Urban (bishop of Llandaff)

Last updated

Urban (1076–1134) was the first bishop of South East Wales to call himself 'bishop of Llandaff'. He was of a Welsh clerical family and his baptismal name in the Welsh language is given in charter sources as Gwrgan. He Latinised it to the papal name 'Urban'.

Bishop of Llandaff ordinary of the Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff

The Bishop of Llandaff is the ordinary of the Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff.

Welsh language Brythonic language spoken natively in Wales

Welsh or y Gymraeg is a member of the Brittonic branch of the Celtic languages. It is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa. Historically, it has also been known in English as "Cambrian", "Cambric" and "Cymric".

Contents

Early career

Urban came from one of the dominant Anglo-Welsh clerical dynasties of what was called in the eleventh century the diocese of Glamorgan. Two of his brothers are known: one called Caradoc the priest and the other, Gwrgan of Llancarfan. This would indicate that his family origins derived from the important clerical community of Llancarfan. The petition of the 'clergy and people' of Glamorgan in support of his election as bishop says that he had been consecrated priest in the English diocese of Worcester. This more than hints that Urban, as with several other known clerics from the southern Welsh dioceses, had been sent to England to be educated. He was already a leading cleric under his Anglo-Welsh predecessor, Bishop Herewald (1056–1104), occupying the office of archdeacon of Llandaff. At the time of his election as bishop in 1107 he was said to be thirty-one years of age, which if true would give a date of birth of 1076.

Llancarfan village in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

Llancarfan is a rural village and community in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. The village, located west of Barry and near Cowbridge, has a well-known parish church, the site of Saint Cadoc's 6th-century clas, famed for its learning. Cainnech of Aghaboe, Caradoc of Llancarfan and many other Welsh holy men studied there. At the 2001 census, the community had a population of 736. Most of the village lies within a conservation area designated by the local authority in 1971. Buildings listed as being of special historic interest include The Fox and Hounds public house, the former Bethlehem Chapel, the former Wesleyan Chapel, Chapel Cottage, Great House, Corner House and Llancarfan Primary School.

Anglican Diocese of Worcester Diocese of the Anglican Church

The Diocese of Worcester forms part of the Church of England (Anglican) Province of Canterbury in England.

Herewald was a medieval Bishop of Sherborne.

Inventing the Diocese of Llandaff

Liber Landavensis f.5 Liber Lanavensis f.5.png
Liber Landavensis f.5

Urban was consecrated bishop 'of the church of Glamorgan which is to be found in Wales' on 11 August 1107 by Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury, making a profession of obedience to the archbishop at Canterbury. The contemporary chroniclers Eadmer and William of Malmesbury likewise call him bishop of Glamorgan. But between 1115 and 1119 Urban re-invented his diocese, taking the title of 'bishop of Llandaff' settling his see on the clerical community beside the river Taff, some miles north of the castle of Cardiff, the centre of political power in Glamorgan. Urban made great efforts to increase the prestige of Llandaff. With the permission of Gruffudd ap Cynan, king of Gwynedd, he translated the relics of St Dyfrig from Bardsey Island and reburied them at Llandaff. In April 1120, he began the reconstruction of the small church of the Llandaff community as a substantial Romanesque cathedral church, some impressive work from which still survives in the modern fabric. By that time Urban was at work on his master-plan, the compilation of a dossier of documents by which he could pursue some major territorial claims against the neighbouring dioceses.

Glamorgan one of the thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales

Glamorgan, or sometimes Glamorganshire,, is one of the thirteen historic counties of Wales and a former administrative county of Wales. It was originally an early medieval petty kingdom of varying boundaries known as Glywysing until taken over by the Normans as a lordship. Glamorgan is latterly represented by the three preserved counties of Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and West Glamorgan. The name also survives in that of Vale of Glamorgan, a county borough.

