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Morgannwg

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Vol. 23 1979

From Edward Lhuyd to Iolo Morganwg : the death and rebirth of Glamorgan antiquarianism in the eighteenth century /

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From Edward Lhuyd to lolo
Morganwg: The Death and Rebirth
of Glamorgan Antiquarianism in the
Eighteenth Century
J. P. Jenkins
The antiquaries of Tudor and Stuart times have been duly praised,
and local historians fully acknowledge that the foundations of their
craft lie in the great tradition which included Leland, Stowe,
Lambarde and Dugdale. Glamorgan produced the celebrated Rice
Merrick in Elizabethan times, and the latest volume of the
Glamorgan County History includes full studies of his historically
minded contemporaries like Sir Edward Mansel, Sir Edward
Stradling and Anthony Powel of Llwydarth, as well as of their
successors in the next century such as the Wilkinses. The Civil War
provided renewed stimulus to historical study, for scholars were
appalled by the wanton destruction of "heaps of parchment books
and rolls" burnt by Roundheads, while Royalists excluded from
public life now had the time and inclination to study antiquities.
Thomas Wilkins the antiquary began his studies in 1657, in the
Interregnum, and the famous scholar John Aubrey "began to enter
into pocket memorandum books philosophical and antiquarian
remarks AD 1654, at Llantrithyd", while staying with his
Glamorgan kinsman and namesake. The renewed tradition
flourished after the Restoration. Sir Edward Stradling patronised
the work of Percy Enderbie on Welsh history, and the sermons of
George Stradling are models of historical erudition both ancient
and medieval. The Aubreys remained in close touch with one
another, so that local antiquarian circles were brought into contact
with national figures like Edward Lhuyd. It is the work of Lhuyd in
the 1690s that permits us to see how enthusiastically the Glamorgan
gentry had adopted historical study as a pastime amounting to an
obsession[l].
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