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  • Ann Parry Owen

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Tybed sut dywydd gawn ni dros y Nadolig eleni? Dyma gofnod o’r tywydd dros ddeuddeng niwrnod y Nadolig yn ardal Llangollen yn 1469 neu 1486.

Ysgrifennwyd y cofnod gan y bardd a’r ysgrifydd Gutun Owain ar gyfer deuddeng niwrnod y Nadolig, o ddydd Nadolig hyd nos Ystwyll (5 Ionawr). Bu Gutun yn gweithio fel bardd ac ysgrifydd yn Abaty Glyn-y-groes yn Llangollen yn ail hanner y bymthegfed ganrif, ac mae’n debygol iawn mai yno yr ysgrifennodd y cofnod hwn.


Yn anffodus, nid yw Gutun yn nodi’r flwyddyn, ond fel y gwelwch chi mae diwrnod Nadolig a dydd Calan yn syrthio ar ddydd Llun, felly mae 1469, 1475, 1480 a 1486 yn bosibl. (1469 oedd barn J. Gwenogvryn Evans, a 1486 yw barn Daniel Huws yn ei Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes, c.800–c.1800, a fydd yn cael ei gyhoeddi cyn hir.)


Mae’n ddiddorol mai ôd yw ei air am eira, sef gair sydd bellach yn gyfyngedig i ambell ardal yn y gogledd-ddwyrain, fel Rhosllannerchrugog.


Am arwyddocâd arbennig tywydd Deuddeng Niwrnod y Nadolig o safbwynt rhag-weld tywydd y flwyddyn ganlynol, gweler https://unireadinghistory.com/2014/12/23/937/amp/


Llawysgrif rhif 131 yng nghasgliad Peniarth Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru; bydd ar gael ar lein ar wefan y Llyfrgell cyn hir.



Will we have a White Christmas this year?


I wonder what sort of weather we’ll have over Christmas this year? Here is a daily account of the weather over the Twelve Days of Christmas recorded near Llangollen, probably in 1469 or 1486.

The account was written by the poet and scribe Gutun Owain over the twelve days of Christmas: from Christmas Day to the Twelfth Night (5 January). Gutun worked as a poet and scribe in the abbey of Valle Crucis in Llangollen in the second half of the fifteenth century, and it is likely that it was there that he wrote this account.


Unfortunately, Gutun did not record the year, but as you see here Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fell on a Monday, so 1469, 1475, 1480 and 1486 are possible. (J. Gwenogvryn Evans favoured 1469 and Daniel Huws favours 1486 in his Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes, c.800–c.1800, soon to be published.)


It is interesting that Gutun uses the word ôd for snow, a word that is by now limited to some areas of north-east Wales, such as Rhosllannerchrugog.


For the significance of the weather over the Twelve Days of Christmas as regards forcasting the weather for the following year, see https://unireadinghistory.com/2014/12/23/937/amp/


Manuscript number 131 is in the National Library of Wales Peniarth Collection which will soon be available online on the Library's website.




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  • Ann Parry Owen

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Ymysg y rhestrau geiriau a luniodd yr ysgrifydd John Jones o Gellilyfdy pan oedd yng ngharchar y Fflyd yn y 1630au, ceir y rhestr ddiddorol hon o chwaraeon a gemau. Dyma’r 49fed allan o 130 rhestr ganddo ac fe’i lluniwyd tua diwedd 1632. Mae’n gymysg o gemau a chwaraeon plant ac oedolion ac, fel sy’n arferol ganddo, mae’n dilyn trefn thematig yn hytrach na threfn yr wyddor.

