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Wales

Wales is that western portion of Great Britain which lies between the Irish Sea and the River Dee on the north, the counties (or portions of counties) of Chester, Salop, Hereford, and Gloucester on the east, the estuary of the Severn on the southeast, the Bristol Channel on the south, and St. George's Channel on the west.

NAME

The name Wales has been given to this country not by its inhabitants but by the Teutonic occupiers of England, and means "the territory of the alien race". "Welsh" (German Wälsch ) implies a people of either Latin or Celtic origin living in a land near or adjoining that of the Teutons; thus Wälschland is an obsolescent, poetical German term for Italy. After an invasion lasting 330 years, the Anglican, Saxon, and Jutish "comelings" having driven the earlier "homelings" into the hill-country of the west by steady encroachments and spasmodic conquests, the names Wales and Welsh were applied to the ancient people and the land they retained. Wales is in French, Pays de Galles , from Latin Gallus , Low Latin Wallia . In the Middle Ages the Welsh coined in their own tongue a name of similar origin for their country, when, in poetry only, they termed it Gwalia . The Welsh language, however, has no cognate word for the people themselves; they have, ever since the days of the Saxon Heptarchy , styled themselves by no other title than Cymry . The etymology of this word has been a much debated question, but in the opinion of Sir John Rhys (a prime authority) it is compounded of the British con bro and means "compatriots"--the federated tribes of ancient Britain who together contested the soil of their native land with the Germanic invader. In Welsh Cymru means Wales, Cymro a Welshman, Cymracs a Welshwoman, and Cymry Welshmen.

ETHNOLOGY

The early Welsh were an association of tribes united in a common cause against a common foe; and whilst they were designated by that foe "the aliens", they called themselves "the federated patriots ". In the main the Welsh were Britons. The reason why they did not continue to style themselves Britons was that they were not wholly British, nor even wholly Celtic. Some of their tribes were Celts of the Brythonic, or British, stock, others belonged to the earlier Goidelic, or Gaelic, division of the Celtic race, whom the Britons, a later Celtic immigration, had subdued and partially absorbed. The Goidels, moreover, were in great part made up of yet older, non-Aryan, peoples whom they and their predecessors had successively conquered. The Welsh, therefore, racially represent an unknown series of the earliest settlers in Britain; they are not merely Ancient Britons, but the heirs of all the aborigines of the island, from the cave-men downwards. Though the Cymry knew enough of their racial history to call themselves a federation, they cared nothing about the origins of their Teutonic foes. The invaders came from various countries of northern Europe, and it was the Angles or English who eventually gave their name to the new nation. It was, however, the West Saxons who formed the advanced guard of the Germanic invasion, and Saeson (Singular Sais ) was the term applied by the Welsh to the unwelcome visitors.

DEFINITION

When we come to define the precise bounds and limits of Wales, we at face a difficulty which has hardly yet been satisfactorilu met by geographers. The most perplexing disagreement prevails among writers as to what wxactly Wales is; and the question is variously answered, according to the views of each individual on points of nationality -- views usually influenced by his racial and political prejudices. One opinion is that Wales consists of twelve particular counties, and that its eastern boundary is identical with that of the eastern-most of those twelve counties. This is the popular, English, school-manual view. According to another view, Wales has thirteen counties, Monmouthshire being the thirteenth, in addition to the above twelve. The English and anglicized inhabitants of the thirteenth county vehemently deny the correctness of its inclusion. They point to the fact that, although Henry VIII had declared the thirteen counties to constitute the Principality of Wales, a statute of Charles II so far detached Monmouthshire from the others as to annex it to the Oxford Assize Circuit. To this the nationalists reply that a council sitting around a table in London could no more unmake Wales than they could transform England into Scotland, or Derbyshire into a part of Ireland.

Any declaration by a government as to what territory shall or shall not be considered as Wales is obviously a political arrangement and cannot affect the concrete facts of the case. Although no Act of Parliament applying to Wales affects Monmouthshire unless that county is expressly mentioned, Monmouthshire is as Welsh as Merionethshire. It has, indeed, historical associations which might entitle it to be considered the premier county of Wales. On the grounds of history, ethnology, and language, it is necessary to include likewise certain western parishes in Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire as forming part of the real Wales, that is to say, of Wales as we are about to define the term. It would seem, in fact, that the only true and comprehensive definition of Wales is as follows: Wales is that territory north of the Bristol Channel which, since the subjection of South Britain by the English, has continuously been peopled by the descendants of its original pre-Germanic inhabitants. This includes the thirteen whole counties, with certain parishes in the shires of Salop, Hereford, and Gloucester; and in some places the boundary passes east of Offa's Dyke, the limit made by the victorious King of the Mercians in 779.

COUNTIES

The following are the names of the historic counties of Wales, with their Welsh equivalents:

North Wales (Y Gogledd):

  • Flintshire (Flint);
  • Denbigshire (Dinbych);
  • Carnarvonshire (Caernarfon);
  • Anglesea (Môn);
  • Merionethshire (Meirionydd);
  • Montgomeryshire (Trefaldwyn).
South Wales (Y Deheudir):
  • Cardiganshire (Aberteifi);
  • Radnorshire (Maesyfed);
  • Pembrokeshire (Penfro);
  • Carmarthenshire (Caerfyrddin);
  • Brecknockshire (Brycheiniog);
  • Glamorgan (Morganwg);
  • Monmouthshire (Mynwy).
The County of Glamorgan is not rightly styled a shire; "Glamorganshire", though the term is often used, is a misnomer. This rule has been authoritatively settled within the last few years and is observed in State documents. In Shropshire the hundreds of Oswestry and Clun, and in Herefordshire those of Ewyas Lacy, Webtree and Wormelow, are the portions adjoining English counties which must be included in a logical and complete survey of Wales. Even in Gloucestershire, the westernmost parishes north of the Severn and east of the Wye -- notably Newland, Saint Briavel's, and Llancaut -- are at least as much Welsh as English by their history. It will thus be seen that the eastern boundary of the true Wales is widely different from that traced by the hand of custom and convention.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

That the Celts and pre-Aryans of South Britain were able to preserve themselves as a federation of non-Germanic peoples in the western parts of the island was doubtless due to the physical character of the country, which the Romans named "Britannis Secunda", and the English called Wales. "Hen Gymru fynyddig, paradwys y bardd" (Mountainous old Wales, paradise of the bard); this is true only in a rough and rather poetical sense. Such mountains as Snowden (Welsh Eryri ) in North Wales, Plinlimmon ( Pumllyman ) in central Wales, and Sugarloaf ( Pen-y-fan ) in South Wales can justly claim the title of mountain; but for the most part, the altitudes in Wales are rather to be regarded as big hills than as little mountains, and are oftener round or hummock-shaped than peaked and precipitous. There are, moreover, many wide areas of plain and fen, especially long the Severn estuary and the southern coast. On the whole, the surface of the country is beautifully diversified, hills, valleys, rivers, and sea combining to produce scenery of worldwide renown. In North Wales the views are generally grander than in the south, where the coastline is tamer and the country more pastoral than wild and awe-inspiring. In both halves of the principality there is abundance of woods and heath, while pasture predominates over arable land, especially since the decline of agriculture which marked the close of the nineteenth century.

AGRICULTURE

Farming is carried on in every county, though greatly restricted by the mines and factories of the coal and iron districts. Grain has never been largely produced in Wales, save in such purely agricultural localities as West Herefordshire and the Vale of Glamorgan. On the other hand, milk, butter, eggs, poultry, and butcher's meat have always been a staple product. The close grass of the hills produces the famous small "Welsh mutton" whose flavour is so peculiarly sweet. The ancient Welsh breed of cattle was small and black. It is now extinct or nearly so, but from it are descended the large black cattle of Carmarthenshire, which are themselves giving place to the fine brown-and-white "Herefordshires". The immemorial use of oxen for ploughing died out at the middle of the nineteenth century.

MINES

The mines and ironworks of Wales, though some are to be found in the north, are principally in Glamorgan and West Monmouthshire. The Romans worked seams of coal which lay near the surface, on the sides of some hills in South Wales, and this primitive mode of obtaining the mineral from levels or adits was continued down to modern times by the farmers, for obtaining domestic supplies of fuel. Towards the close of the eighteenth century, however, with the use of steam and machinery for pumping and winding, the practice of deep sinking, and other improved methods gradually produced the highly complex type of coal mine of today. Mining and the attendant industries, while augmenting the material prosperity of Wales, have ruined much of her loveliest scenery. It is commonly remarked that (owing to some natural laws as yet undiscovered) it is always the most beautiful valleys which are found to contain coal in commercially requisite conditions and quantity. Limpid stream, bird-haunted grove, and flowery glade then give place to a labyrinth of mechanism, a black desert of coaldust and mine refuse, and leagues of mean and depressing streets.

