Beunans Meriasek

  • Middle Cornish
  • Cornish texts
Middle Cornish miracle play about the life of St Meriasek (Meriadoc), his early life in his native Brittany and his advent in Cornwall, where he became patron saint of Camborne.


Cornish textsCornish texts



(supp. fl. 6th/7th century)
A saint of Breton origin who is the subject of a Middle Cornish play, Beunans Meriasek, according to which he performed many miracles during his time in Cornwall and later returned to Brittany to become bishop of Vannes. In some Breton sources, his feast-day is 7 June, while in Camborne, it used to be celebrated on the first Friday of June.
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The opening of the text in Peniarth MS 5.


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Combellack, Myrna [Combellack-Harris, M. M.], “A critical edition of Beunans Meriasek”, PhD thesis, University of Exeter, 1985.
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley, Beunans Meriasek: The Life of St Meriasek, bishop and confessor: a Cornish drama, London, Berlin: Trübner, 1872.
Stokes, Whitley, “A glossary to the Cornish drama Beunans Meriasek”, Archiv für celtische Lexikographie 1 (1900): 101–142.
Internet Archive: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Harris, Markham, The Life of Meriasek: a medieval Cornish miracle play, Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1977.
[tr.] Combellack, Myrna, The Camborne play: a translation of Beunans Meriasek in verse, Redruth: Dyllansow Truran, 1988.

Secondary sources (select)

Murdoch, Brian, Cornish literature, Cambridge: Brewer, 1993.
99–126 [‘Church, state and salvation: the play of Saint Meriasek’]
George, Ken J., “Notes on word order in Beunans Meriasek”, in: James Fife, and Erich Poppe [eds.], Studies in Brythonic word order, 4.83, Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1991. 205–250.
Orme, Nicholas, “Education in the medieval Cornish play Beunans Meriasek”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 25 (Summer, 1993): 1–13.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
August 2013, last updated: June 2023