The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

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Hynt a Hanes Llawysgrif Gyfreithiol

Dr Sara Elin Roberts

Thursday 5 July, 2012

The paper will look at the history of one particular manuscript of medieval Welsh law, or Cyfraith Hywel: Peniarth 259B. Following an introduction to medieval Welsh law and manuscript production, the discussion will turn to an interesting note found in the manuscript which appears to link it with Pontefract. In order to explore this matter further, attention will be given to Pontefract castle, imprisonment in the middle ages, monks and monastic libraries, war and hostages, and end with a summary of what may have happened to this manuscript and why.

About the speaker: Dr Sara Elin Roberts

Dr Sara Elin Roberts is a legal historian whose work on medieval Welsh law is a valuable and acknowledged contribution to the field.

Educated at Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni, Anglesey, she won the Richard Hughes Scholarship to study at the University of Wales, Bangor, where she achieved first class honours in Welsh and History. She won the J. B. Davies Scholarship to St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she gained an M.St. in Historical Research (Medieval): she studied under Professor R. R. Davies and Professor Thomas Charles-Edwards, concentrating on Welsh law and the law of the March. Funded by the AHRB, she undertook research for her doctorate in Celtic at Jesus College, Oxford, on the legal triads and fifteenth-century aspects of medieval Welsh law. University of Wales Press published her pioneering study of the legal triads in 2007,The Legal Triads of Medieval Wales. It was awarded the David Yale Prize by the Selden Society for a distinguished contribution to the study of the laws and legal institutions of England and Wales; and also the Hywel Dda Prize by the Board of Celtic Studies for her contribution to the field of Welsh law.

As a member of a number of academic societies, Sara Elin Roberts is regularly invited to give public lectures both in Britain and abroad on various aspects of medieval Welsh literature.

Her main interests are legal history, in particular later, fifteenth-century developments in medieval Welsh law and the training and learning of the medieval Welsh lawyer. She is also an authority on medieval Welsh poetry, in particular the work of Dafydd ap Gwilym, as the editor of the bardic debate for www.dafyddapgwilym.net.

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