POPULATION

The populations of the counties of Wales vary according to the industrialism of each. The inhabitants in the coal districts outnumber those of all the rest of the principality. Glamorgan is by far the most populous county. The original population has been to some extent replaced by immigrants from England, but only to a small degree in the country parts. Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, and the south of Ireland are the districts which have most largely recruited the population of South Wales, chiefly by settlement in the big towns. Mid-Wales receives its foreign influx principally from the Midlands of England. North Wales is indebted to Manchester, Liverpool, and Chester for its fresh blood, but there is also some immigration from Ireland to the most populous centres.

The Welsh, though mainly a Celtic nation, are a composite folk made up of Celts and of many pre-Aryan peoples--a mélange of all the aborigines of the Isle of Britain. Remains of paleolithic man have been found in the limestone caves of the Wye Valley, along with bones of the cave-bear, hyena, etc. How far this early human race has influenced the Welshman of the present age, it is impossible to say; but there is no doubt that the racial type known as the "small dark Welsh", prevalent in certain districts (and, curiously, indigenous in the coal valleys of the south), is that of the latest pre-Aryan folk with whom the first Celtic immigrants came in contact. That race has been identified with the Basques of the Pyrenees and the Berbers of North Africa. Though there are no linguistic evidences to support either identification, there are reasons for believing that the "small dark" Welshmen are of the same race as the original Iberians of Spain and Portugal. It is, in any case, certain that they are the Silurians of the period of the Roman invasion under Claudius (A.D.43). We are on equally sure ground in saying that the Celts of the first immigration, the Gael (akin to the Irish, Highland Scots, and Manx), have preserved their racial identity more or less completely in certain parts of both North and South Wales. The largest section of the Welsh nation, however, are Celts of the British stock, a pure tribe of which stretches in a wide band across Central Wales. Many of the ogham and Latin inscriptions on rude stone monuments of the Romano-British period in Wales were evidently made not by British but by Gaelic Celts. It is, however, as yet uncertain what proportion (if any) of these stones commemorate invaders from Ireland.

HISTORY AND LANGUAGE

After an occupation lasting 360 years, the Romans left a Britain which was thoroughly permeated by the civilization of the Empire. In this Wales largely participated, though it is chiefly in South-east Wales that the traces of Imperial Rome must be sought. Recent excavation has exposed vast remains of the power and luxury of the conquering race, at Caerwent in Monmouthshire (once a seaport); and at Caerleon, in the same county, classical antiquity competes with Arthurian romance for the visitor's attention. Many Welsh pedigrees assign existing families a Roman ancestor in the person of some official who lived in the period between the departure of the legions and the Saxon conquest. It is, however, chiefly in the domains of language and religion that Rome has left an abiding imprint on Wales.

Welsh, as a branch of the Celtic family of languages, has close affinities with Latin; but, besides, has borrowed much from her Italic sister. An enormous proportion of Welsh words are direct importations from Latin, modified by generations of Welsh-speakers. Particularly is this the case with words expressive of religious, theological, and ecclesiastical ideas. Very few of these are of other than Roman origin. This fact is, of course, owing to the circumstances which attended the introduction of Christianity into Britain. The first Christians in this island were persons who had come in with the Roman army, and in due course these foreign Christians were sufficiently numerous to form congregations in the principal coloniae of Britain. There was a Roman bishop at Caerleon, where a large garrison was permanently quartered. Lucius, the "King of Britain" whom the "Liber Pontificalis" represents as sending a letter to Pope Saint Eleutherius asking to be made a Christian "by his mandate", would seem to have been a native regulus of Gwent, the region in which Caerleon is situated. It was inevitable that the Britons, deriving all their knowledge of Christianity from Rome and the Romans, should adopt Latin words for their new Christian terminology. So it comes that the Welsh for such words (to cite a few typical instances) as holiness, faith, charity, grace, hell, purgatory, sacrament, mass, vespers, pope, church, hospital, altar, chasuble, cross, parish, saint, martyr, anchoret, cell, gospel, consecration, baptism, Christmas, the Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and a thousand others, is in each case the Latin word, modified by the laws of Welsh phonology. "Sacramentum" has become sacrafen ; "episcopus", esgob ; "ecclesia", eglwys ; "altar", allor ; "Caresima", Carawys ; and so on.

Welsh holds a position between Munster Irish on the side of Gaelic, and Cornish on the side of the British division of Celtic -- but much nearer the latter. It is not as soft as Irish and Cornish, yet very musical. Its gutturals and aspirate lls sound rough to foreign ears, and an English writer has picturesquely described Welsh as "a language half blown away by the wind"; but there can be no question as to its richness in pure vowel-sounds or its masculine force. During the past century English has unceasingly encroached upon the ancient tongue, driving the linguistic boundary ever further west. Industries, railways, and public elementary schools have been the chief enemies of Welsh, and the extinction of this venerable speech must be looked for in the next generation or two. The language, nevertheless, shows marvelous vitality in the face of odds, and a widespread literary revival has brightened its declining years.

After the departure of the Romans from Britain, the native inhabitants retained a semblance of Roman institutions. Considerable vestiges of these remained among the Welsh in the time of the Saxon Heptarchy. The clan system and other Celtic customs, however, continued in force long after imperial forms were forgotten. Only for a brief period were the Welsh united under one sovereign, in the successive reigns of Rhydderch Mawr (Roderick the Great) and his son Howel Dda, or the Good, both of whom were strong rulers and wise legislators. The laws of Howel Dda are yet extant. They commence with a declaration that the king had obtained their sanction by the Pope of Rome, and their tenor is one of reverence for the Christian Faith and Church. It was only by slow degrees that the native laws and customs were ousted by Anglo-Norman usages and the machinery of feudalism. The feudal system, indeed, hardly penetrated beyond the borderland (called the Marches) where, in their castles and walled towns, dwelled the Palatine lords who held those lands by right of conquest. By Henry VIII the laws of the principality, native and feudal, were assimilated to those of England -- though certain peculiar legal institutions, such as the courts of great session, remained till the reign of William IV. At the same time Wales was divided into counties or shires, some of which were based on and named after the ancient lordships. Though possessing many old boroughs, Wales had no capital town until a few years ago. In 1905 King Edward VII by royal charter conferred on the county of Cardiff the rank of a city, and gave to its chief magistrate the title of lord mayor. This action afforded great satisfaction to the Welsh people, inasmuch as Cardiff is superior to any other town in Wales both in commercial importance and in antiquity. Its history goes back to the Roman occupation, and the place is linked with Llandaff, the oldest episcopal see. These considerations have earned for Cardiff universal recognition as the capital of Wales.

RELIGION

The religion of the pre-Aryan inhabitants of Britain was a nature-worship which included certain animals among its divinities. The Celtic religious system was likewise a nature-cult, but resembled that of the Greeks, Latins, and other Aryans in deifying abstract ideas rather than material objects. Hence the gods of the Britons were equations of those of their Roman conquerors -- Nudd or Nodens, being the Celtic equivalent of Neptune; Pwyll (Pen Annwn, "the head of Hades") the Welsh counterpart of Pluto, and so of the rest. The primitive totemism of the earlier inhabitants, however, made a deep impression on the religious ideas of the Celts, and has even left permanent traces in Welsh nomenclature. Such names as Mael-sêr (servant of the stars), Gwr-ci and Gwr-con (man of a dog, or dogs), and Gwr-march (man of a horse) are examples.

By the end of the Roman occupation, the Britons of Wales had for the most part become Christians, paganism lingering only in a few remote districts, and chiefly among the Gaelic tribes. At first the discipline of the Celtic Church followed closely that of Rome, whence (if we may trust Welsh and Roman traditions alike) the first missionaries had come to Britain. According to the "Annales Cambriae", the Britons complied with Rome's reforms of the Easter cycle in the year 453. There was frequent communication between the British Christians and the pope, and British bishops took part in the Council of Arles, at which the papal representatives assisted. When St. Augustine came to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons, his first step was to invite the cooperation of the Welsh clergy --a fact which proves that these latter were in full communion with Rome and the Catholic Church at large. By that time, however, the British and Welsh Christians had already long been practically cut off from personal communication with the rest of Christendom by the Germanic invasion, and thus had to some extent lost touch with the Roamn See. The result was becoming gradually apparent. Peculiar usages in ritual and discipline, known as "Celtic customs", had been evolved from principles orthodox enough, and in some saces actually Roman in origin, but which had petrified into abuses. Rome would gladly have abolished these, but the Welsh cherished them in her despite, as symbols of nationality. They condemned Saint Augustine as the apostle of their Saxon foe, and, deeming the latter more worthy of eternal reprobation than of the joys of heaven, refused to have a hand in their conversion. This attitude of the native bishops, no doubt, brought the Welsh Church into a situation perilously near schism ; but the period of tension was of relatively brief duration. In the ninth century Wales renounced all such national customs as were held unorthodox by Rome, and even accepted (with a bad grace, perhaps) the metropolitan jurisdiction of Canterbury. Thereafter it was the boast of Welshmen that their countrymen had never swerved from the true profession of the Catholic and Roman Faith.

