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and after its destruction, some of them—Bodfan among them—took refuge in the Bardsey Bangor. They were contemporaries of Rhun ab Maelgwn Gwynedd.1 Bodfan is the patron of Aber Gwyngregyn, in Carnarvonshire, now generally called Aber, which parish immediately adjoins the Lavan Sands. Leland calls it "the paroche of Aber otherwise Llan Boduan." 2 In Sir John Wynn of Gwydir's Ancient Survey of Penmaen Mawr," written in the time of Charles I, we are told that Helig had two sons, "Beda and Gwynn, who were both sainctes in Dwygyfylchi, and doe lye buried att the end of the Churche in a litle Chappell annexed to the west end of the Churche." 3 The Welsh Prymer of 1618 and Browne Willis 4 give Bodfan's Festival as January 2, and this date occurs also in many Welsh almanacks of the eighteenth century. Rees 5 gives June 2, probably a misprint for January 2. A Boduan occurs as a witness to a grant to S. Cadoc.6 A Bodian is invoked in the tenth century Litany of S. Vougay. He is thought to have given his name to S. Bedan, a parish in the ancient diocese of S. Brieuc.
S. BOTHMAEL, see S. BUDMAIL
S. BRAN FENDIGAID
Brax Fendigaid (the Blessed), the son of LlyrLlediaith, was a purely mythological personage, without the slightest claim to be reckoned a Welsh saint; but inasmuch as he has been so regarded we must deal with him. First of all we will give briefly what Welsh tradition has to say of him.
"Bran ab Llyr was a valiant King. After the death of his brothers, childless, he went to reside in Cornwall, leaving Essyllwg (Siluria) to his second son, Caradog. He effected much good in repelling his enemies, and was victorious over the Romans. He permitted the Armoricans to remain in Cornwall on condition that they assisted him against the Romans, which they did most manfully. This Bran became Emperor of Britain."' He "was the biggest man that ever was seen. He was the kindest and most liberal in his gifts, and the most heroic in war and distress. He drove the Goidels out of his country, where they had remained from the time of Gwrgan Farfdrwch, and he made a fortress (caer) on the banks of the River Loughor, which he called Dinmorfael, after his most beloved daughter, who died there. He subsequently erected a church there called Llanmorfael, but now Castell Llychwr." 2 Two Triads in the Third Series speak of him as one of the three " consolidating " and " blessing-conferring " sovereigns of the Isle of Britain ; another says that his stock or clan was one of the three saintly clans of Britain (ousting Caw from the genuine Triad); and another, that he "was the first who brought the Faith in Christ to the nation of the Welsh from Rome, where he had been seven years as hostage for his son Caradog, whom the Romans had taken prisoner." 8 He was " the first of the Welsh nation that was converted to the Faith in Christ," as well as the first to bring that Faith hither, "on which latter account he was called Bran the Blessed " ; and with him came Hid and Cyndaf, " men of Israel," and Arwystli Hen, " a man of Italy." Llandaff was "his church," that is, he was its founder and patron. Of his stock or clan were SS. Eigen (daughter of Caradog), Lleurwg, Ffagan, Dyfan, Medwy, Elfan, Tudwal, and others.4 Among " the stanzas of the Achievements" occurs the following—
1 Iolo MSS., pp. 106, 124. 2 Itin., v, fo. 48b.
3 Reprint, Llanfairfechan, 1906, pp. 18, 19.
4 Survey of Bangor, p. 273. 5 Welsh Saints, p. 302. * Cambro-British Saints, p. 91.
The achievement of Bran, the son of Llyr Llediaith,
Against the evil of perishing in the desert,
Was the planting of the Faith in Christ by a holy law.5
And one of " the Sayings of the Wise " runs—
Hast thou heard the saying of Bran
A farmhouse in Glamorgan, called Tre Fran, is pointed out as having been the place where he resided, not far from which is Llanilid founded by " the man of Israel." Bryn Caradog is also in the neighbourhood.
The whole story is one of the "fond things of vain imagining," without the slightest foundation in fact, and is a late forgery committed by somebody ignorant of Tacitus and Dion Cassius. Neither of these writers knew anything of the mythical Bran, whose equally mythical son, Caradog, has been assumed to be the Caractacus, or rather Caratacus (Caradog), the famous leader of the Silures and Ordovices against the Romans, who was taken captive to Rome by Ostorius Scapula in 51. Dion Cassius 1 tells us that Caratacus was a son of Cunobelinus (Cynfelyn), who had died before the war with the Romans had begun, and whose two sons, Caratacus and Togodumnus, had succeeded him on the throne. Tacitus,2 whilst particularizing the wife, daughter, and brothers of Caratacus, makes no reference whatever to his father, whom he could not have passed over had he been present.
1 Iolo MSS., p. 8. • Ibid., p. 38.
3 Myv. Arch., pp. 402, 404.
* Iolo MSS., pp. 100, 115, 135, 147. * Ibid., p. 263
• Ibid., p. 256.
VOL. I. 0
The Third Series of the Triads, which is hardly earlier than the sixteenth century, and the Glamorgan hagiological documents (of no earlier date), printed in the Iolo MSS., are responsible for Bran's saintship and the figment of the evangelising of Britain through him and his family, as the result of Caradog's captivity at Rome. Lewis Morris, who, in 1760, compiled the alphabetical catalogue of the Welsh Saints in the Myvyrian Archaiology, from a large collection of saintly pedigrees, evidently knew nothing of him as a saint, for he is not mentioned therein at all.
The true Bran, however, is to be met with, figuring largely, in the Mabinogi of Branwen. He is there3 called Bendigeidfran, " the Blessed Bran "; but he could not by any possibility be styled " Blessed " in the ordinary hagiological sense. He is clearly one of the old gods of the Celtic pantheon, and the epithet must be regarded as a survival therefrom. He was so big that" no house could ever contain" him, and " he was never known to be within a house." "There was no ship that could contain him in it," and so he wades across the sea from Wales to Ireland He is wounded there with a poisoned dart, and he orders his followers to cut off his head and bear it as far as the White Mount, i.e. the Tower Hill, in London, and bury it there with the face towards France, as a charm against foreign invasion, but it was disinterred by King Arthur.
The Mabinogi gives him a son, Caradog, and this, coupled with the epithet " Blessed," led to the invention of the story that he was father of the historical Caradog, and " the first that brought the Faith in Christ to the nation of the Welsh."
Professor Rhys regards him as one of the dark divinities, the counterpart of the Gaulish Cernunnos and the Roman Janus.4 His father, Llyr, and his brother, Manawyddan, and sister, Branwen, are all mythological characters.
1 Lib. lx, cc. 20, 21. - Annales, lib. xii, cc. 35, 36.
'So also in the Mabinogi of Manawyddan and the Red Book Triads. 4 Arthurian Legend, p. 346; Hibbert Lectures, pp. 93-7. Elton, in his Origins, pp. 291-2, treats him as a war-god.
The Bran story, with all its details, has been described as forming "what is perhaps (next to Geoffrey of Monmouth's performances) the most impudent forgery in Welsh literature." 1
S. BRANWALADER, Abbot, Confessor
Branwalader is invoked in the tenth century Litany of S. Vougay in that from Rheims, published by Mabillon, and in the Exeter Litany of the same period in the Salisbury Library, published by Warren.2 M. Loth, in an article on these Celtic Litanies says :—" Brangualatre, Branwalatre. This Saint seems to be the same as S. Brelade in Jersey, and S. Broladre in the ancient diocese of Dol. He has given his name to Loc-Brevelaire in Leon; in the sixteenth century Loc-Brevalayz, which leads to an early Breton form Brewalatre, and probably Brenwalatre or Branwalatre." 3
Loc-Brevelaire is stated by M. Pol de Courcy to have been described in mediaeval documents as Monasterium Sti. Brendani, but no references are given.4
Both Albert le Grand5 and Lobineau identify the two. The Breviary of S. Malo of 1768 does so as well.
Against the identification is the fact that the names apparently have little in common, but this shall be considered presently. In 935 Athelstan translated the body, or relics, of S. Branwalader, together with the arm and pastoral staff of S. Samson, to Milton in Dorsetshire. The day of commemoration of this Translation was January 19.
William of Worcester mentions Branwalader under the name of Branwalan. He says that the body then reposed " at Branston, eight miles from Axminster, and four miles from the South Sea." William of Worcester's writing is peculiarly crabbed. The original MS. is in Corpus Christi College Library, Cambridge, and Nasmith printed it fairly accurately in 1778.1
1 Mr. Egerton Phillimore in Y Cymmrodor, xi, p. 126.
2 Litany of S. Vougay, see Albert le Grand, Vies des Saints de Bretagnc, new ed. Quimper, 1901, pp. 224-227. Rheims Litany, Mabillon, Vetera Analecta, ed. Paris, 1723, ii, p. 667. Exeter Litany, Warren, Revue Celtique, 1888, p. 88, et seq.
3 Revue Celtique, 1890, p. 139.
1 Cartulaire de Redon, 1863, p. 579.
5 "S. Brandan, que nos Bretons appellent Sant Brevalazr," Le Grand, ed. cit., p. 591.
Branston is Branscombe, and it is a quarter of a mile, and not four miles from the sea.
Leland calls the Saint, Brampalator, and speaks of a chapel of S. Breword near the shore at Seaton, between Axminster and Branscombe.2
There can be little doubt that Breword is the same as Branwalader, and the chapel may have marked a resting-place of the relics, when being translated.
The name Brennain, which has become Brendan, means a shower. This adhered to the Saint in Ireland, and in those parts of Armorica where there was a considerable Irish settlement. But the Britons would seem to have changed the Bren into Bran, a raven, and to have tacked on to it the epithet Gwalader. Gwaladr, in Welsh, is a leader or ruler. It was by no means unusual for saints to have two names. Brendan was not the Saint's baptismal name, which was Mobi.
S. Cadoc's original name was Cathmail, that of S. Meven was Conaid; Kenan was known as Coledoc, one Fintan was also called Munna, a second Berach; Cronan was also known as Mochua, Carthach as Mochuda, Darerca is likewise known as Monenna. Kentigern is one with Munghu, and the great teacher of saints at Ty Gwyn is known as Ninnidh or Maucan. Celtic personal names consist of a substantive to which an adjective or a qualifying substantive is annexed. Brangwalader means the Raven Lord. Gwlad in Modern Welsh means "country "; in Old Welsh it signified " power, authority," from a root "vald," whence also English " wield," German "walten,"etc. Gwaladr is " one possessed of power," " a ruler." We have the same in composition in Cadwaladr.
Branwalader appears in Breton and British Litanies only. In the Irish Martyrologies such a name does not occur, but Brendan or rather Brennain.
In Brittany S. Branwalader receives local commemoration on the day of S. Brendan, May 16. MS. Missal of S. Malo, fifteenth century; Breviary of S. Malo, 1537; Breviary of Dol, 1769, on July 5; Breviary of Leon, 1516 ; Garaby also May 16, as Brendan or Broladre. He is the S. Brelade of Jersey, and the S. Broladre of Ille-et-Vilaine. Hampson's Cal. Jan. 19, so also the Cals. of Winchester and Malmesbury.
1 The passage is not distinctly written and turned in by the original binder after the letter n.
* Leland, Coll., iv, 82; Itin., iii, 58.