W. J. (William Jenkins) Rees.

Lives of the Cambro British saints, of the fifth and immediate succeeding centuries, from ancient Welsh & Latin mss. in the British Museum and elsewhere, with English translations and explanatory note online

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Online LibraryW. J. (William Jenkins) ReesLives of the Cambro British saints, of the fifth and immediate succeeding centuries, from ancient Welsh & Latin mss. in the British Museum and elsewhere, with English translations and explanatory note → online text (page 1 of 57)
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LIVES

THE CAMBRO BRITISH
^aíntö, •



OP TIIR FIFTH AND IMMEDIATE SUCCERDING CENTURIES

FROM ANCIENT HSelsi) «C 3Cat(n iW%S,IN THE BRITISH

MUSEUM AND ELSEWHERE, WITH ENGLISH

TRANSLATIONS, AND EXPLANATORY

NOTES;



BY TRE REV. W. J. REES, M.A. F.S.A.



Zi)tWBsm M^Ê). ^Otisti^*



LLANDOVERY:

PRINTKl) AND PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM REES ; LONDON,
LONGMAN, & CO ; ABERGAVENN V, J. H. MORGAN.




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frntii mjinm tljr Ŵitnr Ijns rrrriurii srurrnl iiinrks of jirraiiinl Iduìi-

mm, tjjp fnllniuiiig Wiá, rDiitniiiiiig tljr lifr nf liin ìiÌDÍiiigtiialjrìi

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nf Iniig HÍniiìiing in jiis Tnrìisliip'D lîliiirrsr,

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'OES Y BYD 1"R lAITH GYMRAEG."



^oríftp for ti)t f iẃlícatíon of Çímimt mìúöh
iîflauuörríiJtö.

patroness,

IIER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA.

^attonijtU also 6ij

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PKINCE ALUEIIT,
HER ROYAL inGHNESS THE DUCHESS OF KENT.
IIS IMI'ERIAL HIGHNESS THE CZARBVECH THE HBBEDlTAilY GRAND DUKE
ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA. (§

PrestDent,

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE EARL OF POWIS

■Fite^ptesiUcnts,

His Oracc The Duke of Beaufort, K.G. The Right Hon. Conseiller Joukovsky.

Hisliraio The Duke of Newcastle K.G. The Hon. E. Llovd Mostyn, M.P.

ilis(îr;ice The Duke of Sutherland. lÎBRrAH Iìotfirld, of N(trton lUill. Esq. &I.P.

rill' Mnvt II. in. Tliii Marquess of Camden. Sir Stephen R. Glvnne, Bart. M.P.

Ill, Mu-i II,.,, TI, JiARQUEss OF Anglesey. W. Ormsby Gore, of Porkington, Esq. M.P.
II,, I, I, M M, i-arlofShaftesrury. Sir B. Hall, of Llanover, Bart. M.P.
II,, ,, Darl OF DuNRAVEN. .1. H. ViviAN, of Singleton, Esq. M.P.

I li, i: ! M , i ,, |,:arl Cawdor, F.R.S. Sir Charles Morgan, of Tredegar, Bart.

II,, I, ht I.-, , I ,i, Li>RD Bishop of St. David's. Octavius Morgan, of Tredegar, Esq. M.P.
I'h. liiüiii II, i". l.oi;u Dynevor. Sir .J. Walmsley, of Wavertree IlalL M P.

I'lu' liiKlit linn. Lord Mostyn. Colonel Wood, of Littleton, Middlesex,

rhe Right Hon. Lord Milford. W. A. Williams, Esq. of Llangiby Castle.

His Excellency The Chevalier Bunsen, Prussian Minister Plenipotentiary.

