LLYFRGELL GENEDLAETHOL CYMRU THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES JOURNAL The lead and silver mines of north Cardiganshire have aroused considerable hopes and fears among financiers from the days of the first Queen Elizabeth, and economic historians for many years have found their records to be a rich source of information. It would be almost impossible to write of this aspect of the history of Wales without touching upon the activities of one or more members of the Pryse family upon whose lands were located some of the richest mines not only in the Principality but in the whole of the British Isles. Enormous fortunes are reputed to have been made and lost in that mountainous strip of country which lies be- tween the rivers Rheidol and Dyfi, and the fate of the Gogerddan family was always closely linked with that of the mines, particularly during the seventeenth century. Although some lead was probably mined in the district at an early date, there appears to be little if any evidence to support the still current local tradition, also reported by Lewis Morris, that the Romans worked both Cwmsymlog and Cwm Darren. Writing in 1670 of the mines then belonging to the Society of Mines Royal, Sir John Pettus affirmed that 'The Chief Mines which produce Silver now in working (though not effectually) are those Mines Royal at Coomsumblock, and the Darren Hills, Coommervin, Cogincan, Tallabont, Coomustwith, Tredole, Thruscott and Rossevawre; which were the old Roman Works'. Sir John further assures Rossevawre; which ┊were the old Roman Works'. Sir John further assures us that, again according to tradition, the earliest mines in Wales and south-west England were worked 'By the Damonii in Devonshire and Cornwall, by the Belgae in Somersetshire, and by the Dimetae in Cardiganshire. And Caesar in his Com- mentaries saith, that one reason of his invading the Britans was because they assisted the Gauls with their Treasures, with which their Countrie did abound'.1 1 Pettus, John, Fodinae Regales (London, 1670), pp. 33 and 11. VOLUME VIII. THE PRYSE FAMILY OF GOGERDDAN III CYLCHGRAWN Winter, 1954. NUMBER 4.