PAROCHIAL QUERIES In Order to A Geographical Dictionary, A Natural History, &c. of Wales.

HAVING Publish'd some Proposals towards a Survey of Wales, and met with sufficient Encouragement from the Gentry of that Country, and several others, Lovers of such Studies; to enable me (with God's Permission) to Undertake it: I thought it necessary for the easier and more effectual Performance of so tedious a Task, to Print the following Queries; having good Grounds to hope the Gen­try and Clergy (since they are pleas'd to afford me so Generous an Allowance towards it) will also readily contribute their Assistance, as to Information; and the Use of their Manuscripts, Coyns, and other Monuments of Antiquity: The Design being so ex­traordinary difficult without such Helps, and so easily improvable thereby. Nor would I have any imagine, that by Publishing these Queries, I design to spare my self the least Labour of Travelling the Country, but on the contrary be assured, I shall either come my self, or send one of my Assistants into each Parish throughout Wales, and all those in Shropshire and Herefordshire, where the Lan­guage and the Ancient Names of Places are still retain'd: And that with all the Speed, so particular a Survey will admit of. My Request therefore to such as are desirous of Promoting the Work, is, That after each Query, they would please to write on the blank Paper, (or elsewhere if room be wanting) their Reports; confining themselves, unless the Subject shall require otherwise, to that Pa­rish only where they inhabit; and distinguishing always betwixt Matter of Fact, Conjecture, and Tradition. Nor will any, I hope, omit such Informations as shall occur to their Thoughts, upon Pre­sumption, they can be of little use to the Undertaker, or the Publick, or because they have not leisure to write down their Observations so regularly as they desire: Seeing that what we sometimes judge insignificant, may afterwards upon some Application unthought of, appear very useful; and that a regular and compleat Account of Things is not here so much expected, as short Memorials, and some Directions in order to a further Enquiry.

Queries in order to the Geography, and Antiquities of the Country.

I. FIrst therefore Information is desired of the Name of the Parish; both according to the Modern Pronunciation and the Oldest Records, (which would be also very convenient as to all other Places whatever) and whence 'tis thought to be deriv'd. Also whether a Market-Town, Town-Corporate, or Village.

II. In what Comot or Hundred Situate? How Bounded? Of what Extent, and what Number of Houses and Inhabitants? To what Saint is the Church dedicated, and whether a Parsonage, Vi­carage, or both?

III. An Enumeration and brief Description of the Towns, Villages, Hamlets, Castles, Forts, Monaste­ries, Chappels of Ease, Free-Schools, Hospitals, Bridges, and all Publick Buildings whatever within the Parish, whether Ruinous or Entire; or whose Names only are preserv'd: When, and by whom Founded, Endow'd or Repair'd?

IV. Sanctuaries or Places of Refuge; Places me­morable for Battels, Births, or Interment of Great Persons, Parliaments, Councils, Synods, &c.

V. Seats of the Gentry; with the Names and Quality of the present Proprietors, and their Arms and Descent.

[Page 2] VI. A Catalogue of the Barrows, or those Ar­tificial Mounts distinguish'd by the several Names of Krigeu, Gorsedheu, Tommenydh, Beili, &c. as also of the Camps and all old Entrenchments whatever.

VII. Roman Ways, Pavements, Stoves, or any Under-ground Works: Crosses, Beacons, Stones pitch'd an end in a regualr Order; such as Meini­birion in Caernarvonshire, Karn Lhechart in Gla­morgan, and Buarth Arthur in the County of Caer­mardhin: As also all those rude Stone-Monuments distinguish'd by the several Names of Bêdh, Gwely, Karnedh, Kromlech, Lhêch yr âst, Lhêch y Gowres, Lhêch y Wydhan, Koeten Arthur, Kist vnën, Preseb y Vuwch Vrech, &c.

VIII. The Old Inscriptions in the Parish, whe­ther in the Church, or elsewhere; a Collection of all being intended to the Time of King Henry the Eighth.

