evans, Report on Welsh MSS,, i, p. 917 ; also Llan Dylwyv in the list in 
Myv. Arch,, p. 746. 

« Paroch. Anglic, 1733, p. ijb. 

244 Lives of the British Saints 

M. J. Loth ^ mentions Landeloi as one of the charter forms for 
the modern Landeleau, near ChateauHn, and supposes the name to 
be the same as Teilo. 

S. TENENAN, Bishop, Confessor 

This saint is said by Lobineau and by De la Borderie ^ to have been 
a native of Britain. The latter took as his authority a seventeenth 
century Legendarium of S. Pol de Leon. On the other hand, Albert 
le Grand made him son of an Irish kinglet. 

The authorities for his Life are not good. A Vita in MS. in the 
Collection of the Blancs-Manteaux, Bibl. Nat. Paris, MSS. Frangais, 
22,321. A Life by Albert le Grand from the Breviary of Leon of 
,1516, now lost so far as the second part is concerned ; also from the 
Legendaria of Leon and Folgoet. 

We have further a revision of the old Life in the later Breviary of 

Moreover, there is mention made of Tenenan in the lections for the 
feast of S. Caradoc in the 1516 Breviary of Leon which still exists. 

The account in the Acta SS. Boll., Jul. iv, pp. 179-80, is from Albert 
le Grand. 

Tenenan, whether by birth British or Irish, at all events passed his 
early life in Ireland, and he is reputed to have been a disciple of 
S. Caradoc,^ who is identified, wrongly, as we have shown, with 
S. Carannog, Carantoc or Cairnech. 

According to the legend, Tenenan rapidly advanced in learning 
under his master Caradoc* 

Then he departed and went to Britain, where he was placed at the 
royal court, and here " the Countess of Arundell," a young and beauti- 
ful heiress — so says Albert le Grand — fell in love with him. Tenenan, 
who had resolved on embracing the religious profession, prayed to 
God to relieve him of the embarrassing attentions of the lady, and 
he was immediately afflicted with leprosy. 

^ Chrestomathie Bretonne, Paris, 1890, p. 232. 

^ De la Borderie, presumably from the MS. of the Blancs-Manteaux, says 
that the saint was born in Britain at a place called Vallis jEquoria, Hist. Bret., 
i, p. 496. 

' " Caradocum, sanctitate et doctrina famosum, puer audivit." Prop. Lion. 

* " Cujus in schola tantum brevi profecit, ut et scientia, et meritorum gloria 
SUDS longe coaetuneos superaret, sanctissima nihilominus Christi disciplina, 
quam vanis philosophiae documentis multo illustriet." Ibid. 

S. Te 

en en an 


Then he went back to Ireland, where he revisited his old master 
Caradoc, who at once invited him to take a bath in a tub. Tenenan 
did this, and when he rose from the water he was cured of his leprosy. 
He then bade Caradoc enter the bath — we are not told that the water 
was changed — and after some resistance Caradoc complied, whereupon 
the seven iron bands that Caradoc had had fastened about his body 
snapped and fell off. 

Neither of the Saints was overpleased at his relief. Each thought 
that the riddance might lead to spiritual pride. ^ 

After a while Tenenan was ordained priest,^ and then he resolved 
on quitting Ireland and settling in Armorica. There was, as clearly 
transpires from the Life, an exodus of Irish from Ireland at the time 
and Tenenan was accompanied, we are told, by Senan, Kea, Armen 
and Glaumeus. Senan was almost certainly the Saint of Inis Cathy, 
and Kea or Kenan was the son of Ludun or Lleuddun Luyddog, and 
had been educated in Ireland. 

The boat in which this party of colonists arrived entered the harbour 
of Brest through the Goulet, and found itself in a lovely inland sea 
almost waveless, with the land on all sides densely covered with 
forests.^ They rowed to the head of the harbour to where the Elorn 
<iischarges its waters into the sea, and ascended it to where was a 
camp, which in later times became the site of the famous Chateau 
de Joyeuse Garde. This was near the present town of Landerneau.* 

The whole party disembarked, and made its way to the fortress, 
where it was well received, and Tenenan was invited to settle there. 

''- " Venit igitur ad sanctum Karadocum : sed antiquam venisset nunciavit ei 
angelus venturum ad se Tenenanum : Karadocus cum gaudio et exultatione 
preparavit ba:lneum suo hospiti. Veniens ille cum exisset jam ecclesiam et 
orasset occurrit iste obviam illi et osculati sunt invicem benedicentes. Etduc to 
eo a monasterio ad refecterium cogebat eum oppido ut introiret lavacrum. Ille 
negabat et inveniebat causas satis ydoneas : denique Karadocus ait ; si non 
intraveris, non vivas in vita eterna. Cum hoc audisset Tenenanus coactus 
intravit balneum : accedebat iterum Karadocus ut lavaret eum. Animad- 
vertens igitur Tenenanus quoniam ad se abluendum accederet dixit : non 
lavabis me in eternum. Respondit Karadocus : nee tu vives in eternum si non 
lavero te. Lotus est itaque et statim ut tetegit cum Karadocus sanatus est a 
lepra : et conquerebatur dicens : non bene fecisti in me frater : quia forte super- 
bus fiam a modo et multum deceptus ero." Brev. Lion., 1516. The Caradoc 
■of the Breviary is Carantocus ; see S. Carannog. 

2 " Factusinde presbyter, mundi illecebris omnino abdicatis, se totum Christo 
specialius addixit, ecclesiasticis ofiiciis, indefesso labore, mancipatus." Prop. 

^ Nee mora . .. . Tenenanus, rebus compositis, cum nonnuUis sociis, mare 
Britannicum, felici enavigatione, praeter gressus, in sinum Brestenseon. in solo 
Xeonensi situm, appellit." Ibid. 

< " Inde fluminis Eloriri nipam, quje Landerniam ducit ... in densissimam 
isylvam exiUt, non sine ;magno suscipientium gaudio et fructu." Ibid. 

246 Lives of the British Saints 

To the north of the Elom was a dense forest, almost impenetrable. 
Accordingly when Tenenan began to found churches he did this on 
the fringe of the forest at Plabennec, and the other near the camp, 
but he formed a monastery to serve also as a school at Lesquelen, 
between Plabennec and Kersaint. The description given of it savours 
of early times, and reminds one of the very similar account of the 
works of S. Cadoc at Llancarfan.^ Tenenan threw up a huge mound 
of earth and stone, and surrounded it with dykes. This mound still 

'V\''e are told that the settlers in this portion of Armorica, what with 
their troubles through piratical invasions, and what with their having 
no instructors with them, had lapsed into indifference to their religious 
duties, 2 and Tenenan had laboured among them to recover them 
to their Christian obligations. He did more, he instructed the colonists 
in the art of building stone cashels, as existed in Ireland, and one 
such was erected, circular in form, at Plabennec. Apparently, before 
it was complete, a body of pirates landed and began to sweep the 
country and approached Plabennec. Tenenan made the gate of 
his cashel secure by fastening it with a broken half wheel of a wagon, 
and sent a swift messenger through the forest to the fortress on the 
Elorn to entreat help. 

The pirates invested the cashel and attempted to break in,^ but 
before they had succeeded in climbing over the walls, the colonists 
from the Elorn arrived with their leader, mounted on a white horse. 

They had traversed the forest, unperceived by the assailants, and 
took them in the rear. The result was that the pirates fled to regain 
their ships, which they had probably left in the Aber Benoit. Later 
fable magnified the timely rescue into an intervention of an angelic 
leader brandishing a fiery sword, who led the colonists. 

We are next informed that on the resignation of the see of Leon 
by S. Goulven, Tenenan was elected to succeed him. 

One day, a priest who was carrying the Blessed Sacrament through 
the woodland to a dying man, stumbled and let the Host fall ; and; 
although he searched for it, he was unable to find it. He informed 
Tenenan of the accident, and the Bishop prayed when at the altar, 

^ ii, p. 17. 

2 " Loci namque incolas, eum in locum, propter frequentes Danorum incur- 
siones, abolitos, nee propterea de religionis Christianas exertitiis admodum 
soUieitos, ad vitae revocavit sanctioris instiituitumi. " P'fop. L4on. The Danes- 
are an anachronism. 

3 Albert le Grand, .giving the story a late mediaeval colouring, describes the 
cashel as a round tower still standing in his. day, and the pirates as attempting. 
to get into the church by breaking the gjass in the windows.. 

S. Tenenan 2 4. 7 

when lo ! a white dove entered the church bearing a leafy branch 
of oali to which depended a honeycomb, and laid it on the altar. 
Tenenan examined the comb, and found within the lost Host, about 
which the bees had constructed a waxen shrine. A similar legend 
is found in Cornwall, and was versified by the late Rev. Robert S. 
Hawker. After haying ruled the Church for several years, he died, 
on June i6, and it is supposed, was buried at Plabennec. 

Now this story as it stands is very difficult to unravel. Albert le- 
Grand gives 635 as the date of the death of Tenenan ; but he is lavish 
in dates, which he derived from his internal consciousness. 

What makes the solution the more dif&cult is the fact that the 
Breton hagiographers have confounded together Cairnech or Carannog 
with the elder Carthagh. Both were in Armorica, both founded 
churches there, both had been in Ireland, but with which Tenenan. 
was is not clear. 

Albert le Grand calls Tenenan also Tinidor, and the Life in MS.. 
in the Bibl. Nat. Paris says : — " Tenenanus heremum petiit et sedi- 
ficavit cellulam in loco qui ob ejus memoriam Lan-Tinidor vocatur,. 
non procul ab alveo Ylornse fiuminis." 

But Lan Tinidor is Lan Ternoc, now Landerneau. Consequently we 
have his name under three forms, Tenenan, Tinidor, and Ternoc. 
Ternoc and Tenenan (from Ternan) are permutable forms, as Aedan 
and Maidoc. Ternoc is the Welsh Tyrnog. 

Now the Welsh do know of a Tyrnog, who was grandson of Ceredig. 
and brother of Carannog or Cairnech. But this can hardly be recon- 
ciled chronologically with the statement that Tenenan became Bishop- 
of Leon after Goulven. However, this latter statement is most 

Those who set to work to compile a list of the Bishops of Leon 
found that there had been an Irish bishop at Plabennec in the diocese 
at an early period, and they worked him into the catalogue. They 
could not place him before Paul who founded the see, nor intercalate 
him between Paul and Goulven ; so they thrust him in after the 
latter. In the adjoining diocese of Treguier the compilers went to- 
work in another way. To accommodate the several Celtic bishops 
whose names were in the Legendaria, they devised an imaginary see 
of Lexovia, as preceding Treguier, which was founded by S. Tudwal, 
and they arranged them in order to their own satisfaction, but in 
reckless disregard of chronology. The see was a pure creation of fancy, . 
invented for the accommodation of these bishops. 

Cairnech or Carannog died about 470. It is possible enough that 
Tyrnog may have been a nephew and not a brother. In the Church. 

248 Lives of the British Saints 

■of Tregarantec (Tref-Carantoc), founded, as the name implies, by 
Carannog, is preserved a relic of S. Ternoc, with the inscription on 
the case, " Sancte Ternoce, ora pro nobis," and S. Ternoc is regarded 
.as the patron of the church of which Carantoc is the titular saint. 

This looks much as if Tenenan or Ternoc had been associated actually 
with Carannog, and not with Carthagh (Caradoc). So confusing was 
ihe fact that Tenenan was identical with Ternoc, that at Landerneau, 
his foundation, it came in late times (eighteenth century) to be assumed 
that the patron of the place was Arnec or Ternoc, a son of Judicael, 
King of Domnonia, who died in 650. But of this Arnec or Ternoc 
nothing authentic is known ; whereas the Vita S. Tenenani is explicit 
in its statement that Landerneau took its name from Tenenan. So 
also at Tregarantec, it is supposed that the Ternoc who is patron 
is this Arnec or Ternoc. 

Tenenan or Ternoc has not been quite forgotten in Ireland. There 
was a Saint Ternoc of Cluana Mor commemorated in the Irish Mar- 
tyrologies on July 2. Cluana Mor is probably Clonmore, in Wexford. ^ 
It was precisely in South-Eastern Ireland that Cairnech or Carannog 
was active as a missioner. 

Tenenan is said to have migrated to Armorica in company with 
Senan and Kea or Kenan. Senan of Iniscathy died about 568 ; Kenan, 
before his migration, had been in conflict with Tewdrig, King of Corn- 
wall, about 500. He is represented as having survived the death 
of King Arthur, which, on the authority of the Annates Cambrics, is 
fixed as taking place in 537. If we take Tenenan as the Tyrnog of 
the Welsh genealogies, but suppose him to have been a nephew and 
not brother of Carannog, then most of the difficulties about his chrono- 
logical position disappear. Doubtless Carannog made over to him 
his Tref on Kemenet Hi, and there for a while he ruled as abbot-bishop. 

De la Borderie says : " There were at least three Saints Tenenan. 

1, An Irish contemporary of S. Patrick, viz. of the fifth century ; 

2, Our Tenenan = Tinidor, who is of the 7th; 3, another, who lived 
in the times of the Northman invasions. Albert le Grand has run 
them all together." ^ 

De la Borderie is always positive in his assertions, and most positive 
when deficient in evidence. We know nothing of a Tenenan who was 
bishop of Leon after Goulven. The Tenenan contemporary with 
Patrick would be the disciple of Cairnech, probably a boy when Patrick 

^ Letters Relative to the Antiquities of the County of Wexford, collected during 
rthe progress of the Ordnance Survey of 1840, ii, p. 35. 
* Hist, de Bretagne, i, p. 496. 

aS*. Tenni 249 

The reason why De la Borderie supposes that there was a Tenenan 
in the tenth century is that the late writer of the Life speaks of the 
pirates as Dani. He knew of no earlier harriers of the coast, and as 
the ravages of the Northmen had burnt themselves into the memories 
of the Bretons, he unsuspiciously called the early raiders Danes. But 
we do hear of the coasts being ravaged at a much earlier period, in 
the fifth and sixth centuries, by Frisians, and we know that there 
were Saxon settlers in Neustria in 451, for Saxons joined the forces 
of Aetius to repel Attila and his Huns. If the Saxons had ravaged 
and colonized in Neustria, they had probably also made incursions 
into Armorica. 

It would then seem probable that there was only one Tenenan or 
Temoc, and that he flourished at the beginning of the sixth century. 
The whole of the district of Leon was much occupied at the time by 
Irish from the South-East of Ireland. Cairnech, Fiacc, Senan, Setna, 
Carthagh, Brendan, all left their marks there, and we have little hesita- 
tion in attributing the arrival of Tenenan to this period of emigration 
from Ireland. 

S. Tenenan is venerated on July 16 — MS. Missal of Treguier, fifteenth 
century ; Leon Breviary of 1516 ; S. Malo Breviary of 1537 ; but 
in the Leon Breviary of 1736 moved to July 19, and in that of Quim- 
per of 1835 to July 21. 

He is patron of Guerlesquin, of La Forest and Plabennec. Hon- 
oured also at Lannihs. The ancient patron of Landerneau. Probably 
also patron of Tregarantec. 

He was formerly represented in a statue at Landerneau as a monk 
holding a lantern, a play on Landern-eau. He is invoked against 

See further under S. Tyrnog. 


Llandenny is a church in Monmouthshire, now given as dedicated 
to S. John. The name, however, points to Tenni as the original 
patron, but nothing is known of him. In the Book of Llan Ddv ^ 
the church is called " Ecclesia Mathenni Mustuir Mur," i.e. " The 

' Pp. 207-8. So in the Additional Charters, Brit. Mus., no. 5342 (1330). In 
the Taxationes it is Mahenni (1254) and Mykenni (1291). With the name com- 
pare Ecclesia Mamouric (Book of Llan Ddv, p. 206), Machynlleth, Mathafarn, etc. 

250 Lives of the British Saints 

Church of Tenni's Field belonging to the Great Monastery " (ther 
Archmonastery of Llandaff). The manor is still known as Mathenny 
alias Llandenny ; and there are places called Hendredenny in the 
parish of Eglwysilan, Glamorganshire. 

S. TENOI, Matron, Abbess 

There are three daughters of Lleuddun Luyddog, the Leudonus 
who gave name to the provincia of Leudonia, i.e. Lothian, mentioned, 
in the earlier copies of Bonedd y Saint, (i) Denw or Denyw {Peniarth 
MSS. 16 and 45, Hafod MS. 16), wife of Owain ab Urien Rheged, and 
mother of S. Kentigern ; (2) Tenoi [Peniarth MSS. 12, 16, and 45, 
Hafod MS. 16), wife of Dingad ab Nudd Hael, and mother of Lleuddad, 
Baglan, Tegwy, Tyfriog (Tyfrydog), and Eleri ; (3) Perferen or Peren, 
the mother of S. Beuno. 

The two first would appear, owing to similarity of names, to have 
become confounded, for in Scottish hagiography the mother of Kenti- 
gern is called Tenew, Thenew, and Taneu, among other forms, which 
one would be more inclined to equate with Tenoi than Denyw. Her 
church in Glasgow was once popularly known as S. Theneukes Kirk, 
which has been corrupted into S. Enoch's. 

Lleuddun, who has been briefly noticed, ^ was father also of Medrod, 
who rebelled against his uncle, King Arthur. 

Tenoi occurs in the later Life of S. Winefred, by Robert, Prior of 
Shrewsbury, where she is called in the Latin Theonia, and Theon in 
the Welsh version, Buchedd Gwenfrewi. She is there mentioned as 
superior of a convent of nuns at Gwytherin, in Denbighshire, where her 
son Eleri also as abbot " served the Lord apart, with his brethren 
and fellow- disciples." The monastery was a double one. 

S. Winefred, leaving Holywell, some time after her decollation, 
entered the convent under Theonia, whom she learnt to " love with 
deep affection, and often, when speaking of her longing for the celestial 
kingdom, drew tears from the mother's eyes." Winefred succeeded 
her as abbess. Theonia was buried in the cemetery at Gwytherin, 
and Winefred, on her death-bed, requested Eleri to bury her by his 
mother's side. 

To Tenoi was dedicated Llandenoi, now extinct, in the parish of 
Llanrheithan, Pembrokeshire. It occurs as Landenev in the Black 
Book of S. David's, 1326. 

^ iii, p. 374. For Tenoi as a possible compound of To + Noe see supra, p. 20. 

S. Teulyddog 251 

S. TEON, Bishop, Confessor 

Ix the old Saintly Pedigrees Teon is not entered as a saint but merely 
as the grandfather of S. Llywelyn. But in a MS. circa 1670 printed in 
the lolo MSS. it is stated that S. Teon, the son of Gwineu Deufreudd- 
wyd, of the line of Beli Mawr, was " a saint and bishop of Cor Illtyd, 
and afterwards a bishop in Gloucester ; and after that an archbishop 
in London, from whence he was driven by the pagan Saxons, and 
went to Brittany." ^ The latter part of the notice is taken from Geof- 
frey of Monmouth, who tells us that Theonus or Teon, with the arch- 
bishops of Caerleon and York (Thadioceus), in the time of Ceredig, 
King of Britain, seeing that all the churches within their jurisdictions 
had been devastated, fled with their clergy into Wales, taking with 
them the relics of the saints. Many took flight to Brittany. ^ Theonus- 
was the last of the reputed metropolitans of London (the first of them 
was also named Theonus or Theanus), and is supposed to have been 
translated from Gloucester in 542, and to have fled into Wales in 

In Llanstephan MS. 187, Teon is said to have been of Cegidfa, i.e., 
Guilsfield, near Welshpool. He was the father of Tegonwy, the- 
father of S. Llywelyn of Welshpool. 

The Stiperstones mountain, in the parish of Worthen, Shropshire,, 
was called from him by the Welsh Carneddi Teon.^ 

S. TEULYDDOG, Confessor 

The pedigree of Toulidauc or Teulyddog does not occur. He was- 
originally a disciple of S. Dubricius, but after S. Teilo's return from 
Brittany, when the Yellow Plague had passed over, he, with other 
fellow-disciples, associated himself with that saint.* 

In an Ode to King Henry VII ^ the bard invokes, in the same line 
as S. Teilo, the protection of " Tylyddog " for the King ; and Lewis. 
Glyn Cothi « similarly invokes " Telyddog." 

1 P. 129. His pedigree is given ia Mostyn MS. 117 (thirteenth century). 

2 Hist. Reg. Brit., xi, cc. 3, 10 ; Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 233, 236. 
s Carneddau Teon are mentioned in one of the poems to Owen Glyndwr 

by lolo Goch ; Gweithiau, ed. Ashton, p. 161. 

* Book of Llan Ddv, p. 115- 

6 lolo MSS., p. 314, as Tylyddog, but in the copy m Cardiff MS. 7, p. 15 v 
as Tylwyddog. ' Gwaith, 1837, p. 49. 

2^2 Lives of the British Saints 

The Book of Llan Ddv ^ mentions a Lann Toulidauc as "in Car- 
marthen," sometimes abbreviated " in Caer." There can be no doubt 
that this church of Teulyddog was located within the walls of the old 
Romano- British Maridunum, and that he was the original patron saint 
of the town of Carmarthen, but had in Norman times to make room 
for S. John the Evangelist, or at any rate to take second place, only 
to be ultimately clean forgotten. His foundation became merged in 
the Augustinian Priory of S. John, which was officially, in its Cartulary, ^ 
called in full the Priory of S. John the Evangelist and S. Theulacus. 
The latter is a shortened form of Teulyddog, but is sometimes imagined 
to represent Teilo. 

One of " the seven Bishop-houses in Dyfed," mentioned in the 
Demetian Code of the Laws of Hywel Dda,^ was Llann Deulydawc ; 
and it is added that (with certain other abbots) " the abbot of Teu- 
lyddog should be graduated in literary degrees." Whatever may 
be the precise meaning of " Bishop- house " (Escobty), the term implies 
that in pre-Norman times this Carmarthen church had become a 
foundation of special distinction, being ruled by an abbot-bishop, 
and was possessed of a considerable endowment in land. 

S. TEWDRIG, King, Martyr 

Tewdeig * was the son of Teithpall or Teithfall, and the father of 
Meurig, King of Morganwg. What is really known of him we derive 
from the Book of Llan Ddv.^ 

Tewdrig in his old age surrendered the rule over Morganwg to his 
-son Meurig, and retired to live an eremitical life at Dindyrn, now 
Tintem, on the Wye, where he found a rock suitable for him to 
make a cell in it. 

Whilst there, the Saxons burst in on Gwent, and the old king took 
-up arms again to repel them ; for it was said of him that he had been 
■ever victorious in all battles. 

' Pp. 62, 124, 254, 287. 

2 Sir Thomas Phillipps, Cart. S. Johannis Bapi. de Caermarthen, 1865. 

' Ed. Aneurin Owen, folio, p. 273. 

' The name, which appears in the Book of Llan Ddv as Teudiric, but in Har- 
.leian MS. 3859 as Teudubric, is a borrowing of the Teutonic name which occurs 
in Old English as Theodric, and in German as Dietrich, meaning " the ruler of 
the people." It was Latinized Theodoricus, and ultimately planed down to 
Thierry and Terry. Teithpall is a corruption of Theodebald. His father's 
name is given as Nyniaw (lolo MSS., p. 10). ^ Pp. 141-2. 

S. Tewdrig 253: 

An angel had appeared to him and said, " Go to-morrow to the aid of 
the people of God against the enemies of the Church of Christ, and the 
foe will turn to flight as far as Pull Brochuail (now Brockweir above 
Tintern Parva). And do thou fully armed stand in the front of the- 
battle, and when the foe see thy face they will fly as usual. And 
thenceforth for thirty years, during the reign of thy son, they will not 
venture into the land, and its inhabitants will be in peace. But thou 
wilt receive a wound at Ryt Tindyrn (the ford of Tintern) and wilt die- 
three days after." 

So Tewdrig, fully harnessed, mounted his horse and stood at the 
head of the troops to defend the ford over the Wye. The Saxons were 
put to flight, but one of them hurled a lance across the water and 
wounded the old Hng. 

When it was perceived that the wound was mortal, his men were for 
removing him, but he forbade them to do so, and said that he would die 
there, and that he had desired his body to rest in the Isle of Echni, the 
Flat Holm, in the Severn Sea. 

On the morrow, however, appeared two stags harnessed to a wagon, 
and Tewdrig, recognizing that they were sent by the will of God, allowed 
himself to be lifted into the conveyance. The wagon carried him to- 
the bank of the Severn and there stayed, and on the spot a sparkling 
spring began to flow. Then suddenly the wagon dissolved, and 
Tewdrig gave up the ghost. 

Meurig erected an oratory on the spot, which was blessed by S, 
Oudoceus. The spot was Mathem, below Chepstow ; there the old king 
was laid, and not conveyed, as he had desired, to Echni. 

The land around was made over to Oudoceus for the monastery of 
Llandaff, and in later times the Bishops had a palace there, for about 
three centuries. In the Church, on the south wall of the chancel, is a 
tablet set up in memory of Tewdrig, with an inscription in English by 
Bishop Godwin (1601-18). Godwin in excavating discovered a stone 
coffin containing the almost perfect skeleton of the saint, and a ghastly 
fracture in the skull showed plainly the cause of death. At the restor- 
ation of the chancel in 1881 the stone coffin with the bones was again 
found beneath the tablet. 

Mathem ^ Church is still dedicated to S. Tewdrig, and was formerly 
known as Merthyr Tewdrig, his Martyrium. 

What were the incursions of the Saxons referred to at an interval 

1 In the Booh of Llan Dav the church is called Merthir Teudiric, but in the 
fourteenth century additions to it, Martherne and Martharne, and spellings 
■with the first r occur elsewhere. It has been supposed that it involves the word 

2 54 Lives of the British Saints 

■oi thirty years we do not know. The Saxons did not invade the 
Severn Valley and destroy Gloucester till 577 ; but the reference is to 
•earlier piratical expeditions by sea into the Bristol Channel, unrecorded 
in history. 

The royal hermit of Tintern is credited with having founded the 
■churches of Bedwas, Llandow, and Merthyr Tydfil.^ 

The Hermitage of Theodoric, on the east of the old mouth of the 
river Afan, near Aberavon, in Glamorganshire, frequently mentioned 
in mediseval documents from the middle of the twelfth century, relating 
to Margam Abbey, appears to have been named after a hermit of noble 
birth who lived in the early part of the twelfth century. Its ruins 
were recently discovered. ^ 

William of Worcester, who lived in the fifteenth century, says, 

" Sanctus Theodoricus rex et martir, cujus pater fuit fundator ecclesiae 

cathedralis de Landaff, primo die Aprilis dedicatur duplex festum." ^ 

Allwydd Paradwys and Wilson give January 3 as the day of S. 


Bishop Miles Salley of Llandaff (1500-17) in his will directed " his 
heart and bowels to be deposited at the High Altar of the Church at 
Matherne, before the image of S. Theodorick." * 

The following notice of Tewdrig occurs in the " Genealogy of lestyn 
ab Gwrgan " : " Tewdrig ab Teithfallt was an eminently good king, who 
drove the infidel Saxons and the Goidels out of the country. He 
founded many churches and colleges, endowing them with possessions. 
He founded a church at Llandaff on the spot where stood the church of 
Lies (Lucius) ab Coel, which was burnt down by the infidels, and 
endowed it with extensive lands ; he also gave property to Cor Illtyd, 
and instituted there four fair establishments for the votaries of religion 
and learning. It was through him that Illtyd brought S. Garmon to 
Wales ; for Cor Eurgain had now been almost entirely destroyed 
by the Saxons ; but a new and contiguous one was established by 
lUtyd through the gifts and affection of Tewdrig. ... S. Garmon 
then founded a college at Llancarfan, after which the Saxons made a 
second irruption into the country, but they were opposed and van- 
quished by Tewdrig, who, however, was slain in the engagement, at the 
place called Merthyr Tewdrig." ^ 

The document is of the seventeenth century, and these statements 
' are only partially authentic. 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 148, 221. 

2 Birch, Catalogue of Penrice and Margam Abbey MSS., 1893, i, pp. i, 7, 35 
Margam Abbey, p. 391 (index) ; Arch. Camb., 1903, pp. 121-44. 1 

* liin., ed. Nasmithi, 1778, p. 163. * Willis, Llandaff, 1719,' p. (>t. 

' lolo MSS , p. 10 ; cf. pp. 108, 136, 149. 

S. Teyrnog or Tighernach 255 


The sole authority for a Welsh saint of this name is the lolo MSS.,'^ 
where he is entered as Tewdwr Brycheiniog, and said to have been a son 
■of Nefydd ab Nefydd Ail ab Rhun (Rhain) Dremrudd ab Brychan 
Brycheiniog. All the persons forming the links in his pedigree are 
there stated to have been saints. 

Hugh Thomas (died 1714), the Breconshire herald, in one of the 
volumes of his collection, Harleian MS. 4181, in the British Museum, 
•says, " Teudor or Theodor ap Nevith succeeded King of Brecknock ; 
some thinke he hved at Crucas near Brecknock ; and had issue a son 
-called Dyfinfall," who succeeded his father. 

Tewdwr Mawr, though a son of Emyr Llydaw and father of S. Canna, 
is nowhere accounted a saint. 

In Glamorganshire there are recent Theodore church-dedications at 
Port Talbot, Newcastle, S. Bride's Minor, and Garw Valley. 

A Teuderius, Confessor, is entered in the early calendar in Cotton 
MS. Vesp. A. xiv on October 29 ; but this was probably Theodore, 
the sixth century abbot at Vienne, commemorated on that day. 

S. TEYRNOG or TIGHERNACH, Bishop, Confessor 

Teyrnog was the son of Hawystl Gloff by Tywanwedd, daughter of 
.Amlawdd Wledig.^ He was brother to SS. Tyfrydog, Tudur, Diefer 
or Deifer, and Marchell. The genealogies mention him as a saint " in 
the Vale of Clwyd," meaning at Llandyrnog. Diefer and Marchell were 
the old patrons of the adjoining parishes of Bodfari and Denbigh 
(anciently Llanfarchell). He is said to have been a saint or monk of 
Bangor Dunawd, on the Dee.^ 

^ Pp. 121, 140. Teudur or Tewdwr ab Rhain, some time in the seventh 

■ century, divided the sovereignty of Brycheiniog with Elwystl ab Awst until 
he murdered the latter {Book of Llan Dav, pp. 167-8). 

2 Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45 ; Hafod MS. 16. 

3 Jolo MSS., p. 105. The later authorities are divided as regards the speUing 

■ of his name. Teyrnog in lolo MSS., p. 105, and Myv. Arch., p. 431 ; and Tyrnog 
in Cardiff MS. 5 (1527), Mosiyn MS. 144 (seventeenth century), lolo MSS , 
p. 124, and Myv. Arch., p. 431. But he is to be distinguished from Tyrnog, son 
of Corun. Llandyrnog is occasionally found spelt Llandeyrnog (e.g. Evans, Re- 
port on Welsh MSS., i, p. 914). In the Taxatio of 1254 it is Landernant, for 
Xandernauc. The name Teyrnog is in Irish Tigernach or Tighearnach, which 
is Latinized Tigernacus (Tegernacus on the Capel Brithdir inscribed stone), 
and Anglicized Tierney. In Breton it was Tiarnoc (Cartulary of Redon). 
Tyrnog is Tern6c, for Ternacos. 

256 Lives of the British Saints 

We venture to suggest the identification of Teyrnog with the well- 
known Irish saint Tighernach, Bishop of Clones. Our sole ground for 
doing so is that their festival days coincide ; but the Irish account of 
the origin of Tighernach differs entirely from that given of Teyrnog. •\ 

The authorities for the Life of S. Tighernach are : A Vita Sancti 
Tigernaci, printed in full by Mr. Plummer in ViliB Sanctorum HiberntcB,. 
Oxford, 1910, from two Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian, of which, 
however, one is merely the copy of the other. A fragmentary Life ia 
the Salamanca Codex, which was printed in 1888, in the Acta SS. Hib.,. 
pp. 211-20. It was also published by the BoUandists, ActaSS., April, 
i, pp. 401 ff., from three MSS., one being from the Salamanca Codex, 
while of the remaining two one was supplied by Hugh Ward, the other 
by Henry Fitzsimon. This last copy contained one chapter peculiar 
to itself. In Mr. Hummer's Vitce it is in ii, pp. 262-8. 

The composition is late, and is made up of much fabulous matter, 
but it nevertheless is worked over a fibre of history. Tighernach is 
also mentioned in the Life of S. Eoghain. He is made a contemporary 
with Bishop Conlaeth of Kildare (d. 520), with Brigid (d. 525), and with. 
Dubhtach of Armagh (d. 548) ; so that there is no anachronism here if 
Tighernach died in 549 or 550. 

His mother's name was Derfraich, daughter of Echach, Prince of 
Clogher. She loved " not wisely but too well " one Coirb, of Leinster, 
and by him became a mother. Coirb carried off his offspring, a boy, 
so soon as it was born, and committed the child to S. Brigid at Kildare, 
who held him at the font and fostered him. He was baptized by Bishop- 
Conlaeth, and as he came of royal blood was named Tighernach. 

Whilst still a child, he and Eoghain were carried off by pirates and 
sold as slaves in Britain, where they were bought by a petty king, who- 
brought them up as his own children, and treated them TOth great, 

Because Tighernach was a pretty child the king and queen took him 
into their bed, but as he set it on fire — playing with the candle i-naybe — 
they put him to sleep in the crib with their two sons ; but according 
to the legend his overpowering sanctity smothered them, so they sent 
to S. Monenn of Rosnat, that is to say, Mancen or Maucan, of Ty 
Gwyn, to resuscitate their sons and take charge of the precocious- 
infant. "^ 

"^ " Deinde sanctus puer . . . sancti Monenni disciplinis et monitis in Ros- 
natensi monasterio, quod alio nomine Alba vocatur diligenter instructus," etc. 
Vita, col. 213, " Quos duos (so. Tighernachum et Eugenium) vir sanctus et 
sapiens Nennyo, qui Maucennus dicitur, de Rostatensi monasterio . . accepit."' 
Vita S. Eugenii, Acta SS. Hib., Cod. Sal., col. 915. " The only inconsistency 

S. Teyrnog or Tighernach 257 

This nonsense may be reduced to a very simple matter. The chil- 
dren played with their pillows, and made such a racket in the nursery, 
that the good-natured king and queen sent Tighernach away to school. 

From the Life of S. Eoghain of Ardstraw we learn that he had as his 
companions there both Eoghain and Coirpre, afterwards of Coleraine. 
After some years spent at Rosnat, pirates descended on the coast, and 
carried away Tighernach, Eoghain, Coirpre and other boys from the 
school, and sold them as slaves in Armorica, where these three became 
by purchase the property of a petty king there, who set them to grind 
in his mill. 

The mill consisted of a quern. It required two to work it. The 
upper stone had in it a hole into which a staff was thrust, and one boy 
turned the handle and stone round from left to right, when the staff 
was taken by the boy who sat opposite, and he twisted it round in turn. 
It was a long, tedious and laborious work, and was generally done by 
women or slaves. 

The boys had taken their psalter with them, and this they read when 
supposed to be engaged in grinding corn. The king's steward looked 
in on them, saw how they were occupied, and reported it to his master, 
who, being a Christian, and holding learning in regard, freely discharged 
the lads, and sent them back to Rosnat, where they were welcomed by 
their master, and with him they completed their studies. 

When Tighemach's monastic training was completed he • visited 
Rome and Tours. On his travels he made fast friends with another 
Irishman, Ciaran, son of Eochaid, of whom we know nothing further. 
They journeyed together, and were fortunate in escaping from an inn 
where they discovered that the host was in the habit of murdering his 
guests, if he thought that they had money with them. At least, this 
seems to be the fact which underlies a somewhat strange story told 
of nine dead men in a tavern. ^ 

On his way back to Ireland, on reaching the shore of the Irish Sea, he 
found that Ethnea, daughter of the King of Munster, had been forcibly 
carried off to be married to a prince in Britain. She threw herself 
on the protection of Tighernach, and he intervened. He was allowed 
to take her back to her native island, and he gave her the veil, and she 
founded a monastic school. 

On landing in Munster and unloading his boat he was agreeably 

is the introduction of Monend or Monennus," says Mr. Plummer ; " if, as seems 
probable, he is meant to be identified with Nynias of Whithern or Candida 
Casa, who is said to have died in 432." But the monastery was not Whithern, 
but Rosnat or Ty Gwyn. 

1 Vita, Cod. Sal., coll. 213-4 ; Plummer, Vitce, p. 263. - 


.2 5^ Lives of the British Saints 

•surprised to find a thurible which he had mislaid, and supposed that he 
had lost. 

In Munster he found that the people still had recourse to an oracular 
■stone, and worshipped it with Pagan rites. To this he succeeded in 
putting a stop. 

He now went to his native place, over which ruled at the time a 
prince named Fiachra, who gave him a patch of land, around which 
Tighernach proceeded to dig a ditch. The sole condition imposed on 
Tighemach for receiving the grant was that, in return, he should go 
with Fiachra to battle and bless his men and curse the enemy. With 
this Tighernach cheerfully complied. On the very first occasion on 
which he was called out, the foe turned and fled, and Fiachra's men 
pursued them and cut them down, till Tighernach interposed to stop the 
butchery. It had been the custom heretofore after a battle for the 
victors to cut off the heads of the dead and wounded and carry them 
home, stack them and count them. Tighernach obtained a mitiga- 
tion of this barbarous usage. He induced the king to order that the 
bodies should not be mutilated, and that a bit of turf should be carried 
away in place of each man who had been killed.^ 

Fiachra was vastly scrupulous about invading the rights of the saint. 
"When his servant, one day, had torn up some grass from Tighernach's 
field, wherewith to line the king's shoes, Fiachra sent the grass back, 
lest Tighernach should suppose that he claimed a right to depasture 
his meadow. 

The saint now went to Kildare to visit his spiritual mother, S. Brigid. 
She was well pleased with his character and piety, and forthwith gave 
■orders that he should be consecrated bishop. ^ 

When he had been consecrated, Tighernach departed to visit his 
maternal grandfather, Eochaid or Echach, and was well received by 
him and by his mother. Eochaid at once expelled Bishop Maccarthen 
from Clogher and installed his grandson in his place. This, however, 
was too high-handed a proceeding for Tighernach to approve of it, and 
he retired to a cell of his own founding. There he became celebrated 

1 " Deinde rex, ej usque exercitus, ad propria redientes, decollatorum capita 
•secundum eorum e.stimationem secum tulerunt ; sed non vere capita sed glebsis 
palustres cum suis fenis prolixis esse cognoverunt," Ibid., col. 217 ; Plummer, 
-pp. 265-6. Tlie interpretation of this story seems to be as given above. The 
object of carrying off the heads was to enable the victors to reckon up the num- 
ber of the enemy slain. This could be done just as well by taking a turf for 
every head. 

^ " Convocatis episcopis eum ad pontificalis ordinis apicem provehi fecit. 
Jn hoc enim a clero et a populo totius Hibernian erat ipsa beata Brigida privili- 
giata ut quemcumque ipsa ordinandum judicandum ordinaret, ab omnibus 
«ligeretur." Ibid., col 217. 

aS*. Teyrnog or Tighernach 259 

for his virtues, and many flocked to him ; amongst other visitors he 
had was Dubhtach or Duach, Bishop of Armagh. On his way back 
Dubhtach fell ill, and, hearing of this, Tighernach went after him, found 
him very weak, but able to speak, and Dubhtach's salutation was, 
" Tighernach on earth, Tighernach in heaven ! " probably meaning 
that Tighemach's body was on earth, but his spirit was engaged in 
heavenly contemplation. 

An odd story is told of Tighemach's drive to see Dubhtach. He bade 
his charioteer shut his eyes whilst driving, and not venture to open 
them. Angels guided the vehicle. The charioteer could not resist 
the curiosity he felt to ascertain who was conducting the horses at such 
a furious speed, and without incurring an accident, and he looked. 
Thereupon his eyeballs burst. Tighernach, moved with pity, healed 
him, but the token of what had happened was ever after depicted in 
his eyes. 

Dubhtach lived on for some years after, and always maintained an 
affectionate regard for Tighernach, who had shown him such attention 
when he was ill. 

On the death of the expelled Bishop Maccarthen, Tighernach did not 
deem it unseemly to take over the charge of his abbey and rule. He 
also went into Oriel to the king, Tachodorus, as he is called in the Life, 
and he was granted Clones, where he was required to establish a 

Oriel forms a strip between Connaught and Meath, on the South, 
and Uladh or Ulster, on the North, and was included in the latter It 
extended from Loch Erne to the borders of the Dalar aidh Tribe, which 
ran from Loch Neagh to Carhngford Lough. Clones is in Monaghan. 
Here Tighernach now fixed his seat, but as he continued to hold Clogher, 
in Tyrone, he was called " The Man of Two Districts." 

Tighernach learned that seven hostages held by Aedh MacCormac 
were about to be slaughtered, " pro crimine parentum." He begged 
them of the king, who surrendered them to the saint on condition 
that the saint would dehver him, when he also was in peril of a violent 
death. To this the Bishop agreed. Soon after, Aedh MacCormac was 
attacked in his rath by foes, and it was only by invoking the saint that 
he escaped death. Tighernach ordained the seven hostages clerics, 
and two of them were promoted to the episcopate. As Bardubh, the 
wife of Aedh, was barren, Tighernach blessed her womb, and she 
then became the mother of Fechin, and of Romanus, who became 
an abbot. 

One day the saint saw a hawk carrying off a chicken, to the great 
distress of the hen. He at once intervened, commanded the hawk to 

2 6o Lives of the B7~itish Sanits 

restore the chicken, and commanded him and his race thenceforth to 
become guardians, not ravishers, of poultry. 

For the last thirty years of his life he was blind, and spent most of his 
time in his cell, engaged in meditation and prayer. As the time of his 
departure approached, he appointed his beloved disciple Comgall 
to succeed him in his principal monastery, and he retired to die in the 

The Annals of the Four Masters state that he died on April 4, 548 ; 
but the Chronicon Scottorum gives as date 550. He died whilst the 
Yellow Plague was ravaging Britain and Ireland, but not of the plague 
but of extreme old age. 

The only church in Wales of which he was founder and is still patron 
is Llandymog. Although in the Life there is no intimation of his- 
having visited Cornwall, yet there is a dedication to him. Northill has- 
him as patron, locally called S. Torney. There is a church of S- 
Thegonnec in Brittany, but we can hardly equate the name with Tigher- 
nach. What alone can be said in favour of the identification is that 
Thegonnec is represented as an archbishop, and that Tighernach was 
caUed the Bishop of Two Sees. Thegonnec is almost certainly Toquo- 
noc, who was disciple of S. Paul of Leon. His day is September 6. 
The day of S. Tighernach in the Felire of Oengus is April 4 ; on the 
same day in the Martyrology of Tallaght, and that of Donegal, and the 
Drummond Calendar ; also the Felire of Marianus O'Gorman. On 
the same day Whytford has : " In englonde the feest of Saynt TiernaVe 
y' was of the kynges blode of yrelond, and in y* tyme of warre was 
taken a childe and brought in to englond and sold as a bondman," etc.. 
On the same day Nicolas Roscarrock ; but in the Aberdeen Breviary 
on April 5. In the MS. Missal of Treguier, fifteenth century, and in 
the Leon Breviary, 1516, on September 6. The Feast at Northill is on 
September 8, or rather the Sunday after, and this comes very near the 
day on which the saint is commemorated in Brittany. 

His day is on April 4 in the Welsh Calendars in Peniarth MSS. 27,. 
i85, 187, 192, 219, Mosiyn AIS. 88, Llanstephan MSS. 117, 181, the 
Prymers of 1618 and 1633, 3.nd Allwydd Paradwys ; but on April 2 in 
that in Peniarth MS. 172. Browne Willis ^ gives his festival at Llan- 
dyrnog on April 4. Llanstephan MS. 117 gives a festival of Tyrnog 
also on September 25. Several Welsh calendars give Tyrnog on June 
26, but this is in all probability a mistake for Twrog. 

One of the stained glass windows formerly on the south side of the 
Church of Llangynhafal, in the neighbourhood of Llandymog, bore a. 
legend with the invocation, " S'te Dyrnoke." In an ode to Henry VII^ 
- 1 Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 278. ^ lolo MSS,, p. 314. 


From Modern Glass at Llandyrnog Church. 

S. Toquonoc [Thegonnec) 261 

the saint's protection (" nawdd Dyrnog ") is invoked for that king. 
In the parish of Darowen, in Montgomeryshire, is a farm named Rhos 
Dyrnog, on which is a field called Cae yr Hen Eglwys (Old Church Field) . 
Darowen Church is dedicated to Teyrnog's brother Tudur ; so the name 
bears witness to Teyrnog's presence there. 


A S. TiLULL or Tylull is mentioned in the Book of Llan Ddv, with a 
church Lann Tilull. ^ The boundary of the Llan is given, and the editors 
suggest Sant y Xyl, in S. Bride's Super Ely, Glamorganshire, as identifi- 
cation.^ Nothing appears to be known of the saint. The suggested 
place-name, however, might well enough embody the name of S. Nilus 
or Nil, Abbot of Calabria, who died in 1005, and is commemorated in 
the Roman and Benedictine Martyrologies on September 26, and who 
may have been introduced by the Normans, like the S. Roch of Capel 
S. Roque, in Merthyr Mawr. 

S. TOQUONOC (THEGONNEC), Bishop, Confessor 

Nothing further is known of this saint than that he was one of the 
British disciples Paul of Leon brought with him to Armorica. His 
name, as Wrmonoc, the author of the Life of S. Paul, says, was Quonoc, 
but he was also called Toquonoc,^ with the weU-known honorific prefix. 

His church in Finistere is one of the most marvellous of the granite 
ecclesiastical structures in the department. 

At S. Thegonnec he is represented as an archbishop with crozier. 
There is, however, no record of his having been a bishop. 

His statue is in the church ; he holds a double branched crozier, 
and has a wain drawn by wolves at his feet. He is said to have had his 
horse killed by a wolf ; he accordingly ordered the wild beast to take 
the place of the slain and devoured domestic animal. 

The Abbe Duine, in Revue des Traditions Populaires, 1903, pp. 471-2, 

1 Pp. 32, 43, 216-7. 

2 p. 376. It is between S. Bride's village and Coed Marchan. 

