Symud i'r prif gynnwys

RICHARD DAVIES, WILLIAM CECIL, AND GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS In an article, published in this Journal, vol. II, p. 8, there is printed a letter from Richard Davies, Bishop of St. David's, to Archbishop Parker, dated 19 March, 1566, in the course of which the bishop writes For all suche olde monumentes as we had W Secretary hathe them ii yeares ago, some he had of W Chauntor (Thomas Huett, precentor of St. David's 1560-1591) and some of me weh we had of our owne store but in the library of St Davides there is none at all. he had of me Geraldus Cambrensis, A Cronicle of England the author unknown, and Galfridus Monemutensis." It is gratifying to record that the first of these MSS. returned to Wales and is now N.L.W. MS. 3024 (Mostyn 83), which contains copies of the two famous topographical treatises of Giraldus, Itinerarium Cambriae and Descriptio Cambriae The Librarian has drawn my attention to an inscription at the foot of the first page of this MS. Gulielmi Cecilii ex dono Rich Daviss in Cecil's hand. Cecil has also made a few notes in the early pages of the book and on p. 37 writes in the lower margin Seissill calling attention to the name Seissill filius Eudaf in the text. This, then, is beyond question the copy of Giraldus which was given to him by Richard Davies in 1564. The MS. is of great interest on other grounds, both for the history of these two works of Giraldus and for the different owners through whose hands it passed. Giraldus was a restless corrector of his own works and both these books exist in more than one edition, the Itinerarium in three recensions, the Descriptio in two. In this MS. the two texts appear in the third and second editions respectively. These editions of the two texts have been known hitherto in only one medieval MS., Cotton MS. Domitian I, a MS. of the thirteenth century (see Dimock, Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, Rolls Ser., vol. vi, pp. xv, xxviii). This book had been in Welsh hands in the sixteenth century, for it belonged to Sir John Price, the first great collector of MSS. of Welsh interest after the Dissolution, and has many notes in his hand; after his death (1555) it appears to have been in the possession of his son Richard Price (cf. op. cit., p. xi, note) from whom no doubt it came to Dr. John Dee who has annotated it. Probably Sir John showed it to his friend John Leland who has made a note on f. 137. Another MS. exists, however, of this form of the two texts, a transcript made in the late sixteenth century from a lost medieval MS. possibly representing the last corrections made by Giraldus to these favourite works of his. This is the Royal MS. 13 B. xii (Dimock's Rd). The present MS. is clearly the medieval original from which this transcript was derived. The MS. was written probably about the year 1400, no doubt in Wales. It was certainly in that country in the middle years of the fifteenth century as certain inscriptions attest. On p. 150 (reversed) appears, in an engrossing script with an elaborate form of capital G, the name Geraldus followed by the scribal inscription "Quod Dauyd Nan[mor] and on p. 130 the name Gwenn Or dol written in the same elaborate decorative script (see Plate III). This is the well-known bard Dafydd Nanmor (eire. 1420 — circ. 1485), whose sobriquet is derived from the village of Nanmor in the parish of Beddgelert. Towards the middle of the fifteenth century Dafydd