The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2

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The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 is in The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Preface

Since, therefore, St. David's is the head, and in times past was the metropolitan, city of Wales, though now, alas! retaining more of the NAME than of the OMEN,111 yet I have not forborne to weep over the obsequies of our ancient and undoubted mother, to follow the mournful hearse, and to deplore with tearful sighs the ashes of our half-buried matron. I shall, therefore, endeavour briefly to declare to you in what manner, from whence, and from what period the pall was first brought to St. David's, and how it was taken away; how many prelates were invested with the pall; and how many were despoiled thereof; together with their respective names to this present day.

Note 111. Giraldus, ever glad to pun upon words, here opposes the word NOMEN to OMEN. "Plus nominis habens quem ominis." [] He may have perhaps borrowed this expression from Plautus. Plautus Delphini, tom. ii. p. 27. - Actus iv., Scena iv.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 1

Saint David's. Of the See of St Davids.

We are informed by the British histories, that Dubricius, archbishop of Caerleon, sensible of the infirmities of age, or rather being desirous of leading a life of contemplation, resigned his honours to David, who is said to have been uncle to king Arthur; and by his interest the see was translated to Menevia, although Caerleon, as we have observed in the first book, was much better adapted for the episcopal see. For Menevia is situated in a most remote corner of land upon the Irish ocean, the soil stony and barren, neither clothed with woods, distinguished by rivers, nor adorned by meadows, ever exposed to the winds and tempests, and continually subject to the hostile attacks of the Flemings on one side, and of the Welsh on the other. For the holy men who settled here, chose purposely such a retired habitation, that by avoiding the noise of the world, and preferring an heremitical to a pastoral life, they might more freely provide for "that part which shall not be taken away;" for David was remarkable for his sanctity and religion, as the history of his life will testify. Amongst the many miracles recorded of him, three appear to me the most worthy of admiration: his origin and conception; his pre-election thirty years before his birth; and what exceeds all, the sudden rising of the ground, at Brevy, under his feet while preaching, to the great astonishment of all the beholders.

Since the time of David, twenty-five archbishops presided over the see of Menevia, whose names are here subjoined: David, Cenauc, Eliud, who was also called Teilaus, Ceneu, Morwal, Haerunen, Elwaed, Gurnuen, Lendivord, Gorwysc, Cogan, Cledauc, Anian, Euloed, Ethelmen, Elauc, Malscoed, Sadermen, Catellus, Sulhaithnai, Nonis, Etwal, Asser, Arthuael, Sampson. In the time of Sampson, the pall was translated from Menevia in the following manner: a disorder called the yellow plague, and by the physicians the icteric passion, of which the people died in great numbers, raged throughout Wales, at the time when Sampson held the archiepiscopal see. Though a holy man, and fearless of death, he was prevailed upon, by the earnest intreaties of his people, to go on board a vessel, which was wafted, by a south wind, to Britannia Armorica,112 where he and his attendants were safely landed. The see of Dol being at that time vacant, he was immediately elected bishop. Hence it came to pass, that on account of the pall which Sampson had brought thither with him, the succeeding bishops, even to our times, always retained it. But during the presidency of the archbishop of Tours, this adventitious dignity ceased; yet our countrymen, through indolence or poverty, or rather owing to the arrival of the English into the island, and the frequent hostilities committed against them by the Saxons, lost their archiepiscopal honours. But until the entire subjugation of Wales by king Henry I., the Welsh bishops were always consecrated by the bishop of St. David's; and he was consecrated by his suffragans, without any profession or submission being made to any other church.

Note 112. Armorica is derived from the Celtic words Ar and Mor, which signify on or near the sea, and so called to distinguish it from the more inland parts of Britany. The maritime cities of Gaul were called "Armoricae civitates - Universis civitatibus quae oceanum attingunt, quaeque Gallorum consuetudine Armoricae appellantur." - Caesar. Comment, lib. vii.

From the time of Sampson to that of king Henry I., nineteen bishops presided over this see: Ruelin, Rodherch, Elguin, Lunuerd, Nergu, Sulhidir, Eneuris, Morgeneu, who was the first bishop of St. David's who ate flesh, and was there killed by pirates; and he appeared to a certain bishop in Ireland on the night of his death, shewing his wounds, and saying, "Because I ate flesh, I am become flesh." Nathan, Ievan (who was bishop only one night), Argustel, Morgenueth, Ervin, Tramerin, Joseph, Bleithud, Sulghein, Abraham, Wilfred. Since the subjugation of Wales to the present time, three only have held the see: in the reign of king Henry I., Bernard; in the reign of king Stephen, David II.; and in the reign of king Henry II., Peter, a monk of the order of Cluny; who all, by the king's mandate, were consecrated at Canterbury; as also Geoffrey, prior and canon of Lanthoni, who succeeded them in the reign of king John, and was preferred to this see by the interest of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, and afterwards consecrated by him. We do not hear that either before or after that subjugation, any archbishop of Canterbury ever entered the borders of Wales, except Baldwin, a monk of the Cistercian order, abbot of Ford, and afterwards bishop of Worcester, who traversed that rough, inaccessible, and remote country with a laudable devotion for the service of the cross; and as a token of investiture, celebrated mass in all the cathedral churches. So that till lately the see of St. David's owed no subjection to that of Canterbury, as may be seen in the English History of Bede, who says that "Augustine, bishop of the Angles, after the conversion of king Ethelfred and the English people, called together the bishops of Wales on the confines of the West Saxons, as legate of the apostolic see. When the seven bishops113 appeared, Augustine, sitting in his chair, with Roman pride, did not rise up at their entrance. Observing his haughtiness (after the example of a holy anchorite of their nation), they immediately returned, and treated him and his statutes with contempt, publicly proclaiming that they would not acknowledge him for their archbishop; alleging, that if he now refused to rise up to us, how much more will he hold us in contempt, if we submit to be subject to him?" That there were at that time seven bishops in Wales, and now only four, may be thus accounted for; because perhaps there were formerly more cathedral churches in Wales than there are at present, or the extent of Wales might have been greater. Amongst so many bishops thus deprived of their dignity, Bernard, the first French [i.e. Norman] bishop of St. David's, alone defended the rights of his church in a public manner; and after many expensive and vexatious appeals to the court of Rome, would not have reclaimed them in vain, if false witnesses had not publicly appeared at the council of Rheims, before pope Eugenius, and testified that he had made profession and submission to the see of Canterbury. Supported by three auxiliaries, the favour and intimacy of king Henry, a time of peace, and consequent plenty, he boldly hazarded the trial of so great a cause, and so confident was he of his just right, that he sometimes caused the cross to be carried before him during his journey through Wales.

Note 113. The bishops of Hereford, Worcester, Llandaff, Bangor, St. Asaph, Llanbadarn, and Margam, or Glamorgan.

Bernard, however commendable in some particulars, was remarkable for his insufferable pride and ambition. For as soon as he became courtier and a creature of the king's, panting after English riches by means of translation, (a malady under which all the English sent hither seem to labour), he alienated many of the lands of his church without either advantage or profit, and disposed of others so indiscreetly and improvidently, that when ten carucates114 of land were required for military purposes, he would, with a liberal hand, give twenty or thirty; and of the canonical rites and ordinances which he had miserably and unhappily instituted at St. David's, he would hardly make use of one, at most only of two or three. With respect to the two sees of Canterbury and St. David's, I will briefly explain my opinion of their present state. On one side, you will see royal favour, affluence of riches, numerous and opulent suffragan bishops, great abundance of learned men and well skilled in the laws; on the other side, a deficiency of all these things, and a total want of justice; on which account the recovery of its ancient rights will not easily be effected, but by means of those great changes and vicissitudes which kingdoms experience from various and unexpected events.

Note 114. The value of the carucate is rather uncertain, or, probably, it varied in different districts according to the character of the land; but it is considered to have been usually equivalent to a hide, that is, to about 240 statute acres.

The spot where the church of St. David's stands, and was founded in honour of the apostle St. Andrew, is called the Vale of Roses; which ought rather to be named the vale of marble, since it abounds with one, and by no means with the other. The river Alun, a muddy and unproductive rivulet,115 bounding the churchyard on the northern side, flows under a marble stone, called Lechlavar, which has been polished by continual treading of passengers, and concerning the name, size, and quality of which we have treated in our Vaticinal History .116 Henry II., on his return from Ireland, is said to have passed over this stone, before he devoutly entered the church of St. Andrew and St. David. Having left the following garrisons in Ireland, namely, Hugh de Lacy (to whom he had given Meath in fee) in Dublin, with twenty knights; Fitz-Stephen and Maurice Fitzgerald, with other twenty; Humphrey de Bohun, Robert Fitz-Bernard, and Hugh de Grainville at Waterford, with forty; and William Fitz-Adelm and Philip de Braose at Wexford, with twenty; on the second day of Easter, the king embarked at sunrise on board a vessel in the outward port of Wexford, and, with a south wind, landed about noon in the harbour of Menevia. Proceeding towards the shrine of St. David, habited like a pilgrim, and leaning on a staff, he met at the white gate a procession of the canons of the church coming forth to receive him with due honour and reverence. As the procession solemnly moved along, a Welsh woman threw herself at the king's feet, and made a complaint against the bishop of the place, which was explained to the king by an interpreter. The woman, immediate attention not being paid to her petition, with violent gesticulation, and a loud and impertinent voice, exclaimed repeatedly, "Revenge us this day, Lechlavar! revenge us and the nation in this man!" On being chidden and driven away by those who understood the British language, she more vehemently and forcibly vociferated in the like manner, alluding to the vulgar fiction and proverb of Merlin, "That a king of England, and conqueror of Ireland, should be wounded in that country by a man with a red hand, and die upon Lechlavar, on his return through Menevia." This was the name of that stone which serves as a bridge over the river Alun, which divides the cemetery from the northern side of the church. It was a beautiful piece of marble, polished by the feet of passengers, ten feet in length, six in breadth, and one in thickness. Lechlavar signifies in the British language a talking stone.117 There was an ancient tradition respecting this stone, that at a time when a corpse was carried over it for interment, it broke forth into speech, and by the effort cracked in the middle, which fissure is still visible; and on account of this barbarous and ancient superstition, the corpses are no longer brought over it. The king, who had heard the prophecy, approaching the stone, stopped for a short time at the foot of it, and, looking earnestly at it, boldly passed over; then, turning round, and looking towards the stone, thus indignantly inveighed against the prophet: "Who will hereafter give credit to the lying Merlin?" A person standing by, and observing what had passed, in order to vindicate the injury done to the prophet, replied, with a loud voice, "Thou art not that king by whom Ireland is to be conquered, or of whom Merlin prophesied!" The king then entering the church founded in honour of St. Andrew and St. David, devoutly offered up his prayers, and heard mass performed by a chaplain, whom alone, out of so large a body of priests, Providence seems to have kept fasting till that hour, for this very purpose. Having supped at St. David's, the king departed for the castle of Haverford, distant about twelve miles. It appears very remarkable to me, that in our days, when David II. presided over the see, the river should have flowed with wine, and that the spring, called Pistyll Dewi, or the PIPE of David, from its flowing through a pipe into the eastern side of the churchyard, should have run with milk. The birds also of that place, called jackdaws, from being so long unmolested by the clergy of the church, were grown so tame and domesticated, as not to be afraid of persons dressed in black. In clear weather the mountains of Ireland are visible from hence, and the passage over the Irish sea may be performed in one short day; on which account William, the son of William the Bastard, and the second of the Norman kings in England, who was called Rufus, and who had penetrated far into Wales, on seeing Ireland from these rocks, is reported to have said, "I will summon hither all the ships of my realm, and with them make a bridge to attack that country." Which speech being related to Murchard, prince of Leinster, he paused awhile, and answered, "Did the king add to this mighty threat, If God please?" and being informed that he had made no mention of God in his speech, rejoicing in such a prognostic, he replied, "Since that man trusts in human, not divine power, I fear not his coming."

