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On the use of the Historical Triads.

[Nov, Basingwerk was conveyed to that fa- Hengurt, refers them to the seventh cenmily, by whom it is still possessed. tury. Some may be the records of more Edward, son of William, was created ancient traditions, and some are of more rea Baronet in 1670; and Sir Edward cent date. I think them the most curious, Mostyn, the present Baronet, is the

on the whole, of all the Welsh Remains." seventh who has borne the title.

Of the Triads there are many MSS. Yours, &c. W. LATHAM. in different collections.

“ They may be considered (say the EdiON THE USE OF THE HISTORICAL tors) amongst the most valuable and curious Triads.

productions preserved in the Welsh lan

guage; and they contain a great number of THE Greek and Roman historians memorials of the remarkable events which the beauties of their style, as to their fortunately, however, they are deficient with accuracy. Their form is pleasing, and respect to dates; and, considered singly, from being made the medium of edu. they are not well adapted to preserve the cation, they become our companions connection of history. Yet, a collection of in the closet. But the discerning

Triads, continued together as these are, reader perceives that Herodotus abounds condeuse more information into a small in fable, that Livy is frequently mis- compass, than is to be accomplished perhaps taken, and that such as cannot be such a mode of composition is superior to

by any other method; and consequently charged with credulity, have an ob- all others for the formation of a system of vious bias in favour of their country. tradition.” In other countries information is derived, not from chronicles, but from the inunificence of Mr. Owen Jones,

They were published, in 1801, by poetical and traditionary relicks. The and have since been edited by Mr. Persians have their Shah Nameh, and Probert. Every elucidation which the Hindoos their Mahabbarat; and

can now be obtained, will be found, the early events of our ancestors must be principaliy gleaned from the His- Cambro-Briton, a respectable periodi

with a chronological digest, in the torical Triads. Of these records the cal, conducted by the late Mr. Parry. observations of Mr. Turner and the One disadvantage they certainly posEditors of the Myvyrian Archaiology

to enumerate precisely THREE will supply the best account:

circumstances, such as “ the three ac« The Welch have a very singular col- cursed deeds of the Isle of Britain," it lection of historical facts, which they call

may often have been necessary to exTriads. Three events which have an analogy in some point or other, are arranged that the Triads must be regarded as

aggerate, and sometimes to omit; so together. It is certainly a very whimsical detached notices rather than a complete mode of commemorating events, but the actions of man are full of caprice. The fan- series of records. ciful rudeness of the plan may discredit the

The Triads remount to the political taste or judgment of its authors; but the circumstances of the Cymry before veracity of the statement is not affected by their supposed departure from Asia. the singularity of the form. If the Welsh Hu Gadaru, or The Mighty, whom have never had a Livy, or a Thucydides ; if some sanguine autiquaries have identhey have made Triads, instead of histories, tified with Noah, is said to have formwe may blame the misdirection of their ed them into social communities, to genius; but we cannot try the authenticity have instructed them in agriculture, of a record by its taste and elegance, or and 10 have adapted poetry to the prewhat will become of our special pleading, servation of historical memorials. Unour bills in equity, and our acts of parlia- der his auspices, they reached an ment!

“ The historical Triads have been ob- island, previously denominated Clás viously put together at very different pe

Merddin, or The Sea-defended Green riods. Some appear very ancient. Some Spot, and by the colonists, Vel Inys, allude to circumstances about the first


of The Honey Isle. A federal mopulation, and early history of the island, of narchy, was subsequently established which every other memorial has perished. by Prydain (a name signifying beautiThe Triads were noticed by Camden with ful), from whom the island is said to respect. Mr. Vaughan, the antiquary of have derived its present (though al

tered) appellation of Britain. * Vindication of the Ancient British Poenis, p. 126.

+ P. 131,


sess :

On the use of the Historical Triads.

403 Poetry was early reduced 10 a system and the treachery of Avarwy (Manduby Tydain, surnamed Tad Awen, or bratius) contributed to his success. The Father of the Muse. This per- During this æra, the Gwyddelians, or sonage has been supposed the same first Irish colonists, settled in Alban, with the Celtic Thoth, or Thcutat, or Scotland; and the people of Galeand the Egyptian Hermes. The cur- din (supposed to be Holland) in the rent regulations were first consolidated Isle of Wight. into a body of laws, by Dynval Moel- Caradoc, the son of Bran, was elected mud, about four hundred years before sovereign, A. D. 43, and betrayed, nine the Christian æra. Subsequently, but years afterwards, to the Romans, by at an uncertain period, the Jury, the Aregwydd Voeddig (Cartismandua), Judicial office, and the Regal power, daughter of Avarwy. Dr. Pughe conwere declared the three pillars of the siders the celebrated Boadicea to have commonwealth.

