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osiers and roofed it with reeds. Here he was joined by a man who
offered himself as his servant.

One day, nine robbers who infested the district, said to one another,
" There is a holy man here who instructs all, and is very good-natured ;
let us see what can be got from him."

So they visited Keneth, and he hospitably entertained them. Now
the men had left their spears outside, and Keneth's servant, coveting
one, stole it, and when the robber asked for his lance, swore that he
had not seen it. " Bring out the bosom-shaped beU,^ and I will take
oath on that." When the man had so forsworn himself he went mad,
and ran away to Menevia, " where, at the time, David had his seat,"
and there inhabited remote localities, living like a wild beast, till the
hair of his body completely clothed him. At the end of seven years,
Keneth prayed for his restoration, and the man returned to his service
a sincere penitent. Now it fell out that Morgan, prince of Glamorgan,^
came on a raid and swept together much plunder in the region where
was Keneth. The hermit thereupon sent his servant with the woman-
breasted bell to demand a share of the spoil. He met with a refusal
and abuse. Then the plunderers began to quarrel among them-
selves over the division of the spoil, came to blows, and many were
killed. Morgan, attributing this disaster to the offence given to Keneth
and disregard of the sanctity of his bell, went to him and offered
compensation. He took him up a height and bade him accept as
much ground as he desired. Keneth selected a certain amount up
to a certain river, and this was granted to him for ever.

It fell out that David, Teilo and Padarn were on their way, sum-
moning the abbots and bishops of Wales to the Council of Llanddewi
Brefi, and were hospitably received by Keneth. David requested
him to attend the synod.

" Observe my leg, I am a cripple, how can I go ? " answered Keneth.
Then David prayed, and Keneth's contracted leg was relaxed, so that
he could walk as any other man. This did not please Keneth, and he
prayed, and at once up went his limb as before and the calf once again

1 " Locus est denso arundinum tegmine circumseptus, quasi miliario uno
distans. . . Carpens igitur sanctus viam . . . antequam ad locum ab angelo
designatum devenisset, in locis ubi lassatus membra quiete fovebat, fontes
viginti quatuor tellus in planiciem decurrentes eduxit."

2 " Clocula mamillata."

3 " Quidam princeps nomine Morgantius terram, que nunc Glamorgantia
dicitur, et terras affines usque fluvium Waiam sue habebat dominio."

I I o Lives of the British Saims

adhered to his thigh. Consequently he did not attend the Council of

With this the story ends abruptly ; John of Tynemouth only adding
that Keneth died on the Kalends of August.

There are several points in this wonderful story that require con-

1. The father is called Dihoc, prince of Letavia, i.e. Brittany. Pos-
sibly Deroc is meant. This was the name of the father of Rhiwal, the
first who established a principality in Domnonia, and who received
S. Brioc. Rhiwal's son was also named Deroc, and he is supposed to
have ruled from 520 to 533.-^ Dom Morice, however, but he is of no
authority in such matters, conjectures that Dihoc stands for Dinot, son
of Budic, who married Anauved, and thus was brother of S. Oudoceus
and S. Ismael, the disciple of S. David. ^ That there existed such a
Dinot is doubtful. He seems to have been thrust into the pedigree
to serve as a hook upon which might be hung the fable of S. Ursula,
as her father is called Dinothus (or Nothus), of which the Welsh form
is Dunawd.

2. King Arthur is said to have been holding his court at Goyr ; the
place was apparently Aber Llychwr [hodie Lougher), the old Roman
station Leucarum, said by tradition to have been the principal seat of
Urien Rheged and his son Owen.^

3. The child, when born, was cast into a stream — probably the Lliw
is meant — which carried it into the Lothur (Llwchwr) , and thence into
the sea, which SAvept the cradle up on the isle Henisweryn. There
can hardly be a doubt that by Henisweryn the Worm's Head Island
is intended. It is explained as meaning in Latin insula turhce. The
name, however, is evidently compounded of Ynys and Gweryn, and
the writer in his explanation took gwerin, i.e. tiirha, for gweryn, the
worm or bot that breeds in the backs of cattle. It is also called in
Welsh Pen y Pyrod, from -pwr, a worm. Worm's Head, like Orme's
Head, is to be derived from the Norse ormr, a worm or serpent, and
is a rough translation of the Welsh name for the headland. The old

1 De la Borderie, Hist, de Bretagne, i, p. 580.

2 In the pedigree, Hist. Eccl. et Civile de Bretagne, Paris, 1750, also given by
Deric and followed by Garaby. Tresvaux, in his additions to Lobineau, Les
Saints de Bretagne, 1836, hesitates as to whether S. Quidi be Cenydd or Quinidius,
Bishop of Vaison, d. 578. But how could the cult of a merely local Provencal
saint come to Brittany ?

' The Description of Pembrokeshire, by George Owen, edited by Henry Owen,
D.C.L., where is a note (i, pp. 233-4) by Egerton Phillimore. A place called
Cae'r G^-nydd, possibly for Caer Gynydd, at Waunarlwydd, a few miles from
Loughor, may preserve the name of the place where the saint was traditionally

S. Cenycid


maps of Kip and Speed give a chapel of S. Kinetus near Worm's Head.
The Burry Holmes, a little to the north, have also been suggested for
Ynys Weryn.

4. The name in John of Tynemouth's Life is Kynedus, Kinedus and
Kenedus. Llangenydd occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv as Lann Cinith
(p. 279). WiUiam of Worcester, in his Itinerary (p. 116), calls the Saint
" Sanctus Keneth." Cenydd is a dialectic variant, like cebydd for
cybydd, and Keneth is a mere English corruption. ^
- 5. The story of the thieving disciple is made up from that of Elisha
and Gehazi, and the madness of Nebuchadnezzar.

6. Morgan, King of Morgan wg and Glywysing, is certainly an his-_
torical character. He murdered his uncle Frioc,^ and had to expiate
his crime by making grants to ecclesiastical foundations. His name
occurs several times in the Book of Llan Ddv and in the Life of S.
Cadoc. The legend unfortunately breaks off precisely where the
fabulous matter might be supposed to end, and history to begin, with
the foundation of a monastic settlement in Gower.

Turning from this childish nonsense, we come to the more reliable
information supplied by the Welsh genealogies.

In reference to the Maen Cetti on Cefn y Bryn in Gower, split by
the sword of S. David, the lolo MSS.^ relate : " There is a church
near, called Llanddewi, where they say the Saint was confessor, before
he was consecrated bishop ; and it is the oldest church in Gower.
When, moreover, he became a bishop in Caerleon on Usk, he placed a
man named Cenydd ab Aneurin ab y Caw in his stead at Llanddewi,
and that Cenydd erected a church called Llangennydd. A brother of
his named Madog * erected the church of Llanmadog " (now Llanma-
dock, in the same deanery of West Gower).

Again :^ " Cenydd ab Gildas y Coed Aur ab y Caw Cawlwyd,
His churches are Senghenydd {i.e. Caerphilly) in Glamorgan, where
he founded a Choir, and there the castle of Senghenydd was after-
wards erected. Another church of his is Llangenydd in Gower."

Again : * " S. Cenydd ab Gildas y Coed Aur founded a Bangor at
Llangennydd in Gower, and another in Senghennydd which was
destroyed by the pagan English."

Again: ' "The sons of S. Gildas ab y Caw, called Euryn y Coed Aur —
Nwython, Dolgan, Cennydd, Gwynnaw, they were saints in the Choir
of Illtyd (Llantwit Major), and in that of Catwg (Llancarf an) , their
kinsman. Cenydd founded a church and choir at Llangenydd in

• Owen, Pembrokeshire, i, p. 233. ' Book of Llan Ddv, p. 152.

' P. 83. * For Madog, see under S. Aidan. ^ lolo MSS., p. 102.

« Ibid., p. 114. ' Ibid., -p. 117.

112 Lives of the British Saints

Gower ; and another choir at Senghenydd. The latter was destroyed
by the Infidel, and the present castle stands on its site." Again : i
Cenydd is given as the son of " Gildas ab y Caw, called Gildas y Coed
Aur " ; and, " S. Ffili ab Cennydd ab y Coed Aur. He is in Gower."

Once more : 2 "Ffili, son of Cennydd ab Aur y Coed Aur. His
church is Rhos Ffili in Gower." This is Rhosilly, now dedicated to
the Blessed Virgin. Caerphilly is supposed to be called after this son
of Cenydd.

