Blog - music

400th Anniversary of the 1620 Bible

Collections - Posted 23-11-2020

This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of one of the milestones in Welsh publishing, the 1620 Bible. The first edition of a substantial portion of the Scriptures in Welsh was William Salesbury‘s New Testament, published in 1567. This was followed by William Morgan‘s translation of the whole Bible in 1588. So why publish a new version so soon afterwards? There were several reasons for this. William Morgan was not entirely satisfied with the 1588 edition, which contained a number of misprints. Also, in the meantime the Authorised King James Bible had been published in English in 1611. The English translation had a significant influence in Wales, although the translators were not bound by it in preparing the 1620 Welsh Bible.

The 1620 Bible is known as the Bible of Richard Parry, Bishop of St. Asaph, but the main responsibility for the work lies with Dr. John Davies, Rector of Mallwyd and author of a number of important books including the Welsh grammar Antiquae linguae Britannicae … rudimenta and the Welsh-Latin dictionary Dictionarium duplex. Before moving to Mallwyd John Davies had lived in the same house as William Morgan in St. Asaph and worked with him on a revised version of the New Testament.

 

 

The 1620 Bible revised the language of the earlier version, making it more similar to spoken pronunciation. It also includes more than 2,000 new words. Although it was published as a large Bible for use in the pulpit, a smaller edition was published a decade later, the 1630 “Beibl Bach”, which was affordable for ordinary people to buy and read in their homes. The 1620 version was the Bible used by the people of Wales into the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.

Because of this year’s circumstances it has not been possible to hold an exhibition in the National Library in 2020 to celebrate the 400th anniversary, but the intention is to hold it in 2021. In the meantime the Library has held a series of online lectures by prominent scholars to discuss different aspects of the history of the Bible in Wales.

Timothy Cutts
Rare Books Librarian

Discussing the Future of Political Archives

Collections / Events - Posted 10-11-2020

The Welsh Political Archive annul lecture has been part of the National Library’s calendar for 30 years with a mix of politicians, journalists and academics having delivered the lecture over the years. However, due to the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it wasn’t possible to hold the lecture this year, even though all the arrangements had already been made.

But every challenge is also an opportunity and so we decided to try something a bit different; an on-line panel discussion using Zoom to bring together creator and users of political archives to discuss their experiences and ideas.

I was privileged to chair the session, which brought together the journalist Elliw Gwawr, former First Minister Carwyn Jones MS, Professor Richard Wyn Jones and Liz-Saville-Roberts MP for Dwyfor-Meirionydd.

We had a fascinating discussion for just over an hour on a mix of questions which I’d prepared and questions submitted by the audience; some of which dealt with serious issues and others touching on lighter subjects. We looked at the role of archives in the age of social media, ensuring that we properly record the stories of all the communities of Wales, which movements we need to make sure we record and what ideas or items would best tell the story of 2020.

The session is available to view (in Welsh) on the Library’s Facebook page and we’ll be preparing versions with English and Welsh subtitles to be made available alongside the annual lecture during the next few weeks.

 

Rob Phillips
The Welsh Political Archive

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Keeping the Good for Good: Preserving the Laws of Hywel Dda at the National Library of Wales

Collections / Conservation / Digitisation - Posted 05-11-2020

World Digital Preservation Day

Every year, the Digital Preservation Coalition holds a World Digital Preservation Day with the aim of drawing attention to the complex strategic, cultural and technological issues involved in ensuring sustained access to digital content. This year has brought into particular focus the global reliance on digital information, infrastructure and connectivity and the theme this year: Digits: for Good, reflects the positive impact of preserving and providing access to trustworthy digital content. This theme aligns perfectly with the Library’s innovative approaches in traditional conservation, digitisation and digital preservation which integrate to ensure that the Boston Manuscript of the Laws of Hywel Dda are accessible now and in the future.

Boston Manuscript

The Boston Manuscript was purchased in 2012 by the Library with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Friends of the National Libraries and the Welsh Government. The manuscript, written in Welsh, dates from around 1350 and records the native Welsh laws, which were thought to have been codified by Hywel Dda. It is a key text in the history of Welsh law and provides insights into Welsh identity and cultural life. It was used as a working text, being annotated by a Judge in South Wales, who carried it around in his pocket. By the 19th century, the manuscript had reached America and was in the custody of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, having probably been taken there by an emigrant.

