Tag Archives: Tredegar

New digital resources

Collections / Digitisation - Posted 29-09-2022

Our digitisation work has continued behind the scenes and a number of new items and collections are now available to view from home on the Library’s website and/or the catalogue. Find out what’s new in our blog.

ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPTS

Peniarth collection

Peniarth MS 32: Y Llyfr Teg
Peniarth MS 106: Interliwd Troilus a Cresida
Peniarth MS 416 iv: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 v: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 vi: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 viii: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 ix: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 487: Records relating to Wales
Peniarth MS 491: Pedigrees
Peniarth MS 492: Pedigrees
Peniarth MS 521 i: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 iii: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 iv: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 x: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 xvi: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 526: The Gregorian calendar
Peniarth MS 528: A prayer book
Peniarth MS 529 i: A Welsh grammar
Peniarth MS 529 iv: A Welsh grammar
Peniarth MS 538: A catalogue of Hengwrt manuscripts
Peniarth MS 539: A translation of Peniarth MS 538
Peniarth MS 545: The five royal tribes of Cambria
Peniarth MS 556: Historical notes from Welsh records

Manuscripts

Minor Deposit 150B: Collection of Welsh Airs compiled and arranged by ‘Orpheus’ for the Llangollen Eisteddfod 1858, 1888 a collection of unpublished airs submitted by James James to a competition at the Llangollen Eisteddfod in 1858 under the pseudonym ‘Orpheus’, which includes the second appearance of our anthem (on f. 23), under the title ‘Glanrhondda’.
NLW MS 331D: Llewelyn Alaw’s Collection of Unpublished Welsh Airs a collection of airs submitted by Thomas D. Llewelyn (Llewelyn Alaw), Aberdâr, to the Llangollen Eisteddfod, which includes the tune ‘Glan Rhondda’.

 

Acrefair Papers

Various letters relating to the migration of William and Hannah Morgan and family to Ohio (1852-59): 2623, 2647, 3096, 5152, 5153, 5154, 3499

 

Archives

Dr J. Lloyd Williams Music MSS and Papers, AH2/13 (Ifor Ceri Manuscripts):
Music manuscript books containing transcripts by J. Lloyd Williams of the manuscripts of Ifor Ceri [1815-1825]
Music manuscript book 1
Music manuscript book 2
Music manuscript book 3
Music manuscript book 4
Music manuscript book 5

Cottesmore Deeds and Documents: Irish deeds/22 Court Book of the corporation of Askeaton, giving the names of free-men and officers of the borough, 1692-1724.

 

‘The Chain’ Meteorological registers

The work on digitising a series of meteorological registers of thermometer, barometer and rain gauge readings in ‘The Chain’ has been completed. They will be available on ‘Torf’ in due course:
C 2/6: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/6/1-40, 1901, Jan. 1-1906, July 7
C 2/7: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/7/1-73, 1906, July 1-1911, July 1
C 2/10: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/10/1-9, 1918, Dec. 29-1923, Feb. 3
C 2/11: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/11/1-6, 1923, Feb. 4-1927, Feb. 12
C 2/12: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/12/1-13, 1927, Feb. 13-1931, Feb. 21
C 2/13: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/13/1-69, 1931, Feb. 22-1935, March 2
C 2/14: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/14/1-32, 1935, March 3-1939, March 11
C 2/15: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/15/1-26, 1939, March 12-1943, March 20
C 2/16: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/16/1-78. The meteorological readings continue to 29 Dec. 1945 only, 1943, March 21-1947, Feb. 8

The following manuscripts were ingested so that users can access them through the viewer:
NLW 3B: Sermons
NLW MS 73A: Sermons
NLW MS 3265D: Llythyrau at S.R.
NLW MS 9521A: Llyfr nodiadau Iorthryn Gwynedd
NLW MS 14111D: Llythyrau teuluol Edward Peate
NLW MS 21578E: A register of Welsh Pioneers of the Mahoning Valley, 1898-1922
NLW MS 20995E: Jack Edwards Letters
NLW MS 21577E: Minute book of Welsh Pioneers Society of Trumbull and Mahoning counties, Ohio
NLW Misc. Records 35: Ezekiel Hughes Apprenticeship Deed
CMA – File 22331: Letter from John M. Jones, Saron, Welsh Hills, Newark, Ohio
Rees Jenkin Jones Family Papers: FR2/1: Letter from Humphrey Bromley to the Rev. John James, Gellionnen

 

PRINTED MATERIAL 

392 items from the print collection have been made available through Primo, including works such as:

Ymadrodd newydd ar glefydau potatws: ac yn fwy neillduol i ddangos achosion o’r cyrl yn nalennau potatws; gida chlefydau eraill (1784)
David Samwell, Détails nouveaux et circonstanciés sur la mort du Capitaine Cook traduits de l’anglois (1786)
Marie de Médicis Queen, Lettre de la Royne au Parlement de Bretagne (1614)
A. O. Exquemelin, Historie der boecaniers, of vrybuyters van America van haar eerste beginzelen tot deze tegenwoordige tyd toe: met figuuren (1700)

Biographies

David Worthington, Cofiant y Parch. Daniel Rowland, Llangeitho (1905);
Byr gofiant i Miss Brythonig Roberts ail ferch William (Ap Meurig) a Jane Roberts, Brynawel, Aberangell, Meirionydd ganwyd Medi 6ed, 1887. Bu farw Hyd. 11eg, 1904 (1905);
Alfred Russel Wallace, My life: a record of events and opinions (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1905);
Edward Fideli Kennard, The remarkable career of a well-known athlete (1913?);
W. M. Myddelton, Pedigree of the family of Myddelton of Gwaynynog (1910);
Edward Robins, Twelve great actresses (1900);
Rees Jones, Crwth Dyffryn Clettwr: sef gweithiau barddonol y diweddar Rees Jones (Ammon), Pwllffein, Llandyssul, Ceredigion (1906);
William Hopkyn Rees, Byr-hanes y cenhadwr Cymreig y Parch. Griffith John, D.D., China (1906);
Cybi, “Ardal y cewri”: enwogion plwyf Llangybi a’r cylch: ynghydag enwau lleoedd: eu hystyr a’u traddodiadau (1907);
David Griffiths, Auto-biography of David Griffiths, Ffrwdywhiad, near Lampeter (1907);
Ellen Owen, Merched enwog Cymru: neu, Cymruesau gwiwgof – hen a diweddar (1908?);
W. H. Davies, The autobiography of a super-tramp (1908?)

