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Brogyntyn manuscripts
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A Treatise of the World's Vanity,

An autograph presentation copy of a treatise by Abraham Darcie of Geneva (fl. 1623-35), being an abridged version of his English translation of Pierre du Moulin, Héraclite; ou, de la vanité et misère de la vie humaine (dernière édition, Genève, 1624), published in full as Heraclitus; or, Meditations upon the Misery of Mankinde and the Vanitie of Humane Life (London, 1624, STC 7326).
The present copy is dedicated to 'Helen Evers', sc. Lady Elin Eure (née Maurice) of Clenennau and Brogyntyn (1578-1626), who was first married to Sir John Owen of Bodsilin (d. 1611/12), secretary to Sir Francis Walsingham (see also Brogyntyn MS II.22), and secondly to Sir Francis Eure (d. 1621), chief justice of the North Wales circuit. The printed editions of the translation are dedicated to John Egerton, 2nd earl of Bridgewater, Henry Vere, 18th earl of Oxford, and others, and Darcie may have come into contact with Elin Eure through his acquaintance with families of the English nobility.

Darcie, Abraham, active 1625.

Abstracts of Clenennau correspondence,

  • Brogyntyn MS II.50 [RESTRICTED ACCESS].
  • File
  • [mid-18 cent.], [late 19 cent.].
  • Part of Brogyntyn manuscripts

A volume containing abstracts, [late 19 cent.], of official correspondence and documents dated 1485-1645, arranged chronologically, relating to members of the Owen family of Clenennau; the original letters are to be found among the Clenennau Letters and Papers in NLW, Brogyntyn Estate and Family Records.
Tipped in is a short account, [mid-18 cent.], of 'The civil War between K. Charles 1st & his Parliament', with the note 'To be put in Manuscript cupboard, WWEW' added in pencil in the hand of W. W. E. Wynne, Peniarth (ff. 29, 30).

Achau, arfau, &c.

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).

Admiral Sir George Seymour's early naval career,

A notebook containing a brief account of the early naval career of Admiral Sir George Francis Seymour, written by his daughter, Emily Charlotte Seymour, afterwards the second Lady Harlech.
The account was written by Seymour on board HMS Collingwood during a passage from Rio de Janeiro to England in June 1848, while returning with her father from his service as commander-in-chief in the Pacific, 1844-1848.

Ormsby-Gore, Emily Charlotte, Lady Harlech, 1823 or 4-1892.

An abridgement of Wilkins's Natural Religion,

A notebook containing an analysis, in the form of questions and answers, of John Wilkins, Of the Principles and Duties of Natural Religion (London, 1675, Wing W2204), in the hand of Robert Godolphin Owen, son of William Owen of Brogyntyn (pp. 1-28). It was probably compiled by him whilst he was a student at Oriel College, Oxford (see Brogyntyn MS II.25): 'An Abridgement of Wilkin's [sic] Natural Religion' (First line, 'Q. What is treated in the first Book? ...'; last line, '… for tho' it may not be an immediate Revelation, yet we are sure it is warranted by God').

Owen, Robert Godolphin, 1733-1792

An Introduction to Logic,

A volume containing notes on logic very closely related to the published text of Dr Edward Bentham, An Introduction to Logick, Scholastical and Rational (Oxford, 1773, repr. Menston, 1967): 'An Introduction to Logick by Edward Bentham. D. D. Fellow of Oriel College Oxford' (First line: 'Logick is the Art of using our intellectual Faculties to the best Advantage ...'; last line: 'Orators, whose chief Employment it is to select such incidental Circumstances, as favour their Cause, & heighten their Importance') (pp. 1-169).
The present text could be based on notes taken at Bentham's lectures (he tutored at Oriel College from 1732) or on an unpublished draft of the published work, as it includes many of the footnotes found in the printed edition. The hand is that of Robert Godolphin Owen, son of William Owen (d. 1768) of Brogyntyn; he matriculated in 1751 at Oriel College (see Alumni Oxonienses), where he studied logic with Bentham (see letters, 1751-1752, from RGO, now NLW, Brogyntyn Estate and Family Records PEC5/10/54-63).