A conservation assessment revealed that the manuscript was very fragile, with many tears and splits, meaning that it could not be handled without the risk of further damage. The decision was taken to dis-bind the volume and digitise the content, which would enable the re-binding of the original, the creation of facsimile copies and digital access.

End to end workflow

A complex workflow has been developed to manage the digitisation process from selection to access and storage. A Benchmarking exercise ensured that the manuscript was digitised according to the standards and methodologies established for digitising manuscript materials. The protocols for scanning were specified, including the essential information to capture, such as file name attribution, conversion process and the file formats specification for master and derivative files.

Digitising the manuscript

The scanning process was facilitated through the dis-binding, enabling each folio to be captured in entirety, without the need to de-warp. This assisted with the process of digitally extending the outside edges of the parchment. Each flattened folio could be scanned through the use of a line scanning system, rather than the usual method of using a single-shot camera and cradle. Through the use of this method, the images could be captured at a higher resolution than usual practice allowed and there was greater consistency in lighting and enhanced colour accuracy.

The scanning process generated TIFF master files, with the JP2 derivatives being generated on ingest to Fedora, the Digital Asset Management System. The METS files, which included descriptive and structural metadata were also generated on ingest. The master TIFF files were stored in the Digital Archive. Preservation actions, including checksum verification, fixity monitoring and preservation planning ensure the preservation of the digital content.

Creating the facsimiles

Another benefit of the disbanding and scanning process was the ability for the Library to demonstrate its pioneering techniques in creating facsimiles, which are almost indistinguishable from the originals. Printed copies of the scanned leaves, on high quality archival paper, were joined together and pasted back to back to form folios and gatherings. This back to back format ensured that the facsimile would be the same thickness as the original manuscript. The innovative technique of emulating parchment through manually stretching the paper unevenly, whilst the leaves were still damp, resulted in an authentic cockled appearance.

The facsimiles were bound in the same way as the original and have been used for teaching and outreach purposes, allowing extended access to the manuscript, whilst safeguarding the original.

Spot the difference!

The digitised manuscript can be viewed on the Library’s website. The images are served up through a IIIF manifest, linked to the derivative files held in Fedora, which supplies the Universal Viewer. The images can be manipulated, with the ability to zoom in on parts of the manuscript, turn the pages and have a variety of views. The descriptive metadata is available with the images to provide contextual information.

Through its integrated approach to preserving and extending access to one of Wales’s most significant treasures, the Library has certainly used its digits, both figuratively and literally, for good and for all.

Sally McInnes, Head of Unique Collections and Collections Care

What’s the score, Bach?

Collections / music - Posted 26-10-2020

While idly browsing the National Library of Wales digitised printed collections, I was intrigued to see an entry entitled ‘Six Concertos for Keyboard’. Upon opening the catalogue record, I was presented with images of a musical score by ‘Jean Bach’, tentatively dated 177[u].

The very name ‘Bach’ in the same context as ‘composer’ instantly alerted me to the possible significance of the item. The dedication on the flyleaf to ‘Votre Majesté’ reinforced my conviction that it warranted further investigation. A Google search swiftly confirmed my suspicion that the composer was Johann Christian Bach.

 

 

The title of the full work [missing from the National Library of Wales score] is Six concerti pour le clavecin, deux violons & une violoncelle, oevre [sic] premier / composées par Jean Bach (Six concertos for harpsichord, two violins and violincello, first opus, composed by Jean Bach) published by Peter Welcker in London, 1763. The score held by the National Library of Wales apparently comprises only the part for the harpsichord. The catalogue currently gives no indication of its provenance.

Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, was born in Leipzig in 1735. He received musical training from his father until the latter’s death in 1750. He spent several years in Italy, composing mainly church music, and in 1760 he was appointed organist at Milan cathedral. In 1762 he moved to London where he quickly established himself in the contemporary musical scene. His reputation gained him an important appointment, as music master to Queen Charlotte, the young wife of George III.

