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Llanddew, C. (Holy Trinity.) Llanfaes V. (St. David.)
St. Nicholas's church. Llywel, V.
Trallwng, P. (St. David.) Capel Rhydybriw; Dolhywel*
(St. David.) Maesmynys, R.
Llanynys, R. (St. David.) Llanddewi'r Cwm, C. (St. Da
vid.) Llanfair in Builth, C. (St. Mary.) Glascwm, V.
Colfa chapel (St. David.) Rhiwlen chapel (St. David.) Cregruna, R.
Llanbadarn y Garreg chapel (St. Padarn.) Llannon (St.
Non.) Llanddewi Sgyryd, R,
Llanddewi Rhydderch, R. (St. David.) Rhaglan, or Ragland, V.+ Monmouthshire.
Trostrey, or Trawsdre, C. (St. David.) Llangyfyw. Qu. Dewchurch Magna, V. Herefordshire.
Little Dewchurch (St. David.) Kilpeck, C. (St. David.)
to Dewshall. Prendergast, R. in the country of the Flemings, chapels unknown. Hubberston, R.
* The hamlet of Dolhywel is now included in the parish of Myddfai; but in the foundation Charter of Talley, the church is called, “Ecclesia sancti David de Dolhowel," as if it was formerly an independent benefice. It was situated on the confines of the parish of Llywel. (See Dugdale's Monasticon.)
+ According to Browne Willis, Ragland is dedicated to St. Cadocus; but it is here assigned to St. David on the authority of Ricemarchus and Giraldus Cambrensis.
# Llandyfeisant, C. Carmarthenshire, is omitted in this list, as there are grounds for the supposition that it was so called from Tyfei, the nephew of St. Teilo. There was formerly a chapel, dedicated to St. David, in the castle of Dinefwr, in the same parish; which, in the Charter of Talley, is called “Ecclesia sancti David de Dinewr," and is mentioned separately from “ Ecclesia de Lantevassan.” The former, from the circumstance of its being called “ecclesia," must have been a free chapel, or exempt from ordinary jurisdiction. (See the word “Chapel” in Burn's Ecclesiastical Law.)
The chapels of St. David, subject to churches of other Saints, are also occasionally grouped.
Llanddewi Abergwesin, Llanwrtyd, and another Llanddewi in ruins
are subject to Llangammarch, (St. Cammarch,) Brecknockshire. Bettws, and Laleston, subject to Newcastle, (St. Illtyd,) Glamor
ganshire. Heyop, and Whitton, subject to Llangynllo, (St. Cynllo,) Radnor
shire. Llanddewi Ystrad Enni, to Llanbister, (St. Cynllo,) Radnorshire. Capel Dewi, to Llanelly, (St. Ellyw,) Carmarthenshire. Bettws, C. Carmarthenshire. The original parish church destroyed;
dedication uncertain. St. David's chapel, in the castle of Dinefwr, subject to Llandyfeisant,
(St. Tyfei,) Carmarthenshire. Capel Dewi, subject to Llandyssul, (St. Tyssul,) Cardiganshire. Llanddewi Fach, chapel to Llywes, (St. Maelog,) Radnorshire. Bettws, chapel to Newport, (St. Gwynllyw Filwr,) Monmouthshire.
