Saint Dubric

Welsh: Dyfrig; Devereux, Dubricius, Dubricus
c. 465 - c. 550


A Welsh saint who lived in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. He was the bishop and possibly also the abbot of Caldey. Glorified in Welsh legend, Dubric is made an archbishop and the first leader of the British Church. The Annales Cambriae say that he died in 550 or 612. He is said to be the illegitimate son of the daughter of King Peibio Clafrog of Ergyng, Efrddyl. Her father tried to drown her in the River Wye, but didn't succeed. Efrddyl gave birth to Dubricius in Madley, Herefordshire.



Saint Dubricus

His grandfather, Peibio, had leprosy from which he was cured when the boy touched him, and they were reconciled. He founded monasteries, one at Hentland and one at Moccas, and was a tutor of several Welsh saints - such as Teilo and Samson. In time he became the Bishop of Ergyng. In 545 he attended the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi where he assigned his see to Saint David. He then retired to Bardsey Island where he was buried, but later on, in 1120, his remains was taken to Llandaff Cathedral.

Geoffrey of Monmouth places his life nearly a century earlier and connects him with Arthur. According to Geoffrey, King Ambrosius appointed Dubric to the see of Caerleon. Later, Dubric crowned Arthur king of Britain. According to Geoffrey, Dubric was primate of Britain and so eminent in piety that he could cure any sick person by his prayers. He abdicated later to become a hermit.

Dubric proved to be an important spiritual leader during Arthurís reign, inspiring Britons to fight for their land and to accept Arthur as their true leader. To Tennyson, however, Dubric is the "high saint" who not only crowned Arthur but officated at his marriage, and who is as eminent in the spiritual realm as Merlin in the magical.

He eventually stepped down from his position to become a hermit, and Archbhisop David (Saint David) was appointed as his successor. The Vulgate Merlin calls Dubric the Archbishop of Brice, misinterpreting the first syllable ('Du') of his name for the French word meaning 'of'.

Malory seems to know nothing of him, unless Saint Dubric is to be identified with the Archbishop of Canterbury.