William Morgan, Translator of the Bible and Bishop of Llandaff J. Gwynfor Jones In 1914 a reredos-a decorated wooden structure behind the altar- was placed in Mathern parish church commemorating four historical figures who contributed, in different respects and at different times, to religious life in Gwent and Wales. The first is King Tewdrig, an early sixth- century ruler of Morgannwg (including Gwent) who became a saint and whose son Meurig founded the church consecrated by Bishop Euddogwy; the second is John Marshall, Bishop of Llandaff, who built the imposing tower c. 1480; the third is William Morgan, translator of the Bible into Welsh in 1588-the year of the Armada-and later Bishop of Llandaff; the last is Joshua Pritchard Hughes, the son of his predecessor in the see, in the period 1905-3 1.1 All four had established close connections either with the parish or the diocese. St. Tewdrig, as he became known, had a regional impact in that he became actively engaged in spreading the Gospel in south-east Wales; Bishop Marshall had a local influence in that, as bishop, he contributed substantially to the building of Mathern church. Joshua Hughes controlled matters by virtue of his diocesan authority, and William Morgan has earned national acclamation because of his remarkable achievement in 1588. He is appropriately seen in the church holding the Welsh Bible, and it was nearby at the Bishop's Palace that he resided between 1595 and 1601. This official diocesan residence at Mathern had been used by the Bishops of Llandaff between 1383 and 1705, the year of Bishop William Beaw's death.2 The Bishops had owned other residences at Bishopston (Bishton) and close to the cathedral church but both of them had been destroyed by the followers of Owain Glyndwr in the early fifteenth century. Mathern provided a quiet peaceful spot within view of the Severn estuary and close to the borough of Chepstow. As a diocesan residence, however, it was, like St. David's (before c. 1543), too remote from the centre of episcopal control and doubtless off the beaten track for Welsh litterateurs who might have chanced a visit there at the time of Morgan's residence. It was in the church, however, that five of the Bishops of Llandaff were buried, namely Miles Salley (1500-17), Anthony Kitchin (1545-66), William Bleddyn (1575-90) and William Murray (1627-40). Of the four represented on the reredos at Mathern William Morgan is certainly the best known. Huw Lewys, his contemporary and vicar of Llanddeiniolen in Gwynedd, in a preface to his translation of Miles