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This work, which is new, and entirely distinct from The Lives of the Saints, by Mr. Baring-Gould, issued in 1872–77, is published on the initiative, and under the auspices of THE HONOURABLE SOCIETY OF CYMMRODORION. The funds of the Society not being available for the purpose of producing a work of this magnitude, the COUNCIL took the course of instituting a Special Subscription Fund, to meet the necessary heavy expense of printing and publication. In response to their appeal a sufficient number of subscribers were obtained to warrant a commencement of the undertaking, and it is hoped that further support will be forthcoming in order to ensure the publication of the remaining volumes at intervals of not more than six months.—On behalf of the Society, E. VINCENT Evans, Secretary.
In treating of the Welsh, Cornish, and such Irish Saints as have left their traces in Britain and Brittany, one is met with the difficulty that there is no contemporary record of their lives and labours, and that many of them had no such records left, or if left, they have disappeared. Such Lives as do remain were composed late, at a time when the facts had become involved in a mass of fable, and those who wrote these Lives were more concerned to set down marvels that never occurred than historic facts. In most cases, where this is the case, all that can be done is to sift the narratives, and eliminate what is distinctly fabulous, and establish such points as are genuinely historical, as far as these may be determined, or determined approximately. It is a matter of profound regret that so many of these Saints are nuda nomina, and, to us, little more. And yet what is known of them deserves to be set down, for the fact of their names remaining is evidence that they did exist, and did good work in their generation.
In 1330, Bishop Grandisson of Exeter had to lament that the Lives or Legends of so many of the Saints to whom Churches in Devon, and especially in Cornwall, had been dedicated were lost through the neglect of the clergy, and he ordered that duplicates at 1-st of such as remained should be made, under penalty of a mark as fine for neglect. Unhappily the collection then made has since disappeared. Grandisson himself drew up a Legendarium for the Church of Exeter, but into that he introduced hardly any local Saints, contenting himself with such Lives as were inserted in the Roman Breviary. In the Introduction will be found enumerated the principal sources we have drawn upon for materials in the compilation of the Lives here presented. That we have been correct in our judgment as to dates, and other particulars, we cannot be confident. Conjecture must come in, where certain evidence is lacking.
The last volume will contain an Appendix of unpublished Pedigrees and original texts of Lives, in prose and verse, hitherto unpublished.
We have to thank many kind helpers in this difficult and arduous work. We can name only a few :—Principal Sir John Rhộs, Professor Anwyl, Mr. Egerton Phillimore, Dr. J. Gwenogvryn Evans, and the Abbé Duine, of Rennes ; also Sir John Williams, Bart., and Mr. W. R. M. Wynne, of Peniarth, for permission to make transcripts of unpublished materials, and the Cambrian Archæological Association for allowing the reproduction of some illustrations from its Journal.
The authors of this work cannot allow their first volume to appear without an expression of lively gratitude to the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion for so generously undertaking the publication of a book that appeals to a limited circle of students only. Without the Society having done this, it is doubtful whether the work would have ever seen the light.
S. Arthmael. From Stained Glass at S. Sauveur, Dinan. . . facing 172
u From Stained Glass at Ploermel
dyrnog Church, Denbighshire . . . . . . .'
„ Well, Clynnog . . . . . . .
258 S. Brigid. Statue at Lagonna, Guimerch . . .
Statue at S. Gerans . . . . .
Statue at SS. Dredeneaux . . . . . . ,