 

Arthurian collection

We have continued to scan printed works relating to King Arthur and the following 141 volumes are now available:
Thomas Malory, [Le Morte Darthur] (1529);
Thomas Malory, The most ancient and famous history of the renowned Prince Arthur and the knights of the round table (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1816);
Thomas Malory, The history of the renowned Prince Arthur, King of Britain (1816);
Thomas Malory, The byrth, lyf, and actes of Kyng Arthur: of his noble knyghtes of the rounde table, they’r merveyllous enquestes and aduentures …: and in the end, Le Morte Darthur, with the dolourous deth and departyng out of thys worlde of them al (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1817);
Thomas Malory, Morte DArthur (1883);
Thomas Malory, Morte Darthur: Sir Thomas Malory’s book of King Arthur and of his noble knights of the round table … revised for modern use (1886);
Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur (Vol.1, part 1), (Vol.1, part 2), (Vol.1, part 3), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1889);
Le morte Darthur Sir Thomas Malory’s book of King Arthur and of his noble knights of the Round Table (1891);
Thomas Malory, Le morte Darthur Sir Thomas Malory’s book of King Arthur and of his noble knights of the Round Table (1893);
Thomas Malory, La mort d’Arthure: the history of King Arthur and of the knights of the Round Table (1893);

Thomas Malory, The birth life and acts of King Arthur of his noble Knights of the Round Table their marvellous enquests and adventures the achieving of the San Greal and in the end Le Morte Darthur with the dolourous death and departing out of this world of them all (1893-1894);
Thomas Malory, The noble and joyous history of King Arthur (1894);
Thomas Malory, The book of marvellous adventures, & other books of the Morte d’Arthur (1894);
Thomas Malory, The story of Sir Galahad (1908?);
Thomas Malory, The romance of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table (1917);
Ernest Muret, Eilhart d’Oberg et sa source française (1887);
Ernst Brugger, Alain de Gomeret: ein Beitrag zur arthurischen Namenforschung (1905);
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Wolfram’s von Eschenbach Parzival und Titurel (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1870-71);
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival: a knightly epic (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1894);
John Bourchier Berners, The history of the valiant knight Arthur of Little Britain: a romance of chivalry (1814);
Paulin Paris, Les romans de la Table ronde, mis en nouveau langage et accompagnés de recherches sur l’origine et le caractère de ces grandes compositions (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4), (Vol.5) (1868-77);
John S. Stuart-Glennie, Arthurian localities: their historical origin, chief country and Fingalian relations (1869);
Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval le Gallois: ou le Conte du Graal (1846);
Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval le Gallois: ou le Conte du Graal (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4), (Vol.5), (Vol.6), (1867-1871);
Chrétien de Troyes, The high history of the Holy Graal (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1898);
Chrétien de Troyes, The high history of the Holy Graal (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1898);
Chrétien de Troyes, Cligés: textausgabe mit variantenauswahl, einleitung, anmerkungen und vollständigem glossar (1910);
William Henry Babcock, The two lost centuries of Britain (1890);
James Knowles, The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table (1869);
Albert Richter, Iwein und Parzival: zwei Rittersagen des Mittelalters, erzählt und erläutert (1876);
Adolf Birch-Hirschfeld, Die Sage von Gral (1877);
Constant Philippe Serrure, Le Livre de Baudoyn, Conte de Flandre (1836);
Gauthier Map, Le roman de la charrette (1850);
Thomas Chestre, Launfal: an ancient metrical romance (1891);
Richard Blackmore, Prince Arthur: An heroick poem (1696);
Richard Blackmore, Prince Arthur: An heroick poem (1697);
Théodore Hersart La Villemarqué, Contes populaires des anciens Bretons: précédés d’un essai, L’origine des épopées chevaleresques de la table-ronde (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1842);
Théodore Hersart La Villemarqué, Les romans de la Table Ronde et les contes des anciens Bretons (1860);
Théodore Hersart La Villemarqué, Les romans de la table ronde: et les contes des anciens Bretons (1861);
G. de. La Rue, Recherches sur les ouvrages des bardes de la Bretagne, Armoricane dans le moyen age (1815);
Tresplaisante recreative hystoire du trespreulx et vaillant Cheuallier Perceval le galloys (1530);
Arthur of Brytayn: the hystory of the moost noble and valyaunt knyght Arthur of lytell brytayne (1560);
Albert Schulz, An essay on the influence of Welsh tradition upon the literature of Germany, France, and Scandinavia (1841);
H. Oskar Sommer, The vulgate version of the Arthurian romances (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4), (Vol.5), (Vol.6), (Vol.7) (1908-16);
H. Oskar Sommer, Die abenteuer Gawains Ywains und le Morholts mit den drei Jungfrauen (1913);
Walter W. Skeat, Lancelot of the laik: a Scottish metrical romance … (1870);
Thomas Bullfinch, The age of chivalry (1859);
Heinrich Zimmer, Nennius vindicatus: Über Entstehung, Geschichte und Quellen der Historia Brittonum (1893);
Godeford Kurth, Histoire poétique des Mérovingiens (1893);
Sir John Rhŷs, Studies in the Arthurian legend (1891);
John Rhys, Notes on the hunting of Twrch Trwyth (1896?);
Eilrert Løseth, Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études. (1890);
Guiot de Provins, Des Guiot von Provins bis Jetzt Bekannte dichtungen (1861);
Alfred Delvau, Collection des romans de chevalerie (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4) (1869);
Robert de Boron, Le saint-graal: ou Le Joseph d’Arimathie (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3 part 1), (Vol.3 part 2) (1875);
Hermann zur Jacobsmühlen, Zur Charakteristik des König Artus im altfranzösischen Kunstepos … (1888);
Charlotte Guest, The Mabinogion: from the Llyfr Coch o Hergest and other ancient Welsh manuscripts (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1849);
Charlotte Guest, The Mabinogion (1906);
Layamon, Layamons brut: or chronicle of Britain (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1847);
Wace, Le roman de Brut (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1838);
E. Edwardson, The courteous Knight: and other tales (1899);
Thomas Percy, The old ballad of The boy and the mantle (1900);
Alfred Trübner Nutt, Studies on the legend of the Holy Grail (1888);
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Britannie vtriusq[ue] regu[m] et principum origo & gesta insignia (1517);
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia regum Britanniae (1854);
Alfred Tennyson, Gareth and Lynette, etc. (1872);
Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the king (1904);
Joseph Loth, Le mabinogi de Kulhwch & Olwen (1888);
Félix Bellamy, La forêt de Bréchéliant, la fontaine de Bérenton (1896);
Georg Friedrich Benecke, Wörterbuch zu Hartmannes Iwein (1901);
Mark Twain, A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur (1897);
Arthur Charles Lewis Brown, The bleeding lance (1910);
Richard Edens, Erec-Geraint: Der Chrétien’sche Versroman und das wälsche Mabinogi (1910);
Gustav Engel, Die Enflüsse der Arthurromane auf die Chansons de Geste (1910);
Feodor Kittelmann, Einige Mischhandschriften von Wolframs Parzival (1910);
William Wells Newell, King Arthur and the Table Round: tales chiefly after the old French of Crestien of Troyes (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1905);
Jessie L. Weston, King Arthur and his knights: a survey of Arthurian romance (1906);
Jessie L. Weston, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: a Middle-English Arthurian romance (1907);
Meta E. Williams, Tales from the Mabinogion (1907);
Emily Underdown, Knights of the Grail: Lohengrin, Galahad (1907);
Hans Herrig, Elaine. Dichtung in drei aufzugen (1908);
The Arthurian Episode in the Pageant of Gwent (1913);
Leopold Hansen, Die Ausdrucksformen der Affekte im Tristan Gottfrieds von Stassburg (1908);
J. Douglas Bruce, Historia Meriadoci and De ortu Waluuanii (1913);
John Harrington Cox, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1913)
Howard Pyle, The story of Sir Launcelot and his companions (1907);
Lizette Andrews Fisher, The mystic vision in the Grail legend and in the Divine comedy (1917);
Franz Finsterbusch, Der Versbau der Mittelenglischen Dichtungen Sir Perceval of Gales and Sir Degrevant (1918);
The Story of Enid and Geraint: retold from the Mabinogion and Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King” (1909);
Sebastian Evans, The high history of the Holy Graal (1910);
Franz Settegast, Hartmanns Iwein, verglichen mit seiner Altfranzösischen Quelle (1873);
Arthur Edward Waite, The hidden Church of the Holy Graal (1909);
Pio Rajna, Le origini dell’epopea francese (1884);
Dwy gân o Brophwydoliaethau Myrddin: a gymmerwyd allan o ‘Lyfr y Daroganau’; hefyd, Hanes o’r modd y daeth Myrddin i fod yn adnabyddus i’r Brenin Gwrtheyrn, mab-y’nghyfraith Hengyst (1810);
Edmund Brock, Morte Arthure: or The Death of Arthur (1871);
Richard Morris, Sir Gawayne and the green knight: an alliterative romance-poem (1865);
Eugen Kölbing, Arthour and Merlin nach der Auchinleck-Hs (1890);
Albert Wilhelm Nolte, Der Eingang des Parzival: ein Interpretationsversuch (1900);
Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan und Isolt (1843);
Fridrich Pfaff, Tristant und Isalde: Prosaroman des fünfzehnten Jarhunderts (1881);
Robert Huntington Fletcher, The Arthurian material in the chronicles especially those of Great Britain and France (1906)

