Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rhygyfarch

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

RHYGYFARCH (1056–1099), wrongly called Rhyddmarch, and in Latin Ricemarchus, clerk of St. Davids, was the eldest son of Sulien, bishop of St. Davids from 1072 to 1078, and from 1080 to 1085. Born in 1056, he was trained by his father, who maintained a school of great reputation at St. Davids, and appears to have spent most of his life in that place and at Llan Badarn Fawr in Cardiganshire, the home of the family. He is the author of the oldest extant life of St. David, that in Cotton. MS. Vesp. A. xiv, printed in Rees's ‘Cambro-British Saints,’ pp. 117–44. MS. A. 4.20, at Trinity College, Dublin, a Latin psalter, was written for Rhygyfarch's use by his brother Ieuan: it contains some verses by him. According to ‘Brut y Tywysogion’ and ‘Brut y Saeson,’ he was the most learned Welshman of his time, and yet had received no instruction except from his father. He died in 1099, at the age of forty-three, leaving a son Sulien, who became a clerk of Llan Badarn Fawr, a teacher, and a peacemaker between Welsh and English, and died on 22 Sept. 1146. The only ancient authority which makes Rhygyfarch a bishop is MS. C. of ‘Annales Cambriæ;’ but even if the text of that manuscript is correctly given in the Rolls edition, ‘episcopus’ is probably a mistake for ‘episcopi,’ to be taken with ‘Sulien.’ Sulien was no doubt followed directly by Wilfrid, and the conjectures of Haddan and Stubbs (Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, i. 301 n.) have no historical basis. The Gwentian ‘Brut y Tywysogion,’ which speaks of ‘Rhyddmarch [a form for which there is no other evidence] escob Dewi,’ is of no authority.

[Annales Cambriæ; Bruts in Myvyrian Archaiology, 2nd edit.; Haddan and Stubbs's Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, i. 189, note h, pp. 298–9, 301, 663–7.]

J. E. L.