Senghenydd is the name of the mountainous district, now repre-
sented by the hundred of Caerphilly, with the town and castle of that
name on its southern frontier. It has been generally supposed to
stand for Sant or Saint Cenydd, but its earlier forms make this deriv-
ation impossible. It occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv as Seghenid, and
elsewhere under various forms, as Seghunit, Senghenith, Sainghenydd,
etc. In Welsh historical writings it has often been confounded with
Sein Henydd, the old name for Swansea Castle.

SS.Tudwg, Rhidian and Madog (his brother) were among the members
of Cenydd's Choir at Llangenydd. In Brut y Tywysogion, under the
year 986, we read, " this year the Black Danes came up the Severn
Sea in fleets and landed in Gower, where they burned Cor Cennydd
and other of the churches." ^

Among the " Sayings of the Wise " is one attributed to S. Cenydd — *

Hast thou heard the saying of Cennydd,
The son of Aneurin the skilful bard ?
" None is free from anxiety but the good."
(Nid diofal ond dedwydd.)

To sum up what we derive from the Welsh authorities : — Cenydd
was the son of Gildas, who is identified with Aneurin, but not the
Aneurin composer of the Gododin. He was himself a married man,
and the father of S. Ffili. From other entries we know the name of
another of his sons, Ufelwy or Ufelwyn.^ He was, for a while, a
member of the college of S. Illtyd, then of S. Catwg, and he was placed
by S. David in charge of his foundation in Gower ; but afterwards
he became an independent founder of a monastic establishment, or

1 lolo MSS., p. 137.

2 Ibid., p. 109. Cennit occurs in a list of the Abbots of Llantwit Major
printed in the appendix to Williams' History of Monmouthshire, 1796, p. 50.

' Myv. Arch., p. 692.

* Ibid., p. 254. In four lists, pp. 109, 116, 142, Cenydd or Cennydd is given
as a " son of Caw," but this should be grandson, in the same way as several of
the grandchildren of Brychan are called his sons and his daughters. In this
" Saying " he is called " son of Aneurin the Bard."

= lolo MSS., -p-g. 118, 137.


Ffom Statue at Ploumelin.

S. Cenydd 113

Bangor, at Llangenydd, now generally Llangennith, also in Gower.
The ruins of a chapel of S. Cenydd, at the new village of Senghenydd,
are still pointed out, and there is a Bryn Cenydd or Cynydd at Caer-

It was probably somewhere about 520 that Gildas ^ moved into
Brittany and established himself at Ruys. Later, about 544-5,
after he had launched his tract De excidio Britannia, there would seem
to have been an exodus of his brothers and sons from Wales and Corn-
wall, to escape the vengeance of the princes assailed by him in that

Whether then, or later, we do not know, but at some time, both
Cenydd and his sons seem to have been in Bro-weroc, in the neigh-
bourhood of the settlements of Gildas, where they have left their mark.

InBrittany Cenydd is called Kinede, Kidi, Quidi, Guidec and Kihouet.

His most important settlement was at Languidic,^ between Henne-
bont and Baud, at no great distance from his father's foundation at
Castanec. There the name is variously written as Kintic, Guindic
and Guidic. Here are five avenues of upright stones, like those
at Camac, now called " les soldats de S. Comely," but probably
originally attributed to S. Kinede, and the tradition is that as they
pursued the Saint, he cursed them and they were turned to stone. In
the parish are several early Celtic Christian lechs or tombstones, one
of which bears an inscription. Also, in the same commune is a Kervili,
Caer-ffili, bearing the name of one of the sons of Cenydd.^

S. Cenydd has a chapel in the parish of Ploumelin, close to his father's
monastery of Locmine. It is picturesquely situated on a granite rock
in a hamlet, and is in the flamboyant style, cruciform, with a bell-
turret to the north transept. A carved Calvary has fallen, and the
remains strew the ground at the west end. Within is an early six-
teenth century statue of the Saint as a hermit, bare-footed, holding
a book in one hand and a staff in the other. A cowl is drawn over
his head.

