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Gwrthwl; Llanwrthwl, Brecknockshire; and Maesllanwrthwl in Caio, Carmarthenshire. March 2.
Gwyddelan; Llanwyddelan, Montgomeryshire; and Dolwyddelan, Carnarvonshire. August 22.
Gwyddfarch; the son of Amalarus, prince of Pwyl. He was one of the saints of Meifod, Montgomeryshire.
Gwynen. Qu. Llanwnen, Cardiganshire.
Gwynio; Llanwynio, Carmarthenshire. March or May 2.* Gwyrfarn ;-Trinity Sunday.
Illog; Hîrnant, Montgomeryshire. August 8.
"Issui or Ishaw," a martyr; Partricio or Partrishaw, a chapel under Llanbedr, Brecknockshire. October 30.
Llibio; Llanllibio, Anglesey. February 28.
Llyr, a virgin; Llanllyr, Cardiganshire; and Llanllyr yn Rhos, now written Llanyre, Radnorshire. October 21.
Machraith; Llanfachraith, Anglesey; and Llanfachraith, Merionethshire. January 1.
Mechell or Mechyll, the son of Echwydd ab Gwyn Gohoyw. He was the founder of Llanfechell, Anglesey; and was buried in the church-yard of Penrhos Llugwy in the same county, where there was lately a stone with the following inscription, HIC IACIT MACCVQ ECCETI.‡
Mordeyrn; Nantglyn, and Mordeyrn's chapel formerly in the parish of Nantglyn, Denbighshire. July 25.
Morhaiarn; Trewalchmai, Anglesey. November 1.
* Sir H. Nicolas's Chronology of History. The correct orthography of this name is unknown. Rowlands's Mona Antiqua.
Rhediw; Llanllyfni, Carnarvonshire. November 11.
Rhidian, a member of the college of Cennydd at Llangennydd in Gower ;-Llanrhidian, Glamorganshire.
Rhuddlad, a daughter of a king of Leinster in Ireland ;* Llanrhuddlad, Anglesey. September 4.
Rhwydrys; a son of Rhwydrim or Rhodrem, king of Connaught. Llanrhwydrys, Anglesey. November 1. Samled; Llansamled, Glamorganshire.
Tudwen; Llandudwen, Carnarvonshire.
Ulched; Llechulched, Anglesey. January 6.
The foregoing list concludes the series of Primitive Christians, whose names have been collected from various authorities but principally from the records of the Welsh genealogists; and on a comparison of these records with each other, and with collateral testimony wherever accessible, has been founded the present attempt to bring order out of confusion by tracing the history of the saints, as nearly as possible, according to their chronological succession :—with what success, the reader must judge for himself. At first sight the Welsh pedigrees present the appearance of an entangled maze, but when unravelled and adjusted they form a regular tissue, the figures interwoven in which are consistent, and by their analogies clearly demonstrate where the threads are broken, and how far the ravages of time may be repaired. The clue to the arrangement is that the web should commence about the departure of the Romans, and, this being attended to, its several pieces will agree together. One objection, however, to the testimony of the genealogists, as regards the saints, must be obviated. From their representation it would appear that large crowds of people, chieftains with their families and dependents, renounced together the pursuit of arms, and becoming inmates of a monastery, devoted themselves to religion.
* Rowlands's Mona Antiqua.
This it might be urged was a practice unusual in other countries, and that the representations of the genealogists were therefore improbable; but the objection is overthrown by Bede who declares that a similar practice prevailed in Northumbria, where it had degenerated into open abuse ;* for chieftains uncontrolled by ecclesiastical discipline founded monasteries, the government of which they assumed to themselves, inviting together all sorts of persons and especially their dependents, many of whom retained their wives and continued to have children.† In their lives they differed little from laymen, and Bede in his Epistle to Egbert, archbishop of York, earnestly intreats him to interfere and put an end to such irregularities. The abuse of the system is not charged against the Britons, who also differed from the Northumbrians in another particular,-they had no nunneries; while those in Northumbria were numerous, and in many instances their government was irregularly committed to the wives of chieftains.§
To the churches founded according to the peculiar mode of consecration practised by the Britons,|| succeeded in due course those of the second and third foundation, upon which it is not necessary to enlarge, as sufficient has been said already. Both these classes were Catholic, the second being founded chiefly by native princes, and the third by foreigners. But as it must be a source of gratification to Welshmen, to reflect that their churches of the first and most important
*"Adridente pace ac serenitate temporum, plures in gente Nordanhymbrorum, tam nobiles quam privati, se suosque liberos, depositis armis satagunt magis acceptâ tonsurâ, monasterialibus adscribere votis, quam bellicis exercere studiis. Quæ res quem sit habitura finem posterior ætas videbit."-Bedæ Hist. Eccl. A. D. 731.