 

PRINTED MATERIAL  MAPS AND GRAPHIC MATERIAL

An album containing 44 photographs of the people and communities of Fiji, accompanied by a text and published as ‘A Trip To The Highlands of Viti Levu‘ by G Ansdell, London (1882).

Framed works

The following works were digitised and published on Primo before being exhibited at the Collecting exhibition (Gregynog Gallery, 14.02.22 – 08.10.22):
Ebb and flow by Patricia Anne Aithie
These Four Walls by Guto Llŷr Morgan
Eisteddfod, Rhondda by Pearl Binder
Golgotha by Karel Lek
Ystradgynlais by Catrin Williams
Self-portrait by Charles Burton
Thin partitions iii by Ken Elias
Math o ganu / Kind of singing by Nicholas Evans
Creirwy by Seren Morgan Jones
Ceridwen by Seren Morgan Jones
Self portrait in blue by Sarah Carvell
Olwen by Teresa Jenellen
I ‘Used’ to Hurt Myself by Jasmine Sheckleford
Chwilio am Ffigwr Cyfoes IV by Tomos Sparnon
Black Puck by Neale Howells
Chwiorydd Davies by Meinir Mathias
Flora, fluff, flow by Zena Blackwell
Painting about the land by Ernest Zobole
Way down to Easter Bay by Ray Howard Jones
Cegin/Kitchen by Kim James-Williams
Dancing at Dusk on Midsummer’s Night at Fontygary by Gerda Roper
Arfogi Lleu by Margaret D. Jones

 

DICTIONARY OF WELSH BIOGRAPHY

16 new articles have been added to the website:
BATCHELOR, JOHN (1820 – 1883), businessman and politician
BOOTH, FLORENCE ELEANOR (1861 – 1957), Salvationist and social reformer
CAMPBELL, RACHEL ELIZABETH (1934 – 2017), teacher and community activist
DANIELS, ELEANOR (1886 – 1994), actress
DAVIES, RHYS (1795 – 1838), engineer and industrialist
GIVVONS, ALEXANDER (1913 – 2002), rugby player
GWINNETT, BUTTON (1735 – 1777), merchant, landowner and politician
JENKINS, EVAN (1794 – 1849), cleric and schoolmaster
JONES, DAVID JOHN (1906 – 1978), opera singer
JONES, GWILYM THOMAS (1908 – 1956), solicitor and administrator
PARRY, EDGAR WILLIAMS (1919 – 2011), surgeon
ROBERTS, ARTHUR RHYS (1872 – 1920), solicitor
ROGERS, OWEN (c.1532 – c.1570), printer and bookseller
THOMAS, BENJAMIN BOWEN (1899 – 1977), adult educator and civil servant
THOMAS, HELEN WYN (1966 – 1989), peace activist
WILLIAMS, ROBERT (1848 – 1918), architect, author and social reformer

The Digital Preservation Awards

Digitisation - Posted

The Digital Preservation Awards are presented by the Digital Preservation Coalition every two years to celebrate the most significant achievements by individuals and organisations in ensuring the sustainability of digital content. Following a rigorous assessment process, the winners were announced at a glittering presentation ceremony in Glasgow, attended by a organisations and practitioners of digital preservation from around the world. The Library was delighted to win the Dutch Digital Heritage Network Award for Teaching and Communications for its project: Learning through doing: building digital preservation skills in Wales, https://www.dpconline.org/news/dpa2022-winners.