 

 

Bach appears to have enjoyed considerable rapport with the German-born Queen, who was a passionate music lover. In the course of his professional career he also taught her children, including the future kings George IV and William IV. It therefore seems natural that he would dedicate his Opus I, the six harpsichord concertos, to his royal patroness. The graceful dedication is in French, the language of diplomacy and culture. The wording is conventional and may be translated roughly as follows:

Having been most graciously admitted to render my services to your majesty in the art of singing, I make it my duty to apply myself assiduously to her studies and amusement. It is in this view that I have taken the liberty of offering to Your Majesty this feeble endeavour. The indulgence and kindness with which Your Majesty has deigned to hear this music performed has encouraged me to publish it; and the very gracious permission which Your Majesty has given to me to print it under her glorious protection assures me that she would like to receive this testimony of my zeal with the same kindness and royal benevolence which generate the admiration of this kingdom, the delights of the court, the felicity of its servants and subjects, and the happiness of one who has the honour of being, with the most respectful veneration, Madame your Majesty, your most humble, obedient, submissive servant, Jean Bach.

WorldCat lists several examples of the same work, including a full printed score held by the British Library. The score at the National Library of Wales is not mentioned, presumably because hitherto it has not been recognised. Although the music is well-known, the comparative rarity of this early score would make it a worthwhile addition to the record.

You can listen to samples of the music on the Presto Classical website. The last movement of Concerto No. 6 reflects the association of Johann Christian Bach with the royal family, consisting of dazzling variations on a rather familiar tune!

Music for the keyboard by other eighteenth century composers, Johann Christian Fischer, Johann Samuel Schroeter and Johann Anton Filtz, may be found among the digitised music at this Library under ‘Other Printed Material available to view’.

Thanks to Heini Davies and Menna Morgan for their assistance and for updating the relevant catalogue records.

Hilary Peters
Assistant Archivist

 

WiciPics

Collections / Conservation / Digitisation / Events / News and Events - Posted 20-10-2020

A new crowdsourcing project aimed at documenting the built heritage of Wales through photography and Wikipedia articles.

The National Library of Wales is once again teaming up with Menter Iaith Môn, with funding from the Welsh Government language unit, to deliver this exciting new project.

Wales has thousands of important listed buildings, from great castles built by the Welsh princes to churches, stately homes and terraced houses. In Wales there were once more seats in chapels than there were people to sit on them and now those chapels are disappearing fast. We also have more modern buildings which need documenting, such as hospitals and health centres, schools, libraries and sports facilities.

 

For this project we are asking you to check out what needs photographing in your area. If you are out walking the dog, running, cycling or just stretching your legs after that Sunday roast just take your phone or camera and snap a few shots for us along the way.

 

These images will form a new collection at the National Library of Wales and will be made freely available for reuse on Wikimedia Commons, so that they can be used to improve Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia is a fantastic platform for us to collaboratively record and share our local history and recent studies have shown that having good quality Wikipedia articles can help to significantly boost tourism.

 

We are not looking for professional quality photographs, or fancy stylized shots. Just simple documentary images which you can snap on anything from a DSLR to your mobile phone, so everyone can get involved, from Grandma to the Grand kids.

As part of the project we are even planning on working directly (remotely) with schools to get kids snapping buildings in their area and then we will teach them how to use those images to improve relevant Wikipedia articles.

 

Contributing to the project is easy. An interactive map will show you all the places that need photographs in your area, and our video tutorial will talk you through the simple upload process. So please, check out what needs photographing in your area, and register today to ensure that your images are included in our new digital archive.

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Recuerda, Remember: Welsh musicians pay tribute to Victor Jara

Collections / music - Posted 12-10-2020

In September 1973, during the military coup to oust President Salvador Allende, a group of friends sat together in Estadio Chile (Chile Stadium) amidst thousands of other people held captive by fascists. One of the friends, Victor Jara, was busy composing a song on a scrap of paper. Before being dragged away, he managed to pass the song to a friend who hid it in his shoe. This would be his last song.

Victor Jara’s story is told by his wife, Joan Jara, in her powerful biography Victor: an unfinished song (Bloomsbury, 1998). Victor Jara came from a poor and underprivileged background outside Santiago. His mother was of Mapuche Indian extraction and he inherited her gift for playing the guitar and singing folk songs. His mother struggled hard to ensure that her children received an education and Victor developed to be Chile’s most prominent folk singer as well as becoming a theatre director and gaining university posts.

 

 

He never forgot his poor background and he loved to travel from his home near the Andes to meet ordinary workers and compose songs about them. He revelled in their traditions, their dances and their folklore, but as well as singing about the beauty of the Chilean people’s culture, he also sang about their suffering.