Anselm of Canterbury 11th and 12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, theologian, and saint

Anselm of Canterbury, also called Anselm of Aosta after his birthplace and Anselm of Bec after his monastery, was an Italian Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church, who held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. After his death, he was canonized as a saint; his feast day is 21 April.

Canterbury Cathedral city in Kent, England

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.

Bishop Urban and the Book of Llandaff

Urban's principal monument is the dossier he created to sustain the great cause he began in 1119 against the neighbouring dioceses of Hereford and St Davids,[ citation needed ] the Book of Llandaff , which was compiled between 1120 and 1134. [1] He used as his primary source a large cache of early diplomas and charters relating to the episcopal communities of south east Wales, some dating back to the sub-Roman period. He or his clerks deliberately edited these to present a fictitious continuity of bishops of Llandaff from the sixth century onwards, back to the times of St Teilo, the original patron of the Llandaff community. Copied into the dossier were Lives of the Welsh saints associated with Llandaff (Teilo, Euddogwy and Dyfrig) which Urban commissioned. The Lives present the bishops of Llandaff as presiding as metropolitans over the other Welsh bishops. Authorship of the 'Book of Llandaff' has been attributed to several men. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Urban himself or the hagiographer, Caradoc of Llancarfan, have all been suggested, but the evidence for each can only be circumstantial.

Hereford cathedral city and county town of Herefordshire, England

Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately 16 miles (26 km) east of the border with Wales, 24 miles (39 km) southwest of Worcester, and 23 miles (37 km) northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 58,896, it is the largest settlement in the county.

St Davids city in Pembrokeshire, Wales

St Davids or St David's is a city and a community with a cathedral in Pembrokeshire, Wales, lying on the River Alun. It is the final resting place of Saint David, Wales's patron saint, and named after him. St Davids is the United Kingdom's smallest city in terms of population and urban area; however, the smallest city by formal definition of local authority boundary area is the City of London.

The Appeal to Rome

The most remarkable and long-lasting legacy of Bishop Urban's career was the epic case he pursued at Rome against the neighbouring dioceses of St Davids and Hereford. The first complaints against St Davids had been made before the death of Bishop Wilfrid of St Davids (1115). It may have been that which inspired the collection of documents copied into the Book of Llandaff. The wider case opened at the Council of Reims in 1119 when Urban presented a petition to Pope Calixtus II, where he asserted the primacy of Llandaff over other Welsh dioceses, the persecution of his church by Welsh and Norman magnates and the depredations on his jurisdiction by neighbouring bishops. Urban received protections from the pope and the extent of his claims were registered. Papal letters were issued to King Henry I, Ralph archbishop of Canterbury and the clergy and barons of the diocese in Urban's support. In 1125 John of Crema, the papal legate, summoned the disputing parties to London to hear the case. The case was finally referred to Rome in 1127, and Urban travelled there in April 1128. Pope Honorius II decided provisionally in Urban's favour awarding substantial swathes of territory in Herefordshire and Deheubarth to Llandaff diocese. The archbishop of Canterbury's part in the affair was criticised by the curia. A further hearing at Rome in February 1129 heard the evidence of Welsh clergy and witnesses Urban had brought with him. Since the other parties did not appear, the case went to Urban by default. This brought the bishop of St Davids to Rome in 1130 to appeal against the decision. Urban's claims were increasingly obstructed both at the royal court and Canterbury. He found Pope Innocent II less helpful than his predecessors, when he met him at St-Quentin in 1131. In 1132, the pope referred the case to the archbishops of the Anglo-Norman realm for settlement, though reserving the final judgement to himself. Urban fought the case through several hearings in England in 1132 and 1133, and ultimately lost. Ill and aged now, Urban made a final journey to Rome, where he died early in October 1134. Though he lost, Urban's ambitions and energy radically changed the nature of the relationship between the papal curia and the church in England. Following Urban's epic legal battle, an increasing number of litigants appealed to Rome from decisions taken in English provincial courts.