Note 115. This little brook does not, in modern times, deserve the title here given to it by Giraldus, for it produces trout of a most delicious flavour.

Note 116. See the Vaticinal History , book i. c. 37.

Note 117. Lechlavar, so called from the words in Welsh, Llec, a stone, and Llavar, speech.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 2

Cardigan. Of the journey by Cemmeis - the monastery of St. Dogmael.

The archbishop having celebrated mass early in the morning before the high altar of the church of St. David, and enjoined to the archdeacon (Giraldus) the office of preaching to the people, hastened through Cemmeis118 to meet prince Rhys at Aberteive. Two circumstances occurred in the province of Cemmeis, the one in our own time, the other a little before, which I think right not to pass over in silence. In our time, a young man, native of this country, during a severe illness, suffered as violent a persecution from toads,119 as if the reptiles of the whole province had come to him by agreement; and though destroyed by his nurses and friends, they increased again on all sides in infinite numbers, like hydras' heads. His attendants, both friends and strangers, being wearied out, he was drawn up in a kind of bag, into a high tree, stripped of its leaves, and shred; nor was he there secure from his venomous enemies, for they crept up the tree in great numbers, and consumed him even to the very bones. The young man's name was Sisillus Esceir-hir, that is, Sisillus Long Leg. It is also recorded that by the hidden but never unjust will of God, another man suffered a similar persecution from rats. In the same province, during the reign of king Henry I., a rich man, who had a residence on the northern side of the Preseleu mountains [Map],120 was warned for three successive nights, by dreams, that if he put his hand under a stone which hung over the spring of a neighbouring well, called the fountain of St. Bernacus [Map],121 he would find there a golden torques. Obeying the admonition on the third day, he received, from a viper, a deadly wound in his finger; but as it appears that many treasures have been discovered through dreams, it seems to me probable that, with respect to rumours, in the same manner as to dreams, some ought, and some ought not, to be believed.

Note 118.Cemmeis, Cemmaes, Kemes, and Kemeys. Thus is the name of this district variously spelt. Cemmaes in Welsh signifies a circle or amphitheatre for games.

Note 119. There is place in Cemmaes now called Tre-liffan, i.e. Toad's town; and over a chimney-piece in the house there is a figure of a toad sculptured in marble, said to have been brought from Italy, and intended probably to confirm and commemorate this tradition of Giraldus.

Note 120. Preseleu, Preselaw, Prescelly, Presselw [Map].

Note 121. St. Bernacus [Map] is said, by Cressy, to have been a man of admirable sanctity, who, through devotion, made a journey to Rome; and from thence returning into Britany, filled all places with the fame of his piety and miracles. He is commemorated on the 7th of April. Several churches in Wales were dedicated to him; one of which, called Llanfyrnach, or the church of St. Bernach [Map], is situated on the eastern side of the Prescelley mountain.

I shall not pass over in silence the circumstance which occurred in the principal castle of Cemmeis at Lanhever [Map],122 in our days. Rhys (age 55), son of Gruffydd, by the instigation of his son Gruffydd, a cunning and artful man, took away by force, from William, son of Martin (de Tours), his son-in-law, the castle of Lanhever [Map], notwithstanding he had solemnly sworn, by the most precious relics, that his indemnity and security should be faithfully maintained, and, contrary to his word and oath, gave it to his son Gruffydd; but since "A sordid prey has not a good ending," the Lord, who by the mouth of his prophet, exclaims "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay!" ordained that the castle should be taken away from the contriver of this wicked plot, Gruffydd, and bestowed upon the man in the world he most hated, his brother Malgon. Rhys, also, about two years afterwards, intending to disinherit his own daughter, and two granddaughters and grandsons, by a singular instance of divine vengeance, was taken prisoner by his sons in battle, and confined in this same castle; thus justly suffering the greatest disgrace and confusion in the very place where he had perpetrated an act of the most consummate baseness. I think it also worthy to be remembered, that at the time this misfortune befell him, he had concealed in his possession, at Dinevor, the collar of St. Canauc of Brecknock, for which, by divine vengeance, he merited to be taken prisoner and confined.

Note 122. The "castrum apud Lanhever [Map]" was at Nevern, a small village between Newport and Cardigan, situated on the banks of a little river bearing the same name which discharges itself into the sea at Newport. On a hill immediately above the western side of the parish church, is the site of a large castle [Nevern Castle, Pembrokeshire [Map]], undoubtedly the one alluded to by Giraldus.

We slept that night in the monastery of St. Dogmael [Map], where, as well as on the next day at Aberteivi [Map], we were handsomely entertained by prince Rhys (age 55). On the Cemmeis side of the river, not far from the bridge, the people of the neighbourhood being assembled together, and Rhys and his two sons, Malgon (age 17) and Gruffydd, being present, the word of the Lord was persuasively preached both by the archbishop and the archdeacon, and many were induced to take the cross; one of whom was an only son, and the sole comfort of his mother, far advanced in years, who, steadfastly gazing on him, as if inspired by the Deity, uttered these words:- "O, most beloved Lord Jesus Christ, I return thee hearty thanks for having conferred on me the blessing of bringing forth a son, whom thou mayest think worthy of thy service." Another woman at Aberteivi, of a very different way of thinking, held her husband fast by his cloak and girdle, and publicly and audaciously prevented him from going to the archbishop to take the cross; but, three nights afterwards, she heard a terrible voice, saying, "Thou hast taken away my servant from me, therefore what thou most lovest shall be taken away from thee." On her relating this vision to her husband, they were struck with mutual terror and amazement; and on falling asleep again, she unhappily overlaid her little boy, whom, with more affection than prudence, she had taken to bed with her. The husband, relating to the bishop of the diocese both the vision and its fatal prediction, took the cross, which his wife spontaneously sewed on her husband's arm.

Near the head of the bridge [Cardigan Bridge [Map]] where the sermons were delivered, the people immediately marked out the site for a chapel,123 on a verdant plain, as a memorial of so great an event; intending that the altar should be placed on the spot where the archbishop stood while addressing the multitude; and it is well known that many miracles (the enumeration of which would be too tedious to relate) were performed on the crowds of sick people who resorted hither from different parts of the country.

Note 123. On the Cemmaes, or Pembrokeshire side of the river Teivi, and near the end of the bridge, there is a place still called Park y Cappel, or the Chapel Field, which is undoubtedly commemorative of the circumstance recorded by our author.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 3

Lampeter. Of the river Teivi, Cardigan, and Emelyn.

The noble river Teivi flows here, and abounds with the finest salmon, more than any other river of Wales; it has a productive fishery near Cilgerran [Map], which is situated on the summit of a rock, at a place called Canarch Mawr,124 the ancient residence of St. Ludoc, where the river, falling from a great height, forms a cataract, which the salmon ascend, by leaping from the bottom to the top of a rock, which is about the height of the longest spear, and would appear wonderful, were it not the nature of that species of fish to leap: hence they have received the name of salmon, from salio. Their particular manner of leaping (as I have specified in my Topography of Ireland ) is thus: fish of this kind, naturally swimming against the course of the river (for as birds fly against the wind, so do fish swim against the stream), on meeting with any sudden obstacle, bend their tail towards their mouth, and sometimes, in order to give a greater power to their leap, they press it with their mouth, and suddenly freeing themselves from this circular form, they spring with great force (like a bow let loose) from the bottom to the top of the leap, to the great astonishment of the beholders. The church [St Llawddog's Church, Cilgerran [Map]] dedicated to St. Ludoc,125 the mill, bridge, salmon leap, an orchard with a delightful garden, all stand together on a small plot of ground. The Teivi has another singular particularity, being the only river in Wales, or even in England, which has beavers;126 in Scotland they are said to be found in one river, but are very scarce. I think it not a useless labour, to insert a few remarks respecting the nature of these animals - the manner in which they bring their materials from the woods to the water, and with what skill they connect them in the construction of their dwellings in the midst of rivers; their means of defence on the eastern and western sides against hunters; and also concerning their fish-like tails.

Note 124. Now known by the name of Kenarth, which may be derived from Cefn y garth - the back of the wear, a ridge of land behind the wear.

Note 125. The name of St. Ludoc is not found in the lives of the saints. Leland mentions a St. Clitauc, who had a church dedicated to him in South Wales, and who was killed by some of his companions whilst hunting. "Clitaucus Southe-Walliae regulus inter venandum a suis sodalibus occisus est. Ecciesia S. Clitauci in Southe Wallia." - Leland, Itin., tom. viii. p. 95.

