- 1827-[?1933] (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
John Ceiriog Hughes, poet, was born John Hughes in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Denbighshire, on 25 September 1832. At a very young age he had poems published in the periodical Baner Cymru and edited a poetry column in Y Greal. His first poetical mentor was Robert Ellis (Cynddelw). In 1849 Hughes moved to Manchester, obtaining a job as goods station clerk in London Road. The young man soon entered the circle of influential Welsh literary figures living at that time in Manchester, a circle which included William Williams (Creuddynfab), Robert Jones Derfel and John Jones (Idris Fychan). It was R. J. Derfel who taught Hughes the value of Wales, the Welsh language and its poetical tradition and it was under his influence that Hughes added 'Ceiriog' to his name. Idris Fychan passed on to Hughes his love of collecting Welsh airs and melodies, a practice which Hughes kept up throughout his life. His poetical and other works were published in several volumes, beginning with Oriau'r Hwyr (Ruthin, 1860). Cant o Ganeuon (Wrexham, 1863) was a collection of Welsh airs to which he had added words of his own composition, effectively rendering the airs into songs. The composer Brinley Richards included Hughes's words to music in his Songs of Wales (London, 1873). In 1865 Hughes returned to Wales and took up the post of station-master at Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, transferring in 1870 to Tywyn, Merioneth. In 1871 he was appointed railway inspector on the newly-opened line between Caersws, Montgomeryshire, and the Van lead mines near Llanidloes. He died in 1887 and was buried at Llanwnog, Montgomeryshire. A collection of Hughes's last poems, Yr Oriau Olaf, was published by Isaac Foulkes (Llyfrbryf) in 1888. Ceiriog was survived by his wife Annie Catherine Hughes (née Roberts, d. 1931), who he had married in 1861, and four children.
NLW MSS 15599-15601: Purchased by Delia Ceiriog Evans from an unidentified seller (cf. NLW MS 17527B, ff. 57-70).
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
NLW MSS 4551-4553: David Jones, JP; Liverpool; Donation; October 1920.
NLW MS 5400A: Mrs Delia Ceiriog Evans, daughter of Ceiriog; Donation; October 1927.
NLW MS 5559B: Mr R. Barrow Griffith; Barmouth; Donation; May 1927.
NLW MSS 10165-10195: Mrs Delia Ceiriog Evans; London; Purchase; October 1935.
NLW MSS 15599-15601: Mrs D. Ceiriog Evans; Aberystwyth; Purchase; December 1947.
NLW MS 17527B: Mrs Victoria Decima Evans, daughter-in-law of Mrs D. Ceiriog Evans (per Mr Ffransis G. Payne, MA, FSA, St. Fagans); Penarth; Donation; December 1960.
NLW MS 21620B: Mrs Phyllida Lindsay, great-grand-daughter of Ceiriog; London; Donation; April 1979.
NLW MS 24172D: Mr Gareth Vaughan Williams; Wrexham; Donation; April 2021; 991110928602419.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers, 1827-[?1933], of or relating to John Ceiriog Hughes (Ceiriog), including autograph poetry, 1857-1887; a diary, 1886; correspondence, [1852x1855]-1913, comprising letters addressed to Ceiriog, [1852x1855]-1887, Ceiriog's letters to his wife Annie, 1860-1861, letters from Ceiriog to Nicholas Bennett and others, 1856-1887, and correspondence of Annie Hughes and Delia Ceiriog Evans, 1871-1913; and volumes of press cuttings, 1827-[?1933], including poetry by Ceiriog and obituaries and tributes to him.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 4551-4553, 5400A, 5559B, 10165-10195, 15599-15601, 17527B, 21620B, 24172D.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
NLW MSS 10165-10195: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961), pp. 193-198.
Generated finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents of fonds.
NLW MSS 10165-10195 formerly Ceiriog MSS 1-31.
In a letter, dated 12 November 1947, to the Librarian at NLW, Delia Ceiriog Hughes confirms that her Father had 'a disastrous fire in the little room where he kept his precious papers', accounting for the condition of NLW MS 15601E and possibly suggesting the loss of other papers.
Virtua system control number
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
August 2008-March 2022.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961); Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig hyd 1940 (London, 1953); Hywel Teifi Edwards, 'Hughes, John [pseud. Ceiriog]', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/14082.
Description compiled by Bethan Ifan for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Bethan Ifan and Rhys Jones.