Thomas Price (Carnhuanawc)

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Reverend Thomas Price (2 October 1787 – 7 November 1848)[1] (known by the bardic name of Carnhuanawc) was a historian and a major Welsh literary figure of the early 19th century. Price was also "an essayist, orator, naturalist, educationalist, linguist, antiquarian, artist and musician". He contributed to learned and popular journals and was a leading figure in the revival of the Eisteddfod.[2]

Price was born at Pencaerelin, in Llanfihangel-bryn-Pabuan, near Builth Wells. In 1805 he attended Brecon grammar school, living in lodgings until he was able to qualify as a deacon of the Church of England. He became a curate in Radnorshire, living at Builth Wells with his mother. He wrote in both the English and Welsh languages.

Price was a major influence on Lady Charlotte Guest, whom he assisted in her translation of the Mabinogion. He was also associated with the work of Augusta Hall, Baroness Llanover, to whom he taught Welsh. When his health failed, the baroness became his patron and brought him to live nearby.

Price was an advocate of pan-Celticism and to this end, between 1824 and 1845, learnt the Breton language. He also encouraged the British and Foreign Bible Society to fund the translation and publishing, in 1827, of the Breton Bible. In 1829 he visited Jean-François Le Gonidec at Angoulême assisting him with the Breton translation.[3]

Price was also a close friend of Villemarque ("Kervarker"),the leading Breton literary figure of the day who was editor of the Barzaz Breiz. Price brought Villemarque to a hugely successful series of Eisteddfodau at Abergavenny.[4]


  • An Essay on the Physiognomy and Physiology of the Present Inhabitants of Britain (1829)
  • Hanes Cymru a Chenedl y Cymryo'r Cynoesoedd hyd at Farwolaeth Llywelyn ap Gruffydd ("Welsh History and the Ancient Welsh Nation up to the Death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd") (1836–1842)
  • The Geographical Progress of Empire and Civilization (1847)
  • Literary Remains (1854–55)


  1. ^ Welsh Biography Online
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ John T. Koch Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia, entry "Thomas Price"
  4. ^ [2]

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