The Reformation came to Wales as a foreign importation, imposed upon the nation by the sheer weight of English officialdom. Of this there is abundant evidence from contemporary records. Protestantism was against all the sentiment of Welsh nationality, all the traditions and associations dearest to the people. Barlow, the first Protestant Bishop of Saint David's, proposed the see should be removed from Carmarthen, to avoid the Catholic memories and atmosphere which hung around the shrine of Cambria's patron saint. The bards denounced the Reformation with invective, satire, and pathos. Sion Brwynog, of Anglesey, who flourished in the reign of Edward VI, composed a poem entitled "Cywydd y Ddwy Ffydd" (Ode to the Two Faiths), portions of which may be baldly translated as follows:

...Some men are resolute in the new way, and some are firm in the old faith. People are found quarrelling like dogs; there is a different opinion in each head...The Apostles are called pillars; poor were they while they lived (a thing not easy to the generation of today). Away from wives and children, to Jesus they turned. With us, on the contrary, a priest (of all persons ) leaves Jesus and His Father, and to his wife freely he goes. His malice and his choler is to be angry about his tithes...At the table, with all the power of his lungs, he preaches a rigmarole...not a word about Mass on Sunday, nor confession, any more than a horse. Cold, in our time, as the grey ice are our churches. Was it not sad, in a day or two, to throw down the altars! In the church choir there will be no wax at all, nor salutary candle, for a moment. The church and her perfumes [ sacraments ] graciously healed us. There was formerly a sign to be had, oil anointing the soul. Woe to us laymen all, for that we are all without prayer. There is no agreement in anything betwixt the son and his father. The daughter is against the mother, unless she turn in mischance...Let us confess, let us approach the sign [of the cross, in absolution ]; God will hear and the Trinity...Let us go to his protection, praying ; let us fast, let us do penance. ...The world, for some time past, does not trust the shepherds. It behooves a man to trust the God of Heaven. I believe the word of God the Son.

In the Cardiff Free Library is a Welsh prose manuscript of the age of Elizabeth, by an unknown author. It is a defence of the old religion against the doctrines of the Protestants, whom it terms "the New Men". The book has leaves missing at both ends, but was divided into twelve chapters, each dealing with a leading point of controversy, as the Real Presence ; communion in one kind ; purgatory, and prayer for the dead ; prayer to, and the intercession of, the saints, and the veneration of relics ; pilgrimages, images, and the sign of the cross. The composition is excellent, and the matter for those fierce times, moderate in tone. A good deal of national feeling is apparent. Referring to the recent translation of the New Testament into Welsh by the state Bishop of Saint David's, and especially to the preface, he says that, it is only the misbelief of which the ancient heretics boasted. In another chapter the author compares Naaman's Jewish maiden to a Welsh girl recommending her master to try the virtues of Saint Winifred's Well, in Flintshire; and he rebukes the "New Men" for mocking the Catholics when these go to Holywell on pilgrimage and bring home water, moss, or stones from it. The heretics seek a natural reason for the virtues of that well, which cures all manner of sick folk. Great, he says, are the miracles wrought at Saint Winifred's Well, even in these evil days, since the false new faith came from England. Ignorance has increased in Wales, adds the writer, since the churches were cleared of pictures and images, which were books of instruction to the unlettered. The glory of Britain departed when the crucifix was broken down. The legend of the cross of Oswestry is referred to, as also the miraculous appearance of the figure of the cross in a split tree-trunk (at Saint Donat's) in Glamorgan. This last event had occurred a very few years previously, and made so remarkable an impression on the people that the authorities prohibited any reference to the marvel.

For a hundred years after the Reformation manuscript books containing Welsh poetry and prose of the most distinctly "Popish" character continued to be cherished in mansions and farmhouses, and passed from hand to hand until they were worn out. Many still survive, tattered and soiled, but eloquent witnesses of the Catholicism which died so hard in Wales. The bards' favourite subjects were the Blessed Virgin, the national saints, the rosary, the roods (calvaries) in the churches, the Mass, the abbeys, and the shrines of the city of Rome. From such a manuscript as is described above, the following poem may be noticed, almost at random. It is entitled "Cywydd y paderau prennau" (Ode to the Wooden Beads ) and commences thus:

There is one jewel for my poor soul, in a life which desires not sin ; it is the beads, in four rows. A son of learning [a cleric ] gave them to an old man. Holy Mary, for that he gave it from his keeping, grant thy grace to Master Richard. The Canon sent ten fine beads [decades], that may hang down to one's knee. I obtained ten of God's apples [the large beads ], and I carry them at my side -- ten were obtained from Yale with great difficulty. Those ten in memory of you. Ten words of religious law, ten beads follow after them...The man to the cleric of the glen gave beads on a string; Mary's ornament, in tiny fragments, placed upon silk...Wood is the good material -- wood from Cyprus in Europe... Suitable are these for a gift -- bits of the tree of Him Who redeemed us...

The bard was Gitto'r Glyn, who flourished about 1450; the transcript was made about the year 1600.

Writing soon after the Reformation, the bard Thomas ap Ivan ap Rhys begs his lord not to stay in England. He is sure to encounter treachery. The Mass is cut up as a furrier does his material; Matins and Vespers are a thing detested. Nobody attends to the seven petitions of the Pater Noster. People eat meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- even on Fridays, on which day it used to be thought poison. It is no wonder that streams, orchards, and ploughed fields no longer yield their increase. Every man of them is no better than a beast, for they never bless themselves with God's word -- while others have their heads cut off as traitors and are punished more and more (Creawdwr Nef arno y crier).

The "Carols" of Richard Gwyn alias White , who was cruelly martyred in Elizabeth's reign, had (though never printed) a great popularity, and must have borne a large share in the work of the Counter-Reformation in Wales. White was a schoolmaster at Wrexham, and a man of considerable attainments. His attachment to Catholicism was that of the scholar and the martyr combined, and the influence of his controversial rhymes was widespread and profound. In form and style he is evidently the model of Vicar Prichard's "Canwyll y Cymry" (Welshman's Candle ), written in the reign of Charles I. This Protestant work, though, unlike the verses of Richard White, it was not only printed but also circulated with the support of the state Church, is by no means the equal of its prototype either in the purity of its Welsh or in the force and picturesqueness of its diction. White describes the Catholic Church as "a priceless institution conspicuous as the sun, though smoke mounts from Satan's pit, between the blind man and the sky". He gives nine reasons why men should refuse to attend heretical worship: "Thou art of the Catholic Faith ; from their church keep thyself wisely away lest thou walk into a pitfall. [This is his main argument.] The English Bible is topsy-turvy, full of crooked conceits. In the parish church there is now, for preacher, a slip of a tailor demolishing the saints ; or any pedlar, feeble of degree, who can attack the pope. Instead of altar, a sorry trestle; instead of Christ, mere bread. Instead of holy things, a miserable tinker making a boast of knavery. Instead of images, empty niches. They who conform to the new religion will lose the seven virtues of the Church of God, the communion of all saints, and the privilege of authority given by Jesus Christ Himself to pardon sin." White's scornful description of the heretical ministers is founded on the fact that the difficulty of finding educated men to fill the places of the ejected clergy had necessitated the appointment of handicraftsmen of various kinds, and even grooms, to act as teachers of the Reformed religion.

The sacking of a secret Jesuit college in the Mennow Valley, South Wales, in 1680, led to the discovery of a store of "contraband Catholic " printed books and manuscripts, some in English and some in Welsh. Many of these are now in the library of the cathedral of Hereford. At that date there was living in Monmouthshire a learned Benedictine, Dom William Pugh. He had led a chequered life. Born of an ancient Catholic family in Carnarvonshire, he became a doctor of medicine. On the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the Royalist army as a captain, and was one of the garrison besieged by Fairfax in Raglan Castle. Afterwards he became a monk and a priest, and wrote a large manuscript collection of prayers and hymns in Welsh, many of which are his own composition, others translations and transcripts. To him we are indebted for the preservation of White's "Carols". In 1648 Captain Pugh composed a Welsh poem in which loyalty to his temporal sovereign is combined with devotion to the Catholic Church. He begins by saying that the political evils afflicting Britain are God's punishment for the country's abandonment of the true religion. People were far happier, he proceeds, when the Old Faith prevailed. But a better time is coming. The English Roundheads will be made square by a crushing defeat, and the king will return "under a golden veil"; Mass shall be sung once more, and a bishop shall elevate the Host. Here we have evidently a mystical allusion to the King of Kings on His throne in the tabernacle, and this is the theme underlying the whole poem.

