THE PRYSE FAMILY OF GOGERDDAN I In October 1948 the National Library acquired from Sir Pryse L. Saunders- Pryse, Bart., the Gogerddan collection of family papers which contains a consider- able amount of material of importance to students of the history of Wales, and of Cardiganshire in particular. There are some apparent gaps in the collection, due partly no doubt to the transfer-and subsequent loss-at various times, of certain documents to one of the numerous houses which formed part of the family possessions from the seventeenth century onward. That such transfers were occasionally made to meet the convenience of the penteulu we know from references which appear in some of the family letters. And if further proof were needed, suffice it to say that the present collection includes a quantity of deeds and docu- ments which relate to Buscot Park, an Oxfordshire estate which devolved upon the family as the result of the marriage of Margaret Pryse and Edward Loveden Townsend in 1773. Nevertheless, we have here sufficient material, much of it highly interesting, to allow us to trace the history of one of the leading county families, and to assess its influence on the course of the history of modem Wales. In doing so, it will also be possible to catch glimpses of the social, economic, political, and religious aspects of Welsh life throughout the past five centuries. To maintain a desirable continuity and a fairly balanced picture it may be necessary on occasion to seek corroborative evidence from other sources. It is natural that a collection of documents accumulated over so long a period should include a number of interesting papers which are not directly concerned with the family. Many of these have been acquired by virtue of the numerous public offices held by members of the family, while others through documentary association have joined the family muniments as and when the estate expanded. It may not be amiss here, perhaps, to refer to some of the more interesting of the earlier documents of this class which form part of the Gogerddan collection, on account of their general historical value, and also because they help to build up a more complete background for that part of north Cardiganshire with which we are primarily concerned. Llanbadarn Fawr with its ancient church was the native focal point of Cwmwd Perfeddl from the earliest times. Here were written some of the most vivid passages of Brut y Tywysogion,2 and here, in the fourteenth century, came Dafydd ap Gwilym from his home at Brogynin to cast flirtatious glances at the local wenches during the services. So historic a place, which once boasted of a bishop,3 was not forsaken lightly, for, although Edward I had built a castle on the sea-shore a mile or so away, we find that the town of Aberystwyth, which sprang up around the castle, is sometimes referred to as Llanbadarn or Llanbadarn Gaerog even as late as the middle of the fifteenth century.