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we are told, lie buried there, to whose memory the late Lord Newborough, who owned the island, and who himself was buried on it, erected a monument. Quaint old Thomas Fuller thought "it more facile to find graves in Bardsey for so many saints, than saints for so many graves." 1 There are two mediaeval poems, in the cywydd metre, to the 20,000 Saints, the one by Hywel ab Dafydd ab Ieuan ab Rhys, and the other by Hywel ab Rheinallt. Taliessin, in his " Gorchan Maelderw," in the thirteenth century Book of Anenrin, says :—
I do mutually wish for the repose of Enlli,
The fair aspect of which is filled with deep interest; 2
and the twelfth century poet Meilir, in his "Deathbed of the Bard," also fervently prayed that he might be laid "to rest in happiness" on Enlli, which he called the "holy isle of the saints." 3
Owing to its sanctity and the danger often attending the voyage across, three pilgrimages thither were considered equal to a pilgrimage to Rome, ranking it as second to S. David's in this respect.
There is a somewhat long but obscure poem written in honour of S. Cadfan (Canu y Gadnan) by Llywelyn Fardd (fl. c. 1230-80).4 It is, however, in reality occupied principally with "Cadfan's high church near the shore of the blue sea," that is, the church of Towyn, which, he says, contained "three magnificent altars, famed for miracles." The first was that of the Blessed Virgin, the second that of S. Peter, and the third, "given by hand from heaven," was that of S. Cadfan. This church S. Cadfan founded after a divine pattern, when he came thither from Llydaw. It was "the glory of Meirionydd;" and he praises its costly crozier,3 which had the power of "checking the enemy, and causing them to fall upon each other; " also its sanctuary; numbers, he says, fled to the " abbot " for protection; then its priests, its munificence, its relics, its choir and music; its marble and its miracles "constantly visible." He invokes God's protection and blessing upon it and all its possessions; and, in conclusion, eulogizes Cadfan and Lleuddad as guardians of Enlli. In course of the poem he speaks of Cadfan as "the guardian of battle," and as " a hero." The Saint is commonly regarded as the patron of warriors, from which
1 Worthies, ed. 1840, iii, p. 528.
2 Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, i, p. 416; ii, p. 98.
s "Ynys glan y glain," Myv. Arch., p. 143. Ynys Enlli probably stands for Ynys Fcnlli (cf. Moel Fenlli).
4 Ibid., pp. 248-250.
5 "Myn Bagyl Gadfan!" is quoted in Salisbury and Perri's Egluryn Ffraethineb, ed. 1807, p. 19.
we ma)' suppose that he led a military life before he left Armorica. The fifteenth century poet, Lewis Glyn Cothi, in requesting the gift of a bow, compliments the subject of the poem with the epithet "mab Cadfan" (Cadfan's son).1
S. Cadfan is supposed to have had a preaching station on his route from Towyn to Llangadfan at Bryn yr Eglwys, near Abergynolwyn, a little to the north-east of Towyn. His memory is still preserved there in filenames PistyllCadfan (his waterfall), Eisteddfa Gadfan (his seat), and Llwybr Cadfan (his path). This path or track, along which he is popularly said to have habitually travelled between Towyn and Llangadfan during his missionary labours, is still traced by the country people at various points on the route.2 Lewis Morris, in his Celtic Remains, mentions Buarth Gadfan (his enclosure) and Dol Gadfan (his meadow); but Cadfan was not an uncommon name, and one is therefore not justified in assuming that all these apply to the Saint.
A chapel dedicated to S. Cadfan stood at the north-east end of Towyn churchyard in 1620. The Holy Well of S. Cadfan lay a little below the church. It was much frequented for the cure of rheumatic, scrofulous, and cutaneous disorders. For the better accommodation of the public, it had been enclosed and made into two baths, each about six feet square, with four dressing-rooms attached, and placed under the charge of a caretaker. In 1894, the owners of the baths, finding that they did not pay, filled them up with stones, and converted the buildings into a coach-house and stables.
Ffynnon Gadfan at Llangadfan has been partially closed. It lay a short distance from the church, and was at one time covered with a building. The efficacy of its waters was in great repute. When the present road leading from Cann Office to the church had to be carried over the well, care was taken to construct an arch above it.
One of the chapels in Llangathen church, Carmarthenshire, is called Capel Cadfan. There is a Llethr Codfan (his slope) in the parish.
The church of Towyn is a very interesting early Norman structure, a cross church with central tower. In its yard are four small menhirs marking off a quadrangular space. Graves are dense about it, but no interments arc made within. Here, originally, stood the Cadfan stone, now removed to the church for preservation.
It is a pillar stone seven feet long and about ten inches wide on the two sides that are widest, the other two being considerably narrower.
