St. Dinooth of Bangor Iscoed
(Dinothus, Dunawd, Dunod)
Founder and first Abbot of Bangor Iscoed (Flintshire). He flourished
between 500 and 542. He was originally a North British chieftain driven
by reverses of fortune into Wales.
In conjunction with his three sons, Deiniol, Cynwyl, and Gwarthan, and
under the patronage of Cyngen, Prince of Powys, he founded the monastery
of Bangor on the Dee, which must not be confounded with Bangor in
Carnarvonshire, founded by St. Deiniol in 514, and afterwards a
cathedral city. The community at Bangor was very numerous, and the laus
perennis was established there. The Triads say there were 2400 monks,
who in turn, 100 each hour, sang the Divine Service day and night.
More is known of this famous monastery than of its founder. He is
mentioned by Bede (Hist. Eccl., ii. 2) in connection with the second
conference at Augustine's Oak, but no authority is given for the
statement, and there are arguments against its correctness. The
Conference was probably held in 602 or 603, at which time St. Dinooth
would have been far advanced in years, and the journey from North Wales
to the Lower Severn would have been a difficult one for an aged man. It
is true that delegates from Bangor attended the conference which was
convened by St. Augustine to raise the moral and spiritual condition of
the British clergy, to wean them from their old method of computing
Easter, to which they clung with great tenacity, and to induce them to
co-operate with him in converting the Anglo-Saxons.
The document purporting to be St. Dinooth's "Answer" (printed in Haddan
and Stubbs, Councils of Gt. Britain and Ireland, i, 122) is the sole
ground for connecting his name with this conference at Augustine's Oak;
but it is extremely doubtful whether the "Answer" has anything to do
with this conference at all. St. Augustine's name is not mentioned in
it, neither is there any allusion to the evangelization of the English.
It contains merely a firm repudiation of papal authority and an
assertion of the supremacy of "the Bishop of Caerleon upon Usk" over
the British Church. Some time before the supposed date of the document
St. David had transferred the primatial See of Wales to Menevia.
What is more authentic, however, is the fact that in consequence of the
British delegates' refusal to agree to St. Augustine's proposals he
prophesied their destruction by the English. In 613, when the monks of
Bangor were praying for the success
of their countrymen in battle against the army of Ethelfrid of
Northumbria, twelve hundred of them were slain, being mistaken for
combatants. The monastery itself was probably burnt about sixty years
later (Haddan and Stubbs, i, 125), and extensive ruins remained for
several centuries, which are described by William of Malmesbury, Camden,
Rees, Lives of Cambro-British Saints (Llandovery, 1853).
Hole, Dictionary of Christ. Biog.
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