 

Learning through doing was a programme of interactive training delivered by Library staff on the Teams platform to extend digital preservation skills and increase capacity for staff working in organisations across Wales. Resources to support the training are available on the Archives Wales website at https://archives.wales/staff-toolkit/saving-the-bits-programme/.

The Library also contributed to winning another prestigious award. The Archives and Records Assocation’s award for the New Professional of the Year was won by Gemma Evans. Gemma was employed by the Library to lead the Records at Risk project for the Archives and Records Council Wales. The project was funded by The National Archives Covid-19 Archives Fund, which was established to support archives to secure records which were in danger of being lost as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic which threatened the continuing operation of businesses, charities and organisations, acrossWales. Gemma developed a Records at Risk Toolkit to enable the identification and preservation of at risk records, which is available for download on the Archives Wales website at https://archives.wales/records-at-risk/.

The Panorama: or, Traveller’s Instructive Guide through England and Wales

#LoveMaps / Collections - Posted 05-09-2022

Are you already missing the summer holidays? Then let’s go on a tour of Wales with the Traveller’s Instructive Guide through England and Wales as our trusty companion. Dating from around 1820, and measuring only 13 x 9 cm, the Guide intends to provide all the information the inquisitive traveller might need, including market towns and days, fairs, local members of Parliament, banks and bankers, seats of the gentry, distance from London, and mail coach routes and prices. Information on each county is compressed on to a single page, with a coloured map on the facing page. The introduction promises that ‘to all classes of persons, the merchant, the trader, the farmer, but especially the traveller, from its portable size will be found of infinite service’.

 

 

Title page

 

I’ve left the spellings of place names as they appear in the guide. Monmouthshire is missing from the Welsh guide, listed instead with the English counties, which are not included in this volume. This is common in guides and on maps dating from the 16th to the 20th century, and results from long-running legal ambiguity about whether Monmouthshire was part of Wales, with different pieces of legislation treating the county differently. The situation was clarified legally only in the Local Government Act of 1972.

 

Beginning in Anglesea, we’ll be sure to seek out the ‘many rude vestiges’ of Druidic temples, not to forget the ‘neat and handsome town’ of Beaumaris, and popping to Newborough for ‘ropes and mats made of seaweed’.

 

Next-door Carnarvonshire ‘contains that stupendous mountain Snowdon, with its summit…lost to human view amidst the clouds of heaven’. Carnarvonshire seems a good place for a snack, as the county produces excellent beef and ‘the cows are remarkable for yielding great quantities of milk’. To ease our aching feet, we’ll make a stop in Carnarvon for the ‘fine salt water baths’. According to the Guide, Bangor is only a single street a mile long, so we’ll proceed swiftly on to Conway, a ‘remarkable pleasant town’, boasting both a Gothic cathedral and an ancient castle ‘in a high state of preservation’. The MP for Caernarvon Boroughs is Sir Charles Paget. He succeeded his brother Edward in the same seat, and never made a single contribution to a parliamentary debate, despite serving for 24 years!

 

 

Carnarvonshire

 

Heading east, the Guide calls central Denbighshire ‘one of the most delightful spots in Europe’ and notes that ‘the vale of Clwyd has been justly made the theme of literary eulogium’. Be sure to pack a notebook so you can jot down any lines of poetry that occur to you while admiring the Denbighshire views.

 

After the delights of Denbighshire, the Guide seems not to have been impressed by Flintshire. Flint is ‘irregularly built’ and ‘although it sends one member to parliament, has no market’, while St Asaph is ‘a very insignificant place’.

 

Heading south into Montgomeryshire, we are in the home of ‘luxuriant crops of corn’ and pastures filled with black cattle and horses. If you are in the market for livestock, head to Llanfair and (a very oddly spelt) Llansdiloes for cattle. Or best of all, Welchpool for horses, cattle and hogs.

 

 

Montgomeryshire

 

Hop back north-west into Merionethshire for a ‘picturesque and beautiful romantic appearance’ and a wide array of textiles: excellent flannels from Dolgelly, druggets (a type of coarse fabric that was used to protect carpets in large houses) and ‘coarse woollen cloths’. If you’d like to accessorise, head up to Bala, for gloves and Welch wigs.

 

Now, onwards to Cardiganshire, which gets a mixed review: ‘the air in some parts is beautifully serene, in other parts it is bleak and piercing’. Be sure to stop by Llampeter, which holds a fair on the first Saturday in August, and Llanbadarnvawr for its ‘fine church, built in the form of a Greek Cross’.

 

 

Cardiganshire

 

East again to Radnorshire, where the air is ‘highly favourable to health and longevity’, despite the ‘rather indifferent’ soil, and the county town, Radnor, containing ‘nothing worthy of notice’.

 

All this traipsing may have worn holes in our socks, so it’s time for a trip to Brecknockshire, famous for manufacturing stockings. Builth in particular has a ‘great trade in coarse stockings’. The text and the map disagree on the correct spelling, with the text plumping for ‘Burlth’, while the map shows ‘Bualt’. Neither includes ‘Wells’, which was appended to the name only in the 19th century after chalybeate springs were discovered in the town and began to be marketed to tourists.

 

 

Brecknockshire

 

Veering back west, we reach Carmarthenshire, ‘situate[d] in the most beautiful part of South Wales’. Carmarthen itself is worth a visit, for its ‘fine bridge’ over the Teifi and its market selling black cattle and horses.

 

West from Carmarthenshire into Pembrokeshire, for some ‘salubrious’ air, despite the soil in some parts of the county being ‘barren and sterile’. Of course, no visit to Pembrokeshire would be complete without a trip to St David’s, ‘an episcopal city of great antiquity’, with an estimated population of just 200. Unfortunately St David’s offers neither market nor fair. So our souvenir shopping will have to wait until we reach Glamorganshire.

 

 

Pembrokeshire

 

Swansea is ‘a town of great commercial business’ and there are ‘extensive manufactories of copper, brass, &c.’, as well as a fine harbour. At this time, Llandaff and Swansea are the principal towns of Glamorganshire, not Cardiff. In the north of the county, the air is ‘excessive bleak and keen’, but there are also ‘rich mines of lead and coal’.