IX. Old Arms, Urns, Lamps, Paterae, Fibulae, or any other Utensils; where, and when discover'd?

X. Coyns, Amulets, Chains, Bracelets, Rings, Seals, &c. where, and when found; and in whose Possession at present?

XI. Manuscripts: Of what Subject and Lan­guage; In whose Hands; Whether Ancient or Late Copies?

XII. The Names of the most Remarkable Moun­tains, Rocks, Parks, Woods, Commons, Warrens, &c. together with such Names of any other Places not comprehended under these Queries, as seem so ob­scure as to be scarce, if at all Intelligible; with brief Descriptions of them, and Conjectures of their Signification.

XIII. The Names of all the Rivers and Rivulets in the Parish; distinguishing always betwixt those that rise, or are discharged in it, and such as pass through it, or constitute its Bounds; toge­ther with their Remarkable Catarracts, or Water­falls, where they afford any.

XIV. Names of the Lakes and Remarkable Springs; and whether any thing be Noted of them extraordinary.

XV. The Customs, and peculiar Games and Feasts amongst the Vulgar in the Parish, Hundred, County, or any Part of Wales: Together with the Vulgar Errors and Traditions; parallel with those treated of by the Learned and Judicious Author of Pseudodoxia Epidemica.

XVI. What Words, Phrases, or Variation of Dia­lect in the Welsh, seems peculiar to any Part of the Country? What Names of Men and Women uncommon? And wherein doth the English of the Vulgar, in Pembrokeshire and Gowerland, dif­fer from that in the Western Counties, &c. of England?

Queries toward the Natural History.

XVII. Whether the Parish be generally Corn-Ground or Pasture? Colour of the Soil? Very Fertil, Barren or Indifferent? Mountanous or Cham­pion Ground? Woody, Heathy, Rocky, Clay-Ground, Sundy, Gravelly, &c?

XVIII. The Sorts of Grain Sown in the Parish, and the Composts used; with any Useful Obser­vations in Husbandry; and a Computation of the Number of Cattel and Horses it breeds; as also of the Sheep, Goats, Hogs, &c.

XIX. Of the State of Health: Whether the Pa­rish, Hundred or Comot be subject to any Pe­culiar Diseases? What Number of Ancient Men and Women; with their Years? Whether they seem to differ at all in their Diet from those that live elsewhere; and what Effects as to Health and Sickness, are ascrib'd to the Air of the Place?

XX. Observations on the Stature and Complexion of the Inhabitants in general; with such Excepti­ons as occur. Instances of the Strength or Acti­vity of particular Men well Attested, with all the Circumstances requisite. Antipathies of some Persons to several Sorts of Meat, Drink, &c.

XXI. Observations relating to Cattel, Horses, Sheep, or other Animals; as to their general Mag­nitude, Shape, Colours, good or bad Qualities: The Diseases they are subject to, whether owing to Contagion, or the Unwholsomness of their Pa­sture or Water? Also what Inconveniences they are liable to, the several Seasons of the Year, at Snowdon, Cader Idris, Plyn Lhymmon, and the other High Mountains.

XXII. A Register of the Weather, for the Space of One Year at least, kept by one or two in each County, would be of considerable Use: With Ob­servations on the Figures of Snow and Hail: The Time it generally begins to Snow on our highest Mountains, and when it desists; with any other Curious Remarks about Meteors.

XXIII. Observations concerning Tides, Eddies, and Whirl-Pools; Form and Consistence of the Shoar or Maritim Land, and the Influence the Sea has upon it. What Tokens of Woods or Buildings gain'd by the Sea? Particularly whether Kaer Anrhod, Sarn Badric, and Sarn y Bwch (in North Wales) be presum'd to be Artificial or Natural; And if the former, what Evidence there is for it?

