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

Name: Wilfre
Gender: Male
Occupation: bishop
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

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 died 1115.

Author

Published date: 1959

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