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ignorance from the poorer sort of the Welch. In the year 1749, a handred and forty-two schoolmasters were employed to remove from place to place for the instruction of the inhabitants; and their scholars amounted to 72,264. No people have distinguished themselves more, perhaps, in proportion to their abilities, than the Welch have done by ads of national munificence. They print, at a vast expense, Bibles, Common-prayers, and other religious books, and distribute them gratis to the poorer fort. Few of their towns are unprovided with a freeschool.
The established religion in Wales is that of the church of England; but the common people in many places are so tenacious of their ancient caftoms, that they retain several of the Romifh superstitions, and some ancient famišies among them are still Roman-catholics. It is likewise said that Wales abounds with Romish priests in disguise. The principality also contains great numbers of protestant diflenters.
For BISHOPRICKS,—see England. In former times, Wales contained more bifhopricks than it does now; and about the time of the Norman invasion, the religious foundations there far exceeded the wealth of all the other parts of the principality.
LEARNING AND LEARNBD men.] Wales was a seat of learning at a very early period; but it suffered an eclipse by the repeated massacres of the bards and clergy. Wickliffism took shelter in Wales, when it was persecuted in England. The Welch and Scotch dispute about the nativity of certain learned men, particularly four of the name of Gildas. Giraldus Cambrensis, whose history was published by Camden, was certainly a Welchman; and Leland mentions several learned men of the same country, who fourished before the Reformation. The discovery of the famous king Arthur's and his wife's burying-place was owing to some lines of Thalieflin, which were repeated before Henry II. of England, by a Welch bard. Since the Reformation, Wales has produced several excellent antiquaries and divines. Among the latter were Hugh Broughton, and Hugh Holland, who was a Roman-catholic, and is mentioned by Fuller in his Worthies. Among the former were seves ral gentlemen of the name of Llhuyd, particularly the author of that invaluable work, the Archäologia. Rowland, the learned author of the Mona Antiqua, was likewise a Welchman; as was that great statesman and prelate, the lord keeper Williams, archbishop of York in the time of king Charles I. After all, it appears, that the great merit of the Welch learning, in former times, lay in the knowledge of the antiquities, language, and history of their own country. Wales, notwithAanding all that Dr. Hicks and other antiquaries have said to the contrary, furnished the Anglo-Saxons with an alphabet. This is clearly demonstrated by Mr. Llhuyd, in his Welch preface to his Archæologia, and is confirmed by various monumental inscriptions of undoubted authority. (See Rowland's Mona Antiqua.) The excellent history of Henry VIII. written by lord Herbert of Cherbury, may be adduced as another production of Welch literature.
With regard to the present state of literature among the Welch, it is fufficient to say, that some of them make a considerable figure in the sepablic of letters, and that many of their clergy are excellent scholars. The Welch Pater-nofter is as follows:
Ein Tad, yr hwn wyt, yn y nefoedd, fanéteiddier dy enw: deued dy deyrnas; bydded dy ewyllys ar y ddaear, megis y mae yn y nefoed: dyro in i beddyw ein bara beunyddiol; a maddeu i ni ein dyledion, fel y maddeupun ni lies partly in Montgomery and partly in Cardiganshire, are the most far mous; and their mountainous lituation greatly allifted the natives in making fo noble and long a ftruggle against the Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Norman powers, VEGETABLE AND ANIMAL PRO- ? In these particulars Wales dif
DUCTIONS BY SEA AND LAND. Sfers little from England. Their horses are smaller, but can endure vait fatigue; and their black cattle are small likewise, but excellent beef; and their cows are remarkable for yielding large quantities of milk. Great numbers of goats feed oa the mountains. Some very promising mines of silver, copper, lead, and iron, have been discovered in Wales. The Welch silver may be known by its being stamped with the ostrich feathers, the badge of the prince of Wales. POPULATION, INHABITANTS,? The inhabitants of Wales are sup
MANNERS, AND CUSTOMS. S posed to amount to about 300,000; and though not in general wealthy, they are provided with all the necessaries and many of the conveniences of life. The land-tax of Wales brought in some years ago about forty-three thousand feven hundred and fifty-two pounds a-year. The Welch are, if poñible, more jealous of their liberties than the English, and far more irascible; but their anger soon abates; and they are remarkable for their fincerity and fidelity. They are very fond of carrying back their pedigrees to the moft remote antiquity; but we have no criterion for the authenticity of their manuscripts, some of which they pretend to be coeval with the beginning of the Christian æra. It is however certain, that great part of their history, especially the ecclesiastical, is more ancient, and better attested, than that of the Anglo-Saxons. Wales was formerly famous for its bards and poets, particularly Thaliellin, who lived about the year 450, and whose works were certainly extant at the time of the Reformation, and clearly evince that Geoffrey of Monmouth was not the inventor of the history which makes the present Welch the descendanes of the ancient Trojans. This poetical genius seems to have influenced the ancient Welch with an enthusiasm for independency; for which reason Edward I. is said to have made a general massacre of the bards
; an inhumanity which was characteristical of that ambitious prince. The Welch may be called an unmixed people, and are remarkable for fill maintaining the ancient hospitality, and their ftri& adherence to ancient customs and manners. This appears even among gentlemen of fortune, who in other countries commonly follow the stream of fashion. We are not however to imagine, that many of the nobility and
gentry of Wales do not comply with the modes and manner of living in Eng: land and France. All the better sort of the Welch speak the English language, though numbers of them understand the Welch.
Religion.] The maslacre of the Welch clergy by Augustine, the popish apoftle of England, because they would not conform to the Romilh ritual, has been already mentioned. Wales, after that, fell under the dominion of petty princes, who were often weak and credulous
, The Romilh clergy insinuated themselves into their favour, by their pretended power of abfolving them from crimes; and the Welch, when their ancient clergy were extinét, conformed themselves to the religion of Rome. The Welch clergy, in general, are but poorly provided for and in many of the country congregations they preach both in Welch and English. Their poverty was formerly a great discouragement to religion and learning; but the measures taken by the society for propaga; ing Christian knowledge have in a gr -ee remov