Breudwd Rhyddiaith Gymraeg 1300-1425

Pennyn y Fenter Amgodio Testunau (TEI) ar gyfer LlB Llsgr. Harley 958

: 'BL Harley 958 (British Library 8): Electronic Edition' TEI Header

: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Whitefriars, Lewins Mead, Bristol BS1 2AE. 0117 987 6500

Primary Investigator Peter Wynn Thomas

Transcribed and encoded by D. Mark Smith

Transcribed and encoded by Diana Luft

School of Welsh, Cardiff University Cardiff 2013

  • : London
  • : British Library
  • : Harley 958
  • : British Museum 8

The manuscript contains a copy of Cyfreithiau Hywel Dda in the version that Aneurin Owen identified as the Dimetian code or Dull Dyfed, now referred to as Llyfr Blegywryd. It was used by Aneurin Owen in his edition of the of the Dimetian code in his Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales, and is referred to as 'Manuscript T' in this edition and in the subsequent literature. A complete list of correspondences between Owen's edition and the text in this manuscript can be found in J. Gwenovgryn Evans's description of the manuscript in his Report on Manuscripts in the Welsh Language. The text in Harley 958 is closer to that presented by Stephen J. Williams and J. Enoch Powell (1942) in expression though it follows the arrangement of Melville Richards (1957).

Page Contents Hand
i-iii blank
iv manuscript designations '63.B.20' and '958' in a modern hand unknown
1r-54v Llyfr Blegywryd Harley 958 hand A
54v-56v Llyfr Blegywryd Harley 958 hand B
57r-60v Llyfr Blegywryd Harley 958 hand A

The following texts were consulted during transcription:

  • Richards, Melville. ed. 1957. Cyfreithiau Hywel Dda o Lawysgrif Coleg yr Iesu Rhydychen LVII. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Williams, Stephen J. and Powell, J. Enoch . eds. 1942. Cyfreithiau Hywel Dda yn ôl Llyfr Blegywryd (Dull Dyfed). Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Supplied text in the present edition is drawn from Williams and Powell (1942).

Folios are numbered in the top right corner in black ink in a later hand.

The manuscript is damaged in places and a number of folios are missing between:

  • the present-day folios 6 and 7, where the text jumps from page 9 to 16 in Melville Richards's edition
  • folios 9 and 10, where the text jumps from page 20 to 30 in Melville Richards's edition
  • folios 55 and 56 where one folio is missing
  • and folios 57 and 58, where the text jumps from page 84 to 85 in Melville Richards's edition

The manuscript has suffered some wear and the script is quite badly worn in some places, especially at the beginning (folios 1r-3v) and the end of the manuscript. Folio 48 has apparently been torn away from the binding and subsequently repaired with tape, though the text in the left margin of folio 48r and the right margin of page 48v is displaced down one line. We have restored the text to its rightful place in the transcription.

It is likely that the red ink has eaten through the pages in some places as, instead of some decorated initials and paragraph marks in red ink, there are holes in the manuscript. Examples are:

  • <B> 57v.12
  • <C> 1r.1, 1r.2, 58r.4
  • <G> 1r.3, 1r.13, 40v.1, 57r.6
  • <K> 58r.9
  • <L> 4v.23, 5r.2
  • <M> 1r.2, 35r.11
  • <O> 58r.11
  • <N> 3r.3, 3v.13, 4r.2, 4r.9
  • <P> 5r.11, 51v.20, 57v.4
  • <S> 4r.22
  • <T> 1r.20, 2r.24, 13r.4, 17r.8, 19r.2
  • <V> 43v.8
  • <Y> 4v.12, 37v.9, 50r.12, 50r.23, 51r.13
  • paragraph mark: 5v.7

The text is written in a single column of text with 25 or 26 lines to the page.

The manuscript is written in the mid-fourteenth-century rounded textura hand of two unidentified scribes. These are desginated as 'Harley 958 hand A' and 'Harley 958 hand B' for the purposes of this transcription. Hand A is responsible for writing pages 1r-54v and 57r-60v, while hand B is responsible for pages 54v-56v.
‘Harley 958 hand A’

The scribe uses both regular and medial <a>, though the latter is much less common than in contemporary manuscripts, and functions as a small <a> rather than as a capital as is usually the case.

