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Einion, surnamed Frenhin, or the king, was the son of Owain Danwyn ab Einion Yrth ab Cunedda ; and was the founder of a church in the district of Lleyn, Carnarvonshire, which has since been called Llanengan, or Llaneingion Frenhin. He also established the college of Penmon in Anglesey, over which he placed his brother, Seiriol, as the first principal; and in conjunction with St. Cadfan, he founded a monastery in the Isle of Bardsey, of which that person was the first abbot. There was an inscription, now effaced, upon the tower of the church of Llanengan, the latter part of which, as decyphered by the author of Mona Antiqua, asserted that the founder of the edifice was a king of Wales :
ENEANUS REX WALLIÆ FABRICAVIT. The title, however, must be received with some limitation, as the presence of contemporary chieftains would show that the sovereignty of Einion must have been confined to the neighbourhood of Carnarvonshire. The form of the letters, as represented in the Mona Antiqua, is not ancient, and the name “Wallia” was not employed to describe the territories of the “Cymry" until the middle ages. The festival of this royal saint is February the ninth.
Seiriol, the brother, or according to other accounts, the nephew, of Einion Frenhin, was the first president of the college of Penmon, which became so celebrated that “the men of Llychlyn,” or the Scandinavian rovers, resorted there for religious instruction. Subordinate to this institution was cell in the island of Glanach, or Priestholm, off the coast adjacent, of which Seiriol has been deemed the patron saint.
Meirion, another brother of Einion Frenhin, was a saint, and Llanfeirion, formerly a chapel of ease under Llangadwaladr, Anglesey, has been dedicated to him. His wake has been held on the third of February.
Cynyr Farfdrwch,* the son of Gwron ab Cunedda, lived at Cynwyl Gaio in Carmarthenshire, and was the father of six
* He is also called Cynyr Farfwyn, and Cynyr Ceinfarfog.
appears to have
sons, five of whom were saints. The names of the five saints were Gwyn, Gwynno, Gwynnoro, Celynin, and Ceitho ;* and, according to the fable reported of them, they were all produced at one birth. There was formerly a chapel of ease in the parish of Caio, called Pumsaint, which, as well as Llanpumsaint, still existing, subject to Abergwyli, Carmarthenshire, was dedicated to them. Their festival is said to have been held on the day of All-Saints; but no further information can be obtained respecting them, except that Ceitho is presumed to be the founder of Llangeitho in Cardiganshire, and his festival was kept on the fifth of August.
Between the commencement of this century and the synod of Brefi, may be dated the arrival of Cadfan at the head of a large company of saints from Arniorica. He been a person of distinction, being the son of Eneas Lydewig, by Gwenteirbron, a daughter of Emyr Llydaw, one of the princes of that country. Among his companions are mentioned, Cynon, Padarn, Tydecho, Trinio, Gwyndaf, Dochdwy, Mael, Sulien, Tanwg, Eithras, Sadwrn, Lleuddad, Tecwyn, Maelrys, and several others. As most of these were men of princely family and relatives of Cadfan, the analogy of other cases suggests that the reason, which induced them to leave their country and devote themselves to religion, was the loss of their territories : for the Armoricans struggled hard to maintain their independence against the Franks, who, under Clovis, were at this time establishing their dominion in Gaul.t Cadfan, after his arrival in Wales, became the founder of the churches of Tywyn' Merionethshire, and Llangadfan, Mont
* The other son was Cai, who possibly gave name to the district in which he lived.
+ The Welsh accounts do not mention this circumstance, but the chronological coincidence is remarkable. Paris was made the capital of the dominions of Clovis in the year 510.
# Chapels.-Llanfihangel y Pennant (St. Michael,) Pennal (St. Peter,) and Tal-y-llyn (St. Mary.)
gomeryshire; but he is known more especially as the first abbot of a monastery, founded by him in conjunction with Einion Frenhin, in the Isle of Bardsey, off the western promontory of Carnarvonshire. It was, probably, the establishment of this institution that induced St. Dubricius to make choice of the spot, as the place where, remote from the world, he might end his days in the uninterrupted practice of devotion. Other holy men retired thither for the same purpose; in consequence of which, the soil of the island at length acquired a sacred character, and it was deemed meritorious to be buried there. Its narrow limits, scarcely exceeding three miles in circumference, were said to enclose the bodies of twenty thousand saints. Pilgrimages were made to it for the sake of obtaining the intercession of the departed; and as the voyage was often attended with danger, several of the bards have employed their verse in describing its difficulties, not forgetting to celebrate the guardian influence to which the faithful owed their protection amid the waves. Nor has the church of Tywyn remained without its eulogy ; in a poem written between the years 1230 and 1280, the author asserts that it possessed three altars,t and was furnished like the church of David, meaning that of Llanddewi Brefi, where, according to Gwynfardd, the number of altars was five. He proceeds to praise “its choir, and sanctuary, and its music, its warriors, and its waters of grace;” and maintains that it was not right to pass over the place in silence, for its dwellings were equal to the mighty mansions of heaven. I—There were
* Canu i Gaduan, Llywelyn Vart ae cant, Myv. Arch. Vol. p.
