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Dinooth, Saint

Founder and first Abbot of Bangor Iscoed (Flintshire); flourished between 500 and 542

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Dinooth, Saint (DINOTHUS, DUNAWD, DUNOD), founder and first Abbot of Bangor Iscoed (Flintshire); 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 taus 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 cooperate 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; 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, and Leland.



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