Cungar (DNB00)

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CUNGAR or CYNGAR, Saint (fl. 500?), anchorite, is said by Capgrave (Nova Legenda, fo. 80) to have been the son of an emperor of Constantinople and of an empress named Luceria, to have come to this country in the time of Dubritius, bishop of Llandaff (d. 612?), and to have founded an oratory, first at the place called, as it is supposed after him, Congresbury in Somerset, and afterwards in Morganwy, Glamorganshire, placing twelve canons in each. He is further said to have received a grant of land from Iva, king of the English (Ina or Ini, king of the West Saxons, res. 725), and to have been called both by English and Welsh Docwin, because he taught (quod doceret) the people the Gospel. While the circumstances of this legend are of course unhistorical, they are not without meaning. Congresbury was probably of some ecclesiastical importance in British times; for either a monastery or at least a church of sufficient size to be called a minster existed there in the days of Alfred, and was granted by that king to Asser [q. v.], bishop of Sherborne. The name Docwin seems to point to Docwinni, one of the three famous sanctuaries of Llandaff diocese. Again, the story of Ini in connection with a foundation at Wells is associated with the false notions that that king was the founder of the Somerset bishopric, and that the see was originally placed at Congresbury, and with the extremely probable notion that Ini really did set up a collegiate church of some kind at Wells, the existence of which accounts for that place being chosen for the see when the bishopric was founded by Edward the Elder. And if we disregard the dates assigned to Cungar, it may well be that the story of the saint coming from beyond sea, first to a place now in Somerset, and then going across to the land to which we now appropriate the name of Wales, may be one of the many illustrations of the close connection between Armorica and the lands on either side of the Bristol Channel. St. Cungar's name is preserved in the dedication of the churches of Badgworth, Somerset, of Hope, Flintshire, and of Llangafo, Anglesey.

[Capgrave's Nova Legenda Aurea, fo. 80; Ussher's Brit. Eccles. Antiq. (ed. 1687), 36, 252; Rees's Welsh Saints, 183; Haddan and Stubbs's Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, i. 150, 158; Hunt's History of Diocese of Bath and Wells, 5, 6.]

W. H.