Breudwd Rhyddiaith Gymraeg 1300-1425

Pennyn y Fenter Amgodio Testunau (TEI) ar gyfer LlGC Llsgr. Peniarth 4 (Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch, rhan 2)

: 'Peniarth 4: Electronic Edition' TEI Header

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

Principal Investigator: Peter Wynn Thomas

Transcribed and encoded by D. Mark Smith

Transcribed and encoded by Diana Luft

School of Welsh, Cardiff University Cardiff 2013

  • : Aberystwyth
  • : National Library of Wales
  • : Peniarth 4
  • : Hengwrt 4
  • : White Book of Rhydderch

Despite its catalogue number (NLW Peniarth 4), the manuscript does in fact form the second part of a collection of prose texts known as the White Book of Rhydderch. This compilation originally comprised both NLW Peniarth 4 and NLW Peniarth 5. Huws (2000: 227-268) lays out the exact relationship between the two manuscripts in his reconstruction and refoliation of the whole White Book Rhydderch, where he also provides a complete description of the make-up and history of the manuscript.

NLW Peniarth 4 contains the four branches of the Mabinogi as well as the minor tales Breudwyt Macsen and Cyfranc Lludd a Llefelys, the three ‘romances’ Peredur, Owain and Geraint, though Owain is incomplete because of missing folios. Rather than form a group, as do the four branches, the 'romances' are scattered throughout the manuscript. Culhwch ac Olwen is the last major tale in the collection, though Gwenogvryn postulated that the missing pages in the manuscript originally contained a copy of Breuddwyd Rhonabwy. To prove his point that this text would have exactly filled the missing pages, he added the version from the Red Book of Hergest in columns to his edition. Huws (2000) disputes this hypothesis.

In addition to these important works, one quire in the manuscript (Huws's quire 22, containing folios 55-62) contains a collection of minor prose texts which seem to be united by their nature as wisdom texts. There are triads and diarhebion, a tract on the names of the Isle of Britain and one on the genealogies of the saints, as well as a short tract describing the nature of the coming year depending on which day of the week Easter should fall, and a short piece attributed to Saint Augustine. This quire was bound with NLW Peniarth 12 at some point in the past, until 1940 when it was reunited with NLW Peniarth 4, and thus its contents do not appear in J. Gwenogvryn Evans’s edition of the White Book. A digital facsimile of this manuscript is available on the National Library of Wales website at

Page Columns Contents Hand
1r-10r 1-38 Y gainc gyntaf White Book hand D
10r-16r 38-61 Yr ail gainc White Book hand D
16r-21r 61-81 Y drydedd gainc White Book hand D
21r-28b 81-111 Y bedwaredd gainc White Book hand D
29r-29v 112-117 blank, marginalia unknown
30r-45r 117-178 Peredur White Book hand D
45r-48v 178-191 Breuddwyd Macsen White Book hand D
48v 191-192 Cyfranc Llud a Llefelys, incomplete
193-224 pages missing
49r-51v 225-236 Owain, incomplete White Book hand D
237-244 pages missing
52r-54v 245-256 Owain, incomplete White Book hand D
fol.e Note on contents J. Gwenogvryn Evans
257-320 pages missing
55r 321 Trioedd Ynys Prydain White Book hand D
55r 321-322 Enwau ac Anrhyfeddodau Ynys Prydain White Book hand D
55v 322-324 Anhreg Urien; poetry, not transcribed White Book hand D
55v-58r 324-333 Trioedd Ynys Prydain White Book hand D
58r-58v 333-335 Bonedd y Saint White Book hand D
58v 335-336 Daroganau Estras White Book hand D
58v-59r 336-338 Prif y Lleuad White Book Scribe D
59r 338 Diarhebion White Book hand D
59r-59v 338-340 Trioedd Ynys Prydain White Book hand D
59v-61r 340-346 Diarhebion White Book hand D
61r 346 Sant Awstin am dewder y ddaear White Book hand D
61r 346 Hyn a ddywedodd yr Enaid White Book hand D
61r-62r 346-350 Englynion Dydd Brawd; poetry, not transcribed White Book hand D
62r-62v 350-352 Gwasgardgerdd Myrddin; poetry, not transcribed White Book hand D
62v 352 Englynion Geraint fab Erbin; poetry, not transcribed White Book hand D
353-384 pages missing
63r-79v 385-451 Geraint White Book hand E
79v-83v 452-467 Culhwch ac Olwen; incomplete White Book hand E
83v 467-4688 Culhwch ac Olwen; incomplete Hywel Fychan
83v-88v 468-488 Culhwch ac Olwen; incomplete White Book hand E

