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To the Editors. GENTLEMEN, I SUBMIT to your consideration the following notices, in reply to the inquiry of your correspondent Trevnant, as to the name of Cevn DIGoll, a mountain on the eastern boundary of Montgomeryshire.
Where I find it first occurs is in the moral triplets called Gorwynion, written by Llywarch, the aged, about the beginning of the seventh century, and the original is as follows:
Gorwyn blaen coll ger Digoll vre,
Diaele vydd pob foll:
Gweithred cadarn cadw arvoll. The literal import of which is this:
Very white the hazel tops near Digoll mount;
Every squabby one hath no ailing :
The act of the mighty is to keep a treaty.
Lluest Cadwallon glodrydd
Seith-mis, a seith-cad beunydd.t
The camp of Cadwallon the illustrious,
It was for seven months, with seven skirmishes daily.
Gwirawd Ewain draw tra Digoll vynydd,
Mòr vynych ei harvoll ;
( vedd o vuelin oll.
The wassail of Owen yonder beyond the Digoll mountain,
Of mead, all from the bugle-horn. The foregoing authorities imply that Cevn Digoll was a post generally occupied in the warfare of the Britons; so that the appellation was not for the first time applied to it, as being the place of assemblage for the forces of Richmond previously to the battle
See “Heroic Elegies by Llywarch Hen,” p. 16, edited by W. Owen, in 1792. Also, Archaiology of Wales, p. 121.
+ Heroic Elegies, p. 110; and Archaiology of Wales, p. 122. | See Archaiology of Wales, p. 234.
of Bosworth; but they most probably did assemble on that commanding eminence, as it afforded a full view of any movements of an enemy, and consequently it was a place of security against every surprise. This shows the propriety of its being called Cevn Digoll, or the loss-less summit, as the name literally implies; and it must have been imposed anterior to any bistorical allusions preserved respecting it, for the quotations given above have more of the character of a traditionary epithet than otherwise.
W. Owen Pughe.
To the Editors. GENTLEMEN, The following corrections are requisite in that part of my paper on Irish Mythology, printed in your last: at p. 146, for formed, read found ; at p. 148, for Walter Davies, read Edward Duvies; and at p. 155, for pyramidal plane, read pyramidal flame. Such communications as “ The History of Northop” add much to our stock of knowledge, and I hope to see the example often followed. I should like, however, to be informed by your correspondent, his authority for the positive assertion, that “monumental statues of kings and episcopal dignitaries were begun to be erected in Wales about the year 1073;" for I wish your Welsh correspondents to bear in mind that the antiquaries of the present day lay it down as a rule to take nothing for granted. Fifty years back, they justly incurred ridicule for the hypothetical data on which they proceeded; and which, I fear, is still too much the practice in the Principality. In England, no one now who pretends to explain subjects of antiquity can obtain credit, unless he adduces his proofs. I'll venture to defy the production of any monumental effigy before the following century. No sepulchral statue ever graced the tomb of an English monarch before that of Henry II., nor that of any ecclesiastic before the commencement of his reign. Previously, the grave, whether within or without the church, was covered either by a Aat or a roof-like stone, on which was sculptured a cross, lance, sword, or banner, &c. according to the quality of the deceased. I have not myself seen any military effigy in Wales older than the time of Edward I., for of this period are the two mutilated remains at St. David's.
The object of this letter, however, is to introduce to your notice the indefatigable exertions of a Mr. Morris, residing at Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury, towards the acquisition of authentic Welsh pedigrees. He follows up his pursuit not only with ardour, but discrimination ; and has consequently gleaned a vast deal of entertaining and useful information. From being a cor
respondent of mine, he has become that of Edward Evans, esq. of Eyton Hall, in this county, and of the family of 'Treveilir in Anglesey. One of his letters which he directed should be shewn to me is the following, from which you will be able to judge of the value of his researches.
Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury ; Aug. 13, 1831. SIR, In April last, Mr. Madocks, on passing through Shrewsbury to London, left with me two of his three volumes, and has promised to bring me the third at another opportunity. Dr. Meyrick, in his letter to the Gentleman's Magazine, described the three volumes as the Visitations of Lewis Dwnn: that, however, is not the case, as I will explain. One of the two volumes sent me is the original Visitation of Caermarthenshire, Cardiganshire, and Pembrokeshire. In this volume are two loose memorandums, in the handwriting, I think, of Dr. Meyrick, from which I presume, he has seen or had in his possession the volume; yet, I imagine, he has had it but for a short time, as I have found in this volume the information relative to Lewis Dwon which Dr. Meyrick wished to obtain, and which I am about to narrate, trusting that you, sir, will pardon me for being tedious; and that, if it will not be asking too much, you will, at your convenience, show it to Dr. Meyrick.
