Welsh Ballads Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains four volumes of printed ballads in pamphlet form, bound together during the 1960s, along with an index. The ballads cover a variety of subjects, including criminal offences, especially murders; hangings; accidents, including coal mining disasters; shipwrecks; religion and various revivals; love; the arrival of the railways in Wales, and local events, such as the Rebecca Riots. The ballads relate mainly to Wales, with some written by famous Welsh poets such as Tegid and Eben Fardd.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Henry Davies was born in New Quay, Cardiganshire, in 1929, the son of Daniel Owen Davies, surgeon, and his wife Margaret. Davies was educated at New Quay and Cardigan, before entering St. David's College, Lampeter in 1862.

Davies was ordained a curate in 1864, and was made a priest in 1867. From 1864 to 1865 he acted as curate in the parish of Llanboidy, Carmarthenshire, and then spent three years as a curate at Oystermouth, Glamorganshire. In 1868 he became vicar of Llannon, Carmarthenshire, leavingin 1877 to take up the post of vicar of Cenarth in the same county.

Davies was known for his excellent library, which he probably inherited, and then added to himself. He also wrote a number of ballads, including 'I fechgyn yr Ysgol Rammadegol, Emlyn' (1909). He died in 1910.

Conditions Governing Access

The papers may be consulted through application to Peter Hopkins, Curator, Roderic Bowen Library and Archives, Trinity Saint David, Ceredigion, SA48 7ED. Tel 01570 424716, email: rodericbowenlibrary@tsd.ac.uk

Acquisition Information

The Cenarth Collection was donated to St. David's College, Lampeter in 1904, by D H Davies. It is likely that the ballads arrived at the university as part of this donation.


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to the University of Wales, Lampeter Archive.

Other Finding Aids

See the Index to the Welsh Ballads.

Related Material

The remainder of the Cenarth Collection, comprising D H Davies' library, is also held at the Founders' Library.