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minated from a whole island; the village of his nativity being probably obscure, long and hard to be pronounced. He was afterwards bishop of St. David's and lord treasurer of England, under king Henry the Fourth, who highly honoured him; for, when the Parliament moved that no Welchman should be a state officer in England, the king excepted the bishops, as confident of their faithful service. Indeed T. Walsingham makes this Guido the author of much trouble, but is the less to be believed therein, because of the known antipathy betwixt friars and secular prelates; the former being as faulty in their lazy speculation, as the other often offending in their practical overactivity. This bishop died anno 1407.
ARTHUR BULKLEY, bishop of Bangor, was born either in Cheshire, or more probably in this county. But it matters not much had he never been born, who, being bred doctor of the laws, had either never read, or wholly forgotten, or wilfully would not remember, the chapter "De Sacrilegio;" for he spoiled the bishopric, and sold the five bells: being so overofficious, that he would go down to the sea to see them shipped, which, in my mind, amounted to a second selling of them.
We have an English proverb of him who maketh a detrimental bargain to himself, "That he may put all the gains gotten thereby into his eye, and see nothing the worse." But bishop Bulkley saw much more the worse by what he had gotten, being himself suddenly deprived of his sight, who had deprived the tower of Bangor of the tongue thereof.* Thus having ended his credit before his days, and his days before his life, and having sate in that see fourteen years, he died 1555.
WILLIAM GLYN, D.D. was born at
in this county; bred in Queen's College in Cambridge, whereof he was master, until, in the second of queen Mary, he was preferred bishop of Bangor. An excellent scholar, and I have been assured by judicious persons, who have seriously perused the solemn disputations (printed in Master Fox) betwixt the Papists and Protestants, that of the former none pressed his arguments with more strength and less passion than Doctor Glyn: though constant to his own, he was not cruel to opposite judgments, as appeareth by the appearing of no persecution in his diocese ; and his mild nature must be allowed at least causa socia, or the fellow cause thereof. He died in the first of queen Elizabeth; and I have been informed that Geoffry Glyn, his brother, doctor of laws, built and endowed a free school at Bangor.
SINCE THE REFORMATION.
ROULAND MERRICK, doctor of laws, was born at Bodingan * Godwin, in the Bishops of Bangor.
in this county; bred in Oxford, where he became principal of New Inn Hall, and afterwards a dignitary in the church of St. David's. Here he, with others, in the reign of king Edward the Sixth, violently prosecuted Robert Farrar, his diocesan, with intention (as they made their boast to pull him from his bishopric, and bring him into a premunire;"* and prevailed so far, that he was imprisoned.
This bishop Farrar was afterwards martyred in the reign of queen Mary. I find not the least appearance that his former adversaries violented any thing against him under that queen. But it is suspicious that advantage against him (I say not with their will) was grafted on the stock of his former accusation. However, it is my judgment that they ought to have been; and I can be so charitable to believe that Dr. Merrick was penitent for his causeless vexing so good a person."+ Otherwise many more besides myself will proclaim him unworthy to be (who had been a persecutor of) a bishop. He was consecrated bishop of Bangor, December 21, in the second of queen Elizabeth, 1559; and sate six years in his see. I have nothing to add, save that he was father to Sir Gilly Merrick, knight, who lost his life for engaging with the earl of Essex, 1600.
LANCELOT BULKLEY was born in this county, of a then right worshipful (since honourable) family, who have a fair habitation (besides others) near Beaumaris. He was bred in Brazennose college in Oxford; and afterwards became first archdeacon, then archbishop in Dublin. He was consecrated, the third of October, 1619, by Christopher archbishop of Armagh. Soon after he was made by king James one of his privy council in Ireland, where he lived in good reputation till the day of his death, which happened some ten years since.
MADOC, Son to Owen Gwineth ap Gruffyth ap Conan, and brother to David ap Owen Gwineth, prince of North Wales, was born probably at Aberfraw in this county (now a mean town), then the principal palace of their royal residence.§ He made a sea voyage westward; and, by all probability, those names of Cape de Breton in Noruinberg, and Penguin in part of the Northern America, for a white rock and a white-headed bird, according to the British, were relics of this discovery. If so, then let the Genevese and Spaniards demean themselves as younger brethren, and get their portions in pensions in those parts paid as well as they may, owning us Britons (so may the Welch and English as an united nation style themselves) for
* Fox's Acts and Monuments, an. 1555, p. 1144.
† See more in the Martyrs of Carmarthenshire. Sir James Ware, de Præsulibus Lageniæ.
S Camden's Britannia, in Anglesea.
the heirs, to whom the solid inheritance of America doth belong, for the first discovery thereof. The truth is, a good navy, with a strong land army therein, will make these probabilities of Madoc evident demonstrations; and without these, in cases of this kind, the strongest arguments are of no validity. This sea voyage was undertaken by Madoc about the year 1170.
