the first book printed in glamorganshire
WALTERS, John. A Dissertation on the Welsh Language, pointing out it's [sic] antiquity, copiousness, grammatical perfection, with Remarks on it's Poetry; and other Articles not foreign to the Subject. Cowbridge, Printed for the Author, by R. and D. Thomas, 1771.
8vo. Entirely uncut in late 19th-century blue half-morocco over marbled boards by Henry Blackwell, spine lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers; pp. 70; binding a little rubbed, title-page with missing portion of upper outer corner, p. 53 with small paper-flaw; otherwise a very attractive copy with the Welsh bookplate of Henry Blackwell inside front cover.
First edition. Walters is the author of the magisterial and still relevant Dictionary of the Welsh Language (1770-1794). Walters needed a printer nearby and Rhys Thomas moved to Cowbridge to establish the first press in Glamorganshire, and this is its first product.
Provenance: Henry Balckwell (1851-1928) left Britain for New York in 1877 and ran a large bindery. 'Blackwell played a prominent part in the Welsh-American life of his adopted country. He was a life-member of the S. Davids Society of the State of New York, a life-member of the Virginia Historical Society, one of the founders of the Ex-Libris Society, Washington, a vice-president and governor of the American Society, 1912, a member of the Welsh Society of Philadelphia, and a member of a committee formed in 1890 to found a chair of Celtic at Marietta College. He was secretary of the eisteddfod held in New York in February 1886; at this eisteddfod he won the prize for a bibliography of Welsh books and Welsh authors in America. He was also secretary of the New York eisteddfod of 1888. In Britain he was a member of the Hon. Society of Cymmrodorion and of the Welsh Bibliographical Society. He visited Wales in 1911 for the national eisteddfod held at Carmarthen … At one time Blackwell possessed what was probably the most extensive library in America relating to Wales' (Dictionary of Welsh Biography).