Some Fifteenth Century Welsh Poetry relating to Montgomeryshire By E. D. JONES III Newtown was a centre of Welsh bardic activity in the middle years of the fifteenth century. Had contemporary poems survived it is possible that we could trace this activity back to the early years of the century. In a most interesting conversation piece between his soul and body lolo Goch at the end of the four- teenth century paid a glowing tribute to the town. The poem describes an itinerary through the southern half of Wales with references to patrons who had received the bard with appropriate courtesy. lolo began his journey in Kerry, an excellent country to his mind, and passed through the smooth-sawn timbered new town on the Severn with its orderliness which made the poet think of Par- adise. Lewis Glyn Cothi, Davydd Llwyd ap Llewelyn ap Griffith, Guto'r Glyn, Gwilym ab Ieuan Hen, and Llawdden were some of the bards who were drawn into the circle which gathered around the immediate ancestors of the Pryces of Newtown. By the middle of the century Newtown had its own resi- dent bards, Howel Swrdwal and his son Ieuan, in addition to the itinerant bards who visited its chief house on their ways between north and south. The poetry preserved can only be a fraction of the product of this circle. Allusions in the surviving poems make it quite clear that Newtown was a centre of great literary activity. The chief patrons were David Lloyd ap David ab Einion and his son Rees. A fixed surname was adopted by the latter's eldest son, Thomas Pryce. The family had migrated from Radnorshire and Lewis Glyn Cothi had sung pro- fusely to their kinsmen between the Severn and the Wye. The migration was probably made under the patronage of the Mortimers, as the leading members of the family held offices in Mortimer lordships. The fifteenth century bards were quite modest in their genealogical claims for the family, taking the root from Elystan Glodrydd within the bounds of historical evidence. Later on, the family acquired an elaborate pedigree derived from the fertile imagination of Geoffrey of Monmouth as exemplified by the Historia Regum Britannia. A 1 Cywyddau Iolo Goch ac eraill, 1937, pp. 76-80