His Exeellency Mons. Van dbr Wevbii. Belgian Minister Pleniiiotentiary.

ffiommittct,

Sir Benjamin Hall, of Manmcr, .AI,.niii.intlisliiiT, Hart. M.P., Chairman,
Ootavius Morgan, i.f TrcUçur. l\l,,nm,,iilline. i:s,|., iM.P. P.R.S., P.G.S., &c.
JohnBruee I'ryee, of Ilyll'ryn. iaii.slin\-. |,:s(iuirc.
WilUam Williams. ..f AberpeiKwrn, i:lalii..isan>hiic. Esquire.
Rev. W. J. Rees. M.A. F.S.A., Cascob Rectory, liadnorshire.
Rev. John Evans, Llanover Vicai'age, Monmouthshire.



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Honorary Foreign Secretary.— Monsier Rio, of Llanarth, Monmouthsliire.

ISanicrs,

Messrs. Williams. Deacon, and Co. London. Messrs. .Jones, Loyd, and Co. Loudo



Cfjr tmúÿì) áW^^. aiocitti).

Has been formed for tlie [lurpose of transcribing and printing the more important oi
the numerous unpublished Bardic and Historieal Remains of Wales, still extant in the
Prineipality, and other parts of the world, that have hitherto been allowed to continue
in a state of obscurity, without any effective measures being adopted to lay their contents
before the public, and secure them from the various accidents to which they are liable.
In addition to the general decay which, from their perishable nature, these vuiicrablc rLlii 3
have been for ages undergoing, whole collections have, within a simrt 5i>aiu of time,
been destroyed by tìr*- ; and of those MSS. dispersed throughout the country, numbers
known to have cxi-t. 1 :i ii -. y .n- ,il:o, are now no where to be found.

Besides the inti t :i li . ;iii('icnt documents possess, as objects of antiquarian

curiosity, and as < ^ ; ' , S. i-lucidation of British History, they have a claim to

attention of a far i ■ l^' ii- i.il < ii:ir;icter, as being intimately connected with the origin

and progress of modern Knropcan Literature; for it is among the legends and traditions
of the Welsh that many of the materials are to be found, which supplied the nations of
the Continent with their earliest subjects of composition, and produced those highly
imaginative works that continue to exercise so powerful an influence to the present day.

A great mass oflpistmical information, relating to the thirteenth, fourteenth, and
fifteenth centuries, 19 contained in the unpublished Poetry of Wales ; from which an
intimate acquaintance with the state of Society during those periods may be obtained ;
the Welsh Bards being the Chroniclers of the times in which they lived, and their Poems
chiefly addressed to the leading men of the day. Besides Poetry, there is still existing
unpublished a large collection of Prose, both Historical and Legendary.

The first Work that engaged the attention of the Committee, was the LiiiEa Lan-
DAVEKSis, or Llyfr Teho, comprising nearly 700 Royal 8vo. pages; gratuitously edited
and translated by the Rev. W. J. Rees, M. A. F.S.A. &c. has been for some time before the
PubUc.

The second Work issued by the Society, the Heraldic Visitations of V/ales, and its
Marches, by Lewys Dwnn, Deputy Herald at Arms, Temp. Ehzabeth, was put into the
Press at the joint risk of the Society and the Publisher, and was completed in two very
largo Imperial Quarto Volumes, under the gratuitous and able superintendence of the
late Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, K.H. LL.U. F.S.A. &c., assisted by W.W. E. Wynne,
Esq. M.P., and Mr. Joseph Morris, of Shrewsbury.

The third of the Society's Works consists of the loLO MSS. being a Miscellaneous
Selection of Ancient AVelsh MSS. in Prose and Poetry, from the originals collected
by the late Edward Williams, {Ivlo Morgaiitcg) for the purpose of forming a coiitinuation
of the Myvyrian Archaiology, and afterwards proposed to be used as iii.(i> 1 i:ils i,, ;i x.w
History of Wales. Edited with Notes and Translations, by his s.n ' i^i>

All loLO, of llerthyr Tydvil. This work in consequence of the si in : .. 1 ub-

scquent death of its Editor, was completed by the late Rev. T. Pritr, ( u nlm n , >■,, , aiul
published a short tin;. 1, i„i, In- ,1, ...!,.

The present V. .Inn 1 ,1 ^l1,l!ll British Saints, from Ancient JiSS. in

the British Musiin II 1 , 1, ! 1 gratuitously prepared for the press and cdi-

ed by the Editor ot ih I 1 1 ik 1, >xn . m -. .-^ tlie Rev. W.J. Kees, M.A. F.S.A. iic. and
will bo followed imnu'iliatuly by tlic Works enumerated below; —

The Meddyuon Myddpai, or a Compendium of the Medical Practice of the celebrated
Rhiwailon and his Sons, Cadwgan, Gruflydd, and Einion, of Myddfai, in Caermarthen-
shire, Physicans to Rhys Gryg, lord of Dynevor and Ystrad Towy, son of Gruflydd ap
Rhys, the hist Prince of South AVales, about the year 1230.— Edited by John Pughe,
Esq. M.K.C.S. of Pcnhelyg House, Aberdovey.

The Ancient Welsh Grammar made by Edeyrn Dakod Aur, at the injunction and
desire of Llywulyn ap Grtiflydd, (prince of Wales from 1254 to 1282,) Rliys Vychan,
lord of Dynevor and YstJ-ad fowy; and Morgan Vychan, lord paramount of Morganwg.
Edited by the Rev. John Williams, ( Ab llhH,) M.A. Editor of the Areha;ologia Cam
brensis, and Author of the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of tlie Cymry, &c. &c.
»A New Edition of the Mvvykian Archaiology of Wales, with English Transla-
tions, is being pMpared for the Press, and will be published so soon as a suflicient number
of Subscribers is obtained to defray the expense of printing. It will comprise four
or fivo Volumes, Royal Octavo, price to Subscribers 2l9. each.

The following MSS. have also been recommcndcdfor Publication.— 1 1 11 I,. Pihii l.i i\
ELWY or the Red Book of St. Asaph,— Chronicles of Wales, in ili. I ! .' I 1 . ,ia.
— Chroniclhsof Wales, in theKecordOflice.— Theineditedmati I I I 1 1 i .„",r
o Heroest, in the Library of Jesus College, Oxford —Registrum iLi... ,.~ ., I,i,mi>
SOCK.— Ancient RECOHOs^Temp. Edward HI. belongingto the Maii,.i I ...,11 ..1 Kmliin.




prrfiìff.



fìfì)t following collection of " Lives," consists of legend-
^ ary biographical accounts of several pious persons, mIio
in the early age of the ancient British Church, obtained great
eminence and distinction in Wales ; and were called Saints
on account of their withdrawing themselves fi-om secular
concerns, and devoting their time and attention to reli-
gious matters, and particularly to the building of churches,
and the founding of pious institutions.

The publication of the work was undertaken by the Welsh
MSS. Society, in order to supply a desideratum in the liter-
ature of our country, by so far completing the series of the
Lives of the most celebrated of the Cambro British Saints
commenced in the Liber Landavensis, as to form a con-
tinuation and be a companion volume to that work, the
Lives in both being of the same character, and apparently
written about the same time.

The purpose for which, these and similar "Lives" were
compiled, was to give information how the holy persons that
they commemorate lived, and to set their mode of living
as an example for others to follow, and accordingly they
were appointed to be read in time of, and as part of divine
service, whereby the hearers would receive a knowledge of
the various particulars of their conduct, and be excited to
imitate them. And being thus read for the purpose of
conveying religious instruction and inciting to pious con-



duct. tlicvNvcrc oallod Lcfjcnds, in ODiitradistinctioii to Hom-
ilies, or Discoursea, whicli latter were spokm, and intended
to promote tlic religious edification of the hearers by Pre-
cept, as the desiijn of these Lives was to effect the same
purpose by Example.

