Iolo Morganwg

Edward Williams, or Iolo Morganwg (1747-1826) was the inventor of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain. A stonemason by trade, he was an antiquarian, poet, scholar and a forger. The extent of his forgeries was not discovered until after his death.
Photographed by John Thomas, c. 1875. Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams, 1747-1826) was born in Llancarfan, Glamorgan, the son of Edward and Anne Williams. His father was a stonemason. Iolo said that he learnt to read by watching his father cutting letters...
The Peithynen, or wooden book, was the invention of Iolo Morganwg (1747-1826) and the literary men of Glamorgan, in support of their claims to be successors to the druids. The lines of a poem are carved on the four sides of each stick. The strange script...
This manuscript contains notes by Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams, 1747-1826) for a projected book called 'The History of the British Bards'. Like many of his contemporaries, Iolo believed that the Welsh bards had inherited the learning and traditions...
A photograph of a print of Iolo Morgannwg.
Iolo Morganwg's sword, used in the 1819 ceremony.
A portrait of Edward Williams, Ned of Glamorgan or Iolo Morganwg by George Cruickshank.
Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, from the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, explains Iolo Morganwg's motives.
'Peithynen' displaying the false bardic alphabet in a poem in memory of Iolo Morganwg, prepared for the Llangollen Eisteddfod, 1858.
A plan of the Gorsedd Circle (the Conventional Circle) in Iolo Morganwg's handwriting. Note the comment 'the Bards stand unshod and uncovered within the circle…'.
The Abolition of Slavery movement in Britain grew out of the 'Committee for Abolition of the African Slave Trade' which was formed in 1787. The Welsh attitude to the campaign varied. Many people depended on the slave trade for their livelihoods, either...
 
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