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Texts on astronomy

Latin texts in prose and verse, the bulk of the contents relating to astronomy. There are numerous coloured sketches and diagrams.

Aratus, Solensis

Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin

A collection of Welsh poetry, compiled by one scribe during the mid-thirteenth century, containing verse composed at various times during the period between the eighth and thirteenth centuries.
The volume includes triads (p. 27), religious and vaticinatory poetry, eulogies, elegies and numerous poems relating to the Myrddin Legend.

Leges Hywel Dda

A Latin text of the Laws of Hywel Dda, being one of the earliest, by a single scribe and dating from the mid 13th century.
The notes on a piece of paper pasted onto the inside the end cover which is now partly perished have been transcribed by Gwenogvryn Evans. There is also a loose piece of paper of modern date at the end of the manucsript with Latin words and numbers on both sides.

Llyfr Aneirin

  • NLW Llyfr Aneirin (Cardiff MS 2.81)
  • File
  • [13 cent., second ½]

A manuscript of the second half of the thirteenth century containing 'Y Gododdin', a series of awdlau lamenting warriors slain in battle at Catraeth, and believed to have been originally composed by Aneirin at the end of the sixth century (pp. 1-24). The awdlau are followed by four poems known as the gorchanau: Gorchan Tudfwlch (pp. 25-26), Gorchan Adebon (p. 26), Gorchan Cynfelyn (pp. 26-28) and Gorchan Maeldderw (pp. 28-38).
The manuscript was written by two scribes: scribe A (pp. 1.1-23.5, 25.1-30.11) and scribe B (pp. 23.6-24.21, 30.12-38.22). The hand of scribe B is also responsible for Peniarth MS 14, pp. 1-44 and Peniarth MS 17; see Ingo Mittendorf, 'Sprachliche und orthographische Besonderheiten eines mittelkymrischen Textes aus dem 13. Jahrhundert (Gwyrthyeu e Wynvydedic Veir)', in Akten des Zweiten Deutschen Keltologen-Symposiums, ed. S. Zimmer, R. Ködderitzsch and A. Wigger, Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 17 (Tübingen, 1999), p. 129. Daniel Huws suggests the Cistercian abbey of Aberconwy as a likely location of the scriptorium; see Medieval Welsh Manuscripts (Cardiff and Aberystwyth, 2000), 75.


Grant by William de Brewosa, son and heir of Sir William de Brewosa, and Lord of Landimor, to Sir Robert de Penres…,

Grant by William de Brewosa, son and heir of Sir William de Brewosa, and Lord of Landimor, to Sir Robert de Penres, kt, of a place for constructing a gurges, weir, or fish-pond, between Wynfroyd, Poltimore, and Traythanwelt. Latin. Witnesses: Richard de Penres, John de Penres, John de Langeton’, William de Lamare, Henry Davy of Landimore, John Thomas, John Mouric, John de Lamare, son of Robert de Lamare, Thomas de Landewy. Dated at Penres, 18th Apr., 8 Edw. II, AD 1315. Oval seal, red wax, imperfect (23 x 19mm). A bust in profile to the left, couped at the neck.* SIGI............DEGVISE.

Brut y Tywysogion and grammar,

Secular and religious prose and narrative texts by three scribes dating from c. 1330.
The texts include a biblical history (p. 1); Brut y Tywysogion (p. 65), with a continuation from 1282 to 1332 (p. 292); Kyfoesi Myrddin a Gwenddydd (p. 302); and a Welsh grammar (p. 305).

Giraldi Cambrensis Cambriae

The 'Itinerarium Kambriae' and 'Descriptio Kambriae' of Giraldus Cambrensis, written on vellum, with initial capitals, etc., in red and green.

The Hengwrt Chaucer,

A late fourteenth-, or early fifteenth-century manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, lacking VIII(G)554-1481 (i.e., the Canon’s Yeoman’s Prologue and Tale); X(I)1180-end lost).
Doyle and Parkes’s ‘Scribe B’, the scribe of the Hengwrt Chaucer, has long been identified as having also been responsible for writing other manuscripts, including the Ellesmere Chaucer (Huntington Library MS 26 C 9). He was identified in 2006 by Linne Mooney as Adam Pinkhurst, a London-based scrivener associated with Chaucer.

Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400

The Merthyr Fragment

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  • [15 cent., first ¼]

Three surviving folia of a lost manuscript in Middle English, written by a professional scribe during the first quarter of the fifteenth century, containing parts of the ‘Nun’s Priest’s Link' and 'Nun's Priest's Tale’ from Geoffrey Chaucer’s 'Canterbury Tales'. Textual contents: f. l recto, VII2784-2820 (B2, 3974-4010) and 'Here endeth the p(ro)loge and bygynneth the tale'; f. 1 verso, VII2822-2860 (B2, 4012-4050); f. 2 recto, VII3021-3058 (B2, 4211-4248); f. 2 verso, VII3060-3098 (B2, 4250-4288); f. 3 recto, VII3184-3222 (B2, 4374-4412); f. 3 verso, VII3223-3262 (B2, 4413-4452).
The folia were formerly tipped in at the back of a copy of Dr John Davies’s Antiquae Linguae Britannicae Dictionarium Duplex (1632). Linne R. Mooney has suggested that the Merthyr Fragment may be in the hand of Adam Pinkhurst; see Alexandra Gillespie and Daniel Wakelin (eds.), The Production of Books in England 1350-1500 (Cambridge, 2011), p. 199n.

Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400

Llawysgrif Boston o Gyfreithiau Hywel Dda

  • NLW MS 24029A.
  • File
  • [1350-1425]

A manuscript of the second half of the fourteenth century containing a Llyfr Blegywryd version of the Laws of Hywel Dda, with main text close to that of BL, Cotton, Titus D ix (siglum L). The manuscript was written by four scribes: scribe A (ff. 1-93), scribe B (f. 93), and the more cursive hand of scribe C (ff. 93 verso, 100-101 verso). Scribe D, of the early 15 cent. (f. 97), was responsible for the extraneous section of quire 12 (ff. 94-99), possibly part of another manuscript. This section includes the prayer Emyn Curig (ff. 98-99 verso).
The main text of folios 1-93 (to ln. 6 of f. 93) was transcribed line-for-line for Moses Williams, 'o lyfr William Philips o Aberhodni', in NLW, Llanstephan MS 75, when all but two leaves were present in the manuscript (ff. 7 & 17 being already lost).

A transcript of the present manuscript is available on the Welsh Prose (Rhyddiaith Gymraeg) 1350–1425 project website, and is available online at (viewed December 2012)

Theology, cerdd dafod, &c.

A manuscript which includes theological passages (pp. 1-9); a treatise on Cerdd Dafod (pp. 10-16); Cyfrinach y Beirdd (pp. 33-68); Bonedd y Saint (pp. 69-79); pedigrees (pp. 80-84); Cynghorau Catwn Ddoeth (pp. 98-99); medical recipes (112); astronomy (pp. 123-124); Daniel's interpretation of dreams (pp. 126-133); the Book of Fate (pp. 186-212); the Lives of Saints Margaret (p. 145-167, 177-178, 183-184) and Catherine (pp. 167-176, 179-182); etc. The manuscript was written by Gutun Owain (fl. 1450-1498) (see p. 33) in two styles: pp. 33-101, l. 9 and p. 125, ll. 1-6 are in a formal book hand, and the remainder of the text is in cursive writing; however, a combination of both hands occurs on p. 142. The text on p. 94 is imperfect.
For pp. 98-99 (Kynghorav kadw ddoeth ...) cf. Peniarth MS 27, p. 16; for pp. 101-111, 134-135 (Si deus est animus nobilis ...) cf. ibid., p. 17. For the missing folio before p. 213 see Peniarth MS 86, p. 187. For p. 222 (Llyma vrrevddwyd Grono ddv ...) see Mostyn MS 110, p. 215, which has a transcript of this manuscript.

Gutun Owain.

Breuddwyd Macsen Wledig,

The manuscript is made up of five fragments. The main texts include the Credo, with a commentary; the prophecy of Merlin, with a commentary; a version of Macsen Wledig; triads; and Bonedd y Saint.
F. iv is from a musical manuscript.


  • File
  • [mid-15 cent.]

The 'De Grey' Book of Hours, [mid-15 cent.].

Texts copied by Gutun Owain,

A prose miscellany comprising the Gospel of the Pseudo-Mathew, Transitus Mariae, the Life of St Catherine, the Finding of the Cross and other texts in the hand of Gutun Owain.

Gutun Owain, fl. 1450-1498

Statud Rhuddlan,

A manuscript containing the text of Statud Rhuddlan (the Statute of Rhuddlan) by a single scribe and dating from the second half of the 15th century.

Llawysgrif Hendregadredd

  • File
  • [14-15 cents]

The Hendregadredd manuscript, containing poems by the Gogynfeirdd bards, etc.
The contents of the manuscript were published by the University of Wales Press Board in 1933 under the title of Llawysgrif Hendregadredd.

Grant by Rees Maunceill’, gentleman, to John Bassett and Nicholas Williams, of co. Glam. and Morgan, gentlemen…,

Grant by Rees Maunceill’, gentleman, to John Bassett and Nicholas Williams, of co. Glam. and Morgan, gentlemen, of the manor of Oxmoche, in the Lordship of Gower, with the advowson of the church there, and the lands, tenements, etc., in Oxmoche, together with the mill called Burrys Mylle, to the use of the said Rees, Elinor his wife, and their heirs. Latin. Witnesses: David Maunceille, John Basset of Oxmoche gentlemen; Gruff’ Melyn, Richard Howell’, Jankyn Russell. Dated: 18th May, 3 Henry VIII [1511]. Signed: Rice Mauncell. Rectangular seal from a ring: red wax (11 x 9mm). A shield of arms, a chevron between three maunches, for MANSELL. Within a border engrailed and cabled.

A compendium of texts,

A compendium, [late 15th cent. x early 16th cent.], of works on astrology, medicine, sayings, Brut y Saeson, a short chronicle, Lives of Saints David and Gwenffrewi, Bonedd y Saint and other texts. The manuscript was previously ascribed to Gutun Owain (see Daniel Huws, Medieval Welsh Manuscripts (Aberystwyth, 2000), p. 190).

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