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Major purchase by NLW



William Shakespeare: Major purchase after four centuries

William Shakespeare: Major purchase after four centuries

FOUR centuries after the death of William Shakespeare, the National Library of Wales (NLW) has announced its purchase of a manuscript associated with the person to whom the playwright’s First Folio was dedicated.

In December, the National Library of Wales purchased at auction in London a manuscript work by George Owen (c. 1598-1665) of Pembrokeshire, written around 1624, and containing an account of successive Earls Pembroke from the Norman Conquest to the first quarter of the seventeenth century.

Owen dedicated his manuscript to William Herbert (1580-1630), third Earl of Pembroke, a powerful courtier and patron of the arts in the Jacobean court, and recipient of a jointdedication by editors John Heminge and Henry Condell to the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays.

Herbert seems to have been a magnet for those who searched for advancement and favour at the Royal court, and George Owen’s dedication of a manuscript to him displays a clear intention of impressing a possible benefactor, a nobleman who was also his distant cousin.

The compact manuscript now acquired by the Library, embellished with finely painted genealogical tables and a fine armorial, was intended to catch the nobleman’s eye, and seems to have achieved its purpose.

George Owen was an illegitimate son of the antiquary of the same name who became Wales’ first county historian. George Owen senior, author of The Description of Penbrockshire (1603) died in 1613, and his son wrote this new account of the earldom of Pembroke ‘to finish this work by him begotten … for the benefit of his younger children’, and to complete the task which his father ‘allwaies intended’.

Whatever the actual motivation for the work, the resulting patronage of William Herbert seems to have propelled George Owen junior from his home in Pembrokeshire to the heart of London courtly life. His nomination to the heraldic office of Rouge Croix pursuivant in February 1625 led to his further advancement as York Herald in December 1633, positions of influence in which he could indulge his passions for history and genealogy.

Although he turned his back on King Charles by supporting Parliament during the Civil Wars, he returned to royal favour in 1660 before retiring to Pembrokeshire the following year after a moderately successful life at court.

The National Library’s Director of Collections and Public Programmes, Pedr ap Llwyd, expressed his delight ‘in the acquisition of this unique text, the first work by George Owen junior to be represented in the Library’s holdings’.

He added that ‘the timing of the purchase is significant as it brings us ever closer to the personnel and culture of the Jacobean court frequented by Shakespeare and his associates’.

Whilst a copy of the Second Folio (1632) of Shakespeare’s plays is currently displayed in the National Library’s Words of War exhibition, no copy of the First Folio is believed to be in Wales. However, the National Library of Wales holds an unique contemporary manuscript poem addressed to John Heminge and Henry Condell, close associates of Shakespeare, in which they are praised for having presented the public with treasure greater than the gold of Mexico in the Bard’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies of 1623.

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Update for Multi-purpose Community Centres following First Minister announcement



TODAY, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that multi-purpose community centres including community centres, village halls, church halls and other community facilities can reopen from 03 May. This decision has been brought forward from 17 May.

Welsh Government announced changes during today’s briefing, and the guidance for multi-purpose community venues is being updated to ensure compliance with developments in regulations, including greater emphasis on ventilation. Welsh Government continue to advise authorities that the regulations on social gathering will still prevent a number of activities from taking place at community venues, and only organised activities for up to 15 people will be permitted.

The panel strongly advise you to make every effort to carry out your activity digitally or make contact by phone. If not, consider whether it is possible to hold your activity outdoors, in-line with Welsh Government guidance. Holding your activity indoors should be considered as a last resort. If this is the only option and it’s essential that you meet then please keep the session brief and involve as few people as possible, with all necessary procedures and protocols in place.

Those responsible for community activities should remember to;

  • maintain a social distance of 2 meters.
  • wear a face covering in indoor public spaces.
  • regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer provided.   

A multi-agency panel has been set up to advise and support around the safe and proportionate reopening of facilities in-line with national guidance. The panel has been created under Ceredigion’s Public Services Board Sub Group; Understanding our Communities. Leading on the development of the group is Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations (CAVO) and Ceredigion County Council in partnership with Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The panel includes representation from Health & Safety, Environmental Health and Community Safety.