The following texts were consulted during transcription:

  • Bromwich, Rachel. ed. 1979. Trioedd Ynys Prydein, 2nd edition. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Bromwich, Rachel and Evans, D. Simon. eds. 1992. Culhwch and Olwen: An Edition and Study of the Oldest Arthurian Tale. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Evans, J. Gwenogvryn. ed. 1907. The White Book Mabinogion: Welsh Tales [and] Romances. Pwllheli: J.G. Evans.
  • Jackson, Kenneth. ed. 1933. The Auguries of Esdras concerning the Character of the Year., BBCS 7. 5-14.
  • Philmore, Egerton. ed. 1884. A Fragment from Hengwrt MS. No. 202. Y Cymmrodor 7. 89-154.
  • Roberts, Brynley. ed. 1975. Cyfranc Llud a Llefelys. Dublin: DIAS.
  • Roberts, Brynley. ed. 2006. Breudwyt Maxen Wledic. Dublin: DIAS.
  • Thomas, Peter Wynn. ed. 2003. Peredur. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Thomson, R. L. ed. 1986. Owein or Chwedyl Iarlles y Ffynnawn. Dublin: DIAS.
  • Thomson, R. L. ed. 1997. Ystorya Gereint uab Erbin. Dublin: DIAS.
  • Wade-Evans, A. W. ed. 1944. Bonedd y Seint. Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae, 320-3. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Williams, Ifor. ed. 1908. Breuddwyd Maxen. Bangor: Jarvis a Foster.
  • Williams, Ifor. ed. 1978. Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Supplied text is taken from Evans (1907).

There are numerous systems of foliation in the manuscript, of differing dates and contradictory in nature.

  • The earliest system of foliation is that found in black ink, in roman numerals in the centre of the upper margin of the recto pages. Huws (2000: 228) dates these numerals to the fifteenth century. Many of these numerals are difficult or impossible to see, the ink having flaked off and the pages having been cropped by binders.
  • Robert Vaughan is responsible for adding the page numbers that appear in brown ink in the top centre margin of each recto page. These were corrected by J. Gwenogvryn Evans beginning at page 54r and agree to a large extent with Huws's later foliation, though the systems diverge at fol. 63r.
  • Daniel Huws's 1990 foliation, also that used for the digital facsimile produced by the National Library of Wales and available on their website, appears in pencil in the top right corner of each recto page.

In one quire only – number 22 of the White Book according to Huws's reconstruction – there are four systems in use:

  • top margin centre, indeterminate date, brown ink
  • top margin left, modern, light black ink
  • bottom margin left, modern, dark black ink
  • bottom margin right, modern, pencil

This situation probably emanates from the page numbering of Peniarth 12, with which quire 22 was bound from perhaps 1573 until it was reunited with the White Book in 1940.

The editors have followed Daniel Huws's 1990 foliation.

Columns are numbered in pencil at the bottom of each page; these were added by J. Gwenogvryn Evans.

While Evans had originally numbered the columns 1-348 when he catalogued the manuscript for his Report on Manuscripts in the Welsh Language, in his 1907 edition, The White Book Mabinogion, he filled the gaps caused by missing pages in the manuscript with the relevant pages from the Red Book of Hergest. It appears that he then returned to Peniarth 4, erased the original column numbers which he had added after the first lacuna (col. 192), and added new column numbers following his edition and including the text from the Red Book. Thus, as Daniel Huws (2000: 229, N6) warns, 'the manuscript was subordinated to the printed text'.

We have not included Evans's additions from the Red Book. We have, however, used his column numbers: these are not only the sole figures available, but they are also useful in indicating the probable size of the lacunae in the manuscript.

Catchwords are found in the bottom right hand corner of some pages; others may have been cut out during binding. Unless otherwise noted, all catchwords are in the hand of the main scribe. An example may be seen at 480: hynny, which is encompassed by a red box.

The manuscript is in good condition, though some places are difficult to read. The manuscript has been cropped and while the main text is unaffected, many of the marginalia have been wholly or partially lost.

The text is laid out in two columns on each page. Each column contains between 36 and 40 lines of text.

The manuscript is written in two 14th century rounded textura hands (Huws 2000). The scribes represent two of five hands to be found in the entire White Book of Rhydderch. The scribe identified as hand D by Huws was responsible for columns 1-352 and 481-488, while hand E wrote columns 385-480 (columns 353-384 are missing.) Huws notes that the hands are strikingly similar, and he postulates that they belong to or spring from a single scribal school or scriptorium. The marginalia are in a number of hands of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries including, according to Daniel Huws, those of Thomas Wiliems and Richard Vaughan. Folios 55r-62, or quire 22 of the White Book, contains different correcting hands. A later hand has added a passage in black ink in a space left at 321.19-22. J. Gwenogvryn Evans recognised the hand which added five lines to col.167-8 (fol. 83v) as that of Hywel Fychan, principal scribe of many important early fifteenth-century manuscripts including the Red Book of Hergest and the Red Book of Talgarth (Evans 1898-1910: 305).
‘White Book hand D’

Hand D uses both regular and medial <a>. The medial <a> often serves almost as a capital, and is commonly found at the beginning of names and clauses.

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

  • <K> 334.4
  • <V> 121.5
  • <H> 110.10
  • <Y> 96.16, 96.19, 96.23

The orthography of Hand D does not appear to differ substantially from expected forms, except perhaps in the tendency to represent /w/ with <u>. Other notable features of his orthography include:

  • <w> for /v/, e.g. aniweileit 229.5; kiỽtatỽwyr 192.1; dirỽaỽr 48.6; wal 7.8; warchaỽc 232.10; waryf 225.30; waỽr 230.17, 255.20, wedyant 229.18; wei 182.24, 6.27; wilỽraeth 118.14; wliant 226.39; wlỽydyn 336.12, 336.28, 338.8 etc.; wrenhin 7.11; wỽrd 97.10; wỽyta 98.27; wy 110.12; wỽy 231.22; gowyn 229.17; gỽerthwaỽr 251.10; rywed 232.35; seỽyll 17.31
  • <ff> for /v/, e.g. difflannu 97.18, 177.14; digriffaf 230.35; geffyn 159.3; gyffranc 30.25
  • <ss> for initial and final /s/, e.g. gỽass 37.27; noss 28.21, 31.18, 232.39 etc.; ssegur 7.16; sse[n]ghi 22.6, 24.5; ssỽydỽyr 23.33; ssynnỽyr 20.31
  • <u> for /w/, e.g. achaus 86.5; causant 46.30; deguyr 83.29; dylyedauc 24.4; uarchauc 5.19-20; guahanu 19.13; guarandaỽ 24.34; guare 24.31; guas 20.6; guascu 22.2; guedy 21.34, 23.15; guelei 5.24, 85.9; guelet 17.24; guelu 6.18; guely 85.26; guell 5.18, 20.9, 23.17 etc.; guerthut 85.20; guisc 20.7; guiscaỽ 105.29; guir 25.1; guraged 28.30; guyr 87.22; haud 3.25; leuenyd 98.25; lluossauc 47.26; paub 26.12, 84.11
  • <v> for /w/, e.g. vayỽ 232.20, 232.24; vyrda 249.36