Note 126. The Teivy is still very justly distinguished for the quantity and quality of its salmon, but the beaver no longer disturbs its streams. That this animal did exist in the days of Howel Dha (though even then a rarity), the mention made of it in his laws, and the high price set upon its skin, most clearly evince; but if the castor of Giraldus, and the avanc of Humphrey Llwyd and of the Welsh dictionaries, be really the same animal, it certainly was not peculiar to the Teivi, but was equally known in North Wales, as the names of places testify. A small lake in Montgomeryshire is called Llyn yr Afangc; a pool in the river Conwy, not far from Bettws, bears the same name, and the vale called Nant Ffrancon, upon the river Ogwen, in Caernarvonshire, is supposed by the natives to be a corruption from Nant yr Afan cwm, or the Vale of the Beavers. Mr. Owen, in his dictionary, says, "That it has been seen in this vale within the memory of man." Giraldus has previously spoken of the beaver in his Topography of Ireland, Distinc. i. c. 21.

The beavers, in order to construct their castles in the middle of rivers, make use of the animals of their own species instead of carts, who, by a wonderful mode of carnage, convey the timber from the woods to the rivers. Some of them, obeying the dictates of nature, receive on their bellies the logs of wood cut off by their associates, which they hold tight with their feet, and thus with transverse pieces placed in their mouths, are drawn along backwards, with their cargo, by other beavers, who fasten themselves with their teeth to the raft. The moles use a similar artifice in clearing out the dirt from the cavities they form by scraping. In some deep and still corner of the river, the beavers use such skill in the construction of their habitations, that not a drop of water can penetrate, or the force of storms shake them; nor do they fear any violence but that of mankind, nor even that, unless well armed. They entwine the branches of willows with other wood, and different kinds of leaves, to the usual height of the water, and having made within-side a communication from floor to floor, they elevate a kind of stage, or scaffold, from which they may observe and watch the rising of the waters. In the course of time, their habitations bear the appearance of a grove of willow trees, rude and natural without, but artfully constructed within. This animal can remain in or under water at its pleasure, like the frog or seal, who shew, by the smoothness or roughness of their skins, the flux and reflux of the sea. These three animals, therefore, live indifferently under the water, or in the air, and have short legs, broad bodies, stubbed tails, and resemble the mole in their corporal shape. It is worthy of remark, that the beaver has but four teeth, two above, and two below, which being broad and sharp, cut like a carpenter's axe, and as such he uses them. They make excavations and dry hiding places in the banks near their dwellings, and when they hear the stroke of the hunter, who with sharp poles endeavours to penetrate them, they fly as soon as possible to the defence of their castle, having first blown out the water from the entrance of the hole, and rendered it foul and muddy by scraping the earth, in order thus artfully to elude the stratagems of the well-armed hunter, who is watching them from the opposite banks of the river. When the beaver finds he cannot save himself from the pursuit of the dogs who follow him, that he may ransom his body by the sacrifice of a part, he throws away that, which by natural instinct he knows to be the object sought for, and in the sight of the hunter castrates himself, from which circumstance he has gained the name of Castor; and if by chance the dogs should chase an animal which had been previously castrated, he has the sagacity to run to an elevated spot, and there lifting up his leg, shews the hunter that the object of his pursuit is gone. Cicero speaking of them says, "They ransom themselves by that part of the body, for which they are chiefly sought." And Juvenal says,

" - Qui se

Eunuchum ipse facit, cupiens evadere damno


And St. Bernard,

"Prodit enim castor proprio de corpore velox

Reddere quas sequitur hostis avarus opes."

Thus, therefore, in order to preserve his skin, which is sought after in the west, and the medicinal part of his body, which is coveted in the east, although he cannot save himself entirely, yet, by a wonderful instinct and sagacity, he endeavours to avoid the stratagems of his pursuers. The beavers have broad, short tails, thick, like the palm of a hand, which they use as a rudder in swimming; and although the rest of their body is hairy, this part, like that of seals, is without hair, and smooth; upon which account, in Germany and the arctic regions, where beavers abound, great and religious persons, in times of fasting, eat the tails of this fish-like animal, as having both the taste and colour of fish.

We proceeded on our journey from Cilgerran towards Pont-Stephen [Map],127 leaving Cruc Mawr [Map], i.e. the great hill, near Aberteivi, on our left hand. On this spot Gruffydd, son of Rhys ap Tewdwr, soon after the death of king Henry I., by a furious onset gained a signal victory [1136 Battle of Crug Mawr aka Cardigan] against the English army, which, by the murder of the illustrious Richard de Clare, near Abergevenny (before related), had lost its leader and chief.128 A tumulus is to be seen on the summit of the aforesaid hill, and the inhabitants affirm that it will adapt itself to persons of all stature and that if any armour is left there entire in the evening, it will be found, according to vulgar tradition, broken to pieces in the morning.

Note 127. Our author having made a long digression, in order to introduce the history of the beaver, now continues his Itinerary. From Cardigan, the archbishop proceeded towards Pont-Stephen [Map], leaving a hill, called Cruc Mawr, on the left hand, which still retains its ancient name, and agrees exactly with the position given to it by Giraldus. On its summit is a tumulus, and some appearance of an intrenchment.

Note 128. In 1135.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 4

Strata Florida. Of the journey by Pont Stephen, the abbey of Stratflur, Landewi Brevi, and Lhanpadarn Vawr.

A sermon having been preached on the following morning at Pont Stephen [Map],129 by the archbishop and archdeacon, and also by two abbots of the Cistercian order, John of Albadomus, and Sisillus of Stratflur [Map],130 who faithfully attended us in those parts, and as far as North Wales, many persons were induced to take the cross. We proceeded to Stratflur, where we passed the night. On the following morning, having on our right the lofty mountains of Moruge, which in Welsh are called Ellennith,131 we were met near the side of a wood by Cyneuric son of Rhys, accompanied by a body of light-armed youths. This young man was of a fair complexion, with curled hair, tall and handsome; clothed only, according to the custom of his country, with a thin cloak and inner garment, his legs and feet, regardless of thorns and thistles were left bare; a man, not adorned by art, but nature; bearing in his presence an innate, not an acquired, dignity of manners. A sermon having been preached to these three young men, Gruffydd, Malgon, and Cyneuric, in the presence of their father, prince Rhys, and the brothers disputing about taking the cross, at length Malgon strictly promised that he would accompany the archbishop to the king's court, and would obey the king's and archbishop's counsel, unless prevented by them. From thence we passed through Landewi Brevi [Map],132 that is, the church of David of Brevi, situated on the summit of that hill which had formerly risen up under his feet whilst preaching, during the period of that celebrated synod, when all the bishops, abbots, and clergy of Wales, and many other persons, were collected thither on account of the Pelagian heresy, which, although formerly exploded from Britain by Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, had lately been revived in these parts. At this place David was reluctantly raised to the archbishopric, by the unanimous consent and election of the whole assembly, who by loud acclamations testified their admiration of so great a miracle. Dubricius had a short time before resigned to him this honour in due form at Caerleon, from which city the metropolitan see was transferred to St. David's.

Note 129. Lampeter, or Llanbedr, a small town near the river Teivi, still retains the name of Pont-Stephen.

Note 130. Leland thus speaks of Ystrad Fflur [Map] or Strata Florida [Map]: "Strateflere is set round about with montanes not far distant, except on the west parte, where Diffrin Tyve is. Many hilles therabout hath bene well woddid, as evidently by old rotes apperith, but now in them is almost no woode - the causes be these. First, the wood cut down was never copisid, and this hath beene a cause of destruction of wood thorough Wales. Secondly, after cutting down of woodys, the gottys hath so bytten the young spring that it never grew but lyke shrubbes. Thirddely, men for the monys destroied the great woddis that thei should not harborow theves." This monastery is situated in the wildest part of Cardiganshire, surrounded on three sides by a lofty range of those mountains, called by our author Ellennith; a spot admirably suited to the severe and recluse order of the Cistercians.

Note 131. [Melenydd or Maelienydd.]

Note 132. Leaving Stratflur, the archbishop and his train returned to Llanddewi Brefi [Map], and from thence proceeded to Llanbadarn Vawr [Map].

Having rested that night at Llanpadarn Vawr [Map],133 or the church of Paternus the Great, we attracted many persons to the service of Christ on the following morning. It is remarkable that this church, like many others in Wales and Ireland, has a lay abbot; for a bad custom has prevailed amongst the clergy, of appointing the most powerful people of a parish stewards, or, rather, patrons, of their churches; who, in process of time, from a desire of gain, have usurped the whole right, appropriating to their own use the possession of all the lands, leaving only to the clergy the altars, with their tenths and oblations, and assigning even these to their sons and relations in the church. Such defenders, or rather destroyers, of the church, have caused themselves to be called abbots, and presumed to attribute to themselves a title, as well as estates, to which they have no just claim. In this state we found the church of Llanpadarn, without a head. A certain old man, waxen old in iniquity (whose name was Eden Oen, son of Gwaithwoed), being abbot, and his sons officiating at the altar. But in the reign of king Henry I., when the authority of the English prevailed in Wales, the monastery of St. Peter at Gloucester held quiet possession of this church; but after his death, the English being driven out, the monks were expelled from their cloisters, and their places supplied by the same violent intrusion of clergy and laity, which had formerly been practised. It happened that in the reign of king Stephen, who succeeded Henry I., a knight, born in Armorican Britain, having travelled through many parts of the world, from a desire of seeing different cities, and the manners of their inhabitants, came by chance to Llanpadarn. On a certain feast-day, whilst both the clergy and people were waiting for the arrival of the abbot to celebrate mass, he perceived a body of young men, armed, according to the custom of their country, approaching towards the church; and on enquiring which of them was the abbot, they pointed out to him a man walking foremost, with a long spear in his hand. Gazing on him with amazement, he asked, "If the abbot had not another habit, or a different staff, from that which he now carried before him?" On their answering, "No!" he replied, "I have seen indeed and heard this day a wonderful novelty!" and from that hour he returned home, and finished his labours and researches. This wicked people boasts, that a certain bishop134 of their church (for it formerly was a cathedral) was murdered by their predecessors; and on this account, chiefly, they ground their claims of right and possession. No public complaint having been made against their conduct, we have thought it more prudent to pass over, for the present, the enormities of this wicked race with dissimulation, than exasperate them by a further relation.

