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"A little while before this, Creirddyllad, (Cordelia,) the daughter of Lludd Llaw Ereint, and Gwythyr the son Greidiawl were betrothed. And before she had become his bride, Gwyn ab Nudd caune and carried her away by force; and Gwythyr the son of Greidiawl gathered his host together and went to fight with with Gwyn ab Nudd. But Gwyn overcame him, and captured Greid the son of Eri, and Glinneu the son Taran, and Gwrgwst Ledlwm and Dyvnvarth his son. And captured Penn the son of Nethawg, and Nwython, and Kyledyr Wyllt his son. And they slew Nwython, and took out his heart, and constrained Kyledyr to eat the heart of his father. A thereupon Kyledyr became mad. When Arthur heard of this went to the north, and summoned Gwyn ab Nudd before him, and set free the nobles whom he had set in prison, and made peace between Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwythyr ab Greidiol. And this was the peace that was made, that the maiden should remain her father's house, without advantage to either of them, and that Gwyn ab Nudd and Gwythyr the son of Greidiol should fight for her every first of May, from thenceforth until the day doom, and that whichever of them should then be conqueror should have the maiden."
This appointment of the first of May for the annual combats is a fair presumption that the first battle took place on that day. The battle seen by Aneurin certainly did so; for the sacrifice at the sacred fire bespeaks the occasion to have been Bel-tan-day;4 and Aneurin, who elsewhere avows his druidism or paganism, and calls himself "Mab Coelcerth," or son of the sacred fire, was engaged in an act of Baal or fire worship. Here then are several coincidences; both battles were fought on the first of May; both battles were "inter Brittones;" and in both battles "the men of Nwython lost the day.
This verse has nothing to do with the battle of Catt- raeth, and like many others of the verses of Aneurin, forms no part of the proper Gododin.
Morial, to whom Gwallog is compared, is said to have been the son of Cyndrwyn and the brother of Cyn- ddylan :—" Moryal Condolani frater."—(E. Lhuyc
4 The month of May is still held sacred in Scotland; in that month there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage; though but few appear to know the reason.
Arch. Britt. col. i. p. 261.) He is identified with that family by Llywarch Hen:—
The sod of Ercal is on the ashes of fierce
Men, of the progeny of Morial;
And after Rhys there is great murmuring of woe.
Heroic Elegies, p. 93.
Rhys, the son of Morial, with his brothers Brych and others, are named in the Gododin, verse 49. Morial is honourably named by Meugant in the elegy on Cynddylan:—
Manred gymmined mawr ysgafael
Yrhag Caer Luyd coed neus dug moriael
Pymtheccant muhin a phen gwriael
Pedwar ugein meirch a seirch cyhawael
Pob esgob hunop ym mhedeirael
Nis noddes myneich llyfr afael
A gwyddws yn lu creulan o gynrhan claer
Ni ddeingis or ffosawd brawd ar y chwaer
Diengynt ai herchyll trewyll yn taer
Ef cynnif mi wyf in eru trafwael
O leas Cynddylan clodrydd pob hael.
Myv. Arch. i. p. 160.
"Manred gymmined" is a catch phrase with which the first verse terminates and all the rest begin; and the expression appears to derive its significance from the fact that Cynddylan lost his life on the race-course of Tren.
Conflict of the race-course! a great booty,
Did not Morial bring from Caer Lwyd Coed (Lincoln ?)
Fifteen hundred kine, and, chief heroism,
Fourscore steeds, and appropriate trappings,
With a sleepy bishop in each of the four corners,5
It did not protect monks, to have hold of the (sacred) book.
Of those who fell, a gory host, of the illustrious chieftains,
There escaped not from the gashing a brother to the sister;
5 The Seirch of the British bards is not war harness as is generally supposed, but silken trappings—i, e. serictB; and it was customary to ornament them at the corners with tassels and ornamental figures. —See the Mabinogi of Kilhwch, or Pughe's Dictionary, sub voce Peidirael.
Those who escaped had eager and fearful pushing. I am increasing in marvellous trouble,
Because Cynddylan's slain, praised by every generous (tongue).
The last five lines refer to the slaughter of the Cyndrwyn family, at Tren, in Shropshire. Morial again referred to by Aneurin, who extols his bravery pursuing the foe, (Williams' Gododin, v. 54); and allusion to his grave is made in the same work (Note, 133). He appears to have fallen at Cattraeth, and his death was avenged by the successes of Cadwallon.
The land of the Caw is the principality. The Caw was the insignia of a bard.—(See Iolo MSS. p. 632; Armlets of the Bards.)
Mertbyr Tydfil, Dec. 8,1852.
