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William Midleton is a good example of the cultured gentleman living in the time of the Renaissance . He learnt the craft of Welsh bardism in his youth and, in 1593-4 , published a book which described that craft — Bardhoniaeth, neu brydydhiaeth . He did not describe this in the way the penceirddiaid (highest order of bards ) would do; he explained its chief essentials in such a way that every Welsh gentleman could practise it. He desired to see created in Wales the same kind of literary life as was to be found in the other West European countries in that age. Awdlau , cywyddau , and englynion by him are to be found in manuscripts and, in 1603 , Thomas Salesbury , London , published his Welsh translation of the Psalms , a translation written in the measures of the penceirddiaid . A fragment of another book by him, printed in 1595 , was discovered a few years ago; this contains some of the Psalms together with some cywyddau . He was one of the earliest Welsh poets to look upon the printing press as a medium for the dissemination of his works. Midleton is, therefore, an important figure in the history of Welsh literature during the second half of the 16th cent.
Emeritus Professor Griffith John Williams, M.A., (1892-1963), Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff
Published date: 1959