 

 

Glamorganshire

 

If you want to send a postcard home, you’re out of luck, as the first picture postcards weren’t produced until the 1870s, but if you’ve sat down to write a letter detailing your adventure (or perhaps to show off your Denbighshire-inspired poem), you’ll find a handy list of postage prices at the back of the volume, and each map highlights the mail coach road in bright red.

 

Ellie King

Trainee Assistant Map Curator

 

Bibliography:

The Guide In the catalogue

Mills, A. D. “Builth Wells.” In A Dictionary of British Place Names. : Oxford University Press, 2011.

Sir Charles Paget. Hansard 1803-2005.

The Regency Household: protecting carpets. Jane Austen’s World [blog]

 

This blog is also available in Welsh.

Sir Kenelm Digby’s exotic recipes and miracle cures

Collections / Uncategorized - Posted 22-08-2022

Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665) was from a British Catholic family and his father was convicted of treason for being linked to the Gunpowder plot of 1605. He was consequently sentenced to death, and was hung, drawn and quartered in January 1606. This undoubtedly shaped Digby’s life and made him suspicious of authority and willing to take risks. An example of this was when he embarked on a privateering expedition to the Mediterranean with the purpose of attacking and plundering ships that came within sight of his position. After returning from this adventure, his life took another dark turn when his wife, Venetia Stanley, died unexpectedly. He reacted to this event, by immersing himself in scientific and quasi-scientific experiments.

 

 

Digby was a polymath, and had a thirst for knowledge that few other people of his time could match. His areas of expertise included philosophy, science, alchemy and cookery. The books featured in this blog encompass his interests in cooking recipes and chemistry. Science at the time was not recorded in any disciplined way, and though Digby was one of the founders of the Royal Society, his research ranged from chemistry and medicine on the one hand, to alchemy and astrology on the other.

 

 

There is strong evidence that the Library’s copy of The Great Bible (1539) comes from Sir Kenelm Digby’s library. The Bible is referred to in a number of volumes that were among the manuscripts of William Watkin Edward Wynne of Peniarth. There is evidence that these manuscripts were in Digby’s possession, including Digby’s diary in his own handwriting of his trip to the Mediterranean (see B. Schofield’s article in the National Library of Wales Magazine, Volume 1, Number 2, 1939). The Library recently bought two books of his works.

  • The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelm Digbie focuses on the recipes that he had discovered on his travels to Europe. It is a valuable historical document of the food and recipes of the 17th Century. As an extensive traveller, he was able to write about the exotic foods that he encountered and was enthusiastic in writing the recipes in great detail to his friends in Europe. They include how to make cider, metheglin and cherry-wine. It is interesting to note that Digby invented the modern wine bottle by manufacturing it from super strong, coloured glass in around 1633. Before this, wine bottles were thin and weak. This was fine for short term storage, but it meant that the wine would be oxidised much quicker. Therefore, the invention of the wine bottle meant that fine wine, champagne and vintage port could be used and marketed.

 

 

  • A Choice Collection of rare Chymical secrets and Experiments in Philosophy by George Hartman. This book outlines Digby’s credentials as a Chemist. It also shows how he believed the products of his experiments could be used as medicines to cure ailments and chronic illnesses such as gout, Dropsie, Palsy, French-Pox, Plague, Leprosie, Small-pox and Measles. The methodology and technique of the experiments are shown through scientific diagrams which were typical of early scientific writings. Though one of Digby’s main aims was to show the power of mechanistic science, much of the book alludes to alchemy and astrology.

 

 

The Library has a copy of A Stain in the Blood: The Remarkable Voyage of Sir Kenelm Digby by Joe Moshenska (Heinemann 2016). Moshenska noted that his hero, Sir Kenelm Digby, lived between the Renaissance world of Shakespeare, and the modern world of Milton and Newton. He studies Digby’s adventures, strong character and wide interests – a truly remarkable man.

 

Bibliography

Schofield, B. (1939). ‘Manuscripts of Sir Kenelm Digby’. National Library of Wales Journal 1 (2), 89-90. Available at: https://journals.library.wales/view/1277425/1277504/50#?xywh=-1848%2C-101%2C6796%2C4471

Moshenska, J. (2016), ‘The adventures of Sir Kenelm Digby: 17th-century pirate, philosopher and foodie’. Available at: https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features/the-adventures-of-sir-kenelm-digby-17th-century-pirate-philosopher-and-foodie (Accessed: 18 August 2022)

Moshenska, J. (2016), A stain in the blood: The remarkable voyage of Sir Kenelm Digby, Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Foster, M. (2009). ‘Digby, Sir Kenelm’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Available at: https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-7629?rskey=JFHNJq&result=2 (Accessed: 18 August 2022)

Digby, K. (1669) The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. opened whereby is discovered several ways for making metheglin, sider, chery-wine, &c. : together with excellent directions for cookery, as also for preserving, conserving, candying, &c., London: Printed for H. Brome, at the Star in Little Britain.

Hartman, G. (1682) A Choice Collection of rare Chymical Secrets and experiments in Philosophy as also rare and unheard-of Medicines, Menmstruums and Alkahests; with the true secret of Volatilizing the fixt salt of Tartar Collected and experimented by the Honourable and truly Learned Sir Kenelm Digby, Kt. Chancellour to Her Majesty the Queen-Mother. Hitherto kept secret since his decease, but now published for the good and benefit of the Publick. London : Printed for the Publisher, and are to be sold by the book-sellers of London, and his own house in Hewes Court in Black-Fryers.

 

Hywel Lloyd

Assistant Librarian

Rainbow Collections in the Library

Collections / Events - Posted 19-08-2022

August is the month of Pride Cymru and an excellent opportunity to celebrate all things LGBTQ+ in Wales. The Library holds a wealth of collections which reflect the contribution of LGBTQ+ people to Wales. One of the first collections that I catalogued was that of Emlyn Williams, the writer and actor, whose stellar career is documented in eight huge scrapbooks, which are crammed with correspondence from stars in the theatrical and creative spheres. Emlyn Williams wrote about his bisexuality in his two published autobiographies, George (1961) and Emlyn (1973), which provide a context to the archive.