Ar ôl cyfres o eiriau cyffredinol, mae’n cychwyn gyda gemau plant (9–14). Mae chwarae chwyrligwgan (12) ‘troi top’ a chwarae mig ymguddied (13) ‘chwarae cuddio’ yn ddigon cyfarwydd. Prin yw’r cyfeiriadau at chwarae buarth baban y tu allan i’r rhestr hon, ond disgrifir y buarth baban yn y geiriadur (GPC) fel rhyw fath o ffon danllyd a droellid i ddifyrru plentyn. Peryglus! Mae chwarae dwylo gwynion (10) yn ddirgelwch, ond ceir disgrifiad da o chwarae minddu manddell (11) gan y geiriadurwr Thomas Wiliems o Drefriw wrth iddo ddiffinio’r Lladin digitis micare yn ei eiriadur (Peniarth 228, 1604–7): ‘pan fo un yn codi’i fysedd a’r llall, yn troi ymaith oddi wrtho, a ddyfala pesawl un a gyfyd ef … yng Nghymru Chwarae Minddu Manddell’. Gêm ddyfalu faint o fysedd felly. Methais ddod o hyd i esboniad am chwarae cat i’r wern (144), ond mae nifer o gemau plant yn yn cynnwys yr elfen cat neu gath.


Mae’r chwech nesaf (15–20) yn gemau taro. Mae’n bosibl mai fersiwn ar gnapan yw horling pen ffon (15), gêm o daro pêl bren galed â ffon. Wrth drafod y gêm hurling yng Nghernyw meddai George Owen o Henllys (1552–1613): This plaie is vsed in Wales, and the balle is called Knappan … and our ancient cozens the Cornishmen haue the selfe same exercise among them yet obserued, which they call hurlinge. Posibilrwydd arall yw mai rhyw fath o hoci yw horling pen ffon, tebyg i’r hurling traddodiadol a chwaraeir yn Iwerddon.


Mae’r siŵr mai ffurf ar coetan yw coeta (16), sef ‘quoits’, gêm o daflu cylch dros bèg, a dyna hefyd yw pedoli’r gaseg (20), ond gan ddefnyddio pedolau ceffyl yn lle’r cylchoedd arferol. Roedd caelys (17) yn dipyn o ddirgelwch i mi nes dod o hyd i gyfeiriad yng nghyfrol Vernon Bartlett, The Past of Pastimes, at gêm o’r enw kayles (o’r Ffrangeg quilles), a chwaraeid ‘many centuries ago, with the players throwing a stick at the “kittle pins”, the tallest of which was the “king pin”.’ Dyna darddiad y gair kingpin felly! Roedd nawtwll (18) yn gêm arall yn seiliedig ar gael pêl i darged (OED nineholes ‘Any of various games of skill involving nine target holes, spots, etc.’) ac mae’n siŵr mai’r un fath o gêm yw sitenna (19), er na lwyddais i ddod o hyd i unrhyw wybodaeth amdani.


Nesaf cawn gyfres o gemau yn ymwneud â tharo pêl â bat, llaw, neu droed: chwarae pêl ddwylo (21) a chwarae pêl draed (22) – ac mae’n ddiddorol mai traed, nid troed, a geir yn y cyfeiriadau cynharaf at y gêm hon. Wedyn chwarae tenys (23) a chwarae palet (24) sy’n debygol o fod yn fersiynau ar real tennis neu royal tennis, rhagflaenydd ein tennis modern ni, yna chwarae’r humog (25) sydd eto’n gêm o daro pêl, ond y tro hwn â human, sef bat fforchog, fel y disgrifiodd John Jones ef yn 1618: Human: fforch i chware â phêl. Mae’n bosibl mai rhyw fath o hoci yw bwrw’r gamog (26), ond ni ellir bod yn sicr.


Gemau neu chwaraeon a ddisgrifir yn draddodiadol fel y Pedair Camp ar Hugain a geir nesaf, sef gemau yr oedd disgwyl i bob uchelwr gwerth ei halen fod wedi eu meistroli, yn enwedig yn y bymthegfed ganrif: saethu gyda bwa saeth neu gyda dryll (28), rhedeg (29), neidio (30), bwrw maen a throsol (31, 32) ac ati, ac yna gemau ymladd gydag arfau (36–42), gan gynnwys y cleddau a bwcled (38), lle byddai dau ymladdwr yn ymladd â’i gilydd gan ddal tarian fach gron, y bwcled, yn y llaw chwith a chleddyf byr yn y llaw dde.


