The restoration of the organ of St Peter’s church Carmarthen in 2000 led to some speculation as to whether an illegitimate offspring of George III may have lived in Carmarthen. A casual perusal of Welsh Newspapers Online reveals that this is not the only such story. The Cambrian News records that in the 1890s Llanilar boasted a pauper who was a grandson of one of the Georges.
The Cambrian News, 3 January 1890 (click to enlarge image).
The first report occurs in The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard for 3 January 1890 where the case of one David Jones of Llanilar, Ceredigion was raised at a meeting of the Aberystwyth Board of Guardians (who administered Poor Law Relief) who requested clothes and boots, and that he should be well treated because he was a grandson of George IV.
The Cambrian News, 6 December 1892 (click to enlarge image).
By 1892 it seems that Pentrellyn, Llanilar was regarded by the Board of Guardians as a nest of paupers, including a royal pauper, who were enjoying the benefits of charity, implying that they were leading a life not devoid of luxuries such as the taste of mangolds (“blas o mangolds”).
The third and final reference to David Jones, the Royal pauper, occurs on 9 February 1894, when a notice in the Births, Marriages and Deaths column of The Cambrian News records the death of David Jones, the son of Mr Fitz George at the age of 56.
The Cambrian News, 9 February 1894. Continues: Jones- February 2nd, at Pentrellyn, Llanilar, David Jones, son of Mr Fitz George, a natural son of King George IV, aged 56 years (click to enlarge image).
Mewn oes lle mae gwerthiant papurau newydd yn gostwng, y mae’n ddiddorol gweld, ac yn yr achos hwn, clywed sut y bu’n rhaid i newyddiaduraeth addasu erioed i gwrdd â’u darllenwyr. Dyma ddarn sy’n rhoi sylw i rifyn cyntaf papur newydd llafar Cymreig, yn boeth o’r wasg – neu’r deciau sain, efallai – yn Aberystwyth yn 1968. Y papur clyweled cyntaf ym Mhrydain.
In the days of a declining readership of newspapers it is interesting to see or in this case hear, about how journalism has always had to adapt to meet its audience. This is a piece on the first edition of a ‘spoken’ Welsh newspaper, fresh off the press -or should we say decks- in Aberystwyth 1968. The first ‘sound’ newspaper in Britain.
Mae Archif ITV Cymru / Wales wedi ei leoli yn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru. Am fwy o wybodaeth ar sut i weld catalog yr archif cysyllter a www.archif.com The ITV Cymru/Wales Archive is based at the National Library Of Wales. For more information on how to access the Archive Catalogue, please visit www.archif.com.
A digital archive of the Welsh Experience of the First World War developed by the National Library of Wales has been nominated for a prestigious international digital humanities award.
Cymru1914.org was launched in November 2013. It brings together a freely accessible digital collection of archives and special collections of Wales that relate to the impact of the First World War in Wales: tribunal records, archives of the Welsh Army Corps established by Lloyd George, and the manuscripts of the Welsh War poets, including Hedd Wynn and David Jones are all part of the collection of 220,000 digital items, much of it relating to the unseen histories of the War.
It has been nominated for The Digital Humanities Award for “best use of Digital Humanities for Public Engagement”. The Digital Humanities awards are an international initiative to recognize excellence in the digital humanities. The nomination of Cymru1914.org acknowledges its use by a wide audience, and its re-use for commemoration and education. Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Wales, Dr. Aled Gruffydd Jones, said “We are delighted at this nomination, which recognizes the community engagement aspects of this important collaboration especially in the provision of content by communities and local organisations. This is especially gratifying for the National Library, as our new strategy, Knowledge for All, emphasizes community engagement around documentary heritage”.
Project Director, Professor Lorna Hughes (now at the School of Advanced Study, University of London) said: “Since its launch, Cymru1914.org has been used extensively for research, teaching, and public engagement, and this nomination recognizes this impact. Images of unknown conscripts and recruits from the digital archive were part of artist Bedwyr Williams sound and video installation Traw, presented at the site of the North Wales Memorial Arch, Bangor in August 2014. The digital archive is also helping schoolchildren in Wales to develop digital skills and literacy in the Wales at War project (walesatwar.org)”.
The digital collection was developed thanks to a £500,000 grant from Jisc, the UK funder of digital infrastructure and resources, and by Welsh Government funding. The project was led by the National Library of Wales in collaboration with Swansea University, Cardiff University, Bangor University, Aberystwyth University, the University of Wales Trinity St Davids, the local archives of Conwy, Flintshire, Glamorgan, and Gwent, BBC Cymru Wales Archive and community content developed with The People’s Collection Wales
The award also acknowledges the hard work put in by many people in developing the resource: staff at the partner organisation, and the collections, systems and IT staff at NLW. Thanks to their input, the resource was delivered on time and within budget.
