Breudwd Welsh Prose 1300-1425

TEI Header for NLW MS. 24029 (Boston 5)

: 'NLW 24029 A (Boston 5): 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
  • : 24029 A
  • : Boston 5

The manuscript survives in two distinct parts and probably represents two distinct manuscripts that were bound together at a later date. The two parts of the manuscript differ in pricking and ruling techniques as well as in hand and contents.

The first part 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. Aneurin Owen was not aware of the existence of this manuscript when he produced his edition of the of the Dimetian Code in his Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales and thus did not give a letter designation to it.

The text in NLW 24029 is closer to that presented by Williams and Powell (1942) in expression though it follows the arrangement of Richards (1957) more closely.

The second part of the manuscript contains more laws, including an otherwise unpublished case record, along with a version of the text published by W.J. Rees under the name Emynau Curig. Digital images of this manuscript can be found on 'Drych Digidol' on the National Library of Wales website at:

Page Contents Hand
1-12 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
- 1 folio missing -
13-14 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
15-20 3 folios missing
21-30 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
- 2 folios missing -
31-32 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
33-40 4 folios missing
41-42 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
43-44 1 folio missing
45-46 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
47-48 1 folio missing
49-56 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
57-58 1 folio missing
59-96 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
97-100 2 folios missing
101-108 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
109-110 1 folio missing
111-112 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
113-116 2 folios missing
117-126 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
127-134 4 folios missing
135-138 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
139-142 2 folios missing
143-154 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
155-170 8 folios missing
171-181 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand A
181 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand B
182 Llyfr Blegywryd, not transcribed NLW 24029 hand C
183-188 Llyfr Blegywryd NLW 24029 hand D
188-191 Cwyn Ieuan ap Dafydd NLW 24029 hand D
191-194 Emynau Curig Ferthyr NLW 24029 hand D
195-198 Llyfr Blegywryd, not transcribed NLW 24029 hand C

The following texts were consulted during transcription:

  • Owen, Aneurin. ed. 1841. Llyma Gwyn Galanas. Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales 2: 466-8. London: HMSO.
  • Rees, W. J. ed. 1853. Emyneu Curig Ferthyr. Lives of the Cambro-British Saints, 276-7. Llandovery: Welsh Texts Society.
  • 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 is drawn from Williams and Powell (1942) except in cases where that edition does not preserve the text that is wanting. In such cases text has been supplied from Richards (1957).

There are two systems of foliation: an earlier one in brown ink in the bottom centre of each folio, and a more recent one in black ink in the top right corner of each page. We have followed the second of these systems.

Catchwords are occasionally found in the bottom right hand corner of the page. Others may have been cut out during binding. All catchwords are in the hand of the main scribe. Examples may be seen at: 14: eint, 30: th, 42: haet, 71: inaetho, 122: that (in a box)

The manuscript is incomplete and damaged in places, and many individual folios are missing. Some folios were lost before the page-numbering was added and are thus not reflected in it; others were lost afterwards and are therefore more readily apparent.

Most of folio 1/2 has been ripped out of the manuscript.

One folio is missing between folios 12 and 13.

Folios 15/16, 17/18, 19/20 are missing.

There are two folios missing between folios 30 and 31.

Folios 33/34, 35/36, 37/38, 39/40 are missing as are 43/44, 47/48, 57/58, 97/98, 99/100, 109/110, 113/114, 115/116, 127/128, 129/130, 131/132, 133/134, 139/140, 141/142, 155/156, 157/158, 159/160, 161/162, 163/164, 165/166, 167/168 and 169/170.

In many places it is apparent that the large decorated initials have been cut or ripped out of the manuscript. Examples may be seen at: 3.6, 8.6, 22.8, 25.21, 28.13; 31.20, 32.11, 45.15, 50.1, 63.18, 66.13, 67.9, 72.1, 74.8, 77.21, 79.1, 82.2, 106.16, 117.5, 143.12 and 149.16.

It is apparent that page 87/88 was ripped and then mended before the time of writing.

The left half of pages 73-74 is missing, as is the bottom half of pages 65-66.

The text is written in a single column of text with between 21 and 26 lines to a page.

The manuscript contains text written in four different hands. These hands are designated as 'NLW 24029 hand A', 'NLW 24029 hand B', 'NLW 24029 hand C', and 'NLW 24029 hand D' for the purposes of this transcription. Pages 1-181 are written in the late-fourteenth-century rounded textura hand of an unidentified scribe (hand A). Text has been added to page 181 by a contemporary scribe (hand B). Pages 182 and 195-198 are in the cursive hand of a third, possibly later scribe (hand C) and have not been transcribed. Pages 183-194 are in the hand of a fourth scribe (hand D). Daniel Huws surmises that these pages may have originated in another manuscript (Repertory).
‘NLW 24029 hand A’

Hand A makes use of both regular and medial <a>, though the latter is much less common than in other contemporary manuscripts, and seems to function as a small letter rather than as a capital as is usually the case.

