Fonds GB 0210 MSCEIRIOG - Ceiriog manuscripts

Identity area

Reference code



Ceiriog manuscripts


  • 1827-[?1933] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

42 volumes.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Ceiriog Hughes, poet, was born John Hughes in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Denbighshire, on 25 September 1832. At a very young age he had poems published in the periodical Baner Cymru and edited a poetry column in Y Greal. His first poetical mentor was Robert Ellis (Cynddelw). In 1849 Hughes moved to Manchester, obtaining a job as goods station clerk in London Road. The young man soon entered the circle of influential Welsh literary figures living at that time in Manchester, a circle which included William Williams (Creuddynfab), Robert Jones Derfel and John Jones (Idris Fychan). It was R. J. Derfel who taught Hughes the value of Wales, the Welsh language and its poetical tradition and it was under his influence that Hughes added 'Ceiriog' to his name. Idris Fychan passed on to Hughes his love of collecting Welsh airs and melodies, a practice which Hughes kept up throughout his life. His poetical and other works were published in several volumes, beginning with Oriau'r Hwyr (Ruthin, 1860). Cant o Ganeuon (Wrexham, 1863) was a collection of Welsh airs to which he had added words of his own composition, effectively rendering the airs into songs. The composer Brinley Richards included Hughes's words to music in his Songs of Wales (London, 1873). In 1865 Hughes returned to Wales and took up the post of station-master at Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, transferring in 1870 to Tywyn, Merioneth. In 1871 he was appointed railway inspector on the newly-opened line between Caersws, Montgomeryshire, and the Van lead mines near Llanidloes. He died in 1887 and was buried at Llanwnog, Montgomeryshire. A collection of Hughes's last poems, Yr Oriau Olaf, was published by Isaac Foulkes (Llyfrbryf) in 1888. Ceiriog was survived by his wife Annie Catherine Hughes (née Roberts, d. 1931), who he had married in 1861, and four children.

Archival history

NLW MSS 15599-15601: Purchased by Delia Ceiriog Evans from an unidentified seller (cf. NLW MS 17527B, ff. 57-70).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

NLW MSS 4551-4553: David Jones, JP; Liverpool; Donation; October 1920.
NLW MS 5400A: Mrs Delia Ceiriog Evans, daughter of Ceiriog; Donation; October 1927.
NLW MS 5559B: Mr R. Barrow Griffith; Barmouth; Donation; May 1927.
NLW MSS 10165-10195: Mrs Delia Ceiriog Evans; London; Purchase; October 1935.
NLW MSS 15599-15601: Mrs D. Ceiriog Evans; Aberystwyth; Purchase; December 1947.
NLW MS 17527B: Mrs Victoria Decima Evans, daughter-in-law of Mrs D. Ceiriog Evans (per Mr Ffransis G. Payne, MA, FSA, St. Fagans); Penarth; Donation; December 1960.
NLW MS 21620B: Mrs Phyllida Lindsay, great-grand-daughter of Ceiriog; London; Donation; April 1979.
NLW MS 24172D: Mr Gareth Vaughan Williams; Wrexham; Donation; April 2021; 991110928602419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers, 1827-[?1933], of or relating to John Ceiriog Hughes (Ceiriog), including autograph poetry, 1857-1887; a diary, 1886; correspondence, [1852x1855]-1913, comprising letters addressed to Ceiriog, [1852x1855]-1887, Ceiriog's letters to his wife Annie, 1860-1861, letters from Ceiriog to Nicholas Bennett and others, 1856-1887, and correspondence of Annie Hughes and Delia Ceiriog Evans, 1871-1913; and volumes of press cuttings, 1827-[?1933], including poetry by Ceiriog and obituaries and tributes to him.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 4551-4553, 5400A, 5559B, 10165-10195, 15599-15601, 17527B, 21620B, 24172D.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

NLW MSS 10165-10195: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961), pp. 193-198.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

See also NLW MSS 239B, 307B, 585B, 7381B, 9019C, NLW Mân Adnau 193, NLW Facs 259 and Bangor, Bangor University, Archives & Special Collections, BMSS/4895.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.


NLW MSS 10165-10195 formerly Ceiriog MSS 1-31.


In a letter, dated 12 November 1947, to the Librarian at NLW, Delia Ceiriog Hughes confirms that her Father had 'a disastrous fire in the little room where he kept his precious papers', accounting for the condition of NLW MS 15601E and possibly suggesting the loss of other papers.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

August 2008-March 2022.


  • English



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961); Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig hyd 1940 (London, 1953); Hywel Teifi Edwards, 'Hughes, John [pseud. Ceiriog]', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifan for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Bethan Ifan and Rhys Jones.

Accession area

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