Voting for the Digital Humanities awards closes on February 28th. Vote at
The National Library of Wales is tremendously fortunate to have a comprehensive visual record of some of Wales’ most cherished bards, filmmakers, authors, artists and dramatists. The photographer, Julian Sheppard, was commissioned by the Welsh Arts Council from 1967 through to 1990 to take photographs of these remarkable individuals. Sheppard ultimately managed to capture about 7,000 beautiful black and white images.
His collection contains images of literary greats such as Pennar Davies, Kate Roberts, Cynan, Saunders Lewis, John Ormond to name but a few.
In January 2014, it was decided that we should begin to digitise this engaging collection. I was given the task of creating the metadata, which involved the careful identification and profiling of each individual negative, before uploading the information onto our purpose built digital database. This would provide the scanning operators with the ability to cross-reference their progress against our metadata.
Identifying the individuals in the photographs proved to be rather difficult, because a significant number of contact sheets had nothing more than an identification number. Particularly challenging was the fact that most of the negatives had not been printed either, thus we only had 35mm negatives to refer to.
How was I to remember the face of an individual after turning the page and moving on to the next poet or author? I needed a quick, but comprehensible ‘photographic’ reference, and so came up with a cunning plan…
As soon as I stumbled upon a contact sheet that had no name for the sitter, I would grab a pencil and quickly sketch what I saw through a loupe (a magnifying glass to you and me), in order to obtain – what I hoped was a likeness to the individual. This actually helped a great deal when it came to identifying the people I wasn’t too familiar with… not exactly textbook stuff, but it worked. Here’s an example:
Inverted tones: It is difficult to recognise Alan Llwyd in the 35mm negative.
The Julian Sheppard collection promises to be online soon. We still have a few people left to identify, so please remember to inform a member of the enquiries team if you can put names to some of the faces.
In a few days the Library will be welcoming a GLAMorous set of archivists for a conference on ‘Collaborative Approaches in Literary Archives’.
GLAM is the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts (glam-archives.org.uk) established in 2005 to bring together archivists, librarians, curators, writers and researchers with an interest in the collecting, preservation, use and promotion of literary archives and manuscripts in Britain and Ireland. Their visit coincides with the Dylan Thomas exhibition at the National Library which can be seen until 20 December 2014.
Dylan Thomas Exhibition
The Dylan Thomas exhibition at the Library (with online version at http://dylan.llgc.org.uk/) is a prime example of the interest and activity that can be created around the papers of a poet and writer. Also the Library’s collaboration with the David Jones Society and the David Jones Centre at Aberystwyth University will be discussed.
The holdings of the Library of literary archives in Welsh and English is comprehensive, and includes the papers of Edward Thomas, David Jones, John Cowper Powys as well as Kate Roberts and Islwyn Ffowc Elis. Visit our web pages on Modern Literary Archives for more information:
There are two other exhibitions currently at the Library which bring attention to our literary holdings. The first, ‘Words and Pictures Women in Welsh Children’s Literature’ includes original manuscripts, personal letters, reviews and artwork based on the literature of Winnie Parry, Mary Vaughan Jones (author of Sali Mali) and others. The second on ‘ Valleys Writers’ celebrates the life and literature of four Welsh valleys writers, Jack Jones, Rhys Davies, Glyn Jones and Idris Davies.
After traveling to Wales in January and spending five months at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, Dylan’s Notebooks have returned to the Library, and to the ‘Dylan Comes Home’ exhibition.
This exhibition includes the four poetry Notebooks Dylan compiled during his teenage years between 1930 and 1934. He sold them to Buffalo University in the 1940s for a small sum of money, and this is their first trip back to Wales since that fateful day.
With the famous Notebooks are letters written between the poet and Pamela Hansford Johnson, which shed light on his writing process, as well as manuscripts for the poem ‘Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait’.
The ‘Dylan’ exhibition in the Gregynog Gallery will also be having a revamp, with new items from the Library’s collection going on display. More letters that have never before been published will displayed, including one from Dylan to his mistress in America, Elizabeth Reitell. Manuscripts for some of Dylan’s famous poems will also be out on show in the Poets’ Pub, including ‘A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London’ and ‘Into Her Lying Down Head’.
If you’ve already visited the exhibition,do call by again to view Dylan’s Notebooks and the new material on show in the Gallery from 13th September. We look forward to seeing you!
