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Welsh music history


Vol. 3, 1999

Statud Gruffudd ap Cynan (the statute of Gruffudd ap Cynan)

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Statud Gruffudd ap Cynan
(The Statute of Gruffudd ap Cynan)
The Statute survives wholly or in part in over seventy copies, ranging
in date from approximately contemporaneous with the Caerwys
Eisteddfod of 1523 to the end of the eighteenth century. Following
the direction of the Statute that each bard should carry a copy of it
(11. 257-9; translation 11. 302-4), a few of the sixteenth-century
copies are in the hands of known poets, though the bulk of them,
including all the copies made after about 1600, were made by
scholars and antiquarians. I am currently preparing an edition of the
Statute and its ancillary texts from the nineteen pre-1600 manu-
scripts,1 while Bethan Miles is preparing a critical edition of the text
from all extant manuscripts.
The present text is that of Lbl MS Add. 19711. It is clearly a
working bardic copy; Graham C. G. Thomas of the National Library
of Wales has identified the hand as that of Wiliam Llyn (1534/5-80).
There have been two previous editions of the Welsh text: the version
of Lbl MS Add. 19711 was printed by J. H. Davies,2 while that of AB
MS Peniarth 270 was printed by Thomas Parry.3
Lbl MS Add. 19711 is a parchment roll of twelve membranes sewn
serially (145mm x 260mm (modern) + 735mm + 650mm + 620mm
+ 500mm + 360mm + 230mm + 35mm + 415mm + 405mm +
410mm + 235mm), containing only the text of the Statute. Each
section of the text begins with a crude decorative initial, two of them
decorated with line drawings of a peacock and a cat. Many sections
are rubricated, and màny sections begin with several lines in larger
letters than the remainder of the text. Membrane 2 (the beginning of
the text) has a heraldic shield of three lions passant on a red
The text is given as it appears in the manuscript, with interlinear
additions described in the footnotes. I have not indicated the several
different sizes of writing in the text. Clear scribal errors are corrected
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