Sub-fonds T - Taliesin Williams (Ab Iolo) papers

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Taliesin Williams (Ab Iolo) papers


  • 1761-[?20 cent., first ¼] (Creation)

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Extent and medium

13 small boxes.

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.

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Scope and content

Papers, 1761-[?20 cent., first ¼], of Taliesin Williams (Ab Iolo), including notes, drafts of his books and other publications, Welsh and English poetry, personal and financial papers, school papers, miscellaneous printed items and family papers.

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Language of material

  • English
  • Latin
  • Welsh

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English, Welsh, some Latin

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Affected by dirt.

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  • English



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