‘White Book hand E’

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

  • <K> 334.4
  • <V> 121.5
  • <H> 110.10
  • <Y> 96.16, 96.19, 96.23

Hand E's orthography is on the whole similar to that of hand D. E does, however, tend to represent /w/ with a <v> more often than D. E also tends to represent /f/ with a single <f> more often. Notable features include:

  • <ss> for initial /s/, e.g. ssymudaỽd 438.41
  • <f> for /f/, e.g. gyfredin 401.26; orfywyssaỽd 418.29; fedwar 420.41; frỽythlaỽn 421.29; frỽyn glymaỽd 422.6; froenuolldrud 422.42; orfowys 424.23; ford 434.15, 446.33; ymfust 434.41; fan 436.14; ford 436.26, 436.41, 438.42 etc.; fwy 436.40; orfen 439.27, 440.24; fo 444.19
  • <u> for /u/, e.g. deured 413.21; drum 455.4

Both D and E use a number of common abbreviations. In the transcription these have been expanded to the forms that are given elsewhere in the text itself.

  • macron for <n>: anuo[n] 414.11; y[n] 101.2
  • <9> for <ur>: arth[ur] 123.18, 126.16, 141.32, 412.39, 434.21 etc.; pered[ur] 141.13, 147.2, 147.27, etc.
  • <9> for <yr>: amheraỽd[yr]: 188.26, 189.13
  • <p> with a crossed tail for <per>: p[er]edur: 119.13, 120.32, 120.36, etc.

These scribes may also abbreviate the following commonly occuring names and words:

  • <gỽalch9> for <gwalchmei>: 177.28
  • <.o.> for <owein>: 236.29
  • <bar.> for <bard>: 329.36
  • <var.> for <vard>: 329.36
  • <Ith9> for <Ithael>: 333.19
  • <.m.> for <mab>:
  • <.m.> for <merch>: 469.32, 469.33

Punctuation consists of the punctus and the punctus elevatus.

The hyphen may be used to indicate words that are split across lines and appears in both a single and a double form. The hyphens are often difficult to read as they are marked out using either faint ink or dry point. With respect to hyphens, the present transcription does not always agree with the diplomatic edition prepared by J. Gwenogvryn Evans: despite the general reliability of that edition, Evans tends to overlook what the modern mind would consider to be incorrectly placed hyphens.

Many passages in the manuscript are underlined, perhaps in a contemporary hand. Underlining is sometimes in a brown ink very similar in colour to the ink of the main text, sometimes in a red ink similar to that used in the rubrication of the main text. In this manuscript the device seems to pick out items of interest to a scribe or a later reader rather than to indicate new sentences as may be the case in other manuscripts. Underlining is often more evident in passages of description than those of action.

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

Location Manuscript reading Edition
251.14-16: Ac ir efo ar ireit hỽn. ef a gyuyt gan yr ireit hỽn. a gỽylya ditheu beth a ỽnel. Ac ir efo a'r ireit hwn ar gyfeir y gallon, ac or byd eneit yndaw ef a gyuyt gan yr ireit hwn; a gwylya ditheu beth a wnel. (Owein)
255.29-30: o lys yr amheraỽdyr ac auu rynnaỽd gyt ahi. ac yd aeth o lys yr amherawdyr y uynny y iarlles yn priawt, ac a uu rynnawd gyt a hi. Ac yd aeth... (Owein)
450.30-32: lla6r hyt gỽayỽ gereint a hyt y ureich yn vysc y benn. Och arglỽyd heb ynteu llawr hyt gwayw Gereint a hyt y ureich yn vysc y benn. Ac yn gyflym tynnu cledyf y vynnu llad y pen. 'Och, arglwyd,' heb ynteu... (Gereint)
456.35-37 y porth ar yr yskynuaen nys goruc ef. namyn. amkaỽd kulhỽch Ac a goryw pawb diskynnu vrth y porth ar yskynuaen, nys goruc ef, namyn ar y gorwyd y doeth y mywn. Amkawd Kulhwch... (CO)

The decoration consists in the main of large decorated initials in red ink.

