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St. Branwaladr
(5th C.)

West Country Missionary
Died: late 5th century


Branwaladr was apparently a son of King Conan Meriadoc of Dumnonia & Brittany. Being a son of this King's second marriage to Dareca, the sister of St.Patrick, he was brought up and educated in the latter kingdom with his nineteen saintly brothers. They mostly followed their uncle into Ireland, but Branwaladr entered a local monastery and joined St. Samson in his work in Cornwall and the Channel Islands. He founded churches at St. Breward in the former and St. Brelade in the latter. Both are alternative forms of his name, though he should not be confused with Saints Brannoc or Brendan. He eventually died at his foundation of Branscombe in Devon, where William Worcestre refers to his shrine.

Some of Branwaladr's relics were later taken back to Brittany, but they were re-acquired by King Aethelstan in the early 10th century when many Breton clerics fled from Norse invasions. The King gave these relics to the Abbey of Milton in Dorset, where they were venerated until the Reformation. They appear to have consisted of the saint's arm or his head, or possibly both.

 

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