Series NLW MSS 1970-2068 - Evan Evans (Ieuan Fardd) manuscripts

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MSS 1970-2068


Evan Evans (Ieuan Fardd) manuscripts


  • [15 cent.]-[19 cent., first ½] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

104 volumes.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Evan Evans (Ieuan Fardd or Ieuan Brydydd Hir, 1731-1788), scholar, poet and critic, was born in the parish of Lledrod, Cardiganshire. Even before he entered Merton College, Oxford, in 1750 Evans had made the acquaintance of such prominent literary and antiquarian figures as the Morris brothers - Lewis, Richard and William - of Anglesey, William Wynn of Llangynhafal and Goronwy Owen. Throughout his clerical career - he was ordained in 1755 - Evans would spend much of his time collecting and copying Welsh manuscripts of literary and historical interest, including poetry from the Red Book of Hergest, all the while making contact with others engaged in the same pursuit such as David Jones of Trefriw, Rhys Jones of Blaenau and John Powel of Llansannan, as well as English antiquaries such as Daines Barrington. In 1764 Evans published his seminal work Some specimens of the Poetry of the Antient Welsh Bards, in which he attempted to interpret the substantial output of Welsh poetry, much of it produced at court, from the sixth to the sixteenth century. Arguably the greatest Welsh scholar of his age, Evans possessed an in-depth knowledge of the contents of Welsh manuscripts in the various private libraries of the time and was well acquainted with the works of the great Welsh scholars from the Renaissance onwards. He realised that the chief requirement of Welsh scholarship in his day and age was the publication of the texts of the principal manuscripts which related to the history and literature of Wales. Although Evans himself ultimately failed in his endeavours to achieve this goal, the brilliant work he did accomplish earned him a position of unquestioned importance within the field of Welsh scholarship.

Archival history

Signature of P[aul] Panton [junior] on first page of most volumes.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscripts, mostly in the hand of Evan Evans (Ieuan Fardd), containing mainly transcripts of material of Welsh antiquarian, historical and literary interest, from sources which include royal genealogies, poetry, pedigrees, Brut y Tywysogion, Thomas Pennant, grammatical notes, etc.; also included are fifteenth-century tracts, seventeenth-century treatises, correspondence of Evan Evans, legal notebooks of Paul Panton, senior, and Paul Panton, junior, correspondence of Thomas Falconer (d. 1792), etc.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to the original manuscripts by authorised permission only. Readers are directed to use surrogate copies.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Cornish
  • English
  • French
  • Gothic
  • Greek
  • Latin
  • Old English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English, Latin, Greek, Gothic, French, Old English, Cornish.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

NLW MSS 1970-2012, 2014-2025, 2030-2038 (Panton MSS 1-33, 35-44, 46-53, 55-8, 64-9, 71-3): Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on Manuscripts in the Welsh Language, ed. by J. Gwenogvryn Evans, 2 vols (London: HMSO, 1898-1910), II (1905), 801-870.

NLW MSS 2013B, 2026-2029B, 2039-2068 (Panton MSS 45, 59-60, 62-3, 74-103): Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, vol. 1 (1943), pp. 175-180.

NLW MSS 1970-2045 (Panton MSS 1-45, 47-80): Cwrtmawr 331C (a transcript, 1821, of David Thomas's (Dafydd Ddu Eryri) Catalogue of Panton Manuscripts, dated 1792).

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Available on microfilm at the Library.

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Formerly Panton MSS 1-33, 35-53, 55-60, 62-69, 71-103 (in NLW MSS accessions register, but see below and the relevant file descriptions for MSS 45-46).


Panton MSS 34, 46, 54 and 70 are uncatalogued or noted as missing in J. Gwenogvryn Evans (1905) but are all listed in Cwrtmawr 331C. Of these, MS 34 in Cwrtmawr 331C was catalogued by Evans as MS 4 (NLW MS 1973B; the original MS 4 became MS 45 (NLW MS 2014B), in turn displacing the volume now NLW MS 2013B); MS 46 in Cwrtmawr 331C is now NLW MS 9096B; MS 54 is a printed book, Britannicarum Gentium Historiae Antiquae Scriptores Tres… (Copenhagen, 1757), subsequently owned by J. D. Davies and now in NLW (W.s. 1757(5)); the items listed in Cwrtmawr 331C under MS 70 now appear to comprise NLW MSS 9092D, 9094A, 9095B.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Subject access points

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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


  • English



Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MSS 2013, 2026-2029, 2039-2068.