Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DIVERRES , POL ( 1880 - 1946 ), linguist, Celtic scholar, and sometime Keeper of manuscripts in the National Library of Wales ;

b. 12 Dec. 1880 at Lorient , Brittany , the son of Henri Diverres , lawyer and Breton folklorist , and Pauline Chauvlon . He was educated in the University of Rennes where he took his ‘ doctorat ’ in Celtic . He had almost completed his examination in medicine (a course which he had pursued at the specific request of his parents), when he decided to change to Celtic, which he studied at the Collège de France , (under Joseph Loth ), the Sorbonne , and the École des hautes études , Paris . Coming to Wales in 1911 (as a member of the Breton Gorsedd of Bards ) to attend the Carmarthen national eisteddfod , he shortly afterwards began his residence in this country which was to continue until his death. After taking his M.A. degree in the University of Liverpool in 1914 and after a short period as French master at Lewis' School , Pengam , Glamorgan , he was appointed Keeper of manuscripts and sub-librarian in the National Library of Wales ( 9 Sept. 1919 ); he relinquished this post in 1923 to join the French department in the newly-established University College of Swansea . He had a good Celtic library. His widow and son arranged for much of it, especially the Breton books and journals, to come to the National Library . His most important publications were Le plus ançien texte de Meddygon Myddveu … ( Paris , 1913 ) and Le Siège de Lorient par les Anglais en 1746 … ( Rennes , 1931 ); articles in Revue Celtique and Les Annales de Bretagne .

Diverres m., in 1913 , Elizabeth Jones (‘ Telynores Gwalia ’), dau. of Hugh Jones (‘ Trisant ’), Liverpool ; they had one son. Diverres d. 25 Dec. 1946 at Swansea , and was buried in Sketty churchyard.


  • Personal knowledge.


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001