Non Fendigaid (DNB00)


NON Fendigaid, i.e. the Blessed (fl. 550?), mother of St. David, was, according to the oldest extant life of that saint (that by Ricemarchus [q. v.], printed in Cambro-British Saints, ed. Rees, 1853), a nun of Dyfed or West Wales, who was violated by Sant, king of Ceredigion (i.e. Cardiganshire). Various genealogies of the saints make her the daughter of Cynyr of Caer Gawch, who was apparently a chieftain of Pebidiog, the region in which St. David's now stands, and Rees (Welsh Saints) assumes that Sant (or Sandde) and she were husband and wife. All that is certainly known of her is that her memory came in time to be revered together with that of her son. Four churches in South-West Wales are dedicated to her: Llannon and Llanuwchaeron in Cardiganshire, Llannon in Carmarthenshire, and a chapel (near which is St. Non's Well) in the vicinity of St. David's. She was also honoured at Alternon in Cornwall and Dirinon in Brittany; a Breton mystery, entitled ‘Butez Santez Nonn,’ found at the latter place and published in 1837 (Paris, ed. Sionnet), gives her legend much as Ricemarchus does. Her festival was 3 March.

[Rees's Welsh Saints, 1836; Cambro-British Saints, ed. W. J. Rees; Myvyrian Archaiology, 2nd ed. 415, 423; Iolo MSS. 101, 110, 124, 152.]

J. E. L.