Life was harsh for the poor people of Chile. During a strike in El Salvador in 1965, for example, miners and their wives were shot by armed police, and when a number of destitute people tried to make their home in Puerto Montt, many of them were shot dead. Jara was deeply wounded by the massacre of Puerto Montt, and he sang a passionate protest song. For some, this guitarist and singer was far too vocal and he became a special target for the fascists in Chile Stadium.

Victor Jara’s friends remembered his warm smile when he recognised them at the Stadium, although he had already been injured. Before being killed by a soldier, his hands were smashed and he was mockingly asked to perform – if he could. Never to hold his guitar again, he sang for the last time. A command was issued to destroy all his works and every recording of his voice. The beautiful sounds of the indigenous musical instruments were also banned.

Jara’s unfinished song successfully left the Stadium in his friend’s shoe and the banned recordings left Chile.

Across the Atlantic, Welsh singers Dafydd Iwan and James Dean Bradfield, of the Manic Street Preachers, have paid moving tributes to the bravery of a man who said in one of his songs that he would die singing. The National Library of Wales holds sound recordings of both men’s tributes to Jara: Dafydd Iwan’s song may be heard on the cassette Bod yn rhydd (1979) and James Bradfield’s songs on his new album Even in exile.

The album’s first song is entitled Recuerda – Remember.

 

Heini Davies

Assistant Librarian

The Other Harpist of Wynnstay

Collections - Posted 28-09-2020

John Parry (Parri Dall) was the famous blind harpist of Wynnstay, whose playing so delighted Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the Fourth Baronet (1749-1789). Not many people are aware that Parry had a successor, albeit much less well-known. The Library has acquired a splendid portrait of Benjamin Cunnah, organist of Ruabon church, composer of New Welch Music and harpist to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the Fifth Baronet (1772-1840). The painting, possibly by William Roos, depicts Cunnah soberly dressed, accompanied by the instruments of his trade: his gold harp, quill pen and sheet music.

 

 

Small parts of the musician’s life can be pieced together from various archival holdings. The Leeswood papers at Flintshire Archives record that Benjamin Cunnah had applied for a position at Mold in 1812. He wrote to Miss Griffiths of Rual for her support as he was being opposed by Mr Birch, despite Mr Eyton’s kindness, and he claimed to have been unfairly treated by being interrupted when playing the organ on trial (Ref. D-LE/C/7/6 and D-LE/C/7/15).

He seems to have obtained his position with Sir Watkin Williams Wynn around 1815, which demonstrates a late continuation of the harpist tradition among the great gentry families of Wales. The Wynnstay account books produce no evidence of Cunnah’s employment but they do record the installation, in 1770, of the fine Snetzler organ in Ruabon church, on which he must have played.

Here in The National Library of Wales. there is a manuscript music book in the hand of Elizabeth Giffard of Nercwys Hall, Flintshire, containing lessons, songs, dances and airs for the harp. It includes several pieces by Benjamin Cunnah, such as the ‘Nerquis March’ (NLW MS 24006A). These tunes were published as New Welch Music : consisting of three Sonatas, Chase, Minuets, Siciliano, Rondos, Marches, Airs with Variations for the Harp or Piano Forte / composed & humbly dedicated by permission to Sir Watkin Wms. Wynn, Bart. by B. Cunnah of Rhuabon. (Printed for the author by Goulding & Co.of New Bond Street.)

The names of the subscribers would suggest a publication date of between 1815 and 1823. It was unusual then for a Welsh composer to publish his own music during his lifetime.

 

 

Robert Griffith, in his Llyfr Cerdd Dannau : ymchwiliad i hanes hen gerddoriaeth a’r dulliau hynaf o ganu (Caernarfon 1913), refers to articles in the Cambro-Briton, describing the Eisteddfodau at Wrexham, 1820, and Caernarfon, 1821, in which Benjamin Cunnah competed. Although not a prize-winner, he was very highly commended. He was judged a ‘scientific player’ who ‘produced the best tone’ and who received ‘considerable praise… for the taste and execution of his performance’. He was advised to concentrate less on playing his own compositions and to learn the traditional Welsh melodies that he could play to the natives! Cunnah was sufficiently esteemed to be selected as an adjudicator of the harp competition at Mold Eisteddfod in 1823.