It appears then, from a detailed account of the Dwon family, occupying several pages of this volume, and from a statement by Ieuan Brechfa, the bard, quoted therein, that David Dwnn, a younger son of Mredydd Dwnn, of Kidwelly, killed the mayor
of Kidwelly, and in consequence fled from South Wales into Powysland. He settled in Montgomeryshire, and became steward to Edward Charlton, Baron Powys, and in that county his posterity continued; and the father of Lewis Dwnn married a descendant of this David Dwnn, as will be seen by the annexed pedigree; and their son Lewis assumed the surname of his mother's family.
Having thus ascertained the real descent of Lewis Dwnn, I am enabled to state from other evidences in my possession, that Lewis Dwnn was related to the celebrated Mr. Francis Thynne, the herald, who was of the ancient family of that name, seated at Cause Castle, (in this county, but close to the border of Montgomeryshire,) and so much distinguished in the courts of Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth, and from the then representative, of which the present Marquis of Bath is lineally descended : and I think
it very probable, that to his connection with his contemporary Francis Thynne, the herald, and the other more distinguished and courtly members of the Thynne family, Lewis Dwnn owed his appointment as deputy herald.
Rhys goch Dwnn, of Gwestyd, served=Gwenllian, coheir of Ieuan ab David, ab Kydwgan, Gruffydd Dwnn.=Jane, daughter of at Tournay in France. ab Kriadog, of Coed, descended from Brockwel
Robert ab Howel, Ysgrthrog.
ab David, ab le1.
2. 3. 4.
Lewis Dwnn, only child,=Als, daughter and coheir of Mredydd the deputy herald. | ab David, ab John, ab Mredydd.
Sons and daughters ;
names not given.
The volume from which I have abstracted this pedigree, and which is the original Visitation of the three counties, before mentioned, I have copied ; and I have also copied from Mr. Madock's other volume all the pedigrees it contains, that I did not before possess. This second volume is a selection only from the pedigrees taken by Lewis Dwnn in his Visitations of Radnorshire, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Carnarvonshire, Anglesey, and Merionethshire, with a collection of genealogical memoranda, (principally relating to Pembrokeshire families,) made by, or for George Owen, of Cemaes, esq. (York herald, temp. Eliz.) to whom this volume once belonged, and who, from a memorandum it contains in his own handwriting, appears to have had such an acquaintance with or control over Lewis Dwnn, as to enable him to obtain copies of whatever descents the latter registered in Wales, and to furnish transcripts of them to such gentlemen as he (Mr. Owen) chose to favour with these authenticated pedigrees of their families. Not having yet seen Mr. Madock's third volume, I can say nothing of its contents; but when I obtain the loan of it, I will, sir, give you some account of it, if there should be any thing in it that throws further light on the history of Lewis Dwnn.
I perceive, from his Visitation of Cardiganshire, &c. that these books of Lewis Dwnn were as little known to most of the best Welsh historians and genealogists as to the members of the Herald's College and other English genealogists, who have all denied that any regular visitation of Wales ever took place. The learned Mr. Theophilus Jones, who wrote the excellent history of Brecknockshire, makes in that work an especial complaint that none of the ancient Welsh bards or genealogists in their peregrinations, had recorded the descent of the family of Stedman, of Strata Florida, in Cardiganshire; and few men had examined so many genealogical and historical mss. relating to the Principality as he had; yet, in this Visitation of lewis Dwnn, I find the pedigrees of the Stedmans regularly entered, duly certified by the head of the family, and further amplified by Lewis Dwnn at three or four subsequent visits in the course of his labours: so that it is clear Mr. Jones knew nothing of Lewis Dwnn's mss. Your own volume, sir, is an attested copy of Lewis Dwnn's Visitation of Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, and Merionethshire. Mr. Madock's has the original of Cardiganshire, Caermarthenshire, and Pembrokeshire; and, from references occasionally made in these, it is clear that Lewis Dwnn visited all the other six counties of the Principality, together with Monmouthshire, and the Marches. What has become of these latter portions of his Visitations is an inquiry of much interest, because the information therein contained is unique, and of its kind invaluable. I have a copy nearly (but not quite) perfect of his Visita