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  • Ann Parry Owen

Yr Abad a'r Fôr-forwyn

Updated: Jun 21

(Scroll down for the English version)

O gwmpas y flwyddyn 1621, ac yntau ar y pryd dan glo yng ngharchar Castell Llwydlo, aeth yr ysgrifydd enwog, John Jones o Gellilyfdy, ati i roi trefn ar enwau am bysgod a chregyn y môr yr oedd wedi bod yn eu casglu ers dechrau’r ganrif. Diweddarodd y rhestr eto pan oedd yng ngharchar y Fleet yn Llundain yn 1633, gan ychwanegu rhagor o bysgod at ei gasgliad. Mae’r rhestr, a’r wybodaeth a geir ynddi, yn awgrymu bod ganddo gryn ddiddordeb mewn pysgod a’u harferion.

Y pysgodyn cyntaf a enwir ganddo yw’r ABAD, a dyma sut y mae’n ei ddisgrifio yn 1621 (fi piau’r atalnodi):

math ar bysc yn y mor ar y sydd ynddo dri rhywogaeth bysc. Y penn blaen iddo sydd asgelloc val morkath, ac a blas morkath arno, ac rhaid yw ei gweirio val morkath y’w vwytta. Y rhan ganol iddo sydd debic i ganol mulwel, ac y sydd a blas mulwel arno, ac a ddylir ei gweirio val mulwel y’w vwyta. A[’r] rhan ol iddo sydd debic i gi glas, ac y sydd a blas ki glas arno ac a ddylir ei gweirio val ki glas y’w vwyta, ac a vag y rai ievaink yn ei groth val moelrhon neu lamhidydd.


[cweirio = cyweirio, paratoi; morcath = ‘skate, ray’; mulwel = penfras, ‘cod’; ci glas = ‘dogfish’; moelrhon = morlo; llamhidydd = ‘porpoise’]

Ychydig dros ganrif yn ddiweddarach, tua dechrau’r 1740au, prynodd Lewis Morris, yr hynafiaethydd o Fôn, gopi o gyfrol fawr Francis Willughby ar bysgod, De Historia Piscium (1686). Wrth iddo ddarllen drwyddo’n fanwl, ychwanegodd nifer o sylwadau ar y dalennau darluniadol yng nghefn y gyfrol, gan dynnu ar ei wybodaeth ei hun am hanes y pysgod a’u henwau yng Nghymru. O ddiddordeb arbennig yw’r sylw canlynol sydd ganddo ar y ddalen sy’n darlunio’r Squatina Salu:

The Monkfish or Angelfish in wales Called Maelgi. They are found in Plenty about Sarn y Bwch and in Barmouth Bay. They are generally of ye Size of a Man, and are delicious Eating. Said to have 3 sorts of Fish on it, a Ray, a Salmon & a Sturgeon. They have often their Heads above water, and I suppose gave the first rise to ye story of ye Meremaid. They take them in nets with mashes 10 Inches or a foot square.

Mae’n debygol iawn mai’r un pysgodyn sydd gan John Jones a Lewis Morris mewn golwg, er nad ydynt yn gwbl gytûn am union natur y tair rhan – y naill yn cynnwys morcath, mulwel a chi glas, a’r llall yn cynnwys morcath, eog a stwrsiwn. O ran yr enw Abad y mae John Jones yn ei roi ar y pysgodyn hwn, mae’n ddiddorol bod H. E Forrest, yn ei gyfrol ar The Vertebrate Fauna of North Wales (1907), yn cofnodi’r enw Abbot am yr Angelfish, y Rhina squatina: yr Abad felly.

Esbonnir yn yr Oxford English Dictionary (dan y gair monk, n.1), fod yr elfen monk yn digwydd mewn enwau anifeiliaid ‘whose form suggests the cowled or tonsured figure of a monk’. Mae’n debygol fod yr enw Abad yn cyfleu’r un syniad, ac mae’r llun isod yn sicr yn atgoffa rhywun o abid mynach neu abad, gyda’i lewys llac.

Ffynonellau


The Abbot and the Mermaid


In around 1621, when the eminent Welsh scribe John Jones of Gellilyfdy was incarcerated in Ludlow Castle prison, he decided to sort the names of fish and shellfish that he had been collecting since the beginning of the century. He would update this list again in the Fleet prison, London, in 1633, adding more items to his collection. The list, and the information contained in it, suggests that Jones was particularly interested in fish and their habits.

The first fish to be named is the ABAD (‘abbot’), and this is how he described it in 1621:

math ar bysc yn y mor ar y sydd ynddo dri rhywogaeth bysc. Y penn blaen iddo sydd asgelloc val morkath, ac a blas morkath arno, ac rhaid yw ei gweirio val morkath y’w vwytta. Y rhan ganol iddo sydd debic i ganol mulwel, ac y sydd a blas mulwel arno, ac a ddylir ei gweirio val mulwel y’w vwyta. A[’r] rhan ol iddo sydd debic i gi glas, ac y sydd a blas ki glas arno ac a ddylir ei gweirio val ki glas y’w vwyta, ac a vag y rai ievaink yn ei groth val moelrhon neu lamhidydd.


a sort of sea fish that contains three types of fish. The front part has fins similar to a ray, it tastes like a ray, and one must prepare it like a ray for eating. The middle part is similar to the middle of a cod, and it tastes like cod, and needs to be prepared like cod for eating. The rear part is similar to a dogfish and it tastes like a dogfish and needs to be prepared like a dogfish for eating. It nurtures its young in its womb like a seal or a porpoise.

Just over a century later, in the early 1740s, the antiquarian Lewis Morris of Anglesey bought a copy of Francis Willughby’s large volume on fish, De Historia Piscium (1686). As he read through it carefully, Morris added notes drawing on his own knowledge of fish in Wales and their Welsh names. These comments are particularly abundant on the pages containing illustrations of fish towards the end of the volume. Of particular interest is the following note he has on the page depicting the Squatina Salu:

The Monkfish or Angelfish in wales Called Maelgi. They are found in Plenty about Sarn y Bwch and in Barmouth Bay. They are generally of ye Size of a Man, and are delicious Eating. Said to have 3 sorts of Fish on it, a Ray, a Salmon & a Sturgeon. They have often their Heads above water, and I suppose gave the first rise to ye story of ye Meremaid. They take them in nets with mashes 10 Inches or a foot square.

It is very likely that John Jones and Lewis Morris both have the same fish in mind, although they are not entirely in agreement about the exact nature of its three parts – the former’s consisting of a ray, cod and dogfish, and the latter’s of a ray, salmon and sturgeon. As for John Jones’s name for it, Abad, it is interesting that H.E. Forrest, in his volume The Vertebrate Fauna of North Wales (1907), records the name Abbot for the Angelfish or Rhina Squatina.


According to the Oxford English Dictionary (under monk, n.1), the element monk is found in the names of animals ‘whose form suggests the cowled or tonsured figure of a monk’. The word Abbot probably conveyed the same idea, and the image below certainly does remind one of a a habit worn by a monk or an abbot, with its loose sleeves.

Sources



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