Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

IORWERTH (or GERVASE ) , abbot of Talley and bishop of S. Davids ,( 1215-1229 ).

His election as bishop (he was consecrated at Staines on 21 June 1215 , a few days after the sealing of Magna Carta ) was a victory for native sentiment in the long struggle over the status of S. Davids , and a triumph of policy for Llywelyn the Great . A man of worthy character and a pure Welshman by birth (though nothing is known about his origins), he was not unmindful of the duties imposed upon him by his oaths to the Crown and Canterbury , being present at royal councils and mediating between Welsh and English even at the risk of incurring the displeasure of the chronicler of his old house at Talley . During the episcopate the abbey, however, added considerably to its wealth through appropriations conceded by Iorwerth . He also left a deep impression on his diocese by reforming the constitution of the chapter and re-building portions of the cathedral .


  • Giraldi Cambrensis Opera (1861–91) , iii, 361-4;
  • A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest ;
  • E. J. Newell , A History of the Welsh Church to the Dissolution of the Monasteries (London, 1895) ;
  • Jones and Freeman , The History and Antiquities of St. David's (1856) .


Professor Thomas Jones Pierce, M.A., F.S.A., (1905-1964), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959