At Plaintel also, near Quintin, in Cotes du Nord, he is patron, and
there is a chateau in the place called after him. Saint Quihouet, now
transformed into a hospital. It was formerly a house of the Knights
Templars. Here is shown a stone trough, supposed to have been S.

"■ For the dates in the life of Gildas we must refer to our article on this Saint.

" In 1 160 Languidec was called Lankintic ; in 1290 Languindic. Le Mene,
Paroises du Diocise de Vannes, 1892, i, p. 408.

' Ibid., i, pp. 408-15. The lechs are sometimes menhirs with crosses and
other Christian symbols cut on them ; but often quite distinct, round-headed
stones. On one in Languidec is the inscription, Crax Harenbiuib Fil Heranhal.
See on the Lechs, De la Borderie, Hist, de Breiagne, ii, p. 520.

VOL. II. ^

114 Lives of the British Saints

Cenydd's bed, and frescoes represent his legend. Plaintel, again,
is at no great distance from the Gildas settlements of Magoar and La

Near Loudeac, in the same department, is S. Caradec, and here is
a chapel of S. Quidi, with his statue in it, representing him as an abbot,
staff in hand, and holding in the other an open book.

Not far from S. Caradec is La Croix des Sept Chemins. The legend
goes that seven brothers, SS. Gonery, Merhe, Connec, Derdanaon,
Quidec, Geran and Joret embraced there, and separated to preach
the Gospel throughout the land, and each founded a chapel in the
direction that he took.

All the seven brothers had been brought up by a doe. In remem-
brance of this, annually, on the eve of the Pardon, in the chapel of
S. Merhe in the parish of Kergrist-Neuillac (Morbihan) fresh straw is
strewn in the porch, and the doe is supposed to pass the night there
sleeping on it.^ This is an extension to others of the legend of S.
Cenydd, nourished by the doe. Who S. Merhe or Merec was is unknown ;
the name seems to be a corruption of Meurig. Connec may be Cynog ;
Geran is Geraint the great-grandfather of Cenydd ; Gonery is known,
but not Derdanaon nor Joret.

The sons of Cenydd have left some traces also in Brittany.

S. Cenydd is given in Nicolas Roscarrock's Calendar on August i.
This is the day also in Capgrave. The Pardon at S. Quidi is on the
Sunday after August i.

Garaby gives S. Kinede on August i, and a short sketch of his life.
Whytford on August i, says : " In Englonde the feest of Saynt Kenede
that was lame borne, and therefore he was cast in to a ryver whiche
ryver caryed hym in to y° see, and y^ see cast hym upon a rocke in
to an ylelonde where he was fedde and brought up by an augel, and
he was of singuler holynes and many wonderous myracles died in y^
tyme of Saynt David."

S. Cenydd's body was translated, and his translation kept on June 27.
WilUam of Worcester says : ^ " Translatio Sancti Kenneth here-
mitse die 3° post nativitatem Sancti Johannis Baptistse ; jacet apud
ecclesiam villas Sancti Keneth in Gowerland." But he tells us further
that the Saint's relics were removed with those of SS. David and Teilo
to North Wales. " Sanctus Davidicus de ecclesia Menevensi, Sanctus
Thebaus (Teilo) de Llandaff sepultus. Sanctus Keneth de villa
Keneth in Gowerland. Isti tres sancti et non plures sunt translati
in North WaUia."

^ Oheix (R.), Les Saints inconnus, in Association Bretonne, 1880.
2 Itin., p. 116.

S. Cewydd 115

S. Cenydd's day was observed in Llangennith on July 5, and was
the greatest and most popular of all the Gower Mabsants or wakes.
One of its peculiarities was the great quantity of what is called in
Gower " milked meat," or " white pot," a mixture of flour and milk
boiled together, that was consumed, probably in allusion to the
bringing up of the Saint in infancy on the milk of a doe injected into
a bell. This bell is said to have been called by the Welsh " Cloch
Dethog," i.e. the Titty Bell.

An ancient stone, with interlaced work on one side only, in the
centre of the chancel floor of Llangennith church, has been supposed
to mark the grave of the Saint. 1

S. Caradog, at the close of the eleventh century went into Gower,
and found there the church of S. Cenydd abandoned and desolate, and
he cleared the sacred edifice of the brambles that had occupied it.^
It is probable, therefore, that the elevation or translation took place
about this time.

