Welsh Folk-Lore - a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales
231 Pages
English

Welsh Folk-Lore - a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales

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Welsh Folk-Lore, by Elias Owen
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Welsh Folk-Lore, by Elias Owen This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Welsh Folk-Lore a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales Author: Elias Owen
Release Date: December 12, 2006 [eBook #20096] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII) ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WELSH FOLK-LORE***
This eBook was transcribed by Les Bowler.
WELSH FOLK-LORE a collection by the Rev. Elias Owen, M.A., F.S.A.
CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE PREFACE INDEX ESSAY i iii-vi vii-xii 1-352
LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS 353-359 WELSH FOLK-LORE A COLLECTION OF THE FOLK-TALES AND LEGENDS OF NORTH WALES BEING THE PRIZE ESSAY OF THE NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD 1887, BY THE REV. ELIAS OWEN, M.A, F.S.A.
p. i
PREFACE
p. iii
To this Essay on the “Folk-lore of North Wales,” was awarded the first prize at the Welsh National Eisteddfod, held in London, in 1887. The prize consisted of a silver medal, and £20. The adjudicators were Canon Silvan Evans, Professor Rhys, and Mr Egerton Phillimore, editor of the Cymmrodor. By an arrangement with the Eisteddfod Committee, the work became the property of the publishers, Messrs. Woodall, Minshall, & Co., who, at the request of the author, entrusted it to him for revision, ...

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Welsh Folk-Lore, by Elias Owen
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Welsh Folk-Lore, by Elias Owen
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Welsh Folk-Lore
a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales
Author: Elias Owen
Release Date: December 12, 2006 [eBook #20096]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WELSH FOLK-LORE***
This eBook was transcribed by Les Bowler.
WELSH FOLK-LORE
a collection by the Rev. Elias Owen,
M.A., F.S.A.
CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE i
PREFACE iii-vi
INDEX vii-xii
ESSAY 1-352LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS 353-359
p. iWELSH FOLK-LORE
A COLLECTION OF THE
FOLK-TALES AND LEGENDS OF
NORTH WALES
BEING THE PRIZE ESSAY OF THE NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD
1887, BY THE
REV. ELIAS OWEN, M.A, F.S.A.
p. iiiPREFACE
To this Essay on the “Folk-lore of North Wales,” was awarded the first prize at
the Welsh National Eisteddfod, held in London, in 1887. The prize consisted of
a silver medal, and £20. The adjudicators were Canon Silvan Evans,
Professor Rhys, and Mr Egerton Phillimore, editor of the Cymmrodor.
By an arrangement with the Eisteddfod Committee, the work became the
property of the publishers, Messrs. Woodall, Minshall, & Co., who, at the
request of the author, entrusted it to him for revision, and the present Volume is
the result of his labours.
Before undertaking the publishing of the work, it was necessary to obtain a
sufficient number of subscribers to secure the publishers from loss. Upwards of
two hundred ladies and gentlemen gave their names to the author, and the
work of publication was commenced. The names of the subscribers appear at
the end of the book, and the writer thanks them one and all for their kind
support. It is more than probable that the work would never have been
published had it not been for their kind assistance. Although the study of Folk-
lore is of growing interest, and its importance to the historian is being
acknowledged; still, the publishing of a work on the subject involved a
considerable risk of loss to the printers, which, however, has been removed in
this case, at least to a certain extent, by those who have subscribed for the
work.
The sources of the information contained in this essay are various, but the
p. ivwriter is indebted, chiefly, to the aged inhabitants of Wales, for his information.
In the discharge of his official duties, as Diocesan Inspector of Schools, he
visited annually, for seventeen years, every parish in the Diocese of St. Asaph,
and he was thus brought into contact with young and old. He spent several
years in Carnarvonshire, and he had a brother, the Revd. Elijah Owen, M.A., a
Vicar in Anglesey, from whom he derived much information. By his journeys he
became acquainted with many people in North Wales, and he hardly ever
failed in obtaining from them much singular and valuable information of bye-
gone days, which there and then he dotted down on scraps of paper, and
afterwards transferred to note books, which still are in his possession.
