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immediately upon its borders. Those situated in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, at that time occupied by the Gwyddyl Ffichti, are sixteen, Five more are in Anglesey, and three of the family settled in the Isle of Man, both occupied by the same tribe. Most of the remaining churches are situated together in Denbighshire; and as parts of North Wales are said to have still continued in the possession of the Irish,* it may be judged by analogy that this was one of the districts so retained. The conclusion presented by a consideration of these localities, is, that the people without the faith, who from their settlement in Wales have been mistaken for the nation of the Cymry, were not Welshmen but Irish. The latter race had not received the truths of the Gospel, for this was the age in which St. Patrick was employed in imparting Christianity to their countrymen in Ireland, and in Wales the hostility of the native inhabitants would prevent them from obtaining that blessing: but upon the family of Brychan they could prefer the claim of a kindred origin; and to this, together with the territorial influence of Clydwyn, it may
be added, that Brynach, who was adopted into the family, and who for a single member seems to have founded the greatest number of churches, was himself an Irishman.
Saintship in Wales was already a profession, and those who belonged to it were persons, who, in the character of ecclesiastics of various grades, devoted their lives to the service of religion. In the next generation it will be discovered that many of them belonged to an order of primitive monks, such as flourished in Gaul in the fifth century, t and the foundation of several monasteries will soon be noticed. But it is remark
* Cambrian Biography, sub voce Meigyr, from Achau y Saint.
+ "That there were monks in Gaul long before the time of St. Benedict is evident from the unquestionable authority of Gregory of Tours. It is, however, certain that prior to the sixth century there was no common observance among them; and that though the men, who fled from the world to practise unusual austerities were held in reverence, the new
able that no nunnery is known to have been established in the Principality for several hundred years later than the period under consideration. It is, therefore, an interesting inquirywhat rank did female saints hold in the Church of the ancient Britons? They were not numerous compared with those of the other sex, and by far the largest quota seems to have been furnished by the progeny of Brychan. A review of the list will show that only half the reputed daughters of that prince have received the honours of sanctity. No churches bear the names of the remaining half, no festivals have been kept to their memory, and they are known only as the wives of chieftains. Some, even of those particularized as saints, are described as having married, and become the mothers of children; but it does not appear whether they afterwards renounced the marriage state, or whether, as is more probable, they devoted themselves to religion upon the death of their husbands. A few individuals, however, are specified in the legends as having made a vow of virginity in their youth; and from the contemporary practice of Gaul it may be learned that, before the institution of nunneries, they were consecrated by bishops, and led religious lives in the society of their kindred. The fact on record, that St. Germanus, while proceeding upon his mission, was a party to a consecration of the nature described, leaves a fair inference that he introduced the custom into Britain.* On the other hand, it was by no means uncommon for men, in this age, to exchange the state of matrimony for that of monachism ; and St. Lupus, after he had been married seven years, became an inmate of the monastery of Lerins ; but celibacy formed no part of the discipline of the secular Welsh clergy as late as the thirteenth century.
mode of life did not rise to the dignity of an institute, nor obtain any degree of organization.”—Europe in the Middle Ages, by S. A. Dunham, Esq. Vol. II. Chap. II.
* "In Gaul, as in other parts of the Christian world, women, previous to the establishment of nunneries, were consecrated to God by bishops; and they led religious lives in the houses of their parents or nearest kin. dred. There is something peculiarly striking in the manner in which Genevieve, when in her fifteenth year, assumed the irrevocable obligation. She was among the inhabitants of Paris who went forth to receive the two saints, Germanus and Lupus, then on a mission to Britain. Her devotion, during the exhortation of the former, and the enthusiastic zeal which there was in her countenance, principally attracted his notice. He caused her o approach him; and, on enquiring into her sentiments and feelings, found that she was resolved to consecrate her virginity to God, a resolution which he was not backward to strengthen. They entered the church, and joined in certain prayers and hymns suited to the occasion; but Germanus would not give her the veil until she had passed the night in vigils, in self-examination.” Europe in the Middle Ages, Vol. II. Chap. II.