Reims Subprefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Reims, a city in the Grand Est region of France, lies 129 km (80 mi) east-northeast of Paris. The 2013 census recorded 182,592 inhabitants in the city of Reims proper, and 317,611 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Its primary river, the Vesle, is a tributary of the Aisne.

John of Crema was an Italian papal legate and cardinal. He was a close supporter of Pope Callistus II.

Herefordshire County of England

Herefordshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, governed by Herefordshire Council. It borders Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east, Gloucestershire to the south-east, and the Welsh counties of Monmouthshire and Powys to the west.

Related Research Articles

Archbishop of Canterbury senior bishop of the Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", sent from Rome in the year 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.

Llandaff Cathedral Church in Cardiff, Wales

Llandaff Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral and parish church in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales. It is the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff, head of the Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff. It is dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and three Welsh saints: Dubricius, Teilo and Oudoceus. It is one of two cathedrals in Cardiff, the other being the Roman Catholic Cardiff Cathedral in the city centre.

John Peckham 13th-century Archbishop of Canterbury and writer

John Peckham was Archbishop of Canterbury in the years 1279–1292. He was a native of Sussex who was educated at Lewes Priory and became a Friar Minor about 1250. He studied at the University of Paris under Bonaventure, where he would later teach theology. From his teaching, he came into conflict with Thomas Aquinas, with whom he debated on two occasions. Known as a conservative theologian, he opposed Aquinas' views on the nature of the soul. Peckham also studied optics and astronomy, and his studies in those subjects were influenced by Roger Bacon.

Theobald of Bec 12th-century abbot and Archbishop of Canterbury

Theobald of Bec was a Norman archbishop of Canterbury from 1139 to 1161. His exact birth date is unknown. Some time in the late 11th or early 12th century Theobald became a monk at the Abbey of Bec, rising to the position of abbot in 1137. King Stephen of England chose him to be Archbishop of Canterbury in 1138. Canterbury's claim to primacy over the Welsh ecclesiastics was resolved during Theobald's term of office when Pope Eugene III decided in 1148 in Canterbury's favour. Theobald faced challenges to his authority from a subordinate bishop, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester and King Stephen's younger brother, and his relationship with King Stephen was turbulent. On one occasion Stephen forbade him from attending a papal council, but Theobald defied the king, which resulted in the confiscation of his property and temporary exile. Theobald's relations with his cathedral clergy and the monastic houses in his archdiocese were also difficult.

William de Corbeil or William of Corbeil was a medieval Archbishop of Canterbury. Very little is known of William's early life or his family, except that he was born at Corbeil in the outskirts of Paris and that he had two brothers. Educated as a theologian, he taught briefly before serving the bishops of Durham and London as a clerk and subsequently becoming a canon, a priest who lived a communal life. William was elected to the see of Canterbury as a compromise candidate in 1123, the first canon to become an English archbishop. He succeeded Ralph d'Escures, who had employed him as a chaplain.

Church in Wales Anglican church in Wales

The Church in Wales is the Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses. It defines itself as "the ancient Church of this land, catholic and reformed. It proclaims and holds fast the doctrine and ministry of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church". In 2017, the Church in Wales reported 210,000 attendees in its membership statistics. The Anglican church is the largest denomination in Wales.

Henry Chichele 15th-century Archbishop of Canterbury

Henry Chichele, was Archbishop of Canterbury (1414-1443) and founded All Souls College, Oxford.

The post of Archbishop of Wales was created in 1920 when the Church in Wales was separated from the Church of England, and disestablished. The new Church became the Welsh province of the Anglican Communion.

Gerard was Archbishop of York between 1100 and 1108 and Lord Chancellor of England from 1085 until 1092. A Norman, he was a member of the cathedral clergy at Rouen before becoming a royal clerk under King William I of England and subsequently his son King William II Rufus. Gerard was appointed Lord Chancellor by William I, and he continued in that office under Rufus, who rewarded him with the Bishopric of Hereford in 1096. Gerard may have been with the king's hunting party when William II was killed, as he is known to have witnessed the first charter issued by the new king, Henry I of England, within days of William's death.

