Cymmrodorion Society


The Cymmrodorion Society which became formed in London by expats from Wales during the 18th century. The society had an affect of the revival of the Bardic Tradion and Esteddfodau in wales. A brief look at the society is given here.

The prime movers of this society were Dr Owen Pughe (1759-1835), Owain Jones (1741-1814) and Edward Williams (1746-1826). Although Founded in 1751 there are three three distinct phases of developed cantered between 1751- 1787; 1820-1843; and 1873 to present day. The purpose of the society was the pursuit of the Welsh language, along with gathering manuscripts and antiquities. Specifically in  its first phase, this was encouraged in both London and in Wales. Indeed later offshoot branches of the society were to establish themselves, one of which was the Welsh Text Society in its second phase. Nonetheless the Cymmrodorions offered a heaven for other countryman arriving in London, in some cases they too assisted in finding them employment. Along with bringing the Welsh people in London together and generally giving them support. However the society as a whole assisted in promoting trade and industry.

The Cymmrodorion's supported the activities of the earlier Ancient Britons overall both had a tendency to romantise aspects of the Welsh cultural past, being a little out of touch with events there. The Cymmrodorion did have support from Wales specifically from the Morris Brothers from Anglesey who assisted in the collection of manuscripts. Further support from Wales was also given by Rev Evan Evans and Goronwy Owen who had dealings with the society. Furthermore one on the Morris brothers, Lewis drew up the society aims, one of these concerned the encouragement and an interest in Welsh literature. The society supported poets assisting in reviving the Bardic tradition, which was taken up by members of the gentry and country folk. Such support was later to be extended, as the Cymmrodorions became the main patrons of the Eisteddfodau, which was also being revived in various localities. However this tended to be local affairs often held in most cases within public houses or tavern. However this support was later to develop into a national affair as the provincial eisteddfod developed. The various societies formed in London during the 18th century where to amalgamate under the umbrella of this society in due course.

Astrocelt April 13, 2002
Last Update December 5th, 2005


Cymru Plaid, Historical Basis of Welsh Nationalism, Lecture series Cardiff 1950
Davis, L. and Edward's A, Welsh life in the Eighteenth Century, London 1939
Lloyd, J.E. Dictionary of Welsh Biography, Cymmrodorion Society London 1959
Meic, S., New Companion to the Literature of Wales, University of Wales Press, Cardiff 1998
Morrice Rev. J. C M.A. A Manual of Welsh Literature, Javis & Foster Bangor 1909

Cymmrodorion, Bards, Esteddfodau, Society, Traddition,
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