Owen, Robert Godolphin, 1733-1792

Assessment of the inhabitants of Oswestry,

An assessment, taken 15 October 1660, of the inhabitants of the townships of Aston, Crickheath, Cynhinion, Hisland, Llanforda, Maesbury, Middleton, Morton, Pentre-gaer, Swinau, Sychdyn, Trefarclawdd, Treflach, Trefonnen and Wootton, in the parish of Oswestry, Shropshire.
Endorsed is a list of the names of the assessors, namely Arthur Hanmer, Richard Lloyd, Thomas Powell, John Key, John Jones, Jeffrey Griffiths and John Thomas, and of Edward Owen and John Davies, churchwardens (f. 9 verso).


A composite volume consisting of two incomplete manuscripts written by several mid-seventeenth century scribes and containing Welsh poetry mostly in strict-metre.
It comprises: (a) pp. 1-498, 595-622 (many misplaced leaves, the original order being pp. 615-616, 179-186, 37-38, 595-598, 619-622, 599-602, 35-36, 1-34, 39-178, 187-432, 603-614, 433-498) mainly in the hands of Richard Cynwal (pp. 37-38, 179-186, 615-619) and an unidentified mid-seventeenth century scribe, containing Welsh poetry addressed mostly to the Maurice family of Clenennau and related families, including those of Bryncir; Wern, Penmorfa; Craflwyn, Beddgelert; Ystumcegid and Corsygedol; (b) pp. 499-594 in the hand of an unidentified mid-seventeenth century scribe, containing Welsh poetry addressed to families of north-east Wales, particularly those of Eutun of Leeswood and Lloyd of Bodidris. Poems, probably holograph, by Ellis Rowland, Jane Vaughan of Caer Gai and William Wynne are tipped in at the end of the volume (pp. 623-625).


A volume containing Welsh poetry in strict and free metre, including a poem dated 1627 (f. 280), in an unidentified hand of the early seventeenth century; the same hand also wrote NLW MS 6471B and Jesus College, Oxford MSS 139 and 140.
The scribe was copying from at least six different manuscripts, the beginnings and ends of which he usually indicates, e.g. 'dechre llyfyr Mr Iohn peers' (f. 1), 'dechre llyfyr arall (ff. 60 verso, 225 verso) and 'diwedd i llyfr yma' (ff. 135, 225 verso). Books begin on ff. 1, 60 verso, 105, 135 and 225 verso; the sixth book probably began in the gap resulting from the excision of leaves between ff. 245 and 246. Additions include a poem, dated 1630, written in a contemporary hand on ff. iii-iv; englynion on ff. iv verso, and on f. 176 verso, probably in the hand of Lowry Evans; verses in free metre in an early-nineteenth century hand tipped onto f. 305; and a subject index of contents of the volume when it was complete in a hand of the second half of the seventeenth century on ff. 306-310.


A volume containing Welsh strict-metre poetry in the hand of Wmffre Dafis, vicar of Darowen, written in 1599 for his nephew, Theodore Price, sub-dean of Westminster Abbey.
The same scribe also wrote Bodewryd MS 1, BL Addl MS 14933, Llanstephan MSS 35, 118, and NLW MS 3056D (Mostyn MS 160). Jesus College MS 101 (see Report on Manuscripts in the Welsh Language, 2 vols (London, 1898-1910), II, pp. 68-86) appears to be a straight transcript from this manuscript. A series of englynion in Welsh and Latin have been added in an early-seventeenth century hand on f. v.

Davies, Humphrey, -1635

Barddoniaeth a phroffwydoliaethau

A volume containing poetry mostly in strict metre, together with some prose items and a significant body of prophetic prose or vaticinatory verse, transcribed between 1649 (see pp. 285-288) and 1660 by Wiliam Bodwrda; the volume would appear to have been 'No. 17' in his own collection of manuscripts (see f. iv and p. 342).
The cited works are mainly those of fifteenth-century poets, including eulogies by Lewys Glyn Cothi and prophetic poetry by Dafydd Gorlech, Dafydd Llwyd ap Llywelyn ap Gruffudd o Fathafarn and Robin Ddu. Several pieces of prophecy are either anonymous or attributed to ambiguous and obscure authors such as Taliesin, y Bardd Cwsg and y Bergam. Eulogies composed in praise of the Bodwrda family are found on pages 181-193 and 285-288. Wiliam Bodwrda himself has paginated the manuscript from 1-341, but some of these numbers have been cropped in binding. The paper, according to the transcriber's practice, has been folded before use giving three vertical creases on every page, the left-hand crease being used as a guide for the alignment of the text. The transcriber uses a catchword on the bottom right-hand corner of most verso pages.

