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This poem is taken from PN Review 137, Volume 27 Number 3, January - February 2001.

Humfrey Lhuyd's Last Adieu Sam Adams

Humphrey Lhuyd (c. 1527-1568), the antiquary and mapmaker, was born in Denbigh and educated at Oxford University. He produced the first map of Wales as a separate country, and one of England and Wales, published posthumously in 1573. He translated into English The Historie of Cambria, now called Wales, a work attributed to Caradoc of Llancarfan, subsequently 'Corrected, augmented, and continued' by David Powel and published in 1584. Lhuyd's friendship with the Dutch geographer, Abraham Ortelius, extended over many years. Their correspondence was conducted in Latin, also the language of the fragmentary historical and geographical description of Britain which, with his maps, Lhuyd sent to Ortelius from his deathbed. Thomas Twyne translated the Commentarioli Descriptionis Britannicae Fragmentum into English and when, in 1573, he published his translation as The Breuiary of Britayne, it was accompanied by Lhuyd's last letter to Ortelius (the spelling preserved from the original text):

To the most adorned, and best deseruynge to be reuerenced
of al that loue the knowledge of the Mathematicks,
Abraham Ortelius of Andwarp.


Dearly beloued Ortelius,
that day wherein I was constrayned to depart
from London: I receyved your Description of ASIA:
and before I came home to my house:
I fell into a very perillous Feuer,
which hath so torne this poore body of mine,
these x. continuall dayes: that I was brought
into despayre of my life. But, my hope
Iesus Christe, is layde vp in my bosome.
Howbeit, neither the dayly shakynge
of the continuall Feuer, with a double
Tertian, neither the lookyng for present death,
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