some reference to this name. The al. About the same time a spirit of emi- ledged genealogy is a suspicious cirgration began to actuate the northern cumstance: indeed, we are inclined to nations. The Belgæ, forsaking their think, that the Britons endeavoured to native abodes on the Rhine, passed cast a greater odium on this princess, into Britain, and settled in the western by representing her as the daughter of and southern parts. A Scandinavian, a traitor. Bran, the father of Caradoc, called Urb Lluyddoe, came hither, with his whole family, were detained and induced considerable numbers to as hostages for that warrior at Rome, accompany him to Greece, where he where they remained for seven years : and his followers are held to have set- on their detention, Christianity is said ted: this event appears to relate to the to have been introduced into Britain, great movement westward of the Gauls A. D. 59, who thence obtained the (whom many Britons might accom- name of The Blessed. But this story pany), and their final establishment in has not obtained implicit credit even Asia, under the name of Galatiaris. among the Welsh, although Dr. Southey

During the century before Christ, prefers it to the other narratives. The the Britons seem to have acquired account of Bran's death, in the second whatever domestic, civilization they tale of the first series of the Mæbinopossessed: the art of shipbuilding was gion (composed perhaps as early as the intented or learned by Corvinor, a fifth century), among many fabulous

wheat and barley were intro- incidents, virtually contradicis it. Maduced by Coll; and building with tholloch, an Irish prince, married his stone by Mordhai. About the middle daughter Bronwen, but in consequence of that period, in the reign of Keraint,

of the ill treatment she received from Siloria, or Southern Wales, was vi- him, he invaded Ireland. The Brisited by a terrible famine.

tons were victorious, but with the loss Caswallon , (the Cassivelannus of of their chief, who, before his death, Cæsar) then reigned in Gwynnedd, or directed his head to be buried under North'Wales: having repelled a body

the Tower of London, as a preservaof Irish, who had inraded his domi- tive against invasions. nions, with considerable slaughter, the A grandson of Caradoc (Coel ap Cylbodies of the slain remaining unburied, lin) introduced mill-wheels into Briwere the cause of a pestilence. He tain, A. D. 100; and, A.D. 167, his signalised himself against Cæsar in son Lleurog is said to have founded Gaul, whither he went to assist the the first see in Britain at Llandaff: natives, or, according to another Triad, this story has a partial aspect. A. D. to obtain the beautiful Flur, B. C. 55. 330 the Emperor Constantine is said Britain was in consequence invaded, to have founded that of York; and

London received the same honour from : Mr. E. Jones (Musical and Poetical the rebel Maximus, A. D. 380. To

, supposes some lines in praise support his pretensions, a number of of Beli, to have been made on the father of British troops accompanied Cynan MeCaswallon, and considers them as the earliest Specimen extant. But the name of their

$ According to Geoffry of Monmouth author, Salhaiarn, limits them to the fifth (Galfrai ap Arthur), Vortimer ordered his or sixth century. The same may be said of body to be huried on the sca-shore, with a the Ode to Gwalloc ap Lleenog, whom Mr. similar view, A. D. 468. These stories, if Jones and Baxter confounded with the Gal- false, prove the popularity of such a supergacus of Tacitus.





P. 6),


404 Col. Macdonald on the North West Magnetic Pole. (Nov. riadog and his sister Ellen to Armo- hoped, that next year, Captain Parry rica, and settled there on his death, will be sent out to complete his own A.D. 390. His son by a British wo- brilliant discovery. Should Regent man bears the name of Owen; A. D. Channel be found impassable, the 400 he was elected sovereign by gene- Polar Basin may be explored by means ral suffrage, and his first act was to of wide channels leading to where abolish t'e tribute which, since the there is now every reason to suppose time of Cæsar, had been paid to the that an open sea will be found. In Romans. As ancient history, closes the mean time, Captain Franklin will about this period, and poets and chro- have settled the point whether there is niclers begin to appear in an unbroken a passage for ships, as well as for cursuccession, it is sufficient to observe, renis and whales through Behring's that the Triads reach to the disap- straits; a question involving more of pearance of Madoc in 1172. This curiosity than utility, as independent epitome may perhaps interest our of the intense cold of these dreary rereaders, and enable such as are not fa- gions, and of the constant danger that miliar with Welsh evidence to com- ships would be exposed to, there does pare these incidents with the represen- not appear that there is any practicable tations of Roman and English writers. passage for ships, from Lancaster's

Sound (the original name] to these

Summerlands, Exeter, Straits. This reduces the question to
Nov. 3.

