The Cwrtmawr Manuscripts

This is John Humphreys Davies (1871-1926), Cwrtmawr’s personal collection. He was Principal of University College, Aberystwyth and one of The National Library’s greatest benefactors.

The Contents of the Cwrtmawr Manuscripts

The collection includes the manuscripts of:

  • John Jones (‘Myrddin Fardd’; 1836-1921)
  • Peter Bailey Williams (1723-96)
  • William John Roberts (‘Gwilym Cowlyd’; 1828-1904)
  • Daniel Silvan Evans (1818-1903)
  • the Richards family, Darowen

 

The first part of the Cwrtmawr manuscripts was transferred to The National Library in 1925 (MSS 1-50), and the rest (MSS 51-1492) were transferred following the death of J H Davies in 1926.

Amongst the manuscripts there are works by:

  • Elis Gruffydd, ‘The Soldier from Calais’ (c. 1490-c.1552) (Cwrtmawr MS 1D)
  • William Salesbury (c.1520-?1584) (Cwrtmawr MS 3B)
  • Richard Robert Jones (‘Dic Aberdaron’; 1780-1843) (Cwrtmawr MSS 50E, 677B, 831A)
  • John Harries (died 1839), the soothsayer from Cwrtycadno (Cwrtmawr MSS 97A)
  • Robert Roberts (‘The Great Scholar’; 1834-85) (Cwrtmawr MSS 131-2B, 133-4A, 135B, 136C, 138A, 139B, 741C)

Bibliography

For descriptions of the individual manuscripts see:

  • MSS 1-50:J Gwenogvryn Evans’s catalogue, Report on Manuscripts in the Welsh Language (London, 1898-1910), vol. II, pp. 871-937
  • MSS 51-1000: four volumes in typescript A Catalogue of the Cwrtmawr Manuscripts (1980, 1993, 1994, 1996)
  • 51 musical manuscripts collected by J H Davies are listed in A Catalogue of the Cwrtmawr Music Manuscripts (2004)

Other manuscript collections

In addition to the collections that are incorporated in the NLW Manuscripts series there are other collections of manuscripts that are of similar significance kept alongside relevant archives such as

  • Bodewryd
  • Porkington
  • Chirk Castle
  • Powis Castle
  • Wynnstay