There are many other collections in the Library which record the contribution of LGBTQ+ people and also the impact of movements which have not been widely studied/considered in an LGBTQ+ context.  To celebrate some of these, Mair Jones, writer and researcher from Ceredigion, will be holding two workshops on 25 August  (one in English and one in Welsh) for young people who will be encouraged to explore the themes discussed in the workshops and create new works.

 

 

Tickets are available on Ticketsource for the free workshops, which will also include refreshments provided by our fantastic café. We are planning other events for September, which are also funded through the Welsh Government’s Summer of Fun grant scheme. I am also grateful to Josh Littleford @jltoyphotography for creating this amazing Lego library in rainbow colours.

Sally McInnes (she/her), Chair of the NLW Gender and LGBTQ+ Forum

Ceredigion national eisteddfodau past and present

Collections - Posted 01-08-2022

 

 

‘Croeso’ sign, Tregaron

 

The National Eisteddfod has arrived in Ceredigion! Here’s a look at some of the past eisteddfodau held in Ceredigion with some interesting facts about them:

 

Aberystwyth, 1916

The Eisteddfod was held on the Vicarage Fields near the town.

The subject of the ode was ‘Ystrad Fflur’ [Strata Florida].  John Ellis Williams was the chaired bard and Hedd Wyn came second.

No crown was offered.

 

Cardigan, 1942

It was intended to hold the Eisteddfod in Carmarthen but due to the War it was held in Cardigan.

No one was worthy of the chair.

Crwys was the Archdruid.

Kate Roberts was the adjudicator of the short story.

 

Aberystwyth, 1952

The winning ode ‘Hands’ was by John Evans.

No bard was worthy of the crown.  The subject was ‘The creature’ or ‘Any Welsh legend’.  The crown is part of our exhibition ‘A Oes Heddwch: The Eisteddfod Tradition’.

Cynan was the Archdruid.

You can watch a record of this eisteddfod in a silent film which includes some prominent people such as T. H. Parry-Williams and Elfed.

 

 

Eisteddfod crown, 1952

 

Cardigan and district, 1976

This was a very memorable eisteddfod for several reasons – the celebration of the Eisteddfod’s 800th anniversary, the heatwave, the saga of the two ‘Spring’ odes and the great number of people who flocked there and broke a record.

Alan Llwyd won the crown for a sequence of around fifty verses on ‘Life’s Trials’ and the chair for his ode ‘Spring’.

The Royal Mail published commemorative stamps to note the anniversary.

 

 

 

Official programmes for the 1916, 1952 and 1976 eisteddfodau

 

 

Lampeter and district, 1984

John Roderick Rees  won the crown for his ode in free metre ‘Eyes’ about the decline of the countryside and a second crown the following year in Rhyl.  He was a Welsh teacher at Tregaron Secondary School and some of the pupils had the privilege of seeing the crown on his visit to the school.

Both chairs were presented to Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth, after his death.  They were designed by Kathleen Makinson.

J. Gruffydd (‘Elerydd’) was the Archdruid, one of a number of poets from Ffair Rhos.

 

Ceredigion, Aberystwyth, 1992

Gelli Angharad [Lovesgrove] near Aberystwyth was the location of the festival.

The present Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd was one of the adjudicators for the ode competition.  Idris Reynolds was the chaired bard.

Owen and Prys Edwards donated the crown.

The Archdruid was ‘Ap Llysor’ (W. R. P. George), nephew of Lloyd George.

Robin Llywelyn (Portmeirion), a former student at The Welsh Department, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, was awarded the prose medal for his novel Seren wen ar gefndir gwyn.  The novel was translated by him as White star in 2004.

The Youth Tent was called ‘GigioDigion’.

The children’s pageant was ‘Sethgwenwyn a’r Gwyrddedigion’.

‘Tic Toc’ was the rock opera.

‘The Eisteddfod’s big night’, ‘Llais y lli’, was held with former students Dyfan Roberts, Geraint Lövgreen, Mynediad am ddim and Myrddin ap Dafydd entertaining.

‘The Gorsedd, the Eisteddfod and the Library’ was our exhibition.

 

Ceredigion, Tregaron, 2022

After a long period of uncertainty the Eisteddfod is back.  Visit us at our stand on the Eisteddfod field to learn more about the history and culture of Tregaron.

I wonder what highlights and interesting stories will be a part of this long awaited eisteddfod?

 

 

Tent on the Eisteddfod field, Tregaron

 

 

The ‘Gorsedd’ stone circle, Tregaron

 

Ann Evans

Assistant Archivist

 

This blog is also available in Welsh.

 

Pronouns: why they’re important

News and Events - Posted 20-07-2022

The first meeting of the Library’s Gender and LGBTQ+ Forum was held recently as part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. This commitment is a core aim of the Library’s Strategic Plan for 2021-2026 and supports the Welsh Government’s well-being objectives. The Library exists for the benefit of all.

We look forward to sharing more of the Forum’s work in the future. Thanks to Llinos Evans of the Education Service for sharing their experience of working recently at the Urdd National Eisteddfod and the importance of pronouns.

 

I’m non-binary, which means that I don’t identify with the sex I was assigned at birth. Because my gender identity doesn’t relate to the traditional binary choice of ‘man’ or ‘woman’, I use the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’. If you identify with the sex assigned to you at birth, you are cisgender.

The culture now that everyone – cisgender and trans people – includes pronouns on, for example, emails or badges is becoming increasingly common and is to be applauded. In doing so, it normalises discussions about gender, and ensures that trans and non-binary communities are in safe spaces.

 

 

The Education Service attended the Urdd Eisteddfod this year but, for the first time, with badges stating which pronouns we prefer using when referring to ourselves (he/him, she/her, they/them). This is something simple and important that demonstrates our attempts to create a workplace, and a society more generally, that is more inclusive. A workplace that says no to transphobia.

From personal experience, it makes a difference knowing that I can be open about who I am in all aspects of my life. Whether you believe that pronouns are significant or not – remember, they are important and do make a difference.

 

Terms

  • Sex: people are assigned a sex based on the basic characteristics of sex
  • Gender: different to sex, gender is assigned through culture
  • Non-binary: people who do not see themselves fitting in to the choice of ‘man’ and ‘woman’
  • Trans: an umbrella term that represents people whose gender does not match the sex they were assigned at birth (non-binary/genderqueer/transgender).