It would be easy to quote similar examples from the Welsh literature of any period previous to the Civil Wars --after which time Catholicism rapidly lost its hold on Wales. As a consequence of that political and social upheaval, an entrance into the country was effected by the Puritanism which was destined, in the course of little more than a century and a half, to transform the Welsh people spiritually, morally, and mentally -- and, as many people judge, not for the better in either respect. This loss of the Church's ground was, humanly considered, entirely owing to the failure in the supply of a native clergy, brought about by racial jealousies between the Welsh and the English seminarists in the English College, Rome, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Within a hundred years, this circumstance led to a dearth of Welsh priests able to minister in the native tongue. After the Titus Oates persecution (1679-80) the Welsh-speaking clergy were either executed or exiled, and the chill mists of Calvinism settled on Cambria's hills and vales. Thenceforward, Welsh Catholics were a genus represented by a few rare specimens. Mostyn of Talacre, Jones of Llanarth, Vaughan of Courtfield are almost the only ancient families of Catholic gentry left to Wales at the present day; and the only Old Welsh missions still containing a proportion of native hereditary Catholics are Holywell in the north, and Brecon and Monmouth in the south.

The eighteenth century saw but a very small output of Welsh Catholic literature, either printed or manuscript. Almost all there is to show for that period is a version of the "Imitation of Christ", and "Catechism Byrr o'r Athrawiaeth Ghristnogol" (London, 1764), a short catechism of Christian doctrine. It is in excellent Welsh by Dewi Nantbrân, a Franciscan. The number of Catholic books for Welshmen increased rapidly in the course of the nineteenth century. In 1825 appeared "Drych Crefyddol". Its full title translated is "A religious mirror, shewing the beginning of the Protestant religion, together with a history of the Reformation in England and Wales". Of this small work, by William Owen, only two copies are known to exist--one being in the possession of the present writer. Is is embellished with a few rude woodcuts, and comprises an account of the Welsh martyrs. A catechism in Welsh called "Grounds of the Catholic doctrine contained in the profession of faith published by Pope Pius IV" (Llanrwst, 1839) is now very rare. Since then many such publications have appeared.

Wales possesses an extensive vernacular Press, whereof by far the largest portion is controlled by the Nonconformist and Radical party. All the Dissenting denominations have their literary organs, and the Established Church is similarly represented. As a general rule, the Welsh Press deals with Catholicism only in a hostile manner; but in quite recent years a more moderate tone has been adopted in a few of the less puritanical newspapers and magazines. The largest denomination in Wales is that of the Calvinistic Methodists (now often styled the Presbyterian Church of Wales). The Baptists, Congregationalists, Wesleyan Methodists and Unitarians are also strong in the principality -- the latter particularly in Cardiganshire. Mormonism has made large numbers of recruits in the chief centres of population. Puritanism is slowly but steadily ceding ground to Agnosticism and Anglicanism.

The Catholic Church is strong only in the large towns of Wales, the Catholics of the rural districts having participated in the exodus consequent on the decay of the old country life. The hierarchy includes two bishops, deriving their titles from Menevia (Saint David's) and Newport. The former see comprises the greater part of Wales; the latter includes Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, and Herefordshire. The present cathedral of the Menevian diocese is at Wrexham in North Wales, that of Newport (a Benedictine see) is the priory church of Belmont, near Hereford. The Church's progress among the Welsh people is incredibly difficult, and very slow; but it is perceptible. Advance would be easier and more rapid if greater use could be made of the Welsh language in the material.

Out of a total population of 3 million (1995), the Catholics number about 150,000 (5 percent). Of religious, there are Benedictines at Hereford, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea, and Cardigan; Jesuits at St. Asaph, Rhyl, and Holywell ; Capuchin Franciscans at Pantasaph and Penmaenmawr; Passionists at Carmarthen; Oblates of Mary Immaculate at Llanrwst, Pwllheli, Holyhead, and Colwyn Bay; Fathers of the Institute of Charity at Cardiff and Newport; and many convents of nuns of various congregations, including some communities of Daughters of the Holy Ghost ( Soeurs Blanches ), exiled from Brittany.

More Volume: W 303

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1

Wörndle, Von, Family

Philip von Wörndle Of Adelsfried and Weierburg, major of a Tyrolese rifle-corps, commandant ...

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4

Würtemberg, Kingdom of

In area the third and in population the fourth of the states of the German Empire. It is situated ...

Würzburg Abbeys

See also DIOCESE OF WÜRZBURG and UNIVERSITY OF WÜRZBURG ABBEYS ; The city of ...

Würzburg, Diocese of

(HERBIPOLENSIS). See also UNIVERSITY OF WÜRZBURG and WÜRZBURG ABBEYS ; Located ...

Würzburg, University of

See also DIOCESE OF WÜRZBURG and WÜRZBURG ABBEYS ; John I of Egloffstein ...

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Wa 69

Waagen, Wilhelm Heinrich

Geologist, and palæontologist, born at Munich, 23 June, 1841; died at Vienna, 24 March, ...

Wace, Robert

Poet, born at Jersey, about 1100; died at Bayeux, 1174. His maternal grandfather, Toustein, was a ...

Wachter, Eberhard

Painter, born at Stuttgart, 29 February, 1762; died at Stuttgart, 14 August, 1852. He studied ...

Wadding, Luke

Historian and theologian, born at Waterford, Ireland, 16 October, 1588; died at St. Isidore's ...

Wadding, Michael

(GODINEZ). Mystical theologian, born at Waterford, Ireland, in 1591; died in Mexico, Dec. ...

Waire, Venerable

English friar and martyr, hanged, drawn, and quartered at St. Thomas Waterings in Camberwell (a ...

Waitzen, Diocese of

(VÄCZ or VACIENSIS). Located in Hungary ; suffragan of Gran ; probably founded by King ...

Wakash Indians

A linguistic family inhabiting the western coast of British Columbia from 50° 30' to Garden ...

Walafrid

(Walahfrid; surnamed Strabo -- "the Squinter"). German poet and theologian of the ninth ...

Walburga, Saint

(WALTPURDE, WALPURGIS; at Perche GAUBURGE; in other parts of France VAUBOURG, FALBOURG). Born ...

Waldeck, Principality of

(Or WALDECK-PYRMONT). A former state of the German Empire , with an area of 433 square miles; ...

Waldenses

An heretical sect which appeared in the second half of the twelfth century and, in a ...

Waldsassen, Abbey of

("Settlement in the woods"). Located on the River Wondreb, Upper Palatinate, near the border ...

Waldseemüller, Martin

(Graecized ILACOMILUS). Learned Humanist and celebrated cartographer, born at Wolfenweiler ...

Walenburch, Adrian and Peter von

Auxiliary bishops of Cologne and celebrated controversial theologians, born at Rotterdam at the ...

Wales

Wales is that western portion of Great Britain which lies between the Irish Sea and the River ...

Walkenried

Formerly one of the most celebrated Cistercian abbeys of Germany, situated in the Duchy of ...

Wall, Venerable John

Martyr, born in Lancashire, 1620; suffered near Worcester, 22 August, 1679; known at Douay and ...

Walla-Walla Indians

A Shahaptian tribe dwelling on the Walla-Walla (i.e. rushing water) River and the Columbia in ...

Wallenstein, Albrecht von

(WALDSTEIN). Born at Hermanic, Bohemia, 24 September, 1583; died at Eger, Bohemia, 24 ...

Wallon Henri-Alexandre

Historian and statesman, born at Valenciennes (Nord), in 1812); died at Paris, in 1904. Fellow of ...

Walmesley, Charles

Bishop of Rama, Vicar Apostolic of the Western District, England, b. 13 Jan., 1722; d. at Bath, ...

Walpole, Ven. Henry

English Jesuit martyr, born at Docking, Norfolk, 1558; martyred at York, 7 April, 1595. He was ...

Walsh, Edward

Irish poet, born at Derry actually Doire, near Kiskeam in County Cork in 1805; died at Cork, ...