what is of infinite use, being the inI N

Magnetic Pole, by a process of ap- netic Variation, arising from the disproximation, in your number for last covery of the site of the Magnetic Pole, December, I remarked, that little at present the primary object in view. more could be said on this interesting


your number for March, last subject till Captain Parry's return. year, I made a few calculations from The approximation was niade by means the best data that could be obtained, of the longitudes, latitudes, magnetic shewing the quantity of movement dips and variations furnished by Cap- castward, of the magnetic pole, in the tains Parry and Franklin, enterprising course of five years. I stated, that the and scientific characters, to whose va- dip of the needle would be found to luable labours Navigation and Com- increase on the East, and to diminish merce must for ever stand signally in- on the West side of the supposed posidebted.

tion of the pole. By parity of cause To the second line of the second and reasoning, I concluded, that the series of figures, giving the medium la- West variation would be found to intitude of ihe pole, I prefixed by mis- crease in situations on the East side, take the name of the latter, instead of and to decrease in those on the West the former able navigator; but this inside of the pole. A young gentleman, no respect affects the result situating on board of the Hecla, had this Magathe pole at the intersection of 70 deg. zine, in case it might meet the eye of Norih latitude, and 100 deg. West that able and scientific character, Caplongitude, without, as usual, attending tain Parry. If the dip and variation to fractions. It thus appears, that if were tried in the same situation in Captain Parry had got through Prince which they were taken in Prince ReRegent's Inlet, he would have passed gent's Inlei, in 1819, 1 expect that the over the very site of the pole, in run- West variation was found greater, and ning South-west to the mouth of Cop; also, the dip of the magnetic needle. permine River; and would have solved If this proved to be the case, it would the problem of the discovery of the decidedly indicate a certain degree of precise position of the pole, by the ob- movement of the pole eastward. vious and simple procedure stated in It is unnecessary, Sir, to repeat here, various papers on this very important the arguments deduced from Scripture subject, inserted in your valuable Mis- and Philosophy, tending to establish cellany. Great credit is due to the that the spheroid of the earth is not Admiralty for persevering in these solid. One additional text is very strikuse!ul researches ; while it is honour- ing, in favour of the supposition on able to the British Nation, that the which the polar movement is founded, geography of these northern regions“ The Earth was void.should be accurately laid down. It is Sir Isaac Newton supposes the space


1995.) Col. Macdonald on the North West Magnetic Pole. 405 including the solar system, to be occu- In the year 2017 the variation will be pied by Æther. The earth floats in nothing in London, when an East vathis, probably on the principle on piation will go on during 160 years in which a balloon moves in the atmo- like manner as the West increased sphere in air of specific gravity, similar during the same time. By observing, to that of the gas within it. The accurately, the time of no variation, power of the Deity gave the orbicular and that of the extreme easting, those inovement, and the diurnal or rotatory that live in the year 2177 may be followed as a necessary consequence. enabled to calculate the fractional part This effect is observed in projecting of the orbit. Churchmau laid it down, bombs from mortars. The shell turns that the pole moved under a parallel of round its axis in the direction of its latitude. This cannot be fact, because flight, till it arrives at the vertex of the the West variation, instead of being irregular parabola described. Here now diminishing, would increase till gravity, acting powerfully in the more the pole in moving eastward arrived perpendicular descending curve, as the under a point on the supposed parallel, squares of the times, the accelerated touched by a tangent line drawn from velocity of descent destroys the rotatory London. Again, the pole does not alotion. The rotatory motion of the move under a straight line, or a curved shell arises from a vacuum created in line directly under the north pole of the rear of its Aight, into which the the earth, as there could be no variaair rushes and turns the projectile in tion under such line, or meridian ; the direction of its course. The diur. being a case that has not occurred. dal motion of the earth may be physi. The pole cannot move under an East cally ascribed to a similar cause. Were and West line, nor under the earth's the planets solid to their centre, the North pole, because that on such line centripetal force retaining them in there would be always the same variatheir orbits would be infinitely more tion, excepting when the pole passed than the ablest astronomers have as- perpendicularly under the places situated cribed to the attraction of the sun; on such line. This case also has not while, at the same time, this solidity occurred. It remains then only to conwould be productive of no useful pur- clude, that the pole moves round the pose that human reason can fathom. pole of the earth in some very eccentric There can be little doubt that the curve beyond the reach of calculation, oblate spheroid-form of the earth has and to be ascertained only by finding arisen from the plastic nature of its on it several points where the needle shell having yielded into this forın, by will stand perpendicular. This may means of the constant rotatory motion be done during seventy years to come, round the axis. The North-west and after which the pole will move under South-east magnetic poles evidently regions which cannot be reached. This possess contrary polarities, and conse- is the only mode of finding a sufficient quently they attract each other, so far portion of the curve to indicate the as to be retained in their orbits, and whole of it. the intervening magnetic gas within Churchman placed the pole in 58 and without the globe, prevents the deg. North latitude, and 134 deg. West approach of the poles. This is hypo-longitude. Euler placed it in 76 deg. thetical ; but manifestly these bodies North, and 96 deg. West from Tenemove within the earth, and produce rifle. Professor Krufft situated it in the variation on its surface.