The natives of Wales may be surprized to find that Leland has given, out of the life of St. Nectan, a list of the children of Brychan, twenty four in number, two only of which, or at most three, can be identified with the names in the Welsh lists. They are as follow :
“Nectanus, Joannes, Endelient, Menfre, Dilic, Tedda, Maben, Weneu, Wensent, Merewenna, Wenna, Juliana, Yse, Morwenna, Wymp, Wenheder, Cleder, Keri, Jona, Kananc, Kerhender, Adwen, Helic, Tamalanc. All these sons and daughters were afterwards holy martyrs and confessors in Devon and Cornwall, where they led an eremitical life.”
It is perhaps sufficient to decide the fate of this list to say that it depends solely upon the authority of one or two monkish writers, and the compiler has forgotten to explain why all these saints should have quitted their country in a body, and settled in Devon and Cornwall. In Wales, with the exception of the two or three who may be recognised in spite of their disguise, they have left not even a memento of their existence.
The Welsh Saints from the Accession of Vortimer A, D. 464. to the
Death of Ambrosius A. D. 500.
The founders of new families which appear for the first time in this generation, are Cadell Deyrnllug, Gynyr of Caer Gawch, Ynyr Gwent, Tewdrig ab Teithfallt, Emyr Llydaw, and Ithel Hael. Cadell's descendants are as follow :
CADELL DEYRNLLUG married Gwawrddydd, daughter of Brychan Cyuan Glodrydd
Cyngen Sant m. Tanglwst, grand-daughter of Brychan Cleddyfgar Maig Ieuaf Mawan Brochwel Ysgythrog m. Arddun, daughter of
Pabo Post Prydain Caranog
Ystyffan Tysilio Cynan Garwyn Llyr
Cadell Deyrnllug flourished partly in the preceding generation, and the legend of his accession to power has been already related. He married Gwawrddydd, one of the daughters of Brychan, and his domains lay in the Vale Royal and the upper part of Powys. Before the close of this generation he appears to have been succeeded by his son, Cyngen, who is distinguished for the patronage which he afforded to the saints, and for the liberal endowments which he gave to the Church.
The order of birth would also determine Gynyr of Caer Gawch to belong to the preceding generation, but he is introduced in the present in order that he may be placed with his family. He appears to have been the chieftain of a district in Pembrokeshire, since called Pebidiog or Dewsland, in which the town of St. David's is situated ; and he probably rose into power upon the reduction of the Gwyddyl Ffichti by Clydwyn. His first wife was Mechell, daughter of Brychan, by whom he had issue a daughter called Danadlwen; whose husband, Dirdan, is included in the catalogue of saints, but no churches are ascribed to him. The second wife of Gynyr was Anna, daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid, or Vortimer, king of Britain ; and the fruit of this union was a son, named Gistlianus,* together with two daughters, Non, the mother of St. David,t and Gwen, the mother of St Cybi. From confounding Anna, the daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid, with Anna, the daughter of Uther Pendragon, arose probably the legendary story that St. David was related to king Arthur, but this tale is at variance with all the pedigrees.
Gynyr of Caer Gawch, is said to have embraced a religious life, having given all his lands to the Church, for which reason he has been enrolled among the saints. It may be learned from Giraldus Cambrensis that his son, Gistlianus, was a bishop at Menevia some time before the elevation of St. David to that dignity, and his residence or see, which was perhaps the particular establishment endowed by Gynyr, was situated at some distance from the present cathedral. It was afterwards removed by him to the valley of “ Rosina,” where the cathedral now stands, at the instance of St. David ; who, as the legend relates, had received a warning from an angel to
* Giustilianus, according to the orthography of Ricemarchus; the Welsh form of the name is not preserved.
+ The succession from Vortimer to St. David is rapid, and allows scarcely more than twenty years to a generation.