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by his second wife Nesta, granddaughter of Rhys ap Theodor, prince of South Wales. As a child he showed early aptitude for learning, and was remarked for his veneration for the church and church matters, influenced by his uncle, David Fitzgerald, then bishop of St. David's [see David, d. 1176]. Though he was at first slow at learning, he must have made up for this by diligence, as his early Latin poems (Opp. i. 341–84), written probably in 1166, indicate a careful study of many of the Latin poets. While still young he made three journeys to Paris, studying, and lecturing on the Trivium, and obtaining especial praise for his knowledge of rhetoric. He was probably ordained soon after his return to England in 1172, when he was appointed by the archbishop to secure payment of tithes from the Welsh. He soon made a mark by his vigour in such cases as that of the sheriff of Pembrokeshire, who was excommunicated for seizing the cattle belonging to the priory of Pembroke, and that of the archdeacon of Brecknock, who was suspended for concubinage. The result of this was that the archbishop took the archdeaconry into his own hands and gave it to Giraldus. He relates in his ‘De Rebus a se gestis’ various instances of his energy in his new office: continuing to insist on the payment of tithes, risking the resentment of the Flemings, a colony settled on the borders by the English kings, disregarding all comfort when he had to perform severe duties in rough weather, resisting and even excommunicating the Bishop of St. Asaph when he attempted to trespass on the rights of St. David's, and giving the king a pretty strong opinion on the character of the people, the bishops being thieves of the churches, as the laymen were of the property of others. On the death of his uncle, the bishop of St. David's, in 1176, the Welsh hoped to see the restoration of a metropolitan of their own, and to make the see independent of Canterbury. The canons nominated Giraldus, with three other archdeacons, for presentation to the king, intending to secure him for their bishop. But the king, who had always followed the Norman policy of appointing Norman bishops to Welsh sees, would not listen to them. The people who heard the Te Deum sung expected that Giraldus had been elected. But he saw that it would not do, and repudiated the nomination. The king's anger, however, fell upon him; he consulted with the archbishop (Richard), refused to follow his advice to nominate Giraldus, and spoke of his fear of the archdeacon from his connection with the royal blood of Wales. The canons gave way at once, and in spite of Giraldus's exhortations to the papal legate and the archbishop for the appointment of a man of good character, who had acquaintance with the habits and language of the people, Peter de Leia was elected. Giraldus left the country and went to Paris to study canon law and theology. He tells us of his large audiences, gives an account of his first lecture (De Rebus a se gestis, i. 46), and was even supposed by some who heard him to have studied many years at Bologna. Want of money prevented his return to England for some time; but in 1180 he returned by Arras, where he saw Philip, count of Flanders, playing at the quintain, and reached Canterbury, where he was entertained by the archbishop. He proceeded at once to Wales, and was appointed commissary to the bishop of St. David's, who had ceased to reside in his diocese; but finding that the bishop suspended and excommunicated the canons and archdeacons, while he left plunderers of monasteries and robbers of churchyards unpunished, Giraldus gave up the charge and obtained from the archbishop the reversal of the sentence on the canons. In 1184 he was made one of Henry II's chaplains, and was sent by the king to accompany his son John in his expedition to Ireland. While there he preached at the council of Dublin, giving a very severe review of the character of the clergy and the low state of the people (ib. p. 67). He was offered while in Ireland the bishoprics of Wexford and Leighlin, and apparently at a little later time the bishopric of Ossory and the archbishopric of Cashel (ib. p. 65; De jure Menevensis ecclesiæ, p. 338), but declined them all. It is to this journey that we owe the treatise ‘Topographia Hibernica,’ dedicated to Henry II, which appeared in 1188. It gives an account of the general features of the country, its productions, climate, &c., mixed up with many marvellous stories. The ‘Expugnatio Hibernica,’ which probably appeared the same year, dedicated to Richard, though containing much that is interesting and valuable, can scarcely be considered as ‘sober, truthful history’ (Dimock, preface, p. lxix). He remained in Ireland till 1186, and on his return read his work publicly at Oxford, entertaining all his hearers on three successive days (De gestis, p. 72). In 1188, after the king had taken the cross, Archbishop Baldwin preached the crusade; the king sent him especially into Wales for this purpose. He took with him Giraldus and the justiciary, Ranulph de Glanville [q. v.] Giraldus tells us that the archbishop produced little effect till he bade Giraldus take up the preaching; then, although he spoke in French and Latin, which the people did not understand, such crowds