The scribe uses both regular and dotted <y>. There seems to be no phonological trigger for the dotting. The dotted <y> is by far the more common though the undotted letter is slightly more common with capital letters than small ones. The dotted <y> seems to be purely decorative, and omission of the dot may probably be ascribed to forgetfulness on the part of the scribe.

The scribe uses ligatured <ll> and on occasion ligatured <lh>. The ligatures seem to be entirely decorative and do not necessarily preserve a phonological distinction between /l/ and /ɬ/. In one case (<ystauelh> [44r.10]) ligatured <lh> represents /ɬ/.

The difference between some of the capitals and semi-caps may be slight. This is especially so when the capital is simply a slightly larger version of the small form. Examples of such semi-capitals are:

  • <K> 8v.23, 18v.5, 18v.12, etc.
  • <V> 16v.21, 21r.21, etc.
  • <Y> 31r.1, 31r.6, 31r.7, etc.

The scribe employs two types of capital <N>, one wide and square, and the other round.

  • wide <N>: 11r.2, 12v.6
  • round <N>: 11r.4

The orthography of the original text has been maintained. Notable features include:

  • <oy> for /ʊɨ/, e.g. troy 23v.11; oythwyr 52v.5
  • <td> for /d/, e.g. tatdeu 23v.25
  • <ff> for /v/, e.g. kyffadef 12r.6; goffyn 18r.16; gyffreideu 40r.10; gyffreith 11r.6, 21v.22, 22r.1, etc
  • <dh> for /θ/, e.g. ymbordh 22v.7
  • <t> for /θ/, e.g. genedylaet 42v.16; mefylỽryaet 10v.22-23
  • <th> for /ð/, e.g. arglỽyth 13v.4; kerthet 30v.16; diweth 34r.13; gordiweth 42v.3; Gruffuth 56v.5; llath 17r.24; penkynyth 4v.24, 6v.18, 13r.18; trydeth 41v.3; wrageth 42v.6; ygỽyth 40v:2
  • <ll> for /l/, e.g. chyllch 31r.21; Pollyon 57r.19; tystollyaeth 19r.4, 20v.1, 20v.24, etc.; wneller 9v.15
  • <lh> for /ɬ/, e.g. ystauelh 44r.10

The text contains a number of common abbreviations. These have been expanded in the transcription to the forms that are given elsewhere in the text itself rather than to standard or dictionary forms. Expansions are denoted visually. Examples are:

  • macron for <n>: brei[n]t 16r.9; ha[n]ner 50v.22; pu[n]t 5r.12; ohonu[n]t 53v.19; yrydu[n]t 47v.1
  • <’> for <re>: p[re]ssỽylho 49v.3-4

The scribe may also abbreviate the following commonly occurring noun: <kyf> for <kyfreith> 57v.23

Punctuation consists of the punctus and the punctus elevatus.

In some places it is obvious that the scribe has skipped from one line to another because the same word features in successive lines. Modern published editions of the text from other sources make apparent the aberrant reading in this manuscript. Examples may be seen at:

