Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
15
THE BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

religion in Wales owes much to the missionary zeal of particular families, and that the three “blessed families” were those of Cunedda Wledig, Brychan and Caw. Out of a total number of 600 Welsh saints, 150 traced their descent from one or other of these three families. The Brychans were of Irish extraction; the Cuneddas and Caws hailed from North Britain. One of the Cunedda family—St Teilo or St Teleian—became the second Bishop of Llandaff. Up to the end of the seventh century, the name of a church was the designation of the founder, and in most cases the founder, or his representative, was the priest of the church, and made it the centre of worship and teaching to a district not strictly defined. It is well known that of Christian families who so largely helped in founding the English Church, more than one were royal—six abbesses in the East Anglian royal family in two generations, seven grandchildren of the stout pagan Penda of Mercia, abbesses and saints—show how strongly Christian zeal ran in royal families in England. “A royal race in Monmouthshire,” continues the writer, “which vanishes early in the seventh century, dying out in saints, seems to have spread the Gospel and founded churches up as far as Llanwrted, in Breconshire, and, indeed, in the next generation up to Anglesey, and beyond the channel in Cornwall.” The writer had previously referred to the work of Dubricius, first Bishop of Llandaff, the