Expect not my description should conform this Principality to England, in presenting the respective sheriffs with their arms. For as to heraldry, I confess myself luscum in Angliâ, cæcum in Wallia. Besides, I question whether our rules in blazonry, calculated for the east, will serve on the west of Severn? and suspect that my venial mistakes may meet with mortal anger.
I am also sensible of the prodigious antiquity of Welch pedigrees; so that what Zalmana said of the Israelites slain by him at Tabor, "Each of them resembleth the children of a king;"* all the gentry here derive themselves from a prince at least. I quit, therefore, the catalogue of sheriffs to abler pens, and proceed to
I understand there is in this island a kind of aluminous earth, out of which some (fifty years since) began to make alum and copperas; until they (to use my author's phrase) like unflesht soldiers, gave over their enterprise, without further hope, because at first they saw it not answer their over-hasty expectations. If this project was first founded on rational probability (which I have cause to believe), I desire the seasonable resumption thereof by undertakers of as able brins and purses, but more patience than the former, as a hopeful forerunner of better success.
Judges viii. 12.
† Speed, in the Description of Anglesea.
BRECKNOCKSHIRE hath Radnorshire on the north, Cardigan and Carmarthen-shires on the west, Glamorganshire on the south, Hereford and Monmonth-shires on the east; the length thereof being adjudged twenty-eight, the breadth thereof twenty miles.
My author saith, that this county is not greatly to be praised, or disliked of;* with which his character the natives thereof hav no cause to be well pleased, or much offended. The plain truth is, the fruitfulness of the valleys therein maketh plentiful amends for the barrenness of the mountains; and it is high time to give a check to the vulgar error, which falsely reporteth this county the worst in Wales. Let it suffice for me to say, is not it; and which is it let others determine.
Nor doth it sound a little to the credit of this county, that Brecknock, the chief town thereof, doth at this present afford the title of an Earl to James duke of Ormond, the first that ever received that dignity. Above four hundred years since, a daughter of Gilbert and Maud Becket (and sister to Thomas Becket) was by king Henry the Second bestowed in marriage on one Butler, an English gentleman. Him king Henry sent over into Ireland; and (endeavouring to expiate Becket's blood) rewarded him with large lands, so that his posterity were created Earls of Ormond. Now, therefore, we have cause to congratulate the return of this noble family into their native country of England; and wish unto them the increase of all prosperity therein.
Plenty of these (lutre in Latin) in Brecknock-meer; a creature that can dig and dive, resident in the two elements of earth and water. The badger, where he bites, maketh his teeth to meet; and the otter leaves little distance betwixt them. He is as destructive to fish as the wolf to sheep. See we here, more is required to make fine flesh than to have fine feeding; the flesh of the otter (from his innate rankness) being nought, though his diet be dainty. I have seen a reclaimed otter, who in a quarter of an hour would present his master with a brace
Speed, in his Description of this County.
Otter-wool is much used in the making of beavers. As physicians have their succedanea, or seconds, which well supply the place of such simples which the patient cannot procure; so the otter is often instead of the beaver, since the beaver trade is much wasted in the West Indies, their remnant retiring high into the country, and being harder to be taken. Yea, otterwool is likely daily to grow dearer, if prime persons of the weaker sex (which is probable) resume the wearing of hats. Brecknockshire, equalling her neighbours in all general commodities, exceedeth them in
IN THE AIR.
He that relateth wonders walketh on the edge of a house; if he be not careful of his footing, down falls his credit. This shall make me exact in using my author's words,* informed by credible persons who had experimented it; "that their cloaks, hats, and staves, cast down from the top of a hill (called Mounchdenny, or Cadier Arthur), and the north-east rock thereof, would never fall, but were with the air and wind still returned back, and blown up again; nor would any thing descend, save a stone, or some metalline substance."
No wonder that these should descend, because (besides the magnetical quality of the earth) their forcing of their way down is to be imputed to their united and intended gravity. Now though a large cloak is much heavier than a little stone; yet the weight thereof is diffused in several parts, and, fluttering above, all of them are supported by the clouds, which are seen to rack much lower than the top of the hill. But now, if in the like trial the like repercussion be not found from the tops of other mountains in Wales, of equal or greater height, we confess ourselves at an absolute loss, and leave it to others to beat about to find a satisfactory answer.
Let me add, that waters in Scripture are divided into waters above, and waters under the firmament;t by the former, men generally understand (since the interpretation thereof relating to cœlum aqueum is exploded by the judicious) the water engendered in the clouds. If so, time was, "when the waters beneath were higher than the waters above;" namely, in Noah's flood, "when the waters prevailed fifteen cubits above the tops of the mountains."+
IN THE WATER.
When the Meer Llynsavathan (lying within two miles of Brecknock) hath her frozen ice first broken, it maketh a monstrous noise, to the astonishment of the hearers, not unlike to thunder. But, till we can give a good cause of the old thunder