Daw’r rhestr i ben gyda gemau bwrdd (43–8), gan gynnwys y gemau traddodiadol gwyddbwyll (46), tawlbwrdd (47), a ffristial chwegwyr (48) sydd hefyd yn cael eu rhestru ymysg y Pedair Camp ar Hugain. Mae’n debyg mai rhyw fath o gêm o symud gwerin ar glawr yw ffristial – ac mae’n siŵr mai fersiwn gyda chwech o werin yw hon. Daeth chwarae disiau (43) a chardiau (45) yn arbennig o boblogaidd tua diwedd yr unfed ganrif ar bymtheg, ac yn wir daeth gamblo yn dipyn o broblem gymdeithasol. Roedd gan John Jones ddiddordeb arbennig mewn gemau cardiau – ac mewn llyfr nodiadau a luniodd pan oedd yn yr ysgol ramadeg, ceir disgrifiadau o sawl gêm gardiau ganddo, a chyfarwyddiadau ar sut i gael y gorau (yn seicolegol, yn aml!) ar eich gwrthwynebydd!

Nodiadau

  • Daw’r ddelwedd o’r gêm gwyddbwyll uchod o wynebddalen y gyfrol J. Barbier, The Famous Game of Chesse-play (London, 1652)

Am ragor o wybodaeth am rai o’r gemau a grybwyllir yma, gweler

  • D. Parry-Jones, Welsh Children’s Games and Pastimes (Denbigh, 1964)

  • Vernon Bartlett, The Past of Pastimes (London, 1969)

Ar y Pedair Camp ar Hugain, gweler gwefan ‘Cymru Guto’: http://www.gutorglyn.net/gutoswales/cy/diddordebau.php

  • Ymhellach ar restrau geiriau John Jones, gweler y postiadau blaenorol.


Games and Pastimes in the 17th Century

Among the lists of Welsh words that the scribe John Jones of Gellilyfdy compiled whilst incarcerated in the Fleet Prison in the 1630s is this interesting list of games and pastimes. This is his 49th list of 130, and was written towards the end of 1632. It contains a mixture of children’s and adult’s games and, as was his usual practice, it follows a thematic rather than an alphabetic order.

After opening with a few general terms, he starts with children’s games (9–14). Chwarae chwyrligwgan (12) ‘to spin a top’ and chwarae mig ymguddied (13) ‘to play hide-and-seek’ are familiar enough. The references to chwarae buarth baban outside this list are scarce, but buarth baban is defined in the dictionary (GPC) as some sort of blazing stick that was twirled to entertain a small child. Sounds dangerous! Chwarae dwylo gwynion (10), literally ‘to play white hands’, is a mystery, but the lexicographer Thomas Williems of Trefriw has a good description of Chwarae minddu manddell (11) in his entry under digitis micare in his Latin–Welsh dictionary (Peniarth 228, 1604–7): ‘when one person raises some fingers and the other, facing away from him, tries to guess how many fingers he has raised … in Wales Chwarae Minddu Manddell’. So it’s a game of guessing how many fingers. I failed to find an explanation of chwarae cat i’r wern (144), but many children’s games contain the element cat or cath.


The next six (15–20) are games involving the striking of a ball. Horling pen ffon (15), may be a variant of cnapan, a game of striking a hard wooden ball with a stick. Commenting on the game of hurling in Cornwall, George Owen of Henllys (1552–1613) said: This plaie is vsed in Wales, and the balle is called Knappan … and our ancient cozens the Cornishmen haue the selfe same exercise among them yet obserued, which they call hurlinge. Another possibility is that horling pen ffon is a type of hockey, similar to the traditional hurling played in Ireland.


Coeta (16) is probably a form of coetan or ‘quoits’, a game involving throwing a ring over a peg, and the same is also true of pedoli’r gaseg ‘shoeing the mare’ (20), but using horseshoes instead of the usual rings. Caelys (17) was a bit of a mystery to me until I found a reference in Vernon Bartlett’s volume, The Past of Pastimes, to a game called kayles (from the French quilles), played ‘many centuries ago, with the players throwing a stick at the “kittle pins”, the tallest of which was the “king pin”.’ So that is the origin of the word kingpin! Nawtwll (18) was another game based on getting a ball to a target (OED nineholes ‘Any other games of skill involving nine target holes, spots, etc.’) and sitenna (19) is probably the same type of game, although I failed to find any information about it.


