Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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BLETHIN , WILLIAM , bishop of Llandaff from 1575 to 1590 .

A Welsh -speaking Welshman , b. at Shirenewton Court, Mon. , of the lineage of Hywel Dda ; his kinsman Morgan Blethin was abbot of Llantarnam in 1532 . He m. Anne Young of Pembroke , niece of Thomas Young , principal of Broadgates Hall , Oxford , later to become bishop of S. Davids and archbishop of York ; she d. in 1589 , and Blethin m. another Anne the same year.

He was educated at New Inn (or at Broad-gates) Hall , Oxford . In 1559 he became rector of Sunningwell, Berks. ; in the following year he is described as the non-resident rector of Rogiet, Mon. , being resident at Oxford pursuing his studies. He was also canon of S. Dubricius , Llandaff cathedral . In 1562 he received the degree of B.C.L., Oxon. , and became prebendary of Osbaldkirk , in York cathedral . He was resident rector of Rogiet , 1563-70 , and also archdeacon of Brecon .

Blethin was consecrated bishop of Llandaff , 17 April 1575 , by archbishop Parker , and was granted a dispensation to hold his offices and preferments in addition to the bishopric, owing to the poverty of the see of Llandaff . He proved a strong administrator , a stern disciplinarian , and a fierce adversary of recusancy . His notable work was his statutes, by which he determined the status of the bishop ; the residence and duties of the canons and vicars choral; the safeguarding of the cathedral property and fabric ; and the safe custody of the chapter seal, documents, and records. He d. 15 Oct. 1590 and was buried in Mathern church : there is no monument.


  • Bradney , A History of Monmouthshire ;
  • Browne Willis , A survey of the cathedral church of St. David's, and the edifices belonging to it, as they stood in the year 1715 (1717) ;
  • Browne Willis , A survey of the Cathedral Church of Llandaff (1719) ;
  • Lawrence Thomas , The Reformation in the Old Diocese of Llandaff (1930) .


Archdeacon Lawrence Thomas, D.D., (1889-1960), Aberafan

Published date: 1959