Purdan Padrig

  • Middle Welsh
  • prose

A Middle Welsh version of the Tractatus de Purgatorio sancti Patricii, a popular Latin text which offers an account of the afterlife through the vision of an Irish knight who has travelled to ‘St Patrick’s Purgatory’ (Station Island, Lough Derg).

14th/15th centuries:
16th century:
pp. 48–57
Hafod 19
ff. 122v–133v
olim Llanover B 17.
16th/17th century
f. 137
16th or 17th century?
17th century
17th/18th century
pp. 75–92
Section 9. 17th or 18th c.
18th century
19th century
Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Cwrtmawr MS 314
pp. 37–54
  • Middle Welsh
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Related: Tractatus de Purgatorio sancti PatriciiTractatus de Purgatorio sancti PatriciiOn the Purgatorium sancti Patricii and the vision of a knight called Owein



pilgrimages to St Patrick’s Purgatory
pilgrimages to St Patrick’s Purgatory
id. 66519
Purgatóir Pátraic
Purgatóir Pátraic ... Patrick's Purgatory / Station Island
County Donegal
An Augustinian house and a site of pilgrimage on an island on Lough Derg, Co. Donegal.

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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Williams, J. E. Caerwyn, “Welsh versions of Purgatorium S. Patricii”, Studia Celtica 8–9 (1973–1974): 121–194.
Edition based on Llanstephan 27, with variants given from Pen. 5 and Llanstephan 4. The Latin text from BL Royal 13 B viii is given on facing pages.
[dipl. ed.] Thomas, Peter Wynn [ed.], D. Mark Smith, and Diana Luft [transcribers and encoders], Welsh prose (Rhyddiaith Gymraeg) 1300–1425, Online: Cardiff University, 2007–present. URL: <http://www.rhyddiaithganoloesol.caerdydd.ac.uk>.
Diplomatic editions from Pen. 5, Llanstephan 27 and Llanstephan 4.
[ed.] [tr.] Williams, Robert, and G. Hartwell Jones, Selections from the Hengwrt MSS. preserved in the Peniarth library, 2 vols, vol. 2: containing Campeu Charlymaen, Purdan Padric, Buchedd Meir Wyry, Evengyl Nicodemus, Y Groglith, Breuddwyt Pawl, Seith Doethion Ruvein, Ipotis Ysprytawl, Lucidarius, Ymborth yr Eneit, etc., etc., London: Bernard Quaritch, 1892.  

Regarding the genesis of the work and its purpose and methods, it is worth quoting the preface from G. Hartwell Jones (G. H. J.) in full:

“The publication of the translation from the middle of the eighth chapter of Purdan Padric onwards, for which alone I am responsible, has been delayed owing to the serious difficulties encountered in its execution.

The text being in many places incomplete or inaccurate, especially in the earlier part, it was found necessary to collate Canon Willams' transcript with the manuscripts, which I was enabled to do hurriedly by the courtesy of W. R. M. Wynne, Esq., of Peniarth, or with other versions at tlie Bodleian and elsewhere, some of which I saw after the sheets had been printed off. By consulting the originals, from which these were translated in the first instauce, most of them in Latin, I have succeeded in conjecturing the first readings or tracing the growth of the mischief. These documents, written in various languages, I have discovered in English libraries or abroad, while engaged in other kinds of research. Still, many passages remain doubtful. Pages 453-6 inclusive, which were left unfinished by the late Canon Williams, have been collated with and corrected against the original MSS. by Mr. Egerton Phillimore.

A few notes have been added, but they deal with a few points only, since I have in my work chiefly followed Canon Williams in consulting rather the interests of the general reader than those versed in Old-Welsh, who will easily see why I have adopted a particular version, or how I have supplied lacunae.

The short accounts that precede them, indicating sources of information simply, with no pretence to being bibliographics, may prove useful to anyone who cares to investigate the history and variation of the tracts or legends.

It remains for me to thank Canon Silvan Evans, Egerton Phillimore, Esq., and Prof. Powel, in particular, for the assistance they have kindly rendered.

G. H. J.”

 : <link>
189–211 (text); 566–581 (translation); 747–748 (notes)

Secondary sources (select)

Evans, D. Simon, Medieval religious literature, Writers of Wales, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1986.
Williams, J. E. Caerwyn, “Purdan Padrig”, National Library of Wales Journal 3:3–4 (Summer 1944, 1943–1944): 102–106.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2023, last updated: July 2023