Next we have a series of games involving the hitting of a ball with a bat, hand, or foot: chwarae pêl ddwylo ‘handball’ (21) and chwarae pêl draed ‘football’ (22) – and it’s interesting that the earliest references to this game are to traed ‘feet’, not troed ‘foot’. Then chwarae tenys (23) and chwarae palet (24) are likely to be versions of real tennis or royal tennis, the precursor of lawn tennis. Chwarae’r humog (25) is again a ball-striking game, but this time with a human, a forked bat, as John Jones described it in 1618: ‘Human: a fork to play with a ball’. Bwrw’r gamog (26) may be some kind of hockey, but we cannot be certain.


Games or sports traditionally described as the Pedair Camp ar Hugain ‘The Twenty-four Feats’ come next, games that every nobleman worth his salt was expected to have mastered, especially in fifteenth-century Wales: saethu ‘shooting’ with a bow and arrow or a gun (28), rhedeg ‘running’ (29), neidio ‘jumping’ (30), bwrw maen and bwrw trosol ‘pitching a stone or iron bar’ (31, 32) etc., followed by fighting games with weapons (36–42), including cleddau a bwcled ‘sword and buckler’ (38), where two opponents would fight each other holding a small round shield, the buckler, in the left hand and a short sword in the right hand.


The list ends with board games (43–8), including the traditional games of gwyddbwyll ‘chess’ (46), tawlbwrdd ‘backgammon’ (47), and ffristial chwegwyr (48) which are also listed among the ‘Pedair Camp ar Hugain’. Ffristial is probably some kind of game involving moving pieces or pawns on a board – and this is probably a six-pawn version. Chwarae disiau ‘dice’ (43) and cardiau ‘cards’ (45) became especially popular towards the end of the 16th century, and indeed gambling became quite a problem in society. John Jones was particularly interested in card games – and in a notebook he wrote when he was in grammar school, there are descriptions of several games, and instructions on how (often psychologically!) to get the better of your opponent!

Notes

  • The image of a chess game above comes from the title-page of J. Barbier’s The Famous Game of Chesse-play (London, 1652)

For further information on some of the games mentioned here, see:

  • D. Parry-Jones, Welsh Children’s Games and Pastimes (Denbigh, 1964)

  • Vernon Bartlett, The Past of Pastimes (London, 1969)

For the Twenty Four Feats, see ‘Guto’s Wales’:

http://www.gutorglyn.net/gutoswales/en/diddordebau.php

  • Further on John Jones’s wordlists, see previous posts.

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  • Ann Parry Owen

(Scroll down for the English version)

Ymysg y rhestrau geiriau a luniodd yr ysgrifwr John Jones o Gellilyfdy yng ngharchar y Fflyd rhwng 1631 a 1633, y mae sawl rhestr sy’n ymwneud â gwaith yr amaethwr gan gynnwys y da byw yn ei ystyr letaf, sef anifeiliaid y fferm. Rwyf wedi bod yn ar un o’r rhestrau hyn yr wythnos hon: Y bugail a’i berthynas (‘y bugail defaid a’r hyn sy’n berthnasol iddo’), ac mae dau air yn arbennig wedi achosi tipyn o grafu pen i mi, sef ystofi defaid ac ystofiad (ac ystofiad yn amlwg yn cyfeirio at y weithred o ystofi defaid).

Daw’r geiriau hyn ar ddechrau’r rhestr: enwir y bugail (a’r lluosog bugeiliaid a bugelydd), ei grefft yw bugeila, ac wrth ei waith bydd yn corlannu defaid mewn corddlan / corlan (dwy ffurf ar yr un gair). Rhwng y geiriau corddlan a corlannu defaid y daw ystofi defaid ac ystofiad, a chan mai geirfa wedi ei threfnu’n thematig yn ôl ystyr yw hon, mae’n rhaid cadw’r lleoliad mewn cof wrth ddyfalu’r ystyr.

