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it was imported into France from Wales, or Brittany seems certain; but it is difficult to ascertain how far the references to 'Trystan and Essyllt' in existing Welsh literature are founded on genuine native traditions. What excites suspicion is that the Welsh allusions connect the story with that of Arthur, while, according to all other evidence, the Tristrem romance had originally nothing to do with the Round Table cycle, into which it was afterwards attracted. The forms under which the names of the hero and heroine appear in Welsh certainly seem more original than the French forms; but neither Trystan' nor Essyllt' can be a native Welsh name, and it is not easy to see how they can be anything else than Celtic corruptions of the Norse Thorsteinn and A'shildr. The occurrence of personages with Scandinavian names in Welsh legend is, however, in the present state of our knowledge, a wholly inexplicable phenomenon." Will some reader of the Red Dragon-a magazine which has done, and is doing such excellent work in enlightening English readers on points of Welsh scholarship and lore—tell us the true Welsh derivation of either "Essyllt" or "Trystan," or both?
FRIEND OF WALKS.
SIR CHARLES MORGAN.-On June 2nd, 1782, thirteen British officers-Earl Ludlow, Sir Charles Morgan, Captains Eld, Greville, Asgill, Perrin, Saumarez, Coote, Graham, Barclay, Arbuthnot, Hathorn, and another, name unknown-who had been taken prisoners with the army serving under Earl Cornwallis in the previous October, were ordered by General Washington to draw lots as to which of them 'should be executed in retaliation for the execution of a rebel captain by a Royalist officer. The lot fell on Capt. Asgill, who was, however, subsequently saved through, it is believed, the intervention of the French Queen, Marie Antoinette. Was not Sir Charles Morgan one of the Tredegar family? Can any of your readers give me particulars of him?
SAADIE.-I should much like to be furnished with particulars of the life and poems of Miss Williams, a Welsh lady, who wrote under the name of "Saadie." i Carno, Montgomeryshire. M. E. M.
[Some correspondence has already appeared on the subject. See viii., 406; x. 466.-Ed. Red Dragon.]
GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS.-Has any portrait been preserved of this great Welsh ecclesiastic?
MAESALEG.-What is the interpretation of this word, which is the name of Ivor Hael's place in Monmouthshire, where the Welsh Petrarch, Davydd ab Gwilym, found a hospitable home? The modern appellation is Bassaleg (locally pronounced Bazelick) I find.
CEUBREN YR ELLYLL-In some " Literary Recollections I read the other day, by Mr. James Payn, the English novelist, I remember the writer finding fault with nature (or it may have been history) for copying events which had previously been evolved from the imagination of the fictionist. I think (but am not quite positive) that Mr. Payn instances the disappearance of the "Lost Sir Massingberd" into the trunk of an old oak tree, where, in after years, the body was found, and the awful mystery attaching to the man's fate was cleared up, as having occurred first in his own novel, and that such an event did not actually take place till long afterwards. Will you allow me to point out to Mr. Payn and his readers that in the throwing of Hywel Sele into the oak for his treachery to Owain Glyndwr the English romance was anticipated in Welsh history by at least 450 years? Cardiff.
JOHN PENRY'S PEDIGREE.-Can any of your genealogical readers supply me with what must be considered a very important omission from Theo. Jones's History of Brecknockshire? Some members of the Penry family, I know, are mentioned by Jones, but strange to say, Jones has not a single word about the "Breconshire Martyr" and his family! BRECONIENSIS.
AN OLD IRON FURNACE AT BRECON.-At the end of the Priory Walk, Brecon, where it descends to the river, is a ruined iron furnace, now overgrown with ivies and brushwood. The in-slant of the walls to the hearth is supported by three girders above each of the two openings. Of these the upper ones cannot be less than fifteen feet long. Each casting bears the date 1720. It would be interesting to know the history of this furnace, and where castings of such size were made in 1720.
T. H. THOMAS.
THE DONNE MSS.-In the preface to the Iolo MSS. the editors return their acknowledgments to Mr. Mathew Donne, of Lantwit, for the service he had rendered them. I have been told that Mr. Donne was a remarkable genealogist, and that he had in his possession a most valuable collection of manuscripts relative to the families of Glamorganshire. It would be interesting to know what became of this collection.
