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AfriGeneas World Research Forum

Medieval Welsh Genealogy

.The National Library Of Wales have put a fascinating fifteenth century manuscript online, the majority of which (pages 9-83) were written by Gutun Owain, born to a noble family in the lordship of Oswestry and baptised Gruffudd ap Huw ab Owain. He was a student of Dafydd ab Edmwnd (fl. 1450-97) and it is said that both were present at the Carmarthen Eisteddfod of 1450.

Although he's mainly as a poet he was proficient in a number of fields. He was the most important genealogist of his time and was a member of the commission appointed by Henry VII to trace the genealogy of his grandfather Owain Tudur. He was also responsible for copying a number of the most important Welsh language texts of the Middle Ages, for example Brenhinedd y Saeson and Brut Tysilio in the Black Book of Basingwerk. He also had knowledge about the medical ideas of his time and about astrology, and this knowledge is reflected in this manuscript.

This manuscript, commonly called Mostyn MS 88, was created between 1488 and 1498 and written by Gutun Owain (fl 1450-98) who hailed from what was then Welsh-speaking Oswestry in Shropshire. Its contents are as varied as its age and include 'The Zodiac Man' a diagram of a human body and astrological symbols with instructions explaining the importance of astrology from a medical perspective. There is also a volvella of the moon, a moveable device for working out the position of the sun and moon in the zodiac; a chart showing the parts of the body to be bled for different diseases; and a chart showing urine colours and their meaning and an essay on the colours of urine and their importance.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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