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Rare & antiquarian books: Late 18th century leather bound Welsh ‘Bibl’, published 1770 in Camarthen by John Ross for the Reverend Peter Williams. Earliest Welsh bible issued with a commentary and the first edition of the bible ever printed in Wales. The Old and New Testaments with Apochrypha and psalms included, bound in full tan calf, gilt banding and gilt title ‘BIBL’ to spine. Five brass studs to both front and back boards. Marbled endpapers. Inscribed on the page between the Apochrypha and the New Testament the names of Evan Evans (1786 - 1861), Penrhiwdrych, and his wife, Ann (1789 - 1869), along with the names of the Jinkins Evans family dated 1817. Restoration to front 8 page and 3 rear pages. V. Good condition, with only slight rubbing to board, spine edges and corners. Foxing and discolouration throughout but all pages present and intact. Spine largely tight. A sound and handsome copy.
Peter Williams (1723 - 1796) was a prominent leader of Welsh Methodism in the 18th century, famous as an itinerant preacher. He realised the need for copies of the bible to be available for the ordinary people of Wales in their home language and, by applying commentary to the script, was able to bypass the prohibition on the publication of the bible outside London and Cambridge. His published bible was therefore the earliest Welsh Bible issued with a commentary and the first edition of the Bible printed in Wales. The first edition was sold out in 1770 and Williams thereafter produced thousands of copies which remained popular well into the 19th century. The bible, including both New and Old Testaments, the Psalms and the Apochrypha were originally first translated into Welsh by a William Morgan in 1588