Walsh, Patrick

Journalist, United States senator; born at Ballingary, Co. Limerick, Ireland, 1 January, 1840; ...

Walsh, Peter

Irish Franciscan, born at Mooretown, County Kildare, about 1608; died in London, 15 March, 1688. ...

Walsh, Robert

Publicist, diplomat, born at Baltimore, MD., 1785; died at Paris, 7 Feb., 1859. He was one of the ...

Walsh, Thomas

Born in London, October, 1777; d. there, 18 February, 1849. His father, an Irish merchant, ...

Walsh, William

Bishop of Meath, Ireland (1554-77); b. at Dunboyne, Co. Meath, about 1512; d. at Alcalá ...

Walsingham Priory

Walsingham Priory stood a few miles from the sea in the northern part of Norfolk, England. ...

Walsingham, Thomas

Benedictine historian, died about 1422. He is supposed to have been a native of Walsingham, ...

Walter of Châtillon

(GAUTIER DE LILLE, GUALTERUS DE INSULIS; also GAUTIER DE CHATILLON, GAULTERUS DE CASTILLIONE). ...

Walter of Merton

Bishop of Rochester and founder of Merton College, Oxford, b. probably at Merton in Surrey or ...

Walter of Mortagne

A twelfth-century Scholastic philosopher, and theologian, b. at Mortagne in Flanders in the ...

Walter of St-Victor

Mystic philosopher and theologian of the twelth century. Nothing is known about Walter except ...

Walter of Winterburn

An English Dominican, cardinal, orator, poet, philosopher, theologian, b. in the thirteenth ...

Walter, Ferdinand

Jurist, born at Wetzlar, 30 November, 1794; died at Bonn, 13 December, 1879. After studying at the ...

Waltham Abbey

The Abbey of Waltham Holy Cross stood in Essex, some ten miles to the northeast of London, on ...

Walther von der Vogelweide

Minnesinger and old poet, born about 1170; died in 1228. Only one old document mentions the name ...

Walton, Brian

Biblical scholar, editor of Walton's Polyglot Bible, born at Seymour, or Seamer, near York, in ...

Wandelbert

Benedictine monk and theological writer, born in 813; died at Prüm after 850. Little is ...

Wangnereck, Heinrich

(WAGNERECK). Theologian, preacher, author, born at Munich in July, 1595; died at Dillingen, ...

War

War, in its juridical sense, is a contention carried on by force of arms between sovereign states, ...

Ward, Hugh

( Irish, ÆDH BUIDH MAC-AN-BHAIRD). Hagiographer, born in Donegal, about 1590; died 8 ...

Ward, James Harman

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, 1806; killed in attack on Matthias Point, Virginia, 27 June, ...

Ward, Margaret, Saint

Martyr, born at Congleton, Cheshire; executed at Tyburn, London, 30 Aug., 1588. Nothing is known ...

Ward, Mary

Foundress, born 23 January, 1585; died 23 January, 1645; eldest daughter of Marmaduke Ward and ...

Ward, Thomas

Born at Danby Castle near Guisborough, Yorkshire, 13 April, 1652; d. at St-Germain, France, ...

Ward, Ven. William

(Real name WEBSTER). Born at Thornby in Westmoreland, about 1560; martyred at Tyburn, 26 ...

Ward, William George

An English writer and convert, eldest son of William Ward, Esq., born in London, 21 March, ...

Warde, Mary Francis Xavier

Born at Belbrook House, Mountrath, Queen's County, Ireland, 1810; died at Manchester, N.H., 17 ...

Warham, William

Archbishop of Canterbury, born at Church Oakley, Hampshire, about 1450; died at Hackington, ...

Warsaw, Archdiocese of

(VARSAVIENSIS). Warsaw (Polish, Warszawa ), on the western bank of the Vistula, is the ...

Wartenberg, Franz Wilhelm, Count von

Bishop of Osnabrück and cardinal, eldest son of Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria and his ...

Washing of Feet and Hands

Owing to the general use of sandals in Eastern countries the washing of the feet was almost ...

Washington, D.C.

(DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) Washington, the capital of the United States, is situated on the left ...

Washington, State of

One of the Pacific coast states, popularly known as the "Evergreen State", the sixteenth in size ...

Water, Holy

The use of holy water in the earliest days of the Christian Era is attested by documents of ...

Water, Holy, Fonts

Vessels intended for the use of holy water are of very ancient origin, and archaeological ...

Water, Liturgical Use of

Besides the holy water which is used by the Church in so many of her rites of blessing, and ...

Waterford and Lismore

(Waterfordiensis et Lismorensis), suffragan of Cashel. This diocese is almost coterminous with ...

Waterson, Ven. Edward

Born at London ; martyred at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 7 January 1594 (1593 old style). A romantic ...

Waterton, Charles

Naturalist and explorer, born in Walton Hall near Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, in 1782; died ...

Waterworth, James

Born at St. Helen's, Lancashire, 1806; d. at Old Hall, Newark, 28 March, 1876. Educated at ...

Watteau, Jean Antoine

French painter, and founder and leader of the school usually known as that of the painters of Les ...

Waverley, Cistercian Abbey of

Situated in Surrey, near Farnham, founded by William Gifford, Bishop of Winchester, on 24 Nov., ...

Way of the Cross

(Also called Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa). These names are used to signify ...

Way or State

The word state is used in various senses by theologians and spiritual writers. It may be ...

Way, Ven. William

( Alias MAY, alias FLOWER). English priest and martyr, born in Exeter Diocese ...

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We 52

Wealth, Use of

The term "wealth" is not used here in the technical sense in which it occurs in treatises on ...

Wearmouth Abbey

Located on the river Wear, in Durham, England ; a Benedictine monastery founded in 674 by St. ...

Weathers, William

Titular Bishop of Amyela; born 12 November, 1814; died at Isleworth, Middlesex, 4 March, 1895. ...

Webb, Benjamin Joseph

Editor, historian, born at Bardstown, Kentucky, 25 February, 1814; died at Louisville, Kentucky, ...

Webbe, Samuel

English composer, born in England in 1742; died in London, 29 May, 1816. He studied under ...

Weber, Beda

Benedictine professor, author, and member of the National German Parliament, born at Lienz in the ...

Weber, Friedrich Wilhelm

Physician, member of the Prussian House of Deputies, and poet, born at Alhausen, near Driburg, ...

Weber, Heinrich

German Church historian, born at Euerdorf in the Diocese of Würzburg , 21 June, 1834; died ...

Weber, Karl Maria Friedrich Ernst von

Composer, born at Eutin, Lower Saxony, 18 December, 1786; died in London, 5 June, 1826. His ...

Weedall, Henry

Born in London, 6 September, 1788; died at Oscott, 7 November, 1859. Both his parents died ...

Week, Liturgical

The week as a measure of time is a sufficiently obvious division of the lunar month, and the ...

Wegg-Prosser, Francis Richard

Only son of Rev. Prebendary Francis Haggit, rector of Newnham Coutney, born at Newnham Courtney, ...

Weingarten

(MONASTERIUM VINEARUM, AD VINEAS, or WEINGARTENSE). A suppressed Benedictine abbey, near ...

Weis, Nicolaus von

Bishop of Speyer, born at Rimlingen, Lorraine, 8 March, 1796; died at Speyer, 13 December, ...

Weislinger, Johann Nikolaus

Polemical writer, born at Puttlingen in German Lorraine, 1691; died at Kappel-Rodeck in Baden, 29 ...

Weiss, Johann Baptist

Born at Ettenheim, Baden, 17 July, 1820; died at Graz, 8 March, 1899. After completing his ...

Weissenau, Monastery of

(Originally OWE_AUGIA, then MINDERLAU-AUGIA MINOR, and finally WEISSEN AU-AUGIA ALBA or CANDIDA). ...

Weitenauer, Ignatius von

Litterateur, exegete, and Orientalist, born at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, 1 November, 1709; died at ...

Welbourne, Ven. Thomas

Martyred at York, 1 August, 1605. Nothing is known about about this martyr except the scanty ...

Weld

The name of an ancient English family (branches of which are found in several parts of England ...

Weld, Frederick Aloysius

Youngest son of Humphrey Weld, born at Chidcock Manor, Dorset, 1823; died there, 1891. He was ...

Welle, Prefecture Apostolic of

Located in the extreme north of Belgian Congo, Africa, separated by a Decree of the Propaganda ...

Wellington, Archdiocese of

(WELLINGTONIENSIS). Located in New Zealand, originally formed part of the Vicariate of ...

Wells in Scripture

It is difficult for inhabitants of a more humid climate to realize the importance which a country ...

