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Áedán [St Áedán, Aidan] (d. 651), missionary and bishop, was an Irish monk of Iona. All that is known about him comes from Bede's Historia ecclesiastica, completed in 731. King Oswald of the Northumbrians (r. 634–42) converted to Christianity while in exile from ...

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Alchfrith [Ealhfrith] (fl. c. 655–c. 665), sub-king of Deira, was the son of Oswiu, king of Northumbria (d. 670), and of Rhiainfellt, granddaughter of Rhun, king of Rheged. He became sub-king of the Deirans under Oswiu, c.655, after the battle of ...

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Ambrosius Aurelianus [called Emrys Wledig] (fl. 5th cent.), military leader, successfully resisted the Anglo-Saxon advance across Britain. What little specific information can be established about him and his activities derives from chapter 25 of the De excidio Britanniae by Gildas, which was the source for ...

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Asaf [St Asaf, Asaph, Asa] (supp. fl. 6th cent.), bishop, is the patron of St Asaph and the nearby Llanasa in north-east Wales. According to late medieval and early modern Welsh saints' genealogies, he was the son of Sawyl Benuchel ap Pabo Post Prydain...

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Balliol, Bernard de (d. 1154x62), baron, was the leading member of the second generation of his family in England, having succeeded to the estates of his uncle Guy by 1130–33. He is referred to as 'senior' in the Durham Liber vitae. Guy de Balliol...

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Bega [St Bega] (supp. fl. late 7th cent.), abbess of Hartlepool, was a legendary Irish saint, supposedly active in northern England in the seventh century. Her life and miracles are described in an anonymous account, probably written at the priory of St Bees...

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Boisil [St Boisil] (d. c. 661), prior of Melrose, is reliably recorded only in the pages of Bede. He was celebrated among his contemporaries as a learned and holy priest and spiritual guide, and in 651 his reputation attracted Cuthbert to his community, in which ...

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Brochfael Ysgithrog [Brochfael ap Cyngen] (supp. fl. 6th cent.), king of Powys, enjoys a reputation enhanced by his son Tysilio, the saint of Meifod. A poem ascribed to Taliesin is in praise of another son, Cynan Garwyn. A cycle of verses put into the mouth of ...

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Brychan Brycheiniog (fl. c. 500), king of Brycheiniog, was allegedly son of the Irish king Anlach, son of Coronac, and of Marchell ferch Dewdrig of south Wales. He was the legendary dynastic founder and eponym of the early medieval kingdom of Brycheiniog (Brecknockshire)...

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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 ...