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· Llymma ddewis bethau Gwr: nid amgen,
Saith Gomp à ddylai vód ar wr :
Athraw yn ei Dy;
Deuddeg Gair Gwir:
These are the choice things of man:
his Fire bright,
The Seven Excellencies which a man ought to possess.
Twelve true Words :
Wyth ddoeth ymadrodd y byd sydd ddoetha'.
OF THE POETS, MUSICIANS, HISTORIANS, AND HERALDS. ACCORDING to the Welsh, the Metrical Bards were divided into three Classes; and the Subje&s they treated of were as follows.
To Sue for, or Intreat; the other's Extempore, to excitemirth
and laughter with their witty quibbles.”.
(To Reproach. + r Saith briv Addysg ; neu, Saith Vreiniol Gelvyddydau :
The Seven Liberal Sciences.
* This satyrical poet generally touched upon, and corrected, in sharp and invective verse, the vices of men, and of the times;
OF THE METRICAL BARDS, MUSICIANS, HISTORIANS, HERALDS, &c,
The Teulúwr, Family Songster, or Bard ✓ To dwell with, and to solace his patron; that is, to divert and of
whose pro- enliven the time by mirth and pleasantry. To infuse liberality, fession required the following branches : (to receive guests, and to solicit, in a polite
and becoming manner. * The province of the Domestic Bard is wit ; he expresses, in most facetious verse, those things in particular which excite laughter and delight beyond expectation, by some happy double entendre. It is commonly called Canu Digriv-gerdd, a 'Theftynniaw trwy eiricu ammwys, ae ymddyvalu yn ddigriv gwers trá gwers; that is, to compose songs of mirth, to pun with equivocal words, and to characterize in dialogues. The poets of this class composed as well extempore, as in writing. They also fang love songs, or Amatory verses, in every kind of metre, with delicacy and elegance, without giving offence ; such as honeft arguments, tales of lovers, and married folks ; and are called Canu Cerdd o gariad, tieu Gordderch-gerdd ; that is, to sing courteously, to sing of love, or to wooe.
To Teach aright :
His three (To Satirize without ribaldry :
Excellences To Commend a married woman without obscenity : Prydydd, a Bardd; or a Poet,
Land to Address a Clergyman suitable to his calling, . and Bard t; whose occupation He was to commend a pleasant disposition of mind; to praise Liberality; was versifying, &c. to which
and to celebrate the Science of Music, and the Art of Poetry. appertained the following bran
To delight his hearers; to oppose the bitter Invective of the Clerwys; ches; viz.
and to avoid satirizing any other person. To be obedient, liberal, chalte, and to make himself perfectly beloved.
He was to avoid steadily the seven deadly fins; which are, Extortion, Theft, Pride, Fornication, Gluttony, Indolence, and Envy; because these
things destroy the Genius, Memory, Imagination, and fame of the Bard. Prophetic, consisting of verses that foretel events, or foothsaying; and by those who, conceiving in their minds divine impulses,
think they foresee things that will happen, called Propbwydoliaeth, or Darogan. Such Metaphysicai,
are the compositions of those whom we call Myrddin Wyllt, Myrddin Emrys, 'Taliefin, chief of the Bards; and that, either
Rhobin Ddů of Anglesey; Rhys, the Bard, &c.
Theology was also recited in every kind of verse, whatever relates to God, and the knowledge of things divine. This is termed Canu i Dduw a'i Saint, ac o Ddaioni, ac yn erbyn pechawd; to sing of God and his
faints, in praise of good, aud detestation of evil; as are the Poems of John Cent, Cynddelw, Teilo, Taliesin, &c. History was recited in all kinds of verse; and comprized the actions, together with the praise, or censure of noble persons. These poets are vulgarly called Pos-veirdd.
Heraldic, which describes the pedigrees and genealogies of noblemen and gentlemen, together with the arms and bearings upon their dreffes and standards ; what different actions they have themselves performed, and the quarterings received from others; that the rewards of their merits, after the custom of the ancients, which were heaped upon them as ornaments of praise and glory, or on account of their own valour, or that of their ancestors, may be known and ascribed to their respective
The poets that record this subject, and bestow these rewards, are called Arwydd-veirdd, or Heraldic Bards; who should be well skilled in the genealogies of kings, and in the histories of the three primitive Bards of the island of Britain.
