Publisher and plunderer?: Sir John Prise and the first Welsh books

31 January - 27 June 2015

Sir John Prise was one of Wales’ foremost Renaissance figures. He amassed a superb personal library of printed books and manuscripts, including the earliest manuscript in Welsh, the Black Book of Carmarthen. He also adopted new technology to publish the first Welsh printed book – Yny lhyvyr hwnn – in 1546.

This exhibition will look at the life and work of a remarkable “Tudor Man”, and will attempt to reconcile his cultural interests with his turbulent role of persecuting heretics, dissolving monasteries and pleasing his ruthless task-masters, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII. This will be a rare opportunity to view monastic plunder which fell into Prise’s hands, treasures which, for a while, will be released from their chains at Hereford Cathedral Library.

The National Library of Wales Renovation Programme

The North Reading Room will be temporarily closed as a Reading Room from 22 May 2019, and its services will move to The South Reading Room. Find out more on our Building Works page.