PRESTATYN-PRESTEIGN.-Are these two towns identical?
THE WELSH SCHOOL IN GRAY'S INN LANE.-Parry (Cambrian Plutarch) makes frequent reference to this institution as the repository of several invaluable MSS. -those of the laws of Hywel Dda and of the twenty-four canons of music and poetry adopted at the eisteddfod of Gruffydd ab Cynan in 1100. What has become of the School? Is any history of it extant?
THE NAME LLEWELYN.-Some writers have maintained this to mean "Lionenemy." Among these I include the Latin translators, whose version is "Leolinus." Are they right or are the older writers, who almost invariably give the word Llywelyn?
TAD LLEWELYN EIN LLYW OLAF.-Gruffydd, the father of the last native Prince of Wales, was the illegitimate son of Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, who was married to Joan, sister of Henry III. of England. Llewelyn ab Iorwerth and Joan had a daughter Gwladys married to Sir Ralph Mortimer, who thus became legitimate heir to the throne of North Wales. Is the name of the illegitimate Gruffydd's mother known?
WELSH NAMES OF STREAMS.-There is a most interesting discussion on Cymric river names in Isaac Taylor's Words and Places. Our local rivers are the Loughor; the Lliedi (on which Llanelly stands); Gwendraeth (or Gwendreath with some, which is correct?), Dafen, Gwili, Morlais, and Amman. Will Mr. Bowen Jones, or some other friend better versed in the vernacular than I, interpret? Some of these names, at all events, date back hundreds of years, and may, for what we know, throw a gleam of light on the great natural disturbances which characterise portions of Carmarthenshire.
WELSH MSS.-Mr. W. W. Mansell states, in his History of Maunsell, Mansell or Mansel-"Ab Iolo (the late Mr. Taliessin Williams of Merthyr Tydvil), the bard and Druid, had in his possession a MS. book, entitled Margam, copied by his father, Iolo Morganwg, from various collections. Hugh Thomas, in his collections for Welsh pedigrees, Harl. MSS., No. 6870, copies from Mr. Mansel's Green Book, without stating where the original was to be found; nor am I aware that it is in existence, unless it be the volume of pedigrees in the possession of Lord Cawdor, at Golden Grove. In the same way Iolo Morganwg may have transcribed the book Margam." Can any of your correspondents say, (1.) whether the MS. referred to of Iolo Morganwg is now ir existence; (2.) If the MS. of Lord Cawdor is among the MSS. at the Public Record Office? A description the result of a brief examination-of Hugh Thomas' MSS. appeared in Bye-gones (Dec. 8th, 1886). Some account of the other two would be interesting.
"LETTERS FROM SNOWDON" (xi.—176).—The author of these "Letters a certain Joseph Craddock. Who he was I do not know, but he claimed to be of a distinguished Welsh descent. "Ieuan Brydydd Hir," in his preface to his poem,
The Love of our Country" (1772: Printed by J. Ross, Carmarthen), speaks of the author of these letters as a "despicable scribbler," but that he was not. certainly was a master in the art of writing good English, and possessed a freedom and freshness of style which a writer of repute might envy. Withal, he is wonderfully modern-both in his language and ideas. These "Letters" were considered by nearly every Welsh writer of the days in which they were issued to contain an attack upon the Welsh. This again is not at all true; the writer only described exactly what he saw in his travels. He found the people dirty in habits and morose and uncivil to strangers; and he told the world so in very pungent language.
