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James Griffiths papers

  • GB 0210 JAMTHS
  • Fonds
  • 1897-1975 (accumulated 1912-1975)

Letters, newspaper cuttings, notes, pamphlets and periodicals, typescripts, reports, volumes of parliamentary debates, and other papers of James Griffiths relating to the following: the coal industry and the South Wales Miners' Federation, 1912-1967; the Labour Party, 1919-1975; the Central Labour College, 1919-1922; National Insurance, 1931-1954; the Colonies, 1939-1972; his work as Secretary of State for Wales, 1964-1966; papers relating to Welsh affairs including devolution, the Welsh Reconstruction Advisory Council, education and local government reorganization, 1935-1975; constituency affairs, 1937-1969; overseas visits, 1936-1968; the Nigeria-Biafra War, 1968-1970; papers relating to his autobiography Pages from Memory, including letters from Gwilym Prys Davies and others, 1961-1969, notebooks, [1960s], typescripts, [1964]-1969, and cuttings of reviews, 1969; unpublished reminiscences, 1955-1974; notes and typescripts for lectures and speeches, 1940-1971; typescripts of broadcasts by Griffiths, 1937-1967; typescripts of articles and reviews, 1940-1974; newspaper cuttings, 1919-1974; and other miscellaneous personal matter, [1930s]-1975; and papers relating to Mrs Silyn Roberts, 1897-1954.

Griffiths, James, 1890-1975

Michael Evans, at Baron Hill, to William Wynne at Glyn,

Details of the action against Dr Cheadle. Has sent the commission to take Wynne's answers, and asks that the enclosed note be subscribed by Mr Morris Wynne and Rowland Lloyd and sent back by the bearer, so that the writer may give Dr Cheadle notice of the time and place in which the answers will be made. Longs to know for certain if Owen Poole's lease is in Wynne's hands: it concerns the writer's title very much, and he beseeches Wynne, if he has it not already, to get it with what speed he can. Asks for writings at the assizes there to prove Wynne's debt against the Doctor. The assizes begin on the 13th August. Wants to know how Wynne stands in alliance with Pierce Lloyd, 'our sheriff'; he thinks it is by the latter's wife. Begs him to search amongst his letters from the Doctor to see if there are any acknowledging the debt of £10. He hopes that there is no interruption for any part of the tithes this year: he forbears to persecute the poor men of Llandecwyn with the attachments, but he will let them know their danger, and make them confess themselves as beholding more to an honest enemy than a false friend. He has sent Wynne the copies of the Lords' speeches at his lordship of Lincoln's censure, which he may keep until they meet: Wynne will find them well worth the reading. He will not fail to be in Wynne's parts about the middle of the week before the sessions that he may prepare all things for the trials. He hopes with God's blessing that the summer will grant a period to all encumbrances about the rectory. He doubts not that Wynne has heard of the lamentable loss which the Hollanders sustained before Antwerp: seven regiments of Scots and Dutch clean cut and defeated by the Cardinal and Piccolomini. The Prince of Orange is forced to take most of his old soldiers out of garrison to reinforce his army. The French besiege St Omers and they say it is either taken or not likely to hold out long. The Swedes are still strong in Germany. The Scotch affairs are not yet fully composed. Marquis Hamilton, who has been there these six weeks to pacify the mutineers, had not come back about a week since: his arrival will satisfy the State upon what terms things stand there and what is to be done will be then concluded of. There has been nothing done in his lordship of Lincoln's business these two last terms: he was once in some possibility to work his peace and enlargement. The writer hears he has been of late, as heretofore, too much his own enemy. There is a writ of error brought by Mr Hambden on the business of the ship mise, and as the writer is informed there are some gentlemen and others who stand out anew, and will put the cause to a second argument: it was only judge Jones's voice that made the inequality. Greetings from Mr Bulkeley.