Note 133. Llanbadarn Fawr [Map], the church of St. Paternus the Great [Map], is situated in a valley, at a short distance from the sea-port town of Aberystwyth in Cardiganshire.

Note 134. The name of this bishop is said to have been Idnerth, and the same personage whose death is commemorated in an inscription at Llanddewi Brefi.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 5

Merioneth. Of the river Devi, and the land of the sons of Conan.

Approaching to the river Devi,135 which divides North and South Wales, the bishop of St. David's, and Rhys the son of Gruffydd, who with a liberality peculiarly praiseworthy in so illustrious a prince, had accompanied us from the castle of Aberteivi, throughout all Cardiganshire, to this place, returned home. Having crossed the river in a boat, and quitted the diocese of St. David's, we entered the land of the sons of Conan, or Merionyth, the first province of Venedotia on that side of the country, and belonging to the bishopric of Bangor.136 We slept that night at Towyn [Map]. Early next morning, Gruffydd son of Conan137 came to meet us, humbly and devoutly asking pardon for having so long delayed his attention to the archbishop. On the same day, we ferried over the bifurcate river Maw,138 where Malgo, son of Rhys, who had attached himself to the archbishop, as a companion to the king's court, discovered a ford near the sea. That night we lay at Llanvair,139 that is the church of St. Mary, in the province of Ardudwy.140 This territory of Conan, and particularly Merionyth, is the rudest and roughest district of all Wales; the ridges of its mountains are very high and narrow, terminating in sharp peaks, and so irregularly jumbled together, that if the shepherds conversing or disputing with each other from their summits, should agree to meet, they could scarcely effect their purpose in the course of the whole day. The lances of this country are very long; for as South Wales excels in the use of the bow, so North Wales is distinguished for its skill in the lance; insomuch that an iron coat of mail will not resist the stroke of a lance thrown at a small distance. The next morning, the youngest son of Conan, named Meredyth, met us at the passage of a bridge, attended by his people, where many persons were signed with the cross; amongst whom was a fine young man of his suite, and one of his intimate friends; and Meredyth, observing that the cloak, on which the cross was to be sewed, appeared of too thin and of too common a texture, with a flood of tears, threw him down his own.

Note 135. This river is now called Dovey.

Note 136. From Llanbadarn our travellers directed their course towards the sea-coast, and ferrying over the river Dovey, which separates North from South Wales, proceeded to Towyn, in Merionethshire, where they passed the night. [Venedotia is the Latin name for Gwynedd.]

Note 137. The province of Merionyth was at this period occupied by David, the son of Owen Gwynedd, who had seized it forcibly from its rightful inheritor. This Gruffydd - who must not be confused with his great-grandfather, the famous Gruffydd ap Conan, prince of Gwynedd - was son to Conan ap Owen Gwynedd; he died A.D. 1200, and was buried in a monk's cowl, in the abbey of Conway.

Note 138. The epithet "bifurcus," ascribed by Giraldus to the river Maw, alludes to its two branches, which unite their streams a little way below Llaneltid bridge, and form an aestuary, which flows down to the sea at Barmouth [Map] or Aber Maw. The ford at this place, discovered by Malgo, no longer exists.

Note 139. Llanfair [Map] is a small village, about a mile and a half from Harlech, with a very simple church, placed in a retired spot, backed by precipitous mountains. Here the archbishop and Giraldus slept, on their journey from Towyn to Nevyn.

Note 140. Ardudwy was a comot of the cantref Dunodic, in Merionethshire, and according to Leland, "Streccith from half Trait Mawr to Abermaw on the shore XII myles." The bridge here alluded to, was probably over the river Artro, which forms a small aestuary near the village of Llanbedr.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 6

Lleyn and Bangor. Passage of Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bachan, and of Nevyn, Carnarvon, and Bangor.

We continued our journey over the Traeth Mawr [Map],141 and Traeth Bachan,142 that is, the greater and the smaller arm of the sea, where two stone castles have newly been erected; one called Deudraeth [Map], belonging to the sons of Conan, situated in Evionyth, towards the northern mountains; the other named Carn Madryn, the property of the sons of Owen, built on the other side of the river towards the sea, on the head-land Lleyn.143 Traeth, in the Welsh language, signifies a tract of sand flooded by the tides, and left bare when the sea ebbs. We had before passed over the noted rivers, the Dissenith,144 between the Maw and Traeth Mawr, and the Arthro, between the Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bachan. We slept that night at Nevyn, on the eve of Palm Sunday, where the archdeacon, after long inquiry and research, is said to have found Merlin Sylvestris.145

Note 141. The Traeth Mawr, or the large sands, are occasioned by a variety of springs and rivers which flow from the Snowdon mountains, and, uniting their streams, form an aestuary below Pont Aberglaslyn.

Note 142. The Traeth Bychan, or the small sands, are chiefly formed by the river which runs down the beautiful vale of Festiniog to Maentwrog and Tan y bwlch, near which place it becomes navigable. Over each of these sands the road leads from Merionyth into Caernarvonshire.

Note 143. Lleyn, the Canganorum promontorium of Ptolemy, was an extensive hundred containing three comots, and comprehending that long neck of land between Caernarvon and Cardigan bays. Leland says, "Al Lene is as it were a pointe into the se."

Note 144. In mentioning the rivers which the missionaries had lately crossed, our author has been guilty of a great topographical error in placing the river Dissennith between the Maw and Traeth Mawr, as also in placing the Arthro between the Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bychan, as a glance at a map will shew.

Note 145. To two personages of this name the gift of prophecy was anciently attributed: one was called Ambrosius, the other Sylvestris; the latter here mentioned (and whose works Giraldus, after a long research, found at Nefyn) was, according to the story, the son of Morvryn, and generally called Merddin Wyllt, or Merddin the Wild. He is pretended to have flourished about the middle of the sixth century, and ranked with Merddin Emrys and Taliesin, under the appellation of the three principal bards of the Isle of Britain.

Beyond Lleyn, there is a small island [Bardsey Island [Map]] inhabited by very religious monks, called Caelibes, or Colidei. This island, either from the wholesomeness of its climate, owing to its vicinity to Ireland, or rather from some miracle obtained by the merits of the saints, has this wonderful peculiarity, that the oldest people die first, because diseases are uncommon, and scarcely any die except from extreme old age. Its name is Enlli in the Welsh, and Berdesey146 in the Saxon language; and very many bodies of saints are said to be buried there, and amongst them that of Daniel, bishop of Bangor.

Note 146. This island once afforded, according to the old accounts, an asylum to twenty thousand saints, and after death, graves to as many of their bodies; whence it has been called Insula Sanctorum, the Isle of Saints. This island derived its British name of Enlli from the fierce current which rages between it and the main land. The Saxons named it Bardsey, probably from the Bards, who retired hither, preferring solitude to the company of invading foreigners.

The archbishop having, by his sermon the next day, induced many persons to take the cross, we proceeded towards Banchor [Map], passing through Caernarvon [Map],147 that is, the castle of Arvon; it is called Arvon, the province opposite to Mon, because it is so situated with respect to the island of Mona. Our road leading us to a steep valley,148 with many broken ascents and descents, we dismounted from our horses, and proceeded on foot, rehearsing, as it were, by agreement, some experiments of our intended pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Having traversed the valley, and reached the opposite side with considerable fatigue, the archbishop, to rest himself and recover his breath, sat down on an oak which had been torn up by the violence of the winds; and relaxing into a pleasantry highly laudable in a person of his approved gravity, thus addressed his attendants: "Who amongst you, in this company, can now delight our wearied ears by whistling?" which is not easily done by people out of breath. He affirming that he could, if he thought fit, the sweet notes are heard, in an adjoining wood, of a bird, which some said was a woodpecker, and others, more correctly, an aureolus. The woodpecker is called in French, spec, and with its strong bill, perforates oak trees; the other bird in called aureolus, from the golden tints of its feathers, and at certain seasons utters a sweet whistling note instead of a song. Some persons having remarked, that the nightingale was never heard in this country, the archbishop, with a significant smile, replied, "The nightingale followed wise counsel, and never came into Wales; but we, unwise counsel, who have penetrated and gone through it." We remained that night at Banchor,149 the metropolitan see of North Wales, and were well entertained by the bishop of the diocese.150 On the next day, mass being celebrated by the archbishop before the high altar, the bishop of that see, at the instance of the archbishop and other persons, more importunate than persuasive, was compelled to take the cross, to the general concern of all his people of both sexes, who expressed their grief on this occasion by loud and lamentable vociferations.

Note 147. This ancient city has been recorded by a variety of names. During the time of the Romans it was called Segontium, the site of which is now called Caer Seiont, the fortress on the river Seiont, where the Setantiorum portus, and the Seteia AEstuarium of Ptolemy have also been placed. It is called, by Nennius, Caer Custent, or the city of Constantius; and Matthew of Westminster says, that about the year 1283 the body of Constantius, father of the emperor Constantine, was found there, and honourably desposited in the church by order of Edward I.

Note 148. I have searched in vain for a valley which would answer the description here given by Geraldus, and the scene of so much pleasantry to the travellers; for neither do the old or new road, from Caernarvon to Bangor, in any way correspond. But I have since been informed, that there is a valley called Nant y Garth (near the residence of Ashton Smith, Esq. at Vaenol), which terminates at about half a mile's distance from the Menai, and therefore not observable from the road; it is a serpentine ravine of more than a mile, in a direction towards the mountains, and probably that which the crusaders crossed on their journey to Bangor.

Note 149. Bangor. This cathedral church must not be confounded with the celebrated college of the same name, in Flintshire, founded by Dunod Vawr, son of Pabo, a chieftain who lived about the beginning of the sixth century, and from him called Bangor Dunod. The Bangor, i.e. the college, in Caernarvonshire, is properly called Bangor Deiniol, Bangor Vawr yn Arllechwedd, and Bangor Vawr uwch Conwy. It owes its origin to Deiniol, son of Dunod ap Pabo, a saint who lived in the early part of the sixth century, and in the year 525 founded this college at Bangor, in Caernarvonshire, over which he presided as abbot. Guy Rufus, called by our author Guianus, was at this time bishop of this see, and died in 1190.

Note 150. Guianus, or Guy Rufus, dean of Waltham, in Essex, and consecrated to this see, at Ambresbury, Wilts, in May 1177.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 7

Anglesey. The island of Mona.

