- [1540x1927] (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
William Owen-Pughe was born in Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Merioneth and brought up in a farmhouse called Egryn in Ardudwy. He moved to London in 1776, where he committed himself to the London Welsh community, becoming a member of both the Gwyneddigion Society and the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. He was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and corresponded with many scholarly figures of his day. Like his contemporary 'Iolo Morganwg', who greatly influenced him, Pughe held somewhat idiosyncratic ideas concerning the Welsh language and its origins. His own literary output, however, was prolific and included lexicographical works such as A Grammar of the Welsh Language and A Welsh and English Dictionary (both 1803) and translations such as Coll Gwynfa (1819), a Welsh rendering of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. He was also principal editor of The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales (1801-1807) and the short-lived periodical Y Greal (1805-1807) and was a regular contributor to the newspapers and magazine publications of his day. Pughe conducted a close relationship with the writer and prophet Joanna Southcott from around 1803 until her death in 1814. Pughe's son Aneurin Owen was a historical scholar who received much of his early education from his father. He edited Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales; comprising the Laws ... by Howel the Good ... (London, 1841) and was also a major, though unacknowledged, contributor to the prodigious chronicle Brut y Tywysogion (1860).
Name of creator
Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg, 1747-1826), stonemason, poet and literary forger, was born 10 March 1747 in Llancarfan, Glamorgan, to Edward Williams (1715-1795), stonemason, and Ann Matthews (1713-1770), and lived for most of his life in Flemingston (or Flimston), Glamorgan, apart from periods spent in London, Kent and elsewhere. His only schooling came from his mother and from the numerous poets who taught him their craft. He worked as a monumental mason and builder. He also tried his hand at various other trades but with little success; he was imprisoned for debt in Cardiff Gaol in 1786. In 1781 Iolo married Margaret Roberts (1749-1827). They had four children, of which two, Margaret (b. 1782) and Taliesin (1787-1847), survived into adulthood. Iolo Morganwg died at Flemingston on 18 December 1826. Iolo had various literary, antiquarian and political interests. He wrote poetry in both Welsh and English, his Poems Lyrical and Pastoral appearing in 1794. He became a Unitarian from about 1797 and wrote many hymns, published in Salmau yr Eglwys yn yr Anialwch (1812, 1827 and 1834). Following the French Revolution he had radical sympathies. However he has become notorious for his forgeries and fabrications. The edition of Dafydd ap Gwilym published in 1789 contained an appendix of additional poems which were in fact written by Iolo. The Myvyrian Archaiology (1801, 1807), of which he was an editor contained many of his fabrications. These forgeries went largely undiscovered until the early twentieth century. His interest in the ancient druids led to his unveiling of the Gorsedd of Bards of Great Britain, which first met on Primrose Hill, London, in 1792. He claimed it to be a miraculous survival from ancient times and it persists as an integral part of the ritual and pageantry of the National Eisteddfod. However it too was invented by Iolo. Following Iolo's death his son Taliesin, a schoolmaster in Merthyr Tydfil, edited his manuscripts and upheld his legacy, apparently completely oblivious to the forgeries.
Name of creator
Name of creator
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
NLW MSS 13221-13262: Mr W. Churchill Owen; Mysevin; Purchase; 1940.
NLW MS 13263C: Mr W. Churchill Owen; Mysevin; Presentation; 1949.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers and manuscripts, [1540x1927], from the library of Dr William Owen-Pughe of Mysevin, relating primarily to Welsh literature and culture and to antiquarian subjects. The material includes correspondence addressed mainly to William Owen-Pughe, with a smaller number addressed to his son, Aneurin Owen, from prominent contemporary antiquarian and literary figures, including Edward Williams ('Iolo Morganwg'), Owen Jones ('Owain Myfyr'), Theophilus Jones, Richard Llwyd, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Richard Fenton, Thomas Pennant and Edward ('Celtic') Davies; volumes and papers in the hand of William Owen-Pughe, 'Iolo Morganwg' and others; manuscripts and printed papers relating to the Gwyneddigion Society, the Cymreigyddion Society and the Cymmrodorion; diary entries of William Owen-Pughe, 1811-1835; and transcripts of unpublished letters and papers, 1792-1820, of the writer and prophet Joanna Southcott. NLW MS 13263 is a supplementary volume of letters which was presented separately to NLW (see 'Source of Acquisition' note).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 13221-13263.
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 noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply.
Language of material
- Slavic Language
Script of material
Language and script notes
Welsh, English, Latin, Hebrew, Cornish, Slavic (Other), French, Arabic, Greek, Manx.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Some of the papers are considerably damp-stained and torn and incomplete as well as discoloured.
The descriptions are also available in the Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IV (Aberystwyth, 1971).
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
For a description of the collection see B. G. Owens, 'The Mysevin Manuscripts', The National Library of Wales Journal, II, 90-2. A typewritten catalogue was prepared in 1939.
Title based on contents of fonds.
Formerly known as Mysevin 1-41 + one previously unnumbered volume.
Virtua system control number
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Pughe, W. Owen (William Owen), 1759-1835 -- Correspondence (Subject)
- Iolo Morganwg, 1747-1826 -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- Pughe, W. Owen (William Owen), 1759-1835 -- Archives. (Subject)
- Iolo Morganwg, 1747-1826 -- Archives (Subject)
- Southcott, Joanna, 1750-1814 -- Archives. (Subject)
- Southcott, Joanna, 1750-1814 -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- Owen, Aneurin, 1792-1851 -- Correspondence (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
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
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IV (Aberystwyth, 1971); Y Bywgraffiadur Ar-lein viewed via WWW, 18 June 2010; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography WWW site, viewed 21 June 2010.
Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS.