File Brogyntyn MS I.15 [RESTRICTED ACCESS]. - Achau, arfau, &c.

Identity area

Reference code



Achau, arfau, &c.


  • [16 cent., second ½] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

xxiii, 253 ff. (paginated 1-415; old foliation 1-250 with errors, continued 254-265 in reverse on versos of ff. xii-xxiii; ff. ii-xxiii verso, pp. 2-4, 6, 210, 213-22, 233-8, 257-68, 344, 380, 398, 412 and 416 to end blank) ; 285 x 195 mm.

Rebound, [early 19 cent.], in blind-tooled pigskin on five raised bands and 'BRITISH HISTORIE MS.' and 'PORKINGTON MANUSCRIPT No I' in gold on spine; inlaid into each cover is a blind-stamped panel, c. 255 x 145-155 mm., on a darker brown calf, from a binding of the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, the design very similar, but not identical, to Oldham, plate V. Watermark in end-papers dated 1804.

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

'Porkington Library Shelf 1 Case 4 No 3' (label inside front cover); 'No. 1' (f. iii); woodblock stamp with monogram including the letters 'GEORWN' (p. 5). Marginal notes in the hand of George Owen of Henllys on pp. 65, 107 and 209 indicate that he checked the contents of the first section (pp. 7-209) between 14 May 1593 and 10 March 1594. Other marginal notes in various hands, both secretary and italic, occur throughout the volume, including 'see more in the welshe booke of Robert geo' (p. 110), which probably refers to Robert George Bowen, Pencelli Fychan, Pembrokeshire, father-in-law of Mary, sister of the antiquary and genealogist, George William Griffith (c. 1584-1655), Penybenglog, Pembrokeshire; Griffith probably added the note 'Ach Iames mores ap gr ... o Glydey' on p. 315. The notes written in italic on pp. 7, 59, 87, 203, 337, 397 may be the work of George Owen Harry (c. 1553-c. 1614), rector of Whitechurch and Llanfihangel Penbedw, Pembrokeshire.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

A volume containing mainly pedigrees of North and South Wales families written by two principal scribes of the circle of George Owen of Henllys, Pembrokeshire.
(a) Pages 1, 7-209, 223-232, 239-256 and possibly 372-373 are written by a scribe who, although experienced in penning a good secretary hand and in executing ornate headings, is often inaccurate in his transcription of Welsh personal and place-names; he also wrote the line 'Owain ap Gruffith /i/ gelwid Gwinn ap Gr: yn jawn' on p. 41, in italic (examples of the same italic hand are found in the margins of pp. 19, 66, 113, 355, 356, 361 and elsewhere). This section comprises a collection of pedigrees mostly of North Wales families, including 'Bonedd y Saint' (pp. 84-90); the prose text 'Pedwar Marchog ar Higen oedd yn llys Arthur' (end wanting) (pp. 37-38); the dates of battles in the 'Wars of the Roses' (pp. 31, 208); five englynion, including one by Richard Davies, bishop of St Davids (p. 1), and other englynion dispersed among the pedigrees (pp. 57, 78, 92, 114-115, 170), together with the series of forty englynion entitled 'Campod Manuwel' (pp. 223-232); and the prose piece 'Disgrifiad Arfau', a Welsh translation of the heraldic treatise 'Tractatus de Armis', attributed to John Trevor, bishop of St Asaph (pp. 239-256). The ultimate source of this section is the collection of pedigrees and other texts written, [c. 1510], by 'Syr' Tomas ab Ieuan ap Deicws in Peniarth MS 127 (see p. 53); however, internal evidence suggests that the scribe was copying from the transcript of Peniarth MS 127 in NLW MS 17112D rather than directly from the original (see p. 104, where he begins copying the note 'Darfu examinatio y llyfrev newydd hyd yma' which occurs on f. 66 verso of NLW MS 17112D, before he realized his mistake). Both Brogyntyn MS I.15 and NLW MS 17112D preserve the original order of the text of Peniarth MS 127, which has been subsequently disarranged in binding. (b) Pages 211-212, 269-371, 374-411 are written by another experienced scribe whose display script is almost indistinguishable from that of the first scribe. These pages contain pedigrees mostly of South Wales families and include two copies of 'Llyma enway Kwnkwerwyr y rhai a vyant yngwlad Vorgannwg ay harfay' (pp. 280, 361-362), a third containing merely a short list of the conquerors' names (p. 310), and two copies of 'Llyma achoed Saint ynys Brydain' [= 'Bonedd y Saint'] (pp. 363-365, 385-386). The text on pp. 211-212, as indicated by a note in the hand of George Owen of Henllys at the head of p. 211, was copied in 1596 from the manuscript of 'Hyw Lewis Sr morgan' of Hafodwen, Carmarthenshire, which 'D'd ap Ienkin m'edd o Vachynlleth' wrote in 1586; the original is now NLW MS 3055D (Mostyn MS 159), pp. 232-233. The text on pp. 271-343 is partly derived from a manuscript written in 1513 by the Carmarthenshire poet and genealogist Ieuan Brechfa for 'Mastr John ap Henry ap Rees', with some of the pedigrees brought down to the second half of the sixteenth century; Ieuan Brechfa's manuscript does not seem to have survived; it is not Peniarth MS 131, pp. 199-308, which is thought to be in his hand. The source of pp. 345-411 is unknown, although the text on pp. 347-365 follows very closely that in Peniarth MS 143, pp. [?1-3], 4, 47-48, 7-19, 33-46, 49-52, written by the same mid-sixteenth century scribe who wrote many of the religious texts in Cardiff Central Library Havod MS 22. A leaf containing a prophecy in English verse, written in a late-sixteenth century hand, has been tipped in after the main text (pp. 413-414).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Item: 1.1 Manuscript Volume (Brogyntyn MS I.15). Action: Condition reviewed. Action identifier: 4585282. Date: 20030207. Authorization: Selected for conservation. Authorizing institution: NLW. Action agent: J. Thomas. Status: Manuscript Volume (Brogyntyn MS I.15) : Lower edges of first pages damaged, endpaper and some leaves partly detached. Institution: WlAbNL.

Item: 1.2 Manuscript Volume (Brogyntyn MS I.15). Action: Conserved. Action identifier: 4585282. Date: 20031009. Authorizing institution: NLW. Action agent: J. Jenkins. Status: Manuscript Volume (Brogyntyn MS I.15) : Repaired mould damaged leaves and secured loose pages. Institution: WlAbNL.


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to the original manuscript by authorised permission only. Readers are directed to use surrogate copies.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Leaves excised between ff. xi and xii; leaves affected by damp.

Finding aids

A detailed list of the contents is available at

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Available on microfilm at the Library.

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

E. D. Jones, 'The Brogyntyn Welsh manuscripts', National Library of Wales Journal, 7 (1951-2), 85-101.

Notes area


Formerly Porkington MS 1.


Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: Brogyntyn MS I.15 [RESTRICTED ACCESS].

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

Physical storage

  • Text: Brogyntyn MS I.15 [RESTRICTED ACCESS]; $q - Leaves excised between ff. xi and xii; leaves affected by damp.; $z - Access to the original manuscript by authorised permission only. Readers are directed to use surrogate copies..
  • Microform: $h - MEICRO BROGYNTYN MS I.15.