3 Revue Celtique, v, p. 437- I" Welsh the forms would appear as Cynog 
and Tygynog. 

262 Lives of the British Saints 

gives some local traditions concerning the saint ; and M. J. L. Ollivier, 
formerly Vicaire of S. Thegonnec, has published a Breton cantique on 
the legendary Life of the Saint, i. Thegonnec arrived in Llydaw when 
quite a young man. He laboured to convert the natives, and endea- 
voured to build a church on a height, now having a cross on it. But 
during the night the stones rolled down to the spot where now stands 
the church. The saint recognized this as a token of the Divine wiH, 
and built where the stones rested. 2. A wolf devoured his horse. He 
constrained the wild beast to draw the wain in its room. 3. Whilst 
occupied on his work of building, he and his wagon passed through 
the hamlet of Bougez, a kilometre to the west ; and he asked the 
inhabitants to give his horse some water. They refused : whereupon he 
cursed the place, " Boujez a voujezo ; abikenn dour mad no devezo," 
or " Bougez will remain Bougez, and will never Iiave good water." 
Since then there has been a lack of water there. 4. The saint struck 
a rock with his staff, and a spring gushed forth, known to this day as the 
Ar Stivel, or Fountain of the Rock ; and here Thegonnec resided for a 
while. 5. The reputation of the saint having spread, he was elected 
archbishop of Dol. It is, however, certain that there was not only 
no archbishop, but also no bishop of that name at Dol. 

It is possible that this is due to a confounding of Thegonnec with 
Tighernach, who was entitled " the Bishop of Two Sees," and who- 
certainly when young had been in Armorica. 

The days on which Thegonnec is commemorated are September 8-14 


There was clearly a Welsh Saint named Tridian or Trudian. There 
is a Landridian and a Ffynnon Dridian in the parish of S. Nicholas, 
in Pembrokeshire, and also a farm called Llandridion or Llandrudion, 
in the parish of S. David's. 

Possibly Lanrhidian, in Gower, also preserves the name Tridian, 
and not Rhidian. In the Annals of Margam [s.a. J 185) the name is 
spelt Landridian, and the mention of a S. lUtyd's Well at the place 
suggests an original dedication of the church to that saint. ^ 

Nothing appears to be known of Tridian. 

^ Luard, Annates Monastici, i, p. 18 ; Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 398, 408. 
There is an Abertridian in the parish of Eglwys Ilan, Glamorganshire. Tridian 
may possibly be the same as Triduana, the pet form of S. Tredwell's name, the- 
virgin saint of Restalrig, near Edinburgh. See further what has been said under 
,S. Rhidian, supra, p. in. 


From Statue at S. Thigonnec, 

S. Trillo 263; 

S. TRILLO, Abbot, Confessor 

Terillo or Trillo was the son of Ithel Hael of Llydaw, and brother 
of SS. Tegai and Llechid. He is mentioned in the earlier pedigrees * 
as being of " Dineirth in Rhos," i.e. Llandrillo yn Rhos, on the North 
Wales coast, in the county of Denbigh. His brother and sister settled 
in Carnarvonshire. According to later pedigrees ^ Ithel had other 
children, and they are said to have all come to Wales from Armorica 
with Cadfan, their kinsman. TriUo is stated to have been a saint of 

On the shore at Llandrillo is an interesting oratory known as Capel! 
Trillo, 3 of the type found more especially in Ireland. It is in form a. 
parallelogram, measuring internally about 11 feet by 8 feet, and built 
over a perennial spring, situated at the east end, whence all the water 
for baptisms in the parish was rehgiously borne formerly. A httle dis- 
tance from the chapel is the Rhos Fynach fish weir, a stone and timber 
fence shaped like the letter V. The Bishop of S. Asaph (as Rector) and. 
the Vicar of the parish are entitled to the tithe of fish taken in the 
weir — every tenth day from May 13 to October 18 being theirs — and- 
the owner of the weir in former times insisted on continuing an im- 
memorial custom of having prayers read in S. Trillo's chapel three times 
during the fishing season, a custom still kept up on the west coast of 
Ireland. Up to 1872 the Bishop received three-fourths and the Vicar 
one-fourth of the tithe of fish caught. Salmon were formerly taken in 
good quantities in this weir, but the fish now trapped are not of much - 

Another church dedicated to S. Trillo is Llandrillo yn Edernion, in 
Merionethshire. There is here a Ffynnon Drillo, which was formerly 
in repute as a healing well, especially in cases of rheumatism. It was 
situated in a corner of a low-lying meadow, about half a mile north of 
the village, until between 1850 and i860, when, owing to the tenant 
farmer's objection to trespassers, as it was believed, its water suddenly 
ceased to flow, only to gush forth in a neighbouring tenant's field as a 
strong spring. The incident was put down to the intervention of the 
saint.* Edward Lhuyd, in his notes on the parish (1699), mentions a. 

1 Peniarth MSS. 12, 16, 45; Hafod MS. 16; Cardiff MS S. 5 (p. 118), 25 
(p. 115) ; Llanstephan MS. 28 (p. 71) ; cf. Myv. Arch., pp. 427, 430. Dinerth 
is the name of one of the townships. There was also a castle of the name (men- 
tioned several times in Brut y Tywysogion) situated a Uttle to the east of Aberay- 
ron, in Cardiganshire. 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 104, 112, 133. 

= For a description and illustration see Arch. Camb., 1855, pp. 182-4. 
* For a somewhat different account see the Transactions of the Liverpool' 
Welsh National Society, 1892-3, p. 93- 

264 Lives of the British Saints 

tumulus, " Bedh y Santes ar Ian Kadwet Ihe kladdwyd Santes {uxor em 
intelligit) Trilho " — the grave of Trillo's consort, on the bank of the 
■Cadwed brook. Under the neighbouring parish of Llandderfel he 
gives a rough sketch of the figure of S. Trillo which was then in the 
north window of that church, with the legend underneath it, " Scus 
Trillo : abbat." The saint, who has a nimbus, is vested, and holds an 
•open book in his left hand, and a pastoral staff, the top of which is gone, 
in his right. ^ But he was abbot only over his Llans, as was the custom 
in the Celtic Church. 

There must have been a holy weU of his formerly in the parish of 
Llansannan, Denbighshire, as there was a cottage called Ffjmnon 
DriUo there, now in ruins, about a mile and a half from the parish 

Browne WiUis gives the dedication of Llandrygarn Church, in Angle- 
sey, as to " S. Trygan alias S. Trillo " (Festival, June 15), and also to 
him Llangeneu (Festival, February 16), in Breconshire ; ^ but the 
ascription of these to Trillo is very improbable. 

The dedication of the Church of Clocaenog, in Denbighshire, called 
in the parish-list in Peniarth MS. 147 [circa 1566) " Plwyf Trylo- 
kajmoc," is regarded as doubtful ; some say Trillo, others Caenog, and 
Foddyd ; but there can be no doubt as to its being dedicated to a 
S. Medwida or Meddwyd,* of whom, however, nothing is known. 

Trillo's festival is June 15, which occurs in most of the earlier Welsh 
calendars. The grant of a fair at Bangor on S. Trillo's day, eve and 
morrow (still held on June 25), was procured by Bishop Matthew de 
Englefield (1328-57).* 

The name of Trillo, together with those of SS. Deiniol and Grwst, 
and the king's son Rhun, appears among the signatories of the grant 
by Maelgwn Gwynedd to S. Kentigern.^ 

1 Peniarth MS. 251, p. 118. It is reproduced in Lhuyd's Parochialia, iii, 
p. 158, Suppl. to Arch. Camb., 1911. 

^ Survey of Bangor, p. 280 ; Paroch. Anglic, p. 181 (so Ecton). 

3 ii, p. 49 ; iii, p. 458. 

^ Willis, Bangor, p. 75. He gives the festivals of the two Llandrillo churches 
■on June 16 (ibid., pp. 362, 365). Bp. Maddox (1736-43), in MS. Z, enters for 
the Edernion church, " Wake Sunday before Michaelmass." " In festo sci 
Terillo" occurs in a document dated 1261 in the Red Book of S Asaph, p. 15, in 
the Episcopal Library. 

•'' Ibid., -p. 118. Tudur Aled, in an ode to Sion ab Dafydd, Abbot of Valle Crucis, 
pays him a compliment in the line, " A Thrillo wrth yr AUawr " (Llanstephan 
MS. 30, p. 57). 

aS*. Tryddid 265 

S. TRUNIO, Confessor 

This saint's name occurs in the earlier MSS.^ as Trunio (in modern 
spelling), but in the later ones as Trinio.^ He was the son of Difwng ^ 
ab Emyr Llydaw, and first cousin to S. Cadfan (with whom, no doubt, 
he came from Brittany) and SS. Winwaloe, Padarn, and Samson. 

Very little is known of Trunio. He is the patron of Llandrinio,* 
in Montgomeryshire. His festival seems only to occur in the calendar 
in the autograph of Gutyn Owain in Peniarth MS. i86 (late fifteenth 
century), where it is given on June 29, but in a later hand. One of the 
two fairs formerly annually held at Llandrinio — instituted in 1309 — 
was on the eve, day, and morrow of the Festival of SS. Peter and Paul, 
June 29 ; and in later times the wakes were observed on the first Sun- 
day after that festival.^ Whether S. Trunio's Festival suggested the 
later dedication of the church to SS. Peter and Paul, or the Festival of 
those apostles suggested that of S. Trunio, it is difficult to say, but one 
■or other may be suspected. 

Trinio is named among the many saints who were invoked in a poem 
for Henry VII. » 

Walter Mapes, in his De Nugis, tells a curious legend, of the Undine 
class, about a person whose name is doubtfully read Trinio Faglog, 
who lived about the fifth century in the neighbourhood of Llyn Syfad- 
•don, near Brecon, and whose mother was a fairy.'' 


The only authority for a saint named Tryddid or Treiddyd is the 
brief entry in the lolo MSS.,^ which states that he was a saint of Cor 

1 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45, etc. 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 103, III, 133 ; Myv. Arch., p. 430. 

' Dyvwng (Peniarth MS. 16), Diwng (Pen. MS. 45), Diuangi (Pen. MS. 12), 
Diuwc (Hafod MS. 16), Difung (Cardiff MS. 25, p. 115). Dinwng occurs in 
the pedigree of Gruffydd ab Cynan. 

* There is mentioned in the terrier a meadow, called Gweirglodd y Sant, 
at the S.W. corner of the churchyard. 

5 Willis, Bangor, p. 360, gives the dedication as to S. Peter, June 29. Bp. 
Maddox (1736-43), in MS. Z, says, " Church d'd to H. Trinity (wake ist Sunday 
after St. Peters)." 

« lolo MSS., p. 314- 

' Cited by Sir J. Rhys, Celtic Folklore, i, pp. 70-2. A " Kynuelyn trunyaw " 
is mentioned in the Welsh text of Geoffrey's Historia (Bruts, p. 200), who appears 
in the Latin (ix, c. 12) as " Kimbelim, Maptrunat." 

* P. 221. 

2 66 Lives of the British Saints 

lUtyd, at Llantwit, and founded the church of Llantryddid or Llantri- 
thyd, in the Vale of Glamorgan. Often in records (e.g. the Book'of 
Llaii Ddv) the church name is spelt with an r for the dd — Lanririd, or 
the like, involving, as it would appear, the personal name Rhirid.'- 

The church is now given as dedicated to S. lUtyd ; but may it not 
have been originally to that saint's wife, whose name is spelt Trynihid 
and Trinihid in his Life ? ^ In any case, the existence of a S. Tryddid 
is very doubtful. 

S. TUDCLYD, Confessor 

TuTCLYT or Tudclyd was one of the sons of Seithenin Frenin, of 
Maes Gwyddno, whose low-lying territory was inundated by the sea, 
and now forms the Cardigan Bay. He was brother to Gwynhoedl, 
Merin (or Meirin), Tudno, and Senewyr,^ who all on losing their patri- 
mony became saints of Bangor on Dee.* 

The only church dedicated to him is that of Penmachno ^ (for Pen- 
nant Machno), formerly occasionaUy caUed Llandudclyd,^ in Carnarvon- 

His festival is May 30, and occurs in a good number of the Welsh 
calendars, in some of which his name is given as Tuclyd. 

1 Its old name was possibly Nant Rhirid ; see Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., 
i, p. 992; ii, p. 134. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 159, 171. 

3 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 428, 431. On 
p. 419 of the last named his name is spelt Bliglyd. 

* lolo MSS., pp. 105, 141. 

6 Its dedication, e.g. Rice Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 332 (from Ecton), to a S. 
Tyddud we must refer to a blunder over the spelling of the saint's name. It 
is said that there were formerly in the churchyard of Penmachno two churches, 
the one known as S. Enclydwyn's, and the other as S. Tyddud's, Within the 
parish, in the Lledr valley, was another church, called Llantyddud. The three 
have now disappeared, S. Tyddud's being pulled down in 1857, when the present 
church was erected on its site (North, Old Churches of Arllechwedd, Bangor, 
igo6, pp. 119-26). These forms represent Tudclyd, the first being for Tudclyd 

8 In an elegy by Seisyll Bryflwrch (11 60-1210) on lorwerth Drwyndwn it 
is called Llan dutchyd {Myv. Arch , p. 236). 

S. Tudhistil 267 

S. TUDGLID, Matron 

TuTGLiD or Tudglid was one of the daughters of Brychan Brych- 
einiog, and, according to the Cognatio, the wife of Cyngen, prince of 
Powys, and mother of Cadell, Brochwel Ysgythrog, Mawn, and others.. 
In the Domitian version of the Cognatio her name is spelt Tught, and 
in Jesus College MS. 20, Gutuyl. 

There can hardly be a doubt that Tudglid was the original patron of 
the Church of Llanwrtyd (now S. David), which is situated in Brychan- 
land. Edward Lhuyd in his notes (1699) on the parish says,i " Y^ 
feast of y« parish is kept on Dy-gwyl Dychd [i.e. the Feast-day of 
Tyclid], viz. gth of May " ; and he mentions as in the parish a " Ffynnon 
Dychd." Tudclyd and Tudghd are the only saints whose names- 
approach Tychd in form ; but the former belonged to another part of 
Wales. No saint of similar name is commemorated in the Welsh 
calendars on May 9 ; and nothing is known of a S. Gwrtyd. 

Various late documents give as wife of Cyngen and mother of Broch- 
wel, Tydfil, 2 Tangwystl,3 and Tudwystl,* ah daughters of Brychan ;. 
but they are all blunderings over the name Tudglid. 

S. TUDHISTIL, Virgin, Martyr 

This was a daughter of Brychan. In the Vespasian Cognatio she- 
is entered thus, " Tudhistil inde dicitur Merthir TudhistU " ; and in the 
Domitian version, " Tutbistyl ab ea dicitur Merthyr Tutbystil." 

Merthir Tudhistil has not been identified, but it must be the now 
extinct chapel surviving in the farm-name Capel Tydyst, in the parish 
of LlandeUo Fawr, Carmarthenshire. It is mentioned in a plaint in 
Aneurin Owen's edition of the Welsh Laws ^ as " Llan Dydystyl o 
vjTwn y vaenor Vabon," i.e. " Llan Dydystl, within Maenor Fabon," 
in that parish. Her sisters Tybieu and Lluan are associated with two 
neighbouring parishes. There are several instances of a Merthyr 
being changed into Llan ; e.g. the two Monmouthshire churches, 
Merthjnr Maches, now Llanfaches, and Merthyr Tegfedd, now Llandeg- 

"■ Parochialia, iii, p. 50, Suppl. to Arch. Camb., 191 1. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 121 ; Tydwall in Cambro-Briiish Saints, p. 271. 

3 Myv. Arch., p. 430. ^ Peniarih MS. 75, p. 53. 
5 Folio ed., p. 625. 

2 68 Lives of the British Saints 

Tudwystl, a daughter of Brychan, is given as wife of Cyngen, prince 
oi Powys, and mother of Brochwel, in the sixteenth century Peniarth 
MS. 75, p. 53 ; but she is the Tangwystl of the Myvyrian,^ and both 
are mistakes for Tudghd. On p. 54 of the same Peniarth MS. we have 
another daughter of Brychan, Tudwystl, " yn Ron yn ffraingk." 
Tadwystl also occurs.^ The only name that matches these various 
forms in Jesus College MS. 20 is Taghwystyl. See under S. Tanglwst. 

S. TUDNO, Confessor 

TuDNO was the son of Seithenin Frenin, King of Maes Gwyddno, 
'Or the Plain of Gwyddno, which the sea overwhelmed in the sixth cen- 
tury, and formed what is now Cardigan Bay. He had as brothers 
■Gwynhoedl, Merin (or Meirin), Senewyr, and Tudclyd,^ all saints, and 
who, according to the later accounts,* on losing their patrimony, 
became saints, or monks, of Bangor Dunawd, on the Dee. Tudno is 
usually mentioned in the pedigrees as of Cyngreawdr,^ which is the old 
Welsh name of the Great Orme's Head promontory, called by the 
Welsh inhabitants to-day Y Gogarth. 

The only church of which Tudno is patron is the little fane on the 
Great Orme, which was formerly the parish church of Llandudno. It 
is situated on the northern slope of the high headland, in a secluded spot 
called Pant yr Eglwys, about two miles from modern Llandudno. It 
was wrecked in 1839 by a great storm, and lay in a ruinous condition 
.until 1855, wlien it was restored. The saint's well, Ffynnon Dudno, 

^ Myv. Arch., p. 430. ^ Cambro-British Saints, p. 270. 

' Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16; Cardiff MSS. 5 (p. 118), 25 (pp. 
^9. 35) ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 428, 430. The name is compounded of Tut + 
gno, meaning familiar with, or skilled in, the land, and is to be compared with 
Cludno, Gwyddno, and Machno. It seems to occur in the name of the priory 
of Lo-Tuznou at Lannilis, in Finistere. 

'' lolo MSS., pp. 105 (Tudnof), 141. Tudno's name is sometimes misread 
Tyneio (Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 431 ; lolo MSS., p. 142). The old parish church 
of Pwllheli is usually supposed to have been dedicated to a S. Tyneio, but the 
old parish name was Deneio or Denio. 

* " Yg kyngredavdyr " (Peniarth MS. 16) ; " ynghyngreadur " (Hafod 
MS. 16) ; " yg Kj'ngredawdyr," " yngygreawdyr " (Cardiff MS. 25, pp. 2,5, 
35) .' " ynghyngreawdr " (Myv. Arch., p. 419) ; " gyngreawdyr fynyd," in 
Gwalchmai's Gorheffet (ibid., p. 144) ; " Kyngrayadur, " " Kyngreadf " (Record 
of Caernarvon, pp. no, 235). The name would now be written Cyngreawdr, 
hnt its meaning is not known. Gogarth occurs as a name elsewhere. 

S. Tudu7' 269 

is about one hundred yards to the east of the church, and still issues 
forth a copious spring of crystal water. On the Orme, within the 
ancient iin of Pendinas, is what was once a perfect Maen Sigl, or 
Rocking Stone, which is known as Cryd Tudno, his Cradle. One of the 
severed caves on the coast of the headland is Ogof Llech, meELSuring 
about 6 J feet across each way by about 10 feet high, which is supposed 
to have been occupied by the saint as a cell. 

June 5 is given as Tudno's festival in the calendars in the Additional 
MS. 14,882 (1591), Peniarih MS. 219, and in the MS. additions to the 
calendar in a copy of the Preces Privaice of 1573 in S. Beuno's College 
Library. Browne Willis gives the same day.^ 

One of the " Thirteen Royal Treasures of Britain," taken away by 
Merlin in his Glass House to sea, was the Hogalen, or Whetstone, of 
Tudno Tudclyd, which had the property of sharpening the sword of a 
hero, but blunting that of a coward. ^ Sometimes it is ascribed to 
Tudwal Tudclyd, the father of Rhydderch Hael, which is much more 
probably the correct version. 

* * * 

Though strange to us thy Ufe and death 

Yet Enghsh faith shall say 
Thou wast among God's witnesses 

In that wild, ancient day. 

And still, where thine own mountain church 

Looks calmly o'er the waves. 
And — sight of joy ! — the blessed Cross, 

Gleams fair on recent graves, 

We'll honour one that walked with God, 

And sought no earthly fame. 
And blend with thanksgiving to Christ 

His faithful Tudno's name.^ 

S. TUDUR, Confessor 

TuDUR was the son of Hawystl Gloff by Tywanwedd, daughter of 
Amlawdd Wledig, and brother to SS. Tyfrydog, Diefer, Teymog, and 
Marchell.* He is mentioned in the genealogies as a saint at " Darowen 
in CyfeiUog," in Montgomeryshire, and, in a late document, is stated 

1 Lewis Morris's brother, WilUam, was present at the Tudno Cwyl Mabsant 
in 1761, and witnessed a party acting an interlude (Morris Letters, ed. J. H. 

Davies, ii, pp. .3.54-5)- • • o c 

2 Brython, i860, p. 372 ; Roberts, Cambrian Popular Antiquities, 1815, p. 76. 
= The late Canon Bright, of Christ Church. 

4 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., p. 431 ; lolo MSS., 
pp. 124, 145. 

270 Lives of the British Saints 

to have been, like the rest of Hawystl's children, a saint of Bangor on 
Dee, and afterwards of Bardsey.^ 

Tudur is the patron of Darowen, where he is believed to have been 
buried, and where his festival was observed, according to Browne 
Willis,^ on October 14, which is also his day in the calendars in the 
Prymers of 1618 and 1633, and in some Welsh almanacks of the 
eighteenth century, but the lolo MSS. give October 15. The same 
Welsh Prymers give the festival of a Tudur on March 13. 

At Darowen during the wake, which began on the Sunday after the 
saint's day, there was observed a custom known as Curo Tudur, The 
Beating of Tudur. On the Monday the youths of the parish congre- 
gated in the village to select one of their number, generally the most 
unpopular or defenceless, to represent Tudur. The unfortunate fellow 
was then seized upon and carried about on the shoulders of some who 
were lold off for the purpose, and soundly beaten on the back with 
sticks by the rest — probably to represent similar treatment, of which 
there is no record, dealt out to the saint. The castigation was 
administered in the village, and occasioned considerable amusement. 
Another account of the custom states that it was " done in this 
manner — one of the lads carried a long pole, or branch of a tree, upon 
his shoulders, and the other lads beat it with their clubs." ^ In more 
remote times it appears that the efhgy of the saint was carried about 
and beaten.* The custom was discontinued early in last century. 

The saint's holy well, Ffynnon Dudur, situated on the Darowen 
glebe, is mentioned in the terrier of 1663. There is a Ff5mnon Dudur 
also in the parish of Llanelidan, Denbighshire, about a mile from the 
church ; and another, as well as a farm of the name, in the parish of 
Llangeler, Cardiganshire. Edward Lhuyd (1699) says that there was 
a place called Eglwys Dydyr in the parish of Llanuwchllyn, Merioneth- 

The church of Mynydd Islw5m, in Monmouthshire, is sometimes 
assumed to be dedicated to him, but this is a mistake, as the parish was 
formerly sometimes called " Plwyf Tudur ab Hywel " (e.g., Peniarth 
MS. 147, circa 1566), whoever this Tudur was. Browne Willis gives 
the parish feast on October 7.^ 

1 lolo MSS., p. 142. In ibid., p. 105, a brother, Tydyaw, is given (Tudur 
not mentioned) as a saint in " Derwen Cyfeiliog," a mistake for " Darowen," 
also Tydyaw for Tudur. On p. 142 both saint-names are given ; and on the 
same page he is made the father of S. Ceitho ; but see ii, pp. 101-2. 

^ Bangor, 1721, p. 361. 

' Carlisle, Topog. Did. of Wales, London, 1811, s.v. Dar Owain. 
,, * Montgomeryshire Collections, iii, p. 182. 

5 Llandaff, 1719. append, p. 8 ; Paroch, Angl., 1733, p. 205. 

*S*. Tuawal 271 

One document in the lolo MSS.^ enters as saint a Tudur, son of 
King Seithenin, and brother of Tudclyd and Tudno supra ; but his 
■existence is very doubtful. 

In Brittany the name is Tuder. There is a parish called Tre- 
■duder in the ajicient Diocese of Treguier. 

S. TUDWAL, Bishop, Confessor 

TuDWAL, who is described by the Welsh as Saint and Bishop, is 
•known in Brittany as Tugdual and Tual.^ He is usually stated, by 
modem writers, to have been the son of Morfawr ab Cadfan ab Cynan 
(Meiriadog), of the line of Bran Fendigaid, and the father of Cynfor 
;(the father of Cystennin Gomeu), and of a S. Ifor.^ None of the early 
Welsh Saintly Pedigrees, however, include Tudwal as a saint, and the 
lolo MSS. are the only authorities for his pedigree. 

Tudwal was by no means an uncommon name ; and there is nothing 
to show that the Tudwal, whose pedigree has here been borrowed, was 
■«ver accounted a saint ; rather the contrary. The correct pedigree is 
.given in Mostyn MS. 117, of the thirteenth century, whereas the lolo 
MSS. documents which attribute it, but in a garbled form, to the saint 
are derived from MSS. of as late as the seventeenth century. 

Not only is the saint confounded with Tudwal ab Morfawr but also 
■with "Tudwal Befr, the husband of Hunydd (corruptly Nefydd), the 
-daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog.* But the epithet Pefr, the Fair, 
is nowhere given to the saint. In fact, all that can be said of his origin 
is that he was a native of Britain. 

Three Lives of S. Tugdual or Tudwal exist, of unequal value. The 
first is very brief, and was written by his disciple Louenan, in the sixth 
or early seventh century. The second was written between 888 and 
^907 ; and the third in the eleventh century. AU three were published 
byM. de laBorderie in Memoires de la Soc. Archeol. des C6tes-du-Nord, 
■2nd series, ii, pp. 77-122 ; reprinted in pamphlet form in 1887 under 
4he title, Les trots Vies anciennes de S. Tudual. The first Life had 

1 P. 141. 

" The Old Welsh form of the name is Tutagual, then Tutgual, Tutuual, Tud- 
-wal and, in Breton, Tual. It is the same name as the common Irish name 
'.Tuathal, now reduced to Toole. It is from an early Touto-uallos. 

3 Derived from lolo MSS., pp. 116, 135-7. 

* Rice Rees, Welsh Saints, pp. 134, 148. 

272 Lives of the British Saints 

already been published by M. Anat. de Barthelemy in the Memoires 
de la Soc. des Antiquaires de France, 1884. 

The periods given above are the attributions of M. de la Borderie, 
but a far more competent authority, Mgr. L. Duchesne, places the 
Vita ima as a composition of the ninth century, the Vita 2da as one of 
the eleventh century, and the Vita ^ia as one of the twelfth century. 
For variants in the readings, see Analeda Bolland., viii (1889), pp. 
158-61. For an account of the MSS. we must refer the reader to 
the publication of De la Borderie. 

The second king in Armorican Domnonia was Deroch, son of Rigual 
or Riwal, and during his reign the country received large accessions of 
British immigrants, and amongst these was Tudwal, belonging to the 
royal family, along with his mother Pompsea or Copaia, sister of" 
Rigual, his sister Scasva, and a widow named Maelher,i together with 
some seventy-two monks and servants. The function allotted tO' 
Maelher was to wash the linen and the habits of the monks. 

The immigrants landed at the south-west point of Leon, in the bay of 
Les Blancs-Sablons, and settled a little further to the east, where Tudwal 
established his Ian beside one of the little rivers that discharge intO' 
the port of Conquet. This bore the title of Lan Pabu, as Tudwal being 
abbot went familiarly by the title of Father, one at the time very gener- 
ally given to Bishops and Abbots, but which subsequently adhered 
especially to him and gave rise to an extraordinary misconception.. 
The lan he founded goes now by the name of Trebabu (Tref-Pabu), 
situated in the extensive Plou Macoer, now Ploumoguer. 

At the period at which Tudwal landed all Leon was under the rule of 
Deroch, second King of Domnonia. Deroch confirmed the possession 
of Lan Pabu to his cousin, but Tudwal did not remain there long. As- 
soon as his establishment there was well organized, he started on a tour 
through the whole of Domnonia, which had been extensively colonized 
from Britain, to see to the spiritual needs of the settlers, and to plant 
other centres whence his monks might disperse to minister to their 
necessities as required. 

Leon was already under the supervision of S. Paul, who had no work 
to offer Tudwal, but he accepted a few manors for the endowment of 
his monastery. One of these, Trepompae, now Trepompe, in the parish 
of Ste Seve, near Morlaix, bears the name of his mother, and the parish, 
of his sister. Then he went on to what is now Treguier, where he 
founded a large monastery called Val Trechor. He afterwards visited 
many other parts of Domnonia and received large gifts of land. 

But it was necessary for him to obtain ratification of these donations- 

1 These two are only named in the Vita lia. 

S. Tudwal '2'] Z- 

from the Frank King Childebert I, and he went for the purpose to Paris^ 
attended by twelve disciples, and a noble of the name of Albinus. The- 
king agreed to confirm the grants, but under the condition that he- 
should be consecrated bishop. Having accepted this condition TudwaL 
returned to Treguier, where he remained till his death. 

Such is the simple record in the Vita ima. The Second is much, 
fuller, but stuffed with fabulous matter. According to this, the 
dominus Albinus becomes Sandus Albinus, who acts as interpreter. 

Whilst at Treguier he is persecuted by Ruhut, the officer of Conmore,. 
the regent ; and the annoyance becoming intolerable, he went to Rome, 
where he was elected Pope under the name of Leo Britigena, and for 
two years exercised the sovereign pontificate. It wiU be noticed that 
this is in contradiction to the First Life, which states that he remained 
at Treguier till his death. At the end of two years, an angel appeared 
and bade him return to Brittany, and to facilitate his journey provided. 
him -with a miraculous snow-white horse. On his return he was cordi- 
ally welcomed, and died at Treguier, where he was buried embalmed 
in aromatic herbs and oils that he had brought with him from Jerusalem,, 
whither he had gone on pilgrimage during his sovereign pontificate. 

The fable of his having been elected Pope is due to a misconception; 
of his designation Pabu Tugdual or Tual. 

The -writer of this Second Life falls into error in making Tudwal a. 
native of Ireland (Scothia). This mistake is rectified in the Third Life ; 
in the prologue to which it is pointed out that the saint was a native 
of Britain and not of Ireland. 

According to De la Borderie, S. Tudwal died on November 30, 553. 

to 559- 

We greatly regret to state that the Life of this saint prepared for the 
Lives of the British Saints, some six or seven years ago, and which 
was much fuller, has, by some fatality, been lost in the post, and this- 
has had to be written in haste to supply the defect. 

S. Tugdual is entered for commemoration on June 3, in the Breviary 
of S. Brieuc, 1548, the MS. Breviary of Treguier, fifteenth century, also- 
November 30 and December 2 ; the Breviary of Treguier, 1770, 
November 30 ; December i in the Breviary of Leon, 1736, and that of 
S. Brieuc, 1783. But November 30 in the Breviar. Corisop. (trans- 
ferred to December i), 1701, Missale Maclov., 1609, and the MS, 
Calendar of S. Meen. He is not entered in the Welsh calendars. 

S. Tudwal's Islands, East and West, are two small islands off the south 
coast of Carnarvonshire, situated about a mile east of the Lle5m 
peninsula. They are regarded as belonging to the parish of Llanengan.. 
North of them is a fine bay, the S. Tudwal's Roads, which, from being 


2 74 Lives of the British Saints 

sheltered by the islands, affords good anchorage. On the eastern 
island, the larger of the two, was formerly a small chapel dedicated to 
S. Tudwal, which is mentioned in the Taxatio of 1291 ^ as " Eccl'ia 
Prioris de Enys Tudwal." Leland says,^ " Inis Tidwale a vi. Acres yn 
Cumpace. In it is a little Chirch desolate." The chapel was after- 
wards converted into a barn, when the island was under tillage. In 
1886 the island was purchased for Father Hughes, who established a 
mission thereon, and after living a hard life there, and preaching on 
the coast, died the following year, and the mission was abandoned. It 
is now occupied by sheep, rabbits, and puffins. 

On the western side of Lleyn is a parish called Tudweihog, i.e. 
Tudwal's Land, but the church is dedicated to S. Cwyfen. Ffynnon 
Dudwal formerly existed on Penrhyn, in the parish of Llanengan. It 
was a beautiful spring of crystal water, which was drained dry some 
years ago by the local lead mine. 

Llanystudwal, now Llanstadwell, is the name of a parish in Pembroke- 
shire, the dedication of the church of which is to-day given as to S. 
Tudwal, on Rice Rees's conjecture.^ Nothing is known of a S. Ystud- 
wal, or the like spelling, but Mr. Egerton Phillimore suggests to us 
that the name may represent Stradweul (or Ystradfael), a rare woman's 
name, borne, for instance, by the wife of Coel Godebog. This name 
might again stand for S. Tradwell or TredwaU, the virgin-saint of 
Restalrig, near Edinburgh,* who is commemorated in the Aberdeen 
Breviary on October 8. The parish feast-day at Llanstadwell does not 
appear to be known. 

S. Tugdual is patron of the city of Treguier, of Combrit, Grand- 
Champ, Labedan, Landuval, Langoat, Pabu, Plouray, S. Pabu, S. 
Thual, S. Tugdual, and Trebabu. 

He is represented as a bishop holding a dragon bound by his stole 
on the sixteenth century stalls at Treguier ; and in episcopal ornaments 
and wearing the papal tiara, trampling on a dragon, in a statue of the 
seventeenth century at Langoat. 

He is invoked as Tutwale, among the Confessors, in a tenth century 
Litany of Brittany. ^ He is invoked there to-day in public calamities, 
rand for the cure of chest diseases. 

1 P. 291. ^ Itin., V, f. 50. 

^ Welsh Saints, pp. 134, 348. Browne Willis, Paroch. Anglic, p. 179, ascribes 
it to a S. Sywall. Dyffryn Tudwal was the name of a small manor situated, in 
part, in the parish of Llanddewi Rhydderch, Monmouthshire. 

"■ J. R. Tudor, The Orkneys and Shetland, London, 1883, pp. 379-80. 

5 Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, ii, pt. i, p. 82. 

S. Tudwg 275 

S. TUDWEN, Virgin 

TuDWEN is said to have been a daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog,i 
but her name does not occur in the usual hsts of his children. 

The little church of Llandudwen, under Ceidio, in Carnarvonshire, 
is dedicated to her. Her festival is not entered in any of the Welsh 
calendars, but it is elsewhere given as October 21^ or 27.^ 

Ffynnon Dudwen, which has now disappeared, was in the corner of 
a field near Llandudwen Church, and was held in great repute for bad 
eyes, rheumatism, etc. The devotees used to throw money and pins 
iuto it. 

Loc-tuen, in Kervignac, Morbihan, was, in 1282, called Loc-tud- 

S. TUDWG, Confessor 

According to the lolo MSS.* Tudwg was the son of S. Tyfodwg, 
and a member of the congregation of S. Cenydd, in Gower. Llandudwg, 
now Tythegston, subject to Newcastle, in Glamorganshire, is dedicated 
to him. Browne Willis ^ gives his festival there as May 9, but it does 
not occur in any of the Welsh Calendars. 

In the notification of a twelfth century grant among the Margam 
Rolls is mentioned, as part of the boundary, " the dyke from S. Tu- 
doc's " {? a well), which may be the little brook running from Corneli, 
in the parish of Pyle, now called the Slwt.^ 

Tudwg is possibly the same as the Tudec or Tudi who is venerated 
in certain places in the diocese of Vannes, whither Cenydd had moved 
and formed some foundations, but he is not to be confounded with 

^ Cardiff MS. 5 (1527), p. 120; Cambro-BHtish Saints, p. 271. Rees, Welsh 
Saints, p. 309, classes her among the saints of " uncertain date." Others take 
her for a male saint. 

^ Willis, Bangor, 1721, p. 274. 

^ Carlisle, Topog. Diet, of Wales, 1811 ; Cambrian Register, 1818, iii, p. 224. 

" Pp. 107, 127. The name reminds us of the Tudoch of Llandudoch (S. 
Dogmael's), near Cardigan. It is to be distinguished from that of S. Tydiwg, 
of Uixton. Tythegston = Tudwg's Town. 

^ Llanda-ff, 1719, append., p. 4. 

^ Birch, Hist, of Margam Abbey, pp. 39, 399. Tythegston is mentioned there, 
among other forms, as Tudekistowe (1291) and Tedegestowe. In a Tewkesbury 
charter of about 11 So it appears as " Capella Sancti Theducti." There is at 
Pontypridd a place called Ynvs Cae Didwg. 

2 7^ Lives of the British Saints 

another Tudec or Tudy who has received a cult in the diocese, but 
specially in the He de Groix, also called Inis Tudy. Here is the parish 
church of Loc-Tudy, and the Pardon is on the third Sunday in July. 
At Le Palais, in Belle He, there is also a chapel of S. Tudy. He was, 
however, supposed to have died in the He de Groix, and there his relics 
were preserved. 

In the Quimper Breviaries of 1642, 1701, and 1835, Tudinus is entered 
on May 11, but this is certainly not this Tudy but the disciple of S. 
Winwaloe and of S. Maudetus. Probably it is Tudwg who is venerated 
at Plessala, in Cotes du Nord, for it adjoins the region where his master 
Cenydd worked, and made a foundation at Plaintel, and Gildas, the 
father of Cenydd, was at La Harmoye, Magoar, and S. Gildas by Uzel. 
This part of Domnonia, then covered with forest, seems to have been 
a great place for founding small settlements by Gildas and his family 
and disciples. 

Tudwg was the name of the rich man who killed Tyfai, the infant 
nephew of S. Teilo, and afterwards gave the uncle in atonement the 
villa of Cil Tutuc, somewhere near Tenby. ^ 

S. TUDY, Abbot, Confessor 

Tudec or Tudi is mentioned in the Lives of S. Maudetus or Mawes, 
as his disciple along with Bothmael. 

Maudetus arrived in Armorica in the reign of Childebert (511-58), 
and he was at once joined by these young men, " initio habitationis 
illius sancti in pr^dicta insula," that is to say, on the Isle of Modez as 
it is now called, in the Brehat archipelago. 

At some time or other Tudec went to Landevennec and became a 
disciple of S. Winwaloe. In the Life of that saint by Wrdistan he is 
called Tethgo. 

Tudi is mentioned in the Life of S. Corentine, which was composed 
in the thirteenth century. This tells us : " Cornouaille, not having 
a bishop, required one ; and three men of worth and sanctity were 
chosen, Corentine, Winwaloe and Tudi ; and Grallo (the King) sent 
all three to be consecrated by S. Martin of Tours." 

The story is apocryphal. S. Martin had been dead a century ; but 
it was forged by the church of Quimper, which desired to escape from 
the jurisdiction of Dol, that claimed metropolitan rights over it. Never- 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 127. 

S. Tudy 277 

theless, there remains an element of truth in it. There was a saint of 
the name of Tudi, of some consideration in Cornouaille. 

The story goes on to say that Corentine was consecrated bishop, and 
surrendered his abbatial of&ce to Winwaloe and Tudy. This also is 
contrary to fact, and shows how the author wrote with a mind biassed 
by the ideas of his time. 

Winwaloe had himself founded Landevennec, and Corentine had 
nothing to do with it. Moreover, Corentine was bishop in 453, and 
Win">\ aloe was not born till about 480. 

Tudy retired to an island off the coast, near Pont I'Abbe, and there 
founded a monastery. After his death it was removed to the mainland 
at Loc-Tudi, where there is an early and interesting church. 

That he is the same as the Tudec or Tudi culted in the He de Groix 
is more than doubtful. This latter was probably Tudwg, disciple of 
S. Cenydd. 

In the Life of S. Winwaloe by Wrdistan, composed in the ninth cen- 
tury, is found intercalated a piece of poetry in Latin hexameters, of 
•which a portion at least was not the composition of Wrdistan at all, 
but of an amplifier, a century later at least. In this is a praise of the 
three great men who founded the little state of Cornouaille, King 
Grallo, Bishop Corentine, and the Abbot Winwaloe. Then it proceeds 
to say — 

" Jamque tamen ternos precesserat ordine Sanctus 
Eximios istos Tutgualus nomine, clarus 
Cum meritis monachus, multorum exemplar habendus ; 
Cujus cumque sinu caperet cum vestibus ignem, 
Xon tetigit flamma sed leni rore madescit : 
Sed cum ccclitibus vitam turn forte gerebat.""^ 

M. de la Borderie has shown plainly enough that this cannot apply 
to S. Tudwal, who did no work at all in Cornouaille. ^ It refers to S. 
Tudi, of whom traditions lingered that he had beefi a great worker. 
And the author of the lines has transferred to him, from his fellow 
disciple, the story of his carrying fire in his lap. But he is wrong in 
saying that he preceded Winwaloe, Grallo, and Corentine. He was 
certainly junior to Winwaloe. 

He is probably the Tethgo, who is mentioned in the Life of S. Win- 
waloe as his disciple. 

He lived in a cell, probably a beehive hut, near that of the abbot. 
'One night, a monstrous figure appeared to Winwaloe, and strove to 
frighten him. Winwaloe adjured the apparition. Tethgo heard the 

1 Vita in Cartul. de Landevennec, Rennes, 1888, p. 71. 

2 MJmoires de la Ssu ArchSol. des Cdtes du Nord, 2nde serie, T. ii. {1889), 
IPP- 345-6 

278 Lives of the British Saints 

voices raised in altercation, and went to see what was the matter, and 
saw the monstrous form. It was perhaps some native who had dressed 
himself up in a hideous disguise, with the purpose of scaring the saint 

Tudy must have died at the end of the sixth or the beginning of the 
seventh century. 

The feast of S. Tudec or Tudy is observed in Brittany on May 9 or 
II. It is given at this latter date in the Breviaries of Quimper, 1642, 
1701, and 1835. Gautier du Mottay gives May 11 in his Calendar, 
but May 9 in the body of his work. Fairs were granted to be held at 
S. Tudy, in Cornwall, in 1705, on May 9, and also on September 3. 
The patronal feast is now held at S. Tudy on May 20, i.e. New Style S. 
Tudy's Day (May 9). 

In Domesday the parish of S. Tudy is called Eglos-Tudic. In Bishop 
Bytton's Register, 1291-1307, it is Ecclesia Sti Tudii ; so also in the 
Taxatio of 1291. In the Registers of Stapeldon, 1308, Grandisson, 
1348, and 1350, Brantjmgham, 1371, and 1381, as Eecl. Sti Tudii ; in 
that of 1371 as Eccl. Sti Todii ; again as Tudii in 1383 ; and Stafford, 
1420, as Tudii. 

In Corn'uaille, in Brittany, S. Tudy has churches at Loc-Tudy, 
and He Tudy, near Pont I'Abbe, where the patronal feast is observed 
on May 11. Also at Landudec (Lan-Tudec), near Plougastel S. Germain, 
where the Pardon is held on the last Sunday in July. 

At the chapel of S. Tudec, near Gourin, on the outskirts of the Forest 
of Toul-Laeron in Spezet, between Chateaulin and Carhaix, the Pardon 
is on the second Sunday in September. The correspondence with the 
Fair at S. Tudy in Cornwall on September 3 may be noted. The pil- 
grims lay their caps filled with rye at the feet of the statue of the saint, 
who is invoked against deafness and headache. ^ 

At Tredudec (Tref-Tudec), near Plestin, Cotes du Nord, S. Tudy 
has been supplanted by S. Theodore, warrior-martyr of Heraclea, 
who, being in the Roman martyrology, has been introduced to efface 
the cult of the Celtic saint who acted as apostle to the district, and 
the Greek warrior's statue has been erected over the High Altar. ^ S. 
Tudy has a cult at Plouedern, near Landerneau. He was the patron 
of PouUaouen, near Carhaix, but has been replaced by S. Peter. He 
has a chapel at Spezet, where his Pardon is held on the third Sunday 
of July. 

1 Vita Sti Winwaloei, ed. Plaine, Anal. Boil-,, -wii (1888), p. 224 ; Cart., de 
Landevennec , ed. De la Borderie, pp. 69-72. 

2 Le Braz, Annates de Bretagne, ix (1893), p.. 46-., 

3 Ibid., xiii, p. 109, 

S. Twrog 2 79' 

The saint is represented in a statue of the fourteenth century at' 
Loc-Tudy in chasuble, bareheaded, a staff in his right hand, and an 
open book in his left. At PouUaouen in sacerdotal vestments, mitred,, 
and with abbatial staff. 

The presence of a church bearing his name in Cornwall is due in all 
probability to the spread of Winwaloe settlements in that part of- 
Britain, from Armorican Landevennec. 

S. TWROG, Confessor 

Twrog was one of the sons of Ithel Hael of Llydaw,i and probably 
came to Wales with S. Cadfan. He was brother to SS. Tegai, Trillo, 
and Llechid. He was a disciple of S. Beuno, and, ut fertur, that saint's 
amanuensis. 2 In that capacity he is said to have written the noted. 
Welsh MS., now lost. The Book of S. Beuno, known also as Tiboeth. 
Dr. John Davies, in his Welsh-Latin Dictionary, 1632, s.v. Tiboeth, 
gives the following interesting note, in Welsh : — " Tiboeth was the 
name given to the Book of S. Beuno, with a dark stone on it, that was- 
in the Church of Clynnog, in Arfon. This book Twrog wrote in the 
time of King Cadfan, and it was saved when the church was burnt 
{q.d. Diboeth, aKavaTO?). This I saw, says T. W. [Thomas Williams], 
in the year 1594." ^ 

There is an earlier reference to the MS. In the charter confirming; 

1 Myv. Arch., pp. 418, 431 ; lolo MSS., p. 133. 

' Willis, Bangor, 1721, p. 273, where, and at p. 280, his name is Latinized- 
Tauricius. S. Aelliaiarn was Beuno's acolyte. 

2 The Latin- Welsh part of the original Dictionary, in the autograph (1604-7) 
of Sir Thomas Williams, of which Dr. Davies's is merely an abridgment, forms 
Peniarth MS. 228. The Welsh-Latin part is at Brogyntyn. Tiboeth stands 
for Di-boeth, i.e. un-burnt, where poeth bears the older meaning it has in " poeth 
oiirwm," and place-names like Coed Poeth, Pentre Poeth, etc. It is referred 
to in a couplet by the fourteenth century poet lolo Goch {Gwaith, ed. Ashton,- 
p. 457) — attributed also to his contemporary, Sypyn Cyfeiiiog : — 

" Llygad ual glein cawat coeth 
Tabic y vaen y tyboeth." 