Wiliam Bodwrda.

Barddoniaeth a rhyddiaith,

A volume containing Welsh poetry, mostly in strict metre (pp. 1-433), together with some prose items, including recipes for making inks and baits for catching trout (pp. xvii-xviii), a short Welsh vocabulary (pp. xix-xxii), descriptions of the coats of arms of Welsh families (pp. 444-454) and the names of the Fifteen Tribes of Gwynedd (pp. 454-456), written in a late-seventeenth century hand.
Many of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poems are addressed to members of the families of Owen of Clenennau and Brogyntyn and Wynn of Glyn and Ystumcegid: the manuscript was probably compiled for Elizabeth Wynn of Glyn and Ystumcegid or for her daughter Margaret Wynn shortly after the latter's marriage in 1683 to Sir Robert Owen of Clenennau and Brogyntyn (see pp. 23-25). An index to the poems is supplied by the scribe on pp. 434-443. Poetry in more than one hand has been added between c. 1691 and c. 1713 on pp. vii, 457-476, 484-485, 489-510, including elegies to Sir Robert Owen by Huw Morys (pp. 468-471) and to his sister-in-law Mrs Catherine Pennant by David Davies (p. 473), and a poem in free metre, dated 1713, probably by Dafydd Williams, Rhuthun (p. vii).

Barddoniaeth a rhyddiaith,

  • Brogyntyn MS II.55 [RESTRICTED ACCESS].
  • File
  • [late 16 cent.]-[18 cent., first ½].
  • Part of Brogyntyn manuscripts

A composite manuscript of loose papers and fragments of manuscript volumes. It contains poetry and prose, mostly in Welsh, much of the poetry being addressed to the Owen family of Brogyntyn and Clenennau and other related families. Apart from a late-sixteenth century awdl by Wiliam Llŷn (ff. 57-58), the other items all belong between the first half of the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century.
Fragments apparently once part of books, some of which perhaps were never bound, are: a narrow folio of cywyddau and englynion by Mathew Owen, in the hand of Nathanael Jones (ff. 20-26), written not before 1656 (see ff. 24 verso-25), with autograph englynion added by Harri Howel (f. 20 verso) and by Nathanael Jones (f. 20 verso, 23); a folio manuscript containing cywyddau to Lewis Anwyl of Parc and his family, dated 1627-1636 (ff. 38-55), written by two good hands of the first half of the seventeenth century, one responsible for ff. 38-50 verso, the other ff. 51-55; a quarto manuscript with transcripts of poetry of the Gogynfeirdd (ff. 113-122; paginated 1-20), by a seventeenth-century hand similar to that of Morris Evans (cf. ff. 93-94, 123-141); pedigrees of Welsh royal lines, the Maurices of Clenennau, etc., in English (ff. 123-141; original foliation 1-12 survives), in the hand of Morris Evans (ff. 123-127 verso, 129-134 verso) and a second hand (ff. 128 recto-verso, 135-141); a narrow folio of canu brud attributed to Myrddin, Taliesin, etc. (ff. 178-186), written by Nathanael Jones, not before 1651 (ff. 182 verso, 183 verso 'aetatis suae a 21o Feb: 1650 27'); a folio manuscript of canu brud, mainly cywyddau, by Dafydd Llwyd and others (ff. 189-207), in a poor hand of the mid seventeenth century, probably that of Thomas Edwards to judge by pentrials on f. 196 verso, who refers to Tregeiriog (f. 199 verso) and 'Llanfylling fairings' (f. 207 verso); an octavo manuscript containing poems by Robin Clidro, etc., in a seventeenth or eighteenth century hand (ff. 210-219); and a folio manuscript of autograph cywyddau and englynion by Huw Morys, some addressed to William Owen and Sir Robert Owen (ff. 222-226 verso). Poetry written on loose papers includes autograph poems by Huw Morys (ff. 12-18), John Owens (ff. 59-71; f. 69 recto-verso may be his italic hand), Harri Howel (ff. 75-76 verso, 90 recto-verso), Owen Gruffydd (ff. 84-89, 230-231), William Phylip (ff. 97-98 verso), John Morgan, later vicar of Conwy (f. 101 recto-verso, the poem incomplete and anonymous, dated 1688, the hand his), Siôn Rhydderch, 1732 (ff. 104-105, 227-228), and Edward Lloyd, Brewis (f. 221 recto-verso). There are probable autograph poems by Edward Rowlant (ff. 72-74 verso, 79-80) and John Richard (f. 81), and possible autograph poems by 'J. Ll.' (f. 26 verso), Mathew Owen (ff. 77-78, 232 recto-verso), Siôn Roberts (ff. 91-92), Huw Cadwaladr (ff. 106-108) and 'R.C.' (f. 163). Other poetry is in the hands of Morris Evans (ff. 93-94) and 'Theo: Ro:' (ff. 152-154 verso). Also included is a letter, 1652, from the antiquary Meredith Lloyd to Thomas Vaughan, the alchemist and poet (ff. 1-3 verso), followed by a copy of Hanes Taliesin (ff. 5-10 verso). The 'Cywydd Marwnad i Mr William Owen o Borkynton' by Huw Morys, beginning 'Mae gwaedd oer lem Gweddw [yw'r wlad]', discussed in E. D. Jones, 'The Brogyntyn Welsh Manuscripts', National Library of Wales Journal, 7 (1951-2), 165-198 (pp. 186-189, 196-197), has not been found.

