Fonds NLW MSS 10216-10274. - Cynddelw Manuscripts,

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MSS 10216-10274.


Cynddelw Manuscripts,


  • [1601x1924] / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

59 vols.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Robert Ellis ('Cynddelw'), Baptist minister, poet, antiquary and commentator, was born in 1812 near Penybontfawr, Montgomeryshire. He worked as a farm hand from 1822 to 1835 whilst also cultivating an early love of literary, poetic and antiquarian matters learnt from his mother and from such literary figures as Richard Morris, Pentrefelin and the Unionist preacher Humphrey Bromley. He joined the Baptist chapel at Gefailrhyd in 1832 and began to preach in 1834. The following year he gained some schooling under the Baptist minister and writer John Williams, Llansilin. Thereafter, he was to minister at Llanelian and Llanddulas (1836-1838), Glynceiriog (1838-1842), Sirhowy (1847-1862) and Caernarfon (1862-1875). A multi-talented individual, 'Cynddelw' was an eloquent preacher, speaker and lecturer, a fine poet and eisteddfodic adjudicator and a prolific author. He edited several poetical works, including Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru (Caernarfon, [?1864]) and Geiriadur y Bardd (Caernarfon, [?1874]). He produced Geiriadur Cymreig Cymraeg (Caernarfon, 1868), a dictionary of Welsh words explained in Welsh. His antiquarian publications include Manion Hynafiaethol (Treherbert, 1873) and a contribution of eighteen chapters to 'Gweirydd ap Rhys's Hanes y Brytaniaid a'r Cymry (Llundain, 1872-1874). His attachment to his Baptist denomination remained strong; he was editor of Y Tyst Apostolaidd from 1846 to 1850, Y Tyst in 1851 and Y Greal from 1852 to 1853, and wrote biographical works on the Baptist ministers John Williams, Rhosllanerchrugog and Ellis Evans, Cefn Mawr. 'Cynddelw' died at his old home, Gartheryr, between Oswestry and Llanrhaeadr, whilst on a preaching and lecturing tour in 1875. A collection of his poetical works, Barddoniaeth Cynddelw, was published in 1877.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

David Williams, biographer of Robert Ellis; Brynsaithmarchog; Acquisition; 1935

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers, [1600x1924], mostly of or relating to Robert Ellis ('Cynddelw'), with some in the hand of Dr Robert Ellis, his son. The material includes a draft autobiography of Robert Ellis; an introduction written for a collection of Ellis's work under the proposed title Mwyar Berwyn; a draft of part of the first chapter of a biography of John Williams, Baptist minister (Llangollen, 1871); notes for Esboniad ar y Testament Newydd Cyfrol III (Llangollenn, 1878); poetry; diaries, 1840-1866; correspondence, 1833-1875; sermons; lectures; essays; adjudications at eisteddfodau, [1860x1875]; and miscellaneous notes, transcripts and extracts. The collection also includes letters, 1835-1856, of John Williams, Baptist minister; a rental, 1725-1726, of the estate of Watkin Williams Wynn; commonplace books of John Davies, Pentrefoelas, Griffith Williams ('Gutyn Peris') and others, together with further collections of miscellany in seventeenth and eighteenth century hands; and autograph sermons by Christmas Evans.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 10216-10274.

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 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library. = Disgwylir i ddarllenwyr sydd am ddefnyddio papurau modern yn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru gydymffurfio รข Deddf Gwarchod Data 1998 yng nghyd-destun unrhyw brosesu ganddynt o ddata personol a gasglwyd o gofnodion modern sydd ar gadw yn y Llyfrgell. Nodir y manylion yn yr wybodaeth a roddir wrth wneud cais am Docyn Darllen.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • Welsh
  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume III (Aberystwyth, 1961), pp. 200-208.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

The papers were used extensively in the compilation of Rev. David Williams: Cofiant Cynddelw (Caernarfon, 1935).

Notes area


Formerly Cynddelw MSS 1-59.


Title based on contents.


Printed books once included in the archive are held in NLW.


Preferred citation: NLW MSS 10216-10274.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name 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

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

August 2008 & May 2011.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifan for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Bethan Ifan. 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 (Llundain, 1953); Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (Llandysul, 1986); Cronfa Capeli on-line; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography on-line;

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MSS 10216-10274.