Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ANIAN I (d. 1266 ), bishop of S. Asaph .

He succeeded to the see on the death of Hywel ab Ednyfed (d. 1247 ). The Middle Country was at the time under the control of the Crown , and both Einion himself and his chapter formally conceded, on 15 Sept. 1249 , the right of the king to authorize an election and to approve the choice, as in the case of an English bishopric. Before 27 Sept. the bishop elect had done homage and had by royal mandate been put into possession of the lands of the see. Within two months he had been consecrated by Walter of Worcester , Richard of Bangor , and Richard of Meath . According to the chronicle of Wigmore ( Rylands Library MS. 1090 ), this took place at Leominster . On 10 July 1250 , Anian granted an indulgence to penitents visiting the altar of S. Mary and S. Edmund , which he had consecrated in the chapel of Bruera , a dependency of S. Oswald's , Chester . In 1252 he instituted a cleric in a portion of Rhuddlan , upon the presentation of the king , and in 1254 acted similarly upon the presentation of the prince of Wales .

When Llywelyn ap Gruffydd over-ran the Middle Country in 1256 his position became difficult; he received the king's protection on 30 Dec. of that year, on condition that he and his men remained faithful to the Crown . Appeals to his authority to secure the maintenance of peace between Welsh and English were made in 1258 and 1260 . But Llywelyn 's position grew ever stronger, and in 1261 Anian appears as the head of a panel of arbitrators chosen by the parties to settle matters in dispute between the prince and bishop Richard of Bangor ( Rhyd-yr-arw , 28 and 29 April ). He was a Welshman , known before his consecration as Einion ap Maredudd , and seems now to have accepted Llywelyn 's ascendancy without question. It is recorded that in 1263 he gave half of the church of Llanllwchaearn in Cydewain to the nuns of Llanllugan , and in 1265 the church of Berriw ( Aberriw ) to Strata Marcella . He d. before 29 Sept. 1266 , when Meurig appears as custos of the see .

Sources:

  • Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents relating to Great Britain and Ireland , i, 474-6, 487-93, 495;
  • D. R. Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , i, 37, 215;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1868 , 162-3.

Author:

Sir John Edward Lloyd, D.Litt., F.B.A., F.S.A. (1861-1947), Bangor

Published date: 1959