A little is known of Benjamin Cunnah’s private life. He married Mary Rogers at Wrexham in 1800 (NLW marriage bonds St. Asaph A 137/7). They had numerous children, ten of whom were named as beneficiaries in his will dated 12 April 1832, proved 6 May 1840 (SA1840-198). He bequeathed his ‘musical instruments if any one of my children who plays may have a wish, to be given to them at a fair valuation by some well disposed person…and my music books likewise to be valued and given to them according and agreeable to their wish’. He disinherited his son Edward, not through acrimony but explaining ‘I have already given him more than what would be the rest of his proportion with the rest of my children…’

Thus have several disparate strands of interest, the artistic, the musical and the archival, become woven together in the story of Benjamin Cunnah, the ‘other’ harpist of Wynnstay.

Acknowledgement: Thanks are due to Denbighshire Archives for assistance with the research.

Hilary Peters
Assistant Archivist

New Accessions: Papers of Sir David Treharne Llewellyn

Collections / New Accessions - Posted 03-08-2020

In January this year a small collection of letters and ephemera relating to the political career of Sir David Treharne Llewellyn, a former Conservative MP, came up for sale at auction. Llewellyn served as MP for Cardiff North from 1950 to 1959 and was appointed as Under Secretary of State at the Home Office following the Conservative victory in the General Election of 1951. Llewellyn had only a year in office in the Home Office, before he had to resign because of his health but it was a very significant appointment.

In their manifesto for the 1951 General Election, the Conservatives had promised to create a ministerial post to deal with Welsh affairs and when he was appointed to the cabinet, David Maxwell-Fyfe was given the title of Home Secretary and Minister for Welsh Affairs. To prove that this was more than just a job title, a minister was appointed who was specifically responsible for Welsh affairs in his department; David Treharne Llewellyn was the first politician in that role.

The Welsh Political Archive collects the papers of the Secretaries of State for Wales, so we felt this small archive was worth buying. There is not a great deal of material from his time in the Home Office but one letter from Winston Churchill thanking him for his service to Wales as a minister and much correspondence with other ministers during his parliamentary career including James Callaghan, Edward Heath, David Maxwell-Fyfe and Gwilym Lloyd George. There is an interesting collection of letters from Philip Noel-Baker, Minister for Fuel and Power for support for victims of colliery accidents and their dependents, and another group that shows the relationship between Llewellyn and George Thomas and discusses the Aberfan disaster and the Investiture of 1969.

Llewellyn had played a brief but significant role in the development of Welsh politics, so it is fitting that his small archive came to the National Library with the papers of Secretaries of State for Wales and Welsh politicians of the same period.

The papers are now available via our online catalogue.

Rob Phillips
Welsh Political Archive

Curators Present: Tips for Searching the Church in Wales Diocesan Records

Collections - Posted 27-07-2020

In 1944 the Church in Wales began to deposit the records of every Welsh diocese in the National Library of Wales, for the benefit of the nation.  These included the records of the four ancient dioceses of Bangor, Llandaff, St. Asaph and St. Davids, and the two modern dioceses of Monmouth and Swansea & Brecon. Documents, manuscripts, maps and drawings were deposited initially, and the Library continues to receive regular deposits to this day.

Most diocesan records relate to Church administrative and legal systems.  The records chart the history of the Church and its dioceses, church buildings, and the work of its bishops, courts, and clergy. It contains vital sources for those interested in ecclesiastical, family, and local history.  It is also a very large collection – one of the largest collections of corporate records in the National Library of Wales.  Fortunately for researchers, it is a well-organized collection, which makes access to the material relatively straightforward.

If you have never used the collections before and the prospect of navigating the diocesan records seems a bit daunting, try the following tips:

1. Know your diocese: Records of each diocese have been arranged into broad categories, such as Bishops’ Transcripts, Consistory Court Papers, Chapter Records etc.  In general, you can expect to find the same types of records in each diocesan collection, although there may be differences in the extent of the records and the time periods covered.

2. Browse the main description for the diocese: The main diocesan catalogue page will summarise what records are available – ‘Content and Structure’ and ‘System of Arrangement’ are particularly helpful. The main page will also display the categories of records.

3. Quick Search: Many of the series and record titles are keyword searchable, so try searching for specific terms relevant to your research.  Remember to try different spelling variations to improve search results. It is possible for you to undertake a quick search within the collection itself by using the search box on the left hand side of the Library’s Archives and Manuscripts catalogue.