† Epistola ad Ecgberctum Antistitem.
+ Page 150.
§ Epistola ad Ecgberctum.
|| Page 61.
class were established at a time when their ancestors did not acknowledge the authority of Rome, it may not be improper to adduce some positive evidence as to the degree of separation which existed between the Britons and the Catholics, and such may be found at the period where these researches terminate. In the year 692, Aldhelm, a priest who was afterwards bishop of Sherborne, was deputed at a general synod of the Saxons to write a treatise against the Paschal cycle and form of Tonsure adhered to by the Britons. He accordingly wrote an epistle to Geruntius, king of Cornwall, which is still extant, and is important as it proves, that though the points in dispute were in themselves of little consequence, the division amounted to an entire separation of communion. The following extracts are given according to the translation of Cressy.
"But besides these enormities (the Tonsure and Paschal cycle) there is another thing wherein they doe notoriously swerve from the Catholick Faith and Evangelical Tradition, which is, that the Preists of the Demetæ, or South-west Wales, inhabiting beyond the bay of Severn, puffed up with a conceit of their own purity, doe exceedingly abhorr communion with us, insomuch as they will neither ioyn in prayers with us in the Church, nor enter into society with us at the Table : yea moreover the fragments which we leave after refection they will not touch, but cast them to be devoured by doggs and unclean Swine. The Cupps also in which we have drunk, they will not make use of, till they have rubbed and cleansed them with sand or ashes. They refuse all civil salutations or to give us the kisse of pious fraternity, contrary to the Apostles precept, Salute one another with a holy kisse.' They will not afford us water and a towel for our hands, nor a vessell to wash our feet. Whereas our Saviour having girt himself with a towell, washed his Disciples feet, and left us a pattern to imitate, saying As I have done to you, so doe you to others.' Moreover if any of us who are Catholicks doe goe
amongst them to make an abode, they will not vouchsafe to admitt us to their fellowship till we be compelled to spend forty days in Pennance."-(Addressing Geruntius and his subjects, Aldhelm says:)" Since therefore the truth of these things cannot be denyed, we doe with earnest humble prayers and bended knees beseech and adjure you, as you hope to attain to the fellowship of Angels in Gods heavenly kingdom, that you will no longer with pride and stubbornes abhorr the doctrines and Decrees of the Blessed Apostle S. Peter, nor pertinaciously and arrogantly despise the Tradition of the Roman Church, preferring before it tlte Decrees and ancient Rites of your Predecessours. For it was S. Peter, who having devoutly confessed the Son of God, was honoured by him with these Words, Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevayle against it: And to thee will I give the keyes of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' If therefore the Keyes of the kingdom of heaven were given to S. Peter, who is he, who, having despised the principall Statuts and ordinances of his Church, can presumingly expect to enter with ioy, through the gate of the heavenly Paradise? And if he by a peculiar Priviledge and happines received the power of binding and the Monarchy of loosing in heaven and earth, who is he, who, having reiected the Rule of the Paschall Solemnity, and the Rite of the Roman Tonsure, will not rather apprehend to be indissolubly bound than mercifully absolved from his sins."*
Than the above, no greater proof of separation can be required, the arguments for the supremacy of the Pope being precisely the same as a modern Catholic would employ against a Protestant; and in the following observation, Aldhelm seems to allude to the Welsh saints:- "What proffit can any
* Cressy, Book XIX, Chap. 17.