Fanuin in clivo situm." In the latter part of the entry we have an explanation of the name of Rhiw Church.

Cathrall, again, in his History of North Wales,1 gives the church as dedicated to S. Aelrhyw, and adds that there is a well there called Ffynnon Aeiiw, the waters of which were supposed to be efficacious in the cure of cutaneous disorders, particularly one of that description denominated Man Aeliw (the mark or spot of Aeliw). In the alternative dedication given by Willis we have Y Ddelw Fyw, or the Living Image, which occurs in several Welsh Calendars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with festival on September 9, and to which there is a number of allusions in mediaeval Welsh literature. The Living Image was a rood or crucifix, which, it was alleged, miraculously bled when certain Jews nailed the Image to the cross.2 The church of Rhiw is evidently dedicated to Y Ddelw Fyw, in other words, to the Holy Rood; and Aelrhyw and Aeliw have the appearance of corruptions of the name. But the Living Image more particularly had in mind by the Welsh was a rood or crucifix in Mold Church (S. Mary). It is mentioned in two odes, of the late fifteenth century, to Rheinallt ab Gruffydd, of Tower, in the parish of Mold. The one, by Hywel Cilan, in praising Rheinallt's valour in fighting the English, says :—

I roi sawd Iorus ydyw

Urddal i Fair a'r Ddelw Fyw.

(To give battle he is a S. George,

Of the Order of Mary and the Living Image.)

The other, by Tudur Penllyn, contains these lines :—

Gwiw ddelw'r wirgrog a addolaf;

Y Ddelw Fyw o'r Wyddgrug a fu ddialwr,

Ag ynte i hunan a wnaeth gyfran gwr.

(The worthy image of the true cross will I worship;

The Living Image of Mold was the avenger,

And he himself did a man's part.)

A rhyming Welsh Calendar in Cardiff MS. 13, circa 1609, commemorates the Festival of the Image thus :—

Gwyl y Ddelw Fyw a phawb a'i clyw, Yn enwedig pawb a i'r Wyrgrig.

(The Feast of the Living Image, and everybody hears of it. Especially everybody who goes to Mold.)

1 Vol. ii, p. 120 (Manchester, 1828).

2 Robert Owen, Kymry, p. 11o (Carmarthen, 1891), thought the Image " must have been a clumsy replica of some Italian Madonna."


Dafydd ab Gwilym, in the fourteenth century, in one of his poems, exclaims, "Myn y Ddelw Fyw !" "By the Living Image!" l

S. AFAN, Bishop, Confessor

S. Afan Buellt, as he is generally called, was the son of Cedig ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig, by S. Tegfedd or Tegwedd, the daughter of Tegid Foel (the Bald), lord of Penllyn, in Merionethshire.2 Sometimes he is said, but wrongly, to have been the son of Ceredig. He lived in the early part of the sixth century. The epithet Buellt or Buallt (hodie Builth) indicates his connection with the cantref or hundred of that name in Brecknockshire. According to a sixteenth century manuscript,3 the hundred then comprised fifteen parishes, covering practically the whole expanse of the county north of the Eppynt. The Rural Deanery of Builth appears to be conterminous with it. Two of the churches within this Deanery are dedicated to Afan, viz. Llanafan Fawr and Llanafan Fechan (or Fach). The latter, which is otherwise called Llanfechan, is now subject to the former. One other church is dedicated to him, that of Llanafan-y-Trawsgoed, in the Deanery of Llanbadarn Fawr, Cardiganshire. It has been supposed that there once existed a See of Llanafan Fawr; but it is very improbable. At any rate, if it ever existed, it must have been for a very short period. The supposition is due to an inscription, in a very good state of preservation, at Llanafan Fawr, which reads thus: Hic Iacet Sanctus Avanus Episcopus. It is deeply cut in capital letters of the Lombardic type, slightly ornamented, on the very hard top-stone of a plain oblong altar tomb in the churchyard; but its date is not older than the end of the thirteenth or the fourteenth century.4 There is here nothing to show when or where Afan was Bishop. He is traditionally said to have been murdered by Irish pirates—by Danes, according to another account—on the banks of the Chwefri, and that the tomb here marks the site of his martyrdom. In the neighbourhood are a brook called Nant yr Esgob, a dingle called Cwm Esgob, and a small holding called Derwen Afan (his Oak). The rectory is called Perth y Sant (the Saint's Bush).

1 Works, ed. 1789, p. 437. We are indebted to Mr. J. Hobson Matthews, Monmouth, for most of these extracts. To "Yr Wydd Gryc" in the parish list in Peniarth MS. 147, circa 1566, is added, " y Ddelw fyw."

* Peniarth MSS. 16, 27 and 45 (last leaves Cedig out); lolo MSS., pp. 102, 110, 125; Myv. Arch., pp. 415, 418. Afan as a man's name is probably a loan from the Latin Amandus. It occurs also as a river name.

* Peniarth MS. 147; see Dr. J. Gwenogfryn Evans' Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 918.

'Westwood, Lapidarium Wallia, p. 72.

Rees says that" it is not improbable that he was the third Bishop of Llanbadarn; and his churches are situated in the district which may be assigned to that Diocese." 1

Haddan and Stubbs were disposed to accept the existence, for a short time, of a See of Llanafan, "either coincident with Llanbadarn (the seat of the Episcopate being transferred for the time from Llanbadarn to Llanafan Fawr), or taken out of it." 2 If it ever existed it was soon merged in that of Llanbadarn, and then both in that of S. David's, probably not long after 720. It is, however, far more probable that Afan was a bishop without other diocese than his own Llan.

The Demetian Calendar (S.) gives S. Afan's Festival as November 16, but the Calendars in the Iolo MSS. and the Welsh Prymers of 1618 and 1633 give the 17th. Nicolas Roscarrock gives November 16. Browne Willis enters S. Afan, with festival on December 17, as patron, with SS. Sannan and Ievan or John, of Llantrisant, Anglesey.3 He has made a mistake in the month.


These saints are given as children of Caw, lord of Cwm Cawlwyd, in two lists only of his children, contained in two MSS. belonging to Thomas Trueman.4 The names cannot be identified with any of those mentioned in other lists. One name is probably a corruption of the other.

1 Essay on the Welsh Saints, p. 209.

2 Councils, etc., i, p. 146. See also Basil Jones and Freeman in their History of S. David's, 1856, p. 266.

3 Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 279. • Iolo MSS., p. 142.


Rees 1 gives Llantrisant, Anglesey, as dedicated to "SS. Sannan, Afran, and Ieuan." Angharad Llwyd, again, in her History of Anglesey,2 gives the church as dedicated to " SS. Afran, Iefan and Sanan." The only Welsh saint with a name approximating Afran is Gafran, if we are to include him among the saints. We have here clearly a mistake for Afan. Browne Willis 3 enters against the church the following, "Fanum tribus Sanctis dicatum, viz. S. Sanan, June 13, S. Afan, Dec. 17, S. Ievan or John, Aug. 29 "; and in Peniarth MS. 147, circa 1566, there is a list of the parishes of Wales, in which is added to the parish-name Llantrisant, " Sannan and Afan and Evan." 4

S. AIDAN of Ferns, Bishop, Confessor

This saint, in the Welsh Genealogies of the Saints, is called Aidan, Aeddan and Aeddan Foeddawg. By this latter name he is mentioned in the Myvyrian alphabetical catalogue of Welsh Saints.5 Another authority gives him as Aidan y Coed Aur,6 and the same says further that Aidan's Bangor had "seven choirs with 2,000 members, called after the seven days of the week." 7 The name Aidan is a diminutive. Professor Rhys makes the Old Irish Oed, later Aedh, Aodh, Haodh, Anglicised Hugh, represent the Welsh Udd = Dominus.8

Aidan occurs also under the form Madoc, Mo-aid-oc; the suffix oc is a diminutive equivalent to an; and the prefix mo is an Irish term of endearment, of very frequent occurrence. This double form of name has led to confusion. S. Eltain of Kinsale is also called Moelteoc; and Luan is the same as Moluoc.

The genealogists have entered him twice, once under the form Aidan ab Caw, and again as Madog ab Gildas ab Caw, or rather, ab Aneurin ab Caw ;9 but Gildas and Aneurin are identical. Further confusion has arisen through his identification with a second of the same name, who was also Bishop of Ferns, but lived some thirty years, or a generation, later. In the Irish Martyrologies there are some twenty Aeds commemorated, and some twenty-three Aidans, and some of these were from the same part of Ireland as Aidan of Ferns. It is not possible to admit that Aidan was son of Caw; he must have been grandson, as his chronology makes him live a generation later than Gildas ab Caw.

1 Welsh Saints, p. 324. 2 p. 279 (Ruthin, 1833).

3 Survey of Bangor, p. 279.

4 Dr. J. Gwenogfryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 912.

5 Myv. Arch., pp. 420-1. 'Iolo MSS., p. 137.

7 Ibid., p. 151. 8 Welsh Philology, p. 216.

Iolo MSS., pp. 83, 108, 137.

The main authority for his life is a Vita beginning, "Fuit vir quidam." Colgan published this from a parchment copy obtained from Kilkenny.1 It is also given by the Bollandists from two MSS. in the Acta Sanctorum, Jan., t. ii, pp. 1112-1120. The same exists among the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum, Vesp. A. xiv, and has been published by Rees in his Cambro-British Saints, pp. 232-50. It is also published in the Vita SS. Hibern. from the Salamanca Codex, 1888, cols. 463-488. A condensation likewise by John of Tynemouth in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglia.

Mention is also made of him in the Life of S. David,2 and in that of S. Cadoc.3 In the Book of Llan Ddv, an Aidan is spoken of, a companion to S. Dyfrig,4 but this is certainly a different man. There is further mention of him in the Life of S. Molaisse.of Devennish.5

In the Book of Leinster he is given among the Saints who had double names.8 In the Vita Scti. Davidis he is spoken of as "Maidoc qui et Aidanus abinfantia",7 and in the Acta Sti. Edani in the Salamanca Codex as "Edanus qui et Moedoc dicitur." 8 Capgrave, from John of Tynemouth, says, "Sanctus iste in Vita Sti. Davidis 'Aidan' vocatur, in vita vera sua, ut superius patet 'Aidus' dicitur, et apud Meneviam in ecclesia Sti. Davidis appellatur 'Moedock' quod est hibernicum." 9

The epithet Foeddawg in the Welsh Genealogies is a reduplication of his name.

From the fusion of the two Aidans, both Bishops of Ferns, into one in the Vita, great anachronisms have ensued. Aidan is represented as a boy hostage with King Ainmire, 568-571, and as being associated

1 Acta SS. Hibern., ii, pp. 208 et seq.

2 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 106, 108-9; as " Aidus " in the same, pp. 23250. 3 Ibid., p. 48.

4 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 80.

5 Sylva Gadelica, London, 1892.

Book of Lismore, Anecd. Oxon., p. 301. Aed otherwise Maidoc of Ferns.

Cambro-British Saints, p. 133.

Acta SS. Hibern., Salamanca Codex, col. 463.

• Ed. 1901, p. 22. The " Life" in Capgrave is a condensation of that beginning, " Fuit vir quidam."

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