It was his custom, after the labour of school inspection was over, to ask the
clergy with whom he was staying to accompany him to the most aged
inhabitants of their parish. This they willingly did, and often in the dark winter
evenings, lantern in hand, they sallied forth on their journey, and in this way a
rich deposit of traditions and superstitions was struck and rescued fromoblivion. Not a few of the clergy were themselves in full possession of all the
quaint sayings and Folk-lore of their parishes, and they were not loath to
transfer them to the writer’s keeping. In the course of this work, the writer gives
the names of the many aged friends who supplied him with information, and
also the names of the clergy who so willingly helped him in his investigations.
But so interesting was the matter obtained from several of his clerical friends,
that he thinks he ought in justice to acknowledge their services in this preface.
First and foremost comes up to his mind, the Rev. R. Jones, formerly Rector of
Llanycil, Bala, but now of Llysfaen, near Abergele. This gentleman’s memory
is stored with reminiscences of former days, and often and again his name
occurs in these pages. The Rev. Canon Owen Jones, formerly Vicar of
Pentrefoelas, but now of Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl, also supplied much
p. vinteresting information of the people’s doings in former days, and I may state
that this gentleman is also acquainted with Welsh literature to an extent seldom
to be met with in the person of an isolated Welsh parson far removed from
books and libraries. To him I am indebted for the perusal of many MSS. To the
Rev. David James, formerly Rector of Garthbeibio, now of Pennant, and to his
predecessor the Rev. W. E. Jones, Bylchau; the late Rev. Ellis Roberts (Elis
Wyn o Wyrfai); the Rev. M. Hughes, Derwen; the Rev. W. J. Williams,
Llanfihangel-Glyn-Myfyr, and in a great degree to his aged friend, the Rev. E.
Evans, Llanfihangel, near Llanfyllin, whose conversation in and love of Welsh
literature of all kinds, including old Welsh Almanacks, was almost without limit,
and whose knowledge and thorough sympathy with his countrymen made his
company most enjoyable. To him and to all these gentlemen above named,
and to others, whose names appear in the body of this work, the writer is greatly
indebted, and he tenders his best thanks to them all.
The many books from which quotations are made are all mentioned in
connection with the information extracted from their pages.
Welsh Folk-lore is almost inexhaustible, and in these pages the writer treats of
only one branch of popular superstitions. Ancient customs are herein only
incidentally referred to, but they are very interesting, and worthy of a full
description. Superstitions associated with particular days and seasons are
also omitted. Weather signs are passed over, Holy wells around which cluster
superstitions of bye-gone days form no part of this essay. But on all these, and
other branches of Folk-lore, the author has collected much information from the
aged Welsh peasant, and possibly some day in the uncertain future he may
publish a continuation of the present volume.
He has already all but finished a volume on the Holy Wells of North Wales, and
this he hopes to publish at no very distance period.
p. viThe author has endeavoured in all instances to give the names of his
informants, but often and again, when pencil and paper were produced, he was
requested not to mention in print the name of the person who was speaking to
him. This request was made, not because the information was incorrect, but
from false delicacy; still, in every instance, the writer respected this request.
He, however, wishes to state emphatically that he has authority for every single
bit of Folk-lore recorded. Very often his work was merely that of a translator, for
most of his information, derived from the people, was spoken in Welsh, but he
has given in every instance a literal rendering of the narrative, just as he heard
it, without embellishments or additions of any kind whatsoever.