The name Speed is famously synonymous with antiquarian maps. John Speed (1552-1629) remains the most eminent of English cartographers, a reputation primarily secured by his atlas “The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine” , initially published in 1611/12. The “Theatre”, the first atlas of the British Isles, proved very successful and was issued by several publishers from its inception until 1770. Its individual county maps are the best known and among the most coveted of antiquarian county maps.
Speed attempted to produce his maps from the most reliable and contemporary sources available. He reaped, yet acknowledged the fruits of others’ labours but also introduced innovations, notably town views or plans which appear as insets on many of his maps, together with the boundaries of counties and hundreds and the coats of arms of Royalty and local gentry. In so doing Speed created highly informative, decorative, and attractive maps.
In July the Library purchased the Welsh component of the “Theatre”, known as the “Second Booke containing the Principality of Wales”. The volume comprises a general map of Wales, flanked with inset views of the county towns plus four cathedrals and thirteen individual maps of the Welsh counties, each with one or two urban insets. The maps name and locate towns, larger villages, estates, sites of historic interest and rivers. Hills and mountains are represented pictorially. Each map is coloured, its verso (or reverse side) carrying descriptions of the area depicted. The atlas is competently and appealingly bound in calfskin.
In spite of the date 1662 on the title page, this edition of the “Second Booke” was published in London by Roger Rea the Elder and Younger about 1665, its manifestation unfortunately coinciding with the Great Fire of London. Many copies were lost in the devastation and consequently the Rea editions are amongst the scarcest editions of the “Theatre”. This atlas is thus a rarity of Welsh cartography. The Library also possesses other editions of the “Second Booke” with its Welsh maps dating from 1611 to 1713, as well as examples of the “Theatre” with its maps of other British counties and countries.
Our exhibition team are busy installing a new exhibition this week!
In collaboration with The Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the Universities of Aberystwyth and Bangor (IMEMS), the Library are hosting an exhibition showcasing one of the National Library’s greatest treasures: the Hengwrt manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, believed by some to be the earliest extant text of this literary masterpiece. Other Chaucer items from the Library’s collections will be on display as well as objects from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.
Why not make the pilgrimage to the Library to see it…
It was a cold January morning. I sat in my hotel room in London at 5.00am with nervous anticipation for the phone to ring, awaiting instruction of my mission. Sounds very James Bond, but in fact this is a day in the life of a courier. At 6am I was due to commence an epic journey across Europe by truck to transport some very important paintings to Bern, Switzerland.
The National Library lends items to other museums and galleries throughout the UK and the world. On this occasion, the Library along with other institutions such as Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, lent a number of exquisite watercolours by the Swiss artist Samuel Heironymous Grimm to the Kunst Museum in Bern.
Traveling around the globe with the nations cultural heritage may sound glamorous, but being a courier calls for hard work, stamina, patience, a level head and the ability to foresee problems. Two days across Europe via truck is tiring, and I learned many things during this particular trip:
1. Take plenty of reading material and an audio book, delays at borders can last for several hours and conversation runs dry with the drivers after the first couple.
2. Antibacterial hand gel is a must for anyone with an OCD like myself- especially when you are sharing facilities with other truck drivers!
3. Courier trips are a test of endurance – expect to be bright eyed and bushy-tailed at all times of the day and night.
4. Don’t expect to take in the sights – time to take a break is very rare and even then you’re too occupied with planning for what might go wrong.
But I have to admit the life of a courier is exciting, especially when you have the satisfaction of arriving home safely and knowing that your mission was successful.
Every year on the 24th October sees the celebration of the birth of the United Nations.
The purposes of the United Nations, identified in the UN Charter, include maintaining international peace and security, solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and promoting respect for human rights.
The UN consists of 15 different agencies and various bodies who are responsible for promoting and delivering its goals.
On the basis of the above information it is relevant to remember a prominent person from Tregaron, Cardiganshire – The Rev. Henry Richard MP (3 April 1812 – 20 August 1888), “the Apostle of Peace”,who was a Congregational minister and Welsh Member of Parliament, 1868-88
Henry Richard is chiefly known as an advocate of peace and international arbitration, having been secretary of the Peace Society for forty years (1848–84).
The Rev. Henry Richard MP died in 1888 at Treborth, near Bangor. His imposing white stone and marble tomb in the form of a shrine with its own gabled roof, replete with his carved portrait, was erected by public subscription in 1891 and can be seen at the Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London.
The equally imposing Henry Richard Memorial statue which dominates the Square at Tregaron was designed by Albert Toft and unveiled by Sir George Osborne Morgan on 18 August 1893.
A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.
Due to the more personal nature of blogs it is the Library's policy to publish postings in the original language only. An equal number of blog posts are published in both Welsh and English, but they are not the same postings. For a translation of the blog readers may wish to try facilities such as Google Translate.