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altar David, Padarn, and Teilo, visited Jerusalem together, where they were consecrated to the order of Bishops by the Patriarch. Whether this event should be considered to have happened before, or after, the time that David became principal of the monastery in the valley of Rosina is of little consequence, as the story is so improbable that it may be rejected entirely. From its construction it appears to have been borrowed by Giraldus from one of the lost Triads, and it was probably invented by some bard who wished to show that the Welsh bishops traced their consecration to higher authority than that of the Pope. It is, however, admitted that St. David founded or restored a monastery in the valley of Rosina,* which was afterwards called Menevia ; and as the abbots of similar religious societies were in those days considered to be bishops in the neighbourhood of their respective communities, St. David enjoyed the dignity of a Chorepiscopus before his elevation to the a'chbishoprick of Cambria. In the retirement of Menevia, he appears to have lived with his disciples, practising those religious austerities which were sanctioned by the superstition of the times. He denied himself the enjoyment of animal food, and his only drink was water. Except when compelled by urgent necessity, he rigidly abstained from every interference in temporal affairs, all his time being devoted to prayer and spiritual contemplation. It is not stated how long he continued to practise these exercises ; but he is said to have experienced considerable molestation from a chieftain of the Gwyddyl Ffichti, named Boia,+ who with a band of followers had occupied the surrounding district. Such, however, was the patience with which David and his associates endured this persecution, that the chieftain relin
* Its Welsh name is Rhôs, and Giraldus, who occasionally indulges in a pun, says there were no roses in the valley,-rosina non rosea.
+ Ricemarchus calls him a Scot; Galfridus, a Pict; and Gwynfardd intimates that he was an Irishman (Gwyddyl;) the name Gwyddyl Ffichti is adopted above, as being applicable to the three in common.
quished his hostility, and was at last converted and baptized.* St. David was first roused from his seclusion to attend the synod of Brefi in the manner already related. It is recorded that he accepted the archbishoprick with reluctance; but after his entrance into public life he was distinguished for his activity. As the Pelagian heresy was not entirely suppressed, he convened another synod, which it would appear from the Annales Menevenses was held at Caerleon. His exertions upon this occasion were so successful that the heresy was exterminated, and the meeting has been named, in consequence, “the Synod of Victory."
After these councils he is said to have drawn up with his own hand a code of rules for the regulation of the British Church, a copy of which remained in the cathedral of St. David's until it was lost in an incursion of pirates. Under his presidency the cause of religion attained to great prosperity, and, to use the words of Giraldus:-"In those times in the territory of Cambria the Church of God flourished exceedingly, and ripened with much fruit every day. Monasteries were built every where; many congregations of the faithful of various orders were collected to celebrate with fervent devotion the sacrifice of Christ. But to all of them, Father David, as if placed on a lofty eminence, was a mirror and a pattern of life. Heinformed them by words, and he instructed them by example ; as a preacher, most powerful through his eloquence, but more so in his works.
He was a doctrine to his hearers, a guide to the religious, a life to the poor, a support to orphans, a protection to widows, a father to the fatherless, a rule to
Life of Teilo by Galfridus. Giraldus's version of the story is, that Boia, attempting to molest the saints, suffered the vengeance of heaven, being himself afflicted with a fever, and his cattle perishing by disease; upon which he solicited the peace of the holy men, and through their intercession obtained a removal of the judgment, his cattle being restored to lise; but his wife, making a second attempt at molestation, was of her reason, and Boia was soon afterwards slain by an enemy.
monks, and a path to seculars, becoming all to all, that he might gain all to God.”—This character is, of course, overcharged; but it is recorded in the Triads that the three blessed visitors of the Isle of Britain were Dewi, Padarn, and Teilo.
-" They were so called because they went as guests to the houses of the noble, the plebeian, the native and the stranger, without accepting either fee or reward, or victuals or drink; but what they did was to teach the faith in Christ to every one without pay or thanks. Besides which, they gave to the poor and needy, gifts of their gold and silver, their raiment and provisions."
