« PreviousContinue »
pears. Thus the thurible from Church Stretton and Lyng has six flat sides; and such decorative beauty as it possesses is derived, not from any suggestion of architectural forms, but from the geometrical pattern produced by the piercings in the cover.
Many of the foreign censers of the twelfth century are ornamented with figure-subjects, and have explanatory inscriptions throwing much light on the symbolism associated in the medieval mind with incense.
A very beautiful bronze censer belonging to M. Benvignat, architect, of Lille, in France, is engraved in Didron's Annales Archéologiques, vol. iv, p. 293. It is 16 centimètres high, and 9 centimètres in diameter, of spherical shape, and ornamented with beasts and birds involved in scrolls of foliage. There is a foot at the bottom for it to stand upon, and on the top is an angel enthroned, surrounded by three figures, which are shown by the inscriptions to be intended for the three children in the fiery furnace, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias. Round the rims of the top and bottom parts of the censer, at the place where they join, is the following inscription, in two lines,
+ HOC EGO REINERVS DO SIGNVM
QVID MICHI VESTRIS
DEBETIS MORTE POTITO
ET REOR ESSE PRECES
VRANS TIMIATA CHRISTO
("I, Reinerus, give this pledge. To me, in the possession of death, you owe some visible proofs of friendship. The perfumes which are burnt in honour of Christ are, in my opinion, prayers.")
The censer of Trèves,' already referred to, has upon it busts of four Apostles, and figures of King Solomon, Abel's offering of a lamb, Melchisedec's offering of bread and wine, Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, and Isaac blessing Jacob before Esau. Below are Aaron with a censer, Moses with a rod, and Isaiah and Jeremiah with books. It is inscribed as follows:
1 Didron's Annales Archéologiques, vol. ix, p. 357.
"Salomon curat regnum terrestre figurat
Gentes Hebraicus puer instruxit Jeremias."
"Petrus cum Paulo tradit nova dogmata mundo
Hec tu quiso videns Gozbertus sit pete vivens."
The medieval mind, which saw symbolism in everything, even makes the thurible serve its purpose for deducing a moral. It is compared to the body of Our Lord, the incense signifying His Divinity, and the fire the Holy Spirit.'
In Christian art censers are sometimes, though not often, used as accessories, either carried by angels, as in the scene of the Crucifixion on the Norman font at Lenton, near Nottingham; or by one of the Three Magi, as on the Norman font at Cowlam3 in Yorkshire; or by one of the Three Maries at the sepulchre, as in the Æthelwold Benedictional; or by an ecclesiastic in a representation of some solemn ceremony. In one of the illustrations to Cadmon's Metrical Paraphrase of the Scriptures, a censer is being used at the burial of Mahalaheel. This and the one in the Ethelwold Benedictional are of the Saxon period. According to Warren's Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church (p. 127), the use of incense was unknown by the Christianised Celts.
Gemma Anima, lib. i, c. xlii, quoted in Smith's Dictionary of Christian Antiquities.
2 Allen's Early Christian Symbolism, p. 308. 4 Archæologia, vol. xxiv, pl. 20.
3 Ibid., p. 197.
5 ibid., pl. 83.
THE PLACE OF CAERWYS IN WELSH
BY EDMUND OWEN, ESQ.
(Read at the Holywell Meeting, August 22, 1890.)
Ir the happiness poetically ascribed to the country that has no history, can with equal truth be regarded as the condition of certain places within the same charmed area, then Caerwys may be safely put down as one of the happiest spots in the Principality of Wales. Its tutelary Genius, if questioned, might with propriety reply in Canning's well-known line:
"Story, God bless you, I have none to tell, sir";
and were I to content myself with briefly recording the few occasions upon which its name appears in connection with the pageantry of history, I should not have to trespass long upon your patience. But so circumscribed are the bounds of this "tight little island" of Britain, and so long, varied, and eventful has been its history, that there are few localities, however remote, that will not yield us some increase of knowledge from their contemplation.
Whether Caerwys does or does not date back into Roman times, it is impossible, in the present state of our knowledge, definitely to say. There are no inconvenient facts to restrain our imaginations, and the possibilities are rather more favourable to the belief that it was a post of that great empire, than they are adverse to that conclusion.
The name is first met with in the poem of the Gododin
(Skene's Four Ancient Books, ii, 77, Stanza 48.)
1 Kewi stands for keni (cyn ei), according to the translation, but the word is printed by Mr. Skene as it is given above.
"The branch of Caerwys
Before it was shattered."
(Translation, i, 392.)
But, even if the word here used be correctly regarded as a proper name, it is highly improbable that the allusion is to the Caerwys, the object of our present consideration. If the derivation usually given of the name, “caer", a camp, and "gwys", a summons, be the right one, it is manifest that in early days there were other places in the Brythonic area which might have been so called with as great propriety.1
Caerwys appears in Domesday as one of the berewicks of Englefield, which in King Edward the Confessor's time lay in Roelent. At the date of the Survey, A.D. 1086, all these berewicks were waste, as they were also when Earl Hugh received them from the Conqueror in A.D. 1070. The geographical signification of the names Roelend or Roelent, and Englefield, is rather difficult to arrive at, inasmuch as they appear to have changed their relative positions. In Domesday it is said that "in Roelend, in King Edward's time, was Englefield", and again, that the twenty-two berewicks of Englefield lay "in Rolent"; from which we may infer that all the land from the Dee to the Clwyd was called by the same name as the caput of the new Norman manor, and included a district known. as Englefield. In later times the name Rhuddlan became restricted to the district lying around the castle of that name, termed the lordship of Rhuddlan2;
The name appears in the Brut Tyssilio, where the Arthurian knight, Geraint, is termed "Geraint Caerwys" (sometimes "Garwys"); but in Mr. Gwenogvryn Evans' edition of Brut y Brenhinoedd the same personage is called "Geraint Garanwys"; no doubt the correct form, whatever it may signify.
The borough comprehends a district within the parish of Rhuddlan, called "The Franchise", and also a part of the parish of St. Asaph. On the part lying to the west of the river Voryd, the limits of the borough coincide with those of the lordship. On all other sides the limits of the lordship extend beyond those of the borough. The ambit of the lordship is about ten miles, that of the
while the territory known as Englefield, although not so extensive as in pre-Norman times, came, as the Welsh cantred of Tegeingl, to include the commots of Cynsyllt, Prestatyn, and Rhuddlan. Whatever may
have been the extent of the hold of the Norman Earl of Chester upon the district of Rhuddlan, or of his feudatory, Robert of Rhuddlan, over Rhos and Rhyvoniawg, which Domesday informs us he held in A.D. 1086, in fee direct of the King, it is certain that it varied as the balance of the warfare with the Welsh was favourable or otherwise.
During the lifetime of Gruffudd ap Cynan, who acquired supreme authority in Gwynedd in 1078 (Brut y Tywysogion), the hand of the Normans was heavily felt. The fortune of war inclined now to one side, now to the other, but out of the chaos emerged no elements of permanence. "For fifteen years", says Ordericus Vitalis (Bk. viii, c. 3), "Robert of Rhuddlan severely chastised the Welsh and seized their territory. Making inroads into their country, through woods and marshes, and over mountain heights, he inflicted losses on the enemy in every shape. Some he butchered without mercy, like herds of cattle, as soon as he came up with them. with them. Others he threw into dungeons, where they suffered a long imprisonment, or cruelly subjected them to a shameful slavery." In A.D. 1088 came the turn of the Welsh, who gained a notable success in the death of the redoubtable Norman noble beneath the walls of his castle of Deganwy. In 1098 (Florence of Worc., Wm. Malm.; 1096, Brut y Tywysogion) it seemed as though the reduction of the whole of Gwynedd would be effected by Hugh, Earl of Chester, and Hugh, Earl of Shrewsbury. But the death of the latter at Aberlleiniog, in Anglesea, checked
borough about six miles. It stretches nearly a mile and a half from the town, on the south; on the north, less than a mile. Bodrhyddan Hall is situated within, but on the very outskirts of the borough, so that a part of the mansion lies without the limits. (Municipal Commissioners' Reports, 1885. Borough of Rhuddlan.)