NLW 21387E, no. 13
I do not remember the time when I could not read both of my Nature languages, about 10 years I became acquainted with Mr Edward Williams of middle Hill in the parish of lancarvan he was a very respectable scholar, had received a classic Education yn Cowbridge Grammar School and by diligent study, had become an able mathematician. amongst his other and many self acquirements he had studied the rules of ancient Welsh Versification as given in Dr John David Rhys in his folio Latin Welsh Grammar Printed in London in the year 1592. this book he lent for a month at the end of which I took back he examined it and observed that kept it very clean and ?unimpaired, and then asked me if I understood it. I told that I thought I did and examing me a little found that I had acquired from it a correct knowledge of the Welsh ancient versification and wondered at it, for intricate they are beyond many other known languages. he then told me that I might take the book and keep for six Months more. I remember but am unable to express the Joy at that moment. I persevered in my study and when I returned this book he gave me another small vol. entitled Flores Poetarum Britanicorum. one part of it contained a Treatise on verse metres by Captain Middleton who printed it in 1594 and about the same time a Welsh Version (black letter) of that whole book of Salms. in those ancient and intricate metres this also Mr E.Wms lent me in these books I studies the welsh prosody & versification. There were at that [time] in Glamorgan many others who were masters of [?these] things, and none besides in any other part of Wales. Mr Lewis Hopkin of Landevodoc a no very distant hearing of my acquirements wrote a very friendly letter to me wilfuly inviting me to spent the Christmas holydays with, I with joy accepted this invitation and by him I was initiated into Essoteric literature of ancient Bards, admitted into the honorary degree of Pri[?] claimant Trwyddedog hawl. Mr L.H. soon after gave some account of me to Mr John Bradford of Bettws th[e] most learned man that that had for more than 280 years appeared in the Principality. I soon after received a letter from him inviting to spend a week at least at his house where I should meet a few more Bardic friends. Those who met me there were the old Octo[gena]rian Rhys Morgan of Pencraig Nedd, Mr David Nicolas of Aberpergwm, Mr Lewis Hopkin and Mr Edward Evans of Aberdare. in the whole five all of them Bards of Chair or Sedarity of Tir Iarll, and Betters being in that District a Gorsedd and the ancient forms and ceremonies exhibited in their fullest extent and being there regularly examined was admitted Trwyddedod Braint. of Pupil of Priviledge Mr John Bradford was Land steward to John Nichols esqr of Lanmaes old father of Sir John Nichols Mr Bradford coming down to Lanmaes he told Mr Nichols enquired for me and where I lived as he wished to see me, I will send him here so Mr Nichols, and dispatch a servant to my fathers house and being informed where I was at work which not above a mile off came so with an invitation to dine with him where I should meet a friend I was astonished at this having never before been invited to the table of a Gentleman so much my superior. I went home to my father's house and prepared myself as well as I could and to Lanmaes I went Mr Nichols introduced me and where I saw Mr John Bradford who without delay [?] a few words of Course bad me step out into the garden with him and taking out his pocket a blu[e] ribbon invested me with the insignia of the Primitive Order of Bards of the Island of Britain in Chair Glamorgan and Tir Iarll.