Elegiac, mournful, or Songs of Lamentation, or Sorrow, in which the Welsh, at their funerals, lament the loss of the deceafed. This is commonly called Cerdd Marwnad, and Cywydd, neu Awdl Marwnad, neu Alar-gerdd. Epitaphical, is also placed on the monuments of the dead, to commemorate, or as an encomium on them; and that is called Bedd-gerdd, or epitaph.
Ethic, and Gnomologic, in which not a few moral precepts, or laws are written by the Bards, in rhyming verses.
Mathematical, in which many things relating to Geometry, Music, Arithmetic, Astronomy, and Astrology, are celebrated by the Welsh Poets, and Bards.
Physiological, in which discourses are made of nature, in Welsh poetry: not a few of our countrymen have handled these matters in their native tongue, which are commonly called Cerdd anianawl. Georgical, in which many
of our poets have treated of fishing, hunting, agriculture, together with the times, and seafons of country matters; and of Mechanical employments.
Neither have there been wanting among the Welsh, ancient poets in the comic, tragic, buffoon, and medical, line ; mapy of whose works are still preserved by our countrymen in ancient manuscripts. They have also written innumerable works of Welsh poetry not to be despised, many of which still remain among us.
By these things, it appears, Clerwriaeth, the calling of an Itinerant Musician. that there were three branches Teuluwriaeth, the calling of a Family Musician, or Bard of Domestic manners. of Vocal Song ; which are, (Prydyddiaeth, the calling of a Pcetical Rhapsodist.
Prydydd, a Poet; The three Edifying Songsters were, Bardd, a Bard;
Hanesydd, an Historian. Three things are the effects of an edifying song : it cherishes the mind ; increases the memory and affection, and suppresses evil thoughts.-
There were three frivolous Clerwr, the low Itinerant Minstrel : Songsters, Pseudo Bards, or Bardd y Blawd, the Meal Minstrel : Minstrels :
Húdawl, the Juggler, or performer of Legerdemain. And the consequences of these trifling Songsters, or Minstrels were; their songs being vulgar, and defective of sense, tended to corrupt morals and increase fin,-Trandated from Dr. 7. D. Rhys's Welsh and Latin Gram,
Of the Various Degrees of Bards, Musicians, &c *.
Priv-vardd; the Primitive order, Inventive, or Chief Bard;
Arwydd-vardd; the Enfign, or Heraldic Bard. Whoever
would be a herald Bard, should be well versed in the HifBardd Caw; a
tories and Genealogies of Kings, and Princes; and entirely hwnw o dri
acquainted with the excellencies of our three Primary Bards; rhyw; fer
such as, Myrddyn Emrys, Myrddyn ab Moruryn, and Taliesin Telynawr;
Pen Beirdd; and in the science of Heraldic Bardism, or perCrythawr ;
fect skill with respect to the ensigns, arms, families, and The four
Datceiniad : noble deeds of the princes, and nobility of Wales.
The Poet, or
And of the above, he that is called Cadeirvardd, or Pencerdd, (i. e. Chaired Bard, or Chief Bard,) is such as wears on his breast the Ariandlws; which is in the form of a chair of gold, or silver, or a jewel of a harp, (the reward of merit,) as a token of distinction of his being a graduated Teacher, or a Doctor of Musict; of which, fee a delineation of two of them in page 89.
eight orders of Musicians : viz.
The four Inferior orders, NonGraduates, or Minstrels, viz.
And the fee of each of these four Minstrels was a penny, and they were to perform standing
* Cambrobrytannica Cymraecave Lingua Inftitutiones, by Dr. John David Rbys, pp. 146, 147, and 303.
+ Michael Drayton, in Song the IVth of his Poly-olbion, elegantly and faithfully records the various personages concerned in the Eisteddvod, or Congress of the Bards, where they contended for the prize :
'Mongst whom, fome Bards there were, that in their sacred rage
Moft skilfully will make, as though from Art they took. From the Druids, Bards, and Ovyddion, the above various Orders originated; which again were corrupted, particularly among the English, and branched into a variety of other profeflions ; , such as Minstrels, Jefters, Boffoons, Magicians, Con. jurers, Fortune-tellers, and Witches.
FRANCHISES OF THE BARDS.
