Poetry in Prose

Reference: Cwrtmawr MS 114B

This manuscript came to the National Library as part of J H Davies’s (1871-1926) collection from Cwrtmawr, Llangeitho after his death. He notes that he received the manuscript as a gift from Edward Owen from the India Office in 1901. According to Daniel Huws most of the manuscript is in the hand of John Hughes, a priest who ministered either in Caernarvonshire or in Anglesey during the 17th century.

The manuscript’s contents

In the first part of the manuscript the majority of the texts are religious: prayers, psalms and other parts of the scripture, ‘Ystori Peilat’ and ‘Buchedd Marged’. In the second part there is a collection of prose and cywyddau including works by Dafydd ap Gwilym and Dafydd Ddu o Hiraddug.

The manuscript also includes a copy of ‘Ymddiddan Tudur a Gronw’ by the clergyman Robert Holland (1556/7-1622). Holland was born in Conwy and he spent the majority of his life ministering in parishes in Pembrokeshire. His essay is an argument against conjurers and wizards which was originally published in 1600, and which reflects the age’s interest in witchcraft. Also included is a list of weather prognostications based on the phases of the moon, and popular superstitions connected to New Year’s Day.

Further reading

  • Daniel Huws, Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes (Draft 2007), [Copy in the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth].

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