Diocese of Llandaff Church in Wales diocese

The Diocese of Llandaff is an Anglican diocese that traces its roots to pre-Reformation times as heir of a Catholic bishopric. It is headed by the Bishop of Llandaff, whose seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Llandaff, a suburb of Cardiff. It currently covers most of the former Welsh county of Glamorgan, but once stretched from the River Towy to the middle of the Wye Valley.

Hervey le Breton 12th-century Bishop of Ely and Bangor

Hervey le Breton was a Breton cleric who became Bishop of Bangor in Wales and later Bishop of Ely in England. Appointed to Bangor by King William II of England, when the Normans were advancing into Wales, Hervey was unable to remain in his diocese when the Welsh began to drive the Normans back from their recent conquests. Hervey's behaviour towards the Welsh seems to have contributed to his expulsion from his see. Although the new king, Henry I wished to translate Hervey to the see of Lisieux in Normandy, it was unsuccessful.

Dubricius Welsh saint

Dubricius or Dubric was a 6th-century British ecclesiastic venerated as a saint. He was the evangelist of Ergyng and much of southeast Wales.

Book of Llandaff manuscript

The Book of Llandaff, is the Chartulary, or Register Book of the Cathedral Church of Llandaff, a 12th-century compilation of documents relating to the history of the diocese of Llandaff in Wales. It is written primarily in Latin but also contains a significant amount of Old and Middle Welsh names and marginalia.

William Warelwast 11th century Norman Bishop of Exeter

William Warelwast, was a medieval Norman cleric and Bishop of Exeter in England. Warelwast was a native of Normandy, but little is known about his background before 1087, when he appears as a royal clerk for King William II of England. Most of his royal service to William was as a diplomatic envoy, as he was heavily involved in the king's dispute with Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, which constituted the English theatre of the Investiture Controversy. He went several times to Rome as an emissary to the papacy on business related to Anselm, one of whose supporters, the medieval chronicler Eadmer, alleged that Warelwast bribed the pope and the papal officials to secure favourable outcomes for King William.

Archbishop of Dublin (Roman Catholic) Roman Catholic cleric who presides over the Archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland

The Archbishop of Dublin is the title of the senior cleric who presides over the Archdiocese of Dublin. The Church of Ireland has a similar role, heading the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough. In both cases, the Archbishop is also Primate of Ireland. The Archbishop has his seat at Saint Mary's Pro-Cathedral, though formally Dublin's cathedral is still Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin.

Gregory Cameron British bishop

Gregory Kenneth Cameron is a Welsh Anglican bishop. He is Bishop of the Diocese of St Asaph in Wales, having been elected on 5 January 2009 and confirmed as bishop on 16 March 2009.

Walter or Gualterio of Albano was the cardinal-bishop of the Diocese of Albano in Italy from 1091 to 1101. He served as papal legate to England in May 1095, where he secured the recognition of Pope Urban II by King William II of England. He also brought a pallium, the symbol of an archbishop's authority, to the newly elected Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm of Canterbury.

Bleiddud was Bishop of St David's in Wales from 1061 to 1071. Little is known of him. His name is sometimes given as Bedwd.

Fagan (saint) Welsh saint

Fagan, also known by other names including Fugatius, was a legendary 2nd-century Welsh bishop and saint, said to have been sent by the pope to answer King Lucius's request for baptism and conversion to Christianity. Together with his companion St Deruvian, he was sometimes reckoned as the apostle of Britain.

References

  1. Yorke Conversion of Britain p. 150

Sources

Barbara Yorke FRHistS is a historian of Anglo-Saxon England, specialising in many subtopics, including 19th-century Anglo-Saxonism.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.