(" An eye like the pure shower crystal, comparable to the stone of the Tiboeth"). 
This clearly implies that its covers were jewelled. Clynnog Church, it is 
stated, was burnt down thrice, and each time the MS. escaped fire, being- 
encased in iron (Y Gwladgarwr, 1838, vi, p. 43). Twrog is represented in 
modern glass in Maentwrog Church holding the MS. in one hand, and resting; 
the other on Twrog's Stone. 

2 8o Lives of the British Saints 

■Gwyddaint's grant of Clynnog to S. Beuno it is stated that he gave it 
" in the hope of an eternal possession in Heaven, and to have his name 
inscribed in the Boolv of S. Beuno " [Liber Scti BongnoM) } No doubt 
it was the ' ' booke ' ' referred to in the evidence in a case at Carnarvon 
in 1537 as " Graphus S'ci Bewnoi." ^ From the evidence it appears 
that it was of the nature of a register of the Collegiate property, but 
it was probably not then at Clynnog. 

In all probability it was one of those MSS. of the Gospels or Liturgy 
in which deeds , of gift are commonly found enrolled. The Buchedd 
Beuno and the Charter seem to have copied the donation of Clynnog 
verbatim from the MS., only that in the Charter the entry is a little 

In time the lost Llyfr Beuno or Tiboeth, of Clynnog, got confounded 
with the Llyfr Twrog, of Llandwrog, for which confusion lolo Mor- 
ganwg is mainly, if not entirely, responsible. He says, in one of the 
many MSS. in his handwriting at Llanover ^ — " Legends of wonderful 
Miracles performed by those saints (Welsh) were manufactured by 
the Monks and Popish Clergy. A copy, thus amplified or interpolated, 
was written about the year 1300, or rather later, and bears the name 
of Twrog or Llyfr Twrog. It is also called Tiboeth. I met with a 
copy of this MS., which I have in my possession as a loan." In a 
letter, written in 1809, he says that he was translating for publication 
" the Book of Twrog, of which he had found a copy in an odd corner 
■of Wales in 1803." * It was never published, but his transcript of it 
is at Llanover. Its full title is as toUows : ^ " Llyma Lyfr a elwir 
Llyfr Twrog, nid amgen na Chyfarwyddyd ar Welygorddau Bren- 
hinoedd Ynys Prydain a Thywysogion ac Arglwyddi Cymru a Phym- 
theg Llwyth Gwynedd, ac enwau Saint Ynys Prydain au Eglwysau, 
a'u tynnu allan o'r Hen Lyfrau Cronigl a Uyfrau Achau, gan leuan 
Twrog ap Aron, ap Arthal, ap Elidr, ap Gruffudd, ap Hywel, ap Cadw- 
gan, ap Heilyn, ap Cadrod, ap Owain, ap Einion, ap Gwalchmai, ap 
MeUir, o Landwrog yn Arfon." The title clearly indicates the nature 
of the contents of the Llyfr Twrog ; it is simply a compilation, from 
various sources, of Welsh pedigrees — royal, princely, and tribal — 

1 Record of Caernarvon, 1838, pp. 257-8, printed from two faulty copies ii 
the Harley Charters 696 and 4776. The printed BongnoM is for Beugnobi. 

2 Y Cymmrodor, xix, pp. 77, 83. ^ Llanover lolo MS. 59, p. 93. 

* Cambrian Register, 1818, iii, p. 373; see also Waring, Recollections of lolo, 
1850, p. 182 ; Cambrian Journal, 1854, p. 188. Bp. Humphreys, of Bangor, 
failed to hear anything of the whereabouts of Llyfr Twrog in 1685 (Panton MS. 

6 Llanover lolo MS. 66, p. 89. In a note added it is calculated that leuan 
Twrog lived circa 1400. lolo gives " Twrog " as his authority once in the 
lolo MSS., p. 81. 


From window by Kempe at Maentwrog Church. 
[Photo by Wm. Marricti Dodscn.) 

S. Twrog 281 

and a catalogue of the British Saints, with their Churches, by a certain 
mediceval writer named leuan Twrog, of Llandwrog. It was the 
provenance of the tract that led lolo astray. 1 

Twrog is the patron of Maentwrog (originally, but afterwards the 
B.V.M., August 15), in Merionethshire, and of Llandwrog, in the 
neighbourhood of Clynnog (S. Beuno), in Carnarvonshire. He is 
probably the patron also of Bodwrog, under Llandrygarn, in Anglesey. 
BrjTi Twrog is the name of a house in the parish. Maentwrog, S. 
Twrog's Stone, is so named, according to the local legend, from the 
huge block which the saint threw from the top of Moelwyn to this 
spot, where it has ever since remained.^ It is in the churchyard, 
attached to one of the angles of the church, and is quite different 
from the ordinary stone of the district. Tradition adds that this great 
upright stone marks the saint's grave. But there was formerly a 
Bedd Twrog, his Grave, a carnedd on the mountain forming the higher 
portion of the parish of Llandwrog, but the stones have long since 
been carted away. It appears to have been also known as Mynwent 
Twrog, his Graveyard.* 

June 26 is given as the festival of S. Twrog in the calendars in 
Peniarth MS. 219, and the Prymers of 1618 and 1633. Tyrnog 
also occurs in several calendars on the same day, possibly by mistake 
for Twrog. Browne Willis gives the wake-day at Maentwrog on the 
Festival of the Assumption, and those at Llandwrog and Bodwrog on 
June 26.* 

Another Twrog is entered as a saint in the lolo MSS., a son of 
Hawystl Gloff and Tywanwedd. He was thus brother to Tyfrydog, 
Teymog, Tudur, and Marchell, and like them a saint first of Bangor 
■on Dee, and afterwards of Bardsey.^ The fact that he occurs only 

^ In Cambrian Journal, 1858, p. 364, it is stated that Llyfr Twrog contained 
notices of the Saints of Gwynedd, compiled by Gruffydd ab Rhirid, of Llandwrog, , 
for Tudur ab Gronw, of Penmynydd, in Anglesey, and that it was " the same 
.as Bonedd y Saint " in Hafod MS. 16. 

2 Pugh, Cambria Depicta, London, 1816, p. 170, According to another 
version Twrog was a giant, who dwelt in the mountain. The villagers had 
incurred his wrath, and he flung the huge stone down with the intention of 
killing some of them, which, though it hit the church, did no damage. The 
imprint of his five fingers are still visible on it ! In the Mabinogi of Math, son 
•of Mathonwy, the death (in single combat) and burial of Pryderi, prince of 
Dyfed are located at " Maen Tyuyawc, above the Felenryd " (Mabinogion, 
■ed Rhys and Evans, p. 64), which is manifestly a mistake for Maen Tyryawc, 
now Maen Twrog. 

3 Arch. Camb., 1863, p. 335 ; Ambrose, Nant Nantlle, 1872, pp. 54-5. 

4 Bangor, pp. 273, 277, 280, Angharad Llwyd, Hist, of Anglesey, 1833, p. igi, 

gives January i for Bodwrog. N. Owen, in his History, 177,5, p. 58, however 

T if. ^ Pp- 124, 142. 

June 26 f T. ~t 

282 Lives of the British Saints 

in these two late documents makes his existence very doubtful. He 
is no doubt a reduplication of Teyrnog (or Tyrnog). 

S. TYBIE, Virgin, Martyr 

Tybieu or Tybie was one of the unmarried daughters of Brychan 
Brycheiniog, ^ who is said to have been " slain by the Pagans " at 
Llandebie, in Carmarthenshire. ^ The local tradition varies as to 
the precise spot on which she suffered martyrdom. According to 
one version she was kiUed, by Saxons or " wandering Irish," where 
now stands the Church ; but according to another, where her Holy 
Well, Ffynnon 'Bie, is, which that instant sprang up a crystal spring. 
The well is situated under half a mile from the church, and near it is a 
farmhouse called Gelli Frynon (Forwynion), the Virgins' Grove, where 
she and her sister Lluan and others are said to have resided. To 
Lluan, who was the wife of Gafran (died 558), father of the celebrated 
Aidan mac Gabran, was dedicated the neighbouring chapel Capel 
Llanlluan, in the modem parish of Gorslas, the church of which is 
dedicated to her.^ 

Tybie had a cell in a field, called Cell Tybie, on the farm of Cae'r 
Groes, in Llandebie, where, it is said, she used to retire at times for 
prayer and meditation. She could see the church from the spot. 

Her festival does not occur in the Welsh Calendars. Browne 
WiUis * gives it on January 30, but Dr. John Jones ^ says December 
26, on which day a fair is held in the village. The latter was a native 
of the parish, living at a time when the Gwyl Mabsant was still ob- 
served, and his date therefore is more likely to be correct. The last 
remnant of the wakes was the mock-mayor election at Christmastide. 

In an Ode to King Henry VII, in which the protection of about 
a hundred Welsh and other saints is invoked for him, Tybie's nanae 
occurs in the same line as S. Non.^ 

There is a railway station called Landebia between S. Brieuc and 
Dinan, in C6tes-du-Nord, but it can hardly bear Tybie's name. 

' Cognatio de Brychan — Vesp. (Tibyei), Domit. (Tebie) ; Jesus College MS. 2.0 
(Tebieu) ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 430 ; lolo MSS., pp. iii, 120, 140. The name 
is trisyllabic. In the last work, at p. 146, Tj'bieu occurs in a list of " Saints in 
Morganwg and Gwent " — an error for Tydieu. 

= lolo MSS., p. 108. 

^ For the association of her brother Hychan with Llandebie see iii, p. 286, 

* Paroch Anglic, 1733, p. 189. 

5 History of Wales, London, 1824, p. 323, 

6 lolo MSS., p. 314. 

S. Tydecho 283 

S. TYDECHO, Abbot, Confessor 

Tydecho was the son of Amwn (Annun) Ddu ab Emyr Llydaw, 
by Anna, daughter of Meurig ab Tewdrig.^ He was thus a brother 
to S. Samson, and first cousin to S. Cadfan, with whom he is said 
to have gone to Bardsey. He was one of five brothers whom Amwn 
dedicated to God and to Samson. ^ 

He is mentioned in the Life of S. Padarn, under the form Titechon, 
as one of the three leaders (the other two being Hetinlau, and Catman 
or Cadfan) of companies of saints or monks from Armorica to Wales.* 

There is no Life of S. Tydecho, but his legend has been preserved 
in a poem, Cywydd Tydecho Sant, by the fifteenth century bard Dafydd 
Llwyd ab Llywelyn ab Gruffydd, who lived at Mathafam, not far 
from where Tydecho settled.* We give a summary of it. 

This holy man, one of Heaven's warriors, hved the life of a religious 
in Mawddwy, in South-east Merionethshire, of which district he was 
the " guardian." He and SS. Dogfael and Tegfan dwelt together 
for some time at Llandudoch ^ (S. Dogmael's, in Pembrokeshire). 
He was an abbot, and a relative of King Arthur. He loved not the 
sea ; he preferred the wild sohtude of the glens of Mawddwy. Here 
he raised a " temple," and passed a most austere reHgious hfe. He 
was a " confessor," who wore a " hair coat," and his bed was the blue 
rock on the valley side. One day, that great tormentor of the saints, 
Maelgwn Gwynedd, thought he would annoy the saint by sending a 
stud of white horses to be pastured by his prayers. Tydecho turned 
them loose on the mountain side, and when they were fetched, des- 
pite the cold winds and the frost, they were found to be fat, strong, 
coursers, and their white coats turned to golden yellow. 

Maelgwn, provoked at this, seized the saint's oxen whUe at team. 
But the next day wild deer, in place of the oxen, were seen ploughing 
his land (D61 y Ceirw, near the Dovey, still glebe-land), and a grey 

1 Peniarth MSS. i6, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 5 (p. 119) ; Myv. 
Arch., p. 431 ; lolo MSS., p. 103, iii, 132-3. Some of the Peniarth 
Calendars which give his festival enter him as Tydecho Filwr {MS. 219), and 
Techo (MSS. 187, 192), shorn of the honorific prefix to or ty. He is also TechO' 
in the Breviary of S. Malo ; supra, p. 40. 

' Supra, pp. 145-6. ^ Cambro-British Saints, p. 189. 

* MS. copies of it are plentiful. It has been printed, e.g., in the Cambrian 
Register, 1799, ii, pp. 375-?; Edward Jones, Bardic Museum, 1802, pp. 45-6; 
Brython, 1863, v, pp. 453-4. 

5 Llanymawddwy is sometimes called Llandudech by the older mhabitants ; 
Brython, v, p. 454. Cf. the Breton Landecheuc ; Cart, de Landevennec, p. 39. 
Tradition says Tydecho used to retire for prayer to a lonely spot called Celt 
Fawddwy, on Mynydd Llwyn Gwilym. 

:2 8 4 Lives of the British Saints 

-wolf harrowing after them. Maelgwn, bent on further annoying 
him, came with his pad-: of white hounds to chase them, and sat down 
•on the blue stone, the hermit's couch, to watch the sport ; but when 
he attempted to rise, he found himself glued to his rocky seat, unable 
to stir, and he was obliged to humbly beg the saint's pardon, and 
promised to make amends for his insults if he would but free him 
from his awkward plight. On being released he sent back Tydecho's 
oxen, and gave him in atonement the privilege of sanctuary for "a 
hundred ages " — asylum for man and beast, and exemption from 
all fighting, burning, and killing. 

On another occasion his fair sister Tegfedd, who resided with him, 
was carried off by a local chieftain, Cynon, and his men. They were 
all struck blind, and he had to restore her, un violated, to her brother, 
and to appease his wrath by a grant of the lands of Garthbeibio, 
in the neighbourhood, free of heriot, amobrage, and other dues, for 
ever. This was confirmed by Hywel ab Cadell, i.e. Hywel Dda. 

Another time an army of five hundred men came to lay waste his 
lands. He miraculously conquered them without fighting, by ener- 
vating them. 

There is a cywydd to " Tydecho and the two parishes of Mawddwy " 
by Matthew Bromfield,^ who lived in the sixteenth century, but it 
is mainly a eulogy of Mawddwy and its people. It contains, however, 
an allusion to the saint's miracle of turning the water of the brook 
Llaethnant into milk. About 2i miles above the village of Llany- 
mawddwy, on Ffridd y Glasgoed, is Buches Dydecho, the saint's Milking 
Fold, and the local tradition states that his milk-maid one day in 
■crossing the brook slipped and upset the milk-pail (cerwyn) into it, 
at a spot called Rhyd y Gerwyn, but Tydecho, instead of scolding 
the maid, converted, for the benefit of the poor at a time of great 
scarcity, the whole brook into milk, from its source at Creiglyn Dyfi 
■down to near the village, where it becomes the Dovey. Hence its 
name of Llaethnant, the Milk Stream, which it still retains, though 
the sceptic mind is disposed to explain its foamy appearance as 
the result of its headlong rush over the boulders. The ravine is called 
Cwmllaeth. A little below the Buches, near Rhiw'r March, is Gwely 
Tydecho, his Bed, a mere shelf in the rock, situated in a romantic 
spot. Near it is Ffynnon Dydecho, scooped in the rock. Cadair 
Dydecho, his Seat, a depression in the rock, is still pointed out\t the 
top of the wooded ravine of the Pumrhyd, close to the Rectory. Croes 

1 Printed, e.g., in Goludyr Oes, 1863, i, pp. 393-4. There is a metrical tranf- 
Jation of botli poems in the Works of the Rev. Griffith Edwards, 1895, pp. 39-42. 

S. Tydecho 285 

Dydecho is also in Llanymawddwy, and near it was a chapel, long 
since disappeared. 

To Tydecho are dedicated the churches of Llanymawddwy, in 
Merionethshire, and Mallwyd and Garthbeibio, both entered as chapels 
of their mother church in the Taxatio of 1291. IMallwyd Church is 
built on the boundary line of the counties of Merioneth and Mont- 
gomery. Garthbeibio is situated in the latter, as is also Cemmaes, 
in its neighbourhood, likewise dedicated to Tydecho. The extinct 
Capel Tydecho, in Llandegfan, Anglesey, was dedicated to him, but 
not Llandegfan itself, as is sometimes stated. 

George Owen (1552-1613), in his itinerary or diary in the Vairdre 
Book at Bronwydd, fo. 136a, says under Llanymawddwy, " there is a 
chapell called capel tydacho in the Churche yard now begininge to 
decaye — there was watchinge eu'y friday nighte." According to- 
local tradition MaUwyd Church was built on the spot it now stands, 
in the vale, in obedience to supernatural warnings. The foundations 
of the old church of Llandybbo, which it has superseded, may still 
be seen on the mountain. In Gruffydd ab Gwenwjmwyn's charter of 
1277-8 the latter is called Llandeboe. 

There was a Ffynnon Dydecho near the church of Garthbeibio. It 
is now filled up and its water drained off. Bathing in it was con- 
sidered very efficacious in the cure of rheumatism and certain other 
complaints. The patients dropped a pin into it on leaving, and 
it was considered sacrilege to take any of the pins away. At its 
northern side once stood an image of the saint's head in stone. 

Tydecho's festival is December 17, and occurs in most of the Welsh 
Calendars. In the calendars prefixed to the New Testament of 1567 and 
the Bible of 1620, it is on December 18 ; but this is given as Tegfedd's 
day. The local observation differed ; at Llanymawddwy it was on 
the first Sunday after Lammas Day, O.S. ; at Mallwyd and Garth- 
beibio on Easter Monday >• ; and at Cemmaes it followed Michaelmas 

One MS. quoted in the Myvyrian Archaiology '" gives a Tydecho 
as son of Gildas ab Caw, but this must be an error. 

1 Willis, S. Asaph, p. 293 ; Cambrian Register, ii, p. 375. Willis, Bangor, 
p. 362, gives December 17 for Llanymawddwy and Mallwyd. 
2" Willis, ibid., p. 361- ^ P- 43 1- 

2 86 Lives of the British Saints 

S. TYDFIL, Virgin, Martyr 

The spelling of the town-name Merthyr Tydfil has fixed for us 
the modern form of this saint's name, which should, more correctly, 
be Tudful. It is met with in a variety of spellings besides, such as 
Tudfil, Tudfyl, Tydful, and Tydfyl. 

Tydfil was one of the daughters of Brychan.^ She is entered in 
the Vespasian version of the Cognatio, " Tudeuel in Merthir Euineil " ; 
and in the Domitian version, " Tutuil ab ea dicitur Merthir Tutuil." 
The misreading " Merthir Euineil " has been made to yield another 
daughter of Brychan, Enfail, to whom the church of Merthyr, near 
Carmarthen, is generally assumed to be dedicated.^ But, like not 
a few others of Brychan's children, her supposed existence owes its 
origin to a copjdst's blunder. " Euineil " stands without doubt 
for " Tutuul," i.e. Tudful. 

In Llanover lolo MS. 57, p. 188, occurs the following account 
of Tydfil's martyrdom at Merthjn: Tydfil. ^ "About the year 480 
it is said that Dudfyl dau'' of Brychan, being here (at Merthyr 
Tydfil) on a visit to her father in his old age, was assassinated by the 
Pagans (Saxon Pagans says one MS., but it seems more likely to have 
been British or Pictish pagans). Rhun her Brother hereupon raised 
the Country, and attacking those Pagans on the banks of the River 
was there slain in the moment of victory, in the place there is a Bridge 
over the River called Pont Rhun. A spring of water near the Town 
is called ffynon Dudful. A Place not far from this spring is called 
Calon Hychan from Hychan, another son of Brychan . . . Hafod 
Tanglwst is the name of another place in this Parish so called from 
another Dau' of Brychan named Tanglwst." * 

To Tydfil is dedicated the church of Merthyr Tydfil, in Glamorgan, 
and, as usually given, that of Llysronydd, now Lisworney,^ subject 

^ Jesus College MS. 20 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 430 ; lolo MSS., pp. 107, 
III, 140. The name is not common. A monument in the church of Llangattock 
juxta Crickhowell records the death of a " Dydvil " in 1798. Erdutuul, daugh- 
ter of TryfiSn, is mentioned in the Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 112 ; 
and Erduduyl gwyndorliud occurs in the pedigrees in Jesus College MS. 20. 

" Rees, Welsh Saints, pp. 152, 331 ; Diocesan Calendar, etc. 

^ Dr. John Jenkins, of Hengoed's misreading, in 1817, of the inscription on, 
the Tegernacus stone at Capel Brithdir, Gelligaer, was interpreted as Tydfil's 
epitaph, and it was concluded that her body lay under the stone (Hanes Buchedd, 
etc., Cardiff, 1859, p. 69). 

* For another account see lolo MSS., p. 121, which is given under S. Rhain, 
supra, p. 109. 

^ lolo MSS., p. 221, it is said to be dedicated to Nudd Hael ; and on p. 148 
Tewdrig ab Teithfall is stated to have founded the church of Merthyr Tydfil. 

S. Tydieu 287 

■to Llantwit Major, as well as the modern church at Port Talbot, in 
the same county. 

The Lann Tituill (Llandudful), mentioned, with its boundary, in 
the Book of Llan Ddv, ^ is beheved by Mr. Egerton Phillimore to be 
misplaced at Llw3m Deri,^ and should be at S. Dial's, near Monmouth. 
The Nant Meneich of its boundary occurs also in that of the con- 
terminous parish, Llanwarow or Wonastow. S. Dial's is also the 
name of one of the two chapels, now in ruins, in the parish of Llanii- 
hangel Llantarnam, near Caerleon. 

S. Tydfil's festival does not occur in the Welsh Calendars, but 
Browne Willis ^ and others give August 23. " Mabsant Merthyr," 
however, a famous revel, was held in Easter week, and lasted the 
"whole week. * 

There is a Hafod Tydfil in the Gwaun Valley, in Pembrokeshire. 

S. TYDIEU, Virgin 

Tydieu was one of the daughters of Brychan,^ under which name 
■she is variously stated to have been " a saint at Capel Ogwr," ^ " jti 
y Tri gabelogwar," ^ and " yn trigabelogwar." ^ The two last are 
misreadings, and the first has been " read in." Capel Ogwr for- 
merly stood near the river Ogwr or Ogmore, in the parish of S. Bride's 
Major, in Glamorgan. 

The entry in the Cognatio de Brychan that matches the above is 
undoubtedly the following, in the Vespasian version, " Kein y thrauil 
ogmor " ; in the Domitian version, " Keinbreit apud Teraslogur." 
But they point to quite another saint.^ 

The Cambro-British Saints'^" gives " Tydew, daughter of Brychan, in 
Manaw." This seems to be matched again by the " Bethan in Man- 
nia "^oi the Cognatio. - !> , r 

Jesus College MS. 20 gives, as a daughter of Brychan, " Tuthth yn Uys ronwy 
ygwlat vorgan," " Tudhth in Llys Ronwy, in Glamorgan " ; but nothing is 
inown of her. 

1 Pp. 241-2. ^ Ibid., pp. 379, 409- 

3 Llandaff, 1719, Appendix, p. 2 ; Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 152. 

* Y Cymmrodor, vii, p. 233. 
■ « lolo MSS., pp. Ill, 140; Myv. Arch., p. 419- 

6 lolo MSS., p. 121 (as Tydeu). ' Myv. Arch., p. 431. 

8 Peniarth MS. 75, p. 54- ° "' PP- 52. 100. " P. 270. 

2 8 8 Lives of the British Saints 

S. TYDIWG, Confessor 

In the Progenies Keredic, at the end of the Cognatio de Brychan 
in Cotton MS. Vesp A. xiv, is given " Tydiuc Sanctus " as a son of 
Corun ab Ceredig ab Cunedda, but of whom the saintly pedigrees- 
take no cognizance. He was thus a brother of SS. Carannog, Tyssul,. 
Ceneu, and others. 

Tydiwg is the patron of Llandydiwg, in Monmouthshire, the Henn- 
lann Titiuc, Lann Tydiuc, or Ecclesia Tytiuc oi the Book of Llan Ddv,^ 
mentioned as being situated on the banks of the Wye. It is known 
to-day as Dixton, for an earlier Dukeston, and dedicated to S. Peter. 
The parish comprises the two manors of Dixton Newton and Dixton 
Hadnock, divided by the Wye. Dukes-ton or Dix-ton represents the 
-diwg of Llandydiwg. With it may be compared Foy, also on the 
Wye, called in the Book of Llan Ddv Lann Timoi, and Llan-soy, dedi- 
cated to S. Tysoi. The saint's name is found Latinized Tadeocus,^- 
as in a grant of Tadinton to the Priory of Monmouth (after 1134), 
where one of the lay witnesses is Johannes de Sancto Tadeoco, i.e. 



Attached to Llandeilo Fawr, in Carmarthenshire, about four 
miles from the town, and situated in a secluded spot, is a chapel called 
Llandyfaen or Llandyfan, which it may be presumed is dedicated 
to a S. Tyfaen or Tyfan. The saint is sometimes identified with 
Dyfan and even Dyfnan ; but both are impossible. The name is 
accented on the ultima, which implies that it was once trisyllabic. 

One hesitates to identify it with the name of Tyfanog and Dyfanog" 

^ Pp. 183, 231, 275—6. The name seems to resolve itself to To + Tiuc. 
By this saint is no doubt intended the Dwywg of the lolo MSS. See ii, p. 393, 

2 Geoffrey of Monmouth's Thadioceus, Archbishop of York (Hist. Reg. Brit., 
xi, c. 10), probably represents the same name. He is not mentioned by name 
in the Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 236 

S. Tyfat 289 

of Ramsey Island, shorn of the diminutive suffix -og, whose name is, 
once at least, found spelt Dyfaenog.i 

In the chapel-yard, to the north-west of the chapel, is a fine bap- 
tistery, oblong in form, and with nine steps down into it. It is filled 
by a very copious spring, which oozes out from under the rock. It 
was formerly regarded as a holy well, having restorative properties. 
Many persons suffering from paralytic affections, and other disorders, 
are said to have been cured by bathing in it. The spring was drained 
off in 1897-8 to supply Llandeilo in part with water. 

S. TYFAI, Martyr 

We learn from the Life of S. Oudoceus 2 that Tyfai was a son of 
Budic, of Armorican Cornouaille, and Anauved, sister of S. Teilo, and 
that he was born in Dyfed. He was brother to SS. Ismael and Oudo- 
ceus. In the Life of S. Teilo ^ it is stated that he was first a disciple 
of S. Dubricius, but that he afterwards, with other fellow-disciples, 
attached himself to S. Teilo on his return from Brittany after the 
YeUow Plague. 

This hardly fits in with another notice of him in the Book of Llan 
Ddv.* It happened one day that the swine of a man of Penally, in 
Pembrokeshire, got into the harvest field of a weU-to-do man of the 
name of Tutuc. When he saw this, in a fit of ungovernable fury, he 
seized his lance and rushed forth to find the swineherd. At Penally 
he came on the man, who was with Tyfai, a child [infans), who gal- 
lantly rushed between the pigdriver and Tutuc, when he saw the latter 
about to strike the serf. The lance pierced him, and he fell dead. 

When Tutuc came to his senses, he- was alarmed, for the child was- 
the nephew of S. Teilo, and son of the banished prince of Armorican 
Cornouaille. The King, Aircol Lawhir, intervened, and as a blood 
fine, the man was constrained to make over two of his vills, Ciltutuc 
and Penclecir, to Teilo, and himself to go " into perpetual servitude, 
he and all his progeny." Tyfai was buried at Penally. 

1 lolo MSS., p. 314. So also in the copies of the poem in Cardiff MSS. 7 
(p. 151), 26 (p. 57), 63 (p. 318). 

2 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 130 Tyfai's name occurs under the following earlier 
-forms, Timoi, Tiuoi, Tiuei, Tyfhei, Typhei, Tefei, and Tyfai. The name resolves 
itself to To -I- Mqi. 

' Ibid., p. 115. * P. 127. 


2()0 Lives of the British Saints 

The churches dedicated to him are Lamphey, in Pembrokeshire, 
which was formerly Llandyfei/ and not Llanffydd, as is sometimes 
stated ; ^ Llandyfeisant,^ the little church in Dynevor Park, subject 
to his uncle's foundation at Llandeilo Fawr, Carmarthenshire ; Foy, 
on the Wye, in Herefordshire, anciently called Lann Timoi (or Tiuoi),* 
but has now been guessed to be dedicated to S. Faith ; and the extinct 
chapel of Lampha, formerly written Lan Tiuei,^ now the name of one 
of the manors of the parish of Ewenny, in Glamorgan, but apparently 
the chapel was in 1141 attached to S. Bride's Major.'' 

Tyfai's festival day is not known. Browne WiUis ' gives the 
festival at Lamphey as October 6, but this is S. Faith's day. 


There is a church in Breconshire called Llandyfalle or LlandefaUe, 
which has been variously conjectured to be dedicated to S. Maethlu, 
S. Tyfaelog, and S. Matthew.^ These, of course, are mere guesses 
from the name. The patron of the church is, no doubt, identical 
with that of the extinct Lann TipaUai, mentioned several times in the 
Book of Llan Ddvj' and which the editors have doubtfully identified 
with the Parsonage Farm, a little west of S. Maughan's, in Monmouth- 
:shire. Nothing, however, is known of the saint. 

S. TYFANOG, Confessor 

In the Calendar in Cotton MS. Vespasian A. xiv, of the early thir- 
teenth century, is entered against November 25, " Sci Tauanauci 
Conf^" He is otherwise known as Dyfanog. Ramsey Island, near 

' E.g. Lantefey, Arch. Camb., 1883, p. 298 ; Llandyffei, Bruis, ed. Rhys 
.and Evans, p. 353. 

^ E.g. Fenton, Pembrokeshire, 181 1, p. 430 — " Fanum SanctaeFidei Virginis." 

^ This formation appears to be the only instance of its kind in Welsh, and 
those wherein Sant enters at all in the composition of Z./aM-nanies are very few, 
a.nd mostly confined to non-Welsh Saints. The most notable instance is S. 
Pride in Llansantfiraid 

^ Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 231, 275. The Llan has been dropped, as in the 
.adjoining Sellack, for Lann Suluc. 

^ Ibid., p. 212. " Clark, Cartes, 1885, i, p. 14. 

' Paroch. Anglic., 1733, p. 178. 

' Ecton, to S. Teilo ; Theo. Jones, Breconshire, ed. 1898, p. 321, conjectured 
S. Maelog. " Index, p. 409, and p. 372. 

S. Tyfodwg 291 

S. David's, was, in Welsh, called after him Ynys Tyfanog or Dyfanog, 
and Capel D5^anog, one of the two chapels thereon, was dedicated 
to him. See further under S. Dyfanog. 

S. TYFODWG, Confessor 

According to the lolo MSS.} which alone give the few particulars 
relative to this saint, Tj^odwg Sant was the son of Gwilf5Av ab Mar- 
chan, of the Une of Coel Godebog, and the father of S. Tudwg. " He 
came to this Island with Garmon and Cadfan," from Armorica, and 
became a saint of Cor Illtyd. To him are dedicated the churches of 
Llandyfodwg (the Landiwoddok of the Taxatio of 1291), and Ystrad 
Dyfodwg. He is one of the three saints to whom Llantrisant (SS. 
Illtyd, T3rfodwg, and Gwyno) is dedicated.^ All three parishes are 
in Glamorgan, and adjoining. Llantrisant was formerly, and is still, a 
very extensive parish. Three out of its five ancient capellce were 
Llantwit Vardre, Ystradyfodwg, and Llanwonno. Tyfodwg is also 
said to have a church in Somerset dedicated to him, but its name is not 
given. There is a modern church dedicated to him at Treorchy, in 
the Rhondda Deanery. 

By him in all probability is meant the Tyfodwg given in lolo Mor- 
ganwg's list of the Bishops of the see of " Glamorgan alias Kenffig," * 
apparently Margam. 

T5rfodwg's festival is not entered in any of the Welsh Calendars, 
but Browne Willis * gives Ystradyfodwg as dedicated to S. Dyfodwg 
with festival on June 25 — the morrow of the Festival of the Nativity 
of S. John Baptist, to whom now the church is regarded as being 

The following is one of the " Sayings of the Wise " tercets ^ — 

Hast thou heard the saying of S. Tyfodwg 
Of the Uplands of Glamorgan ? 
" No good will come of wantonness " 
(Ni ddaw da o drythyllwg). 

' Pp. 107, 127, 148, 221. Sir J. Rhys, in his Celtic Inscriptions of Gaul, 1911, 
p. 56, says Dyfodwg is the Welsh form of the Irish name Dubthoch or Dubthach 
(now Duffy) . It occurs, in the Latin genitive Dobituci, and its Ogmic equivalent 
Dov2tuceas, on the inscribed stone at Clydai, in Pembrokeshire. For -wg and -og 
see ii, p. 40. 

2 Curiously, Lewis, in his Topog. Diet, of Wales, 1848, ii, p. 109, says it is' 
dedicated to SS. Dyvnog, Iddog, and Menw. 

' lolo MSS., p. 36r ; Liber Landavensis, p. 625. 

■• Llandaff, append., p. 2 ; Paroch. Anglic., p. 199. 

^ Tola MSS., p. 256. 

292 Lives of the British Saints 

S. TYFRIOG, Abbot, Confessor 

Tyfriog was the son of Dingad ab Nudd Hael by Tenoi, daughter 
of Lleuddun Luyddog, and brother to SS. Lleuddad, Baglan, Eleri, 
and Tegwy.^ He was a saint " in Ceredigion Iscoed," i.e. at Llandy- 
friog, in Cardiganshire, which church is dedicated to him.^ His 
brother Tegwy or Tygwy is patron of Llandygwydd, in the neighbour- 

His festival occurs only in the South Wales Calendar in Cwrtmawr 
MS. 44, where he is entered as " Tyfriog, Abbot," on May i.^ He 
is thus identified with S. Brioc, without the common honorific prefix 
to, later ty. The Life of S. Brioc states that he was bom in the " regio 
Coriticiana," i.e. Ceredigion, but his parentage there is quite different 
to that given in the Welsh saintly pedigrees. The " Landa Magna " 
of the Life is probably Llandyfriog. See further under S. Brioc. 

S. TYFRYDOG, Confessor 

Tyfrydog " in Mon " was the son of Hawystl Gloff and Tywan- 
wedd, and brother of Diefer, Teyrnog, Tudur, and Marchell.* He is 
said to have been a saint of Bardsey. He is the patron of Llandy- 
frydog, in Anglesey. In the parish is a Bryn Tyfrydog. 

Giraldus Cambrensis ^ says, " There is in this Island (Anglesey) the 
church of S. Tevredaucus, into which Hugh, earl of Shrewsbury, on a 
certain night put some dogs, which on the following morning were 
found mad, and he himself died within a month," in 1098, being 
killed by a Norse pirate. He ascribes the calamity to the " vindic- 
tive nature " of the Welsh saints. 

About a mile from the church, in the corner of a field near the Holy 

' Pemarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 418, 427, 431 ; lolo MSS., pp. 
103, 113, 139. In Hafod MS. 16 his name is given as Tyfrydog, and in Peniarth 
MS. 12 as Tj'frydod, bothi by mistake. Tyfriog stands for an early To-Brigacos. 

^ Edward IJaayA, Parochialia, 1911, iii, p. 92, gives a very fanciful explanation 
of the church name — " Tis deriv'd quasi Llanddwfreiog : because it is just 
by y" river Tivy w"'' is famous for eiogiaed anglice salmons." 

' Willis, Paroch. Anglic, p. 193, gives the church as dedicated to Tyfrydog, 
with festival on May i. Tyfriog's protection is invoked in lolo MSS., p. 314. 

« Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 5 ; Cambro-British 
Saints, p. 271 ; Myv. Arch., p. 431 ; lolo MSS., pp. 105, 124, 142. In Hafod 
MS. 16 Tyfriog is written Tyfrydog, through confusion. Tyfrydog is appa- 
rently the same name as the Breton Teffredeuc or Tefridec, the saint involved 
in the name Saint-Evarzec, in Finist^re. 

^ Itin. Camb., ii, c. 7 ; Opera, vi, p. 129. 

S. Tyrnog 293 

Wells of SS. Cybi and Seiriol, on Clorach farm, is a celebrated maen 
Mr, a little over 4 feet high, called Lleidr Tyfrydog,^ Tyfrydog's Thief, 
which has the appearance of a humpbacked man. The local tradition 
is that a man who sacrilegiously stole the church books, whilst carrying 
them away, was suddenly converted by the saint into this red sand- 
stone pillar. The lump to be seen on one side of the stone repre- 
sents the sack which contains his theft, lying over his shoulder. His 
soul, at stated intervals, is compelled to go three times madly round 
the field and back to the stone, in the dead of night, being pursued by 
demons with red-hot pitchforks.^ 

Tyfrydog's festival is January i, which occurs in the Calendars 
in the Prymer of 1618, and Allwydd Paradwys, 1670.^ 


S. TYRNOG, Bishop, Confessor 

Tyrnog was brother of S. Carannog, and son of Corun ab Ceredig. 
He was consequently akin to Sant, father of S. David. The pedigree 
was this : — 

Ceredig ab Cunedda 

I — r~ '. i I 

Garthog Cedig Corun Ithel 

I j ! I 

S. Cyngar S. Non=Sant S. Carannog S. Tyrnog S. Tyssul S. Dogfae 


S. David 

We have seen under S. Tenenan that this name is the same as 
Temoc or Tyrnog, who was a disciple of Carannog, and who was healed 
by him of leprosy. Temoc came to Armorica and founded Lander- 
neau (Lan-Temoc), and who is, erroneously, supposed to have become 

1 It is illustrated in Arch. Camb., 1867, p. 346. 

2 A satire, entitled '' Tuchangerdd Lleidr Dyfrydog " (1871), is printed in 
Pritchard, Hanes ac Ysiyr Enwau yn Mdn., Amlwch, pp. 98-9- 

3 So in Willis, Banger., lyzi. p. 282 ; Owen, Hist. Anglesey, 1775, p. .57 ; 
Llwyd, Hist. Anglesey, 1.833, p, 227. Tyfrydog's protection is invoked in lolo 
MSS... p. 314- 

2 94 Lives of the British Saints 

bishop of Leon. That Carannog was some twenty years older than 
Tyrnog is possible enough, and that would explain his having his 
brother under him as a pupil. 

Tyrnog founded no church in Wales. Llandyrnog, in the Vale of 
Clwyd, was founded by S. Teyrnog. His name alone and pedigree 
have been preserved. ^ It is deserving of note that the neighbour- 
hood of Landerneau was clearly visited by S. David. His church 
is in the adjoining parish, and S. Non was buried at Dirinon, which is 
also hard by Landerneau. 

That Tyrnog was at one time in Ireland is possible enough. That 
was the great field of operations by his brother Carannog, and Ternoc 
of Cluana-mor, probably Clonmore in Wexford, is commemorated in 
the Irish Martyrologies on July 2. 

If the identification be admitted, then Tyrnog was in Ireland for 
some years, and then joined in the migration of several Irish saints to 
Armorica. He settled in Leon, and afterwards his cousin David visited 
him there. Whether he ever were a bishop is questionable. For 
further particulars see S. Tenenan. 

What makes the identification more plausible is that Landeda near 
Lannilis, in the same district, has S. Cyngar, a first cousin, as patron. 
Tregarantec, the tref of Carantoc or Carannog, now regards S. Ternoc 
as its patron. We may suspect that Carannog passed over the 
management of his church there to his younger brother. The story 
of this tref is interesting. It was formerly one in the Kemenet lUi, 
a strip of land between the two rivers Aber Benoit and Aber Vrach ; 
and was of considerable extent and jurisdiction. Later, we may 
judge, a certain Deiniol or Daniel formed a plou in it, now Ploudaniel,, 
which became flourishing, as Tregarantec declined. Then Ploudaniel 
was cut out ecclesiastically from the parish of Tregarantec and was 
given by Judicael to his brother Guenian. This transfer assumed a 
legendary form. Ternoc had been forgotten and confounded with 
Ernoc, son of Judicael ; and it was said that this Ernoc occupied Tre- 
garantec. His uncle came to see him, and asked to be given a site. 
Ernoc replied that he might have as much land as he could go round,, 
whilst he took his afternoon nap. Guenian waited till his nephew 
was asleep, and then, mounting a flying horse, he galloped through the 
air in a round and enclosed thus within his territory the whole of 

1 Llanstephan MS. 28 (1455-6), p. 69 ; Peniarth MSS. 74, 75 (sixteenth, 
century) ; Myv. Arch., p. 431. Sometimes the name is wrongly spelt Teyrnog^ 
as in lolo MSS., p. 125, and Teyrnog is often found as Tyrnog, but the names 
are totally distinct. The Progenies Keredic in Cottom MS.. Vesp. A. xiv does 
not give him as a son of Corun. 

S. Tyrnog 295: 

Ploudaniel, and a stone was shown then with a print of a horse's- 
hoof where he ahghted.^ 

Ernoc or Arnec is a very doubtful personage. Of him absolutely 
nothing is known, not even that he was a saint. Garaby gives his 
day as the same as that of S. Ternoc, October ii, whom he confounds- 
with Tighemach, Bishop of Clones and Clogher.^ The story of the 
loss of Ploudaniel to Tregarantec grew out of this. It was said that 
Ternoc was asleep, i.e. not exercising his due power in heaven, or else- 
the parish would not have suffered such grievous diminution. 

Popular tradition represents Ternoc as a bishop, and to have exer- 
cised episcopal functions over the whole of Kemenet lUi, that com- 
prised five parishes. Among these is Guiseny, a foundation of Setna,. 
a nephew of S. David, and disciple of S. Senan of Iniscathy, conse- 
quently allied to Tyrnog, and he was probably one of the party that 
came over together. Lambader may be the Ian of a brother, Pedjn:. 
Dogf ael was another cousin of Tyrnog ; he is not known in Leon but 
in the adjoining diocese of Treguier. 

S. Temoc is given as a bishop in the MS. Missal of Treguier, of the 
fifteenth century, on October 3 ; so also in the Leon Breviary of 1516,. 
and the Leon Missal of 1526 

Why Garaby has transferred him to October 11 is not clear. He 
is followed by Gautier du Mottay and De la Borderie. Llanstephan 
MS. 117 gives the festival of a Tyrnog on September 25. 

Temoc is represented as a Bishop in the Church of Tregarantec ;■ 
also at Ploudaniel, in a statue of the sixteenth century. Here there is a. 
Holy Well in the grounds of the Chateau, but kept enclosed and locked. 
The church has been fitted throughout with bad modem glass repre- 
senting the legend of S. Guenian, excogitated for the purpose, as- 
practically nothing is known of him, save that he was brother of 

There is a small parish S. Emey in East Cornwall, a daughter church- 
to Landrake. Whether this is dedicated to Temoc cannot now be said. 
See further under S. Tenenan. 

T5miog was not a common name in Wales. " Pair Dyrnog Gawr " 
was one of " the Thirteen Royal Treasures of Britain," of which it is 
said, " The Cauldron of Tymog the Giant : if meat were put into it 
to boil for a coward it would never be boiled, but if meat for a brave- 
man it would be boiled instantly." ^ There is a farm in the parish of 

1 The story is in Kerdanet's edition of Albert le Grand, 1837, p. 221. It 
is not in the ne-w edition by Abgrall and Thomas, as they -were not permitted 
by the representatives of De Kerdanet to employ his notes and essays. 

2 Vies des Saints de Bretagne, 1839, p. 253. ' Brython, i860, p. 372. 

296 Lives of the British Saints 

Llanddeusant, Anglesey, called Clwch Demog (or Dymog), Tymog's 

S. TYSOI, Confessor 

There occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv ^ the grant of Lann Tyssoi 
to the church of Llandaff by Conhae or Conhage, in the time of Bishop 
Berthwyn. It is described as " podum Sancti Tisoi, pupil of S. Du- 
bricius, which formerly belonged to S. Dubricius." The name is later 
spelt Landissoy and Landesoy.^ It is in Monmouthshire. 

It is now called Llansoe or Llansoy, a form in which the honorific 
prefix to, later ty, has been dropped. No dedication is given to the 
church, but in the face of this grant there can be no doubt as to its 
true patron. 

Nothing is known of Tysoi ; but he is in all probability the Soy who 
was one of the clerical witnesses to a grant to the monastery of Llan- 
carfan, in the time of Paul, its abbot. ^ 

S. TYSSILIO, Abbot, Confessor 

Unfortunately, the MS. Life in Latin of this saint which was 
preserved in the Church of S. Suliac on the Ranee has disappeared, 
and all we know of it is from the MS. Bibl. Nat. frangais, 22321, p. 
730, and from the Lections of the Breviary of S. Malo, reprinted in 
the Acta SS. Boll., October i, pp. 196-8 ; and from the Life given 
by Albert le Grand after this Life, a copy of which had been sent him 
from S. Suliac, and from the Lections of the Breviaries and Legendaria 
of Leon and Folgoet. 

Tyssilio or Suliau was the son of Brochwel Ysgythrog ab Cyngen 
ab Cadell Ddymllug ; and his mother was Arddun, daughter of Pabo 
Post Prydain.* 

1 P. 187. 

2 Ibid., pp. 321, 328 ; Taxatio of 1254 ; Clark, Carta, iii, p. 582 (1295-6), iv, 
p. 36 (1306-7). By the sixteenth century it became Llansoy. 

^ Cambro-British Saints, p. 89. 

i Peniarth MSS. 12, 16, 45; Hafod MS. 16; Myv. Arch., pp. 417, 431; 
lolo MSS., pp. 104, 130 Peniarth MS. 12 (early fourteenth century) also 

S. Tyssi/io 2()J 

The Life says only that he was son of Brocmail, and that he had 
two brothers. From the Welsh pedigrees we know the name of one, 
Cynan Garw5m. He was first cousin to S. Asaph and to S. Deiniol. 

His father, Brochwel Ysgythrog (of the Tusks), was reigning prince 
•of Old Powys, and resided at Pengwern, or Shrewsbury, where prob- 
ably Tyssilio was born. Cynddelw, a bard of the twelfth century, 
adverts with pride to the circumstance that the saint was " nobly 
•descended of high ancestry." 

TyssUio at an early age resolved on embracing the religious life ; 
but as his father destined him to the profession of arms, and was a 
self-willed, headstrong man, Tyssilio was constrained to take flight 
■one day, whilst out hunting, after having announced his resolve to his 
brothers, who were with him. 