William Wynne, jun., at London, to his father, William Wynne, at Glyn,

Feels he must write, having a convenient messenger, although his cousin Williams writes of everything in particular. Has delivered the nag to cousin Williams and all the letters. The letter to Morris Wynne was delivered, and the latter told him he would endeavour to get him a place where he would better his hand a little. Has delivered his father's letter also to Robert Owen who said that he would be very glad to get him a place next term, because one can hardly get a place in vacation time. But the writer would rather have some lean place in the Court to begin with, hoping thereby to come to preferment. Would like to know whether his father would like him to board with his cousin Williams, or else abroad as he does now. Would gladly have some money to buy meat, for little will serve him. His father must not doubt that he will be as sparing as possible: and as for his father's three last advices, he hopes never to break them.

Michael Evans, at Beaumaris, to William Wynne at Glyn,

Has taken advice of counsel concerning Wynne's actions of debt against Dr Cheadle. The bill for £10 was delivered to one who had more honesty than law, and made by one who used more subtlety than good conscience. They will perhaps make the Dr pay his debts in spite of his own and his brother's cunning. He has spoken to Mr John Jones concerning the business of the fine sought by Wynne's daughter. He also understands for a certainty that Mr Justice Littleton resolved not to take any lodging in any gentleman's house, and therefore he was confident that the justice would not accept an invitation to Clenennau where he was a mere stranger. Thereupon the writer ventured to tender Wynne's respects to the justice and to let him know Wynne's desire to give him the entertainment his house afforded. The justice seemed very loath to trouble Wynne, but at length being half persuaded, he referred the writer to his brother, Mr Justice Beerwood. In fine, they are both willing to accept the kind offer and will be at Glyn on Saturday night. The writer will wait on their boats from Caernarvon and be their guide over the sands to Glyn. Further legal business. Asks Wynne to get Mr Pool's deed into his hands once more. Would rather lose all his interest in the rectory than be baffled out of any part of his right. Understands from his friends in London that he is likely to have an injunction out of the Exchequer to settle him in quiet possession until he be ejected by due course of law. He has many other irons in the fire which he supposes will somewhat gall his little nimble friend there.

William Williams, at Whitehall, to William Wynne at Glyn,

Has had a message brought by word of mouth by a foot-post (which he thought strange in regard he had it not in writing) concerning a son of Wynne's whom the latter intends sending to London. He is doubtful whether it be so or not, but if any such thing is intended, he will make any endeavour in his power for any child of Wynne's provided that he be not so stubborn a nature as his cousin Elize was. Complains of his uncle - William Lewis Annwyl - for his ill-dealing in not paying him the money he laid out for his son, though he twice faithfully promised when he was in London to satisfy the writer before he went out of town. Desires Wynne to move Annwyl on his behalf. He also lent his cousin, Robert, Wynne's eldest son, 37/- when he was in London which he never has received. Entreats him to make much of the messenger being a courtier. The strangest news has come to court: lately thirty-two cities have been swallowed by up an earth-quake in Calabria, a province within the kingdom of Naples in Italy.

Edward Annwyl to William Wynne at Glyn,

Understands that Wynne sets out certain oxen at Llanegryn for grazing. Now the writer has extraordinary need to 'sturre' certain land for rye, and desires the loan of the oxen for a certain space. If any of the oxen should miscarry, the bearer - being the writer's dairyman - and the writer himself will be answerable: as for pasture he is sure he has as good as any in those parts. Wynne's son in Oxford is very well and does profit in study: the writer hopes to see Wynne's son within a fortnight.

Edward Annwyl, at Vaynol-Dowyn, to his brother-in-law, William Wynne, at Glyn,

He has delivered Wynne's letter to the clerk of the court who fully accepts it: the land has been placed in suit with Edward Owen. He has seen his nephew, Cadwaladr (see Vol I, no. 444), Wynne's son, in Oxford, who is well and proceeds in learning, his tutor says, as well as any of his time in the University. But the boy requires money at once, for his gown and clothes are worn very threadbare. Cadwaladr sends a letter by the bearer with a small sermon-book.

The Privy Council, at Whitehall, (to the High Sheriff of Merionethshire),

Ship-money business. Ship-money due on the 1st March last. Yet an arrear is left in the county, although in Hilary term last all the judges declared its legality. Measures to be taken against those who are backward and refractory, and the full arrear to be paid to Sir William Russell, Treasurer of the Navy, by the beginning of Michaelmas term.

William Lewis Annwyl, at Park, to William Wynne at Glyn,

The writer's son, Evan, continues his suit for Wynne's niece of Tan-y-bwlch, and now she has promised to marry him if Wynne will but say the word. She says she is now growing old and her father is backward in bestowing her. Asks that she be told that the writer will give Evan £300 which will be paid at the rate of £100 a year upon every New Year's Day yearly. If Wynne will give his word, the writer will save him harmless. If she be willing, the best course is for them to go suddenly to Kemes and be married out of hand.

Maurice Jones, at Gorsygedol, to William Wynne, High Sheriff of Merionethshire,

Hugh Lewis - husband of Mrs Catherine Nanlley - desired the writer to acquaint Wynne how the suit of law depends between Lewis and the next of kin on the father's side to the son and heir of Mr John Vaughan of Gorsygedol, concerning the proffering in marriage of the said child, which said suit is now stopped. One condition is that the infant shall be proffered in marriage in his own native county amongst his friends and kindred and not in Pembrokeshire. Because of the love and affection the top of the kin of the said child bears unto Wynne and his family, the child is first offered in marriage to one of Wynne's daughters. The boy is a fair boy, about nine years of age, and of good living - about £160 per annum. Wynne has the first refusal of him. The answer requires haste - within ten days at the furthest.

The Privy Council, at Whitehall, to the Sheriff of Merioneth,

Ship-money business. There is still left an arrear unpaid of £16. These letters require 'you the sheriff for the last year' to pay the said arrear with all possible speed. Authority given to 'the present sheriff' to give the necessary warrant and authority to the former sheriff to collect and pay the same.

Elizabeth Vaughan, at Corsygedol, to her cousin, Mrs Catherine Wynne, at Glyn,

Informs Mrs Wynne that the writer's sister Pen(elope) wants the loan of plate belonging to Mrs Vaughan which is in Mrs Wynne's possession, by reason of some strangers that come to Abertanat. Mrs Wynne may have them back again before she has occasion again to use them. PS The plate is to be delivered to the bearer, Thomas Cooke, the writer's servant.

Lewis Anwill, at Vaynol, to his sister, Mrs Catherine Wynne, at Glyn,

Understands from a letter sent by her husband, William Wynne, to cousin Bulkeley, that Wynne is either taken by the cunning suggestions of the Cheadles or else terrified by their bombastic words and threats, so that he is ready to forsake his old friend, Mr Evans, and to yield to his adversaries. Is sorry that Wynne is ready to yield in a case wherein a verdict has passed at the common law upon full evidence given in the face of the country. Presses her to persuade her husband to stick close to his old undertaking and not to suffer himself to be deceived by the juggling of that impudent pair of brethren. Is sure that she will be firm for their kinsman, Michael Evans, to the uttermost.

Genealogical papers

A genealogy of the Wynnes of Bodewryd (Bodewryd documents 1111), filed with a pedigree of Robert Owen of Penrhos and of his wife (Bodewryd documents 1112).

‘King of the Sea Trees’ shanty

A recording, August 2017, of the 'King of the Sea Trees' shanty, composed and performed by David Moore (under the pseudonym Dafydd Eto) and drawing on traditional songs of the sea in response to Erin Kavanagh's poem of the same name, with the prologue of the poem spoken by Erin Kavanagh and also backing vocals by her; recorded by Jacob Whittaker and used in the project exhibitions.

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