Gramadeg y beirdd; traethawd ar retoreg,

Scope and Content

An imperfect, ? early seventeenth century manuscript consisting of (a) an incomplete transcript (wanting the beginning) of the Welsh bardic grammar compiled or arranged by Simwnt Fychan circa 1570 and known as 'Pum Llyfr Cerddwriaeth', and (b) an incomplete transcript (wanting the end) of William Salesbury's Welsh treatise on rhetoric written in 1552 and based upon Petrus Mosellanus: Tabulae de Schematibus et Tropis. The treatise on rhetoric first appeared in conjunction with the bardic grammar in the manuscript which is now Jesus College MS 9 (pre-1575).


Title based on contents.

Formerly known as Llanover B. 4.

Preferred citation: NLW MS 13065B.

Other Finding Aids

The description is also available in the Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IV (Aberystwyth, 1971).

Custodial History

In a holograph note in Welsh inscribed on the original, upper cover (inside) Edward Williams ('Iolo Morganwg') states that the volume had been in the possession of the Reverend Joshua Thomas [1719-1797], Baptist minister at Leominster, and in the possession of, or borrowed by, the Reverend Evan Evans ['Ieuan Brydydd Hir', 1731-1788] 'o'r Ganhawdref' [i.e., Cynhawdre, parish of Lledrod], co. Cardigan. In the same note he states that he had purchased the volume from William Bona of New Inn, co. Carmarthen, in 1802 for half a guinea. On the same inside cover as this note are the inscriptions 'Joshua Thomas, Leominster, Eius Liber, Me testante Johanne Thomas', and 'Joshua Thomas his ? han[d]'. The following names or inscriptions also appear as marginalia or on the covers - 'Rice Thomas' (three times, once with date 1695), 'Rees Thomas', 'John Thomas, May ye 6, 1748', 'Richard Williams', 'Richard Ellis his hand, 1757 ', 'James [ ] Gwyddyl', 'Rice Thomas, clerk of the parish church of Llan[ ]id', 'Ellis Jones, weaver, is ye true owner of this Booke, 1713', 'Ellis Jones, Wever, of Llandygai', 'Joseph Griffith', 'Elis Jhons his Book, ?1739', 'Thomas Griffith, ffuler, at Llandegai', and 'Johannes Thomas ejus Liber, me testante Thomas Williams'.


For the connection between the texts of the present manuscript and those of the same two works to be found in Peniarth MS 160 (in the hand of Richard ap John of Scorlegan, parish of Llangynhafal, co. Denbigh, 1593), Peniarth MS 159 (also in the hand of Richard ap John, 1578-1579), and Jesus College MS 9, see the introduction to G. J. Williams ac E. J. Jones (gol.): Gramadegau'r Penceirddiaid (Caerdydd, 1934), more particularly tt. liv-lv, lix, and W. Alun Mathias: 'Llyfr Rhetoreg William Salesbury', Llên Cymru, cyf. I, tt. 259-68, cyf. II, tt. 71-81.

Additional Information