The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

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home > Transactions > Volume 25 - 2019 > WILLIAM MORRIS A THOMAS PENNANT- CYSYLLTIADAU CYFFREDIN

WILLIAM MORRIS A THOMAS PENNANT- CYSYLLTIADAU CYFFREDIN

The correspondences of William Morris (1705 –1763), one of the Morris brothers of Anglesey, and the naturalist and traveller Thomas Pennant (1726–1798) are a rich source of information about the people with whom they engaged and the interests which drove them. This article is centred on their interaction with four ‘common connections’, as revealed in their letters: Owen Holland of Plas Isa, Conwy; the Flintshire-born but Anglesey-based Paul Panton; the traveller and Church of England bishop Richard Pococke; and John Ellis, Fellow of the Royal Society. All four were known individually to both William Morris and Pennant but a shared acquaintance with them deepened joint interests, most notably in natural history. The four contacts were also among the earlier members of the Cymmrodorion Society, and the strong focus of this strand of the membership on the study of the natural world may help readdress the balance of our perceptions of the Society. Simultaneously, by showing the close bonds which Pennant fostered with the Cymmrodorion, it foregrounds the question of the latter’s place in the evolution of the Society and his standing among his Welsh contemporaries.

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