He then hastened to Meifod, and threw himself at the feet of the 
Abbot Gwyddfarch, whom the Latin writer calls Guimarchus. The 
brothers of Tyssilio on their return to their father told him how that 
Tyssilio had fled. The prince was very angry, and sent a company of 
men to Meifod, with orders to bring his son back to him. On their reach- 
ing the monastery they saw the abbot, and rated him for having turned 
the head of the young prince with his fantastical ideas. Gwyddfarch 
replied with gentleness, and produced Tyssilio before them shaven 
and habited as a monk. They did their utmost to induce him to 
return with them, but as he steadfastly refused, did not venture to 
use compulsion, and break sanctuary, but returned and reported to 
Brochwel how matters stood. 

His father allowed him to follow his own devices ; but Tyssilio 
who thought that Brochwel would make a greater fuss over him than 
he did, and feared that force might be employed, asked Gwyddfarch 
to let him retire to a more remote spot, and he was sent to Inis Suliau, 
an islet in the Menai Straits, where he founded the church of Llan- 
dyssilio. Here he spent seven years, and then returned to Meifod, 
where he found Gwyddfarch full of a project of going to Rome. But 
he was too old to undertake such a journey, and Tyssilio said to him : 
" I know what this means ; you want to see the palaces and churches 
there. Dream of them instead of going." 

gives a " Tysiliaw ap Enoc ap Etwin ap Keredic ap Kuneda Wledic." The 
Progenies Keredic does not mention Edwin as a son of Ceredig. The name 
Tyssilio stands for SiUau, or Silio, with the common honorific prefix to, later iv, 
and would be more correctly spelt with one s. It is sometimes cut down to Siljo 
in place-names. It is a totally distinct name from Tyssul. In Brittany Tyssilio 
is known as Suliau and Sulien. Tyssilio is rather a rare name. In the Chronicon 
Fani Sancti Neoti {Asser's Life of King Alfred, ed. Stevenson, 1904, p. 128) 
is the entry, " Anno DCCXC Tassilio dux venit in Franciam." 

298 Lives of the British Saints 

Then he took the old abbot a long mountain trudge, till he was 
thorouglily exhausted, and declared he could go no further ; so Tyssilio 
bade him lie down on a grassy bank and rest. And there Gwyddfarch 
fell asleep. 

When he woke, Tyssilio asked him how he could endure a journey 
to Rome, if such a stroll tired him out. And then the abbot informed 
him that he had dreamt of seeing a magnificent city, and that suf&ced 
him. Some time after this Gwyddfarch died, and Tyssilio succeeded 
him as abbot. 

Meifod (the May or Summer Residence) is beautifully situated by 
the lush meadows near the junction of the rivers Einion and Vymwy, 
under the commanding heights crowned by Mathrafal, to which the 
kings of Powys retired after the fall of Pengwem or Shrewsbury. 

Now a terrible disaster fell on the British. Ethelfrid the Northum- 
brian, who had married a daughter of Ella, expelled her infant brother 
Edwin from Deira and united it to Bernicia. Edwin, according to 
Welsh accounts, fled to North Wales, and was well received by the 
King of Gwjmedd. Ethelfrid was alarmed at the prospect of a league 
formed between the Deirans and the Welsh, and crossing the Western 
Hills, crushing the British Kingdom of Elmet as he passed through it, 
marched upon Chester. 

At his approach, Brochwel assembled the men of Powys, and to him 
came, if we- may trust Geoffrey of Monmouth, Bledrws, Prince of 
Cornwall, Meredydd, King of Dyfed, and Cadfan ab lago. King of 
Gw3medd. The site of the battle is not easy to determine. Bede 
says that Ethelfrid " made a very great slaughter of that heretical 
nation, at the City of Legions, which by the English is called Lega- 
caestir, but by the Britons more rightly Carlegion." Bede means 
Chester. The battle probably took place on the Dee, near Bangor 
Iscoed ; for the monks of the monastery of Dunawd poured forth, after 
a fast of three days, and, ascending a hill that commanded the field, 
prayed for victory and cursed the enemy. 

Ethelfrid, observing their wild gestures, bade his men fall on and, 
massacre the monks. " Bear they arms or no," said he ; " they fight 
against us when they cry against us to their God." 

According to Bede, Brochwel behaved in a dastardly manner. Some 
twelve hundred of the unfortunate monks were butchered, only fifty 
escaping by flight ; and " Brocmail, turning his back with his men, 
at the first approach of the enemy, left those whom he ought to have 
defended unarmed and exposed to the swords of the .assailants." *- 

1 Bede, Hist. EccL, ii, c. 2. 

S. Tyssiiio 299 

This is not quite what is represented in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 
which, under the date 607, says, " This year Ethelfrith led his army 
to Chester, where he slew an innumerable host of the Welsh. . . . 
There were also slain two hundred priests, who came thither to pray 
for the army of the Welsh. Their leader was called BrocmaU, who 
with some fifty men escaped thence." 

Geoffrey gives a very different account from Bede. A tremendous 
fight took place at Bangor, in which many fell on both sides, and 
Ethelfrid was wounded and put to flight, after losing 10,066 men. On 
the side of the Britons fell Bledrws, Prince of Cornwall.^ 

That Brochwel fled without striking a blow is incredible ; and it is 
also certain that Ethelfrid was not defeated and obliged to fly. 

The date given in the Chronicle to this battle is 607, but the Annals 
of Ulster give 613, and this has been accepted as the date by Arch- 
bishop Ussher,^ and by Green. Freeman, however, prefers 607. 

Brochwel at the time of the battle was probably very old, and did 
not long survive it. 

" The battle of Chester marked a fresh step forward in the struggle 
with the Welsh. By their victory at Deorham (577) the West Saxons 
had cut off the Britons of Dyvnaint, of our Dorset, Somerset, Devon 
and Cornwall, from the general body of their race. What remained 
was broken anew into two parts by the battle of Chester ; for the 
conquest of ^Ethelfrith had parted the Britons of what we now call 
Wales from the Britons of Cumbria and Strathclyde. From this 
moment, therefore, Britain as a country ceased to exist." ^ 

According to Geoffrey, Cadfan ab lago, of Gwynedd, now became 
the recognized king of the Britons. Brochwel was succeeded by his 
son, called in the Life Jacobus, or lago, who died two years later, 
without issue. 

His widow, Hajarme (i.e. in Welsh, Haiammed, now Haiamwedd), 
was a strong and determined character, and after consultation with 
the chief men of Powys, resolved on withdrawing Tyssiiio from his 
monastery, marrying him, and making him King of Powys. 

The times were full of peril, and a strong and able prince was neces- 
sary. But Tyssiiio was not the man for the occasion ; he hated war, 
knew nothing of its practice, and above all, objected to marrying 
his deceased brother's widow, and leaving the profession of religion. 
The sister-in-law at once, like a woman, took this as a personal 

1 Eruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 238-g ; Hist. Brit. Reg., xi, c. 13. But 
see what has been said i, p. 302. 

2 Antiq. EccL. Brit. Index Chron., p. 1,157. 

' The Making of England, ed. 1897, i, pp. 275-6. 

300 Lives of the British Saints 

affront. She was incapable of understanding that Tyssiho had a voca- 
tion for the monastic life ; could not believe that he was intellectually 
and morally incapable of military achievements, and assumed that 
he disliked her personally. She therefore, also like a woman, did 
all in her power to injure or annoy the Monks of Meifod. She had 
assumed the regency. 

The position of Tyssilio became intolerable. She seized the revenues 
•of the abbey ; and to free his monks from her persecution, he fled, 
along with some of his monks who were attached to him, and left Wales 
altogether, crossed the sea, and entered the estuary of the Ranee. 

The coast is wild and ragged, fringed with rocks and islets and reefs. 
A chain of islands, of which Cesambre is the chief, is thrown like a 
necklace of coral across the entrance to the Ranee, which is commanded 
by the isle of Aaron or S. Malo. The river forms a broad estuary of 
glittering blue water, up which the mighty tides heave gently, the 
waves having been broken and torn to foam on the natural break- 

Ascending the river, some four miles, a point of high land shelving to 
a beach runs into it, with a long creek on the south, through which at 
low tide trickles a tiny stream. On this point of land Suliau drew up 
his boat, and here he resolved on settling. S. Malo was then at Aleth, 
which the writer of the Life calls Guicaleth (Vicus Alethi), and with 
him Suliau held converse. Probably S. Malo was not overjoyed to 
have an abbot settle so near him, and run his monastery in rivalry 
against his own. But, if so, he yielded. He knew who Suliau was, a 
son of a mighty prince, but from another part of Wales. Suliau told 
iis story, how he was persecuted by his brother's widow, and how 
Powys was torn by factions. 

Suliau began in modest fashion. He constructed a chapel and some 
■cabins for his few brother monks, and tilled the soil. But he had 
trouble. The creek was dry at low water, and the cattle crossed 
easUy from the further side ; they entered his fields and ravaged his 
crops. Suliau was forced to bank up and plant withies and interlace 
them, so as to hedge out these vexatious intruders. 

According to the Life, as given by Albert le Grand, Suliau was 
visited by S. Samson. This, however, is chronologically impossible ; 
for he did not cross over into Brittany till a few years after the mas- 
sacre of Bangor and the taking of Chester, which was in 607 or 613. 

The chieftain who held rule in that part favoured the new settlers, 
and gave the whole of the spit of land to Suliau. 

Suliau, like a prudent man, had not left Wales without taking his 
•cook with him, his chef in fact {archimagirus) ; and this master of 

S. Tyssilio 301 

the kitchen, monk though he was, had a Httle affaire de cam with a 
girl on the opposite side of the Ranee. He was wont, Leander-like, 
to swim across and visit her. 

On one occasion, as he was crossing, a monstrous conger eel laced 
itself about him, and the poor cook was in dire alarm. He invoked 
all the saints to come to his aid. S. Samson, S. Malo, his own master, 
Suliau, could not deliver him, when happily he thought of S. Maglorius 
of Sark, and called on him for assistance. At the same moment, it 
occurred to him that he had his knife attached to his girdle, and, 
unsheathing that, he cut and hacked at the conger, till it released its 
hold. The story occurs in the Legend of S. Maglorius, and is told to 
exalt that saint at the expense of the rival saints . ^ 

Whilst Suliau was in Brittany, and his monastery was growing, he 
received tidings that his sister-in-law was dead, and two of the monks 
of Meifod, whom the Life calls Pellibesten and Caramanien, came 
to him to invite him to return to Wales. However, Suliau was con- 
tent where he was, and he gave the messengers a Book of the Gospels 
and his walking staff, and bade them return without him to Meifod. 

Some time after that he died in his monastery on October i, but in 
what year we do not know. His sister-in-law is not likely to have 
been desirous of marrying him if he were not in the full vigour of man- 
hood in or about 610. If we may suppose that he was then aged 
thirty-five, he died approximately in 650. 

S. Suliau is patron of the church of S. Suliac, on the Ranee, where 
was his monastery, and his tomb, with an altar above it, is at the 
west end of the church, where also is his ring, with a large uncut stone 
in it, preserved under glass. 

His statue, by the High Altar, represents him as a monk in a white 
habit, without mitre, but holding his staff. It is a popular belief 
that as the staff is turned so is changed the direction of the wind. The 
old woman who acts as sacristan informed us that her husband, a fisher- 
man, when once returning, could not enter the harbour owing to con- 
trary winds. She turned the crosier in the hand of S. Suliau, and at 
once the wind shifted, and the boat arrived with full sails. 

SuHau is also patron of Sizun, in the diocese of Quimper ; so that 
he probably did not confine himself to the Ranee but went afield to 
found a branch establishment in Cornouaille. 

In the Red Book of Hergesi ^ is a poem attributed to Tyssilio, com- 
posed of thirty triplets, thirteen of which begin with the catch-words 

1 Vita S. Maglorii, Mabillon, Acta SS. o.s. B., sasc i, p. 7. 

2 Col. 1,026; Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, pp. 237-41 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 

302 Lives of the British Saints 

Eiry mynyd (Mountain Snow). It is of a religious character, in the 
form of a dialogue between SS. Llyweljm and Gwrnerth, of Trallwng, 
or Welshpool. A postscript states, " Tyssilio, the son of Brochwael 
Ysgythrog, composed these verses concerning Gwrnerth's coming to 
perform his devotions with S. Llywelyn, his companion ; and they are 
called the Colloquy of Llywelyn and Gwrnerth." In its present form 
the poem cannot be much older, if any, than the MS. in which it is 
preserved — this portion about 1400 — and the references in the prefatory 
note and the text to the saying or singing of Matins and the Hours prove 
it to be mediseval. It is followed by another poem, of thirty-six 
verses, each with the same catch-words and similar in sentiment. In 
fact, there is a number of Eiry mynyd poems, all of which are of a 
religious or semi- religious character.^ 

The so-called Brut Tyssilio ^ is in reality one of several " compiled " 
versions (the earliest MSS. of which are of the fifteenth century) of 
Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britannic?. It is pretended that the Brut 
was originally the work of Tyssilio, and that it was subsequently 
" enlarged " by Walter (Mapes), Archdeacon of Oxford, and Geoffrey ; 
but there is no authority for ascribing any work of the kind to Tyssilio. 
The poem Canu Tyssilyaw, by the twelfth century bard CyTiddelw,^ 
eulogizes the saint and " Meifod wen." It contains a reference to his 
self-banishment to Gwynedd — Eifionydd it says — and to the annoyance 
he received at the hands of his sister-in-law. His church at Meifod, 
" the abode of the three Saints," was contiguous to that of Gwydd- 
farch, but there was no comparison between the latter and his, with 
its fine cloisters and spires, its priests and choir, its offerings and gold- 
en clustered crozier. It was the " sepulchre of Kings." Three distinct 
churches formerly co-existed within the extensive churchyard of 
Meifod. Eglwys Gwyddfarch, the earliest, was superseded by the 
more substantial and imposing edifice of Tyssilio. The third, S. 
Mary's, was consecrated in 1155. In its architecture, furniture, ser- 
vices, and ministrations Tyssilio's excelled the other two, and his festival 

1 Other Eiry mynyd verses will be found in Myv. Arch., pp. 358-63, some of 
which are attributed to Merfyn Gwawdrydd and Y Mab Claf, or Maer Glas (son 
of Llywarch Hen). They are of a later date still than the Red Book poems. 

^ Myv. Arch., pp. 432-75. The editors, on p. 601, distinctly state that the 
Brut is so designated merely to distinguish it from Brut Gruffydd ab Arthur 
(Geoffrey's). Their text seems to have been really taken, not from the Red Book 
of Hergest, as stated, but from Jesus College MS. 28, written in 1695, which 
again seems to be a transcript of Jesus College MS. 61, of the sixteenth century.' 
See Preface to the Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, and Stephens, Literature of the 
Kymry, 1876, p. 303. 

3 Myv. Arch., pp. 177-9. The earliest copy of it is in the Red Book of Hergest, 
col. 1,165. 


From Statue at S. Suliac, 

S. Tyssi/io 303 

■day was that observed here to the last. The present fabric probably 
■embodies more of his church than that of S. Mary. He was invoked, 
with S. Gwyddfarch, in a legend in the chancel window in the eigh- 
teenth century. 1 

Cynddelw, enumerating the chmrches founded by Tyssilio, says : — 

"A church he raised with his fostering hand, 
The church of Llugyrn (Llorcan),^ with a chancel for Mass ; 
The church beyond the shore — beyond the glassy flood ; 
The church filled to overflowing, beyond the palace of Dinorben ; 
The church of Llydaw, through the influence of his liberality ; 
The church of Pengwern, chiefest in the land ; 
The church of Powys, paradise most fair ; 
The church of Cammarch, with a hand of respect for the owner." 

Llanllugyrn we believe to be LlanUugan (now B.V.M.), in Mont- 
.:gomeryshire, generally supposed to be a Tyssilio foundation. Llydaw 
does not necessarily mean Armorica, as there are Llydaw place- 
names in Wales, but probably S. Suliac is intended. Pengwern is 
Shrewsbury, the ancient capital of Powys, where Brochwel resided. 
Possibly the church meant is S. Julian's, in that town. The last 
named is Llangammarch, in Breconshire. Mr. Egerton Phillimore 
points out to us that its dedication to Tyssilio is confirmed by the fact 
that in the Lives -)i the Saint, or in one of them, preserved in Brittany, 
he is said (according to Lobineau's Life and the " legendaires galloises ") 
to have hidden for some time from the persecution of Hajarme " dans 
:le fond d'une province, appelee Buelt, oii il batit une eglise et un 
monastere." Llangammarch ^ is situated on the river Cammarch, 
in the principality (later the cantred and now the hundred) of Buellt, 
Buallt, or Builth. Meifod was the premier church of Powys, and had 
jurisdiction over a very extensive district. The princes of Powys had 
their residence at Mathraf al, in the Vale of Meifod, and the church was 
their favourite burial place. Its daughter churches included Welsh- 
pool, GuUsfield, Llanfair Caereinion, LlanUugan, and Alberbury. 

The churches dedicated to the royal saint TyssUio are Meifod (with 
-the B.V.M.), and Llandyssilio, in Montgomeryshire ; Llandyssilio, 
in Anglesey ; Llantyssilio, and Bryn Eglwys, * in Denbighshire ; 
Llandyssiho [yn Nyfed), on the borders of Carmarthenshire and 
Pembrokeshire ; and Llandyssiho Gogo, in Cardiganshire. Sellack, 

1 See fuller Thomas, S. ^Sd^A, 1908, i, pp. 492-503 ; Gwaith Gwallter Mechain, 
1868, iii, pp. 97-100. 
~ ^ See iii, pp. 378—9. ^ See ii, p. 68. 

■4 Lhuyd gives a Ffynnon Dyssilio under each of these two adjoining parishes, 
lender Bryneglwys in the Valor oi 1535, vi, p. xliii, is entered, " Itm in die Sati 
Tyssilio in offeryng — xx<'." In the former parish are Bryn Tyssilio, locally 
Killed Bryn Silio, and Aber Siho. A Bryn Silio also in Llandyssiho Gogo. 

304 Lives of the British Saints 

in Herefordshire, called Lann Suluc in the Book of Llan Ddv, is usually 
ascribed to him, as also the little church of Llancillo, in the same county, 
but this latter very unlikely. It occurs as Lann Sulbiu in that same 

At Rhiwlas, in the parish of Llansihn, Denbighshire, is a large stone 
formerly known as Maen Tyssilio, which was the rallying point of the 
youth for their games. Edward Lhuyd says (1699) that there was a. 
well in the parish of Oswestry called Ffynnon Nant Dyssilio, to which- 
the parishioners resorted to celebrate their wakes — the first Sunday 
after Lammas Day. There is a Pistyll Tyssilio, on the Rallt (by Spout 
House), in the parish of Welshpool. It is the "Pons Tessiliau " 
mentioned in Gwenwynwyn's charter, 1202, to the Abbey of Strata 
Marcella. In a grant dated 1467 is mentioned " the cemetery at Chirk 
of S. Tyssilio, confessor." ^ 

It is difficult to account for the two Demetian dedications as being 
to him. Most probably they are to another S. Tyssilio, occurring only 
in Peniarth MS. 12, as a descendant of Ceredig, and mentioned in the- 
earlier part of this article. 

In Cornwall it has been suspected that Luxulyan (Lan Sulien) had- 
him as founder, but is now said to be dedicated to S. Julitta. Gilbert, 
however, says, " Luxilian . . . the right name of this parish is Lan 
Julian, the church of Saint Julian ; but although the church was origin- 
ally dedicated to him, it has since changed its patron, and belongs to- 
S. Ayre," and this he quotes from Tonkin, who wrote his parochial 
history of Cornwall in 1702-39. The feast at Luxulyan is on the 
Sunday before June 24. 

In Brittany, in addition to S. Suliac on the Ranee, he is patron of 
Sizun, under the Monts d'Arree, in Finistere, and of Tressignaux, near' 
Lanvalon ; and he has a chapel at Plomodiern, near Chateaulin, in 
Finistere ; another at Pleyben. There is a thirteenth century statue- 
of him over the north porch of the Church of S. Suliac, as well as that 
within the church already described. 

Tyssilio is sometimes said, by late writers, to have succeeded S. 
Asaph as bishop of Llanelwy, but the statement is perfectly groundless.. 

In the Life of S. Beuno we are told that when that restless saint left 
Berriew, on hearing the voice of a Saxon, he and his disciples proceeded 
to Meifod, where they remained with Tyssilio for forty days, and then 
left for Gwyddelwern. 

November 8 occurs as the festival of S. Tyssilio in most of the Welsh- 
Calendars. In some of the later ones, e.g. those in Peniarth MS. 187- 

1 Arch. Camb., 1880, p. 150. 

S. Tyssul 3:05 

and the Prymer of 1618, he is designated " King of Powys." The 
wakes at Welshpool and Guilsfield were held on November 8. 

In Brittany his festival is on October i, in the Missal of S. Malo, 1609, 
the Breviary of S. Malo, 1537, and 1627. So also Albert le Grand. 
On July 29, in the MS. Breviary of Treguier, of the fifteenth century, and 
the Leon Breviary of 1516. The attribution of October i to him is due 
probably to a confusion between him and the S. Silin of the Welsh 
Calendars on that day, i.e. S. GUes. His feast being on October i, 
the day of S. Giles, he has been confounded with him, and a statue of 
S. Giles at Tressignaux serves for him. 

TyssUio is invoked under the name of Suliau in the tenth century 
Celtic Litanies published by D'Arbois de Jubainville, and in the Missal! 
of S. Vougay.^ 

S. TYSSUL, Bishop, Confessor 

Tyssul was the son of Corun ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig, and 
brother of SS. Carannog, Tyrnog, Tydiwg, and others.^ He is not 
entered in the early thirteenth century Progenies Keredic. He is the 
patron of Llandyssul, in Cardiganshire, and Llandyssil, in Montgomery- 
shire. The former parish is divided into seven hamlets, in each of 
which, with the exception of that in which the parish church is situated, 
there was a chapel of ease in the seventeenth century, but in ruins.. 

The only calendar in which his festival occurs is the Demetian one 
in Cwrtmawr MS. 44, which has " Tyssyl, Bishop " against Februarys.. 
Browne Willis ^ and Meyrick,* however, give January 31 as his day at 
Llandyssul, and they are followed by Rice Rees ^ and others. The 
latter must be the correct day, as a fair was held on it. Old Style, and is 
still held on February 11. The wake at Llandyssil was held on or 
about November 11, probably through confusion with S. TyssOio 
(November 8), whom Browne Willis gives as the Patron of the parish- 

^ Revue Celtique, xi, p. 138, 

2 Peniarth MS. 16 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., p. 431 ; lolo MSS., pp. 
no, 124. He is invoked, with many other Welsh Saints, in the Ode to King 
Henry VII {lolo MSS., p. 314) ; cf. also Lewis Glyn Cothi, Gwaith, 1837, p. 261. 
In a short mediasval tract, " The Virtues of Hearing Mass," dyssul appears to 
stand for Tyssul in the vocative (Llyvyr Agkyr, ed. Jones and Rhys, p. 151 ; 
Selections from Hengwrt MSS., ii, p. 296), 

2 Paroch. Anglic, 1733, p. I94- 

< Hist, of Cardiganshire, 1808, p. 46. = Welsh Saints, pp. 209, 241. 


3o6 Lives of the British Saints 

There is a Ffynnon Dyssul in Llandyssul, and anotlier in Llanf3mydd, 
•Carmarthenshire. The village of Llandyssul is supplied with water 
from the saint's Holy Well, which was enclosed in 1892 and a pump 
provided. It is situated to the north of the village, near the highway. 

In a memorial window recently (1902) inserted in Montgomery 
■Church Tyssul is represented as a bishop, with mitre and crozier, 
holding a representation of Old Llandyssil Church. 

In Brelidy, in Brittany, are Lan-zul Vras and Vihan, where we seem 
to have the saint's name minus the honorofic prefix. The pardon of 
S. Sul is on the fourth Sunday in May. He is represented as a bishop 
in the chapel of S. Yves at Tredarzec. 

S. UFELWY, Bishop, Confessor 

Ufelwy was the son of Cenydd, the crippled son of Gildas, and a 
hermit in Gower.^ 

Cenydd seems to have moved to Brittany to the neighbourhood of 
his father, and probably Ufelwy accompanied him, for there are traces 
that may refer to him in the district, where he may be recognized as 
Yhuel, who is said to have led an eremitical life in the parish of Redone, 
near Quimperle. The chapel has been destroyed, but the fourteenth 
century statues of S. Yhuel and S. Cadoc that stood in it, one on each 
side of the altar, have been transferred to the chapel of Rosgrande. 
He is figured as a very young man with flowing locks. This expresses 
the tradition that he was in Brittany only as a youth. 

He had as well a chapel near the Gate of Lorient, where he is called 
S. Uhel, on the road to Kerantec. This chapel, in a deed of 1516, is 
mentioned as that of S. Juzelli.^ If this be Ufelwy, his father's settle- 
ment was only a few miles off at Languidic, and that of S. Cadoc, who 
would seem to have been his master, at Belz, also near by. 

We may perhaps equate him with S. Eval of Cornwall. In 1322 
Bishop Stapeldon issued an order relative to the Church " Sancti 

' lolo MSS., pp. 118, 137, where the name is spelt Ufelwyn. The correct form 
■of the name in modern spelhng would be Ufelfyw, which would be liable to become 
Ufelwyw, and Ufelwy In the Book of Llan Ddv it occurs as Ubelbiu, Uvelviu, 
Ubelvivus, and Ubelvius ; and other names of the same origin there are Uvel 
(Umel) and Uvelauc. Ufel means a flame, heat, spark. " Wele Euelvew ap 
Itgwon " was in the villa of Heneglwys, in Anglesey (Record of Caernarvon, 1838, 

I- 44)- 

^ There was a Caer Uuel in Guiscriff, Morbihan. Cart, de Quimperli, p. 115. 

S. XJfelwy 3 o 


Uvelli " ; and Bishop Bronescorabe in 1260 speaks of it by the same 
name. Bishop Quivil in 1280 calls it the Church of S. Uvelus. 

In the parish of S. Eval is a farm called Raws, where was a chapel 
called Laneff, a contraction for Lan-efial, and this was probably the 
site of the original oratory of the saint. 

The parish church of S. Eval is planted in the midst of what appears 
to have been a prehistoric circle of upright stones, all but one of which 
have been thrown down, and used as foundation for the chancel. The 
churchyard, however, remains circular. 

The other church in Cornwall formerly dedicated to him is Withiel, 
but has been transferred to the patronage of S. Clement. 

S. Ffili, the brother of Ufelwy, has also left his mark in Cornwall. 
But when those brothers were there is uncertain. 

Ufelwy is first heard of in any authentic document as disciple of S. 
Dubricius, in the Life of that saint in the Booh of Llan Ddv. " From 
all parts of Britain scholars came to him, not only the uninstructed, 
but wise men and doctors, for the prosecution of thair studies. First 
S. Teilo, then Samson, his disciple, Ubeluius," etc.^ 

Ufelwy was consecrated Bishop by Dubricius and given a district, 
or to be more exact, chose one for himself, at Bolgros, on the Wye, 
which was granted him by Guorvodu, King of Erging, as a thank- 
offering for victory over the Saxons. 2 

We learn from the Life of S. Oudoceus that in his time the Saxons 
made irruption into Ewyas and occupied it ; and it is reasonable to 
suppose that it was at the same time that they attempted to gain 
Erging, but failed for the moment. The date would be a little after 
580.^ Bolgros is now represented by Belley-Moor, in Madley, Here- 
fordshire, according to the editors of the Book of Llan Ddv. 

Another foundation was Lann Guorboe, also made by Guorvodu.* 
This is thought by the editors of the Book of Llan Ddv to be Garway. 
But this cannot be, as pointed out by Mr. Egerton Phillimore. Lann 
Guorboe is " in campo Malochu," " which is Mawfield, for an older Male- 
field, in Testa de Nevill, and the Malvern Charters, and is the same as 
Inis Ebrdil, the tract of land between the Dore Valley and the Wye 
from Moccas down to about Hereford and the Worm. 

Another foundation in Herefordshire made by Ufelwy was Lann 
Sulbiu, now Llancillo, near the Monnow, also in Ewyas, but was a grant 
of Meurig ab Tewdrig, King of Morganwg.^ 

In the charters in the Book of Llan Ddv these grants are made into 

1 P. 80. 2 Xhid., p. 161. ^ Supra, p. 33. 

* Book of Llan Ddv, p. 162. ^ Ibid., p. 165, and see i, p. 109 

8 Ibid., p. 160. 

3o8 Lives of the British Saints 

the hand of Ufelwy, but to the church of SS. Dubricius and Teilo. 
This was probably an interpolation made at the time when the Bishops 
of Llandaff endeavoured to establish a claim over Ewyas and Archen- 
field and wrest it from the diocese of Hereford. On the theory that 
Ufelwy was a disciple of Dubricius, and that therefore all grants made 
to him were so made subject to the jurisdiction of Dubricius and Teilo 
and reverted to the mother-house, the claim was made for all the foun- 
dations of the pupils of these two saints. 

There is no evidence that Ufelwy ever was bishop of Llandaff. 
His little abbatial see was confined to Ewyas and Erging, and did not 
extend over the whole of these districts. When, at a late period, a 
list of the Bishops of Llandaff was compiled, it was found that several 
of the pupils of Dubricius were entitled bishops, and that their names 
appeared in charters as witnesses. Their names were accordingly 
foisted into the list in a succession purely arbitrary ; and Ufelwy is 
given the next place after Oudoceus.^ 

Ufelwy is credited with having founded a Church in Glamorgan, 
called Llanufelwyn,^ by which is meant the church known later as S. 
lorys, now S. George-super-Ely. No record of any grant of this patch 
of land is preserved in the Book of Llan Ddv. 

In 602 or 603 Augustine of Canterbury sought a conference with the 
British bishops. The two parties met at Augustine's Oak, on the 
borders of the Hwiccas and West Saxons. Bede says that Augustine 
invited ' ' episcopos sive doctores maximse at proximje Britonum pro- 
vincise." * The words imply that it was not merely bishops who were 
summoned, but the heads of the great schools or abbeys, and this is 
precisely what he would have done when he had discovered that the 
leaders and those exercising jurisdiction in the British Church were the 
abbots who were only occasionally bishops. 

The traditional list of those present at this first conference is con- 
tained in the lolo MSS. * ; but it is apocryphal. It gives seven 
bishops : i, Hereford ; 2, Llandaff ; 3, Llanbadarn ;: 4, Bangor ; 5, 
S. Asaph ; 6, Wig ; 7, Morganwg. That a Bishop sat in Hereford sO' 
early as 603 is not likely ; and there was no see of Morganwg, or Wig. 
Ufelwy is supposed to have been the prelate from Llandaff whoi 
attended the conference. That he did so can hardly be doubted, as he 
was on the immediate confines, in fact on the debated and debatable 
ground in Ewyas and Erging ; and if the conference took place at 
Aust, as has been supposed, then he was the nearest great abbot-bishop. 

We venture to quote the account of the conference from the pen of 

' Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 303, 311. 2 jgig MSS., p. 370 ; Rees, Welsh 

Saints, p. 276. ^ Hist. Ecd., ii, c. 2 * Pp. 143, 548. 

S . Jjfelwy 309 

the Bishop of Bristol (Dr. Browne) in his httle book, Augustine and 
his Companions^ His authority is Bede. 

' ' Augustine began by brotherly admonition to urge the Britons to 
make Catholic peace with him. . . . Ecclesiastical and formal unity 
having been secured, by whatever action might be necessary, they were 
then to take a joint interest in spreading the Gospel among the heathen 
people. And here Bede interposes an explanation of the need for some 
action to secure Catholic peace. The Britons, he says, did not keep 
the Lord's Day of the Passover at the proper time, but from the four- 
teenth to the twentieth of the moon, and very many other things they 
did contrary to ecclesiastical unity. . . . The Britons held their own 
firmly. The disputation lasted long. The British firmness produced 
its natural effect upon men like Augustine. They began by praying 
the Britons to take their view ; they went on to exhorting them ; they 
ended by scolding them. And not to any of these methods and tempers 
did the British give any heed. To the last they preferred their own 
traditions to all that they were told of the agreement of all the churches 
in the world. This brings us to the last weapon in Augustine's 
armoury, scolding having been the last but one. I accept the story as 
given by Bede, but withhold an expression of opinion as to Augustine's 
part in it. Augustine proposed that some afflicted person should be 
brought before them, and each party should try to heal him by the 
efficacy of their prayers. The Britons consented, but unwillingly, and 
a blind man was brought. The British Priests did what they could, 
but they could do nothing. Then Augustine knelt down and prayed, 
and immediately the man received his sight. Thereupon the Britons 
confessed that Augustine's was the true way of righteousness. But, 
they said, they could not commit themselves to a change from their 
ancient customs, without the consent and permission of those whom 
they represented. They asked that a second conference should be 
held, when more of them would come." 

Here we have the partisan version of the story by Bede. It is amusing 
to compare with this the account given by an Irish early writer of a 
simOar conclave held at Old Leighlin, in 630, when an admonitory 
letter to the bishops of Ireland, from Honorius I, was read to them. S. 
Laserian, Abbot of Leighlin, strongly advocated the introduction of 
the Roman computation of Easter, according to the Papal letter. But 
S. Fintan Munu of Taghmon vehemently opposed this, and appealed 
to the judgment of God. He asked to have a house set in a blaze, and 
that one of the Roman party and one of his Celtic adherents should go 

> S.P.C.K., 1897, pp. 100-8. 

3 I o Lives of the British Saints 

into the flames. Those who favoured the Latin Church shrank from 
the ordeal. 1 

" The story goes, Bede says, that to the second conference there came 
no less than seven Bishops of the Britons to meet the one only Bishop 
the English Church possessed. There came also many very learned 
men, chiefly from their most noble monastery. . . . Bangor Iscoed, 
Bangor under the Wood, lo or 12 miles south of Chester. . . . Before 
the sacred conference the British leaders consulted a holy and prudent 
man, who lived the anchorite life among them, on this question, ' Ought 
they, on the teaching of Augustine, to desert their own traditions ? ' 
I feel sure that we must credit them with putting the question in full 
earnest : it seems to me certain that their minds were open to adopt 
Augustine's practice, if they saw the way fairly clear. And the anchor- 
ite's answer is quite startlingly broad and bold — ' If he is a man of God, 
follow him.' ' And how,' they naturally asked, ' are we able to test 
that ? ' He replied, ' The Lord hath said. Take My yoke upon you, 
and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. If then Augustine 
is meek and lowly in heart, you may believe that he himself bears 
Christ's yoke, and that he offers it to you also to be borne. But if that 
he is not meek is proved, it is clear that he is not of God, nor need we 
regard his teaching.' ' And by what means,' they asked, ' are we to 
discern this ? ' ' Arrange beforehand,' he advised them, ' that he and 
his people arrive first at the place of the synod. If he rises to receive 
you when you approach, know that he is a servant of Christ, and hear 
him with willing attention. But if he spurns you, and does not chose 
to rise when you appear, though you are more in number than he, let 
him in turn be spurned by you.' 

" They acted on his advice. It turned out that, when they came, 
Augustine remained seated. They became angry, noting him as 
proud, and they set themselves to argue against everything he said. 
He said at last to them this : ' There are many points on which you 
act contrary to our custom, yea, the custom of the Universal Church. 
Yet, if on three points you will assent to my view, we will tolerate with 
equanimity all your other practices, though they be contrary to our 
own. These three points are — that you celebrate the Passover (Easter) 
at its proper time ; that you complete the office of Baptism after the 
manner of the Holy Roman and Apostohc Church ; that along with 
us you preach the Word of God to the Enghsh race.' . . . They then 
gave him their final answer. ' They would do none of these things. 
They would not have him as Archbishop ; for,' they argued among 
themselves, ' if he does not rise to greet us now, he will treat us as of no 
' Acta SS. Hibern. in Cod. S'alanu., col. 502. 

S. Umbrafel 311. 

account at all when we are under his rule.' On which Augustine iS' 
said to have threatened them by a prophecy that the English would, 
destroy them. So natural a prophecy was in due course fulfilled." 

William of Worcester, on the Saints of Wales, " per informationemi 
Mag. Johannis Smyth, Episcopi Landavensis Ecclesia," says, " S. 
Uffaldus, C. Anglice Uffile, plures ecclesije in WaUia." That this 
Uffaldus or Uffile is Ufelwy cannot be doubted. What the Bishop of. 
Llandaff meant by " many churches in Wales " was that he obtained- 
many grants of lands, which were recorded in the Book of Charters, not 
that many churches in Wales were called after his name. Probably,, 
however, he was commemorated at Llandaff, Bolgros, Lan Guorboe, 
Llancillo, and other churches he had founded, though the inclusion of 
his particular district in the diocese of Hereford had tended to displace- 
him, and to substitute other patrons. 

At Withiel, in Cornwall, he has been displaced for S. Clement. 

S. Ufelwy does not appear in the Welsh Calendars. The Feast Day 
at S. Eval is November 20. That at Withiel is November 23, in refer- 
ence to S. Clement. The transfer of patronage to S. Clement was prob- 
ably made so as to make as little change as possible in the date of the^ 
Patronal Feast. 


There was, clearly, a Welsh or other saint named Lulo, Ulo, Ilo,. 
or some such form, who had a chapel at Holyhead and another at 
Penmaenmawr, and possibly elsewhere, but which have now dis- 
appeared. The Capel Lulo or Ulo in Holyhead parish was near Llech. 
Nest, and has been converted into a farm-house. Here was also a. 
Ffynnon Ulo, which no longer exists. 

Capel Lulo is the proper name of the hamlet now known as Dwygy- 
fylchi, in the parish of which name is situated the town of Penmaen- 
mawr. The extinct chapel here was situated where the cottages are 
on the main road through the Sychnant, on the east side of the Afon. 

S. UMBRAFEL, Abbot, Confessor 

Umbrafel, son of Emyr Llydaw, was one of the brothers who fled 
from Broweroc to Demetia. He was married to Afrella, daughter of 

3 1 2 Lives of the British Saints 

Meurig ab Tewdrig, King of Morganwg. He was the father of S. 
Maglorius, and is named in the Life of that saint. He is also named 
in the Lives of S. Samson, but spoken of as brother of Amwn Ddu.i 

When the latter was ill, he was visited by his son Samson, who urged 
him to quit the secular for the monastic life. When Amwn received 
the tonsure, then Umbrafel and his wife also embraced it.^ 

Samson took Amwn and Umbrafel with him to Ynys Pyr, and after- 
wards, when he had founded a monastery in Ireland, he left his uncle 
there in charge of it as abbot. ^ Umbrafel said to him, " You know, 
elect of God, that at your suggestion, we have left all carnal affections, 
and that as you are altogether spiritual, so ought we to follow you not 
carnally but spiritually." Then Samson replied : " You, indeed, 
brother Umbrafel, must become an exile and pilgrim," and he sent him 
to take charge of his monastery in Ireland. At this time he was not 
a priest, but Samson knew that he would soon become one, as indeed 
was fitting as abbot. The abbey was, perhaps, that of Ballygriffin, a 
few miles north of Dublin, where the church is dedicated to S. Doulough 
•or Duilech, who is commemorated on November 17. There was 
another church where S. Samson has left some traces in the south of 
Wexford, where is a Ballysamson, but the dedication of the church is 
now to S. Catherine. At Ballygriffin there are traces of S. Samson's 
ruined church, consisting of nave and chancel, and these are on the 
left-hand side at the entrance of the avenue of Ballygriffin Park.* 

If Umbrafel has left any memorial of himself in the Irish Martyrolo- 
gies his name has been so altered as not to be recognized. But as it 
does not attach to either of the sites where the name of Samson lingers 
on, it is probable that he proved something of a nonentity there. 



On the south wall of the chancel of S. Ursula's Church at Cologne is 

1 " Amoni patri sancti Samsonis frater fuit Umbraphel nomine, et Annae matri 
■ejus soror fuit Afrella nomine." Vita Ida S. Samsonis, ed. Plaine, i, c. i ; Book of 
Llan Ddv, p. 6. 

2 " Frater ejusdem Ammonis videns fratremsuum caput tondentem, et omnes 
iacultates suas pauperibus erogantem et uxorem suam viduitatis ordinem recipien- 
tem ac Deo omnipotenti et sancto Samsoni placentem, in totum se vovit offerre 
Deo et omnia sua ei eroganda. Nam et uxor ejus tali sorte, sicut Anna fecerat 
antea, Deo deservire devovit, quod postea implevit." Vita 2da S. Samsonis, i, 
c. 9 ; Book of Llan Ddv, p. 14. 

' Ibid., i, 0. 12. * O'lia.n\on, Lives of the Irish Saints, vii, p. ^^o. 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 313 

a flat slab of limestone, measuring 20 inches by 28 inches, that bears 
an inscription. There is no division between most of the words, 
though here and there are dots. The inscription is as follows : — 

Divinis Flammeis visionib(us) frequenter 
admonit(us) et virtutis magnae mai 
istatis martyrii caelestium virgin(um) 
imminentium ex partib(us) Orientis 
exsibitus pro voto Clematius v.c. de 
proprio in loco sue banc basibcam 
voto quod debebat a fundamentis 
restituit. Si quis autem super tantam 
maiiestatem huiius basilicae vbi sane 
tae virgines pro nomine Christi san 
guinem suum fuderunt corpus abcuius 
deposuerit exceptis virginib(us) sciat se 
sempiternis Tartarii ignib(us) puniendum. 

The inscription has given occasion to much dispute as to how it is 
to be translated, as it is ambiguous in places. The virtutis in the 
second line has been supposed to be a sculptor's error for viriutib{us). 

Flammeis visionibus probably means menacing visions. 

virtus is used as equivalent to Swa/xts, and signifies miraculous power. 

imminentium stands for instantium, urgentium. 

ex partihus Orientis, if taken with imminentium, signifies that the 
virgins appeared in vision, from the East. If taken with exsibitus 
. . . Clematius, that Clematius came from the East. 

v.c. stands for vir clarissimus, a man of Consular rank.^ 

de proprio, out of his own means. 

in loco suo, on its original site, hardly, as has been usually read, on 
lis own estate. 

exceptis virginihus does not mean that unmarried girls may be buried 
in the church, but that no bodies are to be permitted to be within the 
walls save those of the Virgin Martyrs. The inscription may be thus 
translated : — 

" Frequently admonished by flaming visions, and (conscious) of 
the miraculous virtue of the great majesty of the Martyrium of the 
•celestial virgins urging him, appearing from the East, according to his 
vow, Clematius, a man of illustrious rank, out of his own means, on its 
original site, rebuilt from the foundations the basilica, in consequence 
of a vow. Should any one, on account of the great majesty of the 
basilica, where the holy virgins shed their blood for Christ, lay here the 

' The official grades were — i, The lUustres ; 2, The Spectabiles ; 3, The Claris- 
simi ; 4, The Perfectissimi ; 5, The Egregii. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, 
Oxford, 1880, i, p. 208. 

314 Lives of the British Saints 

body of any one, the virgins only excepted, let him know that he will 
be punished with eternal fire." 

The genuineness of this inscription has been disputed.^ It has been 
acknowledged as such by De Rossi, Le Blant, de Ritschl, Krauss, and 
other high authorities. It cannot be later than 406, when Cologne feU 
into thehandsof the Ripuarian Franks. In lettering it resembles inscrip- 
tions at Rome and throughout the Latin West before the capture of the 
Eternal City by Attila, after which lettering and character of tumulary 
and other inscriptions underwent a great change. It is commented on 
by a preacher not later than 834, who quotes one half of it, and shows 
that it was at that time not thoroughly understood, some supposing 
that ex fartihus Orientis meant that the Virgins came from the East, 

From this inscription we learn certain things : — 

1. That actually at Cologne there had been Virgin Martyrs. 

2. That a martyrium had been erected over their bodies. 

3. That this martyrium had been ruined, and was rebuilt from the 
foundations by Clematius. 

And we may infer that the Christians of Colonia Agrippina were in 
the habit of burying their dead about this martyrium, and that it was 
necessary to make severe threats to prevent them from invading the 
sanctuary itself. 

What Clematius does not teU us is the names of the Virgin Martyrs, 
nor when, nor how they suffered. He implied that they were few, 
some three or four. Had they been many he would certainly have used 
some expression to signify this. 

We hardly venture to offer a suggestion as to the date of the 

We can account for the destruction of the sacellum, and give its- 

In 355 the Franks destroyed Colonia Agrippina. Ammianus Mar- 
cellinus, a contemporary, says, " In that district there was no city or 
fortress to be seen, except that near Coblentz . . . and likewise a single 
tower near Cologne." The barbarians had destroyed as well Stras- 
burg. Spires, Worms and Mainz ; "all were in their hands ; they estab- 
lished themselves in the suburbs, for the barbarians shunned fixing 
themselves in towns, regarding them as graves surrounded by nets." ^ 

Julian entered the devastated territory, drove out the Franks and 
restored the fortifications of Cologne and the other towns to the best of 

1 A Riese: Die Inschrift des Clematius, in Bonner Jahrhuoher, 1909. sup- 
poses that the second part of the inscription was added after 852 ; and then 
the completed inscription re-cut by a lapidary. See Analecta Bolland. T. xxx, p. 
362. " Amm. Marcell., xvi, cc. 2, 3. 










S. Ursula and Kiev en Thousand Virgins 315 

his ability, with the inadequate means at his disposal. But it was not 
till 375 that Valentinian I undertook a systematic fortification of the 
Rhenish frontier.^ 

In 406, as Stilicho had withdrawn the legions from the Rhine for 
the defence of Italy against the Goths, the Franks poured across the 
river, sacked and destroyed all the cities on the left bank, Cologne 
among them, and swept over Gaul, carrying destruction everywhere. 
Thenceforth Cologne and the whole Rhine frontier ceased to belong to 
the Empire. 

It is consequently incredible that the rebuilding of the church of 
the Virgin Martjn-s at Cologne by Clematius can have taken place after 
406. It must have occurred between the dates 356 and 406, perhaps 
at the general reconstruction under Valentinian in 375, for the mar- 
tyxium had been wrecked by the Franks in 355. 

But who was Clematius ? The name is Greek, and was not uncom- 
mon. Libanius mentions at least four in his epistles. One had an 
agreeable stepmother, the same probably as the Clematius mentioned 
by Ammianus as having been killed by his stepmother because he 
rejected her advances. He was a noble of Alexandria. ^ Another was 
an ardent pagan, much addicted to sacrifices.* A third had attended 
his lectures, went to the Euphrates in a campaign against the Persians, 
spent the summer of 355 in Antioch,* and then passing through Nicsea 
and Nicomedia^ went to the Rhine carrying with him a letter from 
Libanius to Barbatio, who had been appointed to the command of the 
legions there, after the death of Silvanus, who had been assassinated 
in the August of that year. 