After his elevation, St. David appears to have resided for a while at Caerleon, the proper seat of the primate ;* but his stay was not of long continuance before he obtained the permission of Arthur to remove the see to Menevia. No reason is alleged for this proceeding, and probably it arose from the mere desire of dignifying a place to which he had become attached from early associations.t The churches founded by him have been enumerated already, # and the list is worthy of another consideration as it serves to point out the country which, though archbishop, he held under his peculiar jurisdiction. It is generally agreed that Wales was first divided into dioceses in his time, and local indications are exceedingly valuable wherever they are sufficiently numerous to establish an inference upon inductive principles. The diocese of St. David, therefore, as may be judged from the foundations at
* Triad 7, First Series,
+ The Latin copy of Geoffrey says that he loved Menevia above all other monasteries of his diocese, because St. Patrick, by whom his birth had been foretold, had founded it! Bp. Godwyn suggests : “ It seemeth he misliked the frequency of people at Caerlegion, as a meares to withdraw him from contemplation, whereunto that hee might be more free, hee made choice of this place for his See rather than for any fitness of the same otherwise."
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tributed to him, extended over the entire counties of Pembroke and Carmarthen; its northern boundary in Cardiganshire included the parishes of Llanddewi Aberarth, and Llanddewi Brefi; from whence it seems to have followed the course of the Irfon through Brecknockshire,* and in Radnorshire it included the parishes of Cregruna and Glascwm. North of this line was the diocese of Llanbadarn, in which there are no church-foundations attributable to St. David; and the three chapels dedicated to him, as mentioned before,t date in all probability subsequent to the time when this diocese merged into that of Menevia. From Glascwm the boundary of St. David's seems to have passed southwards to the Wye, and to have followed the course of that river to its junction with the Severn, including the districts of Ewyas and Erchenfield in Herefordshire, and the whole of Monmouthshire with the exception of the lordship of Gwynllwg. The southern boundary seems to have commenced, as at present, between the rivers Neath and Tawe, and afterwards to have passed along the hills which naturally divide Brecknockshire from Glamorganshire, as far as Blaenau Gwent; from this point it followed the present limits of Gwynllwg to the mouth of the Usk. South of this line was the original diocese of Teilo; in which the only edifices, dedicated to St. David, are the chapels of Laleston and Bettws, subject to Newcastle, Glamorganshire, and Bettws, subject to Newport, Monmouthshire; but they appear to be of modern origin. The Lordship of Gwynllwg was co-extensive with the present deanery of Newport, and until the Union of England and
There were formerly not less than six churches and chapels ascribed or dedicated to St. David in the Hundred of Builth, Brecknockshire, and it is remarkable that they were all on the south side of the Irfon. Five of them still remain.
+ Llanddewi Ystrad Enni, Heyop, and Whitton.
| Built about A. D. 1110, by Lales, architect to Richard Granville, Lord of Neath.
Wales it was considered a part of Glamorgan.* It is singular that the parishes of Caerleon and Llanddewi Fach, though west of the Usk, do not form part of this district; and they remain to this day a confirmation of the arrangement which would place them in the diocese of St. David's. They are at no great distance from the town of Llandaff, but David might have weakened his authority, as archbishop of Menevia, had he surrendered the place from which he originally derived the title of Metropolitan; and he is, by some writers, called archbishop of Caerleon to the time of his death.
As it was the custom in the early ages of Christianity for the bishop to receive a share of the offerings presented in all the churches under his superintendence, the boundaries of his diocese would soon be determined with considerable precision; and he could not intrude into the diocese of another without an infringement of rights. The tract described includes all the churches, named after St. David, in Wales and the adjoining counties. There are, however, three churches and a chapel in Devon and Cornwall, of which he is considered the patron saint:t and though none of his ancient biographers have noticed that he passed any portion of his life in that country, the circumstance that he visited it, probably in the early part of his life, is intimated in the poetry of Gwynfardd, who
says that he received ill-treatment there at the hands of a
* Description of Wales, by Sir John Price.
I "A goddef palfawd, dyrnawd trameint,
A'r ni läs llosged-
Myv. Archaiol. Vol. I. p. 270, and Williams's Pelagian lleresy.