Some Selected Biographies


In Saints, Seaways and Settlements in the Celtic Lands, Bowen (1969) tracks dedications for Celtic saints across the seaways linking different regions, and in doing so hypothesises trade and cultural links between them. Remarkable at the time, his hypothesis is now generally accepted.


Canon Gilbert Hunter Doble (1880 – 1945) edited a series of Cornish saints’ lives. His translations and Latin extracts have the virtue of making this material accessible. Like Grosjean, he forms part of an early C20 hagiographic and philological tradition for editing lives, attempting to look for relationships between manuscripts and separating out common tradition and potential historical elements. Later C20 academics tend to be scornful of their efforts. These materials contain names of interest to this study.


H.P.R. Finberg (1900 – 1974) edited three volumes of Anglo-Saxon charters including the Early Charters of Devon and Cornwall (Finberg, 1954). His work is widely referenced by toponymists including Ekwall. It is not clear that he had any particular bias that might cast doubt on his work.


Paul Grosjean was a contemporary and equal of Doble and edited several Celtic saints’ lives (Jankulak, 2000 p.3), his output was significant and his work contains names of interest to the project.


The principal authority on the dedications to Cornish saints. (i) Roscarrock, Orme, & Cambridge University Library. Additional 3041 (C), 1992, (ii) Orme, 1996.


The Kingdom of Dumnonia: Studies in history and tradition in south-western Britain, A.D. 350-1150 (Pearce, 1978) provides an extensive, useful, but quite eclectic list of references to papers concerning the Early Medieval Period in Dumnonia (Cornwall, Devon and part of Somerset), predominantly relating to archaeology, hagiography and regional studies for the Southwest. She references work by Sidonius, Finberg, Grosjean, Radford, Rahtz and Thomas, and critical analyses of manuscripts by Wendy Davies, Emanuel, Ghaplais (not Chaplais as in Pearce), Finberg (on Crediton documents), Loomis, and Reynolds (on Barnstaple forgeries).


Charles Thomas (1928 – 2016) was important in raising the profile of Cornwall and the Cornish within the milieu of Celtic Studies, whilst placing Cornish archaeology on a modern footing, placing it with a landscape context and researching the relevance of Early Medieval inscriptions. One of Thomas’ central hypotheses was that insular inscriptions had developed into a particular monumental form.