Gwydir.7 It is also possible that Christopher Saxton, who had been appointed to map all the shires of Wales in 1576 and who was expected to obtain guidance and assistance in travelling from the Welsh justices of the peace,8 may have come into contact with Morus Wynn of Gwydir who was actively engaged in local govern- ment at that time and who also functioned as custos rotulorum.9 When John Wynn himself returned to Gwydir after having received his education at All Souls, Oxford and Furnival's Inn, he doubtless had gathered together much information about the antiquarian interests of his fellow-gentry and had acquainted himself with their mode of writing.10 He had probably begun to write his chronicle during the early years after he had inherited the Gwydir estate on his father's death in 1580 and had added to it as convenience and opportunity allowed.11 His visits to London and Caernarfon, which were more frequent in the early days of his career than in his latter years, gave him the opportunity to collect what manuscript material he regarded as relevant to uncover the details of his own kindred, and his chronicle clearly reveals, frequently on his own admission, his indebtedness to other antiquarians, copyists and scholars, both Welsh and English. He was particularly indebted to Sir Thomas Wiliems, his kinsman from Trefriw near Gwydir, who supplied him with his own copies of Welsh manuscripts,12 and he paid tribute to Richard Broughton, whom he regarded (in spite of his reputed unreliability) as 'the chiefe antiquarye of England a man to whome his country is most behouldinge preferringe nothinge more than the honor thereof w'ch he most carefully raketh out of the ashes of oblivion in searchinge coatinge and copyinge to his great chardge all the auncient rccordes he can come by'.13 He also praised the Denbighshire-born bard Sion Tudur 'one of our welshe harraulds', on whom he probably relied for much of his genealogical material.14 Such references show above all else that Wynn was fully acquainted with current trends in Welsh and English historical scholarship and that he was fully prepared to adopt the accepted methods of approach to studies of the past.15 He intended to purchase William Camden's Britannia in 1607 together with a copy of Sir Walter Raleigh's Chronicles,16 and in 1610 the London publisher, Thomas Salisbury, sent him a copy of the latest edition of Camden's monumental work.17 It is not surprising, therefore, that Sir John should have taken a keen interest in all printed literature relating to British antiquities and it is probable, in spite of the meagreness of the evidence, that he had purchased a copy of John Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain in its first edition in 1611.18 In his massive compilation it was only natural that Speed should have relied heavily on the material supplied to him by his fellow antiquarians and by local gentry of repute, and amongst the Wynn papers there are two very interesting letters written to Sir John, presumably by John Jones of Gellilyfdy and his brother Thomas Jones, in 1621 and 1622 respectively letters which relate to the proposed third edition of Speed's work. These letters seem to throw a clearer light on Wynn's reputation as a squire-antiquarian and on his possible contribution to Speed's new edition.
This text was generated automatically from the scanned page and has not been checked. Typical character accuracy is in excess of 99%, but this leaves one error per 100 characters.
The National Library of Wales has created and published this digital version of the journal under a licence granted by the publisher. The material it contains may be used for all purposes while respecting the moral rights of the creators.