CYLCHGRAWN LLYFRGELL GENEDLAETHOL CYMRU THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES JOURNAL VOLUME X. Summer, 1958. NUMBER 3. THE LETTERS OF ARTHUR JAMES JOHNES, 1809-71 Arthur James Johnes although acknowledged in his day as an important and influential personage has been unduly neglected by later writers on nineteenth century Wales. Mr. D. Gwenallt Jones, however, in his introduction to the prose works of R. J. Derfel,1 drew attention to the part Johnes played in the movement expressing Welsh sympathy with Kossuth and his compatriots at the time of the Hungarian War of Independence, but he would raise him to a false eminence. 'Arthur J. Johnes was the father of the nationalist movement in the first half of the century' he writes (in Welsh), whereas Johnes was in this respect no different from many others of his circle and his age in Wales. His 'nationalism' was a cultural patriot- ism, and it would be difficult to prove that his motives in supporting Kossuth were as different from those of Gwilym Hiraethog as Mr. Gwenallt Jones would imply. Nor do the closing words of his sentence 'and he could not live but in Merioneth- shire' add anything useful, for it was at Garthmyl in Montgomeryshire that Judge Johnes made his home throughout his life, and his connection with Merioneth was occasional, due to his position as County Court Judge in that county along with the neighbouring ones. Mr. T. I. Ellis in his short account of the Judge in Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig is content to follow the main lines of D. Lleufer Thomas' article on him in the Dictionary of National Biography (incidentally repeating the error that he was the only son of Edward Johnes) together with the articles of Richard Williams in Montgomeryshire Collections, XV, pp. 41-46, and Y Geninen, 1883, pp. 65-67. The time is therefore ripe for a fuller estimate of the contribution of this man who filled an important office as one of the first of the new County Court Judges in Wales, was untiring in his support of the claims of the Welsh language, and very much alive to the importance of the Press as an instrument in the creation of public opinion. Such a man, one would expect, would leave a wealth of personal papers 1 Detholiad o Ryddiaith Gymraeg R. J. Derfel (1945), pp. 18-20.