Wells, Ven. Smithin

English martyr, born at Brambridge, Hampshire, about 1536; hanged at Gray's Inn Lane, London, ...

Welser, Bartholomeus

German merchant prince, born at Augsburg, 1488; died at Amberg, near Turkheim, Swabia, 1561. His ...

Welsh Church

In giving separate consideration to the Church of Wales, we follow a practice common among ...

Welsh Monastic Foundations

Few saints of the early British Church, as it existed before the Saxon invasion, are known to ...

Welte, Benedict

Exegete, born at Ratzenried in Würtemberg, 25 November, 1825; died 27 May, 1885. After ...

Wenceslaus, Saint

( Also Vaclav, Vaceslav.) Duke, martyr, and patron of Bohemia, born probably 903; died at ...

Wendelin of Trier, Saint

Born about 554; died probably in 617. His earliest biographies, two in Latin and two in German, ...

Weninger, Francis Xavier

Jesuit missionary and author, born at Wildhaus, Styria, Austria, 31 October, 1805; died at ...

Wenrich of Trier

German ecclesiastico-polical writer of the eleventh century. He was a canon at Verdun, and ...

Werburgh, Saint

(WEREBURGA, WEREBURG, VERBOURG). Benedictine, patroness of Chester, Abbess of Weedon, ...

Werden

(WERTHINA, WEERDA, WERDENA). A suppressed Benedictine monastery near Essen in Rhenish ...

Werner, Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias

Convert, poet, and pulpit orator, born at Konigsberg, Prussia, 18 November, 1768; died at ...

Wessel Goesport, John

(GANSFORT). A fifteenth-century Dutch theologian, born at Gröningen in 1420; died there ...

Wessenberg, Ignaz Heinrich von

Vicar-General and Administrator of the Diocese of Constance, born at Dresden, 4 November, 1774; ...

Wessobrunn

(WESSOGONTANTUM, AD FONTES WESSONIS). A suppressed Benedictine abbey near Weilheim in Upper ...

West Syrian Rite

The rite used by the Jacobite sect in Syria and by the Catholic Syrians is in its origin ...

West Virginia

A state of the American Union, bounded on the northeast by Pennsylvania and Maryland, on the ...

Westcott, Sebastian

English organist, born about 1524, was a chorister, under Redford, at St. Paul's Cathedral, ...

Westeraas, Ancient See of

(AROSI, AROSIENSIS). Located in Sweden. The Catholic diocese included the lands of ...

Western Schism

This schism of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries differs in all points from the Eastern ...

Westminster Abbey

This most famous of all English abbeys is situated within the precincts of the Royal Palace of ...

Westminster Cathedral

As a national expression of religious faith given by Roman Catholics to England since the ...

Westminster, Archdiocese of

(WESTMONASTERIENSIS). Erected and made metropolitan in 1850, comprises the Counties of ...

Westminster, Matthew of

The name given to the supposed author of a well-known English chronicle, the "Flores Historiarum". ...

Weston, William

Jesuit missionary priest, born at Maidstone, 1550 (?); died at Valladolid, Spain, 9 June, ...

Westphalia

A province of Prussia situated between the Rhine and the Weser. It is bounded on the northwest ...

Wettingen-Mehrerau, Abbacy Nullius of

A Cistercian abbey near Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria. The Cistercian monastery of Wettingen ...

Wetzer, Heinrich Joseph

Learned Orientalist, born at Anzefahr in Hesse-Cassel, 19 March, 1801; died at Freiburg in ...

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Wh 23

Wharton, Ven. Christopher

Born at Middleton, Yorkshire, before 1546; martyred at York, 28 March, 1600. He was the second ...

Wheeling, Diocese of

(WHELINGENSIS). Comprises the State of West Virginia except the following counties, which are ...

Whipple, Amiel Weeks

Military engineer and soldier, born at Greenwich, Massachusetts, 1818; died at Washington, D.C., ...

Whitaker, Venerable Thomas

Born at Burnley, Lancashire, 1614; martyred at Lancaster, 7 August, 1646. Son of Thomas ...

Whitbread, Venerable Thomas

( Alias HARCOURT). Born in Essex, 1618; martyred at Tyburn, 30 June, 1679. He was ...

Whitby, Abbey of

(Formerly called Streoneshalh). A Benedictine monastery in the North Riding of Yorkshire, ...

Whitby, Synod of

The Christianizing of Britain begun by St. Augustine in A.D. 597 was carried on with varying ...

White Fathers

(MISSIONARIES OF OUR LADY OF AFRICA OF ALGERIA). This society, known under the name of ...

White, Andrew

Missionary, b. at London, 1579; d. at or near London, 27 Dec., 1656 (O.S.). He entered St. ...

White, Charles Ignatius

Editor, historian, born at Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. 1 February, 1807; died at Washington, ...

White, Edward

Grandfather of Stephen Mallory White , born in County Limerick, Ireland, in the latter part of ...

White, Eustace, Venerable

Martyr, born at Louth, Lincolnshire, in 1560; suffered at the London Tyburn, 10 December, 1591. ...

White, Richard, Venerable

( Vere GWYN). Martyr, born at Llanilloes, Montgomeryshire, about 1537; executed at Wrexham, ...

White, Robert

English composer, b. about 1530; d. Nov., 1574; was educated by his father, and graduated Mus. ...

White, Stephen

Antiquarian and polyhistor; b. at Clonmel, Ireland, in 1574; d. in Galway, 1646. He belonged to a ...

White, Stephen Mallory

American statesman; born at San Francisco , California, 19 January, 1853; died at Los Angeles ...

White, Thomas

( Alias BLACKLOW, BLACLOE, ALBIUS, ANGLUS). Born in Essex, 1593; died in London, 6 July, ...

Whithorn Priory

Located in Wigtownshire, Scotland, founded about the middle of the twelfth century, in the reign ...

Whiting, Blessed Richard

Last Abbot of Glastonbury and martyr, parentage and date of birth unknown, executed 15 Nov., ...

Whitsunday

A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the ...

Whitty, Ellen

In religion Mary Vincent, born at Pouldarrig near Oylgate, a village seven miles form the town of ...

Whitty, Robert

Born at Pouldarrig near Oylgate, 7 January, 1817; died 1 September, 1895. In 1830 he entered ...

Whitty, Rose

Born at Dublin, Ireland, 24 November, 1831; died 4 May, 1911. Of her two sisters one became a ...

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Wi 121

Wibald

Abbot of Stavelot ( Stablo ), Malmedy, and Corvey, b. near Stavelot in Belgium in 1098; d. ...

Wichita Indians

A confederacy of Caddoan stock, formerly dwelling between the Arkansas River, Kansas, and the ...

Wichita, Diocese of

(WICHITENSIS). Erected in 1887, from the Diocese of Leavenworth . The territory of the new ...

Wichmans, Francis

In religion AUGUSTINE, born at Antwerp, 1596; died 1661. Having finished his classical studies, ...

Widmer, Joseph

Catholic theologian, born at Hohenraim, Lucerne, Switzerland, 15 Aug., 1779; died at ...

Widow

I. Canonical prescriptions concerning widows in the Old Testament refer mainly to the question ...

Widukind

Saxon leader, and one of the heads of the Westphalian nobility. He was the moving spirit in the ...

Widukind of Corvey

Historian who lived in the tenth century in the Benedictine Abbey of Corvey, Germany. He was a ...

Wiener-Neustadt, Diocese of

(NEOSTADTIENSIS). A suppressed see in Lower Austria. Upon the request of Frederick III it was ...

Wiest, Stephan

Member of the Order of Cistercians, b. at Teisbach in Lower Bavaria, 7 March, 1748; d. at ...

Wigand, Saints

( Also rendered VENANTIUS). Three saints of this name are mentioned in the Roman ...

Wigbert, Saint

Companion of St. Boniface, born in England about 675; died at Hersfeld about 746. Positive ...

Wigbod

(WICBODUS, WIGBOLD, WIGBALD). Theological writer of the eighth century. Of his works there is ...

Wigley, George J.

Died in Rome, 20 January, 1866. By profession he was an architect, but subsequently devoted ...

Wilberforce, Henry William

Born at Clapham, 22 September, 1807; died at Stroud, Gloucestershire, 23 April, 1873. He was third ...

Wilberforce, Robert Isaac

Born at Clapham, 19 December, 1802; died at Albano, near Rome, 3 Feb. 1857. He was the second son ...

Wilcannia, Diocese of

(WILCANIENSIS). Located in New South Wales, one of the six suffragan sees of Sydney; consists ...

Wilcox, Robert, Venerable

English martyr, born at Chester, 1558; suffered at Canterbury, 1 October, 1588. He arrived at ...

