« PrejšnjaNaprej »
In passing through the different families seriatin, and observing the Saints whose names fall in with this generation, the only one that occurs in the line of Macsen Wledig is Madog, the son of Owain ; but as other persons of the name of Madog have received the honours of sanctity, the churches to be assigned to each of them separately are uncertain.
In the line of Coel Godebog, Cynllo, the son of Mor, presents himself to notice. He was the tutelar Saint or founder of the three churches in Radnorshire, whose extensive endowments have been already described. He was also the founder of Llangynllo, and Llangoedmor, in Cardiganshire; to the latter of which, the neighbouring churches of Mount and Llechryd, both dedicated to the Holy Cross, were formerly subject. Cynllo is commemorated in the Calendar, July 17, under the name of Cynllo Frenhin,* or the King; and as he belonged to a powerful family it is probable that he was originally a chieftain, and might afterwards, according to the practice of the age, have embraced a life of religion. The Pseudo-Taliesin
prayer of Cynllo shall not be in vain.”+ -a proof that in after times his intercession was considered efficacious.
In the line of Cynan Meiriadog occurs the name of Tudwal Befr,f who is described as a Saint and Bishop; and as his diocese is not mentioned, it is possible that he was a Chorepis
deyrn, whose descent is traced in the ninth, or according to others in the fifteenth degree from Beli Mawr; but the older and better supported authority of Nennius must be preferred. The discrepancy coincides with the time of the retirement of the Romaðs, and the names given by Nennius are no more than might easily have been retained from the period before that crisis,
* See the old Editions of the Welsh Common Prayer.
+“Ni hydd coeg gweddi Cynllo.” Dyhuddiant Elphin. Myvyrian Archaiology, Vol. II. p. 83.
| Son of Morfawr ab Cadfan ab Cynan, in Table I.
copus or local Bishop, an office which was at this time not uncommon. An island off the coast of Carnarvonshire is called after him, in which are the ruins of a small chapel, dedicated to the same person,* and subject, as it would seem, to the church of Llaneingion Frenhin on the main land. Another church in the neighbourhood is named Tudweiliog, but the word is more descriptive of a district or clan of followers than of a religious edifice; and Carlislet says that the parish festival is that of St. Cwyfen, which is holden on the third of June. Tudwal Befr was married to Nefydd, daughter of Brychan, and is reported to have had a son, Ifor ab Tudwal, who is said to have been a Saint, but no churches are ascribed to him.
The Saints of the family of Cystennyn Gorneu are, Erbin ab Cystennyn Gorneu, and Digain his brother ;$ to the latter of whom the foundation of Llangerniw, or the “ church of the Cornishman,” in Denbighshire, is attributed. His festival is held Nov. 21.
The date of some of the descendants of Vortigern renders it necessary to place the age of his son, Gwrthefyr or Vortimer, in this generation; and though this arrangement differs from the chronology which has been generally followed, it is agreed on all hands that both these persons were engaged in active life together, and the inference to be drawn is that Vortimer was born when his father had scarcely passed the time of youth. It would appear, however, that the monkish chronologists have placed the era of Vortigern several years too late ; for they extend his reign from A. D. 448 to 464, when he is superseded by his son for four years, after which he unaccountably reigns again until A. D. 481. All this is inconsistent with their statement that Vortimer, who is known from a respectable authority* to have died before the battle of Crayford in 457, was of age to take the chief command of the Britons in the field so early as 455; and though it is uncertain how long Vortigern may have survived his son, it is probable that the date usually assigned to his deposition is in truth the date of his decease. Vortimer, who has been surnamed “Bendigaid, or the Blessed,” has been accounted a Saint; and as he was not an ecclesiastic, the honour is perhaps due to his care in restoring those churches which had been destroyed by the Saxons, and the respect which he paid to men of religion.t In the Triads he is styled one of the three canonized kings of Britain.
* Is there any tradition that this chapel was actually founded by St. Tudwal; its peculiar situation would prevent it from becoming afterwards a parish church?
+ Topographical Dictionary.—Browne Willis states that Tudweiliog is a chapel, subordinate to Llangwynodl, and dedicated to St. Cwyfen.
# Qu. Is not Llanstadwel, Pembrokeshire, an abbreviation of Llansant. tudwal ?
$ In Table VII. Digain was erroneously shown to be a son of Erbin.
