Slike strani
PDF
ePub

the tradition. That author, who lived in the second century, marks the promontories by which Cardigan Bay is confined, and the mouths of the rivers which it receives, in nearly the same relative situations which they retain at present; giving the latitude and longitude of each place according to his mode of computation. It is not unreasonable, however, to suppose that an event took place, similar to that which laid under water the lands of Earl Godwin on the eastern coast of England.' A tract of low land along the coast of Cardiganshire and Merionethshire, of which some vestiges still remain," was overflowed; and as it had been called Cantref y Gwaelod, it

* «Submarine Forest in Cardigan Bay.”—(From the proceedings of the Geological Society in London.) At a Meeting of the Society, lield on the 7th of November, 1832, a notice of a submarine Forest in Cardigan Bay, by the Rev. James Yates, M. A., F. G. S. and L. S. was read. The Forest extends along the coast of Merionethshire and Cardiganshire, being divided into two parts by the estuary of the river Dovey, which separates these counties. It is bounded on the land side by a sandy beach and by a wall of shingles. Beyond this wall is a tract of bog and marsh, formed by streams of water, which are partially discharged by oozing through sand and shingles. The author argues that as the position of the wall is liable to change, it may have inclosed the part which is now submarine, and that it is not necessary to suppose a subsidence effected by submarine agency. The remains of the forest are covered by a bed of peat, and are distinguished by an abundance of Pholus Candida and Teredo Nivalis. Among the trees of which the forest consisted, is the Pinus Sylvestris or Scotch Fir; and it is shown that this tree abounded anciently in several northern counties of England. The natural order of the Conifere may thus be traced from the period of the independent coal formation to the middle of the seventeenth century, although the Scotch Fir is excluded from the native Flora. The amentaceous wood presents matter for reflection in consequence of the perfect preservation of its vascular structure, while the contents of its vessels are entirely dissipated. The tract is known to the Welsh under the name of Cantref y Graelod, i. e. the Lowland Hundred. The author refers to the Triads of Britain, and to the ancient Welsh testimonies, which prove that it was submerged about A. D. 520, and ascribe the disaster to the folly of “Seithenyn the Drunkard,' who in his driok let the sea over Cantref y Gnaelod.

was probably of no greater extent than a “Cantref,” or “Hundred,” in any other part of Wales. This district had been divided between two chieftains, of the names of Seithenyn and Gwyddno, whose children, in consequence of the loss of their inheritance, were induced to embrace a religious life. The sons of Seithenyn, who were all of them, except Arwystli Gloff, members of the college of Dunawd at Bangor Iscoed, were the following:

Gwynodl ab Seithenyn, the founder of Llangwynodi, Carnarvonshire. Festival, Jan. 1.

Merin, or Merini ab Seithenyn; presumed to be the founder of Llanferin, or Llanfetherin, Monmouthshire. Bodferin, the signification of which implies the place of his residence, is the name of a chapel under Llaniestin, Carnarvonshire. Festival, Jan. 6.

Senefyr, or Senewyr ab Seithenyn, a saint.
Tudglyd ab Seithenyn.

Tudno ab Seithenyn, the founder of Llandudno, Carnarvonshire ; his commemoration occurs on the fifth of June.

Tyneio ab Seithenyn ; Deneio, or Pwllheli, a chapel under Llanfor, Carnarvonshire, is supposed to be named after him.*

Arwystli Gloff ab Seithenyn, was an inmate of the monastery of Bardsey, and is said to have been the founder of a church, but its situation is not known.

Elffin, the only son of Gwyddno whose name is preserved, was a saint of the college of Illtyd. A story, which, however, is confessedly a fable, relates that Gwyddno had a fishing on the sands between the Dovey and Aberystwyth, the annual profits of which were very considerable. But Elffin was the most unlucky of men and nothing prospered in his hands, insomuch that his father was grieved at his ill successes, and feared that he was born in an evil hour : wishing, however, to

wear

* Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II, pp. 30, 55.

give the fortunes of his son a further trial, he agreed to allow him the profits of the wear for one whole year. On the morrow, Elffin visited the wear, and found nothing, except a leathern bag fastened to one of the poles, He was immediately upbraided for his ill luck by his companions, for he had ruined the good fortune of the wear, which before was wont to produce the value of a hundred pounds on May eve. Nay, replied Elffin, there may yet be here an equivalent for the value of a hundred pounds. The bag was opened, and the face of a child appearing from within, "What a noble forehead,” exclaimed the opener. “ Taliesin be his name,” rejoined Elffin,* and commiserating the hard fate of the infant exposed to the mercies of the sea, he took it in his arms, and mounting his steed, conveyed it to his wife, by whom it was nursed tenderly and affectionately: from that time forward, his wealth increased every day.-Such is the story of the discovery of the chief bard of Wales, committed by his mother to the chances of the tide, and saved in the manner described. In return for the kindness of his benefactor, adds the tale, he composed, while a child, his poem, entitled the “ Consolation of Elffin,” rousing him from the contemplation of his disappointments and cheering with the prospect of blessings which still awaited him; and afterwards when Elffin was imprisoned in the castle of Dyganwy by Maelgwn Gwynedd, Taliesin, through the influence of his song, procured his release.+