Whether Lesnewth church, in Cornwall, which is said by Ecton to
have been dedicated to S. Knet, had originally Keneth or Cenydd
as its founder, it is impossible to say. S. Michael is now considered
the patron. The church, which was early Norman and of great interest,
has been wantonly rebuilt in a most uninteresting manner.



S. CEWYDD, Confessor

Cewydd was a son of Caw of Prydyn (Pictland), whose family, on
being expelled their territory in North Britain, sought an asylum in
Wales. His name occurs in most of the lists of Caw's children printed

"■ Davies (J. D.), West Gower, iii, pp. 104-6. Owen, in his Sanctorale Catho-
licum, London, 1880, p. 331, enters Cenydd under August i.
^ See under S. Caradog.

1 1 6 Lives of the British Saints

in the lolo MSS., where we are also told that he was a saint of Cor
Catwg at Llancarfan, and one doubtful entry makes him the father
of a S. Garrai of Llanarrai, i.e. Llanharry (now S. lUtyd) in Glamorgan-
shire. ^

Local nomenclature to-day connects him more especially with
Radnorshire. He is there the patron of two churches, Aberedw and
Disserth, in the Deanery of Elwel. His name enters into place-names
in two of the neighbouring parishes. There is a farm, Cil Cewydd
(his retreat), in the parish of Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, and a moun-
tain track above Llandilo Graban bears the name of Rhiw Gewydd
(his hill-slope), over which he may have journeyed to visit his brother
Meilig, or Maelog, at Llowes.^

To him was also dedicated the church of Llangewydd, near Bridgend,
Glamorganshire, now extinct, but its site is still traceable in a field
called Cae'r Hen Eglwys. In the fifteenth or sixteenth century tract
on " The Winning of the Lordship of Glamorgan " by Sir Robert
Fitzhamon and his Twelve Knights, in the eleventh century, it is
stated that Sir Richard Grenville, one of the Knights, brought with
him from the Holy Land " a famous Sarasin that was turned Christian,
Lales, a curious 'man in masonry . . . which Lales built the Town of
Laleston a goodly place, and pulled down the Church of Langewydd
and moved it to his new Town of Laleston." ^ The church, now
dedicated to S. David, is subject to Newcastle.

The Lann Ceuid (translated Podum Ceuid) of the Book of Llan
Ddv * is believed by Mr. Egerton Phillimore '' to be the Landcawet of
the grant cited in Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus , iii, p. 450, the modern
Lancaut, on the Wye near Chepstow. Cewydd (as Cewi, like Dewi
for Dewidd) is also perhaps found in Kewstoke, North Somerset ; in
Cusop, anciently Ceushope, near Hay ; and in Capel Cawey,* an extinct
" capella peregrinationis causa erecta," in the parish of Monachlog
Ddu, Pembrokeshire. Steynton church, in the same county, is given
as dedicated to a S. Cewyll, afterwards S. Peter, by whom may possibly
be intended Cewydd. Cwm Cewydd is the name of one of the town-

1 Pp. 107, 109, 117, 136, 142. Cewydd means the son of Caw. The Gaulish
JOS termination is patronymic. Cewydd Ynad was one of the laymen appointed
to compile the Welsh Laws.

2 Arch. Camb., 1888, p. 270.

^ Powell, History of Wales, ed. 1584, pp. 124-41 ; Cardiff Records, 1903, iv,.
pp. 10, 17. According to Caradog of Llancarfan 's Brut (Myv. Arch., p. 705) Lales
removed the church to Trelalys (Laleston) about 1 1 1 1. It is a doubtful story, as
Laleston was named after the family of Lageles (G. T. Clark, Cartce, iii, p. 423).
The church may be the " Eccl. de Landewddith " of the Norwich Taxatio, 1254.

* Pp. 166, 175.

' Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. :89. ° Ibid., i, pp. 96, 509.

S. Cewydd 117

ships of the parish of Llanymawddwy, Merionethshire, so called from
the brook Cewydd.

