Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


The Black Book of Basingwerk

The late fifteenth-century parchment manuscript known as the Black Book of Basingwerk (Llyfr Du Basing), now NLW MS 7006D, is mainly the work of the Welsh poet and scribe Gutun Owain (fl. 1460-1500). The tradition of its association with Basingwerk abbey, Flintshire, goes back to at least c. 1630, when the antiquary Robert Vaughan (?1592-1666) of Hengwrt transcribed extracts ‘o Lyfr manachlog Dinas Basing’ (now in NLW MS 13074D), and the manuscript was probably at that Cistercian monastery before and at the time of its dissolution in 1536. In 1481, Basingwerk’s Welsh character had been strengthened by the appointment as abbot of Thomas Pennant, a member of a leading North Wales family, and for the remaining half-century before its dissolution the monastery became a centre of patronage for such poets as Tudur Aled (fl. 1480-1526) as well as Gutun Owain. It was probably Pennant who added marginal notes in yellow ink (e.g. pp. 260-1, 264, 266). for more click here

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