Merioneth Wool and the Atlantic Slave Trade

beryl General news

7 September 2019

On a fine day at the beginning of September, an excellent audience gathered at Beudy Llwyd at yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd to hear Dr Marian Gwyn lecturing, in English, authoritatively and interestingly on Welsh Wool and the Atlantic Slave Trade. This is an extremely difficult subject in general, but she suggested that it is even more difficult for Welsh people to imagine our part in slavery as we tend to see ourselves as a country which has been prominent, especially through the trade unions, in protecting the exploited. However, the reality was that this trade touched very many countries and Wales, with its part in this triangular trade, was no exception. It could be argued that the woollen industry was the biggest industry in Wales for centuries but it is unlikely that the ordinary weaver, tanner and dyer were aware or dwelt much on the fact that much of their produce went to clothe slaves and that Welsh woollens were known as ‘Welsh plains’ that was synonomous with ‘negro cloth’. The plain and horrifying facts regarding the trade at its height were indeed frightening and we can only be thankful that we live in a more enlightened and civilized period. As an authority on this subject, we hope that Marian publishes this lecture very soon. We enjoyed tea and cakes in the cafe afterwards whilst admiring the amazing landscape surrounding the building.

Visit to the National Library

beryl General news

1 June 2019

A good number of the Society’s members visited the National Library at Aberystwyth to hear a talk on the Porkington Collection by Hilary Peters, Assistant Archivist at the Library. Porkington developed from a Welsh motte and bailey castle, established probably by Owain Brogyntyn ap Madog in the 12th century, with only traces of it remaining in Porkington Park today, and became one of North Wales’s largest estates (although in England, the Welsh influence in the area around Porkington was strong for centuries).  Images of buildings, letters and people associated with the estate’s history illustrated the talk. Then we were led to an exhibition of items associated with Porkington and Glyn Cywarch, followed by a tour of the Library with Hilary. This was a memorable day facilitated excellently by the Library staff again.

Lecture by Gruffydd Aled Williams

beryl General news

27 April 2019

This meeting was very well attended to hear about the life of Edward Wynne Williams, one of the pioneers of the Colorado gold fields. Through the medium of a PowerPoint we followed the story of the man from Tyddyn Gwladys, Ganllwyd who emigrated to the United States in 1869 before making his fortune by owning a number of the gold mines of Colorado. He was an extremely colourful character in his work-life and love-life it seems! A number of Edward Wynne Williams’s relatives attended the meeting, many of them still living in the Dolgellau area and proud of their relationship.

2017 Programme

beryl General news

Our Programme for 2017 has now been distributed and is available on the website. Please remember, if you wish to visit the National Library of Wales for the talk on Robert Vaughan, Hengwrt, on 22 April, that you need to book beforehand by contacting Gwerfyl, our new Meetings Organiser on Names have been flooding in – so please contact Gwerfyl as soon as possible.

Happy New Year

beryl General news

We wish our members all the best for the new  year. The programme will be printed soon and should be delivered in Februray.

The Journal

beryl The Journal

The latest edition of The Journal is now available full of articles with their subjects ranging from Owain Glyndŵr to Lord Maelor. We must thank Hugh G Roberts, Barmouth for this excellent photograph of Lord Maelor with his successor, Will Edwards.


2016 AGM – 8th of October

beryl Events

Please remember that the AGM will be held at Llanelltud on the 8th October at 2pm followed by a lecture by the award winning author, Dr Dafydd Gwyn on the archaeology of the slate industry in Meirionnydd.