Item NLW MS 23980F, f. 23. - William Owen Pughe letter to the Rev. Hugh Davies

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Reference code

NLW MS 23980F, f. 23.


William Owen Pughe letter to the Rev. Hugh Davies


  • 4 August 1819 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 f. (originally folded as two leaves).

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Name of creator

Biographical history

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).

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Name of creator

Name of creator

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Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Anonymous source; Donation; December 2009; 004945068.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

A letter, 4 August 1819, from William Owen Pughe, London, to the Rev. Hugh Davies, Beaumaris, relating to Coll Gwynfa (London, 1819), Pughe's recently published translation of Milton's Paradise Lost.
Pughe quotes extracts of letters in praise of Coll Gwynfa from John Humphreys Parry (f. 23) and William Probert (f. 23 recto-verso). He also discusses the search for the so-called 'Welsh Indians' and includes a sketch of a Native-American pipe (f. 23 verso).

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Language of material

  • English

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Damaged, and repaired at NLW with some loss of text.

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Related units of description

For 10 letters from Hugh Davies to William Owen [Pughe], 1791-1806, see NLW MSS 13221E, pp. 469-70, 13222C, pp. 7-10, 271-2, 13223C, pp. 531-4, 827-30, 913-6, 13224B, pp. 179-186, 297-300, 309-12; for five letters from Pughe to Davies, 1809-1819, see NLW MS 6664C, items 52-56 (including two, July and October 1919, relating to Coll Gwynfa).

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Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 23980F, f. 23.

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Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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  • Text: NLW MS 23980F, f. 23; $q - Damaged, and repaired at NLW with some loss of text.