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The Welsh Saints from the Death of Maelgwn Gwynedd A. D. 566 to the
close of the Sixth Century.
The princes of North Vales in this interval were suca cessively Rhun ab Maelgwn, Beli ab Rhun, and Iago ab Beli ;* but according to Geoffrey of Monmouth the sovereignty of the Britons was assumed by Ceredig, a man of turbulent disposition, who was perpetually engaged in feuds with other chieftains, by which the nation was so much weakened that it could oppose
but a feeble resistance to the Saxons, from whose ravages it suffered to a degree unprecedented; and though the bards and genealogists mention nothing of Ceredig, sufficient evidence may be gathered from their testimony to show that their countrymen were at this time harassed with intestine warfare. The Saxons also, as may be learned from their own accounts, had pushed their conquests so far as the Severn, and founded the kingdom of Mercia, the last and most extensive of the states of the Heptarchy. Under these circumstances it cannot be surprising that the saints of this period are few, and the information to be gleaned respecting them, though at all times meagre, is henceforward exceedingly scanty. Tradition loves to dwell on the events of prosperity, and nations, like individuals, are not fond of recounting their ill-successes.
* Maelgwn Gwynedd must have lived to a great age, for his generation properly belongs to the commencement of the century. Rhun, Beli, and Iago, (who are respectively his son, grandson, and great-grandson,) followed in rapid succession, and it is agreed that Cadfan, his descendant in the fourth degree, commenced his reign soon after the year 600.
The bishop who presided over the see of Llandaff was Oudoceus, of whom it was asserted in the middle ages, that he made an acknowledgement of submission to St. Augustin, archbishop of Canterbury, and received consecration at his hands ;* but the legend, for it deserves no better name, is so contrary to authentic history and inconsistent with the state of the Welsh Church for two centuries after the time of Oudoceus, that it does not require a serious refutation. Had the early Catholic writers of this islandt been able to prove that a Welsh bishop had submitted to Canterbury, they might have gained a political purpose and terminated an important ecclesiastical controversy; but they invariably describe the British Christians as holding no communion with the Anglo-Saxons, and celebrating the passover without fellowship with the Church of Christ. The memory of Oudoceus has been held in great reverence at Llandaff, where he has had the honour of ranking with Dubricius and Teilo as one of the patron saints of the cathedral. His commemoration is July 2.
Ceneu, the bishop of Menevia contemporary with Oudoceus, was the founder of Llangeneu, a church which once existed in Pembrokeshire, but the settlement of the Flemings in that county has obliterated all traces of its situation.Ş
Lleuddad, called also Llawddog, the son of Dingad ab Nudd Hael and Tefrian or Tonwy a daughter of Llewddyn Luyddog; he ended his days in the Isle of Bardsey, and is sometimes
* Liber Landavensis.
The first instance of submission to Canterbury, that can be authenti. cated, happened between the years 871 and 889, when Lwmbert or Hubert Sais, bishop of St. David's, and Cimeliauc or Cyfelach, bishop of Llandaff, were consecrated by Ethelred, its eighteenth archbishop. The second instance of submission on the part of the bishops of St. David's did not occur before the eleventh century. Compare the Welsh Chronicles with the notes to the Latin edition of Godwin's Bishops.
§ It is noticed in the Laws of Hywel Dda. Myv. Archaiology, Vol. III.
confounded with Lleuddad, the companion of Cadfan, who was at least half a century older. The chapel of Llanllawddog under Abergwyli, Carmarthenshire, is dedicated to the son of Dingad, who was also the founder of Cenarth, and Penboir, Carmarthenshire, and Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire. Festival Jan. 15.
Baglan, a son of Dingad, was the saint to whom Llanfaglan under Llanwnda, Carnarvonshire, and Baglan under Aberafon, Glamorganshire, are dedicated.
Gwytherin ab Dingad, the founder of a church called Gwytherin in the county of Denbigh, at which place Gwenfrewi or St. Winefred was afterwards buried.
Tygwy ab Dingad, a saint to whom Llandygwy or Llandygwydd, Cardiganshire, is ascribed.
Tyfrîog, otherwise Tyfrydog, ab Dingad, the founder of Llandyfrîog in the county of Cardigan, which has also been called Llandy fry dog.
Eleri, daughter of Dingad, a saint who lived at Pennant in the parish of Gwytherin, Denbighshire.
Aelhaiarn, a son of Hygarfael ab Cyndrwyn of Llystinwennan in Caereinion, Montgomeryshire. He was the founder of Llanaelhaiarn, Merionethshire, and Cegidfa or Guilsfield in the county of Montgomery. Festival, Nov. 1.
Llwchaiarn, another son of Hygarfael; the patron saint of Llanllwchaiarn and Llanmerewig, Montgomeryshire, and of Llanychaiarn, and Llanllwchaiarn, Cardiganshire.* Festival, Jan. 11.
Cynhaiarn, brother of Llwchaiarn, a saint to whom Ynys Cynhaiarn, a chapel under Cruccaith, Carnarvonshire, is dedicated.
* Llanmerewig was formerly a chapel to Llanllwchaiarn, its neighbour; and Llanychaiaro, Cardiganshire, was subject to Llanbadarn Fawr in the same county.
Tyfrydog, the son of Arwystli Gloff ab Seithenin and Tywynwedd daughter of Amlawdd Wledig; he was the founder of Llandyfrydog, Anglesea. Festival, Jan. 1.
Twrnog or Teyrnog, brother of Tyfrydog ; Llandyrnog, Denbighshire, is attributed to him.
Tudur, brother of Tyfrydog, a saint to whom Darowain, Montgomeryshire, is attributed. Mynyddyslwyn, Monmouthshire, is ascribed by Ecton to St. Tudur, but it is doubtful whether the same person is intended. Festival, Oct. 15.*
Dier or Diheufyr, a brother of Tyfrydog, and founder of Bodfari in Flintshire. He is called Deiferus in the legend of St. Winefred.
Marchell, a sister of Tyfrydog, the foundress of Ystrad Marchell in Montgomeryshire, where an abbey was afterwards built, called Strata Marcella. Capel Marchell under Llanrwst is called after her name.
Ufelwyn, or as he is styled in Latin, Ubilwynus, the son of Cennydd ab Aneurin y Coed Aur, was the founder of a church in Glamorganshire called Llanufelwyn; the situation of which seems to correspond with St. George's near Cardiff, as in the division of the county upon the settlement of the Normans, the lordship of St. George, which was granted by Robert Fitzhammon to John Fleming, is sometimes called the lordship of Llanufelwyn.t. Ufelwyn succeeded St. Oudoceus as bishop of Llandaff.
Ffili, the son of Cennydd ab Gildasg y Coed Aur; a saint
* The wake at Darowain is held eleven days afterwards. See page 240. + Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II. p. 526.
| It is not known who was the successor of Ufelwyn, as, according to the Chronicle of Caradog, Aidan, the next bishop in Godwin's list, was slain by the Saxons in the year 720, a full century after the age of Ufelwyn; but the lists of bishops of Llandaff and St. David's are very corrupt between the sixth and ninth centuries.
§ “Gildas”—the same person as Aneurin in the notice of the preceding saint.-See page 225.
to whom it is said the church of Rhos Ffili in Gower, now known by the name of Rhos Sili, is dedicated.*
Tyssilio, the son of Brochwel Ysgythrog ab Cyngen ab Cadell and Arddun daughter of Pabo Post Prydain, is said to have been bishop of St. Asaph ; and according to the situation which he occupies in his pedigree he must have been the immediate successor of Asaf, to whom he was cousin in the first degree. His father, Brochwel, was the reigning prince of Powys; and Cynddelw, a bard of the twelfth century, adverts with pride to the circumstance that the saint was “nobly descended of high ancestry.”+ The life of Brochwel, which extends beyond the usual period, was protracted to the next generation, but the military affairs of the province were already administered by Cynan Garwyn, one of his sons, who shared largely in the feuds of the times, and a poem of Taliesin describes his victorious career along the banks of the Wye, in the Isle of Anglesey, on the hills of Dimetia, and in the region of Brychan; chieftains trembled and fled at his approach, and he slaughtered his enemies with the gory blade. On the other hand, the pursuits of Tyssilio, independently of his profession, were of a peaceable nature. He was a bard, and is reported to have written an ecclesiastical history of Britain, which is now lost, though it is alleged to have been preserved in manuscript so late as the year 1600.9 It has been said that the fabulous Chronicle of the Kings of Britain, edited by Walter de Mapes and afterwards amplified by Geoffrey of Monmouth, was originally compiled by Tyssilio; but it is now generally agreed that the statement is unfounded, and the Chronicle contains a heap of extravagant fables respecting
* Cambrian Biography, Qu. From whom does Caerffili derive its name? + “Mat ganet o genedyl voned.”—Myv. Archaiology, Vol. I. p.
244. | Trawsganu Cynan Garwyn. Myv. Archaiology, Vol. I. p.
168. Correspondence of the late Rev. Evan Evans (Prydydd Hir,) published in the Cambrian Quarterly, Vol. I. p.