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Patrick Sims-Williams

Beuno [St Beuno] (d. 653/9), holy man, was the most important saint of north Wales, comparable to David in the south. His feast on 21 April is first attested in the twelfth-century Irish martyrologies of Tallaght and of Gorman, which draw on an exemplar of ...

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Brynach [St Brynach, Bernachius, Bernacius] (fl. 6th cent.), founder of the church of Nevern, Pembrokeshire, was not of Welsh descent. His pedigree is in neither of the two main collections of saints' genealogies, Bonedd y saint and Achau'r saint, and his life, twelfth-century in its present form, fails to give the names of his parents, though it does say, probably as a mere hagiographical formula, that he was of noble descent. Much of the substance of the life is a collection of traditional narrative motifs, some purely hagiographical (such as voyaging upon a rock), others more general; it is, however, a well-constructed text written in good and vigorous Latin. There are two main sections: first, the saint's wanderings, and, second, his dealings with ...

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Cadfan [St Cadfan] (supp. fl. 6th cent.), founder of a religious settlement, was the patron saint of Tywyn (Merioneth), Llangadfan (Montgomeryshire), and perhaps a monastery on Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island); his feast day was celebrated on 1 November. There is no surviving life of ...

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Cadog [St Cadog, Cadoc, Cadfael, Cathmáel] (fl. 6th cent.), founder and abbot of Llancarfan, and brother of St Cynidr, is assigned a feast day on 24 January by the late eleventh- or early twelfth-century life by Lifris and by Welsh calendars. The life by ...

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Cybi [St Cybi, Kebi, Mo Chop] (fl. 6th cent.), founder of churches, was the patron saint of Caergybi, Holyhead. His father is given in the two, closely related, versions of his life as Salomon son of Erbin son of Gereint, but in the thirteenth-century genealogical tract on the saints, ...

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Cynidr [St Cynidr, Chenedre, Cinitr] (fl. 6th cent.), founder of churches, is not the subject of any surviving life. He was, however, one of the principal saints of south-east Wales and thus appears in the series of texts claiming kinship between important saints and heroes and the eponymous ...

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Decuman [St Decuman, Decumanus] (fl. 6th cent.), holy man, is the patron of St Decumans, Watchet, Somerset, and of Rhoscrowther (Llanddegyman), Pembrokeshire. The earliest record of him is the Welsh martyrology in BL, Cotton MS Vespasian A.XIV (c.1175–1200), recording the feast of '...

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Dogfael [St Dogfael, Dogwel, Dygfael, Dogmael] (fl. 6th cent.), holy man, is the patron saint and presumed founder of the church of St Dogmael, known in Welsh as Llandudoch, situated on the south side of the Teifi, opposite Cardigan. In 1120 a Tironian priory was established on the site under the patronage of ...

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Dyfrig [St Dyfrig, Dubricius] (supp. fl. c. 475–c. 525), holy man and supposed bishop, was founder of the churches of Hentland and Moccas in what is now south-west Herefordshire and in the early middle ages was revered in south-east Wales for his learning and wisdom. By the twelfth century, however, he had been appropriated by the expanding see of ...

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Euddogwy [St Euddogwy, Oudoceus] (supp. fl. late 6th cent.), holy man and supposed bishop, was founder of the church of Llandogo in Monmouthshire, but by the twelfth century he had been appropriated by the expanding see of Llandaff and erroneously turned into its third bishop. ...