Hand A makes use of both regular and dotted <y>. The dotted <y> is by far the more common. There seems to be no particular trigger for the use of either variant, except that the undotted form is slightly more common with capital letters than small ones.

Hand A makes occasional use of ligatured <ll>. The ligatures seem to be entirely decorative and do not necessarily represent a phonological distinction between /l/ and /ɬ/.

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

  • <K> 8.11, 11.14, 28.14, 63.11, 74.2, 74.19, 75.6, 75.23
  • <H> 180.11
  • <V> 60.22, 67.7, 72.3
  • <W> 11.22, 26.6, 28.13
  • <Y> 56.3

Though words are separated by clearly distinguishable spaces throughout most of the manuscript, it is not always clear whether items are to be taken to represent one word or two.

The orthography employed by hand A contains some unusual features:

  • <ff> for /v/, e.g. kyffrỽy 24.8
  • <ffu> for /v/, e.g. lloffurud 41.3, 41.6, 41.15, etc.
  • <fu> for /v/, e.g. afuu 105.3; kyfuadef 50.22; kyfureith 31.19, 59.1, 59.14, 61.15, etc.; kyfureithaỽl 59.9-10; gyfuarffỽynt 71.14; gyfurannaỽc 50.4; hadefuo 51.19; lofurud 41.19, 41.24, 42.16, etc.; llofurudyaeth 46.11; ofuỽyant 30.13-14; ymdifuỽyn ‘ymdifwyn’ 49.8
  • <ll> for /l/, e.g. keffyllybyon 41.19; dadyll 95.17
  • <t> for /ð/, e.g. ffyt 53.10; llat 152.7; trydyt 54.11
  • <u> for /w/ yn dilyn /g/, e.g. guadu 76.5, 54.13; guall 96.16; guas 12.7; guastrodyon 25.10, 28.6; guedy 6.9, 8.1, 62.7 etc.; guely 28.19; guerth 5.23, 12.8, 79.18, etc.; guestei 6.5; guestuaeu 13.5, 28.18; guirtỽg 70.19; heguedi 30.2; penguastraỽt 25.3, 25.17, 30.17, etc.

The text in hand A 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, for example:

  • macron for <n>: ke[n]uein 73.4; vrenhi[n] 5.18, 8.7, 8.12, 84.2, etc.; gegi[n] 24.6; gy[n]taf 125.15; ra[n] 14.13; wda[n]t 63.12; yga[n] 67.5
  • <9> for <ur>: gwneuth[ur] 95.16; gỽnneuth[ur] 28.15; wneuth[ur] 84.21, 95.16, 120.16
  • <2> for <er>: rod[er] 120.22; roth[er] 59.22, 90.24
  • <e> above a letter for <re>: t[ref] 45.22; t[re]is 80.10
  • <i> above a letter for <ri>: amp[ri]awt 125.20; amp[ri]odaỽr 135.1; c[ri]p 68.15; p[ri]aỽt 135.2; p[ri]odaỽr 135.1-2, 135.6-7; t[ri] 126.3

Hand A may also abbreviate the following commonly-occurring word:

  • <k[yfreith]>: 84.9
  • <kyf[reith]>: 12.21, 26.16, 46.8, 67.18, 78.9, 83.22, 87.17, 87.25, 95.24, 144.8, 144.12, 152.5, 172.24, etc.

Punctuation in hand A consists of the punctus and the punctus elevatus. Lines above <kymell> and <a dyly> at 84.26 indicate that the order of these items should be reversed. Lines above <keinnaỽc> at 146.2 indicate that it should precede the preceding word, <kyureith>.

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. here is an example at:

Location Manuscript reading Edition
32.17-18 phenn gỽayỽ. o rei hynny gỽerth y weith a geiff. O gallaỽr brenhin. a heyrn rỽym… a phenn gwaes. O'r rei hynny gwerth y weith a geiff. Kadarnach y dywedir y keiff ef gwerth y weith o gallawr brenhin, a heyrn rwym (CHDd)

The text in hand A is ornamented with large decorated coloured initials in red and green ink. The decoration often extends from these initials into the margins of the pages. Examples may be seen at pp. 32, 41, and 79.