Wild, Johann

Scriptural commentator and preacher, better known by his Latin name FERUS, b. in Swabia, 1497; d. ...

Wilfrid, Saint

Bishop of York, son of a Northumbrian thegn, born in 634; died at Oundle in Northamptonshire, ...

Wilgefortis

A fabulous female saint known also as UNCUMBER, KUMMERNIS, KOMINA, COMERA, CUMERANA, HULFE, ...

Wilhelm of Herle

Painter, born at Herle in Dutch Limburg at an unknown date in the fourteenth century; time and ...

Wilhelm V

Son of Duke Albrecht V. Born at Munich, 29 September, 1548; died at Schlessheim, 7 February, ...

Wilhering, Cistercian Abbey of

(HILARIA). Situated on the right bank of the Danube, in the Diocese of Linz, Austria. Ulric ...

Will

(Latin voluntas, Greek boúlesis, "willing" German Wille, French volonté ). ...

Will and Testament of Clerics

Roman law allowed clerics to dispose of their property by will or otherwise. Bishops, however, ...

Will, Free

RELATION OF THE QUESTION TO DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY HISTORY Free Will in Ancient ...

Willaert, Adrian

Composer and founder of the Venetian school, b. at Bruges, or, according to other authorities, ...

Willehad, Saint

Bishop at Bremen, born in Northumberland before 745; died at Blecazze (Blexen) on the Weser, 8 ...

Willems, Pierre

Philologist, born at Maastricht, 6 January, 1840; died at Louvain, 23 February, 1898. Following ...

William

Born in Brittany, died at Marmoutiers, 23 May, 1124. For a time he was Archdeacon of Nantes, ...

William

Abbot of Saint-Bénigne at Dijon, celebrated Cluniac reformer, b. on the Island of ...

William Carter, Venerable

English martyr, born in London, 1548; suffered for treason at Tyburn, 11 January, 1584. Son of ...

William Exmew, Blessed

Carthusian monk and martyr ; suffered at Tyburn, 19 June, 1535. He studied at Christ's ...

William Filby, Blessed

Blessed William Filby Born in Oxfordshire between 1557 and 1560; suffered at Tyburn, 30 May, ...

William Hart, Blessed

Born at Wells, 1558; suffered at York, 15 March, 1583. Elected Trappes Scholar at Lincoln ...

William Lacy, Blessed

Born at "Hanton", Yorkshire (probably Houghton or Tosside, West Riding); suffered at York, 22 ...

William of Auvergne

Bishop of Paris, medieval philosopher and theologian. Born at Aurillac in Auvergne towards ...

William of Auxerre

A thirteenth-century theologian and professor at the University of Paris . William's name ...

William of Champeaux

A twelfth-century Scholastic, philosopher, and theologian, b. at Champeaux, near Melun, in the ...

William of Conches

A twelfth-century Scholastic philosopher and theologian, b. about the year 1100. After having ...

William of Digulleville

(DEGULLEVILLE). A French poet of the fourteenth century. Nothing is known of his life, except ...

William of Ebelholt, Saint

(Also called WILLIAM OF PARIS and WILLIAM OF THE PARACLETE.) Died on Easter Sunday, 1203, and ...

William of Gellone, Saint

Born 755; died 28 May, c. 812; was the second count of Toulouse, having attained that dignity in ...

William of Jumièges

(Surnamed CALCULUS.) Benedictine historian of the eleventh century. Practically nothing seems ...

William of Maleval, Saint

(or ST. WILLIAM THE GREAT). Died 10 February, 1157; beatified in 1202. His life, written ...

William of Malmesbury

Born 30 November, about 1090; died about 1143. He was educated at Malmesbury, where he became a ...

William of Moerbeke

Scholar, Orientalist, philosopher, and one of the most distinguished men of letters of the ...

William of Nangis

(GUILHELMUS). A medieval chronicler, who takes his name from the City of Nancy, France. ...

William of Newburgh

Historian, b. at Bridlington, Yorkshire, 1136; d. at Newburgh, Yorkshire, 1198, where he went as ...

William of Norwich, Saint

Born 1132; died 22 March, 1144. On Holy Saturday, 25 March, 1144, a boy's corpse showing signs of ...

William of Ockham

Fourteenth-century Scholastic philosopher and controversial writer, born at or near the village ...

William of Paris, Saint

Abbot of Eskill in Denmark, born 1105; died 1202. He was born of a noble French family, and ...

William of Perth, Saint

(Or ST. WILLIAM OF ROCHESTER). Martyr, born at Perth ; died about 1201. Practically all that ...

William of Poitiers

Norman historian, born of a noted family, at Préaux near Pont Audemer, Normandy, about 1020. ...

William of Ramsey

Flourished about 1219. Nothing is known of his life except that he was a monk of Crowland Abbey ...

William of Sens

A twelfth-century French architect, supposed to have been born at Sens. He is referred to in ...

William of Shoreham

( Or de Schorham.) An English religious writer of the Anglo-Norman period, born at ...

William of St-Amour

A thirteenth century theologian and controversialist, born in Burgundy in the first decades of ...

William of St-Thierry

Theologian and mystic, and so called from the monastery of which he was abbot, b. at ...

William of Turbeville

(TURBE, TURBO, or DE TURBEVILLE). Bishop of Norwich (1146-74), b. about 1095; d. at Norwich ...

William of Tyre

Archbishop of Tyre and historian, born probably in Palestine, of a European family which had ...

William of Vercelli

(Or WILLIAM OF MONTE VERGINE.) The founder of the Hermits of Monte Vergine, or Williamites, ...

William of Ware

(William de Warre, Guard, Guaro, Varro or Varron.) Born at Ware in Herts; the date of his ...

William of Wayneflete

Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England, b. towards the end of the fourteenth century; ...

William of Wykeham

Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England and founder of Winchester College ; b. between ...

William Perault

(PERAULD, PERALDUS, PERALTUS). Writer and preacher, b. at Perault, France ; d. at Lyons ; ...

William the Clerk (of Normandy)

French poet of the thirteenth century. Nothing is known of his life except that he was a clerk of ...

William the Conqueror

King of England and Duke of Normandy. William was the natural son of Robert, Duke of ...

William the Walloon

Date of birth unknown; d. (probably) 22 Dec., 1089. He became Abbot of St. Arnoul at Metz in ...

William, Blessed

Abbot of Hirschau, monastic reformer, born in Bavaria ; died at Hirschau, 5 July 1091. He ...

William, Saint

(WILLIAM FITZHERBERT, also called WILLIAM OF THWAYT). Archbishop of York. Tradition ...

William, Saint

Bishop of St-Brieuc, born in the parish of St. Alban, Brittany, between 1178 and 1184; died ...

Williamites

There were two minor religious orders or congregations of this name: (1) a Benedictine ...

Willibald and Winnebald, Saints

(WUNIBALD, WYNNEBALD). Members of the Order of St. Benedict, brothers, natives probably of ...

Willibrord, Saint

Bishop of Utrecht, Apostle of the Frisians, and son of St. Hilgis, born in Northumbria, 658; ...

Willigis, Saint

Archbishop of Mainz, d. 23 Feb., 1011. Feast, 23 February or 18 April. Though of humble birth ...

Williram

(WALTRAM, WILTRAM). Scriptural scholar, b. in Franconia (near Worms), Germany ; d. in 1085 at ...

Wilmers, Wilhelm

Professor of philosophy and theology, b. at Boke in Westphalia, 30 January, 1817; d. at ...

Wilmington, Diocese of

(WILMINGTONIENSIS). Erected 3 March, 1868. It includes what is known as the Delmarvia ...

Wilton Abbey

A Benedictine convent in Wiltshire, England, three miles from Salisbury. A first foundation was ...

Wilton, Richard

Died December 21, 1239. He was a medieval scholar of whom little is known except that he was an ...

Wimborne Minster

( Also WIMBURN or WINBURN). Located in Dorsetshire, England. Between the years 705-23 a ...

Wimmer, Boniface

Archabbot, b. at Thalmassing, Bavaria, 14 January, 1809; d. at St. Vincent Archabbey, Beatty, ...

Wimpfeling, Jakob

Humanist and theologian, b. at Schlettstadt, Alsace, 25 July 1450; d. there, 17 Nov., 1528. He ...

Wimpina, Konrad

(WIMINAE, WIMINESIS). Theologian, b. at Buchen in Baden, about 1465; d. at Amorbach in Lower ...

Winchester, Ancient See of

(WINTONIA, WINTONIENSIS). This diocese came into existence in 635 when the great ...

