Derfel was a knight of the Round Table, or at least one of the Welsh warriors defending the Britons from the invading Saxons (or were they Angles?) at Camlan. Probably PTSD'ed from his years as a warrior, he lived for a while as a hermit before joining the monastery at Llanwit. He later founded the monastery at Llandderfel, and finally succeeded his cousin Cadfan as abbot at Ynis Enlii on Bardsey Island. He died there in April, 660.
|Derfel for the 21st century|
The folks at Llandderfel built a large wooden sculpture of Saint Derfel on a horse. It became an object of veneration for pilgrims. The Reformation was not a good time for relic preservationists, and Cromwell was a leader in the English Reformation movement. It was handy for TC that the sculpture was made of wood because it burns so well, especially when it is old.
|Tough to keep your head in Tudor England|
I know what you're saying. Maj, you promised us a murder. Fear not, ungentle reader. But stay with me through a brief prophecy. It had been predicted that if the sculpture were ever burned, it would set a whole forest afire. Enter Father John Forest, condemned for the treasonous activity of being a Franciscan friar and confessor to Henry's ex-wife, Catherine of Aragon. Derfel's sculpture fueled the pyre on which he was burned alive on May 22, 1538.
Lest you despair of English justice, you should know that Thomas Cromwell lost his head to an axe on July 28, 1540. His particular treasonous offense was having arranged Fat King Hank's marriage to Ann of Cleves.