The Carnhuanawc Society promotes interest in the life and work of Thomas Price (1787 - 1848). It also seeks to foster knowledge of the history of Wales generally. Thomas Price, better known by his bardic name "Carnhuanawc" was the leading figure in the cultural life of Wales in the first half of the 19th century.

His greatest achievement was his "Hanes Cymru" ("History of Wales") which was the first attempt to trace the origin and development of the Welsh nation in a systematic scientific way. Published in parts between 1836 and 1842 it showed the people of Wales their unique place in European history as inheritors and interpreters of the Celtic literary, musical and artistic tradition.

As well as being a historian, Carnhuanawc was an essayist, orator, naturalist, educationalist, linguist, antiquarian, artist and musician. He was a prolific contributor to learned and popular journals. He was a major figure in the revival of the Eisteddfod and used its platform to advocate respect and encouragement for the language, literature and music of Wales.

He advocated education through the medium of the Welsh language at all levels from village school to university. Through the Welsh Minstrelcy Society he helped to preserve the folk music of Wales and the Welsh Manuscripts Society which he founded ensured that priceless medieval Welsh manuscripts were preserved and made available for study.

From his home at Llanfihangel Cwmdu in Breconshire, where he was the parish priest, he corresponded with intellectuals throughout Europe and travelled widely both in the British Isles and on the continent of Europe, in search of the Celtic roots of his people. His interest in the cultural and spiritual well-being of the Celtic cousins of the Welsh, the Bretons, led him to learn Breton and to collaborate with Le Gonidec in translating the Bible into that language. He was also a close friend of the leading Breton literary figure of the day, Villemarque ("Kervarker"), collector and editor of the "Barzaz Breiz" and welcomed him to a hugely successful series of Eisteddfodau at Abergavenny, together with many other famous cultural and diplomatic leaders from Europe and beyond.

It can justly be said of Carnhuanawc that he gave back to the people of Wales a sense of their place in history and in the world. His life continues to inspire Welsh people to fight for a wider recognition of their identity.


The Carnhuanawc