He arrived during the winter of 355-6, and returned some time before 
Barbatio was put to death in 359." 

•If we could take the passage in the inscription, " ex partibus Orien- 
tis exsibitus," as referring to Clematius, instead of " imminentium 
ex partibus Orientis," so referring to the Virgins, it might apply to the 
friend of Libanius. 

" In loco sue " has been usually taken to signify " in suo fundo," on 
his own estate. But this presents a difficulty. As we shall see in the 
sequel the Church of S. Ursula is situated in the midst of the pagan 
cemetery outside the walls of the Roman city ; and it is hard to under- 
stand how that this common cemetery should have been on private 
property. We may almost certainly take the words to mean " on the 
original site." 

1 Amm. Marcell, xxx, c. 7. 2 lUd., xiv, c. i. 

= Libanii Sophistcs Epistolcs, ed. Wolf, ep. 1384. * Ibid., epp. 1239, 1215, 

5 Ibid., ep. 1239. ^ Ibid., epp. 470, 1215. 

3x6 Lives of the British Saints 

Considering how general was the use of Clematius as a name, we 
cannot feel satisfied that the rebuilder of the church was the man who 
•came from the East in 355-6. 

S. Severinus was Bishop of Colonia at the time of, or just before, the 
■capture of the city in 406. The see remained vacant for almost a 

The first letter of Salvian shows us what was the condition of Cologne 
shortly after its fall. The Roman population had not been massacred, 
as seems to have been the case in 355, nor was it driven away ; its 
■condition, however, was one of extreme hardship. The citizens were at 
first treated as prisoners of war, and were reduced by the Germans to 
slavery. At a later period, some of them obtained their freedom, but 
all their possessions had been confiscated. A kinswoman of Salvian, 
an aged widow, once wealthy, was constrained to earn her bread as a 
day-labourer. Whoever was able fled the city, but there were not a 
few who were unable to do so. The destruction of Cologne as a civiias 
was complete, but the population remained, reduced in numbers, and 
crushed. Christianity lingered on, with ruined churches, and perhaps 
without clergy, till little by little the Ripuarian Franks became influ- 
enced by the religion of Christ, and finally accepted it. 

The next notice we have of the Church of the Virgin Martyrs is in 
the Life of Cunibert, Bishop of Cologne, 623-63, but which was not 
written till the begfnning of the ninth century. In this it is said, 
■" Quadam autem die dum juxta morem in Sanctarum Virginum basilica 
annua solemnitate missam celebraret," etc.^ 

Then ensues a long gap. 

The silence is broken by the voice of a preacher, whose " Sermo in 
natali " is a valuable record of the condition of flux in which was public 
opinion at Cologne at his time relative to the Virgin Martyrs. 

De Buck, the Bollandist, as we think justly, from internal evidence 
places the publication of this sermon between 731 and 834.^ 

It was preached by a' priest of Cologne, for he speaks of its citizens as 
'" nostrates." 

The preacher is remarkably candid ; he frankly admits how little 
•was then known of the saints concerning whom he preached. He 
asserts that the virgins suffered at Cologne, but were not natives of 
Cologne, and that they were very many in number. He speaks of them 
as " Virginum agmina," " multitudo," " turmae," " exercitus," 
" chorus " ; and in one passage as " tot millia " (c. 11), and he likens 

1 Surius, Vit(S SS., Nov. 11. 
. ^ Acta SS. Boll., Oct. T. ix, pp. 78— g ; Klinkenberg, in Bonner Jahrbiicher, 
ilxxxix, pp. 113, et seq. 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 317 

them to the twelve legions of angels (c. 2). He says expressly that 
nothing whatever was known of their previous life. " Neque abs re 
esse putandum est quod earum conversatio vel prima vel media nobis, 
nota est " (c. 2). And again : " Gradus autem et profectuum ordines, 
quibus ad hanc arcem (cceh) de virtute in virtutem, adscendendo 
pervenerant, secreto quo voluit (Deus) a nobis nunc usque celavit " 
(c. 4) . He asserts that the acts of these martyrs had not been written 
at the time of their passion, and that what had been written since was- 
pure conjecture. " Plurima per opinionis conjecturam probantur esse 
conscripta : quibus tamen nulla unquam autoritas refragata est " (c. 
5). He is not, however, disposed wholly to reject what was said as^ 
being mere fiction. 

Then he proceeds to say that floating tradition about them is guess- 
work only, and that owing to the incursions of the barbarians all 
authentic record is lost. " Factum est ut earundem sanctarum virgin- 
um memoria post incursam Sanctorum corporum custodem ecclesiam 
paulatim ab ore primum, deinde ab ipso pectore religiosi dudum populi 
laberetur " (c. 8). The neglect was so great that Clematius, whose ciate- 
the preacher misconceives, rebuilt the fallen basilica (c. 9). 

He incidentally argues that the inscription of Clematius has been 
wrongly interpreted. It was he who came from the East and not the 
Virgins, as was generally supposed ; and he combats the popular read- 
ing of the text that Clematius was the owner of an estate at Cologne 
(cc. 6, 7, 8). 

He goes on to say that probably the opinion of some, that the- 
Virgins came from Britain, is correct. " Plures autem. . . . Britan- 
niam insulam tradunt hujus . . . multitudinis genetricem et nutri- 
cem pariter extitisse " (c. 12). 

Then he proceeds to show how that, according to Bede's testimony,, 
the British suffered under the persecution of Maximian (and Diocle- 
tian), and that probably these Cologne martyrs were refugees from.; 
Britain at that time (c. 13). 

Among them it was reported that there was a king's daughter, named 
Vinnosa, whom the people of Cologne {nosiri) cahed Pinnosa (c. 14)^ 
But, he adds, very few of the names were preserved. " Quarum 
paucissimas nomine . . . ccgnoscimus." 

All that the preacher could assert with confidence was what he drew 
from the Clematian inscription. Even the assertion that the virgins, 
were strangers who came to Cologne he borrowed from the popular 
interpretation of the words " Virginum imminentium ex partibus- 
Orientis," although he disputed the application. Everything else . 
was conjecture. But he suspected that British tradition would be- 

3 I 8 Lives of the British Saints 

found to agree with the conjecture formed at Cologne. " In qua 
sententia concordant proculdubio et hi qui sanctum agmen misisse 
dicuntur " (c. 9). And he says that their presence in Batavia, which 
lies between Britain and Cologne, was attested by highly characteristic 
tokens, " convenientissimis signorum indiciis." 

Of about the same period but a little later is the Officium proprmm 
of the virgin martyrs. Earlier it cannot be, because it is framed on 
the Roman model, and it was through the insistence of Charlemagne 
that the Gallican Offices were displaced by the Roman. Moreover, 
the preacher above quoted would hardly have ventured to repudiate 
openly the statement made in the Office that the virgins came irom 
the East, had that been authoritatively employed in his day and in the 
church where he preached. 

In one antiphon in the Office the number of the virgins is given as 
eleven thousand, but this is certainly an alteration or interpolation of 
a much later date. The third antiphon for Lauds is : " Quse divino 
nutu a partibus Orientis exhibitae pro Christi nomine fudere cruorem, 
■quia nunquam in persecutione potuerunt divelli ab ejus confessione." 
The fifth antiphon runs : " Clematius igitur vir clarissimus, voto quo 
debebat a fundamentis sanctum templum erexit, in quo et virgines 
venerantur merita, et populorum laudantium Deum concurrit fre- 

This office contradicts the popular supposition that the virgins 
•came from Britain, and accepts the rendering of the inscription that 
derives them from the East. It is noteworthy that not a single name 
is given in it, not even that of Pinnosa. When the Office was drawn 
up nothing was known of the virgins other than what could be derived 
from the Clematian inscription, and popular guesses were too unsub- 
stantiated to be adopted into a grave liturgical office. This was, how- 
ever, so little to the taste of Cologne, at a later period, that the Office 
underwent revision and interpolation. The third antiphon for Lauds 
was altered to — " Quee divino nutu e Britannia Romam protect £e, 
pro Christi nomine," etc. 

About the year 847 Wandalbert of Prum composed a metrical 
Tnartyrology, and on October 21 he has : — 

" Tunc numerosa simul Rheni per littora fulgent 
Christo Virgineis erecta trophaea maniplis, 
Agrippinae urbi quarum furor impius olim 
Millia mactavit ductricibus inclyta Sanctis." 

Here we have the virgin martyrs raised to a thousand, and they are 
represented as leaders. 

It is open to question whether this entry is not a later addition to 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 319 

the martyrology of Wandalbert. It has been so regarded by Oskar 

Usuardus in his Martjn-ology, written in 860, on October 20 has : — 
" Civitate Colonia passio sanctarum Virginum Marthje et Saulse, 
cum pluribus." 

The preacher "in NataH " had said, " potuit quippe fieri, ut in 
tanto earum numero, conjugata quselibet esset, aut vidua . . . nam, 
quis unquam omnium muherum, non dicimus tantummodo virginum 
multitudinem tantam, sine sexus alterius intermixtione crederet con- 
venisse ? " (c. 2). Consequently the " cum pluribus " of Usuardus 
may apply to the mixed multitude, male and female, wives and widows, 
■of whom the virgins were the " ductrices." 

Usuardus furnishes us with two names in addition to that given us by 
the preacher. 

A charter of 867 of Lothair II mentions a cloister " beatarum vir- 
ginum " at Cologne, but neither names any one of the virgins nor gives 
their number. 

It is somewhat remarkable that a ninth century calendar of the 
Cathedral Church of Cologne should contain no entry of the virgin 
martyrs tUl it was inserted at a much later date by another hand.^ 

A Litany in the Cathedral Library at Cologne, of the end of the ninth 
■century, names Martha, Saula, Sambatia, Saturnina, Gregoria, and 

A Missal at Essen, drawn up between 873 and 891, on October 21, 
lias the entry : " Sancti Hilarionis, et Sanctarum XI virginum, Ursulas, 
Sentise, Gregorias, Pinnosse, Marthse, Sauls, Britulas, Saturninse, 
Rabacias, Saturise, Palladiae." The same eleven names occur in a 
Cologne codex of 950-1000, but in a different order. ^ 

Here, for the first time, do we meet with the name of Ursula. A 
•chronicle of S. Trond, of the beginning of the twelfth century, men- 
tions only eleven virgin martyrs of Cologne. 

The latest liturgical text giving eleven as the number is a sequence, 
■of the end of the fourteenth century, at Miinstereifel. 

" Te tinxerunt et sanxerunt Gereonis cum bis nonis 

Ursulae martyrium Trecentena contio 

Et sanctarum sociarum Et Maurorum trecentorum 

Undenarum virginum, Sexaginta passio." * 

' Die Ursula Sage, Hannover, 1854, p. 18. 

2 Ennen, GescMchte der Stadt Koln, i, p. 448 ; Stein, Die heilige Ursula, in 
Ann. hist. Vereins f. d. Niederrhein, 1874. 

' Binterim, Kalendarium Ecclesiai Germanicee Coloniensis sceculi noni, Cologne, 
1824. Another Essen Calendar gives the full number, 11,000. 

* Kehrein, Lat. Sequenzen d. Mittelalters , Mainz, 1873, p. 319. 

3 20 Lives of the British Sai?its 

We come now to two Cologne legends : " Fuit tempore pervetusto," 
and ' ' Regnante Domino." It has been disputed as to which is the most 
ancient. The BoUandist Fathers regard " Fuit tempore pervetusto " as 
the earlier/ but Dr. Klinkenberg puts it in the second place, ^ so also 
did De Buck, who, however, had not seen the important prologue. 

We have no doubt in our minds that the Bollandists are right in their 

In the prologue to the Legend " Fuit tempore pervetusto " the 
author dedicates his work to Gero, Archbishop cf Cologne (969-76). 

He says that he was one day praying in the church of the virgins 
when it came into his head that the presence there of such a crowd of 
martyrs was remarkable, and what was quite as remarkable was that 
no record old or new existed relative to their lives and passion. " Prae- 
cipue igitur in hoc mens dubia hserebat, quia nulla veterum pagina in 
hoc mundi climate nee moderni temporis series hactenus id elucubra- 
verat." Possessed by this idea, he called at the convent that adjoined 
the church, 3 and inquired there. The nuns then informed him that,, 
some years ago, a Count Hoolf had been sent to England to negotiate a 
marriage between the Emperor Otho I and Emma, daughter of 
Edward the Elder. This marriage took place in 929, so that Hoolf 
must have been in England in 928 or early in 929. Whilst there he 
visited Dorobernis (Canterbury), where he met Archbishop Dunstant 
(Dunstan), who, adds the writer, still illuminates the church with his- 

Here either the nuns who told the story, or the writer, made a mis- 
take. Dunstan was archbishop from 961 to 988, and in 928 was only 
about four years old. The head of the Metropolitan see at the time 
was Wulfhelm. The nuns in the forty years or so that had elapsed since 
the visit of Hoolf had forgotten the archbishop's name and substituted 
for it the more noted name of the contemporary Dunstan. 

Whilst the Count was at Canterbury, in an interview with the 
Archbishop, the latter began to boast of the many and great miracles 
wrought by the local saints, " sicut est moris omnibus paene episcopis," 
whereupon Hoolf entered on the topic of the Virgins of Cologne, " ven- 
tum est . . . ad historiam sanctarum Coloniensium virginum." 
Then the Archbishop told him a story about them, which he thirstily 
drank in, and on his return to Germany retailed to the nuns. These 
did not commit his narrative to writing, but when, mere than 
forty years later, they found a man of letters interested in the matter, 

1 Analecia Boll., iii, pp. 5-6. 

2 Wetzeru. Welte, Kirchen lexikon, 1901, s.v. Ursula; also Klijnkenberg in 
Bonner Jahrbiicher, Ixxxix. 

^ The earliest notice we have of the existence of this convent is in 922. 

S. Ursula and Ekven Thousand Virgins 321 

they requested him to write down the story as it had been told to them.. 

Now as Hoolf heard the legend in 928 or 929, and the story was com- 
mitted to writing between 969 and 976, it is evident that as some- 
forty- five or forty-eight years had intervened, abundance of time had 
been afforded for the nuns to allow their imaginations to embroider 
the tale as received from the Count, and work into it some of the 
floating local legends. 

The story as told by this anonymous author is as follows : — 

There lived in very ancient times in Britain a king whose name is> 
unknown ; " rex cujus nominis notam mundana occuluit antiquitas " 
(c. i), who was instructed in the laws of God and the Cathohc faith- 
He was married, and Heaven granted to him a daughter who was 
named Ursula, " quia immensis ursi rabiem, videlicet diaboli, erat 

As Ursula grew up, the fame of her beauty and virtues reached the 
ears of a pagan king, who sent an embassy to demand her hand for his 
son, and threatened, in the event of refusal, to invade Britain and tO' 
lay it waste with fire and sword. 

The father of Ursula was sorely perplexed. He had not the forces 
at command to withstand the threatened invasion, and he shrank from 
giving his daughter to a pagan. 

However, Ursula relieved him in his distress by thus elegantly ad- 
dressing him: " Tu, secundum carnis putredinem mens genitor ! " 
and bidding him propose to the father of the suitor prince that between 
them they should provide ten noble damsels and eleven ships, and a. 
thousand virgins of inferior rank to fill the ships, and that they should 
sail the seas for three years, after which God would provide. 

The proposal was accepted with alacrity, and damsels were swept 
together from every quarter. Among them was Pinnosa, daughter of a 
certain duke. Here we have an importation of the Cologne legend 
intT the story derived from England. 

When all was ready, the virgins mounted the eleven vessels, for the 
sea was hard by where lived the king, and then was to be seen an admir- 
able exhibition of the damsels going through their nautical evolutions 
to the gratification c f the king and the pubhc who looked on from the 

Having shown their skill, they sailed the seas in an aimless manner 
for three years, and then a wind arose which wafted them into the 
haven of Tile, on one of the arms of the Rhine, and after a brief tarry 
there, they were carried further up the river to Cologne, where again 
they halted, and then proceeded as far as Basle, where they left their 
ships and went forward on foot to Rome. Thence they returned in 


3 2 2 Lives of the British Saints 

the same manner to Basle, where they found their vessels uninjured. 
They went on board and were swept down the stream to Cologne, which 
happened at this time to be invested by the Huns, who at once slaugh- 
tered the Eleven Thousand. After the investment was at an end the 
inhabitants of the city issued from their gates and buried the bodies of 
the martyrs. Then the writer gives us the Clematian inscription 
entire, set up, as he informs us, " nondum longo post tempore " (c. 17). 

AU, however, had not been massacred on the same day, for one 
of the damsels, named Cordula, had lain concealed in a boat, but her 
conscience smote her, and she issued forth on the morrow, and was 
also slain by the Huns. This supplement, the writer says, was due 
to a revelation made to Helintrudis, a nun of Heerse, of whose virtues 
some were still alive to testify. 

The date of the death of Helintrudis is not certainly known, but it 
must have taken place a generation before the story was committed 
to writing. 

The style of the author is laboured and ornate, to such an extent 
that his meaning is not always clear. It was due to this that the 
Legend was rewritten, and that we possess the version beginning 
" Regnant e Domino," which obtained an extensive circulation, so 
that the copies in the libraries of Europe are " unzahlig " as Potthast 
remarks, and which supplanted and caused to be forgotten the clumsy 
composition " Fuit tempore pervetusto." 

We should hardly have supposed that the priority of this latter 
legend to the other would have been questioned, but as it has been by 
Dr. Klinkenberg it is necessary that we should state our reasons for 
giving it the first place. 

The author distinctly asserts that there was no extant record of the 
story of the virgins, whether ancient or modern, when he wrote. This 
he could not have stated had the legend " Regnante Domino " been 
then in existence. 

He gives us his authority — the tale told by the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury to the Count Hoolf , which tale Hoolf related to the nuns of the 
■ cloister attached to the church of the virgins, and from them he took 
it down. The author of the legend " Regnante Domino " gives us no 
authority at all ; and he follows the writer of " In tempore pervetusto " 
step by step even down to the appendix concerning the revelation of 
the nun Helintrudis. 

The writer of the legend " In tempore pervetusto " tells us that the 
name of the father of Ursula was unknown. The author of " Regnante 
Domino " gives the name as Deonotus which he manufactures out of a 
passage in the " Sermo in Natali." That preacher had said " Plures 

o. Ursula and Kleven Thousand Virgins 323 

. . . Britanniam insulam tradunt hujus Deo notce multitudinis gene- 
tricem et nutricem pariter exstitisse." 

He enlarges on, and explains passages in, the other legend. We have 
already quoted that in which the eariier author describes the naming of 
Ursula. The author of " Regnante Domino " gives it thus : " Huic 
itaque, quia exemplo David immanem ursum, scilicet diabolum, quan- 
doque suffocatura erat, Deo disponente, qui quos prsdestinat, vccat, 
a parentibus illi in baptismate, prsesagium nomen Ursulse inditum est." 

The coarse address of Ursula to her father was softened down by the 
writer of " Regnante Domino " into the unobjectionable " Mi pater ! " 

He makes his story more graphic and interesting. The evolutions 
of the damsels on their ships before the admiring crowd of spectators 
is thus given by the two writers. 

Fuit tempore pervetusto. Regnante Domino. 

9. Proinde paratis navibus cum g. Post heec dato signo, quia mare 

armorum supplemento, altum peti- contigi,ium est, raptim. ad naves con- 

crat, erat igitur mare contiguum volant, armentaque explicant, altum- 

venerabilis Christi athletarum cu- que petentes, mode concursibus, modo 

neus, et ut animo libuit lusum diebus discursibus, interdum iugam, interdum 

singulis exercebat. bellum simulant, omnique ludorumgen- 

Aliquando vero ad meridiem usque, ere exercitate, nihil, quod animee occur- 

cum in centro sol positus, majores isset, intentatum reliquunt, sicque 

lineas ascenderet asris, interdum ad per dies singulos puellariter palsstriz- 

nonam vel vesperum saepe etiam totuni antes, aliquando circa meridiem, ali- 

solem ludo consummantes suis satis- quando ad nonam, aliquando die toto 

fecerant votis. Cumque rex piisimus in ludis assumpto, ad vesperam reversse 

et diviua spiritus alimmate perunctus sunt. 

aliique venerabilium personarum to- Ad hujusmodi ergo spectaculum 

tius boni quamplures cupidi ad hoc plus rex cum grandasvis patribus, 

missi spectaculum, qualiter Deo devo- cunctisque, regniprimatibus frequenter 

tae puellae virginitatis cingulum prae- aderat : vulgus etiam promiscuum 

optatis lusibus consecrarent, crebro (ut semper novarum rerum cupidum 

intuerentur, favoribus quibus poterant est) propositis seriis suis, virgineis 

virginitati applaudebant amori. lusibus suis applaudebat. 

It seems to us that the author of " Regnante Domino " attempted 
to popularize the cumbrously written story told by the other writer. 
That he succeeded is certain. He tells the same tale in the same order 
of events, and adds nothing save the name of the father of Ursula. 

In the legend, as now given, we have a fusion of Cologne tradition, 
if we may so designate it, with the English fable. In Cologne there 
were current two stories about the virgins. One made them come from 
Britain, the other, based on a reading of the Clematian stone, derived 
them from the East. 

The author of the legend, or the nuns, fused both together. They 
made the virgins come to Cologne from Britain, visit it, go further and 

324 Lives of the British Saints 

return from the East, there to suffer martyrdom. In this legend for 
the first time we meet with the Huns as the authors of the massacre, 
but Attila is not named. Nor are any other virgins named save Ursula 
and Pinnosa, and, in the supplement, Cordula. 

Sigebert of Gemblours composed his Chronographia to 1112. To the 
date 972 his original MS. was written by his own hand, and in that 
occurs not a word relative to the virgin martyrs at Cologne, but at the 
date 453 are indications of a strip of parchment having been added 
later. The holes for the threads are apparent, but the strip has been 
lost. Its contents, however, appear in copies of the Chronicle made at 
a later date. The passage thus added ran as follows : — " Omnibus 
bellis famosius fuit bellum quod candidus sanctarum undecim millium 
virginum exercitus bellavit duce sancta virgo Ursula. Quse filia 
unica Nothi, nobilissimi et ditissimi Britannorum principis, cum non- 
dum nubilis a filio cujusdam ferissimi tyranni ad nuptias expeteretur, 
et patrem suum super hoc anxiari videret, qui deum metuebat si fiham 
deo jam devotam nubere cogeret, et tyrannum timebat, si filiam ei 
denegaret : divinitus inspirata nutandi patri suasit ut tyranno assenti- 
retur, ea tamen illi proposita conditione, ut ipse et tyrannus decern 
virgines genere, forma et aetate electas sibi traderent et tarn sibi 
quam singulis illarum mille virgines subscriberent et comparatis ad 
numerum ipsarum undecem trieribus inducias triennii sibi darent ad 
exercitium virginitatis suae ; novo usa consilio ut aut dif&cultate pro- 
positse conditionis animum ejus a se averseret, aut hac opportunitate 
omnes coaevas suas secum deo dicaret. Et ex hoc condicto virginibus 
trieribus et sumptibus comparatis per triennium, belli preludia cunctis 
mirantibus, tandem sub uno die agente vento ad portum Gallias qui 
Tiela dicitur, et inde Coloniam appulsae sunt. Ibique ex angeli monitu 
Romam tendentes ad urbem Basileam navibus, a Basilea Romam 
usque pedibus profectae, eodem eundi tenore Coloniam sunt reversas ab 
Hunnis undique obsessam. A quibus cunctae martyrizatae ' novo et 
mirabili modo triumpharunt et Coloniam sanguine et sepultura sua 
clariorem reddiderunt." 

Here, obviously, we have a condensation of the legend " Regnante 
Deo." When Sigebert wrote his chronicle he knew nothing of the 
virgins, but at a later period he or some amplifier, who had read the 
legend, patched on this passage to the text. 

We find another version of the story in Norway. 

The monk Oddr wrote the Saga of King Olaf Tryggvasonar in the 
twelfth century, and the same story is found in the larger Olaf's Saga,i 

' Fornmanna Sogur, Hafnias (1825), i, pp. 224-32 ; x, p, 282. 

S. Ursula and Eieve?! Thousand Virgins 325 

also in the lections for the feast of Sunnif a, of which fragments have 
been published by Langebeck.^ 
It is to this effect. 

In the days of Earl Hakon (970-95) there lived in Ireland a king who 
had a beautiful daughter called Sunnifa. A Northern Viking, hearing 
of her charms, became enamoured, and harried the coasts of Ireland, 
setting all in flames, because the king hesitated to accept his suit for 
his daughter. The damsel, to save her native land from destruction, 
expressed her readiness to quit Ireland. Her brother Alban and a 
great host of virgins joined her, and all sailed away East, trusting in 
God. They came ashore on the island of Selja, off the Norwegian 
coast, and finding it uninhabited, they settled in the caves, and lived 
upon fishes. But the islet served as a pasture for cattle in the summer, 
and when the farmers on the mainland saw people on the island, they 
supposed that they were pirates, and appealed to Earl Hakon to protect 
their pasture. The Earl at once assembled armed men and rowed to 
the island, but the Christian virgins fled into the caves for protection. 
Then the rock closed upon them, and they came forth no more alive. 

In the reign of Olaf Tryggvasonar, a farmer found a skull on the 
island of Selja, which emitted a phosphorescent light and an odour, 
which he was pleased to consider agreeable. He took it to the king, 
who submitted it to Bishop Sigurd. Both recognized the evidences of 
sanctity, and the king and the bishop went to the island, where they 
discovered the cave filled with the bones of the saintly refugees. How 
they found that they were Irish, and that their leaders were named 
Sunnifa and Alban, we are not informed. Two churches were at once 
erected on Selja, and dedicated to S. Sunnifa and S. Alban ; miracles 
innumerable confirmed the conviction that the bones pertained to 

Heligoland was also supposed to have witnessed the Martyrdom of 
the Eleven Thousand. But we have no early account of the legend as 
attaching to this isle. We know that in 1240 it was called " insula 
S, Ursulse, vulgo Helgerlandt." ^ 

We come now to the version of the story as given by Geoffrey of 
Monmouth in his fabulous Historia Regum BritannicB, that was pub- 
lished in 1147- 

Geoffrey's stoiy is as follows : — 

" Dianotus, King of Cornwall, had succeeded his brother Caradoc in 

1 Langebeck, Scriptores rerum Danicarum, vi, pp. 3-4, 14-22. 

2 Lappenberg, Ueber den ehemaligen Umfang . . . Helgolands, Hamburg, 
Z830, pp. 13, et seq. Acta SS. Boll., Oct. ix, pp. 291, et seq. Oskar Schade, 
Die Ursulg, Sage, pp- 11 4-9- 

326 Lives of the British Saints 

the Kingdom. He was a very noble and powerful prince, and to hira 
Maximian had committed the government whilst he was employed 
abroad in his affairs. He had also a daughter of wonderful beauty, 
named Ursula, with whom Conan (Prince of the Armorican Britons) 
was most passionately in love." 

Dianotus, having received a message from Conan that he and his 
young men were in want of wives, and desired a consignment from Bri- 
tain, " was very willing to execute his orders, and summoned together 
the daughters of the nobles from all provinces to the number of eleven 
thousand ; but of the meaner sort sixty thousand ; and commanded them 
all to appear together in the city of London. He likewise ordered ships 
to be brought from all shores, to transport them to their future husbands. 
And though in so great a multitude many were pleased with this order, 
yet it was displeasing to the greater part, who had a great affection for 
their relatives and native country. Nor, perhaps, were there wanting 
some who, preferring virginity to the marriage state, would have rather 
lost their lives in any country than enjoy the greatest plenty in wedlock. 
In short, most of them had views and wishes differing from one another, 
had they been left to their own liberty. But now the ships being ready,, 
they embarked, and sailing down the Thames, made towards the sea. At 
last as they were steering towards the Armorican coast, contrary winds 
arose and dispersed the whole fleet. In this storm the greater part of 
the ships foundered, but the women that escaped the danger of the 
sea were driven upon strange islands, and by a barbarous people either 
murdered or enslaved. For they happened to fall into the hands of 
the cruel army of Guanius and Melga, who by command of Gratian 
were making terrible destruction in Germany, and the nations of the 
sea-coast. Guanius was King of the Huns, and Melga of the Picts, 
whom Gratian had engaged in his party, and had sent them into Ger-, 
many to harass those of Maximian's party along the sea-coasts. While 
they were exercising their barbarous rage, they happened to light upon 
these virgins, who had been driven on those parts, and were so inflamed 
with their beauty that they courted them to their brutish embraces ; 
to which, when the women would not submit, the Ambronsfell upon 
them, and without remorse murdered the greatest portion of them,"^ 

Geoffrey has put Maximian in place of Maximus. Conan Meriadoc, 
according to him, had led over the flower of the British youth to assist 
Maximus, who had assumed the purple. Maximus perished in 388, 

1 Hist. Reg. Brit,, v, cc. 15, 16. In the Welsh text, Red Book Bvuls, ed- 
Rhys and Evans, pp. 118— 9, Dianotus or Dionotus (for Dinotus) is called Dunawtr 
later Dunod. Nothus is a decapitated form of Dinotus. Guanius and Melga are: 
in the Welsh Gwinwas and Melwas. Cf. the Triads in Myv. Arch., p. 412. 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 327 

and then, according to Geoffrey, Conan and his British soldiers- 
retreated into Armorica, which they colonized, and thenceforth it was- 
called Lesser Britain. This portion of the story is unhistorical, and it 
is very doubtful whether Conan ever reached Armorica. 

Geoffrey must have seen either the Legend " Regnante Domino" 
or some Breviary lections for the Feast of the Eleven Thousand Virgins - 
taken from it, for he adopts the name Dianotus from it for the father of 
Ursula. But he alters the tenor of the tale. He saw how purposeless 
was the collecting of the Eleven Thousand damsels, and their drifting 
about on the ocean for three years, and as he had planted Conan in 
Armorica, he made him send for the virgins, and so gave an object to- 
their voyage. Why he made the massacre to take place on certain 
islands and not at Cologne we are unable to say. 

When Baronius revised the Roman Breviary, he took as lessons for 
the feast of S. Ursula the tale from Geoffrey as the least absurd of the 
two principal versions of the story. But of recent years the Holy See 
has approved and authorized the version from " Regnante Domino " to- 
be read in the divine of&ces in the Roman dioceses in England. Accord- 
ing to this, " When Attila and his Huns were retreating after their 
defeat in Gaul, before crossing the Rhine, they captured Cologne, then a 
flourishing Christian city, and the first victims of their fury were Ursula, 
and her British followers. They offered a determined resistance 
to the attempts of the Barbarians, and were all put to a cruel death, 
some by the sword, others being shot with arrows or crushed with 
beams of wood, Ursula all the while encouraging them and leading' 
them to victory. When the Huns had retired, the people of Cologne 
collected their sacred remains, and buried them with honour in the 
place where they fell. About two centuries later a church was erected, 
over them, to which, in course of time, a monastery was attached." 

Thus, the date now approved by the Holy See is no longer 388, but 
451. There is probably not a word of truth in the lesson we have just 
quoted, and this shall be shown in the sequel. We need not at present 
follow the further development of the story. We are now in a position 
to summarize the various schemes relative to the martyrdom of the 
virgins at Cologne. 

Before 355. Possibly in the persecution of Diocletian and Maxi- 
mian, i.e. in 300-4, certain virgins, few apparently in number,, 
suffered martyrdom at Cologne. Their names are not recorded 
(Inscription of Clematius). 
Before 834. No certainty relative to the martyrs, various opinions- 
entertained, one of which was that they came from Britain flying 
the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian, 300-4, and with_ 

328 Lives of the British Saints 

them was a British king's daughter named Vinnosa or Pinnosa 
(preacher In Natali). 

Circa 840-5. Nothing known of the virgin martyrs save what was 
recorded on the Clematian stone. They came from the East. 
No names {Offlcium Proprium). 

847. Numerous martjrrs led by the virgins at Cologne, no names 
given nor time indicated when the martyrdom took place 
{Wandalberi of Priim). 

860. Martha and Saula and other martyrs (Usuardus). 

Close of ninth century. From six to eleven virgins named. The 
name of Ursula first occurs {Calendars and Litanies). 

Circa 970. The Virgin Ursula, daughter of a British king unnamed, 
is carried by a storm up the Rhine with eleven thousand vir- 
gins in her train to Cologne, thence they go to Rome, and on 
their return are massacred by the Huns. This would be in 451. 
This story came from England in 929, but was added to and 
embellished at Cologne (Legend In tempore pervetusto) . 

■Circa 980. The same tale in all particulars, but the name of Ursula's 
father given (Legend Regnante Domino). 

Twelfth century. Norse version. The virgin's name Sunnifa, that 
of her brother Alban ; date end of tenth century {Olaf's Saga). 

1147. Ursula, a British princess, leads a host of virgins to be married 
to Conan and his followers in Armorica. Her father's name 
Dinotus. Slain by Picts and Huns on some strange islands. 
Date, 488 [Geoffrey of Monmouth). 

.1164. The eleven thousand virgins slain at Cologne by Attila and 
his Huns. The name of Attila first introduced. Accepted by 
the Holy See as authoritative, with date 451 [Visions of Eliza- 

Accordingly, the various dates proposed for the Martyrdom are : — 
The persecution of Diocletian ..... 300-4 
The period of the defeat and death of Maximus . . 388 
The retreat of the Huns after the Battle of Chalons . . 451 
As the Holy See has emphatically approved of the date 451, and the 
Tetreat of the routed army of Attila as the occasion of the Martyrdom, 
it will be as well at once to consider the tenability of this date. 

De Buck, in the Acta Sanctorum, laboured diligently to prove that 
Ursula and her Companions were slain by Attila and his Huns when in 
full retreat after the rout on the Catalaunian fields in 451, and that the 
•damsels martjnred were Britons flying from the swords of the Anglo- 
Saxons This was not making bricks without straw, but making them 

' Concerning her in the sequel. 

•o . Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 329 

of straw only. He left out all consideration of the Clematian inscrip- 
tion, which is the kernel about which such a vast mass of fable has 
accumulated. The Jutes did not arrive till 449, and they aided the 
Britons till 455, when the first quarrel ensued, but it was not till 463- 
73 that they got possession of all Kent. There would have been more 
probability if it had been asserted that the damsels were flying from 
the Picts and Scots, but then the date 451 will not serve, as that was 
precisely the period when the Britons, aided by the Saxons and Jutes, 
were successful and repelled the northern invaders. In the next place 
Attila and his Huns never reached Cologne either when invading Gaul 
or when in retreat. 

For this invasion, our authorities are Jornandes' Be Rebus Geticis, 
ApoUinaris Sidonius, a contemporary, in his panegyric on Avitus, Gre- 
gory of Tours, who wrote his History of the Franks in 590, and the 
Lives of S. Genov«va, by a contemporary, of S. Lupus of Troyes, and 
S. Aignan of Orleans. In not one of these is there any mention of 
the Huns reaching Cologne. 

In fact, the sole authority for their having been there is the fable of 
S. Ursula, composed between 969 and 976, and in that Attila is not so 
much as named. 

Nor was it possible that Attila could invest Cologne on his way 
home ; that he did not on his way out we know for certain. 

Early in the year 451 Attila and his host quitted their seats in what 
is now Hungary and poured West, following the River Danube. 

When the hordes reached the Black Forest they divided ; the left 
wing crossed the Rhine below the Lake of Constance where the passage 
•offered little difficulty, and, marching through the comparatively level 
Aarau by the Roman road, burnt and destroyed Augusta, 10 that it 
never again arose from its ashes ; then they turned in a northerly direc- 
tion, and doubtless Argentaria, now Colmar, fell. We can hardly 
•doubt that Strasburg was ravaged, but we have to receive with the 
utmost caution the statement of late mediaeval writers who have piled 
Tip lists of cities destroyed by the Huns, without having any documen- 
tary evidence for their assertion. Through the pass where now runs 
the railway the host crossed the Jura and arrived before the walls of 
Metz on Easter Eve (April 8). 

Meanwhile, the right wing had passed north of the Black Forest 
through the country of the Thuringians (in Bavaria) and the Franks 
of the Neckar (Wiirtemberg) . ^ 

1 " Turingus, 
Bructerus, alvosa quem vel Nicer abluit unda 
Prorumpit Francus." Sidon. Apoll., Paneg. Avit. v, 323-5. 

3 3 o Lives of the British Saints 

These two German peoples were terrorized, or induced by hopes of 
plunder, to throw in their lot with the Huns. This wing crossed the' 
Rhine on timber hewn down in the Hercynian Forest. ^ 

The point of passage was where there were islets breaking the stream 
above Mainz. 

Whether the Huns and their allies took the city and destroyed it is 
uncertain. The usual authority for it is the Acts of S. Auraeus, which 
are late, and leave it quite uncertain when he died, whether when the 
town was taken by Huns or by Visigoths ; and indeed the Acts are of 
no historical value. The Huns are also credited with the destruction 
of Worms and Spires, but evidence that they did so is wanting. In 
like manner they are held to have captured Treves. They may have 
done so, but there is no certainty. 

The vast horde poured over Belgic Gaul, ravaging wherever they went. 
And now the Thuringians seem to have turned north, separating them- 
selves from the Huns, to wreck and ruin their own kinsmen the Salic 
Franks, against whom they may have inherited some ancient grudge. 
They treated their women, wives and daughters, their old men and 
children with such barbarity that the recital of it some eighty years^ 
later roused to fury the grandson of Clovis.^ 

The common danger drew together into alliance with the Romans, 
the Armoricans, the Ripuarian Franks, the Salic Franks, the Burgun- 
dians, some Saxons probably settled in what is now Normandy, and 
above all the Visigoths settled in Septimania. 

Aetius was the general in command of the Western armies of the 
Empire. He was at Aries, ill-supported by Valentinian HI, and not in 
a position to take the field at once and check the advance of the 

Metz had fallen and had been given over to indiscriminate slaughter. 
The devastating flood rolled on. Rheims was captured ; Paris trem- 
bled in anticipation of the arrival of the Huns ; but Attila drew away 
his dispersed forces with resolve to march against the Visigoths, and 
first of all to capture Orleans. 

Meanwhile, there was no organized defence. No general took the 
lead and drew the confederates about him. Attila knew that Aetius 
was preparing to attack him, and he was desirous of taking Orleans 
before the Romans and the Visigoths had united. Aignan, the bishop, 
knowing what was in his mind, hasted to Aries to urge Aetius to come 

^ " Cecidit cito secta bipenni 
Hercynia inlintres, et Rhenum texuit alvo." Sidon ApolL, Paneg. Avit. v, 325-6. 
2 " Recolite Thuringos quondam super parentes nostros violenter advenisse." 
Greg. Turon., Hist. Franc, iii, 7. 

Aj. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 331 

to the aid of the city. This was promised, but Orleans was invested 
and on the point of falhng, after a protracted siege, when the Roman 
legions and the Visigoths with other allies arrived on the scene. By this 
time the Huns had been so weakened by disease and by desertions, 
that they could not resist, and Attila withdrew on June 24, along the 
road to Chalons, and encamped on the Catalaunian Plains a few days 
later. Here the battle was fought that decided the fate of Gaul. He 
was utterly defeated, and had to retire to his bridges over the Rhine, 
and to make his escape to the Danube and the Pannonian marshes and 
plains where he had rooted himself and his Huns. As he retreated he 
left his track strewn with dead and wounded ; and with but a remnant 
of his host recrossed the Rhine. ^ 

Aetius with his Romans and allied Franks hovered behind the retir- 
ing Huns. The Visigoths had withdrawn after the battle of Chalons. 
Only a remnant of the vast host which had crossed the Rhine retreated 
over it again. The Salic Franks pursued, and fell on the Thuringians 
to revenge the atrocities committed by them in their lands in the 

It was on this retreat of Attila that, according to the Roman Breviary, 
he turned out of his way to run his head into the lion's mouth, to invade 
the territories of the Ripuarian Franks, and to besiege Cologne. 

Let any one look at the map. He was flying with a disorganized and 
reduced force to the Danube. His allies, the Thuringians, on his left 
flank, were being chastised by the Salic Franks, so that all the Rhine 
below Mainz was inaccessible to him. The siege of Orleans had been 
abandoned at the end of June, and yet, he is supposed to have been 
besieging Cologne and to have slaughtered the virgins on October 21. 
This is clearly impossible. 

But this is not all that can be advanced against the theory. Attila, 
flying to return whence he had set out, could not have taken the road 
by Cologne and the Rhine, unless fairly besotted, and unless he deliber- 
ately sought annihilation. From Bonn to Bingen, a distance of over 
a hundred miles, he would have to lead his defeated and discouraged 
host through a series of ravines. At every point along the road he 
would be subject to having rocks and logs rolled down on his long file, 
and of having his men picked off by bowmen concealed among the 
crags and brushwood of the mountain side, without a possibility of 
retaliating, and conducting his retreat over a road that could be blocked 

1 " Attila cum paucis reversus est." Greg. Turon., Hist. Franc, ii, 7. " Hunni. 
pene ad internecionem prostrati sunt, cum rege suo Attila, relictis Gallis, f ugiunt. 
Isidor. Hispal., Hist. Goth., ap. Bouquet, i, p. 619. 

» Greg. Turon., ibid., iii, 7. 

3 3 2 Lives of the British Saints 

at every turn and held by a handful of resolute men. Beneath Rhein- 
stein the way was so narrow that it could be closed by a gate, rock on 
one side, river on the other. At Coblenz, in 1252, a parcel of citizens 
thus arrested a whole army of Crusaders headed by the Papal Emperor 
William of Holland, flung some into the river, wounded and killed 
■others, and would not let them pass till they paid toll. In a word, the 
story of a retreat of Attila by Cologne and up the Rhine is an impossible 
fiction, on the face of it. 

De Buck, the BoUandist, was not able to produce a particle of evi- 
dence to show that Attila reached Cologne. He filled pages with an 
account of the barbarity of the Huns. That is allowed ; but the ques- 
tion is, did they exercise their barbarity at Cologne ? The sole passage 
he was able to call to his aid was from Fredegar : " Agecius vero cum 
suis, etiam Francos secum habens, post tergum direxit Chunorum, 
quousque Thuringia a longe prosecutus est ; " and he assumes that 
this Thuringia is Tournay. But the writer who passes for Fredegar is 
an epitomist of Gregory of Tours, and, as we have seen, Gregory men- 
tions the pursuit of the Huns by Aetius and the Franks to Thuringia 
where the Salic Franks had to repay a wTong committed by the Thurin- 
gians a few months previous. Moreover, Tournay is not Cologne, nor 
near it. 

The BoUandist Fathers have abandoned both of the positions so 
fought for by De Buck, that the virgin martyrs were British, and that 
the Huns invested Cologne in 451.^ 

Stein, in his more critical investigation of the legend, accepts the 
martyrdom of the virgins in 300-4, as commemorated by Clematius, 
but he also contends, unavailingly, for a second martyrdom by the Huns 
in 451.2 

Dr. Klinkenberg, more justly, throws over this latter martyrdom as 
unhistorical. " Unzweifelhaft haben die Hunnen 451 Koln nicht auf 
ihrem Marsche nach Gallien, und noch viel weniger nach ihrer Nieder- 
lage passirt." ^ 

We come now to the very difficult problem of the origin of the Ursula 
Saga, and we can hope to do no more than offer suggestions to explain 
its growth. 

One fact remains as the nucleus around which the fable has grown 
to such vast proportions. 

That fact is that there actually were virgin martyrs who shed their 
Hood for Christ at Cologne some time before 355, possibly in the perse- 

1 Analecta Boll., xvi {1897), pp. 98, 167, et seq. 

' Stein (A. G.), Die heilige Ursulau. i. Gesselschaft, Koln, 1879. 

^ Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen lexikon, xii (1901), p. 489. 

o. Ursula and Kleven Thousand Virgins 3 3 3. 

cution of 300-4. Of that fact there can be no doubt. The Clematian 
inscription makes it certain that there was a martyrium over their bodies 
which had been wrecked in 355 and which he rebuilt 355-75. 

One point comes out, in the " Sermo in Natah," and in the two later 
legends, that deserves consideration. In all reference is made to 
Batavia as a district visited by the virgins, and according to the " Ser- 
mo " tokens of their presence were still present when this sermon was 
preached. Moreover, in all these stories the martyr virgins are repre- 
sented as of British origin. 

Now, we know as a fact that there had been a British settlement at 
the mouths of the Rhine ; when formed we do not know. 

" Brittenburg at the mouth of the Rhine, once a Roman station, has- 
been assigned to Briton emigrants at the time of Maximus, a.d. 387, 
by Courson [Hist, des Peuples Bretons, i, 151), and so also Camden 
(Gibson's ed., p. 54). And see the Dutch Chroniclers as quoted by 
Ussher [Rer. Brit. Antiq., xii ; Works, v, 480 seq.). There was also, 
it appears, a place called ' Bretangen,' on the coast of Holland, near 
the mouths of the Rhine. And Pliny [Hist. Nat., iv, 31) and apparently 
Dionysius Periegetes [vv. 284-5) locate a tribe of ' Britanni ' from the 
first century on the shores of Flanders and Picardy, which would fall, 
in with Bede's statement [H. E., i, i) that the island Britain was colon- 
ized by Britons from Armorica, i.e. originally the whole northern as well; 
as western shore of Gaul. And this is corroborated again, although in a 
confused and blundering narrative, by Procopius {De Bella Gothico, 
iv, 20), who places ' Britones ' in conjunction with Frisians and Angles, 
either at or near the mouths of the Rhine, or in a ' Brittia,' of which he 
conceives as distinct from the island of Brittania, and as somewhere off 
the mouths of the Rhine." ^ 

How long this British colony lasted we do not know ; but we may 
conjecture that it was exterminated or driven away when the Frisians, 
pressed forward by the Franks, occupied all the delta of the Rhine ;. 
and it is conceivable that some refugees from it may have fled to Colonia. 
as the strongest walled Roman city within reach, and that they may 
have been involved in the slaughter of the inhabitants that took place 
when the Franks destroyed Colonia in 355. Popular tradition loses 
all chronological perspective, and in after times a confused remembrance 
of this migration and the immediately succeeding massacre, which, as 
the preacher intimates, included men, wives and widows as well as 
virgins, and may have associated itself with the martyrdom of the 
Virgins something over fifty years before. 