Location Manuscript reading Edition
5v.16-17 a hynny kyn rannu y crỽyn rỽng y brenhin ar kynydyon ereill pan y harcho. a hynny kynn rannu y crwyn rwng y brenhin a'r kynydyon. Croen ewic heuyt a geiff y gan y kynydyon ereill pan y harchop (CHDd 8)
15r.24-25 kyntaf yỽ bot genthi o e hanuod. A honno gan vn ardrychauel y telir idi. vn yw bot genthi o'e hanuod, a honno gan vn ardyrchafel y telir, ac os gwryawc vyd, herwyd breint y gwr y telir idi (CHDd 35)
21v.11-12 Eyl yỽ gỽbydyeit bieu deturyt eu gỽybot yghyfreith tyston. Trydyd yỽ gỽybydyeit Eil yw, gwybydyeit bieu detvryt eu gwybot yng kyfreith tyston, kyny tyster udunt, ac nys pieu tyston. Trydyd yw, gwybydyeit (CHDd 42)
34v.23-24 dynyon o r brath tri dyn. ac nas lladho y arglỽyd a raff o dỽy rỽyhant. Ac yno y lad. or brath tri dyn ac nas llado y arglwyd yna, y rwymaw a dylyir wrth troet y arglwyd a raff o dwy rychwant (CHDd 56-57).
48r.3-4 megys y mae braỽt yn etiued dylyedaỽc o e gỽadaỽl. trỽy yr hỽn y kaffo. Megys y mae brawt yn etiued dylyedawc o dref y dat, uelly y mae chwaer yn etiued dylyedawc o'e godawl, trwy yr hwnn y kaffei (CHDd 70)
48r.10-11 or tir. Or byd y perchennaỽc tir etiued deduaỽl ac arall aneduaỽl heb ran. Or byd y berchennawc tir etiued deduawl ac arall aneduawl, y deduawl a vyd etiued o gwbyl, a'r aneduawl heb rann (CHDd 71)

The decoration in the manuscript consists of rubrication in red and green ink, and large decorated initial letters in red and green ink. In many places where there are coloured initial letters, the scribe has indicated what the letter should be, and this smaller form appears behind the initial, e.g.

  • <A> 35v.13
  • <B> 30v.21
  • <D> 12r.14, etc.

Square 'British Museum' stamps are to be found at the bottom of pages 7r, 33v and 39v.

There are some marginalia in later hands in the manuscript which have not been included in the transcription. Many of these are illegible, and seem to consist of pen trials.

  • 12r TM: pen trials
  • 12r BM: 'obeit' (unclear, later hand)
  • 15v BM: 'di viddhae fyd […]' (unclear, 16th century hand)
  • 15v BM: 'kyfre[…] newyd tref tataỽl neu o dir […] a rat' (unclear, 16th century hand)
  • 21v TM: pen trials
  • 21v BM: illegible (16th century hand)
  • 22r BM: pen trials
  • 25v BM: illegible (16th century hand)
  • 26r BM: illegible(16th century hand)
  • 28r BM: illegible (16th century hand)
  • 31v LM: '[…]llen lleen' (unclear, 16th century hand)
  • 36r TM: pen trials
  • 36v.15: inline: 'Gỽerth bys' (unclear, 16th century hand)
  • 38v TM: illegible (16th century hand)
  • 39r BM: 'd[afy]d ab oein mredit ab Ja[n]kyn ab einon' (unclear, 16th century hand)
  • 42r BM: pen trial
  • 44r BM: 'Cyfyraith Cymerag Mey [et] Jon' (unclear, later hand)
  • 44r BM: pen trial
  • 50v BM: pen trial
  • 55v BM: illegible (later hand)

Readers' marks are to be found at:

  • 33v.5 cross in left margin
  • 35r.14 cross above <keinaỽc>

The manuscript is preceded by three blank paper pages, and one page giving the current manuscript designation (958) as well as a previous designation, 63.B.20.

The manuscript was copied towards the middle of the fourteenth century in Wales. The manuscript was dated by J. Gwenogvryn Evans (1898-1910: 948) to the early fourteenth century, but this was revised by Daniel Huws (2000: 59) to the middle of the century.

The Harleian collection was founded by Robert Harley, the first Earl of Oxford (1661-1724), and continued by his son, Edward the second Earl of Oxford (1689-1741), both of whom were greatly assisted by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley (1672-1726). The Harleys acquired their manuscripts from a variety of sources, both English and continental. Many of these sources were traced by Cyril Wright (1972) though he was unable to discover a source for this manuscript.

Edward Harley left his collection to his wife upon his death in 1741, with the intention that it be to be left to their daughter upon her death. In 1753 the family decided to sell the manuscripts to Parliament for inclusion in the British Museum, which had been formed by Act of Parliament in June of the same year.