XXIV. An Account of the Subterraneous and Diving Rivers; and of such as are totally absorb'd, or no where distinguishable afterwards; also of Sudden Eruptions of Water, and Periodical Streams. A Computation of the Number of Springs in the Parish. How near the Tops of Hills are the high­est Running Springs? Or are there any in very even Plains remote from Hills? Any Foun­tains that ebb and flow? Waters that petrifie or incrustate Wood, Moss, Leaves, &c. Medicinal Springs, or Waters of unusual Taste, Smell, or Co­lour, or Remarkable for their Weight, or tinging the Stone or Earth whence they proceed?

XXV. Particular Information of all Places where there are any Caves, Mines, Coal-works, Quarries, Stone-Pits, Marl-Pits; or in short, where Labour­ers dig upon any Occasion whatever.

[Page 4] XXVI. If such Places afford any uncommon Oars, Earths, or other Minerals; Stones resembling Sea-Shells, Teeth, or other Bones of Fish; or Crabs-Claws, Corals, and Leaves of Plumes; or in brief, any Stones, or other Bodies whatever of a Re­markable Figure; the Workmen are desired to preserve them, till they are call'd for by the Un­dertaker, or some of his Friends; in Consideration whereof, they shall receive some Reward suitable to their Care and Pains.

XXVII. Such as have made the History of Plants any part of their Diversion, are desired to communicate dried Specimens of those sorts they esteem Rarest, or that are unknown to them; or to give Directions where they may be met with: Also what Observations they have made by often repeated Experiments, concerning the Healing, or Noxious Qualities of Plants.

XXVIII. Whether any have been Curious in observing the various sorts of Sea-Shells, Sea-Eggs, Sea-Spiders; Starres, Buttons, Sponges; Urticae, Te­thyae Holothuria, &c. Or have made any Re­marks extraordinary on Land-Insects?

XXIX. Information is desired from those who have been most conversant in Fishing; what sorts of Fish their Waters afford, and of these which are the Rarest, or haunt those Places most Sel­dom? What Variety of Colours and Shape they have observ'd in the same Species? What Baits used for each, and when in Season? What sorts are Solitary, and which keep together in Shoals? What they have observ'd as to their Feeding, Spawning, and Change of Names according to Age; and by what Tokens they know such, to be the same Species? Also the Iaws, and some of the Vertebrae of the Rarest (for which some Gratuity shall be allow'd the Fishermen) are desired; in order to compare them with the Fossil Bones above-mention'd.

XXX. By what is proposed of Insects and Fish; the Reader will judge what sort of Information will be acceptable, relating to Birds and Quadrupeds.

XXXI. Who in each Country is best skill'd in the Welsh Names of Birds, Fish, Insects, Plants, Stones; or any other Natural Bodies?

Having thus propounded what Queries occur to my Thoughts; nothing remains, but that I own to the Publick, that in case this Paper meets with a kind Reception (as from this last Summer's Travels, I have great Hopes it may) if the Undertaking be ill perform'd, 'twill be wholly my own Fault; the Gentry of the Country having in all Respects done more than their Part, and afforded such an En­couragement towards it, as might sufficiently requite the Labours of a Person far better Qualified for such a Design: But of this, a particular Account (as is necessary) shall be given hereafter. So I shall only add here; that as to these Queries, besides Wales, I intreat the favourable Assistance of the Gentry and Clergy in those other Countries mention'd in the former Proposals: And that in all Places, they who are dispos'd to further the Design, would please to communicate this Paper where they think fit, amongst their Neighbours; interpreting some Queries to those of the Vulgar, whom they judge Men of Veracity, and capable of giving any the least Information towards it, that may be pertinent and instructive.

We judge Mr. Lhwyd Qualified for this Undertaking; and that he cannot want proper Materials towards it, if (as an Addition to his own Industry) he receives such Answers to those Queries, as can be conveni­ently return'd from each Parish.



The Subscribers may please to pay the Money, the time specified in the Proposals, to any of my Corespondents in their Neighbourhood; who are desired to return it either to Mr. William at the Museum in Oxford, or to Mr. Walter Thomas of Bernard's Inn, London; who will also safely convey to my Hands any Letters, Papers, or Manuscripts they receive on this Occasion.

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