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The Man who put Wales on the map


Exhibition to commemorate leading Welsh Renaissance figure

This August sees the 450th anniversary of the death of Humphrey Llwyd (1527-1568), credited by some as the inventor of Britain. To mark this anniversary The National Library of Wales will be mounting an exhibition to show some of his works and explain his many achievements.

Llwyd’s many achievements include, producing the first published map of Wales as a country, translating the early Welsh chronicle the ‘Brut y Tywysogion’ into English, helping to steer the Bill for the translation of the Bible into Welsh through Parliament, fostering the idea of Wales as a nation, popularising the story of Prince Madoc’s discovery of America and coining the phrase British Empire.  In addition to all this he also indirectly helped to create one of the core collections of the British Library, the Royal Collection, through his work collecting books for his patron the Earl of Arundel.

During his life he was described as “the most famous antiquarius of all our country” and his biographer Anthony Wood described him as “a person of great eloquence, an excellent rhetorician, a sound philosopher, and a most noted antiquary, and a person of great skill and knowledge in British affairs.”  Saunders Lewis described him as “one of the most important of Welsh humanists and a key figure in the history of the Renaissance in Wales”.

Huw Thomas, Map Curator at the Library said:

“Humphrey Llwyd is one of the most underrated figures of the Welsh Renaissance. In particular he is the father of Welsh cartography and so it is appropriate for us to commemorate this anniversary here at the Library where we hold such an important collection of his works.”

The exhibition, Humphrey Llwyd the man who put Wales on the map, runs from the 20th to the 31st of August and will be held in the Library’s Summers Room exhibition space, it is free of charge.

Further Information

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