ELIAS OWEN
Llanyblodwel Vicarage,
St. Mark’s Day, 1896.p. viiINDEX
Aberhafesp, Spirit in Church of 169
Angelystor, announcing deaths 170
Æschylus’ Cave-dwellers 113
Annwn, Gwragedd 3 134
Annwn, Plant 3
Antagonism between Pagan faiths 160 161 181
Animal Folk-Lore 308-352
Ass 337
Bee 337-340
Birds Singing 310
Flocking 310
Blind worm 352
Cat 321 323 340-342
Cow 129-137 342
Crow 304 314-315
Crane 321
Crickets 342-3
Cuckoo 317-321
Cock 310 321
Duck 321 Eagle 321
Flying Serpent 349
Frog 281
Fox 193
Goose 304 305 312
Goatsucker 322
Haddock 345
Hare 343-345
Heron 321 323
Hen 305 322
Hedgehog 345
Horse 346
Jackdaw 324
Ladybird 347
Magpie 324-327
Mice 348
Mole 348
Owl 304 327
Peacock 327
Pigeon 327
Pigs 348
Raven 304 328 Rook, Crow 304 314 316 316
Robin Redbreast 329 332
Seagull 329 330
Sawyer, Tit 331
Snakes 348-350
Slowworm 352
Sheep 351
Swallow 330 331
Swan 331
Swift 331
Spider 351
Squirrel 351
Tit-Major 331
Woodpigeon 333-336
Woodpecker 336
Wren 331-333
Yellowhammer 337
All Hallow Eve, Nos Glan Gaua 95
Spirits abroad 138-9 168-70
Divination on 280-1 286 288-9
Apparitions 181-209 293-297
Applepip divination 290Arawn 128
Avanc 133
“Bardd Cwsg, Y” 144 284 285
Baring-Gould—Spirit leaving body 293
Piper of Hamelin 307
Beaumaris spirit tale 293
Bell, Hand, used at funerals 171-2
Corpse 172
Passing 171-2
Veneration for 172
Devil afraid of 171
Ringing at storms 173
Spirits flee before sound of 173
Bella Fawr, a witch 223
Betty’r Bont, a witch 236 240
Belief in witchcraft 217
Bennion, Doctor 216
Bees, Buying a hive of 337
Swarming 338
Strange swarm 339
Deserting hive 339
Hive in roof of house 339 Informing bees of a death 339
Putting bees into mourning 340
Stolen 340
Bendith y Mamau 2
Bible, a talisman 151 245 248
p. viiiBible and key divination 288
Bingley’s North Wales—Knockers 121
Birds singing in the night 305
before February 310
Flocking in early Autumn 310
Feathers of 310
Blindworm 352
Boy taken to Fairyland 48
Brenhin Llwyd 142
Bryn Eglwys Man and Fairies 36
“British Goblins,” Fairy dances 94 97
“Brython, Y,” Fairies’ revels 95
Burne’s, Miss, Legend of White Cow 131-2
Burns, Old Nick in Kirk 168
Nut divination 289
Canwyll Corph, see Corpse Candle,
Canoe in Llyn Llydaw 28Card-playing 147-151
Cat, Fable of 323
Black, unlucky, &c 321 341
indicates weather 340
Black, drives fevers away 341
May, brings snakes to house 341
Witches taking form of 224
Cæsar’s reference to Celtic Superstitions 277 310 343
Careg-yr-Yspryd 212
Careg Gwr Drwg 190
Caellwyngrydd Spirit 214
Cave-dwellers 112-13
Ceffyl y Dwfr, the Water Horse 138-141
Cetyn y Tylwyth Têg 109
Ceridwen 234
Cerrig-y-drudion Spirit Tale 294
Cerrig-y-drudion, Legend of Church 132
Ceubren yr Ellyll, Legend of 191
Changelings, Fairy 51-63
Churches built on Pagan sites 160
Mysterious removal of 174-181
Chaucer on Fairies 89Charms 238-9 258 262 276
Charm for Shingles 262-3
Toothache 264-266
Whooping Cough 266
Fits 266
Fighting Cocks 267 312
Asthma 267
Warts 267-8
Stye 268
Quinsy 268
Wild wart 268
Rheumatism 269
Ringworm 269
Cattle 269-272
Stopping bleeding 272
Charm with Snake’s skin 273
Rosemary 273-4
Charm for making Servants reliable 272
Sweethearts 281
Charm of Conjurors 239-254
Charm for Clefyd y Galon, or Heart Disease 274
Clefyd yr Ede Wlan, or Yarn Sickness 275