Information on the dating and hand of this manuscript is based on the following authorities:

  • Evans, J. Gwenogvryn. 1898-1910. British Library 8. Report on manuscripts in the Welsh Language 2. London: HMSO. 948.
  • Huws, Daniel. 2000. Medieval Welsh Manuscripts. Cardiff and Aberystwyth: University of Wales Press and the National Library of Wales.
  • Huws, Daniel. A Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes. draft.
  • Stoker, David. 2004. Harley, Edward, second earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1689–1741). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford; online edn, May 2005: [, accessed 15 June 2007].
  • Wright, Cyril. 1972. Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts preserved in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum. London: British Museum.

The Welsh Prose 1350-1425 website is the product of an AHRC funded research project undertaken by staff at the School of Welsh, Cardiff University from 2004 through 2007 called Corff Electronig o Ryddiaith Cymraeg Canol. The aim of this project was to produce machine-readable editions of all the medieval Welsh prose texts which have been preserved in manuscripts dating from c.1350 to c.1425.

The project is a continuation and a development of two previous projects funded by the University of Wales which transcribed the Welsh prose in manuscripts dated to c.1250-c.1350.

The intention is to give scholars access not only to texts that have hitherto remained unedited but also to the different versions of texts that have been the subject of critical editions.

Certain decorative features have been encoded: these may trigger further study of the original manuscripts. Primarily, however, the resource provides detail which it is hoped will further the study of the language and literature of the period.

In producing this edition, we have attempted to fulfil two different and often non-complementary if not opposing goals: to present a minimally edited edition of the text, and to represent as many visual features of the manuscript as possible.

Visual features of the text such as layout, and rubrication may prove to be as essential in textual interpretation as features such as punctuation, letter forms, capitalisation and word division, which are more usually invoked by scholars in the field.

The orthography of the original text has been maintained, even where it is idiosyncratic, as the unique characteristics of the scribe's spelling may shed light upon the language of the period as he, his audience, or patron used it. Where the scribe's orthography seems to merit particular attention, an editorial gloss has been added to indicate what we believe to have been the target form.

In some places, especially where the manuscript is damaged, we have supplied text. This serves the two-fold purpose of presenting a complete text and, perhaps more importantly, of indicating the size of the damaged area.

In order to make editorial intervention as transparent as possible, supplied text is clearly marked off from the manuscript text by a different font. Also in the spirit of editorial transparency, we have wherever possible used published editions for supplied text. Text supplied from published editions may suffer from obvious errors or significant differences in orthography from the manuscript text. We have refrained from imposing our own editorial actions on such features.

The transcription of this manuscript, as well as the information in this TEI header, is based on the microfilm reproduction of the manuscript produced by the British Library in 2004. As we have not checked the transcription against the original, information on the scribal hands, foliation, accompanying materials, colour scheme and ornamentation should be treated as provisional.

  • 26-Jan-2011 DL: edited TEI header
  • 13-Aug-2007 PWT: edited TEI header
  • 27-Nov-2006 PWT: edited XML encoded files, produced table of corrections and amended where necessary
  • 12-Apr-2006 DL: converted Word files with shortcuts into XML files and corrected the encoding
  • 11-Oct-2004 – 5-Nov-2004 DL: checked DMS’s corrections of folios 1r-29v against microfilm; corrected electronic transcription of folios 1r-29v
  • 8-Oct-2004 – 5-Nov-2004 DMS: checked DL's corrections of folios 30r-60v against microfilm; corrected electronic transcription of folios 30r-60v
  • 8-Oct-2004 – 3-Nov-2004 DMS: checked DL's transcript of folios 1r-29v against prints
  • 8-Oct-2004 – 4-Nov-2004 DL: checked DMS’s transcript of folios 30r-60v against prints
  • 7-Oct-2004 – 2-Nov-2004 DL: transcribed folios 1r-29v
  • 7-Oct-2004 – 3-Nov-2004 DMS: transcribed folios 30r-60v

The material has been transcribed separately.