The days of the year, on M'liich these Lives of the Saints
were appointed to be thus publicly read, were those of their
festivals, which were the days of their death, and considered
to be their birth days, being those whereon they entered into
a state of happiness; on which days, their good deeds were
related by reading such Lives as are herein recorded ; and
the very solemn language, in which tliese Lives were writ-
ten, and particularly concluded, and of which the Collects
connected \\ath them consisted, evinces the desire that a
deep impression should be made on the hearers ; of which
Collects, specimens are given in this volume connected with
St. David,^ and St. Curig;^ the like to which, were in the
same manner uttered after the pulilic reading of the Lives
of all other Saints.

The time when these "Lives" were compiled,'^ is not
known, but it was jirobably about the twelfth century, when
the descendants of the Norman invaders were desirous to
render more intimate the connection that existed between
the British and Roman Churches, and to conciliate the Welsli
by wi-iting favourable jiarticulars of their national Saints,
whom they venerated. And it may be concluded that all those
Lives were originally written in Latin, it being a general
language known to the Clergy, and that they were subse-
quently abridged and translated by them into Welsh to be
read in their churches. And wc have in this work a i-peci-
men of the manner in wliich it was done, in the Lives of

' PagoB 144, 447. = Pages 27t>, 609. ^ It lias been observed that a good deal of the Life
of St. nityd is in Hexameter Verse, and it is thought that other parts of it are in Kliymc



St. David, where the former of the two, in Welsh,' is an
abridgement of the latter in Latin; ^ in the same way, as in a
later period, some of the Cambro British Clergy translated
and adapted English sermons to suit their Welsh congre-
gations.

The Lives of the Saints being of so much importance,
and used regularly in public worship, it may be concluded
that at one time copies of them were numerous, but as
few of them are at present to be met with, the scarcity
may be attributed to the circumstance, that when a change
was taking place in the religion of the country, great pains
would be taken to destroy what would be considered to
uphold the old system. The Editor is not aware whether
there is any ancient collection of the Lives of the Welsh
(or more properly the Cymric) Saints, besides those in the
British Museum, and a few separate single ones in the
collection of the Earl of Macclesfield, and in the library of
Jesus College, Oxford, from which sources the Lives in
this Volume have been extracted. In the year 1366, a
collection of them was written by John of Tinmouth, a
monk of St. Alban's, of which there is a copy in the Cotton-
ian library,^ but being illegible from the effects of fire, it
cannot be ascertained whether the Lives therein recorded
are the same as those in this volume, or are abridgements.
A collection of the Lives of the English Saints, extracted
from the said work of John of Tinmouth, was published
by John Capgrave, an Austin friar, in 1516;*' and the
learned Jesuits at Antwerp, Bolandus and his continuators



' Pagfs iiyl, 402. = Pages 117, 418. ^ Sanctiloginm JohannisTinmuthensis. Tiberius
E 1. 18 f. It ii:is been supposed that there is a copy of this MS. in the Lambeth Library,
but on examination it was found that what is there written by John of Tinmouth is not
the Sanctilogium, but E.\tract8 from various authors respecting the origin of the Britons.
* Nova Legcnda Angliie 1510.



have, in their voluminous work, commenced in the year
1643,^ given several particulars of the Cambro-British
Saints, but on collating them, what they both contain were
found to be abridgements of those inserted in this volume.
Another work which contains abridgements of the same
Lives, is that of the Rev. Alban Butler, with the title of "The
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints;"^ and
lately a work was published with the title of "The Cister-
cian Saints in England", and afterwards called "The Lives
of the English Saints,"' which contains an abridged Life of
the Cambro-British Saint Gundleus (Gwynllyw.)

With respect to the materials, from which these Lives
were written, it may be observed that in the Life of St.
David, herein inserted, the writer states that he had collected
Avhat had been found in the most ancient writings of the
country, which, although corroded by the constant devour-
ing of moths, and a long series of years, had escaped.*
And it may be concluded that the writers of the other
Lives had similar materials to work with ; and that their
foundation was in general truth, although they were prin-
cipally intended to excite devotion, by exalting and perhaps
exaggerating the meritorious deeds, and dignity of the
canonized Saints, yet they incidentally exhibit information
to be sought for in vain elsewhere.^

Respecting the authority of the various miracles herein
related to have been performed by the Saints, the reader
will of course form his own opinion. It may however be
observed, that Roman Catholic writers have not unanimous



' Acta Sanctorum coUccta, digesta, notis illustrata, J. Bollando ct aliis, Antwerp. CO
Tol. fol. 1643—1736. = C)f this work there are several editions, the tliird in 12 vol. 8vo.
Edinburgh, 1798, and the last, 2 vol. 8vo. Dublin and London, 1838. ' This work
was commenced in 1844, and the 14th part was published in 1845. 12mo, London.