Barlaamus's treatise against papal primacy,

A Latin version, by an unidentified translator, of a Greek treatise by Barlaamus, theologian and bishop of Gerace, Calabria, against papal primacy: 'Doctissimi Barlaami Tractatus de Primatu Papæ e Græco exemplari in Latinum conuersus, sic vt vtriusque libri singule pagine mutuo respondeant' (First line, 'Est hoc positum ab artium scientiarumque peritis, humanissime Francisco ...'; last line, '... vt tibi cum qva decet animi moderatione patienter auscultabo') (ff. 1-22 verso).
The translation is independent of that in the bilingual edition of John Lloyd, Του σοφωτατου Βαρλααμ λογοσ περι τησ του παπα αρχησ. Barlaami de Papæ principiatu libellus nunc primum græcé & latiné editus (Oxford, 1592, ESTC S112537).


A Bible, written in France, [13 cent., first ¼]. Texts: 'Hic incipit epistola beati Ieromini ...' [Friedrich Stegmüller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi (Madrid, 1950-80) 284] (ff.1-2); Stegmüller 284 repeated (ff. 3-4); and The Bible (ff. 5-352). The OT, compared with the order established about 1230 in Parisian Bibles (see for instance N. R. Ker and A. J. Piper, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries (Oxford, 1969- ), I, 96-97) lacks the Prayer of Manasses and 2 Ezra. The unusual NT order is: Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles and Apocalypse. For the OT, prologues are lacking for 2 Chronicles, Ecclesiastes and Wisdom (the Paris prologues for the latter two are added by another hand in the margin), that for Tobit is Stegmüller 349, while the series for the Minor Prophets, Amos to Machabees, is Stegmüller 512, 516, 522, 525, 527, 529, 532, 535, 540, 544 and 551. The only prologues in the NT are, for the Gospels, Stegmüller 590, 607, 615 and 624, for Acts 640; for the Catholic Epistles (James) Jacobus ecclesie ierosolimitane post apostolos curam et regnum suscepit ... uel inuisibiliter percutiat; and for the Epistle to the Romans, Stegmüller 662. The hand which added the prologues in the margin of the OT also added in the margin the standard prologues for the Pauline Epistles up to Philippians.
The text was corrected throughout, before decoration (see f. 104); it was annotated and further corrected by several thirteenth-century hands. Some of the larger omissions, neatly made good in the margin by the scribe, have their text otiosely repeated, in circles, by a contemporary hand. Between 2 Chronicles and Esther, chapter divisions were revised by one of the correcting hands, in conformity with the Paris Bible, most notably in Esther, where nine chapters become sixteen. The text is lightly glossed throughout, by pen and plummet, by the same thirteenth-century hands. Cited by glosses, apart from the Fathers, are Bede (ff. 281 verso, 323), Raban (f. 270), Hugh of St Victor (ff. 5, 245 verso, 258, 323 verso), Richard of St Victor (f. 160) and 'Ray[mund]' (f. 166).

