Rev. William Fleming

Having given the different theories concerning the native country of St. Patrick, and having faithfully quoted all that the Seven old Latin “Lives” of the Saint have narrated on this subject, and given our reasons for accepting the Armoric theory as the most reasonable solution of the problem, it will be advisable to give a brief summary of the arguments brought forward to prove that St. Patrick was an Armorican Britain, born at Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Boulogne-sur-Mer, or ancient Bononia, was called by the same name, “Bonaven,” as the town in which St. Patrick implies that he was born. Boulogne possessed a Roman encampment, and it was, therefore, Bonaven Taberniæ, mentioned in the “Confession.”

Caligula’s tower, on the north-eastern cliffs, in the town and within the suburbs, was called “Turris Ordinis” by the Romans, but “Nemtor” by the Gaulish Celts, as Hersart de la Villemarque states in his “Celtic Legend.”

It is certain that Niall of the Nine Hostages made use of the Port of Boulogne when he invaded Armorica in the twenty-seventh year of his reign, and that he died at that port after his assassination.

It is probable that Niall sailed to Boulogne when invading Armorica on the first occasion, for he was carrying his arms into the same country, of which Boulogne was the principal port, and the only one used by the Romans when invading England.

The return of Niall from his first expedition into Armorica with captives, including St. Patrick, on board in the year 388, corresponds precisely with the fifteenth year of St. Patrick, who was born in the year 373. This fact is not only testified by Keating, but by Hersart de la Villemarque in his “Celtic Legend,” who narrates that Calphurnius, St. Patrick’s father, was a Roman officer in charge of Nemtor, near which his family resided in a Roman villa, and that Calphurnius was slain, and St. Patrick made captive by a hostile fleet that came from Ireland.

As Nemtor was not only the name of the tower, but the district of the tower, and situated within the suburbs of Bonaven, St. Fiacc’s account of his patron’s birthplace, which simply gives the name of the district, and St. Patrick’s statement that his home was in the suburban district of Bonaven, harmonise together.

The Scholiast and the author of the Trepartite “Life,” by admitting that the Saint was captured in Armorica, annul their assertion that he was born in Scotland, because St. Patrick distinctly states that his family hailed from Bonaven Taberniæ, or Boulogne, and that he was captured while residing at his father’s villula. The Scholiast and Tripartite “Life” consequently admit that Bonaven Taberniæ was situated in Armorica.

The impression that Bononia, or Boulogne, was St. Patrick’s native town is confirmed by Probus; he narrates all the misfortune that overtook Calphurnius and his family whilst they were quietly living in their own native country (in patria), and in their own seaside city in Armorica.

Armorica was then included in the Province of Neustria, one of the sub-divided kingdoms of the Franks, and it was on that account that Probus states that St. Patrick was born in Neustria.

Ware, Usher, and Cardinal Moran, who cling to the Scotch theory of St. Patrick’s birth, all contradict the Scholiast, who asserts that St. Patrick was born in Dumbarton; whilst those who hold fast to the Dumbarton theory make frantic efforts to convert the Crag into a heavenly tower.

St. Patrick, after the vision, in which he was told that be should return to his own native country, sailed to Gaul and not to the Island of Britain.

It had been proved on the authority of Sulpicius Severus, who was born in the year 360, that Armorica was called Britannia, and the Armoricans were called Britons when the Council of Ariminium was held in the year 359—fourteen years before the birth of St. Patrick.

The Saint, when writing his “Confession” in 493, when the province had even a stronger claim to the name, could emphatically say, if he was born in Armorica, that he was a Briton and had relatives amongst the Britons.

Boulogne-sur-Mer: St. Patrick's Native Town - Paperback Edition

Boulogne-sur-Mer: St. Patrick's Native Town - Kindle Edition

St. Patrick’s Birthplace: A Summary of Proofs that the Apostle of Ireland was a Native of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France - Paperback Edition

St. Patrick’s Birthplace: A Summary of Proofs that the Apostle of Ireland was a Native of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France - Kindle Edition

The Epistles and Hymn of Saint Patrick, with the Poem of Secundinus, translated into English - Paperback Edition

The Epistles and Hymn of Saint Patrick, with the Poem of Secundinus, translated into English - Kindle Edition