Barry, Gerald

Barry, Gerald (usually calledῥ Gitaldus Cambrensis, or Gerald of Wales), an English clergyman descended from a noble family, was born at the Castle of Mainaper, near Pembroke, in 1146. His early training was conducted by the bishop of St. David's, his uncle. He was afterwards sent to Paris for three years, after which he returned to England, in 1172, entered into holy orders, and received several benefices in England and Wales. He became the legate of Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, for correcting various disorders in Wales, and executed his office with great vigor. At the death of his uncle, David FitzGerald, bishop of St. David's, he was elected to the vacant see, but declined the office on account of an irregularity in the election, more especially, however, on account of the opposition of king Henry II. He then returned to Paris, and engaged in the study of civil and canon law, especially the papal constitutions or decretals. In 1179 he was elected professor of canon law in the University of Paris, but declined the honor. In 1180 he returned to England, and was appointed bishop of Menevia pro temnpore, which function he fulfilled three or four years with great success. In 1184 he became chaplain to Henry II, and subsequently received various honorary appointments. In 1198 he was again elected bishop of St. David's, but this time the opposition of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, stood in the way, and after a contest of five years, in which he made three journeys to Rome, he was finally defeated. Soon after this he retired from public life, and spent the remaining seventeen years of his life in literary labors. He is supposed to have died in 1223. Among his works we note, Topographia Hiberniae (Frankfort, 1602): — Legends of Saints:Liber Invectionum: — Gemma Ecclesiastica: — The Itinerary of Cambria: — and De Gestis Giraldi Laboriosis. See Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.

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