Biblical, classical and Saxon chronology,

A volume containing a chronology, [early 18 cent.], of Biblical, classical and Saxon history, with strange combinations of letters, sometimes forming words, written above each event.

Brogyntyn Lute Book

A volume, [c. 1595], containing some forty-nine pieces of lute music in an unidentified hand, the song titles originally written in a cypher alphabet but these mainly later erased and transliterated (pp. 7, 13-32, 125-136). Transcripts of verse and miscellanea were added, [c. 1621]-[1669], by Thomas Tanat, of Broxton, Cheshire (see introduction to Spencer & Alexander (1978) and Cheshire Visitation Pedigrees 1613 and 1663 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 59 (1909), pp. 233-234, and 93 (1941), pp. 107-108)) (pp. 5-6, 38-105, 179-192).
Ancilliary materials consisting of photocopies, [1960s], of correspondence, 1962-1964, of B. G. Owens, Keeper of Manuscripts at NLW, concerning enquiries about the Lute Book are filed seperately (Brogyntyn MS I.27a); the correspondents include F. W. Sternfeld (f. 1), Philip Brett (ff. 3-4) and Dr Percy Young (f. 15).

Brogyntyn manuscripts

  • GB 0210 MSBROG
  • Fonds
  • [12 cent, first ½]-[1960s]

Important mediæval manuscripts and later literary and historical manuscripts, [12 cent, first ½]-[late 19 cent.], reflecting the collecting interests of the Maurice and Owen families of Clenennau and Brogyntyn.
They include an important mid-fifteenth century miscellany of prose and verse in Middle English (Brogyntyn MS II.1); English and Welsh poetry; plays; astrology and prophecies; chronicles of the history of Britain, one of which is a thirteenth century version of Historia Regum Britanniæ of Geoffrey of Monmouth (Brogyntyn MS I.7); a lute book, [c. 1595] (Brogyntyn MS I.27); a copy of the laws of Hywel Dda [1625x1632] (Brogyntyn MS I.12); legal precedents and other papers of legal interest in Latin and English; pedigrees, genealogy and heraldry of North and South Wales families; religious treatises, prayers, devotions and sermons; a seventeenth-century Latin-Welsh dictionary and other manuscripts of linguistic interest; extracts from classical literature; commonplace books; academic notes; copies of significant historical letters and documents; political tracts; moralistic and philosophical works; memoranda, journals and private papers of members of the Anwyl and Owen families; a few Brogyntyn estate and trust papers, 1727-1792; and notes on public offices and official papers deriving from the administration of Oswestry Corporation, 1660, 1673. Some ancilliary materials, [19 cent, second ½]-[1960s], mostly correspondence and notes relating to individual manuscripts, are also included (MSS I.27a, II.1a, II.10a, II.22a, II.42a, II.54(h), II.56a).


Brut in English

A fragment of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Brut in English, containing most of the life of Arthur, including the prophecies of Merlin, written in anglicana by one hand of the late fifteenth century. Two-line blue initials for chapters; headings, paragraph marks and underlinings in red.
For the text of the manuscript see Brogyntyn Manuscript No. 8, trans. and transcribed by Rosalynn Voaden, introduction by Felicity Riddy (Moreton-in-Marsh: Porkington Press, 1991). For a full text of the Brut, see The Brut; or, The Chronicles of England, ed. by Friedrich W. D. Brie, 2 vols, Early English Texts Society, o.s., 131 and 136 (London, 1906, 1908). Our manuscript begins at the end of Brie's chapter 73 and continues to his chapter 101; his chapter 101 is in ours, followed on f. 18 verso by the beginning of a chapter on Cadwallader which is not in Brie (on the Cadwallader chapter see C. W. Marx, pp. 377-380, and Riddy, p. [vi]).

Geoffrey, of Monmouth, Bishop of St. Asaph, 1100?-1154.

Byron's 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers',

A transcript, dated 2 January 1815, of Lord Byron's English Bards and Scotch Reviewers: A Satire (London, 1809) in the hand of Mrs Frances Morres Gore, whose signature appears on f. ii (ff. iv recto-verso, 1-61).
Laid in inside the back cover is a bifolium (watermark 1839) containing two poems in French, in an unidentified hand (ff. 68a-b).

Gore, Frances Morres, -1829

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