360. + The first belonged to St. Mary, the second to St. Peter; and the third, “happy was the town in its privilege of possessing it, for it was sent by a hand from heaven,” was dedicated to St. Cadfan.
| Cadr y ceidw Cadfan glan glas weilgi,
Cadr fab Eneas, gwanas gweddi,
some years ago, in the church-yard of Tywyn, two rude pillars, one of which, of the form of a wedge, about seven feet high, and having a cross and inscription upon it, went by the name of St. Cadfan’s stone, and was thought to have been a part of his tomb. Engravings of the inscription, as copied at two several periods in the last century,* are given in Gough's Camden, from which it appears that the letters resembled those used by the Anglo Saxons, but the only word legible was the name of Cadfan. As there is a tradition that the saint was buried in Bardsey, which an obscure passage from the poem just quoted, would seem to confirm, it may be judged that the stone was merely a rude cross of which similar specimens, bearing the names of sainted persons, may be found in other parts of the Principality. He has been considered to be the patron of warriors, which countenances the supposition that he led a military life in Armorica; and his festival has been celebrated on the first of November. His mother, Gwenteirbron, is mentioned as a saint in one of the catalogues, but no churches have been erected to her
memory Cynon accompanied Cadfan to Bardsey, where he was made chancellor of the monastery; but whatever was the nature of this and other offices occasionally attributed to the primitive Christians, it may be said that the compiler of Achau y Saint has chosen to call them by names which were familiar in his own time. Cynon is the reputed founder of the church of Tregynon, Montgomeryshire; and Capel Cynon subject to Llandyssilio Gogo, Cardiganshire, is dedicated to him.
Padarn, the son of Pedrwn, or Pedredin, ab Emyr Llydaw, visited Britain, according to Usher, in the year 516; and though no ancient authority is given for the date, it may be presumed upon as the time when Cadfan and his companions arrived in this country. According to Achau y Saint, Padarn, after his arrival in Wales, became a member of the college of
* By Lhuyd before 1709, and by Dr. Taylor in 1761.
Illtyd. He afterwards established a religious society, consisting of a hundred and twenty members,* at a place in Cardiganshire since called Llanbadarn Fawr ;t where he also founded an episcopal see, of which he became the first bishop. He was the founder of the churches of Llanbadarn Trefeglwys or Llanbadarn Fach, and Llanbadarn Odin, Cardiganshire, and of Llanbadarn Fawr, Radnorshire. The chapels of Llanbadarn Fynydd under Llanbister, and Llanbadarn y Garreg under Cregruna, both in Radnorshire, are named after him; and the situations of some of these places serve to point out the extent of his diocese to the southward, along the limits which have been assigned to the diocese of St. David. To the north its extent is uncertain, but it probably included a considerable part of Montgomeryshire. How long Llanbadarn continued to be the capital of a bishoprick cannot be ascertained, as very little is known of its history, and the last notice of it, under that character, in the Welsh Chronicles, is in the year 720; when it is recorded that many of the churches of Llandaff, Mynyw, and Llanbadarn, meaning the three dioceses of South Wales, were ravaged by the Saxons. It is reported, however, to have lost its privileges through the turbulent conduct of its inhabitants, who killed their bishop ; and the diocese was in consequence annexed to that of Menevia. From the Latin Hexameters of Johannes Sulgenus,|| it may be learned that Padarn presided over the see twenty one years, during which time he spent his life in the practice of such religious exercises
* John of Teignmouth differs from the Welsh accounts, in saying that this institution contained eight hundred and forty seven monks, who came with St. Paternus from Armorica; and adds that it was governed by an ceconomus, a provost, and a dean,
+ Its Latin name is Mauritania, which Archbishop Usher observes is derived from Mawr, great, an epithet added merely for the purpose of distinguishing this Church from others of less importance.
| Brut y Tywysogion, Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II. p. 472. || Son of Sulien, or Sulgen, Bishop of St. David's in 1070.