Symud i'r prif gynnwys

4OLD BRECKNOCK CHIPS." A Column of Antiquarian Chit-Chat relating to the County of Brecknock. NOTES, QUERIES, AND REPLIES, on Subjects inter¬ esting to Breconshire, must be addressed EDITOR, Brecon County Times, Brecon. Real names and addresses mast be given in confidence, and MSS. mast be written legibly, on one side of the paper only. JANUARY 14th, 1887. NOTES. THE LARGEST AEMY THAT EVER CAME TO BRECKNOCK.—After the Earl of Richmond had met the Welsh chieftains at Milford Haven, and his claim to the throne had been espoused by the most powerful Welsh Baron of those days (Sir Rice ap Thomas, a brave chieftain in South Wales, and ancestor of the present Earl Cawdor) we read:— Every man buckeled on his armes, and betook him to his weapons, clapping their hands and crying out, afresh, King Henrie, King Henrie, none but Henrie should be their King ; soe they f ell upon their march, the Earle as was resolved before, towards Cardigan, and Rice ap Thomas towards Carmarthen. The Earle having taken leverie and seisin of parte of his kingdom, and no we in the wave of possessing him¬ self of the whole, Rhys ap Thomas forthwith commanded the beacons to be sett on fire, therebie to give notice to all the countries adjacent, of his landing, and withaU to summon his friendes and kinsmen from aU partes where his power was extended, to come in with their forces, and meete him, some in one place, and some in another, on his way to Shrewsburie. By the time he came to Carmarthen, his number was much increased, from thence to a place called Llanymddyfri [Llandovery], he goes, his sr.oweball gathering more and more in the rolling, and soe to Brecknocke, where divers of the Vaughans and the Gramses gave him the meeting, men of noble families and verie powerfull in those countries, with many tall and able followers ; some, as being his neare kinsmen and fast friends, doing him the honour to go along with him in his brave adventures. When Rice ap Thomas was come to Brecknocke his traine was growne soe long, that it was high time to cut it shorter, the companie that foUowed him growing cumbersome ; for 'tis almost incredible, with howe muche earnest affection from aU quarters they came to him, even women and children, to their power expressing as much courage and resolution as the "tallest souldier there, to undergoe the service. The document then goes on to recount how Rice ap Thomas pruned down this " cumber¬ some companie " and after addressing his great army at Brecknocke, we read : The residue of his followers went away home weU satisfied, yet shedding abundance of teares, and fiUing the aire with dolefull lamentations at his departure. It is matter of history, and needs not recap¬ itulation, that the result of all this loyaltie and patriotism, was the Battle of Bosworth Field. The fate of the largest army that ever came to Brecknock was quite different to that which befell the largest army that ever left Brecknock (that headed by the un¬ fortunate Duke of Buckingham.) Jarco n. OLD DAVID WATKINS, the BRECON HARPER.—I take the following account of this old Brecon worthy from the Life of Carnhuanawc, by the late Jane Williams, " Ysgafell," vol. n., page 21 :— Old David Watkins played on the single-stringed harp, an instrument in form resembling the others. He lived in Llanfaes, in Brecon, and when I was a boy at the College School, about the year 1805, I began to learn the harp of him. The first thing he taught me was to place my fingers on the strings to make the four chord notes of the octave, viz., o b d g, placing the three fingers and thumb on those strings', leaving a string untouched between each finger, and two strings between the fore finger and thumb * * * As old David Watkins played a good deal for danc¬ ing, his harp was not furnished with pegs of the usual make, but the strings were fastened in the sounding board with Gwrachod or angular pegs the nose of each being close to the string which it fastened, giving it a jarring sound, which produced a good effect in a dancing tune * * # # The first tune I began to learn on the harp from old David Watkins was Butter and Pease, in Welsh Pys a Menin; and Theophilus Jones, author of the History of Breconshire, told me that when he was young he learnt to play the harp, and that he learnt the same tune, Butter and I'ease. The Editor. CHRIST COLLEGE IN 1698.—We are indebted to Hugh Thomas, The Breconshire Herald, for a description of Christ College as he saw it standing before his gaze in the year 1698 :—King Henry VIII. by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of England bearing date the Nineteenth of January in the Two and Thirtieth year of his reign,did ordain and appoint that there should be for-ever to con¬ tinue Divine service in the Church of this dissolved Priory, a Lecture of Divinity and Free Grammar Sehool, and that there should be answered and paid £53 yearly to the School Master and Reader of the Divine Lecture for the Time being, and united the said College of Aberguilly with all the Lands and Tenements thereunto belonging, as also the Prebends and Parsonages, and all the Prebendaries, Parsons, Canons, Choristers, and other Ministers thereunto belonging to Christ's College of Brecknock, as more at large appears by the aforesaid Letters Patent. In this state it nourished until the time of the Usurper, Oliver. Then it was seized upon by the Parliament and sold, and after in an unhappy Law Suit between two persons that challenged it, almost utterly destroyed: there is yet to be seen the Ruins of a Sumptuous Church, the Chancel of it is yet standing, and was first Repair'd by Bishop Lucy, and is kept in very good repair by the present Bishop of St. David, and is now the fairest Church of its bigness within the whole Borough ; the School also was at the charge