Mae tair berf ystofi yn cael eu rhestru yng Ngeiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (GPC), a’r tair yn ddigon hen a pharchus:

  • ystofi1: ‘trefnu edafedd yn ystof’ (term o fyd y gwehydd), a defnydd ffigurol ohoni yng nghyswllt rhoi trefn ar bethau eraill, fel tŷ (dechrau’r 17g. ymlaen)

  • ystofi2: ‘cyflwyno’, gair o’r Saesneg stow, fel yn bestow (1672 ymlaen)

  • ystofi3: ‘dofi, darostwng’, yn cynnwys y ferf dofi. (16g. ymlaen)

Gallwn ddiystyru ystofi2. Ystyriais ddefnydd ffigurol o ystofi1 yn ofalus: y syniad o roi trefn ar ddefaid sydd â thuedd naturiol ynddynt i fynd ar chwâl, gan eu dychmygu’n ymlwybro i mewn i’r gorlan, yn drefnus fesul un fel mae edafedd y gwehydd wedi eu gosodiad ar y gwŷdd. A’r un syniad yn fras o ran ystofi3, a’r defaid yn ymddwyn yn ‘ddof’ wrth ‘ddarostwng’ i ddymuniad y bugail. Er nad oedd y naill na’r llall yn taro deuddeg yn llawn, teimlwn fod potensial gan y ddwy ferf.

Yna, fel sy’n digwydd yn aml, digwyddais ddod ar draws esboniad posibl arall, wrth chwilota mewn llyfr am rywbeth hollol wahanol. Y llyfr oedd cyfrol hyfryd Hugh Evans, Cwm Eithin (Lerpwl, 1933), sy’n disgrifio bywyd cefn gwlad yn ardal Llangwm, yn yr hen sir Ddinbych, yng nghanol y 19g. Wrth chwilota drwy’r tudalennau daliodd y pennawd ‘Diwrnod Hel Defaid fy sylw. Yno esbonia Hugh Evans mai dal defaid a wnâi cŵn y bugail erstalwm ac mai arfer cymharol ddiweddar oedd defnyddio ci i hel defaid at ei gilydd. Esbonia:


Y pryd hynny [h.y. pan oedd yn blentyn], nid oedd y ci hel wedi dyfod i Gymru, dim ond y ci dal, fel y byddai’n rhaid i’r holl deulu droi allan i hel defaid. Y gwahaniaeth rhwng ci dal a chi hel defaid yw hyn. Arfer y ci dal oedd rhedeg ar ôl y ddafad a ddangosid iddo, a’i dal gerfydd ei gwar, a hynny’n dyner heb adael ôl ei ddannedd ar y ei chroen … Nid oedd y ci dal lawer o werth i hel y defaid at ei gilydd.


Felly darostwng y ddafad, ei dofi yn yr ystyr o wneud iddi ildio i ddymuniad y ci, sef aros yn llonydd nes bod y bugail yn cyrraedd ‘ac yn rhoddi’r cwplws am ei gwddf, ac yn hwylio tuag adref’! Ystofi3, felly.


Mewn rhestr arall, lle mae John Jones yn enwi’r gwahanol fathau o gŵn, cawn y pâr bugeilgi a dafatgi – ond nid oes sôn am gi defaid, sy’n gyfuniad dipyn diweddarach (1848 yw’r dystiolaeth gynharaf drosto yn GPC). Felly i bob pwrpas mae gwahaniaeth rhwng y dafatgi, sef y ci dal defaid, a’r ci defaid, sef y ci hel defaid. Ac o ran dafatgi, wrth gwrs, mae’n dilyn patrwm yr hen eiriau traddodiadol eraill: adargi ‘ci dal adar’, hyddgi ‘ci dal hyddod’, &c.

Y cyfan a erys bellach o ran y ferf ystofi, yw darganfod dyfyniad sy’n sôn am ddafatgi yn ystofi dafad. Gadewch i mi wybod os cewch hyd i un!