The sons of Cunedda were all of them warriors, and though several of his grandchildren might have flourished in this generation, the order of succession would be better preserved by referring them to the next. The name of Ceredig ab Cunedda, the time in which he lived, and the situation of his territories, determine him to be the hero of the following rencounter with St. Patrick; and the circumstances of the incident, which exhibit a curious picture of the manners of the age, are thus related by Mr. Moore in his “ History of
Henry of Huntingdon. + Matthæus Florilegus says—“Vortimerus, victoriam adeptus, cæpit possessiones amissas civibus indigenis restituere, ipsosque diligere, Ec. clesias destructas restaurare, atque viros Ecclesiasticos, præcipuè religiosos, honorare.”—(Usher De Primordiis, Cap. XII.) “Gwedy kaffael o Werthyfyr e wudugolyaeth dechreu a oruc talw y pawb tref y dat ac eu kyvoeth or ar rydugassey e sayson y arnadunt. ac y gyt a henny hevyt karu y wyrda ac eu hanrydedu ac o arch Garmawn ae kynghor adnewydhau er eglwyseu."-Brut G. ab Arthur. Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II. Ireland.”—“The event, in consequence of which the Saint addressed his indignant letter to Coroticus,* the only authentic writing, besides the Confession, we have from his hand, is supposed to have taken place during his stay on the Munster coast, about the year 450. A British prince, named Coroticus, who, though professing to be a Christian, was not the less, as appears from his conduct, a pirate and persecutor, had landed with a party of armed followers, while St. Patrick was on the coast, and set about plundering a large district in which, on the very day before, the Saint had baptized and confirmed a vast number of converts. Having murdered several of these persons, the pirates carried off a considerable number of captives, and then sold them as slaves to the Picts and Scots, who were at that time engaged in their last joint excursion into Britain. A letter despatched by the Saint to the marauders, requesting them to restore the baptized captives, and part of the booty, having been treated with contumely, he found himself under the necessity of forthwith issuing the solemn epistle which has come down to us, in which, denouncing Coroticus and his followers as robbers and marauders, he in his capacity of · Bishop established in Ireland' declares them to be excommunicated.”
The family most distinguished in the Church during the present interval was that of Brychan, who is said, in Bonedd y Saint, to have been the father of twenty four sons and twenty five daughters, in all forty nine children!! Statements, however, vary, of which this is the largest. The smallest statement is twenty four for the whole number. In explanation it is said that he had three wives, though it is not mentioned that they were living at the same time; and it appears that four, at least, of his sons were illegitimate. It is, however, supposed by the Historian of Brecknockshire and the Author of the Horæ Britannicæ that the names of the grandchildren of Brychan have crept into the list of his children ; and, in confirmation of this opinion, it may be stated that the Triads record that Brychan “brought up his children and grandchildren in learning and the liberal arts, that they might be able to show the faith in Christ to the nation of the Cymry, wherever they were without the faith :" from which it would be inferred that the grandchildren of Brychan were Saints, and it might be expected that their names were inserted in the existing catalogues. But as few such names appear, when the grandchildren would naturally be the most numerous, the supposition, that they have been included in the list of children, is the most rational way of accounting for the deficiency. Their intermarriages also show that they belong to times a considerable distance asunder; and though generations are never strictly concurrent, it is too much to suppose that two daughters of the same man should be married to persons who flourished two thirds of a century apart from each other. Those alluded to are, Gwrgon, wife of Cadrod Calchfynydd who flourished about A. D. 410, and Gwladus, wife of Gwynllyw Filwr who flourished about A. D. 480 ; but if the latter be considered a grand-daughter of Brychan, no difficulty will appear in the case. Between the wife of Ceredig who flourished about 430, and the wife of Cyngen ab Cadell who flourished about 500, the discrepancy is equally as great.
* In some printed accounts of St. Patrick, this name is spelled-Coreticus, and Cereticus,-the latter of which is but a slight deviation from the Welsh orthography,
+ Eurbrawst, Rhybrawst, and Peresgri.
This being the case, Bonedd y Saint leaves the antiquarian at liberty to acquiesce in the authority of the legend, entitled “Cognacio Brychan," in which several of the children and grandchildren are actually distinguished. But in treating of the family seriatim, it is proposed to follow the
* Only five or six, and those mentioned incidentally.