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What became of the affrighted ploughman-whether he was left on the field when the oxen set off, or whether he followed them to the lake has not been handed down by tradition; neither has the fate of the disconsolate and half-ruined husband been kept in remembrance. But of the sons it is stated that they often wandered about the lake and its vicinity, hoping that their mother might be permitted to visit the face of the earth once more, as they had been apprised of her mysterious origin, her first appearance to their father, and the untoward circumstances which so unhappily deprived them of her maternal care.
In one of their rambles, at a place near Dôl Howel, at the Mountain Gate, still called "Llidiad y Meddygon" The Pysicians' Gate, the mother appeared suddenly, and accosted her eldest son, whose name was Rhiwallon, and told him that his mission on earth, was to be a benefactor to mankind by relieving them from pain and misery, through healing all manner of their diseases; for which purpose she furnished him with a bag full of Medical Prescriptions and instructions for the preservation of health. That by strict attention thereto, he and his family would become for many generations the most skilful Physicians in the country. Then promising to meet him when her counsel was most needed, she vanished. But on several occasions she met her sons near the banks of the lake, and once she even accompanied them on their return home as far as a place still called "Pant-y-Meddygon" The dingle of the Physicians, where she pointed out to them the various plants and herbs which grew in the dingle, and revealed to them their medicinal qualities or virtues, and the knowledge she imparted to them, together with their unrivalled skill soon caused them to attain such celebrity that none ever possessed before them. And in order that their knowledge should not be lost, they wisely committed the same to writing, for the benefit of mankind throughout all ages.
And so ends the story of the Physicians of Myddvai, which has been handed down from one generation to another, thus:
"Yr hên wr llwyd o'r cornel,
The grey old man in the corner,
As stated in the Introduction of the present Work, Rhiwallon and his sons became Physicians to Rhys Gryg, Lord of Llandovery and Dynevor Castles, "who gave them rank, lands, and privileges. at Myddvai for their maintenance in the practice of their art and science, and the healing and benefit of those who should seek their help," thus affording to those who could not afford to pay, the best medical advice and treatment, gratuitously. Such a truly Royal Foundation could not fail to produce corresponding effects. So the fame of the Physicians of Myddvai was soon established over the whole country, and continued for centuries among their descendants.
The celebrated Welsh Bard, Dafydd ap Gwilym, who flourished in the following century, and was buried at the Abbey of Tal-yllychau, in Caermarthenshire, about the year 1368, says in one of his Poems, as quoted in Dr. Davies' Dictionary.
"Meddyg ni wnai modd y gwnaeth
A Physician he would not make
As Myddvai made, if he had a mead fostered man.
Of the above lands bestowed upon the Meddygon, there are two farms in Myddvai parish still called "Llwyn Ifan Feddyg," the Grove of Evan the Physician; and "Llwyn Meredydd Feddyg" the Grove of Meredith the Physician. Esgaer Llaethdy, mentioned in the foregoing Legend, was formerly in the possession of the above descendants, and so was Ty newydd, near Myddvai, which was purchased by Mr. Holford, of Cilgwyn, from the Rev. Charles. Lloyd, Vicar of Llandefalle, Breconshire, who married a daughter of one of the Meddygon, and had the living of Llandefalle from a Mr. Vaughan, who presented him to the same out of gratitude, because Mr. Lloyd's wife's father had cured him of a disease in the eye. As Mr. Lloyd succeeded to the above living in 1748, and died in 1800, it is probable that the skilful occulist was John Jones, who is mentioned in the following inscription on a tombstone at present fixed against the west end of Myddvai Church.
Lieth the body of Mr. David Jones, of Mothvey, Surgeon,
He died Septemder 14th, Anno Dom 1719, aged 61.
JOHN JONES, Surgeon,
Eldest son of the said David Jones, departed this life
of his Age, and also lyes interred hereunder.
These appear to have been the last of the Physicians who practised at Myddvai. The above John Jones resided for some time at Llandovery, and was a very eminent surgeon. One of his descendants named John Lewis, lived at Cwmbran, Myddvai, at which place his great grandson Mr. John Jones, now resides.
Dr. Morgan Owen, Bishop of Llandaff, who died at Glasallt, parish of Myddvai, in 1645, was a descendant of the Meddygon, and an inheritor of much of their landed property in that parish, the bulk of which he bequeathed to his nephew, Morgan Owen, who died in 1667, and was succeeded by his son, Henry Owen; and at the decease of the last of whose descendants, Robert Lewis, Esq. the estates became through the will of one of the family, the property of the late D. A. S. Davies, Esq. M.P. for Caermarthenshire.