From hence, we crossed over a small arm of the sea to the island of Mona, distant from thence about two miles, where Roderic, the younger son of Owen, attended by nearly all the inhabitants of the island, and many others from the adjacent countries, came in a devout manner to meet us. Confession having been made in a place near the shore, where the surrounding rocks seemed to form a natural theatre,151 many persons were induced to take the cross, by the persuasive discourses of the archbishop, and Alexander, our interpreter, archdeacon of that place, and of Sisillus, abbot of Stratflur. Many chosen youths of the family of Roderic were seated on an opposite rock, and not one of them could be prevailed upon to take the cross, although the archbishop and others most earnestly exhorted them, but in vain, by an address particularly directed to them. It came to pass within three days, as if by divine vengeance, that these young men, with many others, pursued some robbers of that country. Being discomfited and put to flight, some were slain, others mortally wounded, and the survivors voluntarily assumed that cross they had before despised. Roderic, also, who a short time before had incestuously married the daughter of Rhys, related to him by blood in the third degree, in order, by the assistance of that prince, to be better able to defend himself against the sons of his brothers, whom he had disinherited, not paying attention to the wholesome admonitions of the archbishop on this subject, was a little while afterwards dispossessed of all his lands by their means; thus deservedly meeting with disappointment from the very source from which he expected support. The island of Mona contains three hundred and forty-three vills, considered equal to three cantreds. Cantred, a compound word from the British and Irish languages, is a portion of land equal to one hundred vills. There are three islands contiguous to Britain, on its different sides, which are said to be nearly of an equal size - the Isle of Wight on the south, Mona on the west, and Mania (Man) on the north-west side. The two first are separated from Britain by narrow channels; the third is much further removed, lying almost midway between the countries of Ulster in Ireland and Galloway in Scotland. The island of Mona is an arid and stony land, rough and unpleasant in its appearance, similar in its exterior qualities to the land of Pebidion,152 near St. David's, but very different as to its interior value. For this island is incomparably more fertile in corn than any other part of Wales, from whence arose the British proverb, "Mon mam Cymbry, Mona mother of Wales;" and when the crops have been defective in all other parts of the country, this island, from the richness of its soil and abundant produce, has been able to supply all Wales.

Note 151. The spot selected by Baldwin for addressing the multitude, has in some degree been elucidated by the anonymous author of the Supplement to Rowland's Mona Antiqua. He says, that "From tradition and memorials still retained, we have reasons to suppose that they met in an open place in the parish of Landisilio, called Cerrig y Borth. The inhabitants, by the grateful remembrance, to perpetuate the honour of that day, called the place where the archbishop stood, Carreg yr Archjagon, i.e. the Archbishop's Rock; and where prince Roderic stood, Maen Roderic, or the Stone of Roderic." This account is in part corroborated by the following communication from Mr. Richard Llwyd of Beaumaris, who made personal inquiries on the spot. "Cerrig y Borth, being a rough, undulating district, could not, for that reason, have been chosen for addressing a multitude; but adjoining it there are two eminences which command a convenient surface for that purpose; one called Maen Rodi (the Stone or Rock of Roderic), the property of Owen Williams, Esq.; and the other Carreg Iago, belonging to Lord Uxbridge. This last, as now pronounced, means the Rock of St. James; but I have no difficulty in admitting, that Carreg yr Arch Iagon may (by the compression of common, undiscriminating language, and the obliteration of the event from ignorant minds by the lapse of so many centuries) be contracted into Carreg Iago. Cadair yr archesgob is now also contracted into Cadair (chair, a seat naturally formed in the rock, with a rude arch over it, on the road side, which is a rough terrace over the breast of a rocky and commanding cliff, and the nearest way from the above eminences to the insulated church of Landisilio. This word Cadair, though in general language a chair, yet when applied to exalted situations, means an observatory, as Cadair Idris, etc.; but there can, in my opinion, be no doubt that this seat in the rock is that described by the words Cadair yr Archesgob." [Still more probable, and certainly more flattering to Giraldus, is that it was called "Cadair yr Arch Ddiacon" (the Archdeacon's chair).]

Note 152. This hundred contained the comots of Mynyw, or St. David's, and Pencaer.

As many things within this island are worthy of remark, I shall not think it superfluous to make mention of some of them. There is a stone [Maen Morddwyd Standing Stone [Map]] here resembling a human thigh,153 which possesses this innate virtue, that whatever distance it may be carried, it returns, of its own accord, the following night, as has often been experienced by the inhabitants. Hugh, earl of Chester,154 in the reign of king Henry I., having by force occupied this island and the adjacent country, heard of the miraculous power of this stone, and, for the purpose of trial, ordered it to be fastened, with strong iron chains, to one of a larger size, and to be thrown into the sea. On the following morning, however, according to custom, it was found in its original position, on which account the earl issued a public edict, that no one, from that time, should presume to move the stone from its place. A countryman, also, to try the powers of this stone, fastened it to his thigh, which immediately became putrid, and the stone returned to its original situation.

Note 153. I am indebted to Mr. Richard Llwyd for the following curious extract from a Manuscript of the late intelligent Mr. Rowlands, respecting this miraculous stone, called Maen Morddwyd [Map], or the stone of the thigh, which once existed in Llanidan parish. "Hic etiam lapis lumbi, vulgo Maen Morddwyd, in hujus caemiterii vallo locum sibi e longo a retro tempore obtinuit, exindeque his nuperis annis, quo nescio papicola vel qua inscia manu nulla ut olim retinente virtute, quae tunc penitus elanguit aut vetustate evaporavit, nullo sane loci dispendio, nec illi qui eripuit emolumento, ereptus et deportatus fuit."

Note 154. Hugh, earl of Chester. The first earl of Chester after the Norman conquest, was Gherbod, a Fleming, who, having obtained leave from king William to go into Flanders for the purpose of arranging some family concerns, was taken and detained a prisoner by his enemies; upon which the conqueror bestowed the earldom of Chester on Hugh de Abrincis or of Avranches, "to hold as freely by the sword, as the king himself did England by the crown."

There is in the same island a stony hill, not very large or high, from one side of which, if you cry aloud, you will not be heard on the other; and it is called (by anti-phrasis) the rock of hearers. In the northern part of Great Britain (Northumberland) so named by the English, from its situation beyond the river Humber, there is a hill of a similar nature, where if a loud horn or trumpet is sounded on one side, it cannot be heard on the opposite one. There is also in this island the church of St. Tefredaucus [Map],155 into which Hugh, earl of Shrewsbury, (who, together with the earl of Chester, had forcibly entered Anglesey), on a certain night put some dogs, which on the following morning were found mad, and he himself died within a month; for some pirates, from the Orcades, having entered the port of the island in their long vessels, the earl, apprised of their approach, boldly met them, rushing into the sea upon a spirited horse. The commander of the expedition, Magnus, standing on the prow of the foremost ship, aimed an arrow at him; and, although the earl was completely equipped in a coat of mail, and guarded in every part of his body except his eyes, the unlucky weapon struck his right eye, and, entering his brain, he fell a lifeless corpse into the sea. The victor, seeing him in this state, proudly and exultingly exclaimed, in the Danish tongue, "Leit loup," let him leap; and from this time the power of the English ceased in Anglesey. In our times, also, when Henry II. was leading an army into North Wales, where he had experienced the ill fortune of war in a narrow, woody pass near Coleshulle, he sent a fleet into Anglesey, and began to plunder the aforesaid church, and other sacred places. But the divine vengeance pursued him, for the inhabitants rushed upon the invaders, few against many, unarmed against armed; and having slain great numbers, and taken many prisoners, gained a most complete and bloody victory. For, as our Topography of Ireland testifies, that the Welsh and Irish are more prone to anger and revenge than any other nations, the saints, likewise, of those countries appear to be of a more vindictive nature.

Note 155. This church is at Llandyfrydog [Map], a small village in Twrkelin hundred, not far distant from Llanelian, and about three miles from the Bay of Dulas. St. Tyvrydog, to whom it was dedicated, was one of the sons of Arwystyl Glof, a saint who lived in the latter part of the sixth century.

Two noble persons, and uncles of the author of this book, were sent thither by the king; namely, Henry, son of king Henry I., and uncle to king Henry II., by Nest, daughter of Rhys, prince of South Wales; and Robert Fitz-Stephen, brother to Henry, a man who in our days, shewing the way to others, first attacked Ireland, and whose fame is recorded in our Vaticinal History . Henry, actuated by too much valour, and ill supported, was pierced by a lance, and fell amongst the foremost, to the great concern of his attendants; and Robert, despairing of being able to defend himself, was badly wounded, and escaped with difficulty to the ships.

There is a small island [Priestholm aka Puffin Island, Anglesey [Map]], almost adjoining to Anglesey, which is inhabited by hermits, living by manual labour, and serving God. It is remarkable that when, by the influence of human passions, any discord arises among them, all their provisions are devoured and infected by a species of small mice, with which the island abounds; but when the discord ceases, they are no longer molested. Nor is it to be wondered at, if the servants of God sometimes disagree, since Jacob and Esau contended in the womb of Rebecca, and Paul and Barnabas differed; the disciples also of Jesus disputed which of them should be the greatest, for these are the temptations of human infirmity; yet virtue is often made perfect by infirmity, and faith is increased by tribulations. This island is called in Welsh, Ynys Lenach,156 or the ecclesiastical island, because many bodies of saints are deposited there, and no woman is suffered to enter it.

Note 156. Ynys Lenach, now known by the name of Priestholme Island, bore also the title of Ynys Seiriol, from a saint who resided upon it in the sixth century. It is also mentioned by Dugdale and Pennant under the appellation of Insula Glannauch.