70 deg. North, and 23 W est longitude.' Churchman made the period of re- Doctor Halley supposed there were volution of the North-west pole, 1096 two northern magnetic poles. One of years. This is erroneous ; as from the them he placed in Bathin's Bay, and time when the variation was nothing the other, he situated in 76 deg. North, in London, in 1657, till it began to and 30 deg: East longitude. The pole decrease in 1817, one hundred and discovered by Captain Parry proves all sixty years elapsed, during which time these to be gratuitous suppositions. It the pole moved through an arc of is still imagined that a magnetic pole eighty degrees. This will give 720 exists in Siberia. Professor Hanstein years as the time of a complete revolu- is sent from Berlin, and Monsieur tion. The calculation cannot go to Coupter from Paris, according to the fractions, as the exact time of the max- papers, to ascertain the site of this imum and minimum remains unknown. pole. No such will be found, but the


406 Col. Macdonald on the North West Magnetic Pole.

[Nov. North-east line of no variation will pole was situated in those times at the offer itself to their notice. This is, in intersection of the parallel of 75 deg. point of fact, a continuation of the me. South latitude, and the meridian of ridian passing over the North-west 144 deg. East longitude. If this be pole and through the North pole of the fact, the position assigned to it by earth; and it were to be wished that Halley, Euler, Churchman, Krufft

, under the meridian of 80 deg. East and others, must be erroneous. This nearly, the meridian of this line of no pole is certainly moving westward ; variation would be accurately laid off, and if the rate be similar to that of the near Madras in India, in order to trace North-west, it cannot, at present, be the annual increase of West variation far from the meridian of 117 deg. East. commencing on such line. If a pole When once the South-east line of no existed in Siberia, the needle in Lon- variation is ascertained, the period of don would not point, as it does, fully its revolution can be nearly calculated. to the North-west pole, but consider- This pole, it would seem, is stronger ably to the East of it, on account of in its action than the other. If its the attraction of the imagined pole in position were ascertained, this compaSiberia. As well may it be supposed, rison could be made by trying the dip, that the North pole of the earth at- and the oscillations of the magnetic tracts, which it does not, as in such needle, at exact equal distances from case, the needle in London would not each pole, and on ihe relative line of point to the North-west pole, but in no variation of each pole. some direction between both, as may Fortunately for science, Mr. Wedreadily be explained by an experiment dell of the navy has the merit of har. with two magnets representing these ing lately sailed as far as 74 deg. 16 objects. All this shews, that there is min. South latitude, where he found but one magnetic pole in the northern an open sea. He was when there, hemisphere; and it is earnestly trnsted, about three times the length of Great that the requisite steps will be taken to Britain from the South-east pole; and discover its real site, before another the variations he gives, excepting one, year passes, as such discovery now ren- concentrate not far from the position dered equally easy and safe, will lay a assigned to it. Two attempts ought sure foundation for the formation of a immediately to be made to lay down true theory of the magnetic variation, the site of this pole. One might be so essential to the interests of Naviga- from where Mr. Weddell found an tion and Commerce. Should Captain open sea; and the other, on the line of Parry not get through Regent's Channel no variation, not far from 117 deg. in the summer of 1826, the exact posi- East, probably on the South coast of tion of the pole can be attained to from New Holland. For the sake of safety, Coppermine River. The annual de. two ships should accompany each crease and increase of the variation are other, on each expedition. It is unsomewhat unequal; and this is to be necessary to urge the vast benefit that ascribed to the action of intervening would result 10 science and navigamagnetic strata occurring sometimes in tion. the line of variation ; such strata being

It has been recently a subject of frequently met with in many situa- discussion, what is, and what is not tions.

the Magnetic Equator? Many sup. It thus appears, that this wonderful, pose, that each pole has its separate but imperfect science, is rapidly ad- equator. This supposition is noi convancing; and Foreign Nations are en- sistent with the rationale of the case. deavouring by voyages of research, to There is a line round the earth on participate in the honour of establish- every point of which the magnetic ing it on the sure foundation of actual needle will take a horizontal position. discoveries. It is on this account that In this case, the extremity of the we ought to persevere in accomplish- needle nearest to its relative magnetic ing the discovery of the precise site of pole, is attracted in the inverse ratio of the magnetic pole in each hemisphere, the square of the distance; and if a as a national object of vast moment. curve could be drawn through such

In a former paper, I stated, from a points all round the earth, it would close investigation of data deduced constitute the magnetic equator com. from the voyages of Captain Cook, and mon to both poles. This equator is of others, that the South-east magnetic constantly changing, because the North


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