T. C. EVANS.
THE BURIAL OF KING ARTHUR (viii. -408, 511; xi.-184).—" Blackletter Folio," quoting from the Annales de Marjam with respect to "The Burial of King Arthur," translates thus :-" The bones of the renowned Arthur, formerly King of Britain, were discovered in a very ancient sarcophagus; near which stood two pyramids, on which were inscribed some letters; but which, on account of their barbarous and uncouth form, could not be read." So good a scholar knows the account our English chronicler William of Malmesbury gives of these antiquities without doubt; but some readers of the Red Dragon may be interested with the following extract (from Dr. Giles' translation), from that chronicler's account of Glastonbury :-" In the meantime, it is clear that the depository of so many saints may be deservedly styled an heavenly sanctuary upon earth. There are numbers of documents, though I abstain from mentioning them from fear of causing weariness, to prove how extremely venerable this place was held by the chief persons of the country, who there more especially chose to await the day of resurrection under the protection of the mother of God. Willingly would I declare the meaning of those pyramids, which are almost incomprehensible to all, could I but ascertain the truth. These, situated some few feet from the church, border on the cemetery of the monks. That which is the loftiest and nearest the church is twenty-eight feet high, and has five storeys; this, though threatening ruin from its extreme age, possesses nevertheless some traces of antiquity, which may be clearly read, though not perfectly understood. In the highest storey is an image in a pontifical habit. In the next, a statue of regal dignity, and the letters Her Sexi and Blisperh. In the third, too, are the names Pencrest, Bantomp, Pinepegn. In the fourth, Bate, Pulfred, and Eanfled. In the fifth, which is the lowest, there is an image, and the words as follow-Logor, Peslicas, and Bregden, Spelpes, Highingendes Bearn. The other pyramid is twenty-six feet high, and has four storeys, in which are read-Kentwin, Hedda the bishop, and Bregored and Beorward. The meaning of these I do not hastily decide, but I shrewdly
conjecture that within, in stone coffins, are contained the bones of those persons whose names are inscribed without. At least, Logor is said to imply the person from whom Logperesbeorh formerly took its name, which is now Montacute. [Hundred of Tintinhull, near Yeovil.] Bregden, from whom is derived Brentknolle* and Brentmarsh; Bregored and Beorward were abbots of that place in the time of the Britons," &c. The learned translator says in a foot-note, "The Saxon mode of interment appears frequently to have been under pyramids or obelisks. See Anglia Sacra, ii. 110." It appears, however, from the text that this custom was of British origin. Probably the pyramids spoken of in the Annales de Margam are the same that puzzled William of Malmesbury, and were incomprehensible to all, near the church, but bordering on the monks' cemetery, although, if I remember aright, Giraldus would lead us to infer that Arthur's grave was inside the sacred edifice; but in this I may be mistaken.
HY. G. BUTTERWORTH.
DAVY JONES'S LOCKER (xi.-183).-Dr. Brewer is responsible for the following:-"He's gone to Davy Jones's Locker; i.e., he is dead. Jones is a corruption of Jonah the Prophet, who was thrown into the sea. Locker, in seamen's phrase, means any receptacle for private stores; and Duffy is a ghost or spirit among the West Indian negroes. So the whole phrase is, 'He is gone to the place of safe keeping, where Duffy Jonah was sent to The same Davy Jones, according to the mythology of sailors, is the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep, and is seen in various shapes warning the devoted wretch of death and woe. [See Peregrine Pickle, xiii.]" I do not myself altogether feel satisfied with this explanation.
HY. G. BUTTERWORTH.
The Mirror of April 14th, 1831, gives the following curious version of the origin of this saying:-"A figure was seen standing on a precipice as the waters of the Flood were rising, which waved its hand regularly-the waters rose and the figure disappeared. Noah, looking from the deck, was shortly afterwards hailed by the same person amidst the roar of the elements. "Quite full!' exclaimed the patriarch, as the ark lurched deeply. Full!' exclaimed the voice, which was now close alongside. 'Ah! Morgan Jones, is that you? We are quite full.' 'Then take care of this packet; as for myself never mind, but take care of the packet.' The packet was carefully handed aboard, the eyes of Morgan Jones saw the patriarch receive it into his own hands, when the huge ark gave a terrific lurch, and hitting poor Morgan, he sank under the counter, was thumped by the keel, and was seen no more; but the packet was received and proved to be his pedigree from Adam."
GEO. H. BRIERLEY.
[Mrs. Helen Watney is thanked for a similar reply.]
MARI LWYD (xi.-184).-The Rector of Llanmadoc in his admirable Historical Notices of West Gower says: "It is not unlikely that this curious custom of going about at Christmas time with the horse's head may be some allusion to the birth of our Saviour in the stable at Bethlehem." The custom, he also observes, is not peculiar to Wales.
