Symud i'r prif gynnwys

to be drown'd or slaughtered.'103 Burning with anger and resentment, he defiantly declared in August 1791: '[I] shall no longer plant, build, and drain boggs, up to the middle in mud, to serve tyrants.'104 For at least two years he had come to believe that social and economic salvation lay across the Atlantic in the land described by Dr. Richard Price as 'the asylum of liberty'.105 Like many contemporary myth-makers, William Jones was a zealous believer in the irresistibly attractive and powerful fable that Madog, son of Owain Gwynedd, had planted a colony in America in the twelfth century and that his descendants, the Madogwys (Padoucas), had miraculously preserved their language and liberty as 'a free and distinct People' who had 'not bent their knee to Baal, nor sold their Birthright for a Mess of Broth'.106 By this time Dr. John William's seminal work, An Enquiry into the Truth of the Tradition concerning the Discovery of America by Prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd about the Year 1170, and the visit of the colourful but mendacious Cherokee chieftain, William Augustus Bowles, had reduced leading members of the Gwyneddigion Society and their correspondents to a state of febrile excitement. William Jones even went so far as to claim that either Madog himself or some of his adventurers had gone on to discover Mexico and Peru: 'Mango Capae', he wrote of the first Inca of Peru, 'sounds very like ap Madog, & Mango by a very easy transition becomes Madog'.107 The very existence of the Madogwys, men and women who had successfully fled from Anglo-Norman oppression in Wales, fuelled Jones's hopes and dreams of creating a better life for his embattled countrymen in America. At the Llanrwst eisteddfod in June 1791 he distributed copies of an eloquent address, bearing the title 'To all Indigenous Cambro-Britons', the gist of which was that oppressed tenant farmers and impoverished craftsmen were duty-bound to pack their bags, quit Wales and sail for the Promised Land. 108 'This country', he informed William Owen Pughe in January 1792, 'is the paradise of the wealthy Drone and the purgatory of the laborer, America the contrary. '109 But for a haemorrhage in his throat which left him enfeebled, l0,N.L.W. MS. 1806E, f. 782. IMN.L.W. MS. 13221E, f. 343. 1050. O. Thomas, Response to Revolution (Cardiff, 1989), p. 75. ,06N.L.W. MS. 1806E, f. 780. For the background, see G. A. Williams, Madoc, passim, and The Search for Beulah Land: The Welsh and the Atlantic Revolution (London, 1980). I07N.L.W. MS. 1806E, f. 780; 13222C, ff. 219-21. In November 1794 Jones informed Edward Jones: 'Those Incas had a private Language which none understood but themselves; and as many words as are preserved of it are genuine British!' (N.L.W. MS. 323E, f. 3). ""N.L.W. MS. 13221E, ff. 339-42. '"N.L.W. MS. 13222C, f. 287.