St. Tugdual
(c.AD 528-564)
(Welsh: Tudwal; Latin: Theodovellaunus; English: Theowald)

There are three extant 'Lives' of St. Tudgual. According to these, he was born in Britain but arrived in Brittany in one of the several waves of migrations across the English Channel. He was accompanied by his sister, Scaeva, and their mother, St. [Alma] Pompaea, the sister of King Riwal Mawr Marchou of Domnonée. His father is not recorded but, at his mother's church at Langoat, near La Roche Derien, there is a strong tradition that he was Hoel Mawr from Cornouaille who spent much of his youth in Britain.

One of the lives indicates an Irish origin for this man which may indicate that he was thought to have been educated there. He may have begun his religious life as a hermit on Ynys Tudwal (St. Tudwal's Isle East) off the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales before coming to Brittany.

Tugdual settled at Ploumoguer, just west of Brest, in Léon, supposedly with some seventy-two followers. There he established the monastery of Lan-Pabu under the patronage of his relative, King Deroch II of Domnonée. From there, Tugdual travelled throughout Brittany evangelising the local population. He founded the Monastery of 'Val Trechor' at Tréguier in Trégor and had the foresight to go to Paris and have his land grants ratified by King Childebert I of the Franks. The monarch insisted that Tugdual be made Bishop of Tréguier and it was there that he eventually died in 564. His shrine can still be seen in the Cathedral.

Records of St. Tugdual date back to the 9th century. He is generally considered historic.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.