Nodiadau


The shepherd, his dog and sheep

Amongst the wordlists that the scribe John Jones of Gellilyfdy produced between 1631 and 1633, whilst incarcerated in the Fleet Prison, are several concerning the work of a farmer, including lists relating to livestock. It is one of these lists that I’ve been working on this week: ‘The Shepherd and related items’, and two entries in particular have been rather perplexing, namely ystofi defaid and ystofiad (the first a verb whose object is defaid ‘sheep’, and the second a noun relating to the action of the verb).


These words are found at the beginning of the list: the bugail ‘shepherd’ is named (plural bugeiliaid and bugelydd), his craft is bugeilio (‘shepherding’, ‘tending the sheep’), including corlannu defaid in a corddlan / corlan (‘placing sheep in a fold or pen’). The words ystofi defaid and ystofiad come between corddlan and corlannu, and this is important to remember, as the list follows a thematic rather than an alphabetical order.

There are three verbs ystofi listed in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (GPC)

  • ystofi1: ‘to arrange threads so as to form a warp’ (a weaving term), and more generally used for putting other things in order, such as a house (early 17th century onwards)

  • ystofi2: ‘bestow’, from the English stow, as in bestow (1672 onwards)

  • ystofi3: ‘to tame, subdue’, containing the verb dofi ‘to tame’ (16th century onwards)

We can rule out ystofi2. I considered the figurative use of ystofi1: the idea of trying to organize sheep whose natural tendency it is to scatter, imagining them stepping methodically into a pen, one by one, just as the weaver’s threads are laid out on the loom. Similarly with ystofi3, the idea that sheep are tamed as they yield to the shepherd’s wishes and behave as he wants them to. I felt that both verbs had potential despite not being quite right.

Then, as often happens, I came across another possible explanation whilst looking in a book for something completely different. The book was Hugh Evans’s Cwm Eithin (Liverpool, 1933), which is a wonderful description of rural life in Llangwm, in the old Denbighshire, in the middle of the 19th century. Whilst flicking through its pages I happened upon the heading ‘Sheep herding day’, where Hugh Evans explains that the shepherd’s dog used to restrain sheep in the past, and that the practice of using a dog to herd sheep is a fairly recent one. He explains:

Y pryd hynny, nid oedd y ci hel wedi dyfod i Gymru, dim ond y ci dal, fel y byddai’n rhaid i’r holl deulu droi allan i hel defaid. Y gwahaniaeth rhwng ci dal a chi hel defaid yw hyn. Arfer y ci dal oedd rhedeg ar ôl y ddafad a ddangosid iddo, a’i dal gerfydd ei gwar, a hynny’n dyner heb adael ôl ei ddannedd ar y ei chroen… Nid oedd y ci dal lawer o werth i hel y defaid at ei gilydd.

At that time [i.e. when he was a child], the ci hel ‘herding dog’ had not yet arrived in Wales, there was only the ci dal ‘restraining dog’, so that the whole family would have to turn out to gather in the sheep. The difference between a ci dal and a ci hel is this. The ci dal’s way of working was to run after a sheep that had been shown to it, and to grasp that sheep by its neck, very gently and without leaving any teeth marks on its skin ... The ci dal was not much use in gathering sheep together.

The dog’s role therefore was to restrain the sheep, ‘taming’ (dofi) it in the sense of making it submit to the dog’s will, staying still until the shepherd arrived and put a leash on it before heading back home. Ystofi3, therefore.

In another list, where John Jones names various breeds of dog, we find the pair bugeilgi and dafatgi – but there is no mention of ci defaid, which is a much more recent collocation (the earliest occurrence in GPC is dated 1848). There seems therefore to be a distinction between the dafatgi, the dog which catches and restrains (dal) sheep, and the ci defaid, the dog which rounds up sheep. And dafatgi, of course, follows the pattern of the other old traditional names: adargi ‘bird-hunting dog’, hyddgi ‘deerhound’, &c.

All that remains then, as far as the verb ystofi is concerned, is to discover a quotation which mentions a dafatgi restraining (ystofi) a sheep. Do please let me know if you find one!


Notes

  • National Library of Wales, Peniarth 305, fol. 62v.

  • Hugh Evans, Cwm Eithin (Liverpool, 1933), 142.


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