Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

FEIDAY, MAKCH 30th, 1888. BEECKNOCK EISTEDDFOD—1826. We are indebted to a friend for the loan of an old number of the Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review for the year 1826, which contains the following interesting account of the Eisteddfod held in the county town of Brecon in the year 1826—sixty-two years ago: — BRECON. The transactions at this meeting are rendered interesting to a degree which can be better felt than described, by their connection with literature, with the customs and manners, and with that noble love of country which distinguish the warm-blooded and warm-hearted inhabitants of the principality. We very much misapprehend the common affections of our nature, if, on perusing the proceedings, the reader be not nearly touched with the earnestness and unity of sentiment they demonstrate, as well as with the prolongation of pristine original enjoy¬ ments, in the vicinity of that high civilization which, be it for good or be it for evil, has a continual tendency gradually to abate, if not entirely to destroy, these primitive sensations and the primitive delights grafted upon them. This rare singleness of heart and simplicity of taste is not less clearly delineated in the music selected for the morning and evening performances. But we shall give the schemes, in order that the progression towards modern improvement may be indicated as it advances. We must not however fail to point out, that they must be thus made to accord with the musical notions of the resident, and so to speak, of the stationary population of the district, because opportunities of witnessing very perfect and general demonstrations of the powers of the art are continually exhibited in the very neighbourhood—at Worcester, Hereford, and Gloucester—that those whom music upon a grand scale can allure from their homes even to a short distance, must be in the habit of hearing concerts which concentrate all that talent or numbers can perform. Consequently the natural desire generated by knowledge, may be readily supposed to have led such persons beyond the limits of an exhibition so confined. Let us however be understood to speak merely with reference to numbers and power, for if quality be considered, we know not where more talent can be found than in the chosen few engaged on this occasion. The Eisteddfod or Session of the Bards commenced on Tuesday, September 26, and was "under the auspices of the Cambrian Society in G-went." Lord Rodney was the president, and Lady Rodney the patroness. His Lordship opened the business of the meeting by a neat and appropriate statement of its objects. The Bards being called upon to recite their compositions, Qlanmehescyn came forward, and spoke several Welsh englynion, concluding with an English stanza praying for the preservation of our gracious Sovereign. The Rev. Thomas Price, of Crickhowel, stated that the last speaker had in his youth been in the naval service, and that the first ship in which he had served was commanded by the late Admiral Lord Rodney, the father of the Noble President of the Meeting, which created no slight sensation among the audience. An English address to the Bards convened at Brecon, was then delivered by Mr. Henry Jones, who was succeeded by Mr. Thomas Williams, who recited some Welsh englynion. A very spirited poetic address in English, written for the opening of the Eisteddfod by Mr. Henry Davies, of Throgmorton-street, London, was next recited by the Rev. W. J. Rees. The Rev. Thomas Price, of Crickhowel, followed, and delivered so eloquent a speech on subjects connected with the objects of the meeting, that Mr. Archdeacon Davies proposed that the speech be printed at the expence of the Society. Col. Wood, the highly respected Member for the county of Brecon, next addressed the company with consider¬ able effect. Two blind boys, William Williams and David Jones, played on their harps, and it was stated that what they knew of music was acquired from Mr. John Jones, who resides at Brecon, and at the expence of a Society instituted for instructing blind boys in performing on the harp, who would likewise cause to be instructed in the same manner any poor boys who might come from other parishes. Mr. Blackwill, of Jesus College, Oxford, next delivered an animated speech in English and Welsh, and stated the decision of the gentlemen appointed to decide on the merits of the poetic compositions. Subjects for the Prize Poems Sfc. 1st. The Chair Medal, or the highest Premium given by the Society for the best Awdl (or Ode) on " Rhoddiad y Ddeddf ar Fynydd Sinai," "The giving of the Law on Mount Sinai," with a Premium of 15 guineas. Gained by Peter Jones, of Liverpool. 2d. For the best Cwydd (or Poem) on " Buddu- goliaeth Trafalgar, a Marwolaeth y Penllywydd, Arglwydd Nelson" "The Victory of Trafalgar, and the Death of Admiral Lord Nelson," a Medal of the value of 2 guineas, and a Premium of 8 guineas. Gained by William Rees, of Llansanan, near Denbigh. 3d. For the best Englyn (Epigrammatic Stanza), on " Yr Haul," " The Sun," a Medal of the value of 2 guineas, and a Premium of 3 guineas. Gained by Miss Enice Jones, of Liverpool. A second medal given to Thos. Jones, Esq., of London. 4th. For the best English Essay " On the Massacre of the British Nobles at Stonehenge, as grounded on the authority of the Welsh Bards and other antient Writers ; and of the Identity and real Character of the celebrated Leader Ambrosius," a Medal of the value of 2 guineas, and a Premium of 8 guineas. None received worthy of the Premium. 5th. For the best English Essay on "Antient Siluria," " The Extent and Boundary, the antient History, and present State of the Country included within its Limits," a Medal of the value