We saw in Anglesey a dog, who accidentally had lost his tail, and whose whole progeny bore the same defect. It is wonderful that nature should, as it were, conform itself in this particular to the accident of the father. We saw also a knight, named Earthbald, born in Devonshire, whose father, denying the child with which his mother was pregnant, and from motives of jealousy accusing her of inconstancy, nature alone decided the controversy by the birth of the child, who, by a miracle, exhibited on his upper lip a scar, similar to one his father bore in consequence of a wound he had received from a lance in one of his military expeditions. Stephen, the son of Earthbald, had a similar mark, the accident being in a manner converted into nature. A like miracle of nature occurred in earl Alberic, son of Alberic earl of Veer,157 whose father, during the pregnancy of his mother, the daughter of Henry of Essex, having laboured to procure a divorce, on account of the ignominy of her father, the child, when born, had the same blemish in its eye, as the father had got from a casual hurt. These defects may be entailed on the offspring, perhaps, by the impression made on the memory by frequent and steady observation; as it is reported that a queen, accustomed to see the picture of a negro in her chamber, unexpectedly brought forth a black child, and is exculpated by Quintilian, on account of the picture. In like manner it happened to the spotted sheep, given by Laban out of his flock to his nephew Jacob, and which conceived by means of variegated rods.158 Nor is the child always affected by the mother's imagination alone, but sometimes by that of the father; for it is well known that a man, seeing a passenger near him, who was convulsed both behind and before, on going home and telling his wife that he could not get the impression of this sight off his mind, begat a child who was affected in a similar manner.

Note 157. Alberic de Veer, or Vere, came into England with William the Conqueror, and as a reward for his military services, received very extensive possessions and lands, particularly in the county of Essex. Alberic, his eldest son, was great chamberlain of England in the reign of king Henry I., and was killed A.D. 1140, in a popular tumult at London. Henry de Essex married one of his daughters named Adeliza. He enjoyed, by inheritance, the office of standard-bearer, and behaved himself so unworthily in the military expedition which king Henry undertook against Owen Gwynedd, prince of North Wales, in the year 1157, by throwing down his ensign, and betaking himself to flight, that he was challenged for this misdemeanor by Robert de Mountford, and by him vanquished in single combat; whereby, according to the laws of his country, his life was justly forfeited. But the king interposing his royal mercy, spared it, but confiscated his estates, ordering him to be shorn a monk, and placed in the abbey of Reading. There appears to be some biographical error in the words of Giraldus - "Filia scilicet Henrici de Essexia," for by the genealogical accounts of the Vere and Essex families, we find that Henry de Essex married the daughter of the second Alberic de Vere; whereas our author seems to imply, that the mother of Alberic the second was daughter to Henry de Essex.

Note 158. "And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel, and of the chesnut tree, and peeled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods, which he had peeled, before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs, when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle speckled and spotted." - Gen. xxx.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 8

Conway. Passage of the river Conwy in a boat, and of Dinas Emrys.

On our return to Banchor [Map] from Mona, we were shown the tombs of prince Owen and his younger brother Cadwalader,159 who were buried in a double vault before the high altar, although Owen, on account of his public incest with his cousin-german, had died excommunicated by the blessed martyr St. Thomas, the bishop of that see having been enjoined to seize a proper opportunity of removing his body from the church. We continued our journey on the sea coast, confined on one side by steep rocks, and by the sea on the other, towards the river Conwy, which preserves its waters unadulterated by the sea. Not far from the source of the river Conwy, at the head of the Eryri mountain, which on this side extends itself towards the north, stands Dinas Emrys, that is, the promontory of Ambrosius, where Merlin160 uttered his prophecies, whilst Vortigern was seated upon the bank. There were two Merlins; the one called Ambrosius who prophesied in the time of king Vortigern, was begotten by a demon incubus, and found at Caermardin, from which circumstance that city derived its name of Caermardin, or the city of Merlin; the other Merlin, born in Scotland, was named Celidonius, from the Celidonian wood in which he prophesied; and Sylvester, because when engaged in martial conflict, he discovered in the air a terrible monster, and from that time grew mad, and taking shelter in a wood, passed the remainder of his days in a savage state. This Merlin lived in the time of king Arthur, and is said to have prophesied more fully and explicitly than the other. I shall pass over in silence what was done by the sons of Owen in our days, after his death, or while he was dying, who, from the wicked desire of reigning, totally disregarded the ties of fraternity; but I shall not omit mentioning another event which occurred likewise in our days. Owen,161 son of Gruffyth, prince of North Wales, had many sons, but only one legitimate, namely, Iorwerth Drwyndwn, which in Welsh means flat-nosed, who had a son named Llewelyn. This young man, being only twelve years of age, began, during the period of our journey, to molest his uncles David and Roderic, the sons of Owen by Christiana, his cousin-german; and although they had divided amongst themselves all North Wales, except the land of Conan, and although David, having married the sister of king Henry II., by whom he had one son, was powerfully supported by the English, yet within a few years the legitimate son, destitute of lands or money (by the aid of divine vengeance), bravely expelled from North Wales those who were born in public incest, though supported by their own wealth and by that of others, leaving them nothing but what the liberality of his own mind and the counsel of good men from pity suggested: a proof that adulterous and incestuous persons are displeasing to God.

Note 159. Owen Gwynedd, the son of Gruffydd ap Conan, died in 1169, and was buried at Bangor. When Baldwin, during his progress, visited Bangor and saw his tomb, he charged the bishop (Guy Ruffus) to remove the body out of the cathedral, when he had a fit opportunity so to do, in regard that archbishop Becket had excommunicated him heretofore, because he had married his first cousin, the daughter of Grono ap Edwyn, and that notwithstanding he had continued to live with her till she died. The bishop, in obedience to the charge, made a passage from the vault through the south wall of the church underground, and thus secretly shoved the body into the churchyard. - Hengwrt. MSS. Cadwalader brother of Owen Gwynedd, died in 1172.

Note 160. The Merlin here mentioned was called Ambrosius, and according to the Cambrian Biography flourished about the middle of the fifth century. Other authors say, that this reputed prophet and magician was the son of a Welsh nun, daughter of a king of Demetia, and born at Caermarthen, and that he was made king of West Wales by Vortigern, who then reigned in Britain.

Note 161. Owen Gwynedd "left behind him manie children gotten by diverse women, which were not esteemed by their mothers and birth, but by their prowes and valiantnesse." By his first wife, Gladus, the daughter of Llywarch ap Trahaern ap Caradoc, he had Orwerth Drwyndwn, that is, Edward with the broken nose; for which defect he was deemed unfit to preside over the principality of North Wales and was deprived of his rightful inheritance, which was seized by his brother David, who occupied it for the space of twenty-four years.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 9

Snowdonia. Of the mountains of Eryri.

I must not pass over in silence the mountains called by the Welsh Eryri [Map], but by the English Snowdon, or Mountains of Snow, which gradually increasing from the land of the sons of Conan, and extending themselves northwards near Deganwy, seem to rear their lofty summits even to the clouds, when viewed from the opposite coast of Anglesey. They are said to be of so great an extent, that according to an ancient proverb, "As Mona could supply corn for all the inhabitants of Wales, so could the Eryri mountains afford sufficient pasture for all the herds, if collected together." Hence these lines of Virgil may be applied to them:-

"Et quantum longis carpent armenta diebus,

Exigua tautum gelidus ros nocte reponet."

"And what is cropt by day the night renews,

Shedding refreshful stores of cooling dews."

On the highest parts of these mountains are two lakes worthy of admiration. The one has a floating island in it, which is often driven from one side to the other by the force of the winds; and the shepherds behold with astonishment their cattle, whilst feeding, carried to the distant parts of the lake. A part of the bank naturally bound together by the roots of willows and other shrubs may have been broken off, and increased by the alluvion of the earth from the shore; and being continually agitated by the winds, which in so elevated a situation blow with great violence, it cannot reunite itself firmly with the banks. The other lake is noted for a wonderful and singular miracle. It contains three sorts of fish - eels, trout, and perch, all of which have only one eye, the left being wanting; but if the curious reader should demand of me the explanation of so extraordinary a circumstance, I cannot presume to satisfy him. It is remarkable also, that in two places in Scotland, one near the eastern, the other near the western sea, the fish called mullets possess the same defect, having no left eye. According to vulgar tradition, these mountains are frequented by an eagle who, perching on a fatal stone every fifth holiday, in order to satiate her hunger with the carcases of the slain, is said to expect war on that same day, and to have almost perforated the stone by cleaning and sharpening her beak.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 10

Flintshire. Of the passage by Deganwy and Ruthlan, and the see of Lanelwy, and of Coleshulle.

Having crossed the river Conwy,162 or rather an arm of the sea, under Deganwy [Map], leaving the Cistercian monastery of Conwy [Map]163 on the western bank of the river to our right hand, we arrived at Ruthlan [Map], a noble castle on the river Cloyd, belonging to David, the eldest son of Owen164 where, at the earnest invitation of David himself, we were handsomely entertained that night.

Note 162. The travellers pursuing their journey along the sea coast, crossed the aestuary of the river Conway under Deganwy, a fortress of very remote antiquity.

Note 163. At this period the Cistercian monastery of Conway was in its infancy, for its foundation has been attributed to Llewelyn ap Iorwerth, in the year 1185, (only three years previous to Baldwin's visitation,) who endowed it with very extensive possessions and singular privileges. Like Stratflur, this abbey was the repository of the national records, and the mausoleum of many of its princes.

Note 164. [David was the illegitimate son of Owen Gwynedd, and had dispossessed his brother, Iorwerth Drwyndwn.]

There is a spring not far from Ruthlan, in the province of Tegengel,165 which not only regularly ebbs and flows like the sea, twice in twenty-four hours, but at other times frequently rises and falls both by night and day. Trogus Pompeius says, "that there is a town of the Garamantes, where there is a spring which is hot and cold alternately by day and night."166

Note 165. This ebbing spring in the province of Tegeingl, or Flintshire, has been placed by the old annotator on Giraldus at Kilken, which Humphrey Llwyd, in his Breviary, also mentions.

Note 166. See before, the Topography of Ireland, Distinc. ii. c. 7.

