Cynan (Albert Evans-Jones) and Gorsedd pageantry

A portrait by C.F.Tunnicliffe of Archdruid Cynan, 1953.
A portrait by C. F. Tunnicliffe of Archdruid Cynan, 1953.

In 1935, Cynan (Albert Evans-Jones 1895-1970) was elected Gorsedd Recorder, an office he held between two periods as Archdruid (1950-54 and 1963-66) until 1970. Cynan was very interested, as a playwright and actor, in the theatre and he used his talent in this respect to create more colourful, dramatic and disciplined ceremonies for the Gorsedