Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cimelliauc

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CIMELLIAUC (d. 927), bishop of Llandaff, is said by a late authority to have been consecrated bishop at Canterbury by Archbishop Æthelred (Diceto in Twysden, p. 451). This story may very likely be true, as King Ælfred certainly obtained a very decided hold over South Wales (Asser, De Rebus Gestis Ælfredi in M. H. B., p. 488), and there is no very great chronological difficulty involved, since Æthelred was archbishop between 870 and 889. Yet these dates would give Cimelliauc an unusually long episcopal career for his turbulent times, and the authority for the statement proceeds to claim Æthelred as the consecrator of a bishop whose consecration took place thirty-eight years after Æthelred’s death.

During Cimelliauc’s episcopate several grants were reputed to have been made to the church of Llandaff, which are recorded in the ‘Liber Landavensis’ (pp. 490-8). Several of these came from Brochmael [q. v.], king of Gwent, between whom and the bishop a dispute had arisen as to their title to certain estates. A synod was held to settle the matter. Brochmael and his household were afterwards synodically excommunicated by Cimelliauc for wrongs done to him and his household. In 918 a Viking fleet, under Jarls Ohtor and Hroald, devastated the northern coast of the Bristol Channel, and penetrated inland as far as Archenfield, the district round Ross, which then seems to have been subject to the bishops of Llandaff, though later in the diocese of Hereford. Here they took Cimelliauc prisoner, and with great rejoicings led him to their ships, where he was detained until King Eadward the elder ransomed him with forty pounds (English Chron. s. a. 918; Flor. Wig. s. a. 915; Hen. Hunt. s. a. 918). The almost contemporary MS. A of the ‘Annales Cambriæ’ puts Ohtor’s invasion in 913. Cimelliauc died in 927 (Lib. Land.)

The name is spelt Cimelliauc in the ‘Liber Landavensis,’ Cameleac in the ‘English Chronicle,’ Cymelgeac in ‘Florence of Worcester,’ and Camelegeac in ‘Henry of Huntingdon.’ Cyfeiliawg is the modern form. It is sometimes identified with Cyfelach. The bishop appears to have been canonised under the latter name, and the church of Llangyfelach, near Swansea, is sometimes said to have been dedicated to him (Rees, Welsh Saints, pp. 50 and 305). But the canonised Cyfelach may be the Bishop Cyfelach of Morganwg, said to have been slain at Hereford in 754 (Gwentian Brut, p. 7).

[Authorities given in the text; see also Haddan and Stubbs’s Councils, i. 207-8.]

T. F. T.