The following were the Fees, or Donations, appointed by the Statute of Prince Gruffydd ab Cynan, about A. D. 1100, to be given to all the Bards, and Musicians, according to their different degrees, by all his Subjects and Vaffals who possessed an estate by inheritance of Five-pounds a year, and upwards. In another · MS. I find it was regulated, that only One should go to a person whose domain was Ten-pounds a year, and Two to a Yeoman, who had Twenty-pounds a year; and, according to that proportion, to a person of a higher rank. Fees at each of the three
Fees at common '
Wed- Fee for a Pedigree of a
Fees at Royal dings, Wakes, and Cylcbe Bride and Bridegroom, Fees for a Poem.
Clera, or Clera Circuits, at their Wedding.
once io three years. Pencerdd, neu Vardd. XL pence, and XL perce; and if
LXXXI pence, and Head Bard, Chief Bard, or some gift extraor. appointed Cyff Clêr XXIV pence.
if a Teacher, he
was to have a gar-
medal, or any other
XII pence, his
XL pence for his
Cowydd. or XXVI. Disciple discipled :
pence. Disgybl ysbás Graddol; Probationary Student,or the XIl pence. lowest class of Graduates :
No fixed salary, but Disgybl y bás beb Rádd, or
the good will of the Under-Graduates :
Cyff Cler; the butt, or object of ridicule, being always chosen out of the most witty & satiricalChief Bard;
If he went with Il pence; but if he
musical peregrina- of only one of
Y Clérwyr, the Provincial, or Itinerant Bards, were to have a Penny* for every plough ; that is, for every day's tilling that a layman did on his farm : and, where money could not be had, they were to recover by distress of goods.
Here follows, a part of The Statute of Prince Gruffydd ab Cynan t, by the consent of the Sovereign of the kingdon, with full licence, namely, that there should be privileges for the profesion of Vocal Song, and
for Instrumental Music of the Harp, and of the Crwth, to enjoy Five free acres, which are called Pump erwrydd Beirdd a Chantorion. ( By erw, here is not meant an acre of land, &c. but the appropriated time wherein the Bards were to go about their Clera, or Musical Circuit, and is called ewr-rydd, because they were at liberty of so doing within the limited time :) viz. ist, ewrorydd, from Christmas-day to the Purification of the Virgin Mary : 2d, from Easter day to Ascension-day: 3d, from Whitsunday to Súl y Creiriau, or the Sunday of Relicks : 4th, when a gentleman built a mansion-house, he was to give fees to all the Bards within his province, according to their degrees ; but this building-fee was afterwards an rihilated by consent of the gentry, and another, at their annual Wake, constituted in its place: 5th, at Weddings, or the gift of a Virgin ; • and, if she married a second time, then the musicians received no fee.”
And of the three sciences above-mentioned, namely, Vocal Song, Harp Music, and Crwth Music, there are three degrees in each ; that is to say, Graduated, or highest order; the Discipline; and the lowelt, or Inferior Minstrelly.
• It will be necessary to observe that the comparative value gue Inflitutiones, a very rare book, written by Dr. John Davydd of a penny, in the year 1100, was equivalent to 10 pence now. Rhys, of Llanvaethlu, in Anglesey, printed in 1592, and page
It was incumbent on every teacher to have a copy of 295. He took his Doctor's degree at Sienna, but was educated this regulation, containing the Laws of the Bards, to thew at Oxford. He returned to his own country, where he prac. to his disciples, when they came to receive his instruction in tiscd with great success. At the request of Sir Edzard Strada Lent, &c. Prince Gruffydd ab Cynan, the law.giver and re-ling, of St. Donat's, he composed his book. He tells us, he forrner of the abuses of the Bards, died A.D. 1137, (accord wrote the firlt part at Mr. Morgan Maredydd's, in Radnorshire:
ing to Caradoc of Llanccrvan's Hilory of Wales.) after he had the rest at a place of his own in Breckrock hire, as he says, at į reigned above fifty years.--1 he above extracts of the Statute the age of feventy, and under the thade of a hawthorn grove,
of Prince Gruffydd ab Conan aretransated from a parchment roll Ville his Preface, and Pennant's Tour in Wales. ---See farther in the Athmolean Museum, Oxford ; from a manuscript in particulars of the renenue of the B.:rdi, in the preceding any colleation ; and from Cambrobrylannica Cymraerave Lin. Ipage 27, &c.
