Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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PETROC ( PEDROG ) , saint , fl. 6th cent.

The most complete ‘ Life of S. Petroc ’ was recently found at Gotha , Germany . Though he accomplished his main work in Dumnonia and Brittany , Petroc was b. in Gwent . According to the ‘ Life of S. Cadoc ’ (Preface) and the genealogy at the end of his own ‘Life,’ Petroc was one of the sons of Glywys . But ‘ Bonedd y Saint ’ ( Wade-Evans , below) makes him son of Clement , a Cornish prince . According to the ‘ Life of S. Cadoc ,’ Petroc renounced his hereditary right to a portion of his father's kingdom, and withdrew to Bodmin , Cornwall . The Gotha ‘Life’ states that he was chosen as sole king to succeed his father, and adopted the monastic life after repelling a foreign invasion. Petroc is said to have visited Ireland before settling in Cornwall . He is one of the chief saints of Somerset , Devon , and Cornwall , and his cult is widespread too in Brittany . In Wales , he is the patron saint of Llanbedrog in Caerns. , S. Petrox in Pembs. , and Verwick in Cards. 4 June is his feast-day.

Sources:

  • The Lives of the British Saints , iv, 94-103;
  • Horstman , Nova legenda Anglie as collected by John of Tynemouth, John Capgrave, and others, and first printed, with new lives, now re-edited with fresh material from MS and printed sources by C. Horstman , 1901 , ii, 317-20;
  • Wade-Evans , Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae , Cardiff, 1944 , 24, 322;
  • G. H. Doble , Saint Petroc, a Cornish Saint , 1938 (3rd ed., 1938);
  • Antiquity , 1939 , 403-15.

Author:

Hywel David Emanuel, M.A., (1921-70), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959