* l'.ngo 416. '■ "Monumcnta Historira Britannica," ful. Londun, 1843. Page 39.



sentiments relating to them; while one tells us that there
is no reason why they should not be received as matters of
fact, and that there is nothing in them to repel a properly
taught, and religiously disposed mind ; ^ another informs us
that the Lives of the Saints, are not to be considered as
strict biographies but as edifying stories composed from
tradition, and designed not so much to relate facts as to
produce a religious impression on the mind of the hearer.^
In " Butler's Lives of the Saints," the author tells us that
entirely to omit the mentioning of miracles would be an
infidelity in history, yet he is very sparing in giving an
account of them, deeming it sufficient to refer the reader
to the original records.^ Whereas in the said "Lives of
the English Saints," lately published, they are particularly
related according to their deemed importance.

In the arrangement of the Lives related in this volume,
regard is paid to the letters of the alphabet commencing
the names of the Saints, whereby the reader is enabled to
find the more readily the Life of any particular Saint
wanted; except in the case of St. David, where the Welsh
Life being the shortest, is placed before that which follows,
as introductory to it. And the reader is further informed
that the Lives in the Appendix were placed therein, be-
cause they were not of Cambro-British Saints, but were,
notwithstanding, connected with Wales: the two former,
those of St. Catharine and St. Margaret, being in the
Welsh Language, and the Saints themselves having Welsh
churches dedicated to them; and with respect to the three
latter, those of St. Aldus, St. Brendanus, and St. Tathan,



1 "Lives of the English Saints," No. 2, Advertisement to the Life of St. Richard,
Pages iii, iv. - "Lives of the English Saints," No. 4. Life of St. Nects. Page 74.

' Introductory discourse to Butler's Lives of the Saints, Pages jcIt, xlvi.



the Saints, although natives of Ireland, had passed much of
their time in the Welsh country. The other articles intro-
duced in the Appendix are connected vith the main subject
of the volume, and in accordance with the objects of the
Welsh MSS. Society.

These "Lives" are deemed of considerable importance
in indicating the manners and customs, habits and feelings
of the people of the ages, in which they were compiled.
An able Reviewer, in the Athenaeum, states that a perusal
of such Älemoirs was "absolutely necessary to all who
would understand the condition of the Ancient British
Church, and of ancient British Society." He further sug-
gests that " a work on the Church of Wales, with full Bio-
graphies of the more ancient Saints, and an inquiry into
the state of Literature and Manners from the earliest period,
to the time of Giraldus Cambreusis, if compiled not merely
from AVelsh Publications, but also from the MSS. dispersed
in Libraries throughout the country, would be of exceeding
value, and of exceeding interest ;" and it may be said, would
form an appropriate sequel to the Essay of the late Pro-
fessor Rees, on the Welsh Saints. The Liber Landavensis
and the present Work supply many requisite materials,
which have been gleaned from the ancient MSS. to which
the Reviewer refers, and it is hoped that some competent
person Avill undertake to comjilete the Inquiry which he
suggests; and which has been partially accomplished in
the two very able works, " Williams's Ecclesiastical Anti-
quities of the Cymry," and "Stephens's Literature of the
Kymry." The province of the AVelsh JMSS. Society being
the publication of original MSS. with translations and
Notes, leaves to the future historian the office of eluci-
dating the particulars, and reducing the several related
facts into regular history.



