Edward Richard

Ystrad Meurig

Am fanylion o fywyd Edward Richard a'i ysgol trowch at lyfr D.G. Osborne-Jones


by

D.G. Osborne – Jones

(Carmarthen,1934)


It was his love of Greek poetry . . . that enabled him to compose one of the most perfect englyn in Welsh, a poem utterly classical both in temper and form:


                                        

                                                                                          

Edward Richard . . . lived in a small thatched cottage, and sold ale to within three years of his death. Mr Williams who succeeded Mr Richard at the free School has built himself a good House out of the stones collected from the ruins of Ystrad Meurig Castle


Edward Richard

(Argraff Arlunydd)

EDWARD RICHARD of YSTRAD MEURIG

Edward Richard a fu enwog Athraw yn y ieithoedd dysgedig yn Ystrad Meurig . . . o'r Flwyddyn 1735, hyd amser ei farwolaeth, Mawrth y 4ydd, 1777 . . . Ei gydnabyddiaeth â'i gynnefindra ef a'r beirdd Rhufeinig a Groegaidd a wnat i'w waith ragori mewn purder, eglurder, dwysder, a rhwyddineb iaith . . Mae ei gerddi yn waith . . . mwyaf hynod a chynnil erioed yn y Gymraeg, wedi eu llunio yn ôl Portreiad Vigil yn mhlith y Rhufeiniaid, a Theocritus yn mhlith y Groegiaid.

Ned or Dre was the vulgar name by which the Bard was known in the neighbourhood. The village of Ystradmeiric had, formerly, it seem, the privileges of a corporation-town; some remains of which have continued till of late years, and even to the present time - such as the right of holding a fair and exacting tolls, of electing a mayor, and of imprisonment. The adjoining castle, though erected by the Normans, was soon taken by the Princes of South Wales, and some of the sons of the Lord Rhys even lived for some time at this castle. Hence it is natural to conceive that they granted the above privileges to the inhabitants. (Names such as 'Tan Dre' and Dre-isaf still exist)

But the strongest witness to the thoroughness of Richard's classical studies is the incomplete catalogue of his library in which Greek and Latin texts easily predominate . . . he possessed five editions of Theocritus . . . to have five different editions is evidence enough of Richard's love of him.

Trallodau, beiau bywyd ― ni welais

Nac wylwch o'm plegyd;

Wyf iach o bob afiechyd,

Ac yn fy medd, gwyn fy myd


The patriotic Edward Richard, the founder of the Grammar School at Ystrad Meurig, who was considered equal as a teacher to Arnold of Rugby, or Butler of Shrewsbury, was one day conversing with one of the principals of the University of Oxford about their scholars. There was no end to the praise which the learned Oxonian was bestowing on his students. Mr Richard at last declared that he believed that the best boys of Ystrad Meurig were quite equal in learning to the student of Oxford. “O dear” uttered the other, “there is no comparison between them.” “Well” said Mr Richard, “the best plan is to examine them, and I will lay a hundred pounds on my pupils against an equal sum on the side of your scholars.” When the appointed day of the examination came, Mr Richard ordered twelve of his scholars to be dressed like common labourers, and to be posted at different stations on the road, about a mile or so fromYstrad Meurig, each student possessing a shovel and mattock with orders how to act when the strangers came to view. At last the Oxonians made their appearance on ponies, and enquried the distance to Ystrad Meurig of the first labourer they met, and the answer was given in pure Latin. They asked the same question to the second, and were answered in classical Greek, and so with the third, when he also answered in excellent Hebrew. The Oxonians were confounded and wanted to turn back, saying “If the common labourers about here are so proficient in the learned languages what must be the expertness of the best scholars?” When the Oxonians arrived in the village they were greatly dissapointed in witnessing a long straw-thatched college, and a large fire on the ground to one end, made of turf from the bog of Glanteifi. The students were also dressed in cord trousers and grey coats, construted of home-made cloth, sitting around the fire discoursing freely in the learned languages. Moreover, the Oxonians were so disheartened that they did not attempt the contest, but returned to the University cherishing a higher opinion of “Little Wales” and the too-often despised Welshmen.


Tudalen 2

www.hanesybont.co.uk

Yr Eos
Cyfeiriwyd yn aml at Edward Richard fel 'Yr Eos' – teyrnged iddo fel bardd. [Mae'r llun uchod o'r eos ar gael ar y dudalen we http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NSRW_Nightingale.png]
Os am fynd nôl i'r dudalen flaenorol, cliciwch y botwm glas
    Nodiadau
Mr. Richards was a martyr to that painful disease, the gravel. He died on the 4th of March, 1777, and was buried at Ystrad-meurig, where there is a Latin inscribed tablet raised to his memory. Although he has travelled to that bourne '' from whence no traveller returns," his name will be remembered as long as the river Tivy will flow through the valley beneath to the sea.
John Rowlands, Historical notes of the counties of Glamorgan, Carmarthen and Cardigan : and a list of the  
 members of parliament for South Wales, from Henry VIII, to Charles II., Cardiff, 1866 (see notes)
Llywarch Hen, Pantypwdin, By-gones, May 1883, page 245
  Gwallter Mechain (Walter Davies) A tour in South Wales (1802) LL.G.C. Llawysgrif MS 1730B
 Saunders Lewis, A School of Welsh Augustans, Bath, 1969
 Dyfyniadau allan o 'Yr Eos : sef gwaith awenyddawl Mr. Edward Richard'
Rhai dyfyniadau sy'n rhoi cip-olwg ar y Bardd