Historic Welsh Book Of Hywel Dda Saved For The Nation With £541,250 Purchase
A 14th century book chronicling laws framed in the name of a medieval Welsh king has been bought at auction by the the National Library of Wales for £541,250.
The book, ‘The Laws of Hywel Dda,’ is the earliest manuscript of its kind ever offered in a public sale.
Written in medieval Welsh several other copies of the laws, some of which also date from the 14th century, are held by the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth.
Aberystwyth’s manuscripts librarian Dr Maredudd ap Huw called their latest copy of the laws a “lost treasure”.
He said though detailing the same laws, each of the library’s copies is “unique with a separate story to tell”.
The librarian, who said the book was bought with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, added: “What is quite important about this is that it’s not a manuscript created for a library – it’s a working text book. So as your judge or lawyer would have been travelling from lordship to lordship on the Welsh borders in the 14th century he would have recourse to this manuscript to fix legal problems.”