Many persons in the morning having been persuaded to dedicate themselves to the service of Christ, we proceeded from Ruthlan to the small cathedral church of Lanelwy [Map];167 from whence (the archbishop having celebrated mass) we continued our journey through a country rich in minerals of silver, where money is sought in the bowels of the earth, to the little cell of Basinwerk [Map],168 where we passed the night. The following day we traversed a long quicksand, and not without some degree of apprehension, leaving the woody district of Coleshulle [Map],169 or hill of coal, on our right hand, where Henry II., who in our time, actuated by youthful and indiscreet ardour, made a hostile irruption into Wales, and presuming to pass through that narrow and woody defile, experienced a signal defeat, and a very heavy loss of men.170 The aforesaid king invaded Wales three times with an army; first, North Wales at the above-mentioned place; secondly, South Wales, by the sea-coast of Glamorgan and Goer, penetrating as far as Caermarddin and Pencadair, and returning by Ellennith and Melenith; and thirdly, the country of Powys, near Oswaldestree; but in all these expeditions the king was unsuccessful, because he placed no confidence in the prudent and well-informed chieftains of the country, but was principally advised by people remote from the marches, and ignorant of the manners and customs of the natives. In every expedition, as the artificer is to be trusted in his trade, so the advice of those people should be consulted, who, by a long residence in the country, are become conversant with the manners and customs of the natives; and to whom it is of high importance that the power of the hostile nation, with whom, by a long and continued warfare, they have contracted an implacable enmity and hatred, should be weakened or destroyed, as we have set forth in our Vaticinal History.

Note 167. Saint Asaph, in size, though not in revenues, may deserve the epithet of "paupercula" attached to it by Giraldus. From its situation near the banks of the river Elwy, it derived the name of Llanelwy, or the church upon the Elwy.

Note 168. Leaving Llanelwy, or St. Asaph, the archbishop proceeded to the little cell of Basinwerk, where he and his attendants passed the night. It is situated at a short distance from Holywell, on a gentle eminence above a valley, watered by the copious springs that issue from St. Winefred's well, and on the borders of a marsh, which extends towards the coast of Cheshire.

Note 169. Coleshill is a township in Holywell parish, Flintshire, which gives name to a hundred, and was so called from its abundance of fossil fuel. Pennant, vol. i. p. 42.

Note 170. The three military expeditions of king Henry into Wales, here mentioned, were A.D. 1157, the first expedition into North Wales; A.D. 1162, the second expedition into South Wales; A.D. 1165, the third expedition into North Wales. In the first, the king was obliged to retreat with considerable loss, and the king's standard-bearer, Henry de Essex, was accused of having in a cowardly manner abandoned the royal standard and led to a serious disaster.

In this wood of Coleshulle, a young Welshman was killed while passing through the king's army; the greyhound who accompanied him did not desert his master's corpse for eight days, though without food; but faithfully defended it from the attacks of dogs, wolves, and birds of prey, with a wonderful attachment. What son to his father, what Nisus to Euryalus, what Polynices to Tydeus, what Orestes to Pylades, would have shewn such an affectionate regard? As a mark of favour to the dog, who was almost starved to death, the English, although bitter enemies to the Welsh, ordered the body, now nearly putrid, to be deposited in the ground with the accustomed offices of humanity.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 11

Chester. Of the passage of the River Dee, and of Chester.

Having crossed the river Dee below Chester, (which the Welsh call Doverdwy), on the third day before Easter, or the day of absolution (holy Thursday), we reached Chester [Map]. As the river Wye towards the south separates Wales from England, so the Dee near Chester forms the northern boundary. The inhabitants of these parts assert, that the waters of this river change their fords every month, and, as it inclines more towards England or Wales, they can, with certainty, prognosticate which nation will be successful or unfortunate during the year. This river derives its origin from the lake Penmelesmere,171 and, although it abounds with salmon, yet none are found in the lake. It is also remarkable, that this river is never swollen by rains, but often rises by the violence of the winds.

Note 171. The lake of Penmelesmere, or Pymplwy meer, or the meer of the five parishes adjoining the lake, is, in modern days, better known by the name of Bala Pool. The assertion made by Giraldus, of salmon never being found in the lake of Bala, is not founded on truth.

Chester boasts of being the burial-place of Henry,172 a Roman emperor, who, after having imprisoned his carnal and spiritual father, pope Paschal, gave himself up to penitence; and, becoming a voluntary exile in this country, ended his days in solitary retirement. It is also asserted, that the remains of Harold are here deposited. He was the last of the Saxon kings in England, and as a punishment for his perjury, was defeated in the battle of Hastings, fought against the Normans. Having received many wounds, and lost his left eye by an arrow in that engagement, he is said to have escaped to these parts, where, in holy conversation, leading the life of an anchorite, and being a constant attendant at one of the churches of this city, he is believed to have terminated his days happily.173 The truth of these two circumstances was declared (and not before known) by the dying confession of each party. We saw here, what appeared novel to us, cheese made of deer's milk; for the countess and her mother keeping tame deer, presented to the archbishop three small cheeses made from their milk.

Note 172. Giraldus seems to have been mistaken respecting the burial-place of the emperor Henry V., for he died May 23, A.D. 1125, at Utrecht, and his body was conveyed to Spire for interment.

Note 173. This legend, which represents king Harold as having escaped from the battle of Hastings, and as having lived years after as a hermit on the borders of Wales, is mentioned by other old writers, and has been adopted as true by some modern writers.

In this same country was produced, in our time, a cow partaking of the nature of a stag, resembling its mother in the fore parts and the stag in its hips, legs, and feet, and having the skin and colour of the stag; but, partaking more of the nature of the domestic than of the wild animal, it remained with the herd of cattle. A bitch also was pregnant by a monkey, and produced a litter of whelps resembling a monkey before, and the dog behind; which the rustic keeper of the military hall seeing with astonishment and abhorrence, immediately killed with the stick he carried in his hand; thereby incurring the severe resentment and anger of his lord, when the latter became acquainted with the circumstance.

In our time, also, a woman was born in Chester without hands, to whom nature had supplied a remedy for that defect by the flexibility and delicacy of the joints of her feet, with which she could sew, or perform any work with thread or scissors, as well as other women.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 12

Oswestry and Shrewsbury. Of the journey by the White Monastery, Oswaldestree, Powys, and Shrewsbury.

The feast of Easter having been observed with due solemnity, and many persons, by the exhortations of the archbishop, signed with the cross, we directed our way from Chester to the White Monastery,174 and from thence towards Oswaldestree; where, on the very borders of Powys, we were met by Gruffydd son of Madoc, and Elissa, princes of that country, and many others; some few of whom having been persuaded to take the cross (for several of the multitude had been previously signed by Reiner,175 the bishop of that place), Gruffydd, prince of the district, publicly adjured, in the presence of the archbishop, his cousin-german, Angharad, daughter of prince Owen, whom, according to the vicious custom of the country, he had long considered as his wife. We slept at Oswaldestree, or the tree of St. Oswald, and were most sumptuously entertained after the English manner, by William Fitz-Alan,176 a noble and liberal young man. A short time before, whilst Reiner was preaching, a robust youth being earnestly exhorted to follow the example of his companions in taking the cross, answered, "I will not follow your advice until, with this lance which I bear in my hand, I shall have avenged the death of my lord," alluding to Owen, son of Madoc, a distinguished warrior, who had been maliciously and treacherously slain by Owen Cyfeilioc, his cousin-german; and while he was thus venting his anger and revenge, and violently brandishing his lance, it suddenly snapped asunder, and fell disjointed in several pieces to the ground, the handle only remaining in his hand. Alarmed and astonished at this omen, which he considered as a certain signal for his taking the cross, he voluntarily offered his services.

Note 174. Some difficulty occurs in fixing the situation of the Album Monasterium, mentioned in the text, as three churches in the county of Shropshire bore that appellation; the first at Whitchurch, the second at Oswestry, the third at Alberbury. The narrative of our author is so simple, and corresponds so well with the topography of the country through which they passed, that I think no doubt ought to be entertained about the course of their route. From Chester they directed their way to the White Monastery, or Whitchurch, and from thence towards Oswestry, where they slept, and were entertained by William Fitz-Alan, after the English mode of hospitality.

Note 175. By the Latin context it would appear that Reiner was bishop of Oswestree: "Ab episcopo namque loci illius Reinerio multitudo fuerat ante signata." Reiner succeeded Adam in the bishopric of St. Asaph in the year 1186, and died in 1220. He had a residence near Oswestry, at which place, previous to the arrival of Baldwin, he had signed many of the people with the cross.

Note 176. In the time of William the Conqueror, Alan, the son of Flathald, or Flaald, obtained, by the gift of that king, the castle of Oswaldestre, with the territory adjoining, which belonged to Meredith ap Blethyn, a Briton. This Alan, having married the daughter and heir to Warine, sheriff of Shropshire, had in her right the barony of the same Warine. To him succeeded William, his son and heir. He married Isabel de Say, daughter and heir to Helias de Say, niece to Robert earl of Gloucester, lady of Clun, and left issue by her, William, his son and successor, who, in the 19th Henry II., or before, departed this life, leaving William Fitz-Alan his son and heir, who is mentioned in the text.

In this third district of Wales, called Powys, there are most excellent studs put apart for breeding, and deriving their origin from some fine Spanish horses, which Robert de Belesme,177 earl of Shrewsbury, brought into this country: on which account the horses sent from hence are remarkable for their majestic proportion and astonishing fleetness.

Note 177. Robert de Belesme, earl of Shrewsbury, was son of Roger de Montgomery, who led the centre division of the army in that memorable battle which secured to William the conquest of England, and for his services was advanced to the earldoms of Arundel and Shrewsbury.

Here king Henry II. entered Powys, in our days, upon an expensive, though fruitless, expedition.178 Having dismembered the hostages whom he had previously received, he was compelled, by a sudden and violent fall of rain, to retreat with his army. On the preceding day, the chiefs of the English army had burned some of the Welsh churches, with the villages and churchyards; upon which the sons of Owen the Great, with their light-armed troops, stirred up the resentment of their father and the other princes of the country, declaring that they would never in future spare any churches of the English. When nearly the whole army was on the point of assenting to this determination, Owen, a man of distinguished wisdom and moderation - the tumult being in some degree subsided - thus spake: "My opinion, indeed, by no means agrees with yours, for we ought to rejoice at this conduct of our adversary; for, unless supported by divine assistance, we are far inferior to the English; and they, by their behaviour, have made God their enemy, who is able most powerfully to avenge both himself and us. We therefore most devoutly promise God that we will henceforth pay greater reverence than ever to churches and holy places." After which, the English army, on the following night, experienced (as has before been related) the divine vengeance.

Note 178. This expedition into Wales took place A.D. 1165, and has been already spoken of.