We have no evidence, but this is a supposition that is plausible, and. 

1 Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., ii, pt. i, p. loi. 

3 34 Lives of the British Saints 

will explain a good deal that is otherwise dark in the story. The 
" Sermo in Natali " gives us a picture of the confusion of men's minds 
in Cologne relative to the virgin martyrs at the beginning of the ninth 

a. Some said that the virgin martyrs perished in the persecu- 
tion of Diocletian and Maximian, 300-4. 

/3. Some said that they came from the East, so reading the Clema- 
tian inscription. 

■y. Others affirmed that they came from Britain via Batavia, where 
traces of their settlement still remained. 

?>. All agreed that there had been a massacre of great numbers, and 
probably men, wives, widows and virgins had been slaughtered indis- 

If our suggestion be accepted, then these opinions are reconciled, 
excepting /3. The virgins had suffered in the Diocletian persecution ; 
there had been a migration of Britons to Cologne just before the taking 
and destruction of the city by the Franks, and there had been a general 
slaughter in which the British immigrants had fallen with the rest, at 
the hands of the Franks. The mistake made was the lumping of all 
this butchery together. 

The compiler of the " Officium Proprium " was, however, judicious 
enough to discriminate, and he rejected the later " martyrdom " as 
not pertaining to that of the virgins commemorated by Clematius. 

Popular imagination, as time went on, still worked on the theme, and 
the idea of the virgins as martyrs overlaid the tradition of the massacre 
of the inhabitants and refugees, and converted the whole number of 
sufferers into virgins, and the recollection of the fleet of refugee 
Britons sank the remembrance of the murder of the citizens. 

So the story took shape that thousands of British virgins had arrived 
at Cologne from Batavia and had there suffered martyrdom. It must 
not be left out of mind that on the testimony of the preacher, and also 
of the author of the legend " In tempore pervetusto," there was no docu- 
mentary evidence whatever relative to the martyrdom ; all was floating, 
tradition gradually consolidating, eliminating some elements, absorb- 
ing others. 

It was not pleasing to the German Christians of Cologne to remember 
that the slaughter had been due to their own Frank ancestors. Indeed, 
they may have supposed that these had been incapable of committing 
such atrocities, and as the Huns were the bugbears of the later times, 
the guilt of the butchery was transferred to them. 

There was another element which went to swell the fable and to 
popularize it. Of the Suevi, Tacitus informs us (ix), " Pars Suev- 

^. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 335 

orum et Isidi sacrificat. Unde causa et origo peregrine sacro, parum 
comperi, nisi quod signum ipsum in modum liburnse figuratum, docet 
advectam religionem." Tacitus gives the names of equivalent deities, 
known to him, in place of the German names. So he converts Wuotan 
and Thunnar into Hercules and Mercury. He was wrong in supposing 
that the worship of the goddess whom he calls Isis was a foreign cult 
introduced among the Suevi. This cult was in all probability not con- 
fined to the Suevi ; he had, however, only heard of it as in vogue among 
them. In the Chronicle of S. Trond, by Rudolf, who died in 1138, is a 
curious and lengthy account of the making of a ship in the wood of 
Inda, among the Ripuarian Franks, which was placed on wheels and 
■drawn by men to Aachen, then to Maestricht, thence to Tongern and 
Louvain, and so throughout the land, and was everywhere welcomed 
with dances and song. The clergy were highly incensed, regarding 
this as a relic of paganism, calling the ship " Malignorum spirituum 
simulacrum," " Diaboli ludibrium," and as a ship of Neptune or Mars, 
■or Bacchus or Venus. ^ 

In 1843 the writer of this article saw such a ship manned, and with 
flags flying, drawn by horses through the streets of Cologne. 

There can be little doubt that these were relics of the ancient ' ' navi- 
gium Isidis " as practised by the Germans, and that to it was attached 
some legend relative to a marvellous voyage made by her, but what was 
her Teutonic name, and what the story told of the voyage are now lost. 
It is, however, almost certain that S. Ursula stepped into her place, 
and it is possible that in her legend some features of the old lost myth 
■are retained. 

De Buck in dealing with the story and cult of S. Ursula devotes a 
whole chapter to the " Navicula S. Ursulse." This.ship was a religious 
congregation. " Navis inter oceani fluctus emicat, cujus malus est 
Christi simulacrum e cruce pendentis ; media in navi residet Deipara, 
utrimque stipata choro undecim millium virginum ; proram, pup- 
pimque sancti tenent apostoli. Titulus imagini praefigitur : Sodali- 
tas sanctse Ursulse Brunensis." ^ 

It is possible that we may have another trace of the lost myth of this 
heathen German goddess preserved to us in the Nibelungen Lied. In 
-this, Brunhild, a princess of Iceland, who, like Ursula, is repugnant to 
the idea of marriage, ships with a retinue of damsels to the Rhine to be 
married to the Burgundian King Gunther. We will quote the lines 
in Modern German. 

1 Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, 1854, i, pp. 237-40, 

2 Crombach, Ursula Vindicata, 1647, pp. 847, et seq., Acta SS. Boll., Oct. ix, 
p. 294. 

3 3^ Lives of the British Saints 

" Sechs und achtzig Frauen nahm mit sicli das schone Weib ; 
Dazu wohl hundert Magde, viel schon von Art und Leib ; 
Sie saumten sich nicht langer ; sie wolten ziehn von dannen, 
Die sie zu Hause liessen, wie zu weinen sie begannen. 

" In tugendlichen Ziichen die Frau raumte ihr Land ; 
Sie kiisst ihre nachsten Freunde, die da waren zu Hand. 
Mit gutem Urlaube sie kamen auf das IVIeer, 
Zu ihrem Vaterlande kam die Fraue nimmermehr. 

" Auf ilirer Fahrt man horte gar mannigfaltes spiel ; 
AUer Kurzweile hatten sie da gar viel. 
Da kam ihnen zur Reise ein rechter Wasserwind ; 
Sie tuhren von dem Lande ; das beweinte mancher Mutter-kind," 

(Aventure viii.) '^ 

The end was tragic : the marriage led eventually to a massacre of 
Teutonic warriors by the Huns. 

But the Nibelungen Noth is a mediaeval redaction in the twelfth 
century of various ballads that dated back to a pagan period, and which 
were common to the Teutons and to the Scandinavians, and were prob- 
ably a") familiar to the Saxons and Angles as they were to the Ripuarian 
Franks. The composer of the Nibelungen Noth took vast liberties with 
the original poems, as we can see by comparing it with the lays in the 
Elder Edda, and the Volsunga Saga, that are steeped in rankest Pagan- 

In these latter we have the form of the story as it prevailed among 
the Scandinavians. There Brynhildr, who becomes Brunhild in the' 
German story, is daughter of BuSli, a king of Valland (Neustria), a 
Norse viking who had established himself in what is now Normandy, 
and she is the sister of Atli, whom the author of the Nibelungen Noth 
has daringly identified with Attila. Moreover, SigurSr, who wins 
Brynhild to become the wife of Gunnar (Gunther), a Gothic king ruling 
south of the Rhine, is himself a king over Hunland, though of pure Norse 

Brynhild is most unwilling to become the wife of Gunnar, but she- 
goes along with her maidens to the Rhine, and there she slays seven of 
her thralls, and five of her damsels, and finally herself, and aU are con- 
sumed on her funeral pyre. 

The author of the Nibelungen Noth localized his story ; he made 
Gunther a Burgundian king, reigning at Woirms ; Sigfried he converts, 
from a king of the Huns to be son of the King of the Netherlands, and 
Brunhild he brings from Iceland. Atli, whom he transforms into Attila, 
he places on the Danube in Hungary. 

He gave to the whole a Christian and a chivalrous character, effaced 

1 Der Nibelungen Noth, ed. Pfiger, Stuttgart, 1843, p. 104. 

^. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 337 

the traces of Paganism, softened down the ferocious barbarism of the 
origmal story, and furnished it with a pseudo-historic basis, by the 
mtroduction into it of historic characters, Attila, and Theodoric, King 
of the Ostrogoths, regardless of chronology. 

In the original tale, as we have it in the Edda and the Volstmga Saga, 
Brynhild comes to the Rhine to marry Gunnar, King of the Goths, whO' 
are located to the south of it. She induces her husband and brothers- 
in-law to murder Sigurd, who is married to Gudrun (Kriemhild in the' 
Nibehmgen Lied), a.nd then destroys herself and her retinue, as already 
described. Then her brother Atli marries Gudrun, and carries her off 
to his realm Valland, in France. Atli then invites the brothers of 
Gudrun to a feast in his kingdom, and has them all massacred there.- 
Whereupon Gudrun, in revenge, murders her own sons by Atli and 
kills Atli with her own hand. 

No one who has read the Nibelungen Noth can fail to see what liberties 
the author took with the tale. But it is possible enough that already, 
in the mouths of the people, the old cycle of Brynhild had undergone 
modification, had been softened. Christianized, and that the localiza- 
tions of the three famihes, the Volsungs, the Gjukings, and the Bud- 
lings, had been changed. 

And the same process may have gone on with the story in England. 
Brjmhild throughout attracts the sympathy of the reader or hearer of 
the Saga ; she is the ill-used person, and on her ill-usage the story turns, 
and this leads to the final catastrophe. 

It is possible that Wulfhelm, the Saxon Archbishop, may have re- 
tained in his mind some threads of the old Saga, and that in its passage 
through his brain, it may have become even more altered than it has 
in the Nibelungen Noth : that the damsel Brynhild, so unwilling to be 
married, may have been unwittingly converted by him into a Christian 
virgin, who had vowed perpetual chastity ; he may have recalled that 
she sailed with her damsels to the Rhine, that there she and they were 
involved in an untimely death ; that Atli and the Huns were somehow 
mixed up with the story, and that there was a general massacre of the 
Teutonic warriors at the end.'- 

Whether something of the same sort of thing had been going on in 
Germany, whether the original tale had undergone fissure and trans- 
formation on one side into the Nibelungen Noth, and in the other intO' 

'- Scsmunday Edda, ed. Th. Mobius, Leipz., i860, pp. 120-96 ; English transla- 
tion by Thorpe, London, 1866, ii, pp. 39-107. Fornaldur Sogur, Copenh. 1829, i, 
pp. 174-224 ; 332-8 ; ii, 11. Thierry, Hist. d'Attila, Paris, 1856, ii, pp. 297-358, 
has given German and Scandinavian traditions respecting Attila ; but he depends 
largely on the Wilkina Saga, which is late, and is derived from German sources 


33^ Lives of the British Saints 

an ecclesiastical legend of Ursula, can only be matter of conjecture. 

We offer this as a possible solution of the origin of this legend, as it 
shaped itself about the bones of the genuine martyrs at Cologne, who 
suffered presumably in the persecution of Diocletian. 

We return to the legend beginning " In tempore pervetusto," derived 
from Archbishop Wulfhelm of Canterbury in 928 or 929, but not com- 
mitted to writing till about forty-five years later, and then the story 
as it came from Wulfhelm had been fused with Cologne traditions. 

Dr. Klinkenberg has argued that the story is a Celtic-British tale 
or myth that was brought to Cologne, where it coalesced with one of 
the traditions there current. 

But this we can hardly admit. We are distinctly informed that it 
came from a Saxon archbishop in that part of England from which the 
Britons had been exterminated or expelled. He was one of the very 
last persons to have been acquainted with British legends. Bede, who 
was nearer to where the British were strong, was profoundly ignorant 
of their traditions. 

Moreover, as we have shown, Geoffrey of Monmouth derived his 
story from the legend " Regnante Domino," whilst materially altering 
it, and the Welsh knew nothing of Ursula and her attendant virgins tiU 
they received the tale from him. Nennius says not one word about it, 
nor does Gildas, nor does she enter into any of the Welsh saintly or secu- 
lar genealogies. In Brittany she and Conan owe their introduction to 
Geoffrey alone. 

The story is English. Wulfhelm must have had his memory quick- 
ened by what Hoolf said to him, and he recalled some half-forgotten 
ballad or legend he had heard in early days, and which in passing through 
his mind received an ecclesiastical character. The story as put to- 
gether by him and Hoolf, and further expanded by the nuns of the 
Church of the Virgins, finally received shape when committed to writing 
in the legend " In tempore pervetusto." The introduction of the 

which are fused with the Norse traditions. In his prologue and elsewhere the 
author states as much. The three families are : — 

The Volsungir. 
"Volsung, King of Hunland, 
3rd in descent from Odin 






The Gjuhingir. 
Gjuki, King of the Goths 
on the Rhine 


The Bufflingir. 
Buifli, King in 



Gunnar Gudrun Atli Brynhildr 

Brynhildr Sigurdr Gudrun Gunnar 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 339 

Huns into the story may rest on a confusion. Slavonic people are 
meant in the Edda and the Volstmga Saga by this name. 

As far as we can gather from the Sagas, east of Denmark was Saxa- 
land, then Vindland, the land of the Wends, then Hunaland. Sigurd's 
great-great-grandfather, Sigi, son of Odin, conquered the Huns and 
established himself king over them. Helmold says: " Haec [sc. 
Russia) etiam Chunigard dictus eo quod ibi sedes Hunnorum primo 
fuerit." But these are certainly not the Huns of history. Bede also 
speaks of " Frisiones, Rugini, Dani, Hunni, antiqui Saxones, Boruc- 
tuarii " as occuppng Germany.^ And Cedrenus names together 
"O (' Ouvvoi Koi 01 "2,K\a^ivoi."^ 

Whence came the name Ursula, which is associated late with the 
story, and supplants that of Pinnosa ? 

Is it a form of Horsel, who is supposed to be the equivalent to Perch- 
ta or Hulda, a Teutonic goddess ? We cannot tell, but philologically 
Ursula cannot be derived from Horsel, and the evidence for a goddess 
Horsel is lacking.^ 

No early Martyxology contains the memorial of the Virgin Martjnrs 
of Cologne. They do not occur in that attributed to Jerome, published 
by d'Achery. Bede knew nothing of them, and he was born in 672, 
and he states that he had included all the names of those of whom he 
had read.* The old Corbey Calendar, composed in or about 831, is 
also silent relative to these virgins. Neither are they in the Martyr- 
ology of Hrabanus Maurus, who died in 856. Ado, in his Martyrology 
in 880, is silent concerning them. Notker of S. Gall, who died in 912, 
does not record them. Nor, as we have seen, were they included in 
the early Calendar of the Cathedral Church of Cologne. The entry in 
Wandalbert's metrical martyrology may be an addition of a later date. 
It was not till after the publication of the legend " Regnante Domino," 
that had an extensive circulation, that Ursula and her Eleven Thousand 
Virgins were introduced into most of the Western Calendars and 

We come now to a point alluded to at the beginning of this article, 

1 Hist. Ecd.. V, c. 10. 

2 Schaffarik, Slawische AUerthiimer , i, pp. 328-9. The Hunland ruled by 
Norse adventurers recurs several times in the heroic Sagas, and is represented as 
somewhere on the Baltic, east of Saxaland. But in Asniimdar Saga Kappabana 
it is situated on the Rhine, and the King Hildibrand travels up the Rhine to 
meet in fight the rival viking Asmund. Fornaldur Sogur, ii, p. 484. 

' Sir J. Rhys, Hibbert Lectures, p. 174, suggests Ursula might be regarded as 
a dawn-goddess, and the virgins her priestesses. 

* Bede's name is given to this Martyrology, but it was composed or completed 
within a few years after his death. 

340 Lives of the British Saints 

the situation of the Church of the Virgins in an ancient cemetery. 
It stood outside the walls of Colonia Agrippina.'- And about it was 
the place of pagan sepulture of the Roman town. 

Numerous Roman tumulary relics and inscriptions have been found 
there, of which many are now in the city Museum. Some of these were 
discovered in 1643, when the foundations were dug for the " Golden 
Chamber." Later excavations made in 1866 show that on the north 
and east sides of the church pagan interments had been very numer- 
ous. There were sarcophagi and cists containing the ashes of such as 
had been burnt, and a small statue of a goddess was also exhumed. 
Christian oriented graves were also found, as might have been expected 
near so famous a martyr-shrine. But the most interesting discovery 
was a columbarium, or family mausoleum, with niches for the urns 
containing ashes ; and among these was one with which were laid 
female ornaments and the fragments of a glass vessel with gilt inlaid 
representations of Scriptural subjects, such as Daniel in the lions' den, 
Susanna, Jonah, the Three Children in the Furnace, and the Heahng 
of the Paralytic. These are now in the British Museum. ^ 

The finding of these with incinerated remains seems to show that 
the dead woman had been a Christian, but that her family had con- 
ducted the funeral in a pagan manner. The first elevation of relics 
took place, according to his ninth century Life, by Bishop Cunibert, 
about 663. Whilst he was celebrating the Divine Mysteries in the 
Church of the Virgins, a white dove was seen, and it vanished at a spot 
where Cunibert dug and found bones, which he at once concluded were 
those of one of the virgins. 

The next was the " invention " of a vast number by the Abbot 
Gerlach of Deutz and his factotum Theodoric, the porter of the 
monastery. In 1105 the Emperor Henry IV, when flying from his 
revolted sons, was received into Cologne, and then the citizens, antici- 
pating a siege, set to work to extend their walls, and carried the foun- 
dations near the Church of the Virgins. Whilst the workmen were 
thus engaged, some of them pretended that they had seen a vision, in 
which two females appeared and informed them that the bodies of the 
Eleven Thousand Virgins lay there, and that their work must be carried 
on leisurely and carefully ; they further announced that along with 
the bodies of the Virgins lay that of a bishop who had accompanied 
them. We have only the word of a consummate scoundrel for this 

1 Veith, Das romische Koln, Bonn, 1881. 

2 Illustrated by Diinzer in Jahrbiicher d. Vereins v. Alterthumsfrsunden dem 
Rheinland, 1867. See also Stein, Die heilige Ursula. Stein was Rector of S. 
Ursula at the time, and was present during the excavations in 1866. 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Vii-'gins 341 

apparition, that of Theodoricus ^Edituus ; and it is more than probable 
that he invented it to account for the numbers of bones that were 
turned up during the excavations, and with which he saw his way to 
doing a profitable business. Then a priest of the Church of S. Cunibert 
took up some of the bones thrown 'up by the workmen, and saw that 
by night they emitted a phosphorescent light. It was now reported 
that the diggers had struck on a perfect treasury of relics ; all the skulls 
and bones turned up were accepted as those of martyrs, although 
actually they were none other than the remains of the former inhabit- 
ants of Cologne, who for centuries had been in the habit of burying 
their dead outside the sacred walls of the Church of the Martyrs. 

But it was not till 1155 that the Abbot Gerlach of Deutz took the 
matter up, and employed the monastery porter, Theodoric, to superin- 
tend and manage the discovery of relics. 

And now inscriptions began to turn up with extraordinary frequency, 
and these we have in record from Theodoric himself ; all, with the one 
exception of an inscription to ^therius, were deliberate forgeries. For 
it was found that relics alone, without names attaching to them, were 
in small request. 

The BoUandist De Buck labours to exculpate Gerlach, and to throw 
all the blame on Theodoric. But it is not possible to disallow that 
Gerlach was the source and mainspring of the whole bit of rascality. 

Criticism was not wanting even in those topsy-turvy days, and peo- 
ple doubted and laughed over the vast amount of bones and skulls 
turned up, and proclaimed to be miracle-working relics. Possibly 
they may have thought also that the tumulary inscriptions had a sus- 
picious look of freshness about them. It was necessary to take steps 
to silence these doubters. 

Gerlach had recourse to an hysterical nun called Elizabeth, who lived 
in Schonau. Gerlach invoked to his aid Egbert, Abbot of S. Florian, 
and brother of Elizabeth, and they endeavoured to induce her to see 
visions and have revelations connected with the relics. At first she 
dechned to have anything to do with this unsavoury transaction 
(" me multum renitentem compulerunt "). But her brother plied her 
with entreaties, and her scruples gave way, when Gerlach sent as a 
present to her convent the bones of one of the saints exhumed, along 
with its stone coffin hd that bore the inscription, " Sancta Verena, Virgo 
et Martyr," Then she yielded. Her vanity was flattered, and thence- 
forth she had revelations as often and as full as was desired. No 
sooner had Gerlach and Theodoric manufactured an inscription, than 
they appealed to her to authenticate it by a vision. Not content with 
testifying to the genuineness of these forgeries, she went on to giving 

342 Lives of the British Saints 

information relative to the adventures, relationships, social position, 
and mode of martyrdom of these saints, and her brother Egbert, who 
was alone allowed to be present during her ecstasies, wrote all down in 

According to her, the vast multitude of damsels was attended by a 
vast number of bishops, a Foilan of Lucca, a Pantalus of Basle, etc., 
and many other men. The Pope Cyriacus had been so edified by their 
virtues, that he abandoned the chair of S. Peter, and, attended by 
several cardinals, careered after them over the Alps ; and on account 
of this escapade was struck out of the list of the Popes. The only 
genuine inscription shown to Elizabeth was one of ^therius, a youth, 
surmounted by the early Christian monogram. She was too ignorant 
to understand this, and she interpreted it as REX and denoted that 
^therius was a king, and then by revelation she learned that he was the 
bridegroom-elect of Ursula. She declared that the martyrdom had 
taken place under Maximus (Thrax), consequently in 237 or 238, and 
that the executiorers were the Huns, under their king, Julius. 

For seven years the excavations and " inventions " went on. Eliza- 
beth died in the odour of sanctity, and was taken up into the Roman 
Martyrology and accorded the title of " Saint." Scarcely was she dead 
before fresh discoveries in the old cemetery reopened the scandal that 
was first caused by the finding of such big tibice as could only have 
belonged to males, and which she had allayed by her revelation con- 
cerning the pope, the bishops, and cardinals attending the pilgrim 
virgins and suffering martyrdom with them. 

A considerable number of children's bones were exhumed ; some' 
belonged to infants of but a few months old. This was awkward, 
seriously compromising to the memories of the Pope, Cardinals, and 
Bishops as well as of the Virgins. Elizabeth was dead, what was to 
be done ? 

Gerlach looked about him and discovered a monk of Premontre' 
who would serve his purpose. This was the Blessed Herman Joseph., 
He broached the matter to him, and Herman Joseph expressed his 
readiness to come to his aid. He engaged the assistance of oiie Richard, 
an Englishman, to act as amanuensis, and then continued the work of 
the deceased Elizabeth. A more stupendous self-revelation of ignor- 
ance, stupidity, and dishonesty, hardly exists. Being keenly alive to- 
the scandal caused by the discovery of infant skulls and bones, he 
had visions that might serve to vindicate the characters that were- 
affected. He declared that the Eleven Thousand had excited such. 
enthusiasm in the native land of Ursula, which was Brittany (Britannia- 
Minor), not Britain, that relations and friends of both sexes joined the 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 3 4 3 

virginal crew, taking with them their children of all ages, and that all' 
together had received the crown of martyrdom. Kings, princes, and 
princesses from Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Flanders, Normandy, 
Brabant, Friesland, Denmark — in a word, from all lands in the north 
with which a monk of mean capacity and limited knowledge, in the 
twelfth century, might be supposed to be acquainted — had joined the 
expedition, in their desire to testify to the chastity and piety of Ursula 
and her companions. 

There were in the train five English bishops (" episcopi de Anglia "),. 
named William Michael, son of WiUiam, Columbanus, son of the 
Duchess Alexandria, Iwan, Eleutherius, Lothair. The intended 
husband of Ursula was named Holophernes as well as .(Etherius,. 
Among the kings was Oliver, engaged to Olive, daughter of King Cleo- 
pater, one of Ursula's virgins, Chrophorus, with his wife Cleopatra, 
Lucius, Clovis, Canute, and King Pipin, Adulph, and Avitus. Among 
interesting items divinely revealed was this, that none of the babes on 
the journey desired the breast, but contented themselves with sucking 
their fingers ; also, " Nunquam in eodem itinere ut parvulorum mos 
est et natura, sordebant se madefacientes." 

The amanuensis seems occasionally to have been staggered at these 
revelations, and had to be encouraged to proceed with his work, with 
the assurance that they were true disclosures of what had taken place. 

The excavations begun by Gerlach were continued by his successor 
Hartbem, and Theodoric has recorded the results. He gives all the 
forged inscriptions to the number of a hundred and eighty-one, and the 
one of ^therius which was genuine. Among these lapidary inscrip- 
tions is one to the apocrj^hal Pope Cyriacus ; one to Simplicius, Arch- 
bishop of Ravenna ; others to Marinus, Bishop of Milan ; Marculus, a 
Greek bishop; Foilan, Bishop of Lucca; Pantulus, Bishop of Basle; 
Jovinus, Bishop of York ; Maromius, Bishop of Novara ; John, Patri- 
arch of Jerusalem ; Machariu's, Archbishop of Constantinople ; Nonnus,. 
Bishop of Antioch ; Aquihnus, Bishop of Aquileja ; Notus, King of 
the Scots ; Picmenius, King of England ; Papuntius, King of Ireland ;. 
and so on. 

However credulous men might be in the Middle Ages, we cannot 
suppose that such as had an elementary knowledge of history could, 
have swallowed all this rubbish. Even Jacques de Voragine, who wrote 
the Legenda Aurea, and was by no means squeamish, was startled at 
the anachronism of Constantinople being represented as having a bishop- 
before it was founded by Constantine. But the Revelations were not 
handled with any freedom of criticism till 1418, by GobeHnus Persona, 
in his Cosmodromium, who pointed out the anachronism of making a. 

344 Lives of the British Saints 

Kingdom of England in tlie third century, and of bringing the Huns to 
the Rhine long before they had appeared in Europe. The nun Eliza- 
beth was the first to mention Attila in connexion with the massacre, { 
and to fix its date as in the days of the Emperors Maximus and African- 
us. Maximus was Emperor 235-8, and in 236 Africanus was associated \ 
with him in the Consulship. How Elizabeth got hold of this fact, which 
she mis-stated, making Africanus an Emperor instead of Consul, it is 
hard to say, but probably from some Acts of Martyrs under Maximus, 
that she found in the convent library, and Maximus under the erroneous 
form of Maximian had been employed by Geoffrey of Monmouth. 

Again another " invention " took place in 1238, and that of Cordula. 
Ingebrand von Rurke, a Knight Hospitaller at Cologne, dreamed 
that he was visited by a beautiful girl, who requested him to dig her up. 

Next morning Ingebrand told the prior of his vision. The prior bade 
him await a further revelation. Next night she revisited him and 
reproached him with some asperity for not having fulfilled her request. 
" You did not tell me where to dig," replied Ingebrand. " You will 
find me," said the apparition, " in the orchard of the priory, under the 
filbert tree." 

When the prior heard this he was delighted. " But," said he, " you 
must first ascertain her name." 

Next night the maiden reappeared with moody brow, and rated 
the knight soundly for his lack of gallantry in not attending to the 
request of a lady, though twice repeated. 

Sir Ingebrand apologized, and said that he only waited to know her 
name. Thereupon the virgin bade him look her in the face. He did so, 
and read on her brow in gold letters, " Cordula, virgo, regina." He 
thereupon jumped out of bed, ran to the prior and told him, ' ' Her name 
is Cordula. And a very appropriate name too." " We must unearth 
her to-morrow," said the prior. 

Accordingly on the following day they dug under the filberts and 
found bones, which have since recei"\^ed veneration as relics. 

On account of the vision of Helintrudis and that of the Knight In- 
gebrand, this purely apocryphal saint, as one of the Ursuline company, 
has been taken into the Roman Martyrology.i 

Another of the party was S. Cunera. The authority for her story 
is the lections in the Breviary of Rhenen. According to them, " There 
is a certain part of Europe called the Orcades, consisting of thirty- three 
islands, which were governed by a King of Orkney, but now by the King 
of England, on which land is a great royal city, anciently called Orcada, 
but now Jork." 

1 Acta SS. Boll., Oct., ix, pp. 580-6. 

S. Ursula and Eleven Thousand Virgins 345 

In this city reigned King Aurelius, who marched at the head of his 
armies against the Saracens, but was taken captive, and was carried 
before the Soldan of Babylon, and imprisoned. But the Soldan's 
daughter loved the pale-faced captive, was converted by him and bap- 
tized, and they eloped together to Orkney, and in the capital, Jork, 
their daughter Cunera was born. 

Ursula being about to sail along with the eleven thousand virgins, 
Cunera joined her. When the party was being massacred by the Huns, 
Radbod, King of the Frisians, being present at Cologne at the time, was 
so struck with her beauty, that he concealed her under his cloak, and 
carried her with him to Rhenen, in the diocese of Utrecht. But the 
wife of Radbod did not relish the introduction of this good-looking 
wench into the household, and she induced her attendants to strangle 
Cunera and bury her in the stable.^ 

There are other of the companions of Ursula culted in various parts, 
and with stories hardly less ridiculous. 

The BoUandists give us 1,083 names of virgins and other martyrs of 
that company whose relics have enriched various churches. Thus, out 
of three or four nameless virgins there grew first three, then six, next 
eleven, all named, and finaUy over a thousand all labelled with their 
names and their titles, and with the particulars of the lives of most 

Few visitors to Cologne have failed to look at the interior of the 
Church of S. Ursula. A more ghastly sight hardly exists in Christen- 
dom. The walls are covered with boxes containing the skulls and bones 
of the supposed martyrs. The church more resembles a temple of 
Shiva than a Christian place of worship. It would be well were an 
Archbishop of Cologne to order the burial of these relics of humanity, 
not one of which belongs to a martyr ; ^ and for the Holy See to 
expunge the name of Ursula from the Martyrology and retain only a 
commemoration of the Virgins to whom Clematius rebuilt a basihca. 

SS. Ursula and her Companions were culted, but not extensively, in 
Wales, particularly in Cardiganshire. Theophilus Evans, writing in 
the early part of the eighteenth century, says, " There is a church in 
Ceredigion called Llangwyryf on ^ (the Church of the Virgins), which was 
so named in memory of them at its consecration," and adds that their 
festival, October"'2i, was known as " Gwyl Santesau," " the Festival of 

1 Acta SS. Boll., Jun., ii, pp. 563-7- 

2 Some of the skulls have been transfixed with arrows. This was part, doubt- 
less, of the trickery of Theodoric or Gerlach. 

3 It also occurs as Llanygwryddon {Peniarth MS. 147), and Llanygweryddon 
{Myv. Arch., p. 744), but is locally pronounced Llangwrddon. 

34^ Lives of the British Saints 

the Saintesses." '^ According to him they were the maidens sent out 
at Conan's request. Edward Lhuyd in his notes (1699) on the parish 
of Llanwenog, also in Cardiganshire, says, " There is a Chappel hard by 
Essen fort (Cast ell S* Essen), called Capel S' Essen : because it is dedi- 
cated to y^ 10,000 [sic) vergins marthjnrd." He means, of course, 
the now extinct Capel Santesau.^ 

One of the great fairs in the neighbouring parish of Llanybyther, ■ 
held on October 21, O.S., and still on November i and its eve, is 
called " Ffair ySantesau," and is so entered in the Calendar in Llan- 
stephan MS. 181 [c. 1556). The festival occurs in most of the Welsh 
Calendars, and is usually entered simply as " Gwyl y Gweryddon," or 
" Gwyl yr un fil ar ddeg Gweryddon." The South Wales Calendar in 
Cwrtmawr MS. 44 (sixteenth century) has on October 21, " Gwvl Lvr 
forwvn " and " Gwvl Vrw forwvn," i.e. the Festivals of Llyr and 
Urw (?), Virgins.^ They were probably Ursuline virgins, as was also 
the Lleuci,* i.e. Lucia or Lucy, of Bettws Leiki, Llanwnen, and Aber- 
nant; all in much the same corner of South Wales. 

There is a Welsh Life of Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins, 
Buchedd Wrsla or Ystoria Gweryddon yr Almaen (" the History of the 
Virgins of Germany "), in Peniarth MS. 182 (c. 1514), which is a trans- 
lation from the Latin by Sir Hugh Pennant. 

The authorities for the Ursula legend are as follows : — 

1. The Clematian Inscription. Krauss (F. X.), Die alt Christlichen 

Inschriften d. Rheinlande, Freiburg i. B., i8go, i, pp. 143-7 ; 
and Plate xx, 2. Floss (H. J.), Die Clematische Inschrift in S. 
Ursula, Koln, 1874. 

2. The " Sermo in Natali." Acta SS. Boll., Oct. ix, pp. 154-5. 

Klinkenberg, Studien zur Geschichte der Kolner Mdrterinnen, 
in Jahrbiicher des Vereins von AUerthumsfreunden im Rhein- 
lande, Ixxxix, Bonn, 1890 ; Kessel, 5. Ursula, Koln, 1863. 

3. The " Of&cium Proprium." Acta SS. Boll., ibid., pp. 284-5. 

4. The Legend " In tempore pervetusto," in Analecta Bollandiana, 

iii (1884), pp. 1-20. 

5. The Legend " Regnante Domino." Acta SS. Boll., ibid., pp, 

157-63. Both legends dealt with by Klinkenberg, op. cit., 
and also in Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchonlexikon, s.v. 5. Ursula, 

6. Geoffrey of Monmouth's version of the tale, Hist. Reg. Brit., v, 

^ Drych y Prif Oesoedd, i, c. 2. 

2 Parochialia, iii, p. 89, suppl. to Arch. Camb., 1911, 

' For them see iii, pp. 215, 386. * iii. pp. 367-8. 

S. Ust 347 

cc. 13, 16 ; ed. Giles in Ada SS. Boll., ibid., pp. 207-9 > ^^^ 
San Marte, Halle, 1854, pp. 66-73. 

7. " Liber Revelationum S. Elisabethas Schonaugiensis." Ada 

SS. Boll., ibid., pp. 163-73. 

8. " Revelationes seu Imaginationes B. Hermanni Josephi." Ibid., 

pp. 173-201. 

9. " Thioderici jEditui Revelationes titulorum vel nominum ss.- 

martj/rum." Ibid., pp. 243-6. Holder-Egger in Pertz, Mon. 

Script., xiv, pp. 569-70 ; Lecomblet in Archiv f. d. Geschichte d- 

Niederrheins, v (1865), pp. 292-9. 
We have given no references to Crombach's Ursula vindicata, 1647, 
as it is an utterly uncritical work, and all that is of value in it has been- 
republished, and is accessible in the works above given. Books and 
articles that may be consulted, in addition to those already named, are 
Lecomblet, Urkundenbuch des Niederrheins , and Tout (Mrs. T. F.),,, 
The Legend of S. Ursula in Historical Essays by Members of the Owens 
College, Manchester, London, 1902, pp. 17-56. 

S. UST, Confessor 

In the Myvyrian Archaiology ^ occurs this entry, " Ust and Djrfnig,, 
the saints at Llanwrin, in Cyfeihog, who came to this Island with Cad- 
fan," from Armorica. They were the original founders, it would appear, 
of the Church of Llanwrin, Montgomeryshire, which was some time later 
rededicated to S. Gwrin, a descendant of Gildas. Close to the village^ 
is a field called Cae y Tri Sant, the Three Saints' Field. The extinct 
chapel of Llanust, near Fishguard, was probably also dedicated to him. 

Ust is the Latin Justus. The name occurs in Laneast and S. Just,, 
in Cornwall, and in the Saint- Just, of lUe et Vilaine and Pleuc (Lan- 
gourlay), in Brittany. 

The wake at Llanwrin was held on May i, but Gwrin's day is said to be 
November i.^ 

1 P 431. No doubt the " ys da Dyfnig " of the Ode to King Henry VII in the 
lolo MSS., p. 314, should have been printed " Ysd { = Ust) a Dyfnig." All the 
MS. copies' of the poem that we have seen are here corrupt. Ust occurs in the. 
place-name Bodust, in the parish of Bettws, Carmarthenshire. 

2 Willis, Bangor, p. 361. 

34^ Lives of the British Saints 

S. USTIG, Confessor 

UsTiG was the son of Geraint ab Carannog, of the line of Cadell 
Deyrnllwg, and brother of S. Eldad, or Aldate, Bishop of Gloucester. 
" Ustig and Dyfrig were S. Garmon's confessors [periglorion) in Cor 
■Garmon," ^ at Llancarfan. 

An Ustig is given as one of the children of Caw, and is esteemed to be 
a saint. ^ He is the son of Caw who occurs as lustic in the tale of 
Culhwch and Olwen.^ 

S. USYLLT, Confessor 

UsYLLT is nowhere entered as a saint in the Welsh Saintly Pedigrees, 
only as the father of S. Teilo. In these his name is given under a 
great variety of forms — Ensych, Eussyllt, Hensych [Peniarth MSS. i6, 
45, 27, respectively), Enoc [Hafod MS. 16), Kusych and Hensych 
{Cardiff MS. 25, pp. 24, 112), Enllech and Eisyllt {lolo MSS., pp. no, 
124), not to mention the Myvyrian (p. 430) and other readings. Of 
these, the only document that gives it correctly is Peniarth MS. 45, 
which has Eussyllt (for Eusyll). The name is regularly derived from 
the Latin Auxilius. Usyllt's father was Hydwn (Hidwn, Hedwn) or 
Hyddwn Dwn, the son of Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig. According to 
the lolo MSS., he was a King in Ireland. 

From the Life of S. Oudoceus * (where he is called Ensic) we learn 
that Usyllt's wife was Guenhaf, daughter of Liuonui, by whom he was 
the father of Teilo, and Anauved, the wife of Prince Budic and mother 
of SS. Oudoceus, Ismael, and Tyfai. S. Mabon is also given as his son. 

UsyUt is associated entirely with Pembrokeshire. It was there, at 
Eccluis Gunniau (Guiniau), apparently Penally, near Tenby, that Teilo 
was born, 5 and Usyllt is patron of the neighbouring church of S. Issell's, 
in Welsh Llan or Eglwys Usyllt, which was one of the " Seven Bishop- 
houses in Dyfed," mentioned in the Demetian Code of the Laws of 
Hywel Dda." It is there stated that " Llann Geneu and Llann Vsyllt 
are free from ebediws, because there is no Church land belonging to 

' lolo MSS., p. 131. The name is a derivative of Justus. 
2 Cardiff MS. 5 (1527), p. 119 (Vsdic) ; lolo MSS , p. 143. 
' Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 107. 

* Book of Llan Ddv. p. 130. ^ Ifjid., pp. 124, 255. 

* Welsh Laws, ed. Aneurin Owen, p. 273; cf. p. 839. Lewis Dwnn, Heraldic 
Visitations, 1846, i, p. 123, calls S. Issell's " Plwyf Saint Tisels." 

S. Vorch 349 

them." In the Taxatio of 1291 the church is caUed " Ecclesia de 
Sancto Ussello," and in the Liher Communis of S. David's Cathedra] 
" Eccla S« Ussuldi " (1490-1557).^ Wilham of Worcester,^ in the 
fifteenth century, says of S. Usyllt, " S. Ussoldus confessor, Anglice 
Seynt Ussille, plures ecclesise in Walha " ; but we know of only one, 
possibly two, churches dedicated to him. 

The dedication of Haroldston S. Issell's, also in Pembrokeshire, is 
doubtful, whether to S. Usyllt or to S. Ismael,^ as Issell here may be a 
corruption of Ismel = Ismael, the brother of S. Oudoceus, and nephew 
of S. Teilo. Browne Willis * ascribes both churches to S. Ismael. 
Tre Usyllt, in Granston parish, is, no doubt, named after the saint. 

S. VEEP, Bishop, Confessor 

Bishop Stapeldon, 1308, Bishop Grandisson, 1349 ^-^-cL 1361, and 
Stafford, 1400 and 1414, give the Church of S. Veep, in Cornwall, as 
" Ecclesia S*' Vepi." So also the Taxatio of 1291. 

Only when Grandisson rededicated the Church to SS. Cjnriacus and 
Julitta in 1336 did he enter it as " Ecclesia S*'* Vepae." Bran- 
tjmgham did the same, but in 1394 called the church that " S*' Vepi." 

The balance is in favour of the saint being a male. 

Veep is probably a corruption of Fiacc or Feock. 

The Festival of S. Veep is on the Wednesday before Midsummer 
Day. See S. Feock. 

S. VORCH, Virgin 

Lanlivery Church, Cornwall, according to Tonkin, is dedicated to 
S. Vorch, and the name Lanlivery is Lan-le- Vorch. 

Ecton, in his Thesaurus Rer. EccL, ed. Browne Willis (3rd ed., 1763), 
gives S. Brevita as the patroness. 

The Feast at Lanhvery is on the first Sunday after the first Tuesday 
in May. 

1 Basil Jones and Freeman, S. David's, 1856, pp. 377-83- Itgives other forms, 
among them Oswald (p. 386). ^ iti„,, ed. Nasmith, 1778, p. 163. 

3 Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 296, 308, 412 ; ii, p. 344. 
* Paroch. Anglic, pp. 178-9. 

350 Lives of the British Saints 


S. WARNAC, Bishop, Confessor 

A BAY in Scilly bears the name of S. Warnac, contracted now into 
Warne. Troutbeck, in his Isles of Scilly, says that it is related tradi- 
tionally that ^Warnac was an Irish Saint, who came over in a wicker- 
boat covered with raw hides. His Holy Well is now choked. Possibly 
he is S. Brynach, which see. 

S. WENEPPA, Virgin 

This would be the Latin form of Gwenabwy. She founded the 
Church of Gwennap in Cornwall. 

She was a daughter of Caw, and sister of Cywyllog, who married 
Modred. Gwennap Feast is on Whitsunday. 

See further under S. Gwenabwy. 


The patroness of Wendron, in Cornwall, appears in the Exeter 
Episcopal Registers as Wendrona. 

The local tradition relative to Wendron is, or was, that she was an 
Irishwoman. It is impossible to identify her. The name in Irish 
would be Findbron, White Breast. No such a saint occurs in the 
calendars. The nearest approach is Bronfinn, sister of S. Ibar of 
Begerry. Mella, also called Bronfinn, married to Cenfinnan, was 
mother of S. Abban and S. Lithgean (Ludgvan). Stithians, the almost 
adjoining parish to Wendron, has for foundress S. Etain, a disciple 
of S. Ibar, Bronfinn's sister. 

There was a chapel at TresuUa dedicated to the saint, as well as the 
parish church. 

If Wendron be Bronfinn, which is pure conjecture, and if she be the 
mother of the S. Lithgean of Ludgvan, then it is probable that the statue 

aS*. Willow 351 

of a female saint at the latter place, representing her holding a flower- 
ing stalk, may have been intended for her. The statue is now in the 
Rectory garden. 

Wendron Feast is on the nearest Sunday to October 28. 

Capel Gwenfron was the name of a chapel, now extinct, in Nevern, 
Pembrokeshire,^ but nothing is known of Gwenfron. 

S. WENN, see S. GWEN 

S. WETHENOC, Abbot, Confessor 

In the Bodmin Calendar a saint of this name is commemorated on 
November 7. 

According to Bishop Stafford's Register, 1415, S. Wetheney had a 
chapel dedicated to him at Padstow. 

Whether he can be equated with Gwinedoc, whose church is on the 
opposite side of the estuary, is doubtful. 

Wethenoc is Gwethenoc in a later form, and in Breton has become 
Goueznou, the Welsh dd and Cornish ill becoming z in Breton. 

For his Life see S. Gwethenoc, brother of S. Winwaloe. 

S. WILLOW, Hermit, Martyr 

The name of the patron Saint of Lanteglos by Fowey, Cornwall. It 
is so given in an Assize roll for 1284. 

William of Worcester, who calls him Vylloc or Wyllow, says that he 
was of Irish origin, that he Hved as a hermit, and was murdered by a 
kinsman, Mellyn. 

After that his head was cut off, he rose and carried it from the Bridge 
of S. Willow to the church. 

The cave in whieh S. Willow lived is shown on S. Willow's Hill, by 

1 iii, p. 196. 

3 5 2 Lives of the British Saints 

According to William of Worcester, his feast was observed at Lan- 
teglos on the Thursday before Pentecost. 
Nicolas Roscarrock gives as his day June 3. 
He is unknown to the Irish Martyrologists. 


S. WINNOW, Abbot, Confessor 

S. Winnow is titular saint of a church in Cornwall. It has been sup- 
posed that this is Winoc, brother or nephew of Juthael, Prince of 
Domnonia ; a saint who was educated from infancy at Sithieu, planted 
Bergues-Saint-Winnoc in French Flanders, and died in 717. But this 
saint had nothing to do with Cornwall. 

In the Life of S. Padarn we read of his having with him a disciple 
called Guinnius,! who is there associated with S. Samson. 

Padarn seems to have settled early in East Cornwall, and perhaps had 
Guinnius with him, and he formed an ecclesiastical establishment at 
Lewannick, not far from S. Padarn's region. When S. Samson arrived 
in Padstow Harbour, he was sent as the most learned of the monks of 
the district to meet Samson and ask his intentions in coming there. 
For this we refer the reader to the Life of S. Samson. 

As we find S. Winnow's Church near Samson's settlement at Golant 
on the Fowey, it may be supposed that he associated himself with 
that great saint. 

Whether he ever crossed into Brittany is uncertain, but probable, for 
in the marshes of Dol is a Saint Guinou, and there is a lake, in which, 
according to legend, a great city lies engulfed.^ This seems to be a 
transference to Dol of the story of Gwyddno and the overflowing of 
Cantre'r Gwaelod. 

S. Guinou is Guehinocus in a charter of 1249, ''.nd Guicenous in the 
fourteenth century. 

The Patronal Feast is observed on October 25. 

In the department of Morbihan, in the Canton of Cleguerec, is a S. 
Ignawor Iniau, where the name takes the form of Juniavus, given in one 
of the Lives of S. Samson ; ^ and it is significant that S. Samson is- 
honoured in the same canton.* 

1 Cambro British Saints, p. 191. See supra, p. 45, and iii, p. 247. 

2 Bulletin de la Soc. Arch, de FinistSre, iii (1874-5), p. 104. 
' Loth (J.), Chrestomathie Bretonne, pp. 215, 143. 

* Duine (F.), Les Saints de Dol p. 44. 

S. Winwaloe 3 5 J 

It is, accordingly, probable that Winiau or Winnow accompanied 
Samson to Brittany. It is also remarkable that the name of Winnian,. 
perhaps a misreading for Winniau, should be given in the Vita 2da of 
S. Samson as the name of the port where Samson landed when he 
crossed to Armorica.'^ 

In Bishop Bronescombe's Register S. Winnow, in Cornwall, is entitled,, 
in 1269, S**^ Wynnocus. In those of Bishop Stapeldon, 1313, of 
Grandisson, 1335, 1348, 1367, and of Stafford, 1404, S"^ Winnocus. In 
the Taxatio of 1291 (p. 145) it is called " Ecclesia de Sancto Winnoco." 
The Feast at S. Winnow is on June 17.^ 

It is much to be regretted that we have no details as to the life of 
this man, who must have been learned, and was associated with two of 
the most remarkable men of his age, Padarn and Samson. 