The panel encourages anyone responsible for community facilities to seek advice to ensure that arrangements are safe and secure and that compliance is in-line with national guidance. Prior to re-opening any community facility those managing centres must ensure that they are ‘Covid-Free Zones’.

The panel will aim to host another briefing session on April 28 at 13:30 to support those in charge of community venues with the latest developments. If you would like to join the next briefing session, please register here: or get in touch via the contact details below.

The multi-agency panel will continue to support and advise Community Groups and Organisations, and questions or information requests can be submitted to the group which meets on a weekly basis via CAVO on or by phone on 01570 423232.

Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.

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Ceredigion Museum’s digital storytelling celebrates LGBTQ+ history month



February marks LGBTQ+ History month and Ceredigion Museum has been working with local organisation Aberration to unveil and record fascinating and untold stories of Aberystwyth.

These stories form part of the museum’s ‘It Happened in Aber’ project, which will allow people to listen to the untold stories that have shaped Aberystwyth.

This project was made possible thanks to the ’15-minute heritage’ funding, a partnership between The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.

Carrie Canham, museum curator, said: “For too long the LGBTQ+ community has been marginalised, or even completely concealed, in history. Ceredigion Museum is keen to share the stories that have lurked in the shadows, to celebrate the diversity and rich LGBTQ+ heritage of Aberystwyth with pride.”

The LGBTQ+ stories researched and recorded with by Jane Hoy, of Aberration, include historic and modern-day characters from the town, including famous academics, poets, mariners, dancers and a spy!

“We are delighted to be working so closely with Ceredigion Museum contributing to ‘queering up’ the museum with lively local stories and events,” Jane.

Aberystwyth has certainly played its part in developing the LGBTQ+ community in West Wales and Sarah and Rosie, founders of Aberystwyth’s ‘Wrecked’ nightclub for women, have documented their fond memories of their venue in the town: “It became a fun and safe haven for lesbians who travelled there from all corners of the county”.

Ceredigion Museum staff and volunteers will be continuing to document stories linked to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as stories linked to specific locations in the town, until April.

From May onwards, The ‘It Happened in Aber’ stories will be available to enjoy in podcast format on the museum’s website as well as forming a digital walking tour of the town, allowing people to listen and enjoy the stories whilst walking around the locations in Aberystwyth.

Councillor Catherine Hughes said: “It’s fantastic that Ceredigion Museum is providing us with an opportunity to enjoy the history and the important contribution of the LGBTQ+ community in Aberystwyth. This is such an important project to document our local heritage. We look forward to listening to all the stories.”

If you can’t wait until the summer, join this years’ virtual Aberration – Between the Lines event on Friday, February 26 from 7pm, when the ladies of ‘Wrecked’ will be sharing some of their stories!

For further information or to share your untold story, contact Sarah Morton, Ceredigion Museum’s sustainability officer, at

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Aberaeron takeaway closed for ignoring coronavirus restrictions



A Premises Closure Notice has been issued to Paradise Pizza, Regent Street, Aberaeron due to repeated non-compliance with the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.5) (Wales) Regulations 2020.

The business was issued with a premises improvement notice on 15th January 2021. It was required to take reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the need to ensure that staff use personal protective equipment and face coverings. However, officers have since witnessed staff failing to wear face coverings on multiple occasions in contravention of their advice.

Monitoring inspections have shown that the majority of Ceredigion‘s retail premises are complying with the restrictions placed on them during the pandemic. Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection team will continue to take action against businesses who fail to comply with the coronavirus restrictions. Whilst non-compliant businesses will usually receive advice and guidance, serious or persistent breaches will be dealt with by means of closure powers, fixed penalty notices or prosecution.

This takeaway must remain closed for 28 days, or until Public Protection officers are satisfied that the alleged non-compliance has been addressed.

Premises improvement and closure notices are required to be published by law.

The full closure notice can be found on Ceredigion County Council’s website, under Improvement and Closure Notices:

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