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cruelly murdered by the English, was father of Ithel Vychan, a surname given to distinguish him from his uncle the Archdeacon, and from whom the present head of the family takes the name of Vaughan.
Ithel Vaughan resided upon his wife's estate at Holt in Denbighshire, she being the heiress of Robin, brother of Robert, living 9 Henry IV, 1408, progenitor of the house of Gwydir. His great-grandson, Richard, was living at Holt in 1488; but his son William succeeded his uncle John at Chilton in Shropshire, which had been granted by Henry VII to the family for services at Bosworth, together with a new coat of arms of the tinctures borne by Henry himself in that battle, viz., white and green, though the late Joseph Morris has it that that estate came from the Conways. Here they have flourished more or less ever since.
The writer is informed that this was suggested, some years ago, in the Arch. Camb., as the true pedigree of Owain Bendew by one well versed in Welsh genealogy, but not pressed because the author had not then seen the confirmatory passage from the genealogists of Henry VII.
It is remarkable that we have an unusual form of heraldic bearing confined to South Wales, and attributed to three eminent families there, the lion regardant. The coat of gu., three lioncels passant, regardant in pale arg., armed az., is attributed to certain princes of South Wales. The coat, or, a lion rampant, regardant sa., is attributed to Gwaithvoed, lord of Cardigan, Cibwr, and Gwent; and the coat, gu., a lion rampant, regardant or, is attributed to Elystan Glodrhudd, Prince of Ferlys, i.e., the country between the Severn and the Wye.
There seems some difficulty, however, as to this territory, since we are told in the Iolo MSS. that Glamorgan consisted of-1st, Morganwy; 2nd, Gwent, that is the land between the Usk and Wye, and the three sleeves of Gwent, Erging, Ewyas, and Ystrad Yw; 3rd, the Red Cantred between the Wye and Severn, to Gloucester Bridge, and thence to Hereford;
4th, the cantred between the Neath and Tawy; and 5th, Gower. All these lands belonged to Glamorgan from the time of King Arthur.
Now if all these territories belonged to Glamorgan from the time of Arthur to that of Jestyn, what becomes of the kingdom of Elystan Glodrudd, which is stated to consist, amongst other states, of Gloucester, Hereford, Erging, and Ewias? Gower bordered upon the Cantrev Vawr, which belonged to the princes of South Wales; but the Cantrev Eginiog, which also belonged to those monarchs, is stated to contain Cydweli, Carnwyllion, and Gower. This is accounted for by the fact that there were certain provinces which were the cause of constant disputes and wars between the princes of South Wales and those of Glamorgan.
But to return to the three coats of arms mentioned above. They are attributed (for heraldry did not become an exact science in this country until the middle of the thirteenth century) to three potentates whose possessions at an early period were either entirely taken away or severely curtailed by the Normans, and it looks as if we had here a very early piece of heraldry commemorating the defeats sustained by the Welsh. Gwilym says: "This action (i.e., regardant) doth manifest an inward and degenerate perturbation of the mind which is utterly repugnant to the most couragious nature of the lyon,cujus natura est imperterrita', according to the saying, Leo fortissimus bestiarum ad nullius pavebit occursum'.... I hold the same form of bearing to be born (not only in the lyon, but in whatsoever animals) significantly, and so commendably; forasmuch as such action betokeneth a diligent circumspection or regardful consideration of fore passed events of things, and comparing of them with things present, that he may give a conjectural guess of the effects of things yet to come and resting in deliberation, which proprieties are peculiar to men that are careful and considerate of such businesses as they do undertake." 30, Edwardes Square, Kensington. May 1889.
THE EARLY WELSH MONASTERIES.
BY J. W. WILLIS-BUND, F.S.A.
(Read at the Holywell Meeting, August 22nd, 1890.)
THE monasteries that existed in South Wales before the Norman invasion of England have not received the attention they deserve. Celtic institutions, they are a most important factor in the history both of the Celtic Church and of the Celtic Church organisation. Difficult as it may be to work out their history, not only from the paucity of the materials, but also from the fact that those materials have been unscrupulously adapted for the purposes of a rival Church, that history is full both of interest and instruction; of interest as showing that there was a time when a Christianity other than Latin was the religion of South Wales; of instruction, as giving a good example of the way in which the Latin Church conquers and extirpates her rival sisters.
Everything connected with the Celtic Church, its origin, its doctrine, its existence, have been and are the subject of controversy. Its great feature was its monasticism, and the influence monasticism had upon its development. The origin of that monasticism has been a fruitful source of dispute. Writers who seek their materials exclusively from ecclesiastical sources have propounded a theory ascribing to Celtic monasticism a Latin origin: a theory most plausible if only superficially regarded; but when examined, found to rest, as to dates, persons, and places, on a basis either unsupported by evidence, or supported by evidence altogether untrustworthy.
This difficulty has been so felt that another theory has been propounded, drawn partly from ecclesiastical, partly from secular sources, ascribing an Eastern origin. to the Celtic monasteries; but to this second theory
the objections are, if possible, greater than to the first, while the evidence in its support is even more unsatisfactory. It fails to explain the difficulties in connection with the Celtic Church in Ireland; to say nothing of the difficulties connected with the Celtic Church in Wales.
It will be well briefly to state the two theories. The first, or the Latin, ascribes the origin of monasticism to the state of things that arose after the Decian persecution. Numerous Christians who had fled for their lives to the deserts and the mountains became anchorites and hermits. The idea of the sanctity of the hermit lasted for some years; but about the time of Constantine, St. Pachomius introduced the custom of several hermits living together, and having everything in common. This developed into the monastic establishments that first appeared in Egypt and the Nitrian Desert, and rapidly spread thence over the Christian world. Under the patronage of St. Athanasius, monasteries grew up in Italy. St. Martin of Tours introduced them into France by founding the Houses of Ligugé, near Poitiers, in 361, and Marmoutier, near Tours, in 372. St. Patrick is alleged to be a disciple of St. Martin, and is said to have introduced monasticism into Ireland some time between 440 and 460. Meanwhile, Germanus, Bishop of Auxere, who came to England in 429 to confute the Pelagians, is said to have ordered monasteries to be built in England, and introduced them into Wales. A pupil of Germanus was Paul Hen (Paulinus), one of the great founders of the South Wales monasteries. Among the pupils of Paulinus were St. Teilo and St. David.
According to this theory, Celtic monasticism was merely a branch of Latin monasticism, founded by Latin monks in accordance with Latin ideas. Its acceptance at once puts an end to any idea of Celtic monasticism being a system wholly independent of the Latin Church; yet the traces we have in both the Irish and Welsh monasteries, of their prevailing opinions, customs, and habits, are so opposed to all Latin ideas,
that before this theory is adopted it requires very careful scrutiny.
The first difficulty to its acceptance are the dates. St. Martin died in 397, St. Patrick was not born until 387. Modern writers of his life, much as they differ on other points, agree that until he was sixteen he resided in South Scotland. Either he was never taught by St. Martin, or if he was, his teaching by that Saint is one of the numerous miracles in St. Patrick's life. The visit of Germanus to Wales rests on evidence about as trustworthy as the story of his connection with the University of Oxford. Dubricius, the reputed founder of the see of Llandaff, an alleged pupil of Germanus, died in 612. Germanus died in 448. The age of Dubricius, when he was acquainted with Germanus, must, therefore, have been very tender.
The more the dates are studied, the more it will be found they have been ignored to reconcile matters. Unless recourse is had to miracles, the dates present too great difficulties for the acceptance of the Latin theory.
Nor will the second theory, ascribing an Eastern origin to the Celtic Church, bear any critical examination. This theory, which is most fully expounded by Professor George Stokes in his Ireland and the Celtic Church, is open to still graver objections. Based on the disputes as to the observance of Easter, on various peculiarities noticeable in the Irish monasteries, such as the anchorite cells, the round towers, and on the traces of Greek and Oriental learning in the Irish monastic literature, it is endeavoured to be shown that the leading peculiarities we find existing in the art, architecture, and learning, of the Irish Church have an Eastern origin.
Admitting to the full that Eastern ideas may be found in the Celtic Church, no more reliable evidence exists to ascribe the origin of the Celtic Church to the Eastern than there does to ascribe it to the Latin Church, while much evidence does exist to prove its origin arose from neither of these sources.