Mr. Phillimore is disposed to think that S. Twinell's, in Pembroke- 
shire, is a dedication to S. Winnoc or Winnow.^ 

S. WINWALOE, Abbot, Confessor 

The authorities for the Life of this remarkable saint are : — 

1. A Vita by Wurdistan, monk, and afterwards abbot, of Land- 
evennec in the middle of the ninth century, published by De Smedt in 
the Analeda Bollandiana, vii, 1888, pp. 167-264. Again in the Car- 
tulaire de Landevennec, by A. de la Borderie, Rennes, 1889, pp. 7-102. 

2. A Vita Metrica, Anal. Boll., vii, pp. 250-61, and Cart. Land.,. 
pp. 103-11. 

3. A Life in Surius, De Proh. SS. Historiis, Mart, iii, pp. 38-41. 

4. A Life by John of T5memouth, in Capgrave's Nova Legenda An- 

5. A Life by an anonymous author. Acta SS. Boll., Mart, i, pp. 250-4.. 

6. Another Life in the same collection, pp. 254-5. 

The last four are of no value ; they are mere summaries of that by 
Wurdistan, and this latter is actually the sole source from which all. 
subsequent Lives have been derived. 

7. A MS. Life in the British Museum, Cotton MS. Tiberius, E. i,. 

^ Vita 2da S. Samsonis, ed. Plaine, p. 42. 

2 S. Winnoc of Bergues-Saint- Winnoc has his commemoration on Nov 6, 
and Sept. 18, the Translation of his relics. 

' Owen's Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 292, 321. See what has been said iii, pp. 179— 
80, 233. There are two places in Cornwall called Trewinnow. 


3 54 Lives of the British Saints 

beginning " Fuit in Britannia vir quidam," and ending, " floruit autem 
circa annum Domini quadragintesimum quinquagesimum nonum. 
This formed the basis of John of Tynemouth's Life. 

8. In Bodleian MS. 240, C.C.C. Cambridge MSS. 5, 6, 7, and Lam- 
beth AISS. 10, II, 12, is a Life of S. Winwaloe longer than that of 
John of Tynemouth in Capgrave. This has been printed in the 
new edition of Capgrave. ^ 

9. A MS. Brit. Museum Otto D. VIII supposed to be the original 
that formed the basis of that by Wurdistan. M. Latouche (R.) 
Melanges d'histoire de Cornouaille, Paris, 1911. 

Winwaloe was son of Fracan, cousin of Cado, Duke of Cornwall (see 
S. Fracan). Fracan resolved on migrating to Armorica, and he took 
with him his wife Gwen " of the Three Breasts," and his two sons 
Gwethenoc and James, and a small retinue (see S. Gwen Teirbron).^ 

They disembarked at Brahec, and ascended the stream of the Gouet, 
the Bloody River, why so called we do not know, for it is limpid, flowing 
through a ravine cleft in the granite, and golden with broom and gorse. 

Fracan settled at Ploufragan. . Then the little colony set to work to 
clear the ground of trees, and to construct wattled cabins. 

They had not been there long before another party of emigrants 
arrived from South Wales, a fleet of vessels full of colonists, under the 
direction of Righuel or Rhiwal. This party advanced up the stream, 
and occupied the country on the right bank and that about the 
Anse dlf&gnac. 

Gwen the Three Breasted shortly after gave birth to a son, whom 
she and her husband named Winwaloe. Some fifty different spelhngs 
occur in all of his name. 

In course of time they heard that a British saint of the name of 
Budoc had a school at Lavret, one of the islands of the Brehat archi- ■ 
pelago, and they sent their three sons to him to be educated. 

With Budoc Winwaloe remained a good many years, and when he 
considered himself accomplished in all the learning of the school, at the 
age of one and twenty he left. 

It is said that one day, whilst he was in Lavret, he heard of the work 
achieved by S. Patrick in Ireland, and was filled with a burning desire 
to go to him and assist in the mission field in Ireland. This is not at all 
unlikely. Adjoining Ploufragan, Winwaloe's home,, is La Meaugon 

1 Duffus Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue, 1862, i, p. 104. Capgrave, ed. Horst- 
mann, 1902, pp. 558-73. 

" " Inter haec autem (fuit) vir quidam illustris, spes prolis beata2, nomine 
Fracanus, Catouii regis Britannici,. viri secundum seculum famosissimi conso- 
brinus," Vita in Cart. Land., p. 9. In the Bodl. MS., " erat in insula Britannica 
vir . . . nomine F(r)acanus, Caton regis Britannici," etc. 

S. JVinwaloe 355 

(Lan-Meugan), a monastic college of Maucan or Mancen, founded for 
the furnishing of missioners for the harvest-field of Erin. Budoc, 
moreover, had been brought up either in Ireland or by Irish monks, 
and he was certain to speak in glowing terms of the great apostle. 

But we cannot conclude from this, as have some Breton historians, 
that this apparition — for Winwaloe is said to have seen S. Patrick in 
vision — furnishes an approximate date for Winwaloe's residence on 
Lavret. We do hot know whether he ever had this dream, and if he 
had, whether it was as related by Wurdistan. All we can say with any 
confidence is, that when a lad he was fired with ambition to join in the 
work of the Irish mission, but thought better of it and did not go.^ 

Whilst he was at home, a gander flew at Winwaloe's little sister, 
Creirwe, and would have pecked out her eye had not Winwaloe inter- 
posed. In after years, Creirwe was wont to say that she owed her eye 
to Winwaloe, and this was magnified into something miraculous, and 
it was gravely told that the gander had actually swallowed the eyeball, 
that Winwaloe had replaced it in its socket, and that the girl suffered 
no ill effects from it. A writer who could so manipulate a simple inci- 
dent is not to be trusted implicitly when dealing with a dream. ^ 

Winwaloe resolved on leaving Lavret and starting a monastic estab- 
lishment in his own native land ; his enthusiasm for work in Ireland 
having cooled down as rapidly as it had kindled. 

He induced eleven companions to accompany him, and this swarm 
crossed the mainland. 

Local tradition has it that he halted in youth for awhile at Plouguin, 
near Ploudalmezeau, and this is probable enough. His mother had 
a -plebs there, and his father another not far off. At Plouguin are 
pointed out some mounds of ruin where he is said to have had an oratory 
and cell. 

In the chapel of Lesguen or Lesven, a chateau in the parish, on the 
grounds of which are the ruins of S. Winwaloe's cell, is an altar paint- 
ing representing Fracan in armour presenting his son Winwaloe, 
■Three-Breasted Gwen, above an inscription " Mamelle d'or," and S. 
Corentine investing Winwaloe with the abbacy of Landevennec. At 
the feet of Gwen is De Nobletz, a famous missioner (1577-1654). 

From Plouguin Winwaloe and his party moved south, and on their 
delighted eyes burst the wondrous harbour of Brest, gleaming hke 
silver. The Atlantic surged against the headland of Croson, and rolled 
in at the Goulet, about two thousand yards across and five miles long, 
lost all the force it had and spread out into a wide expanse of unruffled 

1 Vita in Cavt. Land., p. 46. ^ lUd., p. 32. 

3 5^ Lives of the British Saints 

water, broken into numerous creeks. Before them was the spur of 
Plougastel, with its granite rocks starting up like natural castles. The 
Rade now covered with vessels, and where the ironclads lie basking, 
was then still and lifeless. 

Winwaloe and his monks built themselves a boat, and started to 
explore this inland sea. They skirted the rocky headland of Plou- 
gastel, and ran up the arm into which many streams pour from the 
North and East, at the head of which rushes in the Aulne. Here 
they found an islet called then Thopepigia, now Tibidy, and resolved 
on settling upon it. 

They landed, erected their cells, and made a garden. 

But the soil was scanty, and the winds from the Atlantic howled and 
tore over the bare surface of the isle. Nevertheless, the little community 
clung to it for three years. However, the conviction wasforming in the 
mind of Winwaloe that the site was undesirable and that he would 
be forced to quit it. 

Then, one day, occurred a striking incident. 

Winwaloe, who was still young, was wont to sit on a stony height, 
with his young disciples round him, where he and they could be shel- 
tered from the sea-winds, consequently with the East and South before 
him — the mainland rich with woods and pleasant pastures, and with 
here and there the blue smoke stealing up and then drifting away from 
some little farm. 

And as he thought he looked, and saw that it was neap tide. Then 
on a sudden what had long been simmering in his mind took form, and 
broke into resolution. He started up, and bade his pupils follow him in 
chain, each holding the hand of another, and one with his right hand in 
his own. So Winwaloe, holding his staff in his right, and with the left 
conducting this living chain, descended to the beach, and led the way 
through the shallow water to the mainland. 

In the Life this has been converted into a miracle, but the miraculous 
element is unnecessary here.^ 

Having reached the mainland, Winwaloe proceeded to select a suit- 
able habitation, and chose a spot well sheltered, on which he reared 
what was afterwards the famous monastery of Landevennec, where the 
tortuous Aulne falls into the Brest harbour. " It is a mild and pleas- 
ant spot," says the biographer of Winwaloe, " where every year the 
first flowers open, and where the leaves are last to fall. A place shel- 
tered from every wind save that from the East, a natural garden, 
enamelled with flowers of every hue." ^ 

1 Vitni-a. Cart. Land., p. 62. . " ^ Ibid., pp. "65-6. 

S. Winwaloe 357 

The whole region is favoured. It now hves on the London market, 
suppljdng the earhest peas, cauliflowers, strawberries ; and where 
those who are not gardeners are fishermen. But when Winwaloe 
settled in a pleasant nook, with his back to the rough west winds and 
his face to the rising sun, inhabitants were sparse. The original popu- 
lation, short, sallow, with beady eyes, and dark hair, kept aloof, sus- 
picious, steeped in paganism, and shunning the invading Britons and 
Irish who enserfed them. 

At Rumengol above the Faou creek they assembled at a red stone, 
if tradition may be trusted, to offer sacrifice of human blood. Fiacc 
of Sletty had already planted some Irish monks at Lanveoc and Ninidh 
at Lagona. But the colonists from the Emerald Isle were only occa- 
sional, and the colonies were not constantly replenished ; whereas a 
tide strong, and showing no signs of slackening or ebbing, began to 
ripple over the land from Britain, to submerge the ancient population, 
and to absorb the Irish colonies. 

Grallo was King of Cornugallia, a rough and cruel man with but a 
smattering of Christianity ; but Winwaloe obtained great influence 
over him, and succeeded in somewhat softening his natural coarseness 
and savagery. 

The country was covered with timber, and, where the bare downs 
rose above the foliage, they were thick strewn with the memorials of the 
prehistoric dead, gaunt tall stones, standing up as sentinels, singly or in 
rows or in circles, in which the dead had been burned, and the ancient 
people had met for their consultations. 

Winwaloe and his young monks constructed their church of felled 
trees, and with the branches wattled their huts, and plastered them with 
the ooze from the river bed. 

Grallo would have given Winwaloe land in many places, for land was 
not worth much in a country so thinly populated, and monkish colonies 
would do a great deal towards the civilization of the natives, and help 
to prevent them from combining against the immigrants. But the 
abbot declined the grants till Landevennec was thoroughly established, 
and his pupils properly disciplined. Eventually, when he had filled 
his monastery, and had many docile monks, chief among whom was 
the faithful and apostolic-minded Tudy, he gladly accepted grants 
and planted lanns in all directions. Later, long after his time, the 
monks forged a series of donations to entitle them to hold land 
wherever they liked. 

We are not informed of S. Winwaloe having gone to Cornwall, but it 
is very probable that he did so, or that he sent disciples there to estab- 
lish daughter monasteries, where recruits might be gathered for the 

3 5 8 Lives of the British Saints 

parent house. Indeed, so sparse was the population in Brittany, that 
he must necessarily have looked to Britain to supply him with disciples. 

His biographer describes him as a man of moderate height, with a 
bright and smiling countenance. He was very patient and gentle in 
his deahngs with men. He always wore a habit of goatskin. He would 
never sit down in church, but ever stand, kneel, or prostrate himself. 
He slept on birch-bark fibre, and ate girdle cakes baked in ashes, or 
dumplings with vegetables, and a little cheese or fish, but no meat,, and 
his drink was cider. In Lent he took but two good meals in the week.'- 

He was so simple-minded that he was easily deceived. His disciple 
Rioc came to him one day with a long face to tell him that he had 
received tidings that his mother was dying — perhaps by this time dead, 
— and to entreat leave of absence that he might visit her and close her 
eyes. Winwaloe at once gave the desired permission, and Rioc de-^ 
parted. After a suitable holiday Rioc returned, and Winwaloe sym- 
pathetically inquired after the old lady. Then Rioc informed him 
that when he had arrived at home she was already dead, but he had 
prayed, and invoked the merits of his dear master, and his mother had 
recovered. Winwaloe actually believed the story. ^ 

Perhaps another tale told by Wurdistan shows us a further instance 
of his simplicity. One night, Tethgo, a monk who had his cell nearest 
to that of the abbot — and these cells were separate huts — heard a great 
hubbub in the abbot's wattled hut, and went to see what was the 
matter. He found Winwaloe, in the presence of a hideous being, piay^ 
ing, crossing himself, bidding it depart and not molest him ; and the^ 
creature, after having prolonged the scene sufficiently, quietly with- 
drew. If this be not an invention of the biographer, it is an account of 
one of the more frolicsome young pupils dressing up like a devil tO' 
frighten his old master. If so, he certainly completely imposed 'on 
him. 3 Something of the same sort of thing occurs in the Life of S.. 
Martin, but there it was the pagan natives who dressed themselves up> 
like Duses or demons, and as heathen gods and goddesses, so as to terrify 
him. Mercury was a sharp, shrewd wag, and bothered the saint greatly,, 
as he admitted to Sulpicius, but Jupiter was a " stupid sot." At mid- 
winter it was a common practice for young people to disguise themselves 
and go a " mumming," and these practical Jokes played on the saints,, 
when in a state of spiritual exaltation, were easily transformed by the 
credulous into actual apparitions of evil spirits. 

Wurdistan gives a pleasant picture of the monastery hke a hive of 

^ Vita in Cart. Land., pp. 73-4. 

2 Ibid., pp. 84-5. Wurdistan, of course, tells the story as, if the woman had 
actually been resuscitated. * Ibid., f p., 69-71,. 

S. Winwaloe 3 59' 

bees, all engaged orderly in their several tasks, and all under the direc- 
tion of the " king bee," who was the abbot. i 

One day Winwaloe was visiting King Grallo, and he passed a number 
of boys at play. One of these, on seeing him, left his game, and ran to 
the abbot, knelt at his feet and begged to be admitted into his com- 
munity. Winwaloe looked into his fresh face, blessed him, and bade 
him return to his companions and to his sports. But the lad would not 
be put off. When Winwaloe went on his way, he saw that the boy 
followed at a distance. He turned and said, " My son, go home. My 
way is long and arduous and rough." 

" Then I wiU tread in your footprints," promptly answered the lad.. 
As his parents raised no objection, Winwaloe took the young aspirant 
after monastic perfection with him to Landevennec, on his return from- 
visiting Grallo.^ 

The boy's name was Wenael, or in its later form Gwenael, the son of 
British settlers caUed RomeHus and Lsetitia. He became one of the 
most attached disciples of Winwaloe, and remained with him for forty- 
three years, till the death of the abbot. 

Winwaloe died on March 3, on Wednesday in the first week in 
Lent, after having celebrated the Holy Mysteries, and sung the Psalms 
of the Office, supported on right and left by two monks. ^ 

The question of the date of the death of Winwaloe has been already 
discussed, under S. Gwenael,* his successor, and 532 has been taken, 
as the year in which he died. 

We are not informed as to the age of Winwaloe when he passed from 
his labours to his reward. He is spoken of as " full of days." 

We are further informed that he abandoned the eating of meat when, 
aged twenty-one, and never again touched it. 

That he spent some little time in Leon, on the estate or tribal land of 
his mother Gwen, near Ploudalmezeau, is not stated in the Life, but 
rests on local tradition, that points out the site of his cell and shows his 
holy well. Nor is it at all unhkely that he should go first of all to lands 
where his father and mother exercised jurisdiction and authority, and. 
do what he was able there to further the spiritual welfare of the tribe 
in that part. 

Rhiwal is said to have extended his rule over Domnonia in the reign of 

^ Vita in Cart, hand., p. 66. 

^ Vie de S. Guenael, in Le Grand, from lections in the Breviaries of Quimper, 
Vannes, and Landevennec. Also a Vita in Menardus, in his Martyrolog}', 1629, 

^ " Sanctus ergo Wingualoeus, senex venerabilis . . . plenus dieram . . . 
quinto nonas Martias quarta feria in prima quadragesimse hebdoniada . . .. 
obiit." Vita in Cart. Land., pp. 101-2. * iii, pp. 177-9. ' 

360 Lives of the British Saints 

■Clothair, but he must have arrived with his fleet many years previous, 
and it would be only after some stay in the country that he was able to 
establish himself as prince over it. He is, moreover, spoken of as being 
in the neighbourhood of the Champ de Rouvre, and estabhshed there, 
as a man of some authority when Fracan and Gwen arrived. 

If we assume that Winwaloe died at the age of 76, then the date of 
his birth was 457, and Rhiwal had settled in Domnonia some few years 

The approximate chronology of the Life of Winwaloe will be this : — 

The saint was born on the arrival of his mother in Brittany . . 457 

He was sent to Budoc to be trained at about the age of 10 . . 467 

At the age of one and twenty he abjures the use of meat . . 478 

Leaves Budoc at about the age of twenty-three for Leon . . 480 

Remains at Lesguen for about four years, and moves to Tibidy . 484 

Removes to Landevennec, visits Grallo, and obtains his consent . 487 

Takes Gwenael as a disciple. ...... 489 

Winwaloe dies " full of days " . . . . . . 532 

The saint was at first buried in his cell, or locus fenitenticB, but the 
body was transferred later, on April 28, to the church of the monastery. 
His relics were carried off when the monks of Landevennec fled from 
the Northmen in the tenth century, for the abbey was destroyed by 
them in 913 or 914. 

When Mathuedoi, Count of Poher, fled to Athelstan, with a number 
•of Bretons, the abbot and monks of Landevennec, or some of them, 
-were with him, as appears from a charter in the Cartulary of that 
abbey.* Alan Barbetorte recalled them, about 937. 
, What became of the body of S. Winwaloe is uncertain. It is prob- 
.able that it was conveyed to Chateau-du- Loire, in Maine, for he is there 
venerated as patron. 

Winwaloe (in Breton and French Guenole) has March 3 for his day in 
almost all the Brittany Calendars, but April 28 in the Quimper Brevi- 
ary of 1835, the day of his translation, and November 3 in the Vannes 
Breviary of 1660. He is not entered in the Welsh Calendars. 
j - In the eastern counties of England there is a couplet still current 
relating to the festivals at the beginning of March : — 

" First comes David, then comes Chad, 
Then comes Winwell (Winnol) as if he were mad." 

Or "roaring mad." The reference is t o the stormy weather (" Whin- 
-wall storms ") at this season of the year. There is a great fair on his 

' Cart. Land., p. 156. 

S. Winwaloe 361 

day at Downham Market, and the saying in the district is, " There 
is always a tempest on Downham fair-day." 

Winwaloe is patron of Wonastow, near Monmouth. The church is 
called in the Book of Llan Ddv ^ Lann Gunguarui, later Llanwarw, 
which embodies one of the many forms of the saint's name. The 
extinct chapels of Llandevenny, near Magor, and Llanwynny, also in 
Monmouthshire, are said to have been dedicated to him.^ 

In Devon he is patron of Portlemouth. Bishop Brantyngham, in his 
Register, October i8, 1372, gives, " Ecclesia Sancti Wonewalai de 
Portlemouth." In the Inquisition, " Sancti Wynwolay." The saint 
is represented on the very fine screen. 

In Cornwall, dedications to S. Winwaloe are : The Parish Church of 
Landewednack (Bronescombe's Register, 1279 ; Grandisson's, 1310, 
1314). The Chapel of Gunwalloe. Here is his Holy Well, which, 
being on the beach and within reach of high tides, has become choked 
with sand. It was customary to clear it out previous to the Feast. 
The Parish Church of Tremaine. The Church of Towednack. The 
Church of Tresmere. A chapel at Cradock in S. Cleer (Stafford's 
Register, 141 7). 

There was once a church dedicated to him at Norwich, situated near 
S. Catherine's Plain, and also a priory at Wareham, near Stoke Ferry 
in Norfolk, founded towards the end of the twelfth century. Wenlock 
in Salop, is most probably not dedicated to him. 

The Feast at Landewednack is on June 20, but the celebration begins 
on the nearest Sunday to that date. The Feast at Gunwalloe is on the 
last Sunday in April, in reference to the day of his translation. The 
Feast at Towednack is on April 28. The reason for transfer from March 
3 to the end of April is to avoid keeping the feast in Lent. His feast 
was observed in the Isle of Tibidy anciently on the first Sunday in 
June. 3 

In Brittany he is patron, not only of Landevennec, but also of Con- 
carneau, Loquenole or Locunole, and the He de Seine, and of Le Croisic 
and Batz, in Loire Inferieure. 

' P. 201 ; on p. 320, Wonewarestow. On the name see what has been said, 
iii, p. 164. The Taxaiiooi 1254 gives for it " Eccl. Sancti Wengel," and " Vicar 
de Sancto Wingelo." The original form of the saint's name occurs in Cart. Land., 
p. 103, as Guingualoeus, which is the Welsh Gunguarui, with one lingual substi- 
tuted for the other. A cleric named Guingual appears in the Book of Llan Ddv, 
p. 169. The familiar form To-win-oc or To-guen-oc is that found in Lan-devennec 
and Lan-dewednack. In modern Welsh this would be Tywynog, and is found 
in the Lann Tiuinauc of the Book of Llan Ddv, p. 275, believed by Mr. Philli- 
more to be Gannerew, near Monmouth (Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 301), which 
bears the Welsh form of his original name. 

2 Camfyro-British Saints, p. 5o6. ' Cart. Land., p. 173. 

362 Lives of the British Saints 

The Church of Loquenole, near Morlaix, is a very rude and early archi- 
tectural monument, containing some of the oldest early Norman work 
in Brittany. The number of chapels in which Guenole is honoured is 
very great. 

He is invoked in the early Litanies (tenth century) published by 
Mabillon and Warren, in that of S. Vougai, and in the eleventh century' 
Litany published by D'Arbois de Jubainville.^ 

He is represented at Plougastel as an old man in monastic habit and 
hood, with a staff in one hand, an open book in the other. This is a 
statue of the sixteenth century. A better and earlier statue is in the 
Chateau of Kernuz, near Pont I'Abbe. 

S. WULVELLA, Virgin, Abbess 

One of the sisters of S. Sativola or Sid well, and of S. Jutwara or 

If the Sativola of Exeter be the Sicofolia of the Life of S. Paul of 
Leon, then she was also his sister. 

She is the patron of Gulval, in Cornwall, on Mount's Bay, which 
Bishop Grandisson's Register gives as " Ecclesia Stae Welvelae de 
Lanystly," 1328, and in the same year as " Vicaria Sanctae Welvelae de 
Lanistly." In Bishop Stafford's Register, 1413, " Ecclesia Parocjiialis 
Sanctae Gulvelae alias Wolvelae de Lanestly." 

The Will of William Bachyler, September 14, 1410, contains a be- 
quest to the Church " Sanctae Golvelae." ^ Ecton, in his Thesaurus 
Rerum EccL, calls Laneast the church of S. Gulwell. But Laneast 
is dedicated to the two sisters S. Sativola and S. GulveUa. 

Gulval has been supposed by some to be dedicated to S. Gudwal, 
Bishop, but this is inadmissible in face of the notices in the Episcopal 
Registers. The Church of S. Paul, brother of S. Wulvella, if we allow 
the relationship, is separated from Gulval only by a portion of Madron 

In the Life of S. Paul we are told that he went to visit his sister, at 
the extremity of Britain on the coast, and that he remained there as her 
guest till his vessel was ready to carry him over to Armorica.^ Whilst 

' Revue Celtique, xi (1890), p. 136. 
2 Bishop Stafford's Register, ed. H, Randolph, p. 396. 

' " Tandem sua germanae sororis in eodem opere nomine descriptae, quae ini 
illiiis patriae extremis finibus, id est, in httore maris Britannici degebat, domum 


From statue at Kernuz, Pont V Ahhi. 

S. Tnyr Gwent 363: 

with her she complained to him of the encroachment of the sea, and he 
banked it out for her.^ At Gulval was her community of rehgious 
women ; they would need clerics near them to minister to them in holy 
things ; and we may suppose that Paul made his foundation hard by for 
this purpose, and left some of his disciples there, but for good reasons 
did not put his community of young men too near to the house for 

Bosuval, a farm in the parish, was probably, judging from the name, 
WulveUa's original settlement (Both-Wulvell). 

As already intimated, Wulvella is also patroness of Laneast, along, 
with her sister Sativola. In a window at Laneast she is represented, 
in fifteenth century glass, as an aged abbess, crowned, and with staff 
and veil. 

Gulval Holy Well was at one time greatly resorted to.^ There is- 
also a Holy Well at Laneast in good condition. Likewise there are a 
Holy Well and Cross of S. Gulval at Ashburton, on the confines of the 
parish of Staverton, the church of which is dedicated to S. Paul, now 
supposed to be the Apostle, possibly formerly of Paul of Leon. Ash- 
burton Fair is on the Tuesday or Thursday nearest to November 12, 
which is the day of S. Gulval's feast at Gulval on Mount's Bay, now 
observed on the Sunday nearest to that day. 

The day of S. Gudwal, Bishop, is on June 6. 

WulveUa is apparently the female saint on the Berry- Pomeroy screen,, 
represented as holding a lantern, having been confounded with S. 
Gudula ; and at Kenn, beside her sister Sidwell ; and also at Wolbor- 
ough, where she occurs, as a crowned abbess, along with her sister ; and. 
at Torbryan. 

S. YNYR GWENT, Prince, Confessor 

Ynyr is usually given as the son of Dyfnwal H6n, and great-grandson 
of Maxen Wledig and Elen.* He was Prince of Gwent, and his seat of 

prospero cursu pervenit. Ibique cum eadem jam tunc temporis sacrosancta. 
virgine Deo dicata, quousque omnia quae .ad usum navigandi necessaria esse 
videbantur, prseparata fuerant, hospes honorabilis hospitatus est." Vita S. 
Pauli, ed. Plaine, Analecta Boll., i (1882). The only sister named before was 
Sicofolia ; so we must suppose that she was with Wulvella there at the time. 

1 Supra, p. 78. 

2 Lysons' Cornwall, p. ccii ; Gilbert's History of Cornwall, iii, p. 121, 

8 His descent is not given in the usual saintly pedigrees. According to the Life- 

364 Lives of the British Saints 

principality was at Caerwent. His wife was Madrun, daughter of 
Gwrthefyr Fendigaid, and grand-daughter of the infamous Gwrtheyrn 
Gwrtheneu, or Vortigem. By her he had three sons and a daughter. ^ 
The sons were Iddon, Ceidio, and Cynheiddon, and the daughter 
Tegiwg, all counted as saints. He was succeeded by Iddon. 

He is mentioned in the Life of S. Beuno. That saint was sent by his 
parents to be instructed by Tangusius, or Tangwn, who succeeded 
Tathan as abbot at Caerwent. He was well received by the good king 
Ynyr, who " gave him a gold ring and a crown ; also he became a 
disciple and monk to S. Beuno, and gave him three estates in Euas " ^ 
(Ewyas). Thereon Beuno founded Llanveyno. 

Ynyr is said to have founded the churches of Abergavenny and 
Machen,^ in Monmouthshire, but neither of them is to-day dedicated 
to him. 

Very little is known of him by Welsh historians. But he may possi- 
bly be the Eneour who was a founder on a large scale in Leon, in Brit- 
tany.* If our supposition be correct, he there founded three pious, 
which reveals the fact that he must have passed the seas at the head of 
a large body of British emigrants. It is more probable that this took 
place on the occasion of the breaking out of the Yellow Plague, in 547, 
than that he should have fled so late as 577, when came the Saxon in- 
vasion of the basin of the Severn. His three pious are Plouneour-Trez, 
or the plebs of Ynyr on the Shore, Plouneour-Menez, his plebs on the 
Mountain, and Plouneour Lanvern, his plehs near his Lan in the Alder- 
grove, where the civil settlement was beside the ecclesiastical colony. 

It is traditionally held in Brittany that his sister, who is called S'<= 
Thumete, accompanied him. In the tenth or early eleventh century 
Litany in the Missal of S. Vougai, he is invoked asEneure.^ In the 
■Cartulary of Landevennec Plouneour is called Plueu Eneuur.^ In the 
twelfth century Life of S. Goulven it is " parochia Enemori." ' 

of S. Tathan his father was Caradog, King of Gwent ; see Owen's Pembrokeshire, 
ii, p. 285. The name Ynyr, in Breton Ener, is derived from the Latin Honorius. 
A S. Ynyr is entered in the lolo MSS., p. 141, as a son of Seithenin, but he is 
.clearly confounded with Cynyr of Caer Gawch, S. David's grandfather, whose 
name continually occurs in late documents as Gynyr and Ynyr. 

1 It would appear that he had another daughter, Morfydd, who became the 
wife of King Gwaithfoed (Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., ii, pp. 350, 


2 Llyvyr Agkyr LI., pp. 119-20. 

^ lolo MSS., pp. 148, 221. According to the Life of S. Tathan it was Caradc,'^ 
-jthat founded the college at Caerwent, and not Ynyr ; see supra, pp. 212—3. 

* Stephan, I'Eglise de PlounSour-Trez, Landerneau, 1903, pp. 9, 94. 

* Revue Celtique, xi (1890), p. 136. 

8 Cart. Land., ed. De la Borderie, p. 167. 

•' Saint Goulven, by De la Borderie, Rennes, 1892, p. 223. 

S. Ynyr Gwent 365 

There is no certainty that Eneour is Ynyr Gwent, but there are cer- 
tain reasons that lead to the supposition that they are the same. That 
he was a man of very considerable importance cannot be doubted when 
he was able to found three -plehes with those he brought over with him ;. 
and he came to Leon, which was colonized from Gwent. 

That he was one of those who accompanied Paul of Leon is hardly 
possible. Ynyr, Prince of Gwent, was a man of too much importance- 
to have remained unnoticed among the disciples of Paul, of whom the 
biographer records the names of fourteen. It is far more probable that 
he headed an independent migration at the time of the Yellow Plague,, 
when, as we know from the Life of S. Teilo, there was a rush out of South 
Wales across the sea to Brittany. 

Ynyr, if the identification be allowed, landed on the broad sandy 
iraeth of Plouneour, where stands now the huge menhir of Pontusval,. 
standing over 30 feet high, now surmounted by a cross. Thence he 
moved to Guerlesquin, where he was regarded as patron and called S„ 
Iner, or Saint Tiner.^ He has, however, been displaced to make way 
for S. Tenenan, but his statue remains in the church. 

His second flou was on the Monts d'Arrez, Plouneour-Menez, where 
also he has been thrust from being patron to be supplanted by a saint 
of whom more is known, and who figures in the Roman Martyrology. 

His third -plou was that near his ecclesiastical settlement of Lanvern., 
This is in a different part of the country, in Cornouaille, and not far 
from Pont I'Abbe, in the Bigauden district. His reputed sister 
Thumete is venerated at Kerity Penmarch near by. In the same- 
neighbourhood is Ploneis, of which Church S. Eneour was also patron. 
At Plouneour-Trez is his Holy Well in the garden of the presbytere.. 
He is represented by a statue in the church as a hermit, and is there 
called by the inhabitants Guyneour. But at Plouneour-Menez is a 
statue of him habited as a mitred abbot with pastoral staff. The- 
patronage of Plouneour-Trez has been transferred to S. Peter. The 
church has been rebuilt, in passably respectable flamboyant, and the 
windows have been fitted with modern French glass of the usual tawdry- 
style, representing various epochs in the ecclesiastical history of 

In the peninsula of Gower, and in the Deanery of West Gower, is a, 
benefice which is officially described as " Llanrhidian with Llanyr- 
newydd (or Penclawdd)." The chapelry, given under this curiously 

, 1 Joanne, GiogyapUe du FinisUre. " S. Eneour, emigre breton, venu du pays. 
de G-went ou de la Cambrie, vers la fin du v= siecle on le commencement du vi','" 
etc. Stephan, I'Eglise de Plouniour-Trez, 1903, p. 9. 

366 Lives of the British Saints 

corrupted form Llanyrnewydd, occurs in the list of parishes in Peniarth 
MS. 147 (c. 1566) as Llanininewyr, on Speed's map (1610) as Llannyen- 
were, and in BYOwneWiWis's Parochiale Anglicanum [I'j'^zY ^^ Llan- 
gwe3mowr. Wilhs gives the dedication of the chapel to S. Gweynowr, 
with festival on November 10 ; but no saint of that name is commemor- 
ated in the Welsh Calendars. The initial letter of Willis's spelling we 
owe to his imagination, and there can hardly be a doubt that the 
: aint implied is Eneour. 

Eneour's name does not occur in any of the ancient Breton Calendars, 
but the fete is celebrated at Plouneour on the first Sunday in May, 
and the second of September. Garaby has inserted S. Eneour on May 4, 
and calls him Enemour. He has been followed by De la Borderie, 
Kerviler, and Gautier du Mottay ; but Garaby does not seem to have 
had any authority for May 4 ; he placed the feast on that day solely 
because the Pardon at Plouneour-Trez was kept on the first Sunday in 

The Thumete regarded as sister of Eneour may possibly be Tegiwg, 
the daughter, actually, of Ynyr. As it did not comport with what was 
thought in later ages correct, that the hermit or abbot should have a 
•daughter, she was made out to be his sister. 

The name, under the form Eneuiri, is perhaps found on an inscribed 
stone now in the chapel at Goodrich Court, Herefordshire. ^ 


Ylched or Ulched is regarded as the patron saint of the parish of 
Llechylched, " Ylched's Stone," in Anglesey, but the Welsh genealogies 
have nothing to say of a saint of the name. Whether a male or female 
we do not know. 

The calendar in the Grammar of John Edwards of Chirk, 1481, 
gives May 9 as " Gwyl Ylchett," but Browne Willis and others ^ give 
January 6. 

' P. 191. 2 Khys, Welsh Philology, p. 401. 

3 Bangor, 1721, p. 279 ; N. Owen, Hist, of Anglesey, 1775, p. 56 ; Angharad 
Llwyd, Hist, of Anglesey, 1833, p. 303. For the parish-name compare that of 
Llechgynfarwy, also in Anglesey, the Lech-names indexed in the Book of Llan 
Ddv, p. 409, etc. 

S. YSGWN, Confessor 

YsGWN was the son of Cystennin Gorneu,i and the brother of Digain 
and Erbin. In another document,^ under the form Ysgin, he is made 
to have been son of Erbin ab Cystennin Gorneu, and so brother of 

Another Ysgwn is once enumerated among the Saints, ^ the son of 
Llywarch Hen and father of S. Buan. In the copies of the old Bonedd 
y Saint in Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45, however, he is not entered as a 
saint, only as the father of S. Buan. 


S. YSTYFFAN, Confessor 

YsTYFFAN, or Styphan, i.e. Stephen, was the son of Mawan or 
Mawn ab Cyngen ab Cadell Ddyrnllug, prince of Powys.* In late docu- 
ments he is often given the epithet " Teilo's Bard," which owes its 
origin to a misreading.^ 

Ystyffan is the patron of Llanstephan, in Carmarthenshire, and Llan- 
stephan, in Radnorshire, both of which have parishes adjoining them 
with S. Teilo as patron, viz. Llandilo Abercowin and Llandilo Graban, 
testifying to the close friendship that is traditionally believed to have 
■existed between these two saints. Ffynnon Styffan, his holy well, is 
near the church in the village of the Carmarthenshire parish under his 
invocation. It is walled over, and has always a plentiful supply of 
good water, to which tradition ascribes healing properties. 

He is probably the Ystyffan intended by the second of the eight 
" Bishops of Glamorgan alias Kenffig," or Margam, in a catalogue 
given by lolo Morganwg," but which is unauthenticated. 

Ystyffan is credited with having composed the stanzas entitled 
■" Englynion Cain Cynnwyre " ;'' but the authorship is impossible. 

' lolo MSS., p. 137. 2 Myv. Arch., p. 431. 

' lolo MSS., p. 128. His name is occasionally spelt Ysgwyn, as in Peniarth 
MS. 12, and Myv. Arch., p. 418. 

» Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 ; HafodMS. 16 ; Cardiff MS. 27 (p .117) ; Myv. Arch., 
p. 430 ; lolo MSS., pp. 105, 130. The proto-martyr is usually called in Medijeval 
Welsh Ystyphan Ferthyr. 

' See supra, p. 242. ^ lolo MSS., p. 361 ; Liber Landavensis, p. 625. 

' Myv. Arch., pp. 835-6. Another poem, on p. 758, of a proverbial character, 
is doui)tfulIy ascribed to him. 

368 Lives of the British Saints 

The poem is of an adagial or moral character, and consists of thirty 
triplets, each commencing with the catch- words " Cain cynnwyre " 
(" Beauteous early-rising "), which, however, have nothing to do with 
what foUows so far as the subject matter is concerned.. They are of 
the same type as the " Eiry Mynydd " and " Gorwynion " stanzas. 
One of the " Sayings of the Wise " triplets runs ^ : — 

Hast thou heard the saying of YstyfEan, 
Teilo's bard, of quick answer ? 
" Man desires, God confers " 
(Dyn a chwennych, Duw a ran). 

One of the seven questions said to have been proposed by Catwg the 
Wise to seven wise men of his college at Llanfeithin, or Llancarfan, was- 
the following to Ystyffan — " What is the greatest folly in man ? " to- 
which he replied, ' ' To wish evil to another without the power of inflict- 
ing it." - But the text is quite late. 

1 lolo MSS., p. 252. 2 Myv. Arch., p. 776. 



From Peniarth MS. 16 (early thirteenth century), fo. 53. 

Dewi . m . Jant . m . kedic . m . 
keredic . m . cuneda wledic . o 
nonn verch kenyr o gaer gawch y 
mynyw y mam. 

Docuael . m . ithael . m . kere- 
dic . m . kuneda wledic. 

TyJJul . m . co2un . m . ke . m . 
ku . wledic. 

Pedyr . m . co2un . m . ke . m . 
ku . wledic. 

Teilyaw . m . enjych . m . hy- 
dw'n . m . ke . m . ku . wledic. 

Auan buellt . m . kedic . m . ke 
. m . kune . wledic. A thecued 
verch tegit voel o benllyn y mam. 

Gwinlleu . m . kyngar . m . 
garthaOc . m . ke . m . ku . wledic. 

Kynuelyn . m . bleidud . m . 
meirya'On . m . tibyaOn . m . ku . 

EinnyaOn vrenhin yn Ueyn. 
A Jeiryoel ym penmon. A meir- 
ya'On yny cantref. 

Edern . m . beli . m . Run . m . 
maelgwn . m . catwallawn llaOhir 
. m . EinyaOn yrth . m . cuneda 

Catwaladyr vendigeit . m . yago 
. m . beli . m . bel run . m . 
maelgwn . m . catwallawn lla6hir 
. m . einyaOn yrth . m . cu . 

Deinyoel . m . duna6t . vwrr 
. m . pabo . pojt . p2ydein. A 
dwywei verch leenna'O.c y vam.^ 

AJJa . m . Jawyl benuchel . m. 
pabo poJt p2ydein. A g6en- 
najjeth verch riein . o rieinwc y 

Kyndeyrn garthwyj . m . ewein 
. m . vryen. A denw verch llu 
lewdwn lluyd o dinaj eidyn yny 
gogled y vam. 

Go2wJt . m . gOeith hengaer 
. m . elfin . m . vryen. Ac euro- 
nwy verch klydno eidyn y vam. 

Cadell . m . vryen. 

Buan . m . yjgw[n] . m . lly- 
warch hen . 

lleudat yn enlli. A baglat yg 
coet alun ac eleri ym pennant 
gwytherin yn rywynnyaOc. A 
thegwy A thyuriaOc . yg kere- 
digyaOn ij coet . meibyon dyngat 

* The mothers of Deinioel and Assa are transposed in the original, but 
rectified in a later hand, and so printed here. 

VOL. IV. '"^ B B 

370 Lives of the British Saints 

, m . nud hael . m . Jenyllt . m . 
kedic . m . dyuynyeual hen . m . 
ydnyuet . m . maxen wledic. A 
thenoi verch lewdwn lluydaGc o 
■dinas eidyn yny gogled eu mam. 

Catuan Jant yn enlli . m . eneaj 
ledewic olydaO. AgOen teirbaon 
merch emyr llydaO y vam. 

Henwyn . m . gOyndaJ hen o 
lydaO . periglaOr catuan. Ar 
Jeint a vu yn enlli yn vn oej ac 

Kynan a dochdwy. A mael a 
Julyen. A thanwc. Ac eithraj. 
A llyvab. A thegwyn. A doe- 
thant y gyt achatuan yr enyj hon. 

Padarn . m . petrwn . m . emhyr 
llydaO keued'w y catuan. 

Tydecho . m . annvn du . m . 
emyr llydaO keuend'w y catuan. 

TrunyaO . m . dyvwng . m . 
emhyr llydaO keuend'w y gatuan. 

maelrys . m . gwydno . m . 
emhyr UydaO keuend'w y gatuan. 

Tygei y maej llan glaJJaOc. 
A therillo yn dineirth yn roj. 
meibyon . ithael hael o lydaO. A 
llechit yn arllechwed chOaer 

Kyby . m . Jelyf . m . Gereint 
. m . erbin . m . cujtennyn go2neu 
. m . 

Yejtin . m . Gereint . m . erbin 
. m . cujtennyn go2neu. 

Padaic . m . Aluryt . m . G020- 
nwy . o waredaOc yn arvon. 

Catuarch Jant yn aberech yn 
Ueyn. A thangwn yn llangoet 
ymon. A maethlu yg carnedaOi 
y mon . meibyon caradaOc vrei- 
churaj . m . Uyr marini. 

Beuno . m . hengi . m . gwyn- 

lliw . m . gliwij . m . tegit . m . 
cadell. A pherferen verch lew- 
dwn lluydaOc yny gogled y vam. 

Kemmeu Jant . m . g6ynniw 
. m . gliwij . m . tegit . m . cadell. 

Cadwc Jant . m . gwynlliw . m . 
gliwij . m . tegit . m . cadell . o 
lann gadwc yg went. 

TyJilyaO . m . baochuael yjgi- 
thraOc . m . kyngen . m . cadell . 
dyrnlluc. Ac ardun verch pabo 
pojt- p2ydein y vam. 

llywelyn 02 trallOg . m . tego- 
nwy . m . teon . m . g'Oineu den 
vreudwyt . 

gOrnerth Jant . m . llywelyn . 02 

Melhayarn yg kegitua ym 
powyj . allwchayarn yg ketewyng. 
A chynhayarn yn eidonyd . mei- 
byon hygaruael . m . kynd2wyn 
o lyjtin wynnan yg kereinyaOn. 

Gwythvarch y meiuot . m . 
amalaruj tywyJJaOc y pwyl. 

Styphan . m . . mawan . m . 
kyngen . m . cadell . dyrnlluc. 

Ped2aOc . m . clemj tywyJJaOc 
o gernyw. 

Tutclyt. A Gwynnoedyl. A 
merin. A thudno . yg kyngre- 
daOdyr. A Jennenyr meibyon 
Jeithennin vrenhin o vaej gwydno. 
A 02eJgynnwyJ mo2 eutir. 

PeriJ Jant cardinal o Ruein. 

Bodo a Gwymin. A b2othen 
Jant . meibyon Glanna6,c . m . 
helic voel . odyno helic . gOyr 
heuyt a 02eJgynnwyJ mo2 eu tir. 

Tyvryda6c ymon. A dyeuer 
y motyuarru yn tegeingyl. A 
theyrnaOc yn dyffryn clwyt. A 
thudyr yn dar ewein . yg keuei- 



lyaOc baodyr oedynt . meibyon 
hawyjtyl gloff. A marchell eu 
chOaer. A thywanOed verch 
amlawt wledic eu mam. 

keidaO . m . enyr gOent . mad- 
2un merch' wertheuyr vrenhin || 


From Peniarth MS. 45 (late thirteenth century), p. 286. 

Dewi mab Jant . mab kedic 
. m . keredic . m . cuneda wledic. 
A non uerch kynyr o caer gaOch 

Dochuael . m . ithael . m . kere- 
dic . m . cuneda wledic. 

TeilaO . m . eujjyllt . m . hidOn 
dOn . m . keredic . m . cuneda 

Auan buellt . m . keredic . m . 
cuneda wledic. A thecued uerch 
tegit uoel o pellyn jniam. 

Gwynlleu . m . kyngar . m . 
garthaOc . m . keredic . m . cuneda 

K5Tiuel3m . m . bleidud . in . 
meira6n . m . tybiaOn . m . cuneda 

EinaOn urenhin yn lle57n. A 
Jeiryol jon pen mon. AmeiryaOn 
yny cantref . meibon jrwein dan- 
wyn . m . eina6n yrth . m . cune- 
da wledic. 

Edem . m . beli . m . run . m . 
maelgOn . m . catwallaOn UaOhir 
. m . einaOn yrth . m . cuneda 

Catwaladyr uendigeit . m . ca- 
tuan . m . lago . m . beli . m . 
run . m . maelgOn . m . catwall' . 
llaOhir . m . einaOn jnrth . m . 
cuneda wledic. 

Deinyol . m . dunaOt u6rr . m , 
pabo pojt prydein. AdOywei 
uerch leennaOc jruam. 

AJJa . m . Jawyl pen uchel . m . 
pabo poJt prydein . AgwenJJaeth 
uerch rein . orieinOc yuam. 

kyndeyrn garthwys . m . ywein 
. m . vryen. AdenyO uerch 
Ie6d6n luydaOc OdinaJ eidyn }my 
gogled y uam. 