Archiving ‘Sustainable Development and Wales’ websites

Collections - Posted 15-07-2022

Since the advent of Devolution in 1997, Sustainable Development has played a central and increasing role in the way Wales is governed and, as a result, the way that we live. In recognizing this importance, we have been archiving websites on Sustainable Development and the Environment since 2004. The collection now exceeds 700 websites and our next step will be making this valuable collection of websites accessible by creating a special collection on this most important field within the UK Web Archive

 

 

A complex blend of determinants contribute to the principle of Sustainable Development across Wales. For instance, our web archiving, and therefore the Collection, will focus on Conservation and protection and the work done conserving Wales’s ecosystems; Natural Resources and Energy and the focus on Renewable energy and Energy efficiency; Environmental protection and the work done on Waste management, Recycling, and Active travel. We will also cover ‘Environmentalism’, ‘Global Citizenship’ and ‘Climate change’ and list the plethora of websites showcasing Wales becoming a far more global responsible nation.

Wales became one of the first nations to have a constitutional duty on sustainable development. The websites that we archive show progress made in the deployment of renewable energy; energy efficiency; reducing fuel poverty; and transforming Wales into one of the top three recycling nations in the world. However, many websites from our past are no longer viewable on the live web but are accessible within the UK Web Archive. Our work also involves capturing current websites addressing Sustainable Development therefore ensuring this work is also captured for future generations.

As Wales is at the global forefront on legislation on sustainable development, we have many firsts. We became the World’s first Fair Trade Nation in 2008; we were the first Parliament in the world to declare a climate emergency in 2019. On top of that, a significant milestone was the passing of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 resulting in the Commissioner for Future Generations, a world’s first with statutory powers.

There is still much more to do to create a better future for our planet and far too much to list in a blog! However, a future ‘Greener Wales’ will see further cuts in carbon emissions; more active travel; ban on single use plastics; addressing diversity loss by creating a national forest; investing in the circular economy; establish world-leading renewable industries such as developing the marine energy sector in Wales. There’s also the legacy of Wales’ past; our disused coal tips will be made safer and our Agriculture sector will be supported to become more environmentally friendly.

It is a journey that we can be proud of and the landscape has been fast changing. Thankfully, our web archiving ensures this all-important journey and its ambitious programme is being documented and made accessible.

We are also reaching out. We will be seeking permission from website publishers to make their content more widely available. The UK Legal Deposit Libraries have been archiving UK websites with the caveat that this material is only available to view on Library premises. We will also contact interested parties to help us select websites for preservation to add to our expanded list of resources being preserved for the nation. You are most welcome to do this through the ‘Nominate a website’ page.

The ‘beta’ collection we are building is viewable from here. An additional blog will appear showcasing the progress we have made with the collection! In the meantime, here is a snapshot of ‘Recycle for Wales’, one of the first websites archived back in 2006!

 

 

 

Aled Betts,

Acquisitions Librarian and Web Archivist

Daniel Huws’ Remarkable Repertory

Collections - Posted 04-07-2022

 

The 20-22 June 2022 saw the official launch of a remarkable volume – Daniel Huws’ ‘A Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes c.800-c.1800’. As the most comprehensive and significant study of Welsh manuscripts for over a century, the volume was celebrated with a three day conference held at The National Library of Wales, ‘Welsh Manuscripts c.800-c.1800’.

Daniel Huws came to work at NLW in 1961 as an archivist and developed a keen interest in medieval manuscripts and scribes. He retired in 1992 and began working on the Repertory in 1996, with the project supported by The National Library of Wales and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. Now, as Daniel celebrates his 90th birthday, the magnum opus has finally been published. Along the way the work saw the input of several Welsh manuscript experts and scholars, including NLW’s Curator of Manuscripts, Dr Maredudd ap Huw, and Professor Ann Parry Owen of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies; but not least Gruffudd Antur, who contributed significantly to the volume.

 

 

L-R Maredudd ap Huw; Ann Parry Owen; Gruffudd Antur

 

During the opening ceremony, which saw a copy of the Repertory presented to First Minister Mark Drakeford, Daniel mentioned that Gruffudd’s input had proved invaluable to the point where he had become Daniel’s apprentice and co-author, even pointing out that Gruffudd’s nickname is now ‘Daniel bach’! Speeches acknowledging Daniel and Gruffudd’s amazing achievement were also given by NLW’s Chief Executive and Librarian, Pedr ap Llwyd; Elin Haf Gruffudd Jones, Director of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies; and the Library’s President, Ashok Ahir.

 

 

A copy of the Repertory being presented to First Minister Mark Drakeford

 

The Repertory will no doubt prove invaluable to the study of Welsh manuscripts and manuscripts connected to Wales, and their provenance, history, construction, and contents. Daniel has estimated that the volume includes the details of 3,000-4,000 manuscripts, many of which were of course featured and discussed throughout the three day conference. Papers encouraged a wide variety of discussion, with topics ranging from palaeography and codicology to linguistics and digitisation; and featuring medieval Welsh law, chronicles, poetry, miscellanies, genealogies, grammars, charms, psalters, chronologies, letters, and lists of place-names. Our three plenary speakers gave thought-provoking and interesting lectures, with Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan on medieval religious images; Bernard Meehan on the medieval Irish psalter; and Paul Russell on the works of Gerald of Wales.

 

 

Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan (pictured with Maredudd ap Huw) speaking on ‘Religious Images in Medieval Welsh Manuscripts’

 

 

 

Bernard Meehan, speaking on ‘Revealing the Psalter in Early Medieval Ireland’

 

 

 

Paul Russell giving the final lecture of the conference,  ‘In the Penumbra of the Repertory: Medieval Manuscripts from Wales’

 

The conference closed with a presentation of the Cymmrodorion Medal to Daniel Huws, a high honour so well deserved.

 

 

The Cymmrodorion medal ceremony

 

The Repertory has opened up the field of Welsh manuscript studies like never before, providing an unprecedented source for researchers. In the words of our final plenary speaker Paul Russell: the Repertory is not the end, it is just the beginning!

 

 

Daniel Huws and his Repertory

 

Lucie Hobson

Assistant Archivist

 

This blog is also available in Welsh.

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, William Williams, Pantycelyn and the Depiction of Slavery

Collections / Research - Posted 20-06-2022

Amongst the many printed works associated with William Williams Pantycelyn held by the National Library is a 1779 Welsh translation of A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince, as related by Himself originally published in English under the auspices of Selina Hastings, Lady Huntingdon in 1772. Gronniosaw’s Narrative is an important work, especially in terms of the development of early black biography. It was the first autobiography by a black author published in Britain and one of the earliest known examples of a slave narrative.

