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so great an effect upon his mind, that he was never able perfectly to recover it.
Towards the latter end of the year 1796 he began to be affected by the pulmonary complaint which at length terminated his life. His mental faculties, however, still continued in a great measure unimpaired till the month of October, 1798, when his disorder began to wear a serious aspect. He was from this time confined to his bed, and on the 16th of December closed his existence without a groan. Conscious of approaching dissolution, he met the stroke with the utmost composure and resignation.
Two miles to the north-west of Downing is Mostyn HALL, the seat of the Mostyn family.
About two miles from St. Asaph is the entrance to the celebrated
VALE OF CLWYD. The whole scene from the side of the hill appears to the greatest advantage. Towards the south stands Denbigh, with the shattered remains of its castle crowning the summit of a rocky steep in the middle of the vale ; and on the north, clad in its sober hue, the castle of Rhyddlan. The intervening space is enlivened with meadows, woods, and cottages, whilst the whole is bounded by the sea on the one side, and the dark retiring mountains on the other. This, from the extent of the picture, is not a scene fitted for the pencil, though its numerous beauties must attract the attention of every lover of nature.
Descending into the vale and crossing the bridge over the little river Clwyd, the traveller soon arrives at
ST. ASAPH, Or, as it is called by the Welsh, Llan Elwy, the Church of Elwy, a name obtained from its situation on the bank of
the river Elwy, which runs along the west side of the place. It consists of little more than a single street, and the houses are built in tolerable uniformity, up the side of a hill. The number of its inhabitants is 3144. It has a cathedral and parish church; and as a city is one of the most insignificant in existence. The cathedral, though small, is plain and neat, and well situated. The episcopal palace is a large and convenient building, under the grounds of which the Elwy flows. The deanery is on the opposite side of the river, and stands due west of the cathedral.
History of the Cathedral. — Cynderyn Garthwys, or Kentigern, the son of Owain ap Urien Reged, was Bishop of Glasgow and Primate.of Scotland, but was driven thence by the persecutions of one of the Scottish princes. He fled into Wales, where he was taken into the protection of Cadwallon, uncle to Maelgwn Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, who assigned to him Llan Elwy as a place of residence. Here, about the year 560, he founded an episcopal seat and monastery, and became himself the first bishop. On the death of his persecutor he was recalled into Scotland, but first nominated his disciple Asa or Asaph, his successor, from whom both the church and place received their names.
In the time of Asa, the number of monks were 965; of these 300 were labourers in the fields, 300 servants about the monastery, and the rest were religious. Asa died about the year 596, and was interred in the cathedral. About the year 1247, in the wars betwixt Henry III. and the Welsh, the Bishops both of St. Asaph and Bangor were driven from their sees, and were obliged to have recourse to voluntary contributions for subsistence. Somewhat more than thirty years after this period, the cathedral was consumed by fire, and two years were occupied in rebuilding it. The roof and upper parts with the bishop's palace and canons' houses were again destroyed by Owen
Glyndwr in 1404; and they continued in ruins for upwards of seventy years, when they were rebuilt by Bishop Red
During the protectorship of Oliver Cromwell, the postmaster of St. Asaph, who had attached himself to the puritanical party, occupied the bishop's Palace, in which he kept the post-office. He used the font belonging to the cathedral as a trough for watering his horses, and, by way of venting his spleen on the established clergy, he tied up his calves in the bishop's throne.
The following are mortuaries that were formerly due to the bishop of this diocese on the death of every beneficed clergyman. On the interference of Bishop Fleetwood they were set aside by act of parliament, and the living of Northop was annexed to the bishopric in their stead.
His best gown.
His best gelding, horse, or
His hat and cap. mare.
His falchion. His best cloak.
His best book. His best coat, jerkin, doublet, His surplice. and breeches.
His purse and girdle. His hose or nether stock- His knife and gloves.
ings, shoes, and garters. His signet, or ring of gold.
Not many years ago it was usual to point out to strangers a mark on a black stone in the pavement of the street, about the middle of the hill between the two churches, as the print of St. Asaph's horse-shoe, when he leaped with him from Onan-hassa, which is about two miles off. This, however, observes Mr. Grose, who relates the story, seems to have been a miracle performed rather by the horse than by the saint, to whom it is ascribed, unless the keeping of his seat at so great a leap may be deemed such.
What was the occasion of this extraordinary leap we are not told;
whether only to show the agility of his horse, or to escape the assaults of the foul fiend, who, in those days, took unaccountable liberties even with saints.*
The tower of the cathedral commands a most extensive prospect of the vale of Clwyd, in every direction ; and is almost the only situation for seeing it to advantage. The river Clwyd, from which the vale takes its name, is a diminutive stream that meanders along its bottom, scarcely three yards across in the widest part. Its banks are low, and after sudden rains it is subject to the most dreadful overflowings, the torrent at these times frequently sweeping along with it even the very soil of the land it passes over. From this circumstance it is that much of the land near its banks is let at very low rents. This vale is perhaps the most extensive of any in the kingdom, being nearly twentyfour miles in length, and about seven in width ; containing the three considerable towns of St. Asaph, Denbigh, and Ruthin ; and though it is impossible to exhibit a more beautiful scene of fertility, yet, from its great width and its want of water, the painter would perhaps prefer to it many of the deep and picturesque glens of Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire.
The principal inn at St. Asaph is the White Lion.
* Grose's Antiquities, vol. vii. p. 43.
EXCURSION FROM ST. ASAPH UP THE VALE OF CLYWD
AS FAR AS RUTHIN AND BACK.
Denbigh-Denbigh Castle History of Denbigh Castle-Llanrhaiadr.
O Denbigh, now appeare, thy turne is next,
honest Churchyard, in a poetical account of “ The Worthies of Wales," written about the middle of the sixteenth century when Denbigh was accounted a place of considerable importance, and when its walls and castle were entire.
The road from St. Asaph to Denbigh lies entirely along the vale of Clwyd, but is so low, and the vale so wide, and so much intersected with lofty hedge-rows, that it is only in two or three places that any interesting prospect can be obtained. A woody dell, watered by the river Elwy, and ornamented with a gentleman's seat or two, pleasingly situated amongst the trees on its rising bank, affords a picturesque scene on the right of the road, about three miles from St. Asaph.