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per to burden the exchequer than individuals.*" -This
passage has been, by a mistake, adduced to show the poverty of the Bishops of Britain in general, when it states, that such was their sense of propriety that they had rather defray their own costs and charges than subsist upon the Emperor's bounty. The three, who did partake of it, are mentioned only as an exception, as if the independent Bishops were the more numerous party. Out of four hundred, which number included only those of the Western Church, a proportion of ten or upwards may well be allowed for Britain, whose distance from Italy must have added greatly to the expense of their journey. The prelates assembled at this Council were forced to submit to the doctrines of Arius through the undue influence of the Emperor; but in the year 353, Athanasius describes the churches of Britain, and other churches in the west, as adhering to the faith of the council of Nice.t
Besides Cadfrawd, already mentioned, the period just passed over includes Gwerydd and Iestyn, brothers, and Cadgyfarch and Gwrmael, sons, of Cadfrawd; all of whom are said to have been Saints, but their feast-days are unknown, and no churches have been dedicated to them.
Coel Godebog was a chieftain who flourished in the former part of this century. He married Ystrafael or Stradwen, the sister of Cadfrawd, by whom he had a son, Cenen, whose name appears in the catalogues of Saints, and a daughter, Gwawl, who married Edeyrn, the father of Cunedda Wledig. According to the fabulous chroniclers he had only one child, a
* The original words are these,"Quibus omnibus annonas et cellaria dare Imperator præceperat. Sed id Aquitanis, Gallis, ac Britannis indecens visum; repudiatis fiscalibus, propriis sumptibus vivere maluerunt. Tres tantùm ex Britanniâ, inopiâ proprii, publico usi sunt, cum oblatam a cæteris collationem respuissent; sanctius putantes fiscum gravare, quam singulos.”-Sulpitii Severi Sacræ Historiæ, Lib. II. Cap. LV.
+ Usher, de Brit. Eccl. Primordiis, Cap. VIII.
Garthwys Ceidio Pabo Post Prydain
Cynfelyn Talhaiarn Elifer Gosgorddfawr Vadog Morfryn
Benasgell, dr. Wyllt
Calchfynydd Deiniolen Eurnaid, dr. Cynon Euronwy,
* who was afterwards the mother of Constantine the Great. But setting fable aside, no transactions of his life have been recorded, and to the Welsh genealogists he is known only as the founder of a large family of descendants. He was probably regarded as the head of a tribe in the system of clanship, which, as it is found flourishing in full vigour upon the departure of the Romans, must have been maintained in some degree under their supremacy.
Ceneu, the son of Coel,t probably spent his life in the service of religion, for which reason he has been called a Saint ; but no churches have been consecrated to his memory; Llangeneu in Brecknockshire being assigned to Ceneu, a daughter or grand-daughter of Brychan.
With Cynan Meiriadog and Macsen Wledig, who flourished about A. D. 380, the history of Britain according to the Triads
be said to recommence. Macsen Wledig, or Maximus, is reported to have married Elen Luyddoy, the sister of Cynan, who was the chieftain of Meiriadog in North Wales; and in this story may be recognised the prototype of the fable that Helen, the daughter of Coel, was married to Constantius. It is further said, that Cynan led over an army of 60,000 men into Gaul to support the claims of Maximus, and that this army afterwards settled in Armorica. Though some modern French writers find reasons for discrediting the whole of the story,t it should not, upon that account, be dismissed without examination; but as its truth or falsehood forms no part of the present enquiry, it is only necessary in this place to establish the date of the expedition, A. D. 383, so far as it may affect subsequent events.
*“Nyt oed o plant oy that namyn hy ehunan.”—Brut Gr. ab Arthur, Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II. p. 207.
+ He is not to be confounded with another Ceneu ab Coel, a warrior who flourished in the time of Arthur.
| Turner's Anglo Saxons, Appendix to Book VI. Chap. II.
The monkish chronologists thought that these 60,000 men would, of course, be in want of wives ; and therefore they appended the tale of St. Ursula and the eleven thousand, nay seventy thousand virgins, who, on their voyage from Britain to Armorica, were captured by pagan pirates, and all suffered for their faith. But this grave narration is so improbable throughout, that the whole may, without scruple, be pronounced a fiction, *
There is a church in Cardiganshire called Llanygwyryfon, or Llanygweryddon, which is supposed to be dedicated to St. Ursula and the virgins; and if so, it is obviously of late foundation.
Before the end of this century the celebrated Pelagius, who was a Briton, commenced his career; but as the name of this person has not been enrolled in any catalogue of Saints, it will be enough to observe that his heresy was first promulgated in Italy, and was soon afterwards brought to Britain by his disciple, Agricola.
* The story may be seen at length in Cressy's “ Church History of Brittany."
The Welsh Saints from A. D. 400 to A. D. 433.
The list of primitive Christians has reached the beginning of the fifth century, and it may be stated that of all those hitherto mentioned, none, with the exception perhaps of Lleurwg, were founders of churches in the usual sense of the term. But the reader is now about to enter upon a time, when, in consequence of the distresses of the Romans, the Britons threw off their yoke, and the affairs of the island underwent a complete revolution. From the Welsh genealogies it would seem as if the country came at once into the possession of several chieftains, who rose into power, either as elders of tribes according to a system of clanship, or from their activity in resisting the northern invaders.
This event took place, according to Zosimus, in A. D. 408 or 409; and he says it happened in consequence of an irruption of barbarians into Gaul, which cut off the communication between Britain and the rest of the Roman empire. His words may thus be rendered :
“The barbarians above the Rhine, invading all parts with unrestrained freedom, forced, of necessity, the inhabitants of the island of Britain, and some of the Celtic tribes, to revolt from the dominion of the Romans, and to live independent, no longer obeying the Roman laws. The Britons, therefore, armed themselves, and, facing the danger on their own account, delivered their cities from the barbarians that infested them. And all Armorica and other provinces of Gaul, imitating the example of the Britons, set themselves free in like