At first glance, that it was Williams Pantycelyn that was responsible for the translation and publication of Berr Hanes o’r Pethau Mwyfa Hynod ym Mywyd James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw makes sense. Williams Pantycelyn after all was responsible for the first printed condemnation of the slave trade in Welsh in the first volume of his Pantheologia, published in 1762. However, as a number of academics, most notably the African American literary critic Henry Louis Gates Jr., have noted there is no condemnation of slavery in Gronniosaw’s text, unlike later 19th century slave narratives. Indeed, according to Gates Jr.’s reading of the text one of the key threads throughout is Gronniosaw’s abandonment of his African heritage and his blackness as he seeks to become more European in order to gain acceptance in 18th century Anglo-American society.

 

 

Other readings argue that the text presents slavery in a generally positive, paternalistic light playing down its brutal reality. Gronniosaw’s initial enslavement is portrayed as saving him from being murdered; the horrors of the Middle Passage are absent, with only a reference to a mild bout of sea-sickness; it is through slavery that Gronniosaw is brought to a Christian country from a ‘pagan’ Africa; it is through slavery, and specifically through his final ‘dear kind master’ that Gronniosaw is converted to Calvinism. There is no explicit condemnation of the slavery as an institution, no meditation on the condition of being in bondage or on the morality of slaveholding. Indeed, the text can also be seen as making an implicit case for slavery as a path to conversion, an argument made by its editor Walter Shirley, Lady Huntingdon’s cousin, in the Narrative’s preface.

How then do we reconcile Williams Pantycelyn’s avowedly anti-slavery principles with the publication of a text which at best was ambivalent in its attitude to slavery? The same can, of course, be asked with regards to Gronniosaw, as a former slave responsible for the authorship the text. Recent academic work by the academic Ryan Hanley, focused on the religious, social and cultural milieu behind the original publication of the Narrative, may shed some light on these contradictions. As Hanley has argued the depiction of slavery in the Narrative was profoundly influenced by Gronniosaw’s relationship to evangelical Calvinism and its social networks. Hanley identifies a number of key factors that help explain the way slavery is depicted in the Narrative.

First, while the text is commonly read as a slave narrative today, on publication the Narrative’s function was primarily as a piece of devotional literature, forming part of a sharp, and by now obscure, theological debate on predestination and slavery conducted by pamphlet between the Calvinists and the John Wesley’s Arminian Methodists. The central focus of the Narrative is on Gronniosaw’s path to Calvinism, his conversion, his engagement with Calvinist circles and the comfort provided by his religious faith during his extremely challenging circumstances post-slavery. The Calvinist belief that a person’s fate in the afterlife was pre-ordained meant that their freedom in the physical world was of little importance in terms of their eventual salvation, which had significant implications for their views on slavery at this time. For proslavery Calvinists such as George Whitfield and Lady Huntingdon, as long as the gospel was being preached to their slaves they saw no obstacle to owning slaves, their spiritual wellbeing being of more importance than their physical freedom.

Second, there are issues related to Gronniosaw’s authorial agency, especially in relation to the texts’ muted depiction of slavery. A number of actors stood between Gronniosaw, the narrator, and the published text: an amanuensis, an editor and perhaps most significantly a patron, the slave owning Lady Huntingdon. An alternative reading by Jennifer Harris, however, makes the case for a higher degree of authorial agency, with Gronniosaw omitting key facts, such as his probable Islamic background in contrast to the depiction of a ‘pagan’ Africa, as a means of playing on European sympathies and prejudices.

Third, many of the people in this Calvinist social network, on whom Gronniosaw was, crucially, financially dependent upon at different times, were involved in the slave trade, including key figures such as George Whitfield and Lady Huntingdon. Indeed, Lady Huntingdon, the patron of Trefeca College, is key here with all the actors involved in the Narrative’s production, as Hanley points out, doing their upmost to please her. Williams Pantycelyn was also well acquainted with Lady Huntingdon, writing many of his English hymns at her behest and in relation to her influential role as the benefactor of Trefeca College

The religious, social and cultural environment in which Gronniosaw’s Narrative was produced provides important context in relation to its depiction of slavery. The primacy given to theological concerns and the role of Lady Huntingdon also provides similar context for Williams Pantycelyn’s role in the translation and publication of the Berr Hanes. However, questions remain in reconciling its muted depiction of slavery and Williams’ opposition to the slave trade and how these relate to the proslavery views of many in that periods Calvinist social network.

 

Dr. Douglas Jones

Printed Collections Projects Manager

 

Further reading

 

Evans, Chris – Slave Wales: the Welsh and American Slavery, 2010.

Gates Jr., Henry Louis – The Signifying Monkey, 2011.

Gronniosaw, James Albert Ukawsaw – Berr hanes o’r pethau mwyaf hynod ym mywyd James Albert Ukawsaw Groniosaw, tywysog o Affrica: fel yr adroddwyd ganddo ef ei hun, 1779.

Hanley, Ryan – ‘Calvinism, Proslavery and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw’, Slavery and Abolition 35 (2), 2015.

Hanley, Ryan – Beyond Slavery and Abolition: Black British writing, c.1770-1830, 2018.

Harris, Jennifer – ‘Seeing the Light: Re-reading James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, English Language Notes 42 (4), 2005.

James, E. Wyn – ‘Blessed Jubil!: Slavery Mission and the Millennial Dawn in the work of William Williams Pantycelyn’ in Cultures of Radicalism in Britain and Ireland, 2013.

James, E. Wyn – ‘Welsh Ballads and American Slavery’, Welsh Journal of Religious History 2, 2007.

James, E. Wyn – ‘Caethwasanaeth a’r Beirdd’, Taliesin 119, 2003.

Potkay, Adam and Sandra Burr – Black Atlantic Writers of the 18th Century: Living the New Exodus in England and the Americas, 1995.

Schlenther, Boyd Stanley – Queen of the Methodists: The Countess of Huntingdon and the Eighteenth-century Crisis of Faith and Society, 1997.

Tyson, John R. – ‘Lady Huntingdon, Religion and Race’, Methodist History 50 (1), 2011.

Welch, Edwin – Spiritual Pilgrim: A Reassessment of the Life of the Countess of Huntingdon, 1995.

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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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