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the bishop and his successors, are still extant.* But whatever may be the antiquity of these documents, they certainly do not belong to the fifth century, and seem to describe the diocese of Llandaff and principality of Gwent at a later era. They should not, however, be rejected without examination, as they supply important links of history, which would otherwise have been wanting; and it should not be forgotten, that such grants and charters as were fabricated in the middle ages, were, in every practicable case, palmed upon real personages in order to obtain credit for genuineness.
A proposition has been advanced in the Cambrian Biography, which has been copied into other publications, that the real Uther Pendragon, the father of Arthur, was no other than Meurig ab Tewdrig. It is, however, no more than a genealogical mistake, arising from the supposition that Arthruis, I or Arthwys, a son, and Anna, a daughter of Meurig, were the same persons as Arthur and Anna, two of the children of Uther. The history and connexions of both the families are so different as to render it surprising that such an error should have been committed, were it not for the fact that Meurig and Uther were contemporaries, and that Arthur is reported to have held his court at Caerleon in the territories of the Silurian chieftain. From a comparison of the most ancient authorities extant upon the subject, including the oldest of the Welsh remains, it may be collected that Arthur was a native of Devon or Cornwall, and that his connexion with the Cymry of Wales and North Britain was almost entirely of an intrusive kind. He appears, indeed, to have obtained the chief sovereignty of the Britons, but it was by usurpation, and he was
* Wharton's Anglia Sacra, Vol. II. and Godwin's Bishops.
| Registrum Landavense, and Godwin's Bishops. He is called “ Andros” in the Cambrian Biography, page 40; and “Adras” in Triads 113 and 118, Third Series.
more often engaged in conflict with his own countrymen than with the Saxons. The documents,* which exhibit Meurig as the paramount ruler of Gwent, imply that there were several chieftains subordinate to him. He was succeeded by his son, Arthruis, who was the father of Morgan Mwynfawr ;t but the acts and territories of the family are on a scale too small, even for the limited description of Arthur which may be drawn from Nennius and the poems of the Welsh bards. I
The name of Gwrtheyrn, or Vortigern, is more implicated with the Welsh genealogies than that of Arthur ; and it is recorded that Edeyrn, one of his sons, who was a saint of the congregation of Cattwg, established a religious community of three hundred members at a place in Glamorganshire which was afterwards called Llanedeyrn. Two others of his sons have obtained the reputation of sanctity in the same county ;Aerdeyrn, to whom it is said there was a church dedicated in Glamorgan; and Elldeyrn, who is the patron of Llanelldeyrn or Llaniltern, a chapel under St. Fagan's. Nennius, who does not mention the three preceding, relates that Faustus, one of his sons, built a large place on the bank of the river Renis, which remained till the time in which he wrote. No further mark of locality is added, and as the Welsh name of Faustus is unknown, it has been conjectured that he was the same person as Edeyrn, and that the Rhymni which passes by Llanedeyrn is the Renis. Faustus was born in his father's old age; which it is presumed was the case with the other two, or
be three, persons, as they are not noticed in the current
* The records of Llandaff.
| This question is discussed by Mr. Sharon Turner in bis“Anglo-Saxons," Book III. Chap. III. and by Mr. Ritson in his “Life of King Arthur;" but it is to be lamented that the latter person, with all his erudition and talent, should, in his desire to maintain a favourite position, deform his work with unfair criticism and reckless abuse. § Notes to Gunn's Nennius,—and Usher, p.
accounts of the life of Vortigern; and their date is therefore referred to this generation.
