Sub-fonds NLW MSS 21271-79. - Taliesin ab Iolo (Taliesin Williams) letters

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MSS 21271-79.


Taliesin ab Iolo (Taliesin Williams) letters


  • 1809-1864 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

9 volumes.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Taliesin Williams (Ab Iolo or Taliesin ab Iolo, 1787-1847), schoolmaster and author, was the son of Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg). He was born in Cardiff on 9 July 1787 and grew up in the Vale of Glamorgan. He became a schoolmaster at Gileston, then an assistant at the Rev. David Davis's school in Neath. In 1816 he opened a school in Merthyr Tydfil, which he ran for the rest of his life.
Taliesin assisted his father with the publication of Cyfrinach Beirdd Ynys Prydain (1829). Taliesin inherited his father's manuscripts and his druidic beliefs, oblivious to Iolo's inventions, and became his foremost defender. He edited selections from Iolo's manuscripts, published posthumously by the Welsh MSS Society as Iolo Manuscripts (Liverpool, 1848). His poems Cardiff Castle (1827) and The Doom of Colyn Dolphyn (1837) were based on Iolo's manuscripts. He became an important figure in the eisteddfodau of the time, winning prizes for his essays and poetry.
Taliesin married Mary Petherick of Merthyr Tydfil and they had six children, including the Edward Williams (1826-1886), the Middlesbrough ironmaster. Taliesin Williams died in Merthyr on 16 February 1847.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Letters, 1809-1864, addressed mainly to Taliesin Williams (Taliesin ab Iolo), Glebe land, Merthyr Tydfil, along with some letters, copy letters and draft letters from Williams, 1813-1847.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 21271-79E.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

The descriptions are also available in NLW, Schedule of the Letters addressed to 'Taliesin ab Iolo' or written by him among the Family Papers presented by Mr. Iolo Aneurin Williams and Miss H. Ursula Williams, London, 1954-54 (1959)

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

See also T10/1.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Preferred citation: NLW MSS 21271-79.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Subject access points

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Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MSS 21271-79.