The following curious and concise memorandums of several of the Bards, and of what they have written, were transcribed from a manuscript at Mr. Evan 'Bowen of Pen yr Allt, in the parild of Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, and now first translated into English. The original appears to have been written by the celebrated Herald Bard, Rhys Cain, about A.D. 1570.
« Richard Brocleton, one of the council for the Marches of John Wyn, ab Griffri, of Montgomeryshire, gent. wrote the Wales, wrote the History of all Britain ; searching the records History of all Wales ; and his books are, as far as they go, good in the Tower of London for what was lost amongst the Bards. authorities to all Wales; I have fome of them that may be içen.
George Owen Harry, Lord of Kemeys, in Pembrokeshire, (or Robin lachwr, or the Genealogift, of North Wales, about
John Lewis, efq. barrister at law, wrote the History of Great was a good recitative Poet, good vocal Songster, and well
Ieuan Llwyd, ab Davydd, ab Sión, esq. wrote of all Britain. lellion, to be seen at this day.”
There are several Welsh manuscripts of Bonedd y Saint, ac Thomas ab Llywelyn, ab Ithel, of Bôd-Vary, Denbighshire, Achau'r Saint Ynys Prydain, or the noble descent and genealogies wrote the History of all Britain.
of the Saints of the British Isle, who were the original founders John, ab William, ab John, gent. of the same county, wrote of Churches, and religious houses in Britain, which still go by the History of Britain,
their names. There is also a Latin manufcript of the Lives of Of the county of Glamorgan :
the Welsh Saints, in the Cotton Library, marked Vesparian, A. Sir Edward Mansel. knight, wrote the History of the Inand XIV which is said to be written by Rythmarch, archbishop of of Britain, and other countries.
St. David's, the son of bishop Sulien, about the year 1090. He Sir Edward Stradling, knight, wrote the History of Great was a man of the greatest piety, wisdom, and learning, that Britain, &c, about 1500; and I received from it much infor- had flourished a long time in Wales, excepting his father, mation.
under whose tutelage he was educated Rhys Ambeuryg, of Cottrel, gent. wrote concerning all Bri r Grëal, which implies a Miscellany, or a Collection. St. tain ; his book is one of the fairest and most intelligent works Gregory, and others, call it Sain Gröal, or St. Grëal. This in Wales ; and he communicated much to me.
Holy Colle&tion of Legends, was an ancient Book of divers AnecAnthony Powel, of Tîr Iarll, gent. wrote of all Britain, and dotes, or Stories, written in Welsh ; which I have formerly other places ; he was a learned Poet, and a Chief Bard. een, (fays my author Lewis Morris,) at Hengwrt Library, in
Hywel Swrdwal, Master of Arts, and a chief of Song, wrote Meirionethshire, very fairly written on vellum, containing 560 the History of the Three Principalities of Wales, from Adam, pages in 4to. And there is another copy of the fame book in to the first king, in a fair Latin volume ; and from Adam to Sir Roger Mostyn's Library. Vincentius, in his Specul. Hir. the time of king Edward the I.; also, he wrote a Welsh Chro- mentions the fame book of histories, and says it was called nicle, which is now with Owain Gwynedd, Chief Batd, and Gröal from a Gallic word, (Welsh, I suppose, Gradalis, or Gra. a teacher of his science.
dule, fignifying a little dish, where some choice morsel was Lewis Morganwg, Chief Bard, wrote the History of the put ; and that it was not to be found in Latin,
but common Three Provinces of Wales, in a liberal manner. And Meyryg in Gallic. Dr. Davies, in his Dictionary, says, Grëal is a cerDavydd, and Davydd Benwyn, Bards, of Glamorgan, had his tain Historical Book, containing various Histories; and that books, which were valuable, and well written.
it was very difficult to be got, because it was so scarce.- "On Howel Davydd ab Ieuan nb Rhys, M. A. a Poet, and chief all the parchments of Emrys, room could not be found for all Bard, wrote the History of all Britain, in Latin ; and of the the information of this man; his reports were to us in lål, Three Principalities of Wales, in Welsh; and his books were like those of the Grëal, &c.” L. M. the Bard, says this to well writien, and valuable.
Elise ab Gr. ab Einion, who was uncommonly versed in hifleyan ab Hywel Swrdwal, A M. wrote a fair book in Welsh, tory In Mr. Edward Llwyd's Archeologia Britannica, p. 262, of the Three Principalities of Wales, from the time of Cad- it is titled Floriae Saint Grëal; and in the British Triads, No. walader, to that of king Henry the VI.; and was a Primi- 61, it is called Ystoria y Grëal. In an ancient table, once belongtive Bard of transcendent merit.
ing to Glastonbury, this work is quoted : Ac deinde fecundum quod Tolo Góch, A. M. and Chief Bard of North Wales, wrote of legitur in libro quo dicitur Graal. Joseph ab Arimathea, &c. the Three Principalites of Wales. He was one of the most Úser prima, p. 16, Dublin edition. Capgrave, in the Life of celebrated Bards, of the Primitive Order, that ever was known. Joseph of Arimathea, quotes a book : Qui fan&um Graal ap
Guttyn Owen, Chief Bard, of Maelawr, wrote an account of pellatur, &c. the Three Principalities ; and thofe are very perfect, and Anian, bishop of Bangor, about the year 1291, procured a fairly written.
commission from Chancery, to enquire into the tenures of the leuan Brechva, of Deheubarth, in South Wales, wrote a well- bishoprick : which survey is called The Bishop's Extent Book, authenticated History of the Three Provinces; and His books and is still in being. He also drew up, as I judge by agreeI have seen with Hugh ab Davydd, of Kidwelly, gent. and I ment of his clergy, (that feening to have been part of the received in them, from that gentleman, a great deal of valu-acts consented to, and determined at his ecclefiaftical fynod, held able information. May God bless him!
at Llanvair Garth Branan,) a Milsal, çr Pontifical, for the serDavydd ab Edmund, who won the Bardic Chair of South vice of his church and diocess; which Misal I take to be one Wales, in a Royal Congress of Bards; he was a native of of those diverfities or uses in singing, heretofore observed and Hanmer, and wrote an account of the Three Principalities, practised in our church, and taken notice of in the Preface, or as appears by his books.
Order, which follows the Acts of Uniformity, printed before Gutto 'r Glyn, Chief Bard, and one of the Bards of William 'our Liturgy, or Common Prayer Book. This Misal was loft Herbert, earl of Pembroke, wrote liberally of the Three Prin- in the troubles in Wales, in the reign of Henry IVth; and cipalities, which was well approved.
again in the time of the great Rebellion; afterwards it was Davydd ab Howel, ab Hozve! ab Evan Vychan, Chief Bard, happily recovered, and restored to the church, where it ftill wrote of the Three Principalities ; and his books are far and remains. This Pontifical
, or Liber Bangor, is a small folio of a valuable. (Probably this was Prydydd Brycheiniog, who fou- moderate thickness, and contains 32 offices, and has abunrished about 1440.)
dance of Anthems, with mufical notes to them for singing.Howel ab Sir Mathe, wrote a History of all Britain, and his The generous care and industry of Sir William Gruffydd, books are to be seen with me, (Rhys Cain ;) they are fair, or Penrhyn, knight, and chamberlain of North Wales, about valuable, and intelligent.
the year 1523, who preserved the ancient records from peGruffyd Hiraethog, chief Bard, and deputy Herald at Arms; rishing, by collecting as many of them as he could retrieve for all Wales, under Garter ; wrote a History of all Britain, from moth and corruption ; and then caused those scattered and other countries. Among his disciples were. Simwnt Vychan, rolls and fragments to be fairly written by one Jenkyn Gwyn, chief Bard; Wiliam Llyn, chief Bard; Wiliam Cynwal, chiet in two large volumes of parchments, for the information of Bard; and John Philip, chief Bard. I have his Books, which posterity: One whereof, is that book kept always in the are fair, and valuable.
Chamberlain's office, called, The Extent of North Wales ; and the John Brwynog, chief Bard, of the ide of Anglesey, wrote other he tranimitted into the Auditor's office at London, where the History of the Three Principalities ; and his books are it is preserved to this day.. Also, Sir Fobn Wynn, of Gwydr, fair and perfect.
bad formerly a copy of The Extent of Norile Wales.--E.