The "Lives" now presented to the public were Transcri-
bed from original MSS. deposited in the British Museum,
and elsewhere; and were partially prepared for the Press
by the late lamented Rev. T. Price, Carnhuanawc; they
were subsequently re-copied and carefully collated with the
originals by the present Editor, who takes pleasure in
acknowledging the courtesy he received from the officers
in attendance at the British Museum, in readily supplying
him with such MSS. as he wished to procure for the pur-
pose of making extracts. lie likewise acknowledges with
pleasure the kindness he received from the Principal and
Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford, in permitting him to
make extracts from MSS. in their Library ; and from the
late Earl of Macclesfield, who once allowed him access to
the valuable collection in his Lordship's possession, formerly
the property of the celebrated Welsh scholar, the Rev.
MoseS Williams. Unfortunately he was unable to make
more extensive transcripts in consequence of a fall which he
had, that obliged him to return home, and after his recovery
His Lordship did not find any time convenient to allow him
to return and complete his projected labours, which had he
been enabled to do, the present volume would have been
rendered still more interesting.

The Editor also feels pleasure in returning his thanks to
Howel W. Lloyd, Esq. of St. Leonard's on the Sea, for
supplying him with copies of the Hymns to St. Curig ; ^ and
to the eminent Irish paleologist, Eugene Curry, Esq. for
restoring, and translating the ancient Irish sentences in the
Life of St. Aidus.^ There is so much matter in the present
volume of interest common to Wales and Ireland, that the

1 Pages 276, 609. ' Page 573.



the Saints, although natives of Ireland, had passed much of
their time in the AVelsh country. The other articles intro-
duced in the Appendix are connected with the main subject
of the volume, and in accordance with the objects of the
Welsh ÄISS. Society.

These "Lives" are deemed of considerable importance
in indicating the manners and customs, habits and feelings
of the people of the ages, in which they were compiled.
An able Reviewer, in the Athenaeum, states that a perusal
of such INIemoirs was "absolutely necessary to all who
would understand the condition of the Ancient British
Church, and of ancient British Society." He further sug-
gests that " a work on the Church of Wales, with full Bio-
graphies of the more ancient Saints, and an inquiry into
the state of Literature and INIanners from the earliest period,
to the time of Giraldus Cambrensis, if compiled not merely
from "\"\''elsh Publications, but also from the INLSS. dispersed
in Libraries throughout the country, would be of exceeding
value, and of exceeding interest ;" and it may be said, would
form an appropriate sequel to the Essay of the late Pro-
fessor Rees, on the Welsh Saints. The Liber Landavensis
and the present AVork supply many requisite materials,
which have been gleaned from the ancient MSS. to -which
the Reviewer refers, and it is hoped that some competent
person will undertake to complete the Inquiry which he
suggests; and which has been partially accomplished in
the two very able works, " Williams's Ecclesiastical Anti-
quities of the Cymry," and "Stephens's Literature of the
Kymry." The province of the Welsh JMSS. Society being
the publication of original ÄISS. with translations and
Notes, leaves to the future historian the office of eluci-
dating the particulars, and reducing the several related
facts into regular history.



The "Lives" now presented to the public were Transcri-
bed from original MSS. deposited in the British Museum,
and elsewhere; and were partially prepared for the Press
by the late lamented Rev. T. Price, Carnhuanawc; they
were subsequently re-copied and carefully collated with the
originals by the present Editor, who takes pleasure in
acknowledging the courtesy he received from the officers
in attendance at the British Museum, in readily supplying
him with such MSS. as he wished to procure for the pur-
pose of making extracts. He likewise acknowledges with
pleasure the kindness he received from the Principal and
Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford, in permitting him to
make extracts from JMSS. in their Library ; and from the
late Earl of Macclesfield, who once allowed him access to



Online LibraryW. J. (William Jenkins) ReesLives of the Cambro British saints, of the fifth and immediate succeeding centuries, from ancient Welsh & Latin mss. in the British Museum and elsewhere, with English translations and explanatory note → online text (page 1 of 57)