Richard Hughes, Ty Hen Isaf Manuscripts

Scope and Content

This varied collection of manuscripts consists of volumes of poetry which date from the end of the eighteenth century and contain the works of early poets such as Dafydd ap Gwilym, Iolo Goch and Guto'r Glyn. There are lists of books and articles in the possession of Richard Hughes; the copy wills of Mary Jones, Anne Jones and Richard Hughes of Ty Hen Isaf; the pedigree book of Morris Evans in the hand of Dewi Fardd, Trefriw; and a collection of material relating to Beddgelert and Rhyd-ddu, Caernarfonshire.

The Poor Law Rate Books for the parish of Coedana, Anglesey date from 1837 - 1846 and a Highway Rate Book for the same parish dates from 1851-1863. There is an Eisteddfod essay for the 1896 National Eisteddfod held in Llandudno and the adjudication in the chair competition for the Pwllheli National Eisteddfod, 1875. The earliest item is an unpublished manuscript volume entitled Saints in Safe custody or re-born-believers Garrisoned in God being a discourse touching finall perseverance, 1693.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Hughes of Ty Hen Isaf, Llannerch-y-medd, Anglesey was born in 1837 and died in 1930. As a young boy, he worked on Dyffryn Gwyn farm for the Rev. John Prytherch, who was one of the largest farmers in Anglesey. He also served as husbandman for two spinsters, who unexpectedly left him all their property. This enabled Richard Hughes to satisfy his two ambitions, to travel and to own a library.

Then began a series of visits to Palestine and the Mediterranean - Egypt, Greece and Italy. Also, he became a great collector of rare and precious books and a friendship sprang between him and Thomas Shankland, the Welsh librarian of the University College of North Wales.

Twenty years before his death, Richard Hughes bequeathed his library, which consisted of three thousand books, to the University. The collection contains a long series of Welsh texts and periodicals. At the time, the gift emphasised the claim of the library of the University College of North Wales as one of the richest repositories in the world for the pursuit of study and research into the history and literature of Wales.

Richard Hughes was also a generous patron of Eisteddfod Mn and acted as treasurer to the Local Committee of the Eisteddfod held at Llannerch-y-medd in 1911.


No apparent system of arrangement. The manuscripts have been incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts.

Access Information

Open to all users.


Description compiled by Elen Wyn Hughes, September 2001

Other Finding Aids

An item level typescript catalogue is available at the Department of Manuscripts of the University of Wales Bangor. Reference numbers : General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts 700-710, 25102, 27350-27351, 34598

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.

Related Material

Other material relating to Richard Hughes consist of letters and articles. Reference numbers : General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts 5280 (51) and Ashby 63. The papers of Thomas Shankland are also held at the Department of Manuscripts of the University of Wales Bangor : Shankland Manuscripts, HE Archives Hub : Reference number GB 222 SHANK.