Fonds GB 0210 MSMYSEVIN - Mysevin Manuscripts

Identity area

Reference code



Mysevin Manuscripts


  • [1540x1927] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

42 vols.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

William Owen-Pughe was born in Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Merioneth and brought up in a farmhouse called Egryn in Ardudwy. He moved to London in 1776, where he committed himself to the London Welsh community, becoming a member of both the Gwyneddigion Society and the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. He was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and corresponded with many scholarly figures of his day. Like his contemporary 'Iolo Morganwg', who greatly influenced him, Pughe held somewhat idiosyncratic ideas concerning the Welsh language and its origins. His own literary output, however, was prolific and included lexicographical works such as A Grammar of the Welsh Language and A Welsh and English Dictionary (both 1803) and translations such as Coll Gwynfa (1819), a Welsh rendering of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. He was also principal editor of The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales (1801-1807) and the short-lived periodical Y Greal (1805-1807) and was a regular contributor to the newspapers and magazine publications of his day. Pughe conducted a close relationship with the writer and prophet Joanna Southcott from around 1803 until her death in 1814. Pughe's son Aneurin Owen was a historical scholar who received much of his early education from his father. He edited Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales; comprising the Laws ... by Howel the Good ... (London, 1841) and was also a major, though unacknowledged, contributor to the prodigious chronicle Brut y Tywysogion (1860).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

NLW MSS 13221-13262; Mr W. Churchill Owen; Mysevin; Purchase; 1940

NLW MS 13263; Mr W. Churchill Owen; Mysevin; Presentation; 1949

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers and manuscripts, [1540x1927], from the library of Dr William Owen-Pughe of Mysevin, relating primarily to Welsh literature and culture and to antiquarian subjects. The material includes correspondence addressed mainly to William Owen-Pughe, with a smaller number addressed to his son, Aneurin Owen, from prominent contemporary antiquarian and literary figures, including Edward Williams ('Iolo Morganwg'), Owen Jones ('Owain Myfyr'), Theophilus Jones, Richard Llwyd, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Richard Fenton, Thomas Pennant and Edward ('Celtic') Davies; volumes and papers in the hand of William Owen-Pughe, 'Iolo Morganwg' and others; manuscripts and printed papers relating to the Gwyneddigion Society, the Cymreigyddion Society and the Cymmrodorion; diary entries of William Owen-Pughe, 1811-1835; and transcripts of unpublished letters and papers, 1792-1820, of the writer and prophet Joanna Southcott. NLW MS 13263 is a supplementary volume of letters which was presented separately to NLW (see 'Source of Acquisition' note).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 13221-13263.

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 noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Slavic Language
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English, Latin, Hebrew, Cornish, Slavic (Other), French, Arabic, Greek, Manx.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Some of the papers are considerably damp-stained and torn and incomplete as well as discoloured.

Finding aids

The descriptions are also available in the Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IV (Aberystwyth, 1971).

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies


Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

For a description of the collection see B. G. Owens, 'The Mysevin Manuscripts', The National Library of Wales Journal, II, 90-2. A typewritten catalogue was prepared in 1939.

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Formerly known as Mysevin 1-41 + one previously unnumbered volume.


Preferred citation: NLW MSS 13221-13263.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Access points

Subject 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

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


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

June 2010.


  • English



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume IV (Aberystwyth, 1971); Y Bywgraffiadur Ar-lein viewed via WWW, 18 June 2010; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography WWW site, viewed 21 June 2010.

Archivist's note

Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS.

Accession area

Related subjects

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: William Owen-Pughe Manuscripts and other Manuscripts at Mysevin, Denbighshire; $q - Some of the papers are considerably damp-stained and torn and incomplete as well as discoloured..