Paulinus, or Pawl Hên, was originally a North Briton, and it may be inferred from one or two manuscripts that he resided for some time in the Isle of Man.* The cause of his removal is not stated, but his next residence that is known was at Caerworgorn, where he became a saint of the monastery of Iltutus. He afterwards founded a similar institution at Ty-gwyn ar Dâf, or Whitland, in Carmarthenshire, of which he was himself the first abbot, and where he was also styled a bishop,t though it does not appear that he had the care of a diocese. His institution soon became famous as a place of religious education; and as Paulinus was eminent for his acquaintance with the sacred Scriptures, David, Teilo, and other distinguished saints removed to Ty-gwyn to share his instructions. It is said that he placed at the head of his society two persons, named Gredifael and Fflewyn, who as they held office jointly were probably superintendents of classes, similar to those described by Bede in the monastery of Bangor Iscoed. He is the patron saint of the church of Llangors, Brecknockshire, and of Capel Peulin, a chapel subordinate to Llandingad, Carmarthenshire. As he lived to attend a synod held at Llanddewi Brefi,|| the date of which is generally assigned to the year 519, his life must have reached to a considerable part of the sixth century; and it is remarkable that the most lasting traces of his memory remain in the neighbourhood of that place. Capel Peulin, which bears his
* Cambrian Biography.
| Life of St, Teilo written about A. D. 1120 by Galfridus alias Stephanus, brother of Urban Bp. of Llandaff, and published in Wharton's Anglia Sacra.
Called “ Capella Sancti Paulini” in one of the charters of the abbey of Strata Florida.
|| Life of St. David by Giraldus.
name, is on the borders of the parish of Llanddewi Brefi; and in the parish of Caio, adjoining the latter, still exists a stone with the following inscription :
The localities being considered, it would appear that this stone commemorated the interment of Paulinus the saint, and not that of a Roman general as has been supposed.* The expression “Servator Fidei” implies that the person interred was a Christian ; and the whole inscription consists of two Hexameter lines which belong to a period when Latin versification was more corrupt than at the time of the departure of the Romans from Britain.t Paulinus was commemorated on the twenty second of November under the name of Polin, Esgob, or the bishop.
* Cambrian Register, Vol. III. p, 38 and 39.
+ A facsimile of the inscription may be seen in the account of Carmarthenshire in Gibson's Camden; and the words when placed in their proper form are:
Servator fidei, patriæque semper amator,
Hic Paulinus jacet, cultor pientissimus æqui. The last syllable of patriæque is an error in prosody, unless the author intended the u for a vowel, and so formed the end of the word into a dactyl. In the second line he appears to have had for his model the poets before the Augustan age, who frequently omitted the final s, and allowed the vowel preceding to assume its natural quantity; the last u in Paulinus is therefore short. The n in pientissimus must have been quiescent, in which case the vowel before it would be short, as in “pietas" from whence the word is derived. This interesting relic of antiquity lay originally at a place called Pant y Polion, obviously a corruption of Pant Polin; and is now removed for preservation to Dolau Cothi, the seat of J. Johnes, Esq. .
Cambrian Register, Vol. p. 220.
It would not be proper to close this generation without some notice of Ffraid, for though she was not a Welsh saint, her memory has been held in great respect in the Principality. She is more generally known by the names of St. Bridget or St. Bride, and, according to Llyfr Bodenlwyn,* she was the daughter of Cadwrthai, an Irishman; but other MSS. state that she was of Scottisht parentage, being the daughter of Dwyppws ab Cefyth or Dwpdagws. The Latin life of this saint says that her father, Dubtachus, was an Irishman, and that she was born at Fochart, in the county of Lowth; and Archbishop Usher places the date of her birth in the year 453. The Welsh and Irish accounts agree in describing her as a nun, and it is said that she received the veil from Maccaleus, one of the disciples of St. Patrick. In her native country her celebrity appears to have been exceeded only by that of the great Apostle of Ireland himself, and in Wales no less than eighteen churches and chapels are dedicated to her, as may be seen by the following catalogue.
Diserth, C. Flintshire.
Llansanffraid Cwmmwd Deuddwr, V.—2 chapels, Llanfadog (St. Madog,) and Nantgwyllt, Radnorshire.
Llansantfraid in Elfael, V. Radn.
St. Brides Major, V.-3 chapels, Wick, (St. James,) Llamphey (St. Faith,) and “capella de Ugemor,” Glam.
St. Brides super Elai, R. Glam.
* A manuscript cited in the Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II. p. 51.