Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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CYBI ( fl. 550 ), saint , appears in the pedigrees as the son of Selyf ap Geraint ab Erbin . His life, found in two ( Latin ) forms written about 1200 , is of very doubtful value, but may be right in making him the son of a Cornish noble who was ‘ princeps militae ’ (‘ penteulu ’), at a court between the Tamar and the Lynher , possibly Gelliwig . His chief foundation was Holyhead — in Welsh , Caer Gybi — where he established himself within the walls of a dismantled Roman fort. The ‘clas,’ or monastic community, which he founded, had a long history; it continued as a collegiate church throughout the Middle Ages and had twelve prebendaries in the 16th cent. The picturesque legend of the weekly meetings of Seiriol Wyn (White) and Cybi Felyn (Yellow) at Clorach in the midst of Anglesey is a bit of modern folk-lore, but the epithet may be ancient. Other Welsh churches named after Cybi are Llangybi in Llyn , Llangybi in south Cards. , and Llangibby in Mon. At the first of these, Ffynnon Cybi ( Cybi's well ) was of some note, and Cadair Cybi ( Cybi's chair ) was also shown. Two Cornish churches were named after him, viz. Cuby , near Tregony , and Duloe . CAFFO , commemorated at Llangaffo , formerly Merthyr Caffo , in Anglesey , was his disciple, slain by the shepherds at Rhosyr ( Newborough ). His day is commonly given as 5 Nov., but occasionally as 6, 7, or 8.

Bibliography:

  • The Lives of the British Saints , ii, 202-15, 49-51.

Author:

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