Readers' marks are often to be found in the margins. An example may be seen at 67v RM.14.

Fillers in red ink may be seen at 322.29, 324.20, 335.20. 338.9, 340.21,406.40 and 406.41.

Paragraph marks in red ink may be seen at 321.37, 333.15, 346.18, 346.28 and 460.20.

There are some marginalia in later hands in the manuscript which have not been included in the transcription:

  • 45r BM: illegible (black ink, ?16th century hand)
  • 45v RM.18: cwm diffwys (brown ink, later hand)
  • 47r LM.7: eryri (brown ink, later hand: ?g1)
  • 47r LM.15: Aber seint (brown ink, later hand)
  • 47r BM: Kynan vab Eudaf (black ink, ?16th century hand)
  • 47r BM: Adeon vab Eudaf (brown ink, later hand)
  • 47v TM: Eudaf vab Caradaway (black ink, ?16th century hand)
  • 47v TM: Caer yn Arvon (black ink, ?16th century hand)
  • 47v TM: Elen Luydawc (black ink, ?16th century hand)
  • 47v BM: Caer Vyrdin (brown ink, later hand)
  • 47v BM: Cadeir Faxen (brown ink, later hand)
  • 48v BM: 49-50 miss (pencil, modern hand)
  • 52v col. 250 IL.20: insertion arrow below and letter I above the line between 'bỽyta' and 'y' where 'dyuot' has been left out
  • 54v TM: Lunet (black ink, ?Thomas Wiliems)
  • 63r LM.9-12: ix brenhin [...]ronnawc [...]idy dynas twffwcallaw (very unclear black ink, ?Thomas Wiliems)
  • 63r.LM: 19: drawing of a hand and .19. (brown ink, ?modern hand)
  • 63r.LM: 36-38: Glavilwyd [...] faelforwys pan perfaws (very unclear black ink, ?Thomas Wiliems)
  • 63r BM: Drem fab Dremhiron [...] Corfrbist fab Clyd]...] (very unclear black ink, ?Thomas Wiliems)
  • 68r LM.5: Caerdyf (black ink, ?Thomas Wiliems)
  • 69v BM: Gwalchmei a Rioganed mab Brenhin Iwerdon ac Ondyow mab dwc Bwrgwin. Gwilym mab Rejwyf ffreinc. Hywel .m[ab]. Emyrllydaw Elfry anaw rurd. Gwyn .m[ab]. Tringord Goreu .m[ab]. Custenin. Gwayr gwrhfawr. Garanon .m[ab]. golythmer. (brown ink, 16th century hand?)
  • 70r BM; illegible (brown ink, ?16th century hand)
  • 79v BM: Edrinc (brown ink, ?modern hand)
  • 80v BM: archenad (brown ink, ?modern hand)
  • 85r TM: Olwen (black ink, ?Thomas Wiliems)

As well as adding marginal comments and corrections, later readers have retraced some of the text in places where the manuscript has suffered damage or become difficult to read. The retracing is in black ink which might be of a sixteenth century provenance, and is possibly in the hand of Thomas Wiliems.

In some cases the retracer has added an accent to the text. Examples may be seen at:

  • 251.35: circumflex above second <u> in <uu>
  • 251.39: circumflex above second <u> in <uu>
  • 252.31: circumflex above second <u> in <arueu>
  • 387.31: circumflex above <u> in <treula6>
  • 387.35: circumflex above both vowels in <uu>
  • 394.21: circumflex above second <u> in <u>
  • 421.2: circumflex above <u> in <uor6yn>
  • 455.4: circumflex above <u> in <drum>
  • 474: circumflex above <u> in <heufa>

Retracing is also found in quire 22, represented by pages 55r-62v (columns 321-352), also in black ink, though this may be of a later date than that of the rest of the manuscript.

