Beuno (DNB00)

BEUNO or BEINO, St. (d. 660?), was the son of Hywgi or Bugi ab Gwynlliw Filwr, and Beren or Perferen, daughter of Llewyddyn Lwyddog of Dinas Eiddyn, to whom he was born after twelve years of barren wedlock. On his father's side he was related to St. Cadoc the Wise of Llancarfan, and on his mother's side to St. Kentigem, the founder of the see of St. Asaph. Having received a religious education from St. Tangwn ab Talhaiarn, Beuno took orders and became a monk. According to the old Welsh life of Beuno printed in Rees's 'Cambro-British Saints,' he founded several churches on lands granted to him by various persons. In 616 he established a religious society at Clynnog Fawr in Carnarvonshire. A quaint story is related about the foundation of this monastery. Cadvan, king of Gwynedd or North Wales, and probably also supreme king of all Wales, had been converted to Christianity by Beuno and had given him much land and promised more. Cadvan's son and successor, Cadwallon, carrying out his father's intentions, gave Beuno a piece of land called Gwaredog in Carnarvonshire, where he built a church, but the land being claimed by a widow for her infant son as having been his father's property, Beuno relinquished it and demanded compensation from Cadwallon, to whom he had given a golden sceptre in return for the land he had just lost. Cadwallon rejected the claim and was cursed by Beuno, who, however, was appeased by the grant of the township of Clynnog given him by the king's cousin Gweddeint. In his old age Beuno became the instructor of his niece St. Winifred, daughter of his sister Gwenlo, and it was he who performed the miracle of reuniting St. Winifred's head to her body after her decapitation by Caradog ab Alan. St. Beuno is recorded to have died in 600, and three places, Clynnog, Bardsey Island, and Nevin, claimed to be his burial-place. His festival is 21 April.

The following eleven churches are dedicated to St. Beuno: Clynnog Fawr, Carngiwch, Penmorfa, and Pistyll in Carnarvonshire; Aberffraw and Trefdraeth in Anglesey; Gwyddelwern and Llanycil in Merionethshire; Berriew and Bettws in Montgomeryshire; Llanfeuno in Herefordshire.

[W. J. Rees's Lives of Cambro-British Saints; Rice Rees's Essay on the Welsh Saints.]

A. M.