Cewydd is the Welsh Rain-Saint, and used to be credited with
determining the weather for the period of forty days, according as it
rained or otherwise on his festival. The Rainy Saint in England is
S. Swithun, July 15 ; in France, S. Medard, June 8, and SS. Gervais
and Protais, June 19 ; in Belgium, S. Godelieve, July 6 ; in Germany,
the Seven Sleepers, June 27.; and in the Tyrol the sainted Queen
Margaret of Scotland, called " Wetter Frau," June 10. Cewydd is
to-day superseded in Wales by S. Swithun, but he is still sometimes
popularly alluded to in Glamorganshire as " Hen Gewydd y Gwlaw "
{Old Cewydd of the Rain). No tradition remains to tell us how he
became the Welsh S. Swithun. The idea is probably derived from
some general pre-Christian belief regarding the meteorologically
prophetic character of some day about that period of the year.

The festival of S. Cewydd occurs as July i in the Calendar in the lolo
MSS. (" Cewydd y Glaw ") ; as the 2nd (the day on which S. Swithun
died) in the Calendars in Additional MS. 14,912 ("Gwyl Gewe ") and
Jesus College MS. 22 (" Gwyl y Glaw ") ; and as the 15th (Translation
of S. Swithun) in the Calendar in Peniarih MS. 40. At Disserth his
Wake was held on the first Sunday after S. Swithun's Day,^ and at
Aberedw in the second week in July.^

Chancellor Silvan Evans, in an article in Y Brython for 1859,^ says
that in many parts of South Wales July 15 was popularly called
Dygwyl Gewydd (or rather, Dygwyl Gawe, as uttered), and that it
was generally believed that if it rained on that day it would rain for
forty days in succession. Generally throughout North Wales that
distinction belonged rather to S. Peter's Day. He adds that it was
the popular belief in Dyfed, or South-west Wales, that the Deluge
began on July 15, lasting for forty days.

Lewis Glyn Cothi (fifteenth century), in an elegy on Morgan the
son of Sir David Gam,* says that at his death Breconshire would shed
tears, which, for profusion, would be like the rainfall on S. Cewydd's
Festival, which lasted for forty successive days.

Among the proverbial triplets, the " Sayings of the Wise," occurs
one attributed to S. Cewydd — ^

Hast thou heard the saying of S. Cewydd
To his numerous relatives ?
" There is no true friend but the Lord."
(Nid car cywir ond Dofydd.)

1 Arch. Camb., 1858, p. 603. = /jj^i., 1888, p. 271. ' Pp. 153-4-

* Gwaith L. G. C, Oxford, 1837, p. 5. ^ lolo MSS., p. 254.

1 1 8 Lives of the British Saints

S. CIAN, Confessor

Llangian Church, under Llanbedrog, in Carnarvonshire, was
founded by S. Peris, in conjunction with S. Cian, his servant. They
are both commemorated on December ii.^ Browne Wilhs gives
Llangian as well as Llanberis as dedicated to S. Peris, with festival
on that day. 2

A Cian is mentioned incidentally in the Black Book of Carmarthen,
the Book of Aneurin, and the Book of Taliessin, from which it may be
gathered that he was a warrior and bard ^ ; but the name was at that
time rather a common one, especially in Irish. As a common noun
the name means " a puppy."

S. CIANAN (KENAN), Priest, Confessor

CiANAN was a disciple of S. Jaoua (Joevin), nephew of Paul of Leon,
and probably accompanied him from Morganwg to Armorica. He was
with him for some years at Landevenec under the Abbot Judual.*

He is not, however, named among the disciples of S. Paul in the list
given in the Life of that Saint by Wormonoc.^

When, about 567, Jaoua was raised to the episcopate on the retire-
ment of his uncle, he summoned his friend Cianan to him, and ordained
him priest. He sent him to reside at Plou-cernau, now Plouguerneau,
a plebs of Cornish settlers.

After a while Jaoua was entreated to return to a monastery, over
which for a while he had been head at Daoulas, to remove a blight
that had fallen on the crops after his departure, and he probably took
his friend with him. On his way back, Jaoua sickened and died, and
was ministered to in his last moments by his disciple. According to
the legend of S. Jaoua, Cianan was at Plou-cernau, but knew by
revelation that his friend and master was ill, and so went to him. It

Online LibraryS. (Sabine) Baring-GouldThe lives of the British saints; the saints of Wales and Cornwall and such Irish saints as have dedications in Britain → online text (page 12 of 49)