In many places where there are coloured initial letters, the scribe has indicated what the letter should be by means of a smaller letter, and this smaller form appears behind the initial. Examples may be seen at 9.8 (<N>), 59.9 (<T>) a 46.12 (<Y>).

A hand has been drawn in the left margin of page 152.

A cross in a box at 191.17 may be decorative, or an abbreviation or stand-in for ‘Amen’, which occurs in Rees’s edition at this point.

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

  • 4 LM.15-17: 't exemp […]wr […]wreicawc'
  • 6 LM.2: illegible
  • 7 RM.19: 'De rege'
  • 8 LM.6-9: 'De inmeraef'
  • 8 LM.21-22: 'singulary Refeyra'
  • 11 RM.14-15: 'De inu[m]rijs'
  • 12 BM: 'caret folio uno. Ex Codice item membra-naceo in Bibliotheca Coll. Jesu supplevim[us]'
  • 13 RM.2: 'Marsh'
  • 23 BM: illegible
  • 29 RM.8-9: 'Bard teulu'
  • 30 BM: 'caret folio uno'
  • 31 TM: 'De Pencerd'
  • 31 BM: illegible
  • 56 LM.19-20: 'Am dirwy'
  • 68 LM.9-10: 'a Charlwng. a maerwyau'
  • 68 LM.12-13: 'al enyn' (unclear)
  • 70 LM.11: illegible
  • 80 TM: illegible
  • 88 BM: illegible
  • 119 RM.8: illegible
  • 125 TM: 'wreic' (correcting 'gỽr' in the text)
  • 188 BM: 'llyma cwyn Ieuan [...]'
  • 190 LM: illegible
  • 196 TM: illegible
  • 198 BM: 'Wm. Phillips 1417'

Inside the front cover is a copy of the Bookplate of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The greater part of this manuscript was written in Wales in the middle of the fourteenth century (Evans 1898-1910: 947, Huws 2000: 59) perhaps at Brecon (Sotheby's).

It was in the possession of William Philipps of Brecon (1663-1721), and was consulted by William Wotton (d.1727) for his edition of the laws, Cyfreithjeu Hywel Dda which was published posthumously in 1730. It is most likely through a descendant of William Philipps, Morris Scourfield who emigrated from Pembrokeshire to Pennsylvania, that the manuscript arrived in America. It was most likely gifted to the Massachussets Historical Society sometime in the 19th century (Sotheby's). It was bound in Boston in 1840.

The manuscript was purchased at auction by the National Library of Wales on 10 July 2012 for a sum of £541,250.00 at Sotheby's in London.

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

  • de Ricci, S. and Wilson, W. J. 1935-1940. Census of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York: American Council of Learned Societies.
  • 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.
  • Owen, Morfudd. 1968. Llawysgrif Gyfreithiol Goll. BBCS 22. 338-343.
  • Sotheby's. 2012. Lot 23: The Laws of Hywel Dda. Western Manuscripts and Miniatures. London: Sotheby's Auction House [].

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 Massachusetts Historical Society in 1998. 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
  • 22-Jun-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 them
  • 9-Jan-2004 – 30-Nov-2004 DMS: corrected electronic transcription of folios 56, 59-96, 101-108, 111-112, 117-123 and 182-187
  • 9-Nov-2004 – 1-Dec-2004 DL: checked DMS’s corrections of folios 1-14, 21-32, 41-42, 45-48, 51-55, 124-126, 135-138, 143-154, 171-181, 188-198 against microfilm
  • 9-Nov-2004 – 1-Dec-2004 DL: corrected electronic transcription of folios 1-14, 21-32, 41-42, 45-48, 51-55, 124-126, 135-138, 143-154, 171-181, 188-198
  • 9-Nov-2004 – 29-Nov-2004 DMS: checked DMS's corrections of folios 56, 59-96, 101-108, 111-112, 117-123, 182-187 against microfilm
  • 8-Nov-2004 – 25-Nov-2004 DMS: checked DL's transcript of folios 1-14, 21-32, 41-42, 45-48, 51-55, 124-126, 135-138, 143-154, 171-181, 188-198 against prints
  • 8-Nov-2004 – 18-Nov-2004 DL: checked DMS's transcript of folios 56, 59-96, 101-108, 111-112, 117-123, 182-187 against prints
  • 4-Nov-2004 – 24-Nov-2004 DL: transcribed folios 1-14, 21-32, 41-42, 45-48, 51-55, 124-126, 135-138, 143-154, 171-181, 188-198, with shortcuts
  • 4-Nov-2004 – 17-Nov-2004 DMS: transcribed folios 56, 59-96, 101-108, 111-112, 117-123, 182-187

The material has been transcribed separately.