Symud i'r prif gynnwys

MANUSCRIPTS OF SIR KENELM DIGBY In the first number of the Journal it has been suggested that the copy of the magnificent Great Bible' of 1539, which came to the National Library from the collections of William Watkin Edward Wynne of Peniarth, was formerly in the library of the celebrated Sir Kenelm Digby (1 603-1 665 D.N.B. xv, 60). Further support is given to this belief by the presence among the Peniarth manu- scripts of a number of volumes which bear direct evidence that they were in the latter's possession and which doubtless shared, in the main, the history of that Bible. Of these the foremost in personal interest and association is the famous Journal of a Voyage into the Mediterranean, 1627-1629 [Pen- iarth MS. 417] in the autograph of Digby himself, wherein he gives an account of his privateering expedition to that Sea with the intention of seizing French ships in the neutral Turkish harbour of Scanderoon [Alexandretta] and restoring British power in the Levant. The journal is already well-known through the edition which was made from this manuscript by John Bruce for the Camden Society in 1868. Still more celebrated perhaps than Digby's warlike exploits is his great romance with the playmate of his childhood, Venetia Stanley, which he has immortalised in his own private memoirs. His great love for that lady was accompanied by a pride in the ancestry of his beloved one, concerning whose high birth he could boast that she was born of parents that in the antiquity and lustre of their houses, and in the goods of fortune, were inferior to none in all Peloponesus [Great Britain]."1 Tangible evidence of this sentiment is to be found in another Peniarth MS. [No. 444], entitled A Discourse of the Pedigree of Percy's and Stanley's." It contains notes on early members of the Percy family followed by genealogical tables showing the descent of Venetia and the sons of her marriage with Digby from the two noble houses of Percy and Stanley. The careful and neat handwriting of the manuscript is not that of Digby, but his is the signature and auto- graph inscription- Stemmata quid faciunt?-Nobilitas sola est, atque unica, virtus '-on the title page. The manuscript also bears marks of Digby's friendship with Ben Jonson in a copy of some verses of the poet to Digby's three sons Kenelm, John and George at the end of the volume. Further poignant proof of Digby's devotion to his wife is furnished by another Peniarth MS. [No. 503]. It is a copy of a sermon preached on the first anniversary of Venetia's death, 2 May, 1634, with correct- I Private Memoirs (London, 1827), p. 13.