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St David (d. c. 601) patron saint of Wales and founder of St David's.

 

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(5th century),

mother of David of Wales. Almost all that is known of her comes from Rhygyfarch's Life of David. According to this source (11th century), she was a nun at Ty Gwyn, near Whitesand Bay (Dyfed), who was seduced by a prince called Sant: David was their son. Others reject this story in favour of Non being the daughter of a Pembrokeshire chieftain, who was married to Sant. However this may have been, it seems that Non settled first in Cornwall at Altarnon, where there is a church and well in her honour, and died in Brittany, where her fine tomb survives at Dirinon (Finistère). She may have become a nun in her widowhood rather than before David's birth. In the Middle Ages Altarnon claimed her relics: a medieval chapel and well of hers also survive near St David's. There are also dedications at Pelynt (Cornwall) and at Bradstone (Devon), besides several in Wales. Feast: 3 March, but at Altarnon, 25 June (3 July at Launceston, according to William Worcestre).

A. W. Wade-Evans, Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae (1944), pp. 150–70; G. H. Doble, St Nonna (1928); for the Breton play ‘Buhez Santes Nonn’ see Revue Celtique, viii (1887).

Subjects: Christianity.


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