Nothing would be known of the origin of the new bishop , were it not for the picture drawn by Gerald of Wales in Speculum Ecclesiae — a picture which wants nothing but the name. The portrait is drawn in a spirit of reckless ill will and its details can only be used with the utmost reserve. Nevertheless, it may be accepted that Cadwgan was the son of an Irish priest and a Welsh mother, who received a good clerical education and became a Cistercian monk . At Strata Florida he rose to be abbot , and not long afterwards was promoted to the headship of Whitland , the mother house of nearly all Cistercian abbeys of Wales . By assiduous services to Llywelyn , he was finally raised to the episcopate. What is known of Cadwgan from other less tainted sources is entirely to his credit. In 1234 , at a season of dearth in North Wales , he arranged that a shipload of corn should be brought over from Ireland for the relief of his people. Two years later, with the sanction of Gregory IX , he resigned his see and returned to the life of a simple monk at the abbey of Dore , where he d. on 11 April 1241 . There is evidence that he had some repute as a scholar and author , a book of homilies in particular being attributed to him.
Sir John Edward Lloyd, D.Litt., F.B.A., F.S.A. (1861-1947), Bangor
Published date: 1959