Bishop Owen bequeathed to another nephew, Morgan ap Rees, son of Rees ap John, a descendant of the Meddygon, the farm of Rhyblid, and some other property. Morgan ap Rees' son, Samuel Rice, resided at Loughor, in Gower, Glamorganshire, and had a son, Morgan Rice, who was a merchant in London, and became Lord of the Manor of Tooting Graveney, and High Sheriff in the year, 1772. and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Surrey, 1776. He resided at Hill House, which he built. At his death the whole of his property passed to his only child, John Rice, Esq. whose eldest son, the Rev. John Morgan Rice, inherited the greater portion of his estates. The head of the family is now the Rev. Horatio Morgan Rice, Rector of South Hill, with Callington, Cornwall, and J.P. for the County, who inherited with other property, a small estate at Loughor. The above Morgan Rice had landed property in Llanmadock and Llangenith, as well as Loughor, in Gower, but whether he had any connexion with Howel the Physician, (ap Rhys ap Llywelyn ap Philip the Physician, and lineal descendant from Einion ap Rhiwallon,) who resided at Cilgwryd in Gower is not known.
Amonsgt other families who claim descent from the Physicians were the Bowens of Cwmydw, Myddvai; and Jones of Dollgarreg and Penrhock, in the same parish; the latter of whom are represented by Charles Bishop, of Dollgareg, Esq. Clerk of the Peace for Caermarthenshire, and Thomas Bishop, of Brecon, Esq.
Rees Williams of Myddvai is recorded as one of the Meddygon. His great grandson was the late Rice Williams, M.D. of Aberystwyth, who died May 16th, 1842, aged 85, and appears to have been the last, although not the least eminent, of the Physicians descended from the mysterious Lady of Llyn-y-Van.
§ 1. Yma gan borth duw goruchel bendeuíc, y dangossir y medegynyaetheu arbenníckaf a phennaf wrth gorff dyn; a sef y neb a beris eu hyscrivennu yn y mod hwn Riwallawn uedíc ae ueíbon nyt amgen: kad gavn a Gruffud ac Einavn. Kanys vynt a oedynt oreu a phennaf or medygon yn eu hamser hwy; ac yn amser rys gryc eu harglwyd; ac arglwyd dinefér, y gwr1 a gedwis eu breint ac eu dlyet yn gfbyl vrthunt yn enrydedus mal y dylyynt
Ac y sef achats y parassaut húy ysgríuennu eu kywreinrýydd yn y mod hýnn rac na bei a wypeí gystal ac a wydynt hwy gvedy vy.
§ 2. Ac or peth pennaf a chyntaf ar a ffurueidvys duw o gorff dyn y penn yý hýnný kanys ynda y mae y pump synnýyr corff.
§ 3. Tri lle yn y penn y megir cleuydyeu: un y y tonn; Eil yý y acreuan; Trydyd yý y greadur.
1 Ai hwy, T.
$ 4. O agori1 ar y penn hyt y creuan, a gollýng y gýenvyn y gvaredír y greuan. O waet a llosceu y gvaredír y
S 5. O agori ar y greadur ac yna kymryt y deuparth or danhogen ar trayan or violet; ac emenyn hallt; ac eu maedu ygyt. ae dodi vrthaý. A hynny a diwennýyna y greadur. Or kyuyt llit a gúenýwyn yndi.
6. Or pan agorer2 ar y tonn hyt ympenn y navuet dyd y byd yvíst3 ar y ascórn: sef y gýneir hynny o hen gleuyt penn.*
§ 7. O dyrnaýt newyd neu urath newyd ar y penn goreu yý bo kyntaf y diotter. rac dygŵydaý gvaet ar y greadur ae uervi yno. Or pann diotter yr ascórn y ar y greadur; kymryt y uiolet ac emenyn gyyry ae maedu y gyt; ac ony cheffír 5 y uiolet, kymryt gýynn ýy a llin, ac eu maedu ygyt; neu emenyn gvyry a llin; ac eu dodi vrthav yn y donneuher ac yna' gýneythur eli o lysseu ac emenyn a gyer ac eu dodi vrthav yn y bo íach. Punt yw dylyet y medíc or gveíth 8 hýnný yn y trugared heb y ymborth; neu nav ugeint ae ymborth.
§ 8. Rac gvaev llygat: llosc ym pant yr ael ac arall yn y wegil: a hyny rac gylybýr 9 y penn yssyd da.
§ 9. Rac llygeit coch glyboravc,10 dodi magyl dan y dvy en, a llosc yn y wegil. a hynny rac gýlybýr y penn yssyd da.
§ 10. Rac sychgeruyn. kymryt sud y syuí, a blonec íar, ac emenyn mei ac eu maedu ygyt, ac eu dodi y myýn corn: a phan elych y gysgcu; irav dy lygeit ath amranneu 12 yn da. ac vynt a uydant íach.
§ 11. Tri ryý ysgyueint yssyd. ysgyueínt 1 st, a gwynn ysgyueint1; a gvaev dan y dýyuronn. ac y dan yr adein. ac