The manuscript is accompanied by a note in English in the hand of J. Gwenogvryn Evans on the contents of the missing sections. The note has been inserted between folios 248 and 249 and is numbered 60 in the top centre margin (crossed out), and labelled 'fol. e' in the top right corner. It reads: Hole 1. Ystorya Jarlles y Fynhaỽn ends on folio CCXXXvj Note 2. Folios CCXXXv to CCLXvi are missing. Hengỽrt MS 202 contains the missing folios ccli–cclviii and should be bound here. J Gwenogfryn Evans

This note must date from later than Evans's edition of the White Book as he did not transcribe the missing folios for that publication. The missing folios were returned to the manuscript in 1940.

The manuscript dates from the middle of the fourteenth century (Evans xxxx, Huws 2000). It was originally produced as the second half of a larger collection, known as the White Book of Rhydderch, of which Peniarth 5 forms the first part. Daniel Huws argues that the manuscript was written around 1350, most likely for Rhydderch ab Ieuan Llwyd of Parc Rhydderch, Llangeitho, after whom the manuscript is named. He further argues that the work of copying the manuscript was carried out at Strata Florida abbey, or by monks like the Anchorite of Llanddewibrefi who were associated with that abbey (Huws 2000: 253).

Huws (2000: 249) identifies this Rhydderch ab Ieuan (d. 1398/9) as the father of the poet Ieuan ap Rhydderch, a descendant of the Lord Rhys, the patron of Strata Florida abbey, and the relative of Gruffudd ap Maredudd ab Owein, who commissioned Madog ap Selyf to translate Marwolaeth Mair and Ystoria Carolo Magno: Chronicl Turpin. A mock-elegy of Rhydderch by Dafydd ap Gwilym survives, written in the voice of his friend Llywelyn Fychan. An awdl was written to the same two men by Llywelyn Goch ap Meurig Hen. Dafydd Johnston has argued on the strength of the description of Rhydderch and Llywelyn that they were employed in the king’s service, though Huws postulates that they could also have been employed at an earlier date as interpreters with the English army (Huws 2000: 250). Rhydderch’s hospitality is praised by Iolo Goch in his Ymddiddan yr Enaid a’r Corff, and Dafydd y Coed and Gruffudd Llwyd also praised him in poetry (Huws 2000: 251).

Daniel Huws (2000: 258) argues that the White Book of Rhydderch, both Peniarth 4 and Peniarth 5, remained with the descendants of Rhydderch ap Ieuan until the 16th century, when it passed into the hands of the ‘north Wales antiquaries’. Huws (2000: 260) also demonstrates that Quire 22, which came to be bound with Peniarth 12, had already become detached from the rest of the manuscript by the time it started on its wanderings. The manuscript was used by Richard Langford in 1573, by Roger Morris of Coed-y-talwrn, by Thomas Wiliems of Trefriw in 1594, and was owned by Jaspar Gryffyth (d. 1614). In 1634 it was in the hands of John Jones of Gellilyfdy when Dr. John Davies of Mallwyd produced a description of it along with a list of its contents in NLW 4973B (Huws 2000: 261). Davies’s description of the contents does not differ substantially from the present-day contents of the manuscript, thus any missing folios had already gone missing by the early seventeenth century (Huws 2000: 259).

