Prince Amon Ddu of Brittany
(Born c.AD 464)
(Welsh: Amwn; Latin: Amonnius; Irish: Eamonn)
Amon the Black was the father of St. Samson, the famous Bishop of Dol in Brittany. The very early 'Life' of his son does not reveal his father's parentage, but later records claim him as a Breton prince, apparently a younger son of King Budic II (alias Emyr Llydaw). Since Samson was born around AD 485, this does not seem to be possible and it is likely, in fact, that Budic I is meant.
Amon married St. Anna of Oxenhall, the widow of Lord Cynyr Ceinfarfog (the Fair Bearded) of Caer-Goch in Dyfed. He moved across the Channel to his wife's rich estates and became an important official at the Royal Court, under King Aircol Lawhir. Anna had had several children by her first marriage who had since flown the nest; but Amon, somewhat her junior, was keen to have his own offspring. His brother, Umbraphel, had married Anna's sister some years previously and the two already had three children, but Amon's wife could not conceive. The newly-weds decided to visit a local wiseman and, happily, his advice led to the birth of a son who they named Samson. He was later joined by other siblings: SS. Tydecho and Tegfedd, an unnamed sister and possibly four other brothers.
In later life, Amon fell ill and
called for his son, Samson, to visit him. Samson tended his father back to
health and persuaded him and most of the family to join him in entering
the monastic life. Amon accompanied his son back to his monastery at Ynys
Byr (Caldey Island). Later, he lived the life of a hermit on the Severn
Estuary before Samson appointed him Abbot of Southill in Cerniw
(Cornwall). In extreme old age, he retired to the great monastery at
Llantilltud Fawr where he eventually died and was buried.
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