Walter Davies (1761-1849)
Walter Davies's relationship with Iolo is interesting on several counts. Firstly, at the request of the Board of Agriculture, he wrote a survey of the economic situation of north Wales (1810) and south Wales (1815). Iolo collaborated with him on this project and the extent to which he relied on Iolo's researches is clear in the completed volume, A General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of South Wales (2 vols., London, 1815). Secondly, Walter Davies was a fervent member of the Gorsedd and his attempts to promote it within the Regional Eisteddfod movement ensured that the Gorsedd, after Iolo's days, grew into a truly national institution. Finally, he knew Iolo well enough to know how to handle him. For example, he suspected that the bardic alphabet (Coelbren y Beirdd) was a fabrication, but he expressed his views with subtlety and tact (NLW 21280E, Letter 72, Walter Davies to Iolo Morganwg, 16 May 1793). Further proof that Walter Davies had got the measure of Iolo is that he was one of a few people to maintain an uninterrupted friendship with him.