The children of Pawl Hên, or Paulinus, of Ty-gwyn ar Daf, were :-Peulan, the founder of Llanbeulan, Anglesey; Gwyngeneu, to whom Capel Gwyngeneu under Holyhead was dedicated; and Gwenfaen, a daughter, who was the foundress of Rhoscolyn, Anglesey. The festival of St. Gwenfaen is Nov. 5.

Admirable phrenologists;—the English reader must understand that “noble forehead" is the translation of “ Tàl-iesin."

+ From the Mabinogion or Welsh Romances ;-Cambrian Quarterly Magazine, Vol. V. and Myv. Archaiology, Vol. I.

The only saint of the family of Brychan, who belongs to this generation, is Nefydd, a son of Nefydd Ail ab Rhun Dremrudd.

About this period lived Tegfan, the son of Carcludwys of the line of Cadrod Calchfynydd, and though the number of generations between him and his ancestor exceeds the usual allowance for the interval of time, it does not exceed the bounds of probability. He was the brother of Gallgu Rhieddog, and is said to have been the founder of Llandegfan, Anglesey.

According to Achau y Saint ; Teon, and Tegonwy ab Teon, were members of the college of Illtyd ; but the statement cannot be admitted without incurring a great anachronism, if it be true that Iorwerth Hirflawdd, a son of Tegonwy, married one of the daughters of Brychan. The mistake seems to have arisen from confounding Teon, who stands at the head of a long pedigree of Welsh chieftains,* with Teon, who, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, was bishop of Gloucester about A. D. 542, when he was translated to the archbishoprick of London; but, unfortunately for Geoffrey, London was in the possession of the Saxons before the year 542.

Bedwini, another bishop mentioned in the Welsh accounts, is said to have been the primate of Cornwall in the time of Arthur, and to have resided at a place called Celliwag.

Stinan, or Justinian, according to his Life by John of Teignmouth, was born of noble parentage in Lesser Brittany ; and having spent his youth in the study of learning, he received the order of priesthood, and was, by a divine oracle, commanded to leave his country. After wandering for a while, he came to the coast of Wales, and landed in a certain island called "Lemeney,” where he led a religious life in company with Honorius, the son of king Thefriaucus. Cressy says:

* It would appear, from the dates of his descendants, that he flourished about A. D. 400.

“The authour of his life relates at large the envy and malice with which the Enemy of mankind impugned the devout and mortified life of this Holy man, seeking to interrupt it by severall and frequent illusions, and by suggesting scandalous lyes concerning him. But in conclusion, when he saw himself every way vanquished by the Holy man, and that neither by violent assaults nor malicious suggestions he could withdraw him from the service of God: he attempted other arts and guilefull machinations: For he infused the poyson of his malice into the hearts of three of the Holy mans servants : Insomuch as they having been reproved by him for their idlenes and mispending the time, they were inflamed with fury against him, insomuch as rushing upon him, they threw him to the ground, and most cruelly cutt off his head. But in the place where the sacred head fell to the ground, a fountain of pure water presently flowd, by drinking of which in following times many were miraculously restored to health. But miracles greater than these immediately succeeded his death. For the body of the Blessed Martyr presently rose, and taking the head between the two arms, went down to the sea shore, and walking thence on the sea, pass’d over to the port call’d by his name: and being arrived in the place where a Church is now built to his Memory, it fell down, and was there buried by Saint David with spirituall Hymns and Canticles."-Cressy next proceeds to explain that the island Lemeney—“hath in English obtain’d a new name being calld Ramsey ;” and that " It lyes opposite and in sight of Menevia the Episcopall seat of St. David.” The church, mentioned in this most outrageous legend, is evidently the chapel of Stinan in the parish of St. David's, Pembrokeshire; as the church of Llanstinan, in the same county, is too far distant to answer the description.

Ffinian, an Irish saint, is said to have visited St. David at Menevia about A. D. 530, and to have remained in Britain thirty years, in which time he built three churches, but their names are unknown. There was another Irish saint, and con

« PrejšnjaNaprej »