Go2uJt . m . gweith hengaer 
. m . uryen. Ac euronOy uerch 
clydno eid}^ y uam. 

Cadell . m . vryen. 

Buan . m . yJgOn . m . Uywarch 

lleudaf yn enlli. AbaglaO yg 
coet alun. Ac eleri ym pennant 
AthegOy. AtheuriaOc yg kredi- 
gyaOn is coet . meibon dingat 
. m . nud hael . m . fenyllt . m . 
kedic . m . dyuuynwal hen . m . 
idnyfet . m . maxen wledic. Ath ■ 
enoi uerch leOdOn luydaOc odinaf 
eidyn yny gogled jmam. 

Catuan Jant yn enlli . m . eneaj 
ledewic olydaO Agwen teir b2on 
uerch emyr llydaO yuam. 

Henwyn . m . gwyndaf hen 
olydaO periglaOa catuan. 

Ar Jeint auu yn enlli yn un oes 
ac wynt k5man adocliwy. Amael. 

3 72 Lives of the British Saints 

AJulyen. A than 6c. AcethriaJ. 
Allywen. Allyuab adoethant gyt 
Achatuan yr 301 y J hon. 

Padem . m . petrOn . m . emyr 
llydaO keuynderO y catuan. 

Tedecho . m . annun du . m . 
emyr llydaO . keuynderO y catuan. 

TninyaO . m . diOng . m . emyr 
llydaO . keuynderO y catuan. 

maeleris . m . gOydno . m . 
emyr llydaO . keuynderO y 

Tegei glaJJaOc y maej llan. 
Atherillo yn ro5.meibyon ithael 
olydaO. Allechit yn arllechwed 
chwaer udunt. 

Kybi . m . Jelyf . ni . gereint . m . 
erbin . m . cujtenin co2neu. 

Padric . m . aluryt . m . go2o- 
nOy owaredaC/c yn anion. 

Catuarch Jant yn aberech yn 
lleyn. AthangOn yn llan goet 
ym mon. Amaethlu yg came- 
da02 ym mon . meibon caradaOc 
ureichuras . m . llyr marini. 

CadOc Jant . m . gwynUiO . m . 
gliOys . m . tegit . m . cadell . 
olan cadOc yg gwent. 

TeJJilyaO . m . baochuael yjgi- 
thraOc . m . kyngen . m . cadell 
dymllOch. O ardun uerch pabo 
pojt p2ydein y uam. 

Uywelyn 02 trallOng . m . tego- 
nOy . m . teon . m . gwineu deu 

G02nerth Jant . m . Uywelyn 02 

Elhayarn yg kegitua ym powys. 
A UOchhayarn yg kedewein. 
Achynhayarn yn eidonyd . meibon 
hygaruael . m . kyndrOyn olyjti- 
nwynnan yg kereinaOn. 

GOyduarch ym meiuot . mala- 
rus tywyJJaOc y pOyl. 

Styphan . m . mawan . m , 
kjTigen . m . cadell dyrnllOch. 

Tutclyt agynodyl. A meirin. 
Athutno. A Jeneuyr meibon 
Jeitheninn urenhi o uaef gOydno 
ao2eJgyn^ mo2 eu tir. 

TjmrydaOc ymon. AteyrnaOc 
yn d5/ffryn clOyt. Athudur yn 
darywein yg keueilaOc baodyx 
oedynt . meibon awyjtyl gloff. 
A marcell eu chwaer . athywan- 
wed merch amlaOt wledic eu 

KeidaO . m . ynyr gwent a 
madrun merch wertheuyr uendi- 
geit y uam. 

Elen keinyat . m . alltu rede- 
gaOc . m . cardudwys . m . kyngu 
. m . yJpOys . m . catdraOt calchu- 
ynyd . athecnaO uerch te6d62 
ma62 y uam. 

Elaeth uren' . m . meuruc . m . 
idno. Ac Omen grec uerch waU- 
aOc . m . lleennaOc y uam. 

DyunaOc Jant . m . medraOt 
. m . ca62daf . m . caradaOc urei- 

Nidan y mon . m . . . g62uy0 
. m . pajken . m . uryen. 

Eurgein uerch uaelgOn gOyned 
. m . catwallaOnllawir . m . einaOn 
yrth . m . cuneda wledic. 

LlonyaO llaOhir . m . alan fjr- 
gan . m . emyr llydaO. 

Gwynya'Oc. Anoethon meibon 
gildaj . m . ca6. 

GOahei . m . caO openyjtryweit 
yn arOyJtIi. 

Garmon . m . ridicus. Ac yn 
oej gOrtheyrn gOrtheneu y doeth 

Appendix 373 

yr ynyj hon. Ac ffreinc pan eurdeyrn . m . gOrtheyrn gOr- 

hanoed. theneu. . . . 

Dona y mon . m . Jelyf . m . Peblic Jant yny caer yn aruon 

kynan garwyn . m . baochuael . m . maxen wledic amheraOdyr 

yJgithraOc . m . kyngen . m . ruuein. Ac helen uerch eudaf 

cadell dyrnllOch . m . brutus . m . y uam . 

ruduedel urych . yraa y teruyna bonhed Jeint 



The prologue to the imperfect Life in the Red Book of S. A saph, in the Episcopal 

Library, p. 42. 


Gloriosissimi Confessoris et Pontificis Assaph pa?ni nri vitam 
p loca diversa, monast^ia Cathedrales et Baptismales Eccas 
diligenti affeccoe quaesivi. Cu igitur Assaven Ecca p beatu Kenti- 
gemu sit fundata sedificata et solempnit^ consecrata admiratione 
dignu quare non Kentigernens : sed Assavens : ^fata intitulatur 
Ecca, hinc est q'* de ;pd sedis fundacoe et fundatoris munificentia 
fabricacois et consecracois honorificentia quae in vita bi Kentigerni 
stilo traduntur latiori in jpsensti opuscule dictamine com- 
jphendunt^ breviori. Demu de Eleccoe et CreacoeSt' Assaph, com- 
;^macoe et consecracoe et conversacois ipius dulcedine de corpis 
uniformitate viribus et decore, cordis virtutibus ac sanctitate, ac 
miraculof illustracoe ad populi devocoem et aliqualem Cleri instruc- 
tionem, familiaris affeccois aliqua licet pauca intendo pare. Cii 
dictator se ad loquendum ;pparat sub quantse cautelae studio loquatur 
attendat ne si obscure ad loquendii rapitur erroris vuln^e audientium 
corda feriant^.et cum fortasse sapiente se videri desiderat, virtutis 
compaginem insipient^ absidat [abscindat], saepe etenim dictatoris 
virtus amittitur cum ap** audientiu corda obscuritas quaerat®. Qui 
eni ea dictant quae audientium corda intelligere nequeant, non auditor 
utilitatem sed sui ostentatione faciunt. Hoc igit^ opusculu ex uno 
libro Latino et diu^sis codicil! nro vulgari conscriptis Storiographof 
Wallensiii narracoibj simplici dictamine tanqua penes poplm duxi 
compaginand moderacois sicut penes temperiem, ut simplicioribus 
sit appetibile, nee aliis nimis inutile vl contemptibile heat^. 

3 74 Lives of the British Saints 


There are two distinct lists of the persons whom Beuno is said to 
have raised from the dead. One gives seven, and the other six. 

(i) Harleian MS. 3,325 (sixteenth century), fo. 1456 ; apparently 
the older version. 

Llyma henwav y sevthnyn/A gyfododd bevno o veirw [yn/lyw 
nid amgen/Gwenvrewy Ael hayarn/Tegiwg/y glas/Dyngad vardd/ 
Dinial a voddes/Llorkan wyddel. 

(2) Additional MS. 31,055 (1594-6), fo. 21&. (Also in Peniarth 
MS. 75, sixteenth century, fo. 21.) 

Llyma henwae y rhai a gyfodes Bevno o veirw yn vyw/llorcan 
wyddel / Aelhayarn / Deinioel vab. Deinioel varch dv o Bowys/ 
Gwenvrewy/a Thegiwc vz ynyr Gwent. 



From Llyvyr Hir Llywarch Reynolds (early seventeenth centuryl, p. 112* ; collated 
in the more important readings with Llanstephan MS. 47 (c. 1630), p. 303. 

Mab a roed mwya brawdwr tri chrair a wnair ar i nod 

i Degav gynt ag yw gwr a thri henw athro hjmod 

korff hir kywir offeren kawrda penn gorseddfa r saint 

kawrda kyff karadog hen kadfarch a chynfarch unfaint 

ny wnaeth hwnn anoethineb gwilia i ddelw a goelian 

wyr Einon vrth orn i neb gwiliwch i lyfr ai gloch Ian 

awdiir kynheddfaledig ^ gwelwch bawb och amgeledd 

hyd y nef vry a diiw n vrig a chwyr byth ewch ar y bedd 

penn raith ag or ^ saithwyr mae mann i gamv mwnai 

pennaf or saint pan vo r * syrr i bawb ar hwnn i bob rai 

glan i roed golaini r hain gwelais hydd mewn glwysyddhir 

glaw a thravael gwlith ryvain maen mawrda y min mordir 

dwr a ddaiith dros diroedd ar gwelwch y vronn yny * gylch vry 

dyddiav gweddiav daear ywch ' grwndwal ef ach * gwrendy 

y dailwng broffwydoliaeth pob kymro a glywo r gloch 

or dwfr oer ar Gawrda vaeth ^ o ddavty a ddaw atoch 

* We are indebted to Mr. Llywarch Reynolds for a transcript of this poem. 

' Kynedd fawl edig. ' ar (for ac) vn. * vy'r. 

' Gawrdaf aeth. * vro ny, ' ynych. ^ voch (for ef ach),.. 



a vynno help i vyw n hir 
i berechwon ^ ve bwrir 
gorav nawdddir ar dir da 
llenn ag ardal llann Gawrda 
gorav or holl gaiirav yr hawg 
yw kaer wydr mab karadawg 
diiw a roddes dir yddaw 
Daniel aii ^ wyr dan i law 
mae jesu yny kymisiwn 
mae gair y tair Mair at hwnn 
lljma blwyf llawen i blaid 
lie brainiol llv barwniaid 
Gythjm ^ ny wna n erbyn neb 
tir kawrda twr kywirdeb 

teg yw anreg ty y gwr 
wrth ddangos wrthav vngwr 
bwrw a wnaf ir ffyrfaven 
bwrw arch air ir * borch wena 
troi enaid vn ir trwn s da 
twr y deml i troid yma 
llawen yw nef wenn i vod 
awdiir •= vndiiw ar drindod 
llwyddodd a vynnodd y vo 
llwyddiant ir tenant dano 
lie da byth rag Hid a bar 
Haw ddiiw dros i holl ddaear 

Howel ap Rainallt 
ai kant \Flor. c. 1460-90]^ 


From Hdfoi MS. ig (1536), p. 141. 

Llyma ystoria kollen ai vvchedd kollen ap gwynoc ap kydeboc ap- 
Kowrda ap Kyriadoc vyraich vyras Kyriadoc vyreichvyras a vjrriwodd 
i vyraich yn gwnevthvr Addvc ac or byriw hwnw y bv vwy i vyraich 
nor Hall ac am hyny y kelwid ef vyreich vyras ap llyr vyrenin hwnw 
a w yn priod a margred verch iarll Rydychen Mam goUen sant oedd 
Ethinen wyddeles verch vathylwch arglwydd yn y werddon yr arglwy- 
ddieth bono a elwir yrowan Rwngkwc ar ethinen hono a gad o vn o 
law vorrynion y wraic briod ef ac anfoned ir ynys hon yw magv Ar 
nos y kad kollen Ef a welai i vam Dyrwy i hvn glomen yny hedec 
tvac ati hi ac yni byrathv hi dan ben i bron ac yn Tynv i chalon allan 
ac yny hedec a hi tvar nef ac or He yr aeth a hi yn dyvod a hi ac yni 
hyroddv i mewn ir lie y dynasai ac yn i gosod jmy He dynasai gida 
gerogle tec ac yna y glomen aeth oi golwc hi Ar kollen hwnw ir yn 
vab seithymylwydd a vv yn dysgv gwysynevthv duw ar arglwyddes 
vair y bv Ef heb orffowys ac yni vabolaeth ef aeth i orlians a ffyraink 
i ddysgv ac yno ybv gollen chwemis ac yn yr amser hwnw yr roedd 
svlan ap postat yn. Ryvelv gida gwyr griy a mynych rryvel oedd ar 
wyr Rvfain ar rryved ryvel oedd rryngthvnt ar kristynogion a Uadd 

1 be echwen. 
' tyddyn. 

Deiniol ai. 
^ twrn. 

' adur. 

3 7^ Lives of the British Saints 

llawer or kristynogion ac yni gyrv i ffo yn vynych o amserr ac yn 

yr amser hwnw y doeth gwr a elwid byras a dywedud y kymerai ef 

ari law ymladd yn enw y ffydd a hwynt yp pykanied ar roe yr vn 

gwr i ymladd ar vn gwr aroe y kristynogion ac yna kytvno a wnaeth 

y pab ar beri erbyn dydd byr vn gwr i ymladd yn enw ffydd grist 

ac addyvod y pegan pa vn bynac a gaer gore kyredv or ddwy bylaid i 

hwnw ac y w ffydd ar hyny yr aeth y pab i ostegv i wyr ai nekav a naeth 

pawb Ef a thyrwm a thyrist yr aeth ar y pab hyny a myned a naeth 

He yr oedd ddelw yr arglwydd Jessu grist ar y groes a dywedud val 

hyn o tyti y gwir dduw mae dy gyngor ac ar hyny y doeth lief vwch 

i ben yn erchi iddo vo vyned i borth hantwn ar kynta agarvvydde 

aoc ef mai hwnw oedd val y mynai dduw yw Roi drosto i ymladd 

a myned anaeth y pab ar dyraws y mor a thir hyd yno y porth A ffan 

ddoeth yno ef a welai wr addwyn ar gwr hwnw oedd gollen am mynegi 

anaeth y pab iddo i ddamvniad iddo a chyroesawy a anaeth koUen 

neges yn anrryddvs a dyw wedud duw adyvod gida gef hyd ymaes 

a osodesid ar gwr a elwid byras a ddoeth yno ai bylaid yni gylch ac 

am i ben basyned ac y yng horvn y vasyned yr oedd eli gwyrthyvawr Ac 

erchi i anaeth i gollen ddyvod nes i ymladd ac ef A chollen a gymerth 

i gledde ynoeth ac a roes yvengil ir groes y kyledde ac yna y tyrowsant 

i gyt ac yna y byriowodd ychyd die arr law kollen gantho vo yr hwn 

a elwit byras ac yna y keisiodd y pygan gan gollen ym Roi a 

chyredv yw dduw ef ac ef ai gwnai ef yn Jach or byriw yn yr awr 

bono ar eli gwyrthyvawr oedd gidag ef ac yna y tynodd byras 

y bylwch ar eli ac ai roes yn Haw gollen A chymervd peth or eli anaeth 

kollen ai rroi ar y byriw ac Jach vv yr awr hono Ac yna kymervd y 

bylwch ar eli ai davylv yn yr Avon Rac kael or vn ohonvnt or lies 

oddiwrtho Ac yna y tyrowsan ynghyd yr ail waith ac y tyrewis kollen 

ef dan i gesel oni welit i av ai ystgyvent ac yntef aeth ir Uawr Ac yna 

y dyvod byras kollen dy nawdd na chai myn dail heb kollen ac yna 

y dyvod byras wrth gollen oni chaf vi myvi ath vilia di gar byron 

duw y gorvchaf dduw yr hwn y kyredi di iddo ac y kyredaf vinef yr 

awr hon dy voti yn gwnevthvr kam am vyvi a mi a vynaf vymeddyddio 

pellach val y gallwyvi gael Ran or llywenydd ysydd ym yradwys nef 

gida thydi ar geirie hyn a ovynodd kollen yn vawr ac yna yroes kollen 

nawdd iddo ac yna y bedyddiodd y pab ef ac yna y kyredodd holl 

gennedyl y grix ac y bedyddyiwyd hwynt oil Ac yna Achwedi kael 

y gore o gollen ef a gymerth iganiad igan y pap ar pab ai rroddes 

ac a roddes Grair iddo nid amgen nor lili a vylodevodd garbyron 

ypekanied pan dd3r(?od vn o honvnt nat oedd wirach eni mab ir vorwyn 

no bod y y lili kyrinion ysydd yny pot akw a bylodav tec arnvnt 

Ac yna y bylodevodd y lili hwnw ar lili hwnw a roes y pab i gollen 

Appendix 377 

Ac yna y dvc kollen ef ir ynys hon ac yvo a ddywedir Mai ynghaer 

ivjrrangon y mae y lili hwnw eto ac yna ydoeth kollen i geirniw i dir 

ac oddyna y doeth i vynachyloc glansymbyri ac y gwnaethbwyd 

ef yny k3n:evydd ac ni bv yno ondyri mis oni ddeffoled ef yn abad 

Ac yna y kymerth ef ganad i bylwyf i ddwyn bvchedd a vai drymach 

a chaledach no bod yn Abad ac yna yraeth ef i byregethv ac i edyrech 

perygler ffydd gytholic ymysg y bobyl Ac y bv ef yn pyregethv geirie 

duw ar ffydd gytholic ymysg y bobyl a hyny dair bylynedd ac y doeth 

ef hyt yr vn lie ir vynachyloc ac yno y bv ef bvm mylynedd yn dyrigo 

ac yna y llidiodd ef wrth wyr i wlad am i kamav ac a roes i velldith 

vddvn Ac yna yr aeth i vynydd glassymbyri ac anaeth yno gvddigyl 

dan ebach kareg mewn lie dirgel oddiar y ffordd Ac val yr oedd ef 

ddiw3iTnod yni gvddigyl ef a glowai ddav ddjm yn siarad am Wyn 

ap ynvdd ac yn dywedvd Mai hwnw oedd vyrenin anwn ac estyn 

anaeth kollen i ben allan oi gvddigl a dywedvd tewch yn wan ni 

does or hai hyny ond kythyrelied taw di heb yr hwyntav ti a gai yn 

wir ymliw a thi gan hwnw A chav y dyrws anaeth kollen Ac yn lleiges 

ef a gylowai kyn igori drws kvddigyl vn yn govyn a oedd y gwr o 

vewn yna ydyvod kollen ydwyf pwy ai govyn myvi sy ganad i Wyn 

ap nvdd brenin Anwn i erchi iti ddyvod i mddiOan ac ef i ben y byryn 

erbyn haner dydd yvory Achollen nid aeth Athyranoeth llymar vn 

ganad athyrwsiad ar naill haner yn goch ar Hall yvi. las amdano 

yn erchi i goUen ddyvod i ymddiOan ar brenin i bryn erbyn haner 

dydd dyranoeth A chollen nit aeth llyma yr vn ganad yn dyvod y 

dyrydedd waith yn erchi i gollen ddyvod imddiOan ar brenin haner 

dydd ac oni ddoi kollen ti a vyddi waeth A chollen yn ovynoc yna 

a godes i vynv ac anaeth ddwr bendiged ac ai roes mewn pisser ar i 

glvn ac aeth i ben y byryn Affan ddaeth yno ef a welai y kastell teka 

ar a welsai irioed a meirch a bechin yni marchogeth ar i kevyne a 

gore pwynt i meirch ac ef a welai wr addywyn ar vn van y gaer ac 

yn erchi iddo ddyvod i mewn a dywedud vod y brenin yn i aros am 

i ginio A dyvod anaeth kollen i vewn y kastell affan ddoeth yr oedd y 

brenin yn eiste mewn kader o avr A chyroesawv kollen a wnaeth y 

brenin yn anrrydeddvs ac erchi iddo vyned i vwyta ir bwrdd ac yna 

y dyvod kollen wrth y brenin ni vwytaf vi ddail y koed heb kollen 

heb y brenin A welaisti wyr gwell i tyrwsiad no rain yma heb y brenin 

o goch a glas heb kollen da ddigon yw i trwsiad ynhw or rryw 

drwsiad ac ydiw heb kollen par y ryw trwsiad yw hwnw heb y 

brenin ac yna y dyvod kollen koch y sy or naill dv arwyddokav 

i Uosgi ar tv glas y sy yn arwyddokav mai oerni yw Ac ar hyny 

y tynodd kollen isiobo allan ac a vwriodd y dwr bendiged am i 

pene ac ar hyny yr aethant ymaith oi olwc ef hyd nad oedd yno 

3 7^ Lives of the British Saints 

yr vn na chastell na dim ond y twmp pathe gleision Arr noson hono 
y doeth adref yw gvddigyl ac y gweddiodd ar dduw am gael lie i 
barseddv Dra vai vyw Ar noson hono i kavas ef rrybvdd oddiwrth 
dduw i erchi iddo godi y bore dyranoeth a cherdded oni gyvarvydde 
ac ef varch ac yna marchogeth hwnw a chimynt ac a varchoge yn 
gwmpas yny dydd hwnw a dywedud mai hyny vydde i noddyva ai 
bylwy ef hyt dydd bjnrawd Ac velly y kyvarve ac ef y march yn y 
He a elwir rrysva Maes kad varch ac ai Marchogess ef yn gwmpas i 
bylwy ac ynghanol y noddyva hono y gwnaeth ef gvddigyl ac yn y 
kvddigyl hwnw y bv gollen tra vv vyw ac yn y kvddigl hwnw y kyla- 
ddwyd kollen ac yr aeth i enaid ir llywenydd Tyragwyddol ac y mae 
yn sant ynyn ef yn gwnevthvr gwyrthiav yny yr awr hon Affan oedd 
ef ar y ddaiar hon yn dwyn kic a chynawd yr oedd yn gwnevthvr 
gwyrthief mawr o aches i ffydd Ac velly y tervyna bvchedd gollen. 


Appended to Biiched Ciric — a Life of SS. C3n:iacus and Julitta — in Llanstephan 
MS. 34 (end of sixteenth century), p. 301. 

Cydnabyded paub y mod y cafas Ciric Sant y anrhydedii yng Hjnury 
a gogoniant ac anrhyded o blegid i uerthiaii Y mae tref ^ yng Hymry 
ynghyphinyd fair gulad a eluir Lafi Giric. Nid amgen y tair gulad 
noc Aruystli, a Melienyd a Charedigion . ac yny dref hornio yr oed 
euythyr y Giric a eluid Maelgun a manach oed ef . A danfon a unaeth 
i ueission y gynniil y ymborth y Geredigion a phafi yttoedynt yn 
dyfod ai meirch ai pynnaii tii a thref y kyfarfii ac huynt heluyr Maelgun 
Guyned ac a rddassant y duylau ar vedyr torri y phettaneii a duyn 
y buyd. Ac yno y trigaud y duylau urth y phettaneii ac y liisguyd 
huynt hyd ynghiidigyl Maelgun y manach ac yno o fraid y galod y 
Sant y gilung truy uediaii ac yno y cyrchyssant at Vaelgun Guyned dan 
lefain am y damuain Hunnu. Ac yno Maelgun Guyned a falchiod 
j'ndo ehiin heb fedylio an ofn Diiu a gyrrii a unaeth la'uer o vonedigion 
y gyrchii Maelgtin y manach attau. A phan doeth y guyr hynny le 
y guelsynt dy Vaelgun y colyssant leiifer y lygaid. A hynny a glybii 
Maelgun Guyned ac yno y medyliaud yntaii dinystyr y Sant ac yno 
y colaud yntaii y lygaid ef ai hoi uyr ac y gbrfii arnau dyfod at y 
Sant y erchi triigared idau. Ac yna y gue'diaud Maelgun y manach 
ar Giric ac y cafas Maelgun Guyned y oluc ef ai uyr. Ac yno y rhodes. 

* Margin, in later hand, plwyf. 

Appendix 3 79 

MaelgTin Gujmed diroed maur praph y Vaelgun y manach a Chiric 
yn dragyuydaul jnn rhyd heb rent na guestva y vrenhin nac y Escob 
yn dragyuydaul yr hunn y syd y henuaeii ai phinniaii fal hynn. Or 
le a eluir Aber Pergant hyd y le a eluir Aber Biidiio ac or le hunnu 
hyd ynghol Bydiio. Ac o gol Bydiio hyd yn rhyd y myneich ac o 
dyno hyd yn rhos Batti ac y ros Nather ac hyd yn neiiad Maelgun 
ac o djmo hyd jti rhyd Visuail ac o dyno hyd y Marchan ac o dyno 
hyd y Galedryd ac odyno hyd y Rhithrant a Galam ac o dyno hyd 
yn Aber Pergant. 

A hefyd yn yr amser hunnu Diic MeHenyd a rodes ir dyuededic 
Sant ynn gardod yr hunn a eluid MaelDiic MeHenyd hunn a rodes 
y tir o Aber Pergant hyd yn rhyd Egelan ac o dyno hyd Geilgum ac 
o dyno hyd ynglascum ac o dyno hyd ynglan Guy ac o dyno hyd yn 
Aber Geiigant. 

Rhodion y Tyuyssauc a eliiid Caredic nid amgen Caredigion yn yr 
vn amser i Giric Sant or Dervol hyd y'mlaen y Gerdinen ac o dyno 
hyd y mlaen nant Eneinnauc ac o dyno hyd y mlaen nant Elain ac 
o dyno hyd y mlaen y nant Dii ac o dyno hyd y Bigel ac o d5Tio hyd 
yn eistedfa Giric ac o dyno yn vniaun dros y mynyd y Ian Guy. ac 
o ystlys Guy hyd y Deruaul. Y rhai a rodes y rhodion hynn bendith 
Diiu a Chiric a gousant yn draguydaul ar neb a uresgynno 3Tigham 
ar y tir hunn meldith Diiu a Chiric agayph yn oes oesoe^. Amen. 



From Cotton MS. Vespasian A. xiv, fo. 946, 

Incipit Vita Sancti Kebii efiscopi. vi. Idus Nov'. 

I. Igitur beatus Kebius unus ex bonis seruis uranici patris ex 
regione Cornubiorum illustrium natalium oriundus '. cuius natiuitatis 
fundus infra duo flumina que Tamar nuncupantur atque limar extitit. 
Cuius genitor Salomon uocatur filius Erbin filius Gereonti filius Lud. 
dim princeps milicie. Ueruntamen in primis pueritie annis in literarum 
gimnasiis fuit educatus. 2. Beatus uero Kebius septennis erat quando 
Uteris cepit informari . deinceps autem . xx*' annis in sui deguit 
natiuitatis regione. 3. Deinde quippe ierosohmam peregre profectus 
est '. dominicum adorafurus sepulphrum. Exiil uero petiit sanctum 
Hilarium Pictauensem episcopum. quo fere quinquaginta annis 

380 Lives of the British Saints 

deguit necnon illo quidem cecos illuminauit . leprosos mundauit . 
paraliticos curauit . mutorum linguas absoluit . uesanos sanauit . 
ab inerguminis sancti spiritus uirtute cacodemones eiecit. 4. Postea 
a beatissimo Hylario presule pictauensi ; in gradum pontificis gratanter 
promouetur . conmonitusque est ab angelo domini quatinus repa- 
triaret ^ . quod et faciens ; ibique paruum temporis stetit. 5. Qua 
tempestate postulatus admodum ut et super gentem cornubiorum 
regnaret ; ceterum prorsus seculi presentis accipere potestatem renuit. 
Deinceps igitur ad patriam rediens deinde comitatus discipulis quorum 
nomina subiciuntur. Meliauc scilicet . Libiau . Paulin . Kengar . 
cum reliquis. 6. Denique sanctus Kebius peruenit ad regionem Etheli- 
ciaun Ethelico Rege tunc temporis superstite. Descendit itaque 
sanctus Kebius in medio prati premissi regis . illucque tentorium suum 
tetendit ; qua de re direxit ille uirum perscrutari qui essent homines 
qui sine nutu ipsius descendere in eiusdem prato presumpserunt. 
^ui reuertens ad eundemRegem t dixit. Monachisunt. 7. Et statim 
surrexit Ethelicus Rex cum omni familia sua quo de feudo suo Monachos 
eicerent ; at protinus in uia de sompnipede cecidit . equusque mox 
exspirauit . rege nichilominus eodem cum omni domu sua confestim 
•excecato. Qua propter idem basileo in facie prostrato . beato Kebio 
ueniam sibi suisque enixius supplicauit ; deo nee non et eodem uiro 
corpus et animam suam commendauit. Ilico nempe per orationem 
eiusdem sancti memoratus Ethelich cum omnibus satellitibus suis 
unacum equo sospitati ^ restitutus est. 8. De cetero Rex itidem duas 
ecclesias sancto Kebio perpetuo donauit . quorum una Lankebi . 
alia uero Landeuer Guir uocatur . in qua paruam ac uariam nolam 
suam dimisit. Tunc agius Kebius benedicens Ethelic Regi ; perrexit 
Meneuiam ciuitatem sancti Dauid . ibique tribus diebus totidemque 
uoctibus commoratus est. 9. Inde autem transfretauit hiberniam 
ad insulam Arvin '. in qua plane iiii""^ annis sedit . et in honore omni- 
potentis ecclesiam construxit. Consobrinus itaque ipsius uocabulo 
Kengar erat senex . cui prescriptus uir del emit uaccam cum uitulo 
■quoniam nullum solidum cibum pre senectute commedere quiuerat. 
Ergo almi Kebii discipuli fortiter ibidem tellurem coluerunt. 10. 
■Quadam nempe die contigit quod quidam auditor prenotati sancti 
uiri cui nomen Melauc exiit . qui terram coram ostium cubiculi cuius- 
dam homunctionis nomine Crubthirfintam foderet. Idem autem uir 
id prospiciens admodum iratus '. quantocius prohibuit eum dicens. 
Noli solum ante ianuam habitaculi mei fodere. Quo circa agius 
Kebius et prelibatus Crubthirfinta pariter abbatem insule Arvin Enna 

1 Originally ■written repatriauit, corrected by same hand. 
^ Altered from sospiti. 

Appendix j 8' i 

uocatum uti pacificarentur petierunt. Quod et factum est. Nam 
pacificati adinuicem ; recesserunt. Denique quodam die contigit 
quo uitulus Kengari i depasceretur messem prefati Crubthirfinte quod 
eiusdem clientes conspicando tenuerunt vitulum . necnon ad arborem 
magnam innexuerunt. ii. Sanctus itaque Kebius quendam ex 
discipulis suis ad Crubthirfintam uti solueret uitulum transmisit ; 
at ille renuens . in sua iracundia perseuerauit. Agius uero Kebius 
exorauit dominum quatinus idem uitulus ad matrem suam remearet . 
quoniam quidem Kengarus senex inedia lactis uexabatur . bos enim 
ilia nil lactis absente uitulo prebebat. 12. Igitur exaudiuit deus depre- 
cationem illius . et mirabiliter eundem uitulum ad matrem cum arbore 
radicitus auulsa cui uinciebatur direxit. Tunc Crubthirfinta depre- 
catus dominum ut fugaret deleretue de insula Aruin almum Kebium . 
quia deus amator ipsius extiterat. Qua de re uenit angelus domini 
ad eum '. dicens. Discede hinc '. ad orientalem plagam. Cui sanctus 
Kebius respondens '. inquit. Deleat deus Crubthirfintam ex hac 
insula. Dixitque ei angelus. Sic erit. 13. Inde profectus est ad 
australem partem regionis Mide '. ibique . xl. diebus cum totidem 
noctibus commoratus est. Construxit etiam inibi ecclesiam que 
hue usque ecclesia magna Macop '. nuncupatur. Uerum enimuero 
sepedictus Crubthirfinta percipiens quod uir dei eo maneret t uenit ad 
eum dicens. Vade alias . adhuc enim ista terra mei iuris est. Tunc 
beatus Kebius ternis ieiuniis contdnuans diebus . obnixius omni- 
potentem fiagitans ; quatinus eidem ostenderet quid agendum foret. 
Angelus autem domini affatus est ilium prosequens. Perge ad orien- 
tem. Fecitque iussa ; progrediens in campum qui uocatur Bregh '. 
ac sedit illic septenis diebus. Audiens autem eiusdem sancti pre- 
scriptus aduersarius almum Kebium ibi manere : uenit ad eum dicens 
Ad alium locum progredere. Tunc beatus uir ; taliter ora resoluit. 
Exoro deum omnipotentem . quo mihi quid agam manifestet. Cui 
angelus domini. Transi hinc '. ad dextralem prouinciam. Fecitque 
ita. 14. Profectusque est ad regionem Uobiun '. atque eo loci bis 
senis commoratus est diebus. Necdum Crubthirfinta destitit eum 
persequi '. ceterum ilium prosecutus ait. Recede hinc ; et transfreta. 
Tunc agius uir nimis iratus ; ait illi. Omnes ecclesie tue in tantum 
sint deserte ut nunquam tres inueniantur in hibernie insula. 15. 
Tunc sanctus Kebius direxit discipulos suos ad siluam ut materiam 
fabricandi lembum inciderent. Qua precisa ; statim lembum con- 
struxerunt. Prememoratus autem Crubthirfinta properius adueniens t 
ait illis. Intrate in lembo sine corio . salumque traicite ; si uere 
die serui consistitis. Quern sanctus Kebius prophetico responso affatus 
1 Altered from Kenegari. 

383 Lives of the British Saints 

inquiens. Mirabilis deus in Sanctis suis . deus israel ipse dabit uirtutem 
et fortitudinem plebis sue benedictus deus. Ast agius Kebius audi- 
toribus suis inquid. Ponite lembum in ponto. At illi confestim 
inposuerunt. Almus igitur uir cum discipulis suis lembum corio 
carente ingressus est. Ilico namque tempestas ualida surrexit . 
discipulos suos oppido perturbando perterruit. Dominus uero sanctum 
prelibatum se enixius orantem exaudiens ; enormem scopulum in 
duas partes diduxit . miroque modo lembus sursum diuino nutu 
prosiliens inter duos scopulos adhesit . demumque monie insule 
applicuerunt. Agius itaque Kebius rupem quendam baculo percussit ; 
€t actutum latex emanauit. 16. Inde uenit ad locum qui dicitur 
Cunab ^ ; eoque aliquandiu commoratus est. Quodam uero die 
precepit caffo cuidam discipulo sue ut ignem afferret. At ille pre- 
ceptori suo parens ; ad domum cuiuslibet fabri nomine Magurnus 
progreditur . a quo unde uenisset interrogatus respondit. A magistro 
meo Kebio. At ille quid uellet sciscitans '. ignem inquid habere 
uellem. Cui Magurnus. Focum tibi non dabo '. nisi in sinu tuo 
gestaberis. Responditque Caffo. Depone ignem in sinu meo. At 
ille deposuit. Ilico uero reuersus est Caffo ad Kebium didascalum 
suum '. depromitque ei focum in sinu eius reprositum 2 . nee saltim 
est conbustum fimbria de coccula eius . quo quippe genere uestimenti 
in hibemia potitur. 17. Namque tunc temporis ; Mailgun Rex 
omnes Guenodotie prouincias . que Anglice Snaudune nuncupatur 
moderabatur. Quodam die contigit quod ad montana siue pro- 
munctoria uenandi gratia graderetur capreamque conspiciens ; um- 
brem seu molosum suum instigauit ut earn comprehenderet. At ilia 
uite consulens ; mox causa refugii ad casulam beati Kebii confugit. 
18. Qua propter confestim rex Mailgunnus insequens '. capram habi- 
taculum agii Kebii petiit . illamque uerbis comminacibus ab eo exegit ; 
dicens. Dimitte capream. At ille respondit. Nequamquam ^ dimit- 
tam '. nisi dederis ei uite refugium. E contra rex. Si minus dimiseris 
; expellara te de loco isto. Et prosequitur uir dei. Non est in tua 
potestate me repellere de terra ista t ceterum diuine potentie est 
facere . de me quicquid sibi sederit. Ueruntamen ea conditione 
tibimet istam capream dimittam ; ut deo omnipotenti michique 
tribuas totam terram quam ipsa cane uestro post earn instigate * 
girabit. Ad hec rex. Libenter inquid exhibebo. Dimisit itaque 
beatus Kebius capream . quam continuo per totum promunctorium 

' The 3rd letter (originally n) has a dot below and a curved lino above, thus 

2 Sic, re_p^iiu. ' Sic, Nequaquu. 

^ Altered to insiigante (?) or instigando (?). , 

Appendix 383 

€am prelibato cane persequente fugiens ; demum ad prenotati uiri 
dei tugurium girato haut minimo soli denuo rediit intersticio. 19. 
Denique rursus altercationis conflictus inter regem Mailgun et almum 
Kebium ortus est t ceterum nuUatenus famulo dei resistere ualuit. 
Iccirco basileus castellum suum deo omnipotenti fidelique suo clienti 
Kebio in perpetuam elemosinam pro salute anime sue contulit . quo 
iam Silicemus finem mortalis et transitorie uite mansit ibidemque 
■dierum suorum feliciter cursum consummato ; 20. vi. Idus No- 
Tiembris obdormiuit in domino . per quem mortem perdidit et uitam 
sempiternam inuenit . ubi iugiter in celesti regno cum deo deorum et 
rege cunctorum regum tripudiat . et exultet perfruens eterna gloria 
quam preparauit a constitucione mundi deus sibi . et diligentibus se '. 
ubi est dies sine nocte . tranquillitas sine metu . gaudiam sine mesticia. 
uita sine morte \ iuuentus sine senectute . pax sine dissensione . lux 
sine tenebris . sanitas sine dolore . regnum sine commutatione . ubi 
deus erit omnia in omnibus . uictus uestis et cetera que uelle potest 
mens pia. Qui uiuit et regnat per omnia secula seculorum amen. 



From Llyvyr John Brooke Vowddwy (c. 1600), p. 451. (See Dr. J. G. Evans, 
Report on Welsh MSS., ii, pp. 346, 359.) 

Teulu Cybi Sunt ^ ««»^^ S^f^"^^^ ^'^'^^ ^ S^yb- 

wyllir ynghywydd Cowrda 
Da oedd Gybi a'r deuddeg ] Sant. 

inorwyr Dewi, a Chybi achubant | beu- 

Daniel Mwrog haeldeg. nydd 

Cenau, Cyngar, ar garreg ^wyn Beuno yn warant 

Cynvarwy, Adwarwy deg. Dingad, Cynfarch a bar- 

Padern, ac Edern, Maelog windeg ^ Deinioel a Seirioel Sant. 

I cyff , 

Capho vab vn ofeg. Llyna'r saith eurfaith arfer | gan 

Llibio, Peulan angwaneg, feudwy 

Trwy awr dda yw'r tri ar ddeg. gwynfydig bob amser 

A fu'n y maen graen grender 
Cybi ai deulu oedd y xiij. a'r saith a weles y ser. , 

384 Lives of the British Saints 

Y Saith hyn (si credis) a aethant i Rufain i weddio am law, He tii 
buasai ddim er ys tair blynedd, a'r defnyn cyntaf a ddisgynnodd ar 
lyfr Cadfarch, ac y dywawd yntef, Bid cof gennych wyrda, mai ar 
fy llyfr i y disgynnodd y defnyn Cyntaf, ac y dywedasant hwythau 
Co-wrda . ac felly yr aeth arno dri henw, Cynfarth, Cadfarch, Cowrda.^ 


From the Red Book of S. Asaph, p. 117. 

Heec experientia inventa p qiida Enianii Epm Assaphefi in q°dam 
libro antique Londonijs de Libtatib?, Privilegijs, Donaconib? 
traditis, concessis et confirmatis 5'^° Kentigerno suisqj successoribus 
eoruqi tenefi & libere tenefi. Anno Dni M.C.C.L.° VI.° 

Notum fiet q'^in tempore cujusdregisDyganwynoieMalginietcujusd 
regis Powysie, noie Maye quida vir venit ex la? orientali noie Kentigernus 
ad quanda Civitatem noie LlanElwy et cum eo turba multa Clericoru, 
militu et ministf, numero Trecen?, que qf de Kentigernu Rex Maye 
constituit & ordinavit in toto suo Dnio quia tunc suu Dominii Epalis 
gubernacois offa esset destitutii et plenarie exhaustu, et tunc Malginus 
Rex dedit illi Sco Kentigerno ilia scam civitatem Llanelwy ad libamina 
et sacrificia faciend, necnon ad cetera dia offia celebrand, sine aliq° 
Dnio vel reditu regali imgpetuum. Et cu hoc jpdcus Rex Malgin? 
dedit et concessit eid Sco Kentigerno alias villas annex ad succurend 
serviend illi civitati Llanelwy gsustencoe ;pd Kentigerni suor succes- 
sorii sine aliq° Dnio vel reditu regali imgpetuii ut ;^dic? est quaru 
villarii noia sunt haec Altemeliden, Llanhassaph, Bryngwyn, Disserth, 
Kilowain, Llansanan, Bodeugan, Henllan, Llanuvyth [Llan]gernyw, 
[Brajnan, [Bodjgynwch, [Marjchaled, Meriadog, Movionog, Hendre 
Newydd, Pennant, Llanarthu, Havenwen juxta Llanyvyth, Bodnod, 
Malodyr, Bodvalleg, ac Ardney y menllyn, et alias villas, ac q™ plures 
alias villulas Dnus Rex MalginJ) dedit ^fato Kentigerno suisq., suc- 
cessorib? sine aliq° tribute vel reditu regali imppetuum. Et quicunc^ 
fuerit transgressor alien/* ]pd lit)tatum donacionum id ^d villis vel 
villulis ab oib$> tribubus anathema et maledictus fiat in infinita secula 
seculorii. Amen. 

' Teulu Cybi Sunt is in Mostyn MS. no, p. 189, attributed to Hywel Rheinallt 
[flor. c. 1460-90). 

Appendix 385 

Ut original camt', et quicunqi ;pd auditor et defensor contra rebell 
untajverb vel signo cont^ infringefi humoi liljtat' et donaces concess 
eid SCO Kentigerno suisq^ successorib? questiones transgress : contro- 
vers excitand a tribus gsonis, Pre", Filio & Spu S"", ac ab omni choro 
ecclesiastic benedictionibS' repleat"^ g infinita secula seculoru. 

Et ad illud tempus queda discordia orta et mota fuit in? duos 
milites in cur' Malgini et Kedicu Draws seu de ludes. Et Kendicus 
gcussit filiii Malgini regis cum cornu bibali ^ sup caput suum usq^ ad 
sanguinis effusione, qua de ca Kedicus fugit et venit ad civitatem 
munita Llanelwy, in q^ quide civitate Kentigernus erat g imunitate 
securitate, & defensione illi Kedic a dicis sco et civitate hend. Et 
tunc ;^dus Malginus misit buragianii et alios plures ministros cum. 
eo ad querend Kedicum ^d et p*q^m inven^t illu Kedicum ad metas 
et limites illius see civitatis LlanElwy, oes equi eorum ceci factisunt. 
Et tunc statim illi equites converterunt se ad Malginu rege et narra- 
verunt Regi ilia ardua et imgspa quae conting^ant illis, hac tabula 
declarata, seu his rumorib? declaratis, tunc ille solus Malginus venit 
cum illis ad metam et limites illius civitatis et illico ille rex cecus feus 
est et descendit desuper equum suum et tunc sui milites adduxerunt 
ilium regem cecum cora Sco Kentegerno. Et ille rex prociibens oravit 
eund Kentegernu pro venia sibi impetranda, deinde incessanter postu- 
labat dcm scm ut oculos suos creatos signo crucis signaret, quib? signo 
crucis p eund scm signatis, statim rex oculos apuit et vidit, laudes 
Deo et Sco reddens, intuens illii Kedicii facie ad faciem secum sedeil. 
Et tunc ait illi, Es tu ibi ? Et ille respondit. Sum hie imunitate et 
defensione venerabilis sci. Et illo die Rex Malguinus g restitucoe 
aie et invencoe luminis oculoru dedit illi Sco Epo illius civitatis Llanelwy 
spaciu imunitatis et defensionis septe annoru et septem mensium & 
septem dierii et unius diei prim. Et cum illo spacio postea iiTiunicoe 
et defensioe imgpetuum. Et propter ilia mysteria a Deo & dco sco 
collat' dcus Rex Malginus augmentavit diversas donacoes vz' plures 
villas ad serviend Deo & Sco Kentigerno in dco cultu sine aliquo Dnio- 
vel reditu regaliimppetuum. Quarii villariinoiasunt hsec : Berryng,. 
Dolwynan, Bodlyman. Et dedit plures alias villas cum illis et iste 
donacoes facte g Malginum Regem extendunt metas et limites. 
Epatus Sci Kentigemi ejusqi succesi : ab urbe Conway usqj ad riuu 
latus Glatiri jux^ Dinas Basing. Et dcus Malginus ista vltia sibi 
dedit ob restitucoe occuloru suoru, et ad ista ^da fidelr observanda 
ab Gibs' fidelib9 & custodienda ^dcus Malginus Rex testes idoneos 
tam Clicos quam Laicos ad ista noavit vocavit Clicos Scum Danielem 
quonda Epum Bangorens et Patronu, Scm Terillum et Scm Grwst.. 
1 " Bibulo " written above it, and " a drinking-horn " in margin. 

386 Lives of the British Saints 

Laicos, Malginum Regem, Rwyn filiu ejus et Gwrgnan senescallu ejus. 
Meta et limites ?re imunitatis scae civitatis LlanElwy, existunt in 
longitudie o Adwy Lleweni usq^ locum vocatum Penissaf i Gell Escob 
usqj locum vocatum Pont yr wddar, viz* spacium . . . miliaris in 
longitudie et unius miliaris in latitudie. Et si quis violaverit ;^dca 
imunitate (q^' absit) seu ad hoc consilium auxiliii vel favore dederit 
aut fecerit occulte vel expresse, excoicatus est ab oi choro ecclesiastico 
et etia indignacoem ompis Dei, btje Mariae Virginis, Scorumqj Assaph 
& Kentigerni, 373 Scorii & Scarii se noverint incursuros. Et quicunqj 
j5dcam imunitate non servaverit Dijs officijs ibm celebratis et cele- 
brand destituitur et Dei maledicone repleaf . Amen g infinita secula 



From Additional MS. 31,055 (1594-6). fo. 40a. 

Y Ceidwad rhag gwaew adwyth 
i glaf a Ivdh glwyfae Iwyth 
ciirio bvm rhag gwaew or byd 
Cynhaval cwyno hevyd 
Cwynais haint nyd cynnes hwyl 
claf a gwyn clwyf ag anwyl 
vn o drychlam yn