P.S.—Will any archaeologist skilled in the art copying inscriptions favour me with a description of the best method of doing this? There are several inscri tions of interest in this locality.
[Mr. Westwood has given in the Archceologia Cambrensis, 1851, 148, a very easy and effective method of copying inscriptions.—E Arch. Camb.]
REG. CAR. I.
The three following letters are offered to the members the Cambrian Archaeological Association simply from their relating to events which took place within the Principality during one of the most momentous periods of our history.
The originals formed part of the collection long preserved in the family of the late Mr. Benett, of Pytt- House, Wilts, whose ancestor, Col. Thomas Benett, had been Secretary to Prince Rupert during the civil wars.
From Mr. Benett they passed into the hands of Mr. Bentley, the publisher, and were finally dispersed by public auction in the summer of 1852.
J. P. O.
12th March 1643.
The newes is very sad and of as much consequence to the Kings affairs as any accident that hath happened almost since these troubles began; The Shipping vppo wensday in the evening appeared before Tenbigh and summoned them to yeald the towne; wb they refusing, they continued before it vntill Thursday morning, and then began to storme it violently from sea with their ordinance. The same morning their land forces, likewise sate downe before the towne; and plied it hotly with their canon continueing for y' most part day and night, vntill Saturday about 5 of the clock, at wh time their shott forced the very gate, and no where else as I learne, and gained the towne. plundring to ye utmost but gave quarter for life, there were taken prisoners of them that commanded Colonell David Gwyn. Comissary Gwyn Cap' George Lewis and Butler the now Sherif of Pembrokeshire, no releefe cam for want of horse, and the truth is that all the mischances hapend for want of a moveing reserve of strntgh to releeve the garrisons that should happen to be distrest whereof there was no; the Ammunitio as is reported was very scarse in towne; it was absolutely the strongest hold in South wales, and of greatest conseqvence to the King, had it been provided for with Knowing care it was scarsly forrcable; and to regayne it will require a mighty strntgh and knowing souldiers whereof there was little afore in my poore
iudgement. it sweeps with it those contreys
. . . . and powerful, all the armes of Carmarthenshire few excepted, and a few in the hand of the traynd men here besides those sent into the contry by Mr Bushell1 wh are all fixed now
1 "Thomas Bushell one of the wardens of his Majesty's Mint He was Governor of Lundy Island which by the Kings permission he surrendered on the 24th February 1647 to the Honb Richd Fiennes son of Will Ld Say & Sele."—See A Brief Declaration of the severall Passages in the Treaty concerning the surrender of the Garrison of Lundy now under the Command of Tho* Bushell Oovemour thereof for his Majestic London Printed in the Year 1647 By order of Parliament.—Tracts presented to British Museum by King George III.
were lost. The people are disheartened by the greatnes of' loss, that it will require no less a name then the Prince to new spiritt them, being yet for the most part (I am confident) loyall. but additionall succes which threatens the vulgar with present danger, for the most part governs the actions of the common sort, they would heare of no treaty, at all from the Earle. what farther resources they have I know not; but am certayne that the greatness of events rayses men into attempts they durst not have thought of before, we. are all ruined, by this mischance, without a timely reskue There is universall complaynt against the conduct of things, here & certainly not without cause. Seasonable and Resolved crossing of their current, would bring them to other & more temperate considerations, wh can not don, by the souldiery of these parts only. Some Ammunitio tl cam fro Bristoll and ventured to releeve the towne, was chased by a friggat of Swanleys and hardly scapte putting into a Creeke at llanelly. and is safe: wch is vpon the matter all wh these countyes, have the armes & stores of both being used in these late vnfortunate actios, what is intended must be with greate secrecy and speede; and the actio is of much more difficulty then it was before, had Tenbigh been saved, the country had been easily commanded with horse but now they have the holds Pembrok Tenbigh Sc Haviford and by this time beleeve Carew castle wh was garrisond as I heare but with men. They are numerous in ordinance of what nature th please by the shipping all their successes were p'formcd. Mariners, who being promisd the Plunder adventure boldly vppon attempts neare the water, that country is wholly theirs and the other 2 unfurnisht with armes or Ammunitio nor have the people will because they wante hopes to doe any thing vnder that military conduct wch brought them to these extremityes were well if his Highness intends to redeeme this mischiefe, that hee had more particulars and sincere advertisement on every point.
To my worthy ffriend
Morgan Herbert2 Esqr.
[" John Vaughan one that will upon fitts talke loud for monarchy; but scrupulous to wet his finger to advance it. He served Burgess for Cardigan in the long Parliament; but quitted it upon Straffbr tryal; named by his Majesty one of the Commissioners to attend the
2 Morgan Herbert, probably son of William Herbert of Havod, county Cardigan.