Winckelmann, Johann Joachim

Archaeologist and historian of ancient art, born at Stendal near Magdeburg, in 1717; assassinated ...

Windesheim

An Augustinian monastery situated about four miles south of Zwolle on the Issel, in the Kingdom ...

Winding Sheet of Christ, Feast of the Holy

In 1206 one of the (supposed) Winding Sheets used at the burial of Christ was brought to ...

Windischmann, Friedrich Heinrich Hugo

Orientalist and exegete, b. at Aschaffenburg, 13 December, 1811; d. at Munich, 23 August, ...

Windischmann, Karl Joseph Hieronymus

Philosopher, b. at Mainz, 25 August, 1775; d. at Bonn, 23 April, 1839. He attended the gymnasium ...

Window, Rose

A circular window, with mullions and traceries generally radiating from the centre, and filled ...

Windows in Church Architecture

From the beginning Christian churches, in contrast to the ancient temples, were intended to be ...

Windsor

A town of great antiquity, on the Thames, in Berkshire, England ; quaintly rendered Ventus ...

Windthorst, Ludwig

Born near Osnabrück, 17 January, 1812; died 14 March, 1891. He came from a family of ...

Wine, Altar

Wine is one of the two elements absolutely necessary for the sacrifice of the Eucharist. For valid ...

Winefride, Saint

Born at Holywell, Wales, about 600; died at Gwytherin, Wales, 3 Nov., 660. Her father was ...

Wingham, Thomas

Born in London, 5 January, 1846; died there, 24 March, 1893. He studied music at Wylde's London ...

Winnebago Indians

A tribe of Siouan stock closely related in speech to the Iowa, Missouri, and Oto, and more ...

Winnebald and Willibald, Saints

(WUNIBALD, WYNNEBALD). Members of the Order of St. Benedict, brothers, natives probably of ...

Winnoc, Saint

Abbot or Prior or Wormhoult, died 716 or 717. Three lives of this saint are extant: the best of ...

Winona, Diocese of

(WINONENSIS). Established in 1889, suffragan of St. Paul, comprises the following counties in ...

Winslow, Jakob Benignus

(WINSLOW). Physician and anatomist, b. at Odense, Denmark, 27 April, 1669; d. in Paris, 3 ...

Winwallus, Saint

Abbot of Landevennec; d. 3 March, probably at the beginning of the sixth century, though the ...

Winzet, Ninian

Benedictine abbot and controversial writer, b. at Renfrew, Scotland, 1518; d. at Ratisbon, 21 ...

Wipo

(WIPPO). Apparently a native of Burgundy, lived in the first half of the eleventh century. He ...

Wireker, Nigel

Satirist, lived about 1190. He describes himself as old in the "Speculum Stultorum", which was ...

Wirt, Wigand

Theologian, born at Frankfort about 1460; died at Steyer, 30 June, 1519. He entered the ...

Wisconsin

Known as the "Badger State", admitted to the Union on 29 May, 1848, the seventeenth state ...

Wisdom, Book of

One of the deutero-canonical writings of the Old Testament, placed in the Vulgate between the ...

Wisdom, Daughters of

(LES FILLES DE LA SAGESSE). Founded at Poitiers by Blessed Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort ...

Wise Men (Magi)

(Plural of Latin magus ; Greek magoi ). The "wise men from the East" who came to adore ...

Wiseman, Nicholas Patrick

Cardinal, first Archbishop of Westminster ; b. at Seville, 2 Aug., 1802; d. in London, 15 ...

Witchcraft

It is not easy to draw a clear distinction between magic and witchcraft. Both are concerned with ...

Witness

One who is present, bears testimony, furnishes evidence or proof. Witnesses are employed in ...

Witt, Francis Xavier

Reformer of church music, founder of the St. CeciliaSociety for German-speaking countries, ...

Wittenberg

The city is in Prussian Saxony and was founded by Albert the Bear (d. 1170). He had conquered ...

Wittman, George Michael

Bishop-elect of Ratisbon, b. near Pleistein, Oberpfalz, Bavaria, 22 (23?) Jan., 1760; d. at ...

Wittman, Patrizius

Catholic journalist, b. at Ellwanger, Würtemberg, 4 January, 1818; d. at Munich, 3 ...

Witzel, Georg

(WICELIUS). Theologian, b. at Vacha, Province of Hesse, 1501; d. at Mainz, 16 Feb., 1573. He ...

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Wl 1

Wladislaw, Diocese of

(Polish WLOCLAWEK; Latin VLADISLAVIENSIS ET POMERANLAE). The historical origin of this ...

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Wolff, George Dering

Editor, b. at Martinsburg, West Virginia , 25 Aug., 1822; d. at Norristown, Pennsylvania, 29 ...

Wolfgang, Saint

Bishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, ...

Wolfram von Eschenbach

Generally regarded as the greatest of Middle-High-German epic poets, date of birth unknown; d. ...

Wolgemut, Michael

Painter and engraver, b. at Nuremberg, 1434; d. there, 1519. He was the most prominent artist of ...

Wolowski, Louis-François-Michel-Reymond

Born at Warsaw, 31 Aug., 1810; d. at Gisors, Eure, 15 Aug., 1876. His father, a member of the ...

Wolsey, Thomas

Cardinal, Archbishop of York, b. at Ipswitch, the usually accepted date, 1471, being probably ...

Wolstan, Saint

Benedictine, and Bishop of Worcester, b. at Long Itchington, Warwickshire, England, about 1008; ...

Woman

Of late years the position of woman in human society has given rise to a discussion which, as part ...

Wood, Thomas

Priest and confessor, b. about 1499; d. in Wisbech Castle before 1588. After being prebendary ...

Wood-Carving

In general, the production from wood of objects of trade or art by means of sharp instruments, as ...

Woodcock, Venerable John

English Franciscan martyr, b. at Leyland, Lancashire, 1603; suffered at Lancaster, 7 August, ...

Woodhead, Abraham

Born at Almonbury, Yorkshire, about March, 1609; died at Hoxton, Middlesex, 4 May, 1678. This ...

Woodhouse, Blessed Thomas

Martyr who suffered at Tyburn 19 June, 1573, being disembowelled alive. Ordained in Mary's ...

Woods, Julian Edmund Tenison

Priest and scientist, b. at Southwark, London, 15 Nov., 1832; d. at Sydney, New South Wales, 7 ...

Worcester, Ancient Diocese of

(WIGORNIENSIS.) Located in England, created in 680 when, at the Synod of Hatfield under ...

Words (in Canon Law)

To give the right value to words is a very important factor in the proper interpretation of ...

World, Antiquity of the

Various attempts have been made to establish the age of the world. Two groups of scientists have ...

Wormwood

( Hebrew la'anah .) Wormwood, known for its repulsive bitterness ( Jeremiah 9:15 ; 23:15 ; ...

Worship, Christian

NOTION AND CHARACTERISTICS The word worship (Saxon weorthscipe , "honour"; from worth , ...

Worsley, Edward

Born in Lancashire, England, 1605; died at Antwerp, 2 Sept., 1676. He is said to have been ...

Worthington, Thomas, D.D.

Third President of Douai College , b. 1549 at Blainscough Hall, near Wigan, Lancashire; d. at ...

Wounds, The Five Sacred

Devotion The revival of religious life and the zealous activity of St. Bernard and St. ...

Wouters, G. Henry

Historian, b. at Oostham, Belgian Limburg, 3 May, 1802; d. 5 January, 1872. In 1829 he became ...

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Wr 2

Wright, Venerable Peter

Martyr, b. at Slipton, Northamptonshire, 1603; suffered at Tyburn, 19 May, 1651. After spending ...

Wright, William

Born at York, 1562; died 18 Jan., 1639. Though he came late (23) to his studies, he then made ...

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Wu 2

Wulfen, Franz Xaver Freiherr von

Botanist, b. at Belgrade, 5 November, 1728; d. at Klagenfurt, 17 March, 1805. He was the son of ...

Wulfram, Saint

(VULFRAMNUS.) Bishop of Sens, missionary in Frisi, born at Milly near Fontainebleau, probably ...

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Wy 5

Wyart, Théophile-Louis-Henri

(In religion DOM SEBASTIAN). Abbot of Cîteaux and Abbot-General of the Order of ...

Wyche, Saint Richard de

Bishop and confessor, b. about 1197 at Droitwich, Worcestershire, from which his surname is ...

Wyclif, John

(WYCLIFFE, or WICLIF, etc.). Writer and "reformer", b. probably at Hipswell near Richmond, ...

Wyntoun, Andrew of

Scottish chronicler, born (as we know from the internal evidence of his writings) in the reign ...

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