Many of the manuscripts owned by John Jones of Gellilyfdy (d. 1658) came into the possession of Robert Vaughan, Hengwrt (1592-1667) after Jones's death in 1658, and the White Book was no exception: it was catalogued in Vaughan’s library as Hengwrt 4. According to Huws (2000: 261), it is likely that Vaughan had the manuscript re-bound, as he did with many of the books in his possession. Vaughan refers to the manuscript as being in two parts, and may have been responsible for splitting it up in its present form, although this could also have been done before Vaughan acquired it (Huws 2000: 262). The Hengwrt manuscripts were catalogued in 1658 by William Maurice of Gefnybraich, Llansilin (Jones 1943: xvi).

The manuscript was bequeathed by Sir Robert Williames Vaughan (d. 1859), the last baronet of Hengwrt, to his friend William Watkin Edward Wynne (1801-1880) of Peniarth in 1859, along with the rest of the Hengwrt collection (Tibbott viii). W.W.E. Wynne was responsible for rebinding the manuscript sometime between 1859 and 1869. He re-united Peniarth 4 and Peniarth 5 and bound them in a single volume in white vellum, although in the wrong order. He also had blank parchment leaves inserted to fill in spaces left from missing quires and folios.

The Hengwrt catalogue was revised by Aneurin Owen (d. 1851), and then by William Watkin Wynne. This catalogue was published in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1869-1871 (Jones 1943: xv). It was catalogued and re-numbered by J. Gwenogvryn Evans when he examined the collection for the Historical Manuscripts Commission along with the rest of the Peniarth manuscripts, while in the possession of W.W.E. Wynne’s son, William Robert Maurice Wynne (d. 1909).

The Peniarth collection was secured for the nascent National Library of Wales by Sir John Williams who, in 1904, paid the Wynne brothers to ensure the reversion of the collection to the Library upon the death of both brothers. The manuscript passed, along with the rest of the collection, to the Library in 1909 (Tibbott 1943: viii). It was bound in its present form, in two volumes, in 1940 by the staff of the National Library of Wales bindery (Huws 2000: 227).

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

  • Evans, J. Gwenogvryn. 1898-1910. Peniarth 4. Report on manuscripts in the Welsh Language 1. London: HMSO. 305-6.
  • 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.
  • Jones, E. D. 1943. Old Catalogues of the Hengwrt Manuscripts. Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales 1. Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales. xv-xxiii.
  • Jones, Thomas. 1948. Nodiadau Testunol ar Lyfr Gwyn Rhydderch. BBCS 12: 83-6.
  • Tibbot, Gildas. 1943. A Brief History of the Hengwrt-Peniarth Collection. Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales 1. Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales: i-xiv.

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 digital reproduction of the manuscript produced by the National Library of Wales and available on their website at As we have not checked the transcription against the original, comments on matters such as ornamentation and colours should be treated as provisional.

  • 28-Jan-2011 DL: edited TEI header
  • 10-Aug-2007 PWT: edited TEI header
  • 12-Nov-2006 – 21-Dec-2006 PWT: edited XML encoded files, produced table of corrections and amended where necessary
  • 6-Oct-2006 DL: converted Word files with shortcuts into XML files and corrected them
  • 11-Mar-2005 – 14-Jul-2005 DL: corrected electronic transcription of folios 45r-61v, 63r-87r
  • 10-Mar-2005 – 14-Jul-2005 DL: checked DMS's corrections of folios 45r-61v, 63r-87r against microfilm
  • 2-Mar-2005 – 20-Jun-2005 DMS: checked DL's corrections of folios 1r-44v, 87v-88v against microfilm; corrected electronic transcription of folios 1r-44v, 87v-88v
  • 1-Mar-2005 – 17-May-2005 DMS: checked DL's transcript of folios 45r-61v, 63r-87r against prints
  • 28-Feb-2005 – 25-May-2005 DL: checked DMS's transcript of folios 1r-44v, 87v-88v against prints
  • 28-Feb-2005 – 17-May-2005 DL: transcribed folios 45r-61v, 63r-87r with shortcuts
  • 24-Feb-2005 – 13-May-2005 DMS: transcribed folios 1r-44v, 87v-88v with shortcuts

The material has been transcribed separately.