Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILFRE ( WILFREDUS , and other forms of the name), bishop .

Bishop of S. Davids from 1085 (after the death of Sulien ) until 1115 , the last independent bishop of that diocese; he was a Welshman , despite his foreign name. He threw in his lot with the Welsh in 1096 when they rose against the Normans in Dyfed , and in revenge Gerald of Pembroke ravaged his Pebidiog lands in 1097 — according to Gerald the Welshman , Wilfre himself was imprisoned for twenty days by Arnulf of Montgomery . The fact is that Wilfre could not hope to challenge the foreign Church successfully after the death of Rhys ap Tewdwr ( 1093 ), and he made his peace with Anselm , archbishop of Canterbury , who had previously excommunicated him; Anselm defended the rights of S. Davids against the Norman barons of South Wales . It is not clear whether this means that Wilfre had made his canonical submission to Canterbury . In any event, he was the last of the original line of bishops of S. Davids . He d. 1115 .

Sources:

  • A History of Wales: from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest , 451-2.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959