« ZurückWeiter »
Mr. Edward Jones was born at a firm in Merionethshire, called Henblas, or Old Mansion, on Easter Sunday, in the year 1752. His father was, what is generally termed, a musical genius: he could not only perform on various instruments, but he also made several. He taught two of his sons, Edward and Thomas, the Welsh harp, another son the spinnet, and another the violin, and he played himself on the organ; so that the “Family Concert” was at least a tolerably strong one. Edward Jones came to London about fifty years ago, under the patronage of several persons of distinction, connected with the Principality. His performance on the harp was considered in those days, when taste, feeling, and expression, were the characteristic features of a Lyrist, to be very superior. He met with great encouragement, and had the honor of giving instructions to many ladies of rank. He was appointed Bard to the Prince of Wales in 1783, but it was merely an honorary situation.
In conjunction with Dr. Owen Pughe, Mr. Walters, and a few literary friends, he published a volume of Ancient Bardic Lore, and Welsh Airs, about thirty years ago, and in four years afterwards brought out a second volume. In 1820 he published the first part of a third volume, and had employed his days chiefly since in preparing the remainder, so as to complete the work; but he was not permitted to accomplish it. He had been severely afflicted with rheumatic pains for some time, and his memory became daily more defective; he was a very reserved man, and passed most of his time alone, with his chamber door locked.
He had been a collector of scarce books, and possessed many valuable ones; but his inability to follow his professional pursuits, and his high spirit preventing him from making his situation known to his relatives, caused him to dispose of a part of his library, on the produce of which he subsisted.
I and many others saw that he was daily becoming an object of our friendly attention, and we endeavoured to ascertain his circumstances; but from him we could learn nothing, notwithstanding it was pretty certain that he passed many days without a dinner.
It became at length a duty incumbent on us to take him under our care; a recommendation to the Governors of the Royal Society of Musicians was promptly attended to, and an annuity of fifty pounds was granted him—unknown to him. This single act of benevolence speaks volumes in favor of that excellent Institution, which was founded in 1738, with a view of shielding the “child of song” in the decline of life, from penury and want, also to provide for the widows and orphans of its indigent members, at their decease. Mr. Jones entered the Society in 1778. I was deputed to give him the first monthly payment. It was in the evening when I called; I found him locked in his room, at his lodgings in Great Chesterfield-street, Marylebone; I was admitted, he did not recollect me immediately, although most intimately acquainted with him; he had his dressing-gown and night-cap on, his harp standing by the table, on which was a blotted sheet of music paper. I told him the purport of my visit, but he did not pay much attention to me, and only asked, with much fervency, whether I knew “The Melody of Mona,” (See Relicks, vol. i. p. 168.) a most beautiful pathetic Welsh air, in the minor key, to which Mrs. Hemans has written an excellent song, called “The Lament of the Last Druid.” He took his harp, and with a trembling hand, “Struck the deep sorrows of his Lyre.” It was impossible not to feel affected on such an occasion—the scene reminded me of the dying hour of a celebrated Bard, who called for his harp, and performed a most plaintive strain– “Sweet solace of my dying hour, Ere yet my arm forget its power, Give to my falt'ring hand, my shell, One strain to bid the world farewell.” In a few days afterwards he fell in a fit; the landlady, who sat in the apartment below, heard a noise; she ran up, but could not gain admission; the door was burst open, when the poor Bard was found lying on his face, with a heavy chair on his back. He remained senseless for two days, and expired without a groan on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1824, aged 72. He was conveyed to his silent tomb, in St. Mary-le-bone burial-ground, on the following Sunday. Mr. Jones left a number of scarce books, and much music, which were disposed of by public auction, in February, 1825, and produced nearly 500l. He had, at various times previous to his death, sold books and prints to the amount of about 300l., so that his whole collection may be stated at 800l. ; an extraordinary sum, considering the habits of the collector : Of his professional abilities, his “Relicks of the Welsh Bards” bear ample testimony; and will convey his name, with honor, to posterity. They are the result of forty years labour and research; and his countrymen of the Principality, may now boast, that, as well as the IRISH and the Scotch, they also have their “Melodies.” J. PARRY.
* Mr. Parry's publication consists of selections from the “Relicks of the Welsh Bards,” with English words adapted to them, after the manner of Moore's Irish Melodies.
T H E C O N T ENTS OF THE FIRST Vo LU M E.
A List of the ancient Bards and Historians, their Works, and
centuries, - * a- - 83–84–85
Bedd Cilhart, or the Grave of Killhart, - 75 C
The Cymry, or Welsh, descendants of Gomer, - I Coats of Arms in use among the Britons from the
remotest period, - - 10-56 Julius Cesar twice repulsed from Britain, - 6 King Caswallon's Banquet, - - 6 Of Caradacus, Cynvelyn, Carawn, Bladud, &c. - 8 King Cadwalader presided in the Congress of the Bards, 26 Anecdote of Hugh Llwyd Cynwael, - 78
Congress of Bards held at Caerwys in the reign of Elizabeth, 46 Carados of Llancarvan colle&ed the Aéts of the British Princes, 26 3. Colgrid | The Druids took refuge in Ireland, Bardsey, the Isle
ii contenTS OF THE FIRST VöLUME OF RELICKS OF THE WELSH BARDS.
of Man, &c. - - - - 9
The Bards and Druids had an extraordinary veneration - for the number 7hree, - - - 1o5
\ Dyvnwal Moelmud, the first Monarch who constituted Laws in Britain, - - - 56–79
The different degrees of Persons among the Ancient Britons, 57 St. Dunstan, accomplished in Music: His Harp would without the interposition of any visible hand, pour out .
the most harmonious Sounds, – - 106 The Drum, - - - 117 Of Davydd ah Gwilym, the Bard, - 42-43–&c.
A Translation of Davydd ab Gwilym's Cowyddy Delyn Ledr, 102 Of the Ducking Chair, at Dolgelleu, - - 75
Gruffydd ab Conan, created Laws to reform Abuses among the Bards, - 28–29-31
Donations, and Privileges appointed by the statute of Prince Gruffydd ab Conan to be given to all the Bards and Musicians,
The Four and Twenty ancient Games of the Welsh, – 36
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME OF RELICKS OF THE WELSH BARDS
Thom de Pinodo’s account of the Harp, - 99
The Jaw's Harp, erroneously termed Jew's-Harp, — 107
The Horn of St. Patrick, - - I2 i