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Of the sons of Gwynlly Filwr, chieftain of Gwynllwg, Monmouthshire; Cattwg, the eldest, was the first president of the college of Llancarfan ; the rest, who have had the credit of sanctity, were :
Cammarch ab Gwynllyw, the founder of Llangammarch, Brecknockshire.
Glywys Cerniw, the founder of a church at Coed Cerniw in Gwynllwg, Monmouthshire.
Hywgi, otherwise Bugi, the father of St. Beuno. He gave all his lands for the endowment of his brother's college at Llancarfan, where he spent the latter part of his life.
Cyfyw ab Gwynllyw, an officer in the college of Cattwg, and patron saint of Llangyfyw near Caerleon.
Cynfyw, or Cynyw ab Gwynllyw; possibly another pronunciation of the preceding name, as Llangyfyw is written, by Ecton, “Llangyniow." There is a church, called Llangynyw, in Montgomeryshire, of which he may have been the founder.
Gwyddlew, Cyflewyr, and Cammab; sons of Gwynllyw, and saints, but nothing farther is known respecting them.
Maches, a daughter of Gwynllyw, suffered martyrdom at a place since called Merthyr Maches, or Llanfaches, in Monmouthshire,
6. She gave
alms to all who asked; and a pagan Saxon, who appeared before her as a mendicant, stabbed her with a knife."*
The children of Ynyr Gwent by Madrun, daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid, were another Silurian family that flourished about this time. Caradog, the eldest, lived at Caerwent, and succeeded to his father's territories; he married Derwela, one of the sisters of Amwn Ddu.t
Iddon ab Ynyr Gwent was a chieftain, who afterwards devoted himself to religion. It is said that he made a grant, to the see of Llandaff, of-“Llanarth with all the landes there,
* Cambrian Biography.
+ Usher, p. 532.
and Lantelio Porth-halawg with the territory unto the same belonging, and certaine landes at Lantelio Crissenny; all in thankfulnesse to God for a victory obtained against the Sax
It is also stated that he made a grant of “ Lancoyt;" and the charters conferring these donations are cited from the register, or “ Book," of Llandaff ;+ but without attempting to assert their genuineness, it is right to observe that the alleged date of these grants is misplaced by Godwin, who says they were made in the time of Comegern and Argwistill, the eighth and ninth bishops of the see. The prelate, contemporary with Iddon, was Teilo; the second on the list, and a principal witness to the grants in question.
Ceidio and Cynheiddion, sons, and Tegîwg, a daughter, of Ynyr Gwent, were saints of whose history no particulars have been recorded, except that Ceidio was a member of the monastery of Llancarfan.
The period between the years 500 and 550 is believed to include the date of a calamity on the coast of Wales, of which the most exaggerated and mystified accounts have reached posterity :|| for it is asserted that an irruption of the sea broke in upon a large tract of country, which it has since continued to cover, forming the whole of the present Cardigan Bay. It is not necessary to dwell upon the proofs, that such a calamity could not have occurred to the extent related; as the testimony of Ptolemy, the geographer, is, so far, conclusive against
* Godwin's English Bishops. These churches, which still retain their names, are situated in Monmouthshire, and acknowledge Teilo for their patron saint.
+ This record, one or two transcripts of which are reported to be extant, is still unpublished.
| See pp. 184, 185 of this Essay.
§ In Chartis Donationum ldonis regis, filii Ynir Guent, inter testes è Clericis, primo loco cernitur Teliaus Archiepiscopus.-Usher, p. 98.
|| Triad 37, Third Series.-See also Davies's Mythology of the Druids, page 242, and Cambro Briton, Vol. I. p. 361.
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, held 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 Gwaelod, 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 drink let the sea over Cantref y Graclod.”
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 Llangwynodl, 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.
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 wear 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
* 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 “ Tal-iesin."
+ From the Mabinogion or Welsh Romances ;-Cambrian Quarterly Magazine, Vol. V. and Myv. Archaiology, Vol. I.