This list, if its arrangements be correct, presents a series of extensive endowments; and it will readily be allowed that the churches, which, in the several groups, are considered as the parents of the rest, belong to a class of foundations the most ancient in the Principality. In what age, or by whom, these parent churches were endowed with the tithes of the surrounding districts is unknown; for none of the documents extant, which relate to the history of Wales, have recorded the event. But the precise period is immaterial to the present question, for the original church might have been supported by the offerings of the people long before a perpetual endowment was granted. The way is, therefore, clear for the belief, that the most ancient churches of Wales were founded by the persons to whom they are usually attributed; and the word “ foundation" may be taken to mean the first erection of a building devoted to the purposes of religion, though some time may elapse before a revenue is appropriated for its maintenance. Chapels, on the contrary, were erected after the endowment became a vested right, for upon this principle, as already shown, depends the circumstance of their subordination. It will, therefore, follow that the chapels and subordinate churches, which are assigned to St. David, in the preceding list, were not founded by him, but dedicated to his memory after his decease; and though the distinction is not carefully observed in popular opinion, it may be stated in confirmation of the view here given, that, in the writings of the middle ages, specific mention occurs of only one of these chapels as founded by the Saint to whom it is ascribed. The instance alluded to is that of Colfa, subject to Glascwm, which Ricemarchus and Giraldus* describe as one of the Monasteries founded by St. David ; but, as the passages in which it occurs are very corrupt, the statement may be a mistake. It is inconsistent with analogy, as well as with the testimony of Gwynfardd; but allowing its correctness, the solitary exception will not invalidate the general rule.
St. David is stated to have been canonized by Pope Calixtus, between A. D. 1119 and 1124; it might, therefore, be expected that churches were dedicated to his memory after that event; and also that, according to the practise with other Saints of the Romish Calendar, churches were called after his name in places which had no connexion with his history, the selection of the patron Saint being left arbitrarily to the founder of the building. His canonization appears, however, to have resulted from, rather than have caused the celebrity in which he was held by his countrymen; and upon the churches of Wales it appears to have had no further effect than perhaps to increase the number of his chapels; but numerous as these may be, it will be inferred, from the following considerations, that the great majority of them are more ancient, and belong to a time when arbitrary dedication was not the usual practice. Many of them are dedicated to the same Saint as the mother church; but this, it will be observed, is an extension of the principle of subordination. The remainder are almost uniformly subordinate to churches of Welsh Saints of contemporary or older date. If it were the custom to build chapels and dedicate them to St. David in later ages, they would be found occasionally subordinate to Saints of a later generation, or to those of the Romish Calendar; but such is not the case. If it were the custom to dedicate churches to St. David as to St. Peter, St. John, and others, it would be expected that they were dispersed over the country indiscriminately; but, on the contrary, they are strictly local, being grouped together in certain districts, over which his personal influence must have extended. In the six counties of North Wales there is not one church that bears his name. In the original Diocese of Llandaff he has but two chapels, and only three in what is supposed to have been the original Diocese of Llanbadarn; all the rest, including every one of the endowments, are in the district of which, as Archbishop of Caerleon, or Menevia, he was himself the Diocesan. The Cathedral of St. David's is in the territory of his maternal grandfather, the neighbourhood of Henfynyw appears to have been the property of his father, and Llanddewi Brefi is situated on the spot where he refuted the Pelagian Heresy.
* Life of St. David, in Wharton's Anglia Sacra.
General Observations on the Welsh Saints, as distinguished from those
of the Roman Catholic Church.
The three Saints,* whose churches have been examined, happen to be the best specimens that could have been selected to represent so many classes of foundations; and it is hoped the arrangement will not prove inconsistent with the testimony of ecclesiastical historians. The oldest churches in Wales are called after the names of certain holy persons, who are reputed to have been their founders; but a difficulty presents itself in the question—to whom were they dedicated ? for their patron Saints are unknown, and it cannot be supposed that their founders would raise churches in honour of themselves. The objection, that they must have been erected to the memory of these persons after their decease, would perhaps be admitted as insuperable, if it could not be shown from authentic documents, that the belief current in the Principality since the eleventh century has been to the contrary. The popular explanation is, that they were called after the names of their founders, upon the principle that a house is
* The pre-eminence of these Saints did not escape the notice of Gwynfardd ; the concluding lines of his poem are,
“Cyfodwn, archwn arch ddiommedd, Drwy eirioledd Dewi, a Duw a fedd. Gwae a nâd gwen-wlad gwedi masw
Drwy eirioledd Mair, mam radlonedd,