Breudwd Welsh Prose 1300-1425

TEI Header for Oxford Jesus College MS. 20

: Oxford Jesus College 20: 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

  • : Oxford
  • : Jesus College
  • : 20
  • : Oxford Jesus 3

Oxford Jesus College MS. 20 (formerly Jesus College 3) contains a collection of gnomic poetry, followed by a selection of prose texts. Two are of a religious character (the tract Pryd y Mab from Ymborth yr Enaid and Epistol y Sul), and there are a number of genealogical tracts. The bulk of the manuscript is taken up with a copy of Saith Doethion Rhufain, as well as a fragment of the romance Owain. Images of this manuscript can be seen on the 'Early Manuscripts at Oxford University' website at

Page Contents Hand
i r note on the correct position of folio 15 in the hand of J. Gwenogvryn Evans Evans
i v blank
iii r note on the correct position of folio 9a in the hand of J. Gwenogvryn Evans Evans
iii v copy of an englyn which appears on folio 14a in the hand of J. Gwenogvryn Evans Evans
vi r-vii v list of manuscript contents in the hand of J. Gwenogvryn Evans Evans
1r-3r Ymddiddan Arthur a'r Eryr, not transcribed Jesus 20 hand A
3v-12r Eiry mynydd, not transcribed Jesus 20 hand A
12r-15v Englynion y Clyweit, not transcribed Jesus 20 hand A
16r-21v Owain, incomplete Jesus 20 hand B
22r-30r Pryd y Mab from Ymborth yr Enaid Jesus 20 hand A
30r-32r Epistol y Sul Jesus 20 hand A
32r Mi yw Pedr Esgob Antioys Jesus 20 hand A
32v decoration, Mappa Mundi unknown
33r-34v Bonedd y Saint Jesus 20 hand A
35r-40r Achau cynnar Jesus 20 hand A
40v-41r Enwau Brenhinoedd Jesus 20 hand A
41v ending colophon from Brut y Brenhinoedd Jesus 20 hand C
42r-70r Saith Doethion Rhufain Jesus 20 hand A
70r-70v Enwau Brenhinoedd y Saeson Jesus 20 hand D
71r-73v blank

The following texts were consulted during transcription:

  • Bartrum, P. C. ed. 1960. Jesus College 20. Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 41-50.
  • Daniel, R. Iestyn. ed. 1995. Ymborth yr Enaid. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Evans, J. Gwenogvryn. ed. 1887. Pedigrees from Jesus College MS. 20. Y Cymmrodor 8: 83-91.
  • Jones, John Morris and Rhŷs, John. eds. 1894. Kyssegyrlan Uuched. The Elucidarium and Other Tracts in Welsh from Llyvyr Agkyr Llandewivrevi. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 86-105.
  • Jones, John Morris and Rhŷs, John. eds. 1894. Am Gadw Dyw Sul. The Elucidarium and Other Tracts in Welsh from Llyvyr Agkyr Llandewivrevi. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 157-9.
  • Jones, Robert M. ed. 1953. Y Rhamantau Arthuraidd. BBGC. 15. 109-16.
  • Lewis, Henry. ed. 1925. Chwedleu Seith Doethon Rufein. Wrexham: Hughes a'i Fab.
  • Lewis, Henry. ed. 1942. Brut Dingestow. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Thomson, R. L. ed. 1986. Owein or Chwedyl Iarlles y Ffynnawn. Dublin: Dublin Institute of Advanced Study.
  • Wade-Evans, A. W. ed. 1933. Bonedd y Saint, D. Revue Celtique 50. 24-9.
  • Wade-Evans, A. W. ed. 1944. Bonedd y Seint. Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 320-323.

There are two systems of page-numbering to be found in the manuscript, both in modern hands in the top right corner of each recto page. The later system is in evidence only in one section of the manuscript and seems to be that of J. Gwenogvryn Evans as it corresponds to the corrections he made to the order of the manuscript as described in the notes in his hand which accompany it. This system begins at folio 9, where Evans restored what had been numbered as folio 15 to its proper place in the manuscript, and continues up to folio 16 where the two systems converge and Evans stops his corrections. We have followed Evans.

An unnumbered folio appears between folios 56 and 57. This has been numbered 56B. This folio does not appear in the digital reproduction of the manuscript prepared by Oxford University for its Early Manuscripts at Oxford University project and found at the following web address:

The manuscript is generally in good condition, though some pages are difficult to read because of staining.

The text is written in a single column with 21 lines of text on each page.

The manuscript is written in the late fourteenth-century rounded textura hands of two contemporary hands, designated here as 'Jesus 20 hand A' and 'Jesus 20 hand B', with additions from a further two hands, which have been given the designations 'Jesus 20 hand C' and 'Jesus 20 hand D'. 'Jesus 20 hand A' is responsible for writing the poetry on folios 1-15, as well as most of the texts on folios 22-70. 'Jesus 20 hand B' is responsible for writing the fragment of Owain on folios 16-21. 'Jesus 20 hand C' has added a fragment of Brut y Brenhinoedd on folio 41v, while 'Jesus 20 hand D' has added the list of English kings found on folio 70.
‘Jesus 20 hand A’

The following remarks refer to the hand of 'Jesus 20 hand A', who is responsible for writing the greater part of the manuscript.

The scribe uses both regular and medial <a>. Medial <a> tends to occur, rather unusually, word-internally rather than at the beginning of sentences or phrases.

The scribe uses both regular and dotted <y>. There seems to be no phonological trigger for the use of either. The undotted variant is slightly more common with capital letters than small ones.

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 may be seen at:

  • <V>: 55v.11
  • <Y>: 44r.15

The orthography of this scribe does not seem to differ substantially from expected forms, though the following features are noteworthy:

  • <e> for /ə/: venegleu ‘vynygleu’
  • <ll> for /l/: gollychassant ‘golchyssant’
  • <ỽ> for /v/: dyrchaỽel ‘dyrchafel’, morỽil ‘morfil’, oỽut ‘ofut’

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.

  • macron for <n>: amdiffyn[n]eỽch 43v.6; ardun[n]yant 44v.16; etc.; ka[n]gen 44v.4 etc.
  • macron for <m>: am[m]heu 49r.3; kym[m]en 43v.4; dry[m]maf 50r.3, etc.
  • <’> for <at>: ofeir[at] 42r.2
  • <’> for <yr>: amheraỽd[yr] 45r.11, 47r.6, 48r.16, etc.; eith[yr] 19v.6; fenest[yr] 16r.13
  • <’> for <er>: am[er]aỽdyr 16v.3; m[er]thyr 33v.16
  • <’> for <re>: b[re]nhined 40v.5; v[re]nhin 33v.14, 34r.10, 66v.14
  • <’> for <ry>: b[ry]tanyeit 40v.5; ysp[ry]t 28v.20, 32r.17
  • <c> for <ur>: arth[ur] 16r.14, 16v.3, 16v.7, 36.13 etc.; gwneuth[ur] 30v.16, 44r.5, 47r.12, etc.
  • <c> for <us>: or[uc] 47v.20
  • <9> for <us>: aug[us]tus 47r.10-11; Caranci[us] 41r.12; Cateri[us] 41r.18, etc.
  • <p> with a tail for <pro>: p[ro]ffỽyt 32r.19
  • <p> with a cross through the tail for <per>: P[er]edur 36r.3; p[er]ued 16v.2; p[er]ffeidloy6 23v.8, etc.
  • <e> above a letter for <re>: v[re]nhinyaeth 53v.14
  • <i> above a letter for <ri>: t[ri]stet 20r.11

The following commonly occuring items may also be abbreviated:

  • <a[men]>: 26v.10
  • <b[ra]chan>: 33r.8, 33r.11, 33r.18 etc.
  • <b[ra]ch[an]>: 33r.9, 33r.20, 33r.21 etc.
  • <brach[an]>: 33v.7, 33v.8, 33v.19 etc.
  • <b[ren]hin>: 38r.7
  • <v[erch]>: 33r.19, 33v.3, 33v.7 etc.
  • <M[ab]>: 33r.2, 32r.4, 32r.5 etc.
  • <meur[ic]>: 34v.12, 35v.14

The punctus is the only punctuation mark.

Decoration in this manuscript in the main consists of large decorated initials in red ink.

In many places where there are coloured initial letters, the scribe has indicated what the letter should be by means of a smaller form which appears behind the initial.

In some cases the person responsible for filling in the decorated initials has missed one so that only the smaller form remains. An example may be seen at 40v.3.

In some cases the large decorated initial is missing, and there is no indication of what that initial should be. An example may be seen at: 41v.1.

Page 32v contains a miniature Mappa Mundi from Egypt in the east to Ireland in the West.

There are some marginalia in later hands in the manuscript; these have not been included in the transcription.

  • 42v.2, 4, 6: inline
  • 56v.8: 'y' (perhaps the hand of scribe B)
  • 67v LM.14: 'ymgynnic' (an explanation of the form 'ymgic' which appears in the text)

Notes in the hand of J. Gwenogvryn Evans precede the manuscript and are bound with it:

  • inside front board: a title ('Liber a quodam Llewelin scriptu'), and a number of different number designations in a series of modern hands.
  • fol i recto: a note on the correct placement of folio 15
  • fol iii recto: a note on the correct placement of folio 9a
  • fol iii verso: copy of an englyn to be found on folio 14a
  • fol. vi recto-vii verso: list of the contents of the manuscript

Rachel Bromwich (1979: 6) states that the form of the names in the genealogical tract found in folios 33-40 makes it likely that the source text was originally written in Old Welsh orthography sometime before 1200. Texts betraying an interest in southern figures such as the Brychan section in the genealogical tract (fol. 33r-34r) and the pedigree of Morgan ab Owein (fol. 35v-36r) would seem to indicate a southern origin (Bartrum 1960: 41).

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

  • Bartrum, P. C. 1960. Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Bromwich, Rachel. 1979. Trioedd Ynys Prydein, 2nd edition. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • 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.
  • Evans, J. Gwenogvryn. 1898-1910. Jesus 3=XX’, 31-34 in Report on manuscripts in the Welsh Language, 2. London: HMSO.
  • Evans, J. Gwenogvryn. 1887. Pedigrees from Jesus College MS. 20. Y Cymmrodor 8: 83-91.
  • Evans, J. Gwenogvryn. 1903. Archiv für celtische Lexicographie 3.

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 Oxford University and available on their website at The editors have not checked the transcription against the original, therefore information on the scribal hands, foliation and accompanying materials should be treated as provisional.

  • 21-Jan-2011 DL: edited TEI header
  • 14-Aug-2007 PWT: edited TEI header
  • 30-May-2006 – 22-Jun-2006 PWT: edited XML encoded files, produced table of corrections and amended where necessary
  • 6-Apr-2006 DL: converted Word files with shortcuts into XML files and corrected them
  • 9-Aug-2005 – 6-Sep-2005 DL: corrected electronic transcription of folios 42r-70v
  • 9-Aug-2005 – 24-Aug-2005 DMS: corrected electronic transcription of folios 16r-41v
  • 8-Aug-2005 – 5-Sep-2005 DMS: checked DL's transcript of folios 42r-70v against prints
  • 8-Aug-2005 – 22-Aug-2005 DL: checked DMS's transcript of folios 16r-41v against prints
  • 1-Aug-2005 – 1-Sep-2005 DL: transcribed folios 42r-70v with shortcuts
  • 5-Aug-2005 – 19-Aug-2005 DMS: transcribed folios 16r-41v with shortcuts

The material has been transcribed separately.