1821 Welsh Holy Bible, rare 1588 Morgan translation reprinted by Richard Jones

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1821 Reprint of early Welsh translation of Holy Bible, translated by William Morgan, Bishop of Landaff and St. Asaph, in 1588 and reprinted by Richard Jones

Translator: William Morgan, 1588. [translated from Greek and Hebrew to Welsh]

Reprinted by Richard Jones, 1821.

Language: Welsh


Exceedingly rare & valuable Bible. One of the few remaining Richard Jones reprints of Bishop William Morgan’s 1558 translation of the Holy Bible into Welsh. Title page lacking but reference to 1822 found in ownership inscription on front blank page. Text complete. And the name of the printer, Richard Jones, is found on both the title-page of the New Testament as well as at the end of Revelations beneath a winged Seraph with a trumpet Paginated, text in double column. Bound with original thick leather boards, 5 brass studs each on front and back covers, spine with 5 raised bands.

William Morgan (1545 – 10 September 1604) was Bishop of Llandaff and of St Asaph, and the translator of the first version of the whole Bible into Welsh from Greek and Hebrew. Bible translations into Welsh have existed since at least the 15th century, but the most widely used complete translation of the Bible into Welsh for several centuries the 1588 Morgan translation.

The translation of the Bible into Welsh was important to the survival of the Welsh language, having the effect, along with the Welsh translation of the Book of Common Prayer, of conferring status on Welsh as a liturgical language and a vehicle for worship, thereby contributing to the language's continued use as a means of everyday communication, despite the pressure of English. An original copy of the Welsh Bible, used at the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969, is displayed in St Asaph Cathedral, in St Asaph, North Wales.

The 1588 Morgan translation was reprinted by Richard Jones in 1821, a copy of which is for sale here. Jones (1787-1855?) was a printer and publisher, with presses at Dolgelley, Pontypool, Merthyr Tydfil, Machynlleth, and Llanfyllin. He apprenticed in the printing office of Thomas Williams at Dolgelley, where he became his former master's partner in 1807, and in 1808, when Williams retired, sole owner of the business. In 1821, it was the Dolgelley press deemed capable of taking on the important job of reprinting this historic translation.  


Acceptable condition; boards securely attached & without separation, worn leather covers with instances of scratches & gouges as well as scuff marks, edges and corners significantly well worn; internally text complete with front title-page lacking, NT title-page still present, first 2 pages of Genesis detached and crumpled though present, scattered foxing & aging of pages, occasional dog-earring though no significant damages other than opening pages of Genesis; tape repair to front blank and ownership inscriptions dated 1822 on ffep and rear blank. 

BOOK MEASUREMENTS: 11 in X 9 in X 2.5 in

TOTAL LENGTH: 686 pages (OT), 204 pages (NT)