GB 0210 JOHNNA
John Legonna Papers
- 1928-1978 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.155 cubic metres (1 large box; 15 small boxes)
Name of creator
John Legonna (1918-1978), farmer, Welsh and Celtic nationalist, and conscientious objector, was of Welsh and Cornish parentage. His family came to Cardiganshire in 1939, and Legonna was educated at Coleg Harlech, the University College of Swansea and Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied law. He married Catherine Irene Thomas and settled in Cardiganshire, farming at Penrhos Fawr and Penlan Mabws, Llanrhystud, and at Ffynnon Gloch and Penparc, Llannarth, resisting conscription into the armed forces because of his nationalist beliefs. He spent much of his life involved in the politics and culture of Wales and the Celtic countries, notably as a founder of the New Nation Group and its magazine, Cilmeri. A selection of his autobiographical essays was published as 'Celtic Odyssey' in 2001. Legonna was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1974, and after an increasingly frustrating struggle with the condition he took his own life with characteristic defiance in 1978.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Bequeathed by John Legonna and received in July 1987 per his brother, Dr N F Brooks, Sherborne, Dorset
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers of John Legonna, including correspondence with Per Denez, Alan Heusaff, Goulven Pennaod (George Pinault), Harri Webb and others; diaries; poetry; prose; autobiographical notes and personal reflections; farming records; college notes on Welsh and Irish history and law; material relating to Legonna's political views and his activities with Welsh and Celtic nationalist organisations, especially Mudiad Gweriniaethol Cymru (Welsh Republican Movement), the Welsh National Party, and the New Nation Movement and its journal, 'Cilmeri'; printed and cyclostyled ephemera; personal and family records; miscellaneous printed material relating to Christopher Murray Grieve, 'Hugh MacDiarmid'; programmes for local eisteddfodau at Llannon and Llanrhystud; and typescript drafts of unpublished plays.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained.
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged into three groups: 1987 Bequest; 1989 Donation; and 2011 Donation.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright regulations apply
Language of material
- Scottish Gaelic
Script of material
Language and script notes
English and Welsh, with a few in Breton, Cornish, French and Scots Gaelic.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of the first part of the catalogue is available in Minor Lists and Summaries 1988, pp. 30-35, at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
A collection of John Legonna's autobiographical short stories, taken from papers in this archive, was published as 'Celtic odyssey' (Gwasg y Dref Wen : Cardiff, 2001).
Title supplied from contents.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Name access points
- Legonna, John. (Creator)
- Welsh Republican Movement -- Archives. (Subject)
- Welsh Republican Movement. (Subject)
- Plaid Cymru. Rhanbarth Ceredigion. (Subject)
- MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892-1978 -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- Pennaod, Goulven, b. 1929 -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- Webb, Harri, 1920- -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- Legonna, John -- Archives. (Subject)
- Denez, Per -- Correspondence (Subject)
- Heusaff, Alan -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892-1978. (Subject)
- Pennaod, Goulven. (Subject)
- Webb, Harri, 1920- (Subject)
- Denez, Per (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.;AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
January 2004 and February 2015.
Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project, with additions by David Moore. The following sources were consulted in the compilation of this description: NLW, Minor Lists and Summaries, 1988; NLW, W. W. Price Biographical Index (unpublished), Vol. XX; Stephens, Meic, The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales (Oxford, 1986); papers within the archive;