A PUZZLE (xi.-184).-This appears in a last century volume of the Town and Country Magazine, though I have failed to hit upon it in a search just made. It is there also stated to be taken (I think) from a church in Wales. The sixth letter in the top line should be Y, not T. That "it remained half a century before it was discovered" does not reflect creditably on the acumen of our ancestors; but it must be recollected that we look down from the intellectual height of "wordcompetition" days.
* Brentknoll, which is nearly one thousand feet above sea level, is said to be celebrated for the exploits of Wessex's King, Alfred the Great, is in the parish of East Tront. where dwells that renowned and courageous pillar of the Church, the Ven. Archdeacon Denis n, and would to heaven we had more like him!
The inscription to which Mr. Owen alludes was given in the Mirror, September 15th, 1827, but the locality was not stated. The sixth letter in the top line should be "Y" instead of “T,” and then by the insertion of the vowel "E" where required, the lines will read :
"Perɛevere ye perfect men,
THE WELSH HISTORICAL TRIADS (xi.-88, 187).-In addition to the answer given to your correspondent "W.M.T." by Helen Watney, may I add the following interesting remarks on the origin and nature of the Welsh Triads, taken from the Cambro-Briton (vol. I.) :
GEO. H. BRIERLEY.
"Of all the ancient documents of Wales, the Triads, so peculiarly national, must be admitted to be the most deserving of our attention. And those which are called 'Historical,' or 'Triads of the Isle of Britain,' are particularly valuable, as well from their antiquity as from the interesting events to which they relate. The peculiarity of their construction, ignorantly assumed by some as a ground of objection, is amongst the most satisfactory proofs of the venerable authenticity of their origin. Their very defects too, such as the want of dates and connection, bear ample testimony of the early ages which gave them birth. And if to these be added the obscurity, or, it may be said, total inexplicability, of the terms used in some of them, little doubt can remain as to the remoteness of the era to which they may generally be ascribed. Nor will it weaken this conclusion to observe that in many of them, as noticed by a learned and ingenious writer,* are contained doctrines totally at variance with our Divine religion, and which accordingly appropriate such to a period at least antecedent to the establishment of Christianity in this island.
"From this general allusion to the authentic character of the ancient Triads it may be worth our while to turn to a more particular, though to a brief, examination of their acknowledged origin. It is then to the Bardic or Druidical institution, as it primitively existed in this country, that we must assign their first introduction. The encouragement of oral tradition, whether by songs or aphorism, formed a principal characteristic of that celebrated order. It was in this manner that they recorded the most memorable events of their country, and so it was that they preserved for after-times their own rules and doctrines. Poetry had thus for ages anticipated the functions of history, and in the Triads were embodied whatever might not admit of diffusion in the strain of the bard. These unwritten records again, being regularly recited at the bardic assemblies, were maintained for centuries in their original, or very nearly their original, purity. The art of memory was thus reduced to a practical system, and it cannot be denied that the form of the Triad was most happily chosen for the purpose. Its conciseness, its simplicity, its general uniformity, at once point out its advantages as the vehicle of traditional knowledge. And it deserves also to be remembered that the number three has from the earliest times been held in particular veneration, and it may have been on this very account-or, as has been justly observed, because it forms a kind of limit to the natural power of repeated exertion, an idea so far at least founded in nature as to have become a favourite with the poets of all ages.' The sect of Pythagoreans, in particular, with whom the Druids are presumed by some to have borne a resemblance in more points than this, regarded the Triad as the first perfect number, and gave this as a reason for their triple libations as well as for the tripod, from which were delivered the Oracles of Apollo.
"The Triads, thus originating, continued to be in use during a long succession of ages, until the extinction of Bardism, varying, therefore, in their antiquity from the most distant times down to those which are commonly called historical, and even so far as the twelfth century. These interesting remains may be classed under the various heads of history-bardism-theology-ethics-and jurisprudence-exclusively of those that relate in a more especial manner to language and poetry. Of the historical, some are purely so; and others blended with fable, yet, even in this view, conveying much curious tradition."
The collection of Triads is contained in the third volume of that valuable
* Sketch of the Early History of the Kymri.—Rev. Peter Roberts.