4. Printed resources: If you are trying to find information about a member of clergy, begin your search with Crockford’s Clerical Directory.  It contains details of Anglican clergy appointments since 1858. This information can be a useful starting point.

5. Unexpected places: Investigate sections of the collection which may seem irrelevant to your research.   Some official documents were not put into one of the general categories. For example, the Miscellaneous series in St. Davids Diocesan Records contains material relating to nonconformist chapels in Brecon!

Enjoy searching!

Lorena Troughton
Assistant Archivist

Salem – A Symbol of Welsh Identity

Collections - Posted 23-07-2020

Safeguarding the second version of ‘Salem’

Last October the National Library was tremendously proud to have safeguarded the iconic work ‘Salem’ from 1909 by Sidney Curnow Vosper (1866-1942) for the nation. This work in watercolour depicts a congregation in Salem Chapel, Cefncymerau, Llanbedr near Harlech, with the character of Siân Owen dressed in a traditional Welsh costume holding a hymn book central to the scene. Across the decades, ‘Salem’ became an iconic symbol of Welsh identity and of the Nonconformist tradition in Wales.

Welsh homes and folk memory

Two versions of ‘Salem’ were created by Vosper during his lifetime. The first was created in 1908 and was exhibited in London where it was bought by the industrialist William Hesketh Lever who used the image to advertise his product ‘Sunlight Soap’. As a result, ‘Salem’ evolved into an iconic image across Britain. As Peter Lord stated in his book ‘The Tradition’ in 2016: ‘In the wake of a nationwide religious revival in 1904, the picture itself and its associated mythology entered Welsh homes and folk memory’. Among the other reasons for the painting’s popularity was that not many other Welsh images were to be had as attractive and cheap colour prints in the period before the First World War. In 1937 Ifan ab Owen Edwards sold prints of the work to raise money for the Urdd. The image was also reproduced for the ‘Cymru Rydd’ calendar in 1950, 1956 and 1957 and many Welsh people took advantage of this by cutting out the image and displaying it in their homes. The second version which differs slightly from the original and which was bought by the National Library was created in 1909 for Frank Treharne Jones, a solicitor from Merthyr and the artist’s brother-in-law.

Contrasts

As Peter Lord argued there is a strong contrast within the work between the simplicity of the chapel, the humility of the worshipers and the richness of Siân Owen’s shawl. Many believed that they could see an image of the devil in the fold of Siân Owen’s shawl, which did much to add to the work’s intrigue. Some believed that the image of the devil was a warning to others against the sin of vanity, something Siân Owen was displaying by dressing extravagantly to attend chapel. It could also be said that Siân Owen represented the figure of the ‘Mam’ in 19th century Wales. Siân Owen was known locally as Siân Owen, Tŷ’n y Fawnog. She was over 70 years old when the painting was created and went on to tragically lose two of her grandsons in the First World War. This gives an even heavier poignancy to the painting, when thinking of her symbolism as the Welsh mother and of the thousands of other Welsh mothers whose children were tragically killed during the two World Wars.

Local characters

Local characters are portrayed within the work, and they modelled for the artist in the chapel. One exception being the tailor’s dummy which he named Leusa Jones and which he placed in the front pew. It is interesting to note that the artist used Siân Owen’s features and expression for Leusa Jones’ face. It is unlikely that the black Welsh hat would have been worn in 1908, and as Tal Williams stated in his book Salem from 2010 not one of the women portrayed within the work owned their own hat. The same Welsh hat worn by Siân Owen, Laura Williams, Mary Rowlands and the tailor’s dummy was borrowed from Elin Edwards, of Chapel House, grandmother of Rev. Evan Rowlands. The paisley shawl was loaned by Mrs. Williams, wife of the Vicar of nearby Harlech. For the sitting the artist gave Evan Lloyd, the young 6 year old boy who sits with his aunt, Mary Rowlands a box of Quaker Oats to hold instead of a hymn book, for the artist was afraid that the boy would become easily distracted and start playing with the book’s pages. Wiliam Siôn and Rhobet Williams, Cae’r Meddyg are the names of the two local men within the scene.

‘An expression of allegiance to Wales’

During his lifetime, the artist Vosper was inspired to create works based on the Welsh and Breton culture, but without doubt this is by far his most famous work today. As Peter Lord stated: ‘Ultimately Salem’s success comes down to an expression of allegiance to Wales’.

Morfudd Bevan
Art Curator at The National Library of Wales

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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.

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