1 Works, Oxford, 1S37, p. 375.
2 For the traces of it sec R. P. Morris, Cantref Meirionydd, Dolgelley, 1890, pp. 540-1; also for the well at Towyn on p. 552.
The inscription on it has been supposed, but wrongly, to be the earliest known specimen of early Welsh. It was deciphered by Williams ab Ithel as running—
+ CUXGEX CELEN ARTERUXC DUBUT MARCIAU,
and by him rendered "The body of Cyngen is on the side between where the marks will be," the marks being the four upright stones in the churchyard. The rest of the inscription he read—
+ TENGRUGCIMALTEDGUADGAN MARTH MOLT CLODE TUAR TRICET
and translated, "Beneath a similar mound is extended Cadfan, sad that it should enclose the praise of the earth. May he rest without blemish." 1
The rendering has been generally disputed. Professor Rhys,2 indeed, but this seems the extreme of criticism, questions whether the whole inscription be genuine. The stone was copied and engraved by Lhuyd before 1709, and by Dr. Taylor in 1761, and engravings are given of it in Gough's Camden. As usual with these early copies they are not accurate.
It is not known for certain where S. Cadfan was buried. If the above reading of the inscription be in substance correct, then he was laid to rest at Towyn. But his body is also traditionally said to have reposed in Bardsey. He was succeeded by his cousin S. Lleuddad as abbot, and both arc regarded as patrons of Bardsey.
His festival does not occur in any of the Welsh Calendars, but it is given as November 1 by Rees in his Essay on the Welsh Saints, and he is followed by Williams ab Ithel in his Calendar. Browne Willis gives the dedication of Llangadfan as All Saints, and adds, " They keep their Feast on All Saints' Day, and not on the Sunday following, as elsewhere." 3 Bishop Maddox (1736-43), in his MS. book Z, in the Episcopal Library at S. Asaph, gives "Wake on All Sts Day.' All Saints' Day is also given as the festival observed at Towyn.
Dafydd ab Gwilym, in the fourteenth century, uses the expression, "Myn Delw Gadfan a'i grog!" (" By Cadfan's image and his cross ! ") i He had, no doubt, in mind the statue at Towyn, under
1 Arch. Camb., 1850, pp. 96-7. Sec also Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., i, pp. 164-5.
2 Ibid., 1874, p. 243; no forger of the seventeenth century could have written the Irish for G.
3 Survey of S. Asaph, 1720, p. 293. 1 Works, 1789, p. 130.
which parish is entered, in the Valor of 1535, " Oblacion' ad S'c'm Cad van co'ibus annis—xxvj s. viij d." (iv, p. 427; vi, p. xxvi).
It is by no means improbable that Cadfan re-visited Brittany when Grallo was dead, and he could do so in safety.
In Brittany Cadfan is known only in Finistere and Cotes du Nord, and in the latter only in that part which is near the border of Finistere. It is significant that as he is associated with Germanus as going with him to Britain, so he should have a chapel at Brasparz adjoining Pleyben, of which S. Germanus is patron. It is perhaps, indeed it is probable, that it is a mistake which makes him one of the party crossing to Wales with Germanus ; but the coincidence remains; and he may have been associated with the latter in Cornugallia. At Poullan near Douarnenez, he is patron of a church and parish, in a sandy region strewn with megalithic remains. As nothing was known there of the Life of S. Cadfan the present cure has replaced him by S. Cadoc. The Patronal Feast is, however, held there on Whitsun Day, whereas S. Cadoc's day is January 24.
The most interesting memorial of him is a statue in the chapel of S. Venec on the road from Quimper to Chateaulin. Here is a group of Gwen Teirbron with her three children by her second husband Fragan, and, in addition, one of a man in armour, now ascribed to S. Gwethenoc, one of these later sons, but Gwethenoc was a monk and never anything else, whereas Cadfan is the patron of warriors. And a writer in the Bulletin de la Societe Archeologique de Finistere had already suggested that this figure actually represented the eldest of her sons, Cadfan.
Cadfan was also the original patron of Cavan, in Cotes du Nord, and of S. Cava near the mouth of the Abervrach in Plouguerneau. There may have been other churches, as S. Cadou in the Sizun promontory, out of the Cadoc district, that have changed their patron, on account of so little being known of Cadfan.
That he did come back to Brittany, such dedications as remain seem to show. And there was reason why he should. His halfbrothers Winwaloe, Jacut and Gwethenoc were notable men there as monastic founders. But he was old, and they were young and vigorous ; their institutions nourished, and his decayed, and he returned to Wales, and died, either at Towyn or in Bardsey. No church in Brittany laid claims to possess his relics.
The fixing of the dates of his life can be approximate only. Germanus came over about the year 462, and Cadfan crossed probably about the same time or a little later. Reesputs his arrival later, '' Between the commencement of this century (the sixth) and the