The 1849 Welsh Hymnal

of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Follow these links for detailed information:
Transcriptions
  • The 1849 Welsh hymnal, complete, HTML file
  • The 1849 Welsh hymnal, complete, PDF file with format similar to the original
  •      I have not corrected typographic, grammatical, or othographic errors.
    English translations
  • The Preface and Index translated into English
  • Table of Contents with first lines in Welsh and English
  •     Most of the website is in Welsh. You can use Google tranlate to get an idea of the meaning; however, it does a poor job of translating the 19th century poetic language.
        My translations are quite literal so as to be less subject to my personal interpretation (which I don't trust a great deal). However, the English is sometimes a bit awkward. I welcome any improvements you may have.
    Original document
  • Photographic copy, Archive.org
  •     Note that the photographic copy is difficult to read in places and there are many errors in the optically transcribed text.
     

    The 1849 Casgliad o Hymnau Newyddion (Collection of New Hymns) was the second of three Welsh-language hymnals published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wales during the 19th century. The first of the hymnals was published in 1846, but the growth of the church was so rapid that this edition could provide hymnals for less than 1/10 of Church menbers in Wales. Additionally, there was a demand for hymns that reflected the doctrines and practices of the new church. (See the Preface to the 1849 Hymnal).

    The 1849 Hymnal does contain Welsh versions of some popular English-langualge hymns of the Church, such as The Morning Breaks (Hymn 1) and Praise to the Man (Hymn 166). There are other hymns that have roots in the English hymns, but are by no means meant to be be Welsh versions of English hymns. The Spirit of God (Hymn 53), for example, starts out sounding familiar, but only consists of eight lines, and even then takes a quick and unexpected turn:

      The spirit of the Lord like a fire is burning
      The last days have dawned for us;
      The Lord sent from the land of light
      The eternal gospel, and his gift with it.

      Truth was obtained from the mountain of Cumorah,
      The children of the forest will accept the teaching;
      And after becoming civilized, on the land of California,
      Peace and joy will be in their midst.

    But the vast majority of the "New Hymns" are just that, hymns that were newly written by the Welsh Saints and compiled and edited by John Silvanus Davis, who wrote many of the hymns himself.

    The purpose of this website is to provide a (mostly) accurate transcription of the 1849 hymnal to facilitate research into an aspect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was greatly important to the early Welsh Saints. In the course of time, I hope to be able to add translations of many of the hymns for non-Welsh speakers as well, althogh my Welsh has many shortcomings. In the meantime, I'd be very happy to translate a hymn or two for you if send me an email at gwrthdystiwr@gmail.com.


    -- Lawrence Rees

    Here are a few other links that may be of interest:

    • Portion of the 1852 Hymnal - My transcription of the first 189 hymns of the 1852 Welsh hymnal. Most are the same as the 1849 hymnal, although a number of minor changes have been made to many hymns. Hymns 36, 57, and 147 are different. Major changes were made in Hymns 80 and 98. The second verse to Hymn 25 was dropped in 1852.
    • Welsh Hymns Blog - Grant Vaughn's blog has quite a bit of information and links to the early Welsh Hymnals, particularly the 1852 edition.
    • 1849 Hymnal and 1852 Hymnal - This website on LDS Britain contains interesing historical background about the hymnals.
    • Photographic copy of the 1852 Hymnal - This Google book is a readable copy of the hymnal, but the optical transcription is prone to many errors.
    • Archive.org version of the 1852 Hymnal - A second photographic copy of this hymnal.