From Oswaldestree, we directed our course towards Shrewsbury [Map] (Salopesburia), which is nearly surrounded by the river Severn, where we remained a few days to rest and refresh ourselves; and where many people were induced to take the cross, through the elegant sermons of the archbishop and archdeacon. We also excommunicated Owen de Cevelioc, because he alone, amongst the Welsh princes, did not come to meet the archbishop with his people. Owen was a man of more fluent speech than his contemporary princes, and was conspicuous for the good management of his territory. Having generally favoured the royal cause, and opposed the measures of his own chieftains, he had contracted a great familiarity with king Henry II. Being with the king at table at Shrewsbury, Henry, as a mark of peculiar honour and regard, sent him one of his own loaves; he immediately brake it into small pieces, like alms-bread, and having, like an almoner, placed them at a distance from him, he took them up one by one and ate them. The king requiring an explanation of this proceeding, Owen, with a smile, replied, "I thus follow the example of my lord;" keenly alluding to the avaricious disposition of the king, who was accustomed to retain for a long time in his own hands the vacant ecclesiastical benefices.

It is to be remarked that three princes,179 distinguished for their justice, wisdom, and princely moderation, ruled, in our time, over the three provinces of Wales: Owen, son of Gruffydd, in Venedotia, or North Wales; Meredyth, his grandson, son of Gruffydd, who died early in life, in South Wales; and Owen de Cevelioc, in Powys. But two other princes were highly celebrated for their generosity; Cadwalader, son of Gruffydd, in North Wales, and Gruffydd of Maelor, son of Madoc, in Powys; and Rhys, son of Gruffydd, in South Wales, deserved commendation for his enterprising and independent spirit. In North Wales, David, son of Owen, and on the borders of Morgannoc, in South Wales, Howel, son of Iorwerth of Caerleon, maintained their good faith and credit, by observing a strict neutrality between the Welsh and English.

Note 179. The princes mentioned by Giraldus as most distinguished in North and South Wales, and most celebrated in his time, were, 1. Owen, son of Gruffydd, in North Wales; 2. Meredyth, son of Gruffydd, in South Wales; 3. Owen de Cyfeilioc, in Powys; 4. Cadwalader, son of Gruffydd, in North Wales; 5. Gruffydd of Maelor in Powys; 6. Rhys, son of Gruffydd, in South Wales; 7. David, son of Owen, in North Wales; 8. Howel, son of Iorwerth, in South Wales.

1. Owen Gwynedd, son of Gruffydd ap Conan, died in 1169, having governed his country well and worthily for the space of thirty-two years. He was fortunate and victorious in all his affairs, and never took any enterprise in hand but he achieved it. 2. Meredyth ap Gruffydd ap Rhys, lord of Caerdigan and Stratywy, died in 1153, at the early age of twenty-five; a worthy knight, fortunate in battle, just and liberal to all men. 3. Owen Cyfeilioc was the son of Gruffydd Meredyth ap Meredyth ap Blethyn, who was created lord of Powys by Henry I., and died about the year 1197, leaving his principality to his son Gwenwynwyn, from whom that part of Powys was called Powys Gwenwynwyn, to distinguish it from Powys Vadoc, the possession of the lords of Bromfield. The poems ascribed to him possess great spirit, and prove that he was, as Giraldus terms him, "linguae dicacis," in its best sense. 4. Cadwalader, son of Gruffydd ap Conan, prince of North Wales, died in 1175. Gruffydd of Maelor was son of Madoc ap Meredyth ap Blethyn, prince of Powys, who died at Winchester in 1160. "This man was ever the king of England's friend, and was one that feared God, and relieved the poor: his body was conveyed honourably to Powys, and buried at Myvod." His son Gruffydd succeeded him in the lordship of Bromfield, and died about the year 1190. 6. Rhys ap Gruffydd, or the lord Rhys, was son of Gruffydd ap Rhys ap Tewdwr, who died in 1137. The ancient writers have been very profuse in their praises of this celebrated Prince. 7. David, son of Owen Gwynedd, who, on the death if his father, forcibly seized the principality of North Wales, slaying his brother Howel in battle, and setting aside the claims of the lawful inheritor of the throne, Iorwerth Trwyndwn, whose son, Llewelyn ap Iorwerth, in 1194, recovered his inheritance. 8. Howel, son of Iorwerth of Caerleon, appears to have been distinguished chiefly by his ferocity.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 13

Ludlow and Hereford. Of the journey by Wenloch, Brumfeld, the castle of Ludlow, and Leominster, to Hereford.

From Shrewsbury, we continued our journey towards Wenloch [Map], by a narrow and rugged way, called Evil-street, where, in our time, a Jew, travelling with the archdeacon of the place, whose name was Sin (Peccatum), and the dean, whose name was Devil, towards Shrewsbury, hearing the archdeacon say, that his archdeaconry began at a place called Evil-street, and extended as far as Mal-pas, towards Chester, pleasantly told them, "It would be a miracle, if his fate brought him safe out of a country, whose archdeacon was Sin, whose dean the devil; the entrance to the archdeaconry Evil-street, and its exit Bad-pass."

From Wenloch, we passed by the little cell of Brumfeld,180 the noble castle of Ludlow [Map], through Leominster [Map] to Hereford [Map] leaving on our right hand the districts of Melenyth and Elvel; thus (describing as it were a circle) we came to the same point from which we had commenced this laborious journey through Wales.

Note 180. It appears that a small college of prebendaries, or secular canons, resided at Bromfield in the reign of king Henry I.; Osbert, the prior, being recorded as a witness to a deed made before the year 1148. In 1155, they became Benedictines, and surrendered church and lands to the abbey of St. Peter's at Gloucester, whereupon a prior and monks were placed there, and continued till the dissolution. An ancient gateway and some remains of the priory still testify the existence of this religious house, the local situation of which, near the confluence of the rivers Oney and Teme, has been accurately described by Leland.

During this long and laudable legation, about three thousand men were signed with the cross; well skilled in the use of arrows and lances, and versed in military matters; impatient to attack the enemies of the faith; profitably and happily engaged for the service of Christ, if the expedition of the Holy Cross had been forwarded with an alacrity equal to the diligence and devotion with which the forces were collected. But by the secret, though never unjust, judgment of God, the journey of the Roman emperor was delayed, and dissensions arose amongst our kings. The premature and fatal hand of death arrested the king of Sicily, who had been the foremost sovereign in supplying the holy land with corn and provisions during the period of their distress. In consequence of his death, violent contentions arose amongst our princes respecting their several rights to the kingdom; and the faithful beyond sea suffered severely by want and famine, surrounded on all sides by enemies, and most anxiously waiting for supplies. But as affliction may strengthen the understanding, as gold is tried by fire, and virtue may be confirmed in weakness, these things are suffered to happen; since adversity (as Gregory testifies) opposed to good prayers is the probation of virtue, not the judgment of reproof. For who does not know how fortunate a circumstance it was that Paul went to Italy, and suffered so dreadful a shipwreck? But the ship of his heart remained unbroken amidst the waves of the sea.

Late Medieval Books, The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales: Book 2 Chapter 14

Archbishop Baldwin. A description of Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury.181

Note 181. Baldwin was born at Exeter, in Devonshire, of a low family, but being endowed by nature with good abilities, applied them to an early cultivation of sacred and profane literature. His good conduct procured him the friendship of Bartholomew bishop of Exeter, who promoted him to the archdeaconry of that see; resigning this preferment, he assumed the cowl, and in a few years became abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Ford. In the year 1180, he was advanced to the bishopric of Worcester, and in 1184, translated to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. In the year 1188, he made his progress through Wales, preaching with fervour the service of the Cross; to which holy cause he fell a sacrifice in the year 1190, having religiously, honourably, and charitably ended his days in the Holy Land.

Let it not be thought superfluous to describe the exterior and inward qualities of that person, the particulars of whose embassy, and as it were holy peregrination, we have briefly and succinctly related. He was a man of a dark complexion, of an open and venerable countenance, of a moderate stature, a good person, and rather inclined to be thin than corpulent. He was a modest and grave man, of so great abstinence and continence, that ill report scarcely ever presumed to say any thing against him; a man of few words; slow to anger, temperate and moderate in all his passions and affections; swift to hear, slow to speak; he was from an early age well instructed in literature, and bearing the yoke of the Lord from his youth, by the purity of his morals became a distinguished luminary to the people; wherefore voluntarily resigning the honour of the archlevite,182 which he had canonically obtained, and despising the pomps and vanities of the world, he assumed with holy devotion the habit of the Cistercian order; and as he had been formerly more than a monk in his manners, within the space of a year he was appointed abbot, and in a few years afterwards preferred first to a bishopric, and then to an archbishopric; and having been found faithful in a little, had authority given him over much. But, as Cicero says, "Nature had made nothing entirely perfect;" when he came into power, not laying aside that sweet innate benignity which he had always shewn when a private man, sustaining his people with his staff rather than chastising them with rods, feeding them as it were with the milk of a mother, and not making use of the scourges of the father, he incurred public scandal for his remissness. So great was his lenity that he put an end to all pastoral rigour; and was a better monk than abbot, a better bishop than archbishop. Hence pope Urban addressed him; "Urban, servant of the servants of God, to the most fervent monk, to the warm abbot, to the luke-warm bishop, to the remiss archbishop, health, etc."

Note 182. Giraldus here alludes to the dignity of archdeacon, which Baldwin had obtained in the church of Exeter.

This second successor to the martyr Thomas, having heard of the insults offered to our Saviour and his holy cross, was amongst the first who signed themselves with the cross, and manfully assumed the office of preaching its service both at home and in the most remote parts of the kingdom. Pursuing his journey to the Holy Land, he embarked on board a vessel at Marseilles, and landed safely in a port at Tyre, from whence he proceeded to Acre, where he found our army both attacking and attacked, our forces dispirited by the defection of the princes, and thrown into a state of desolation and despair; fatigued by long expectation of supplies, greatly afflicted by hunger and want, and distempered by the inclemency of the air: finding his end approaching, he embraced his fellow subjects, relieving their wants by liberal acts of charity and pious exhortations, and by the tenor of his life and actions strengthened them in the faith; whose ways, life, and deeds, may he who is alone the "way, the truth, and the life," the way without offence, the truth without doubt, and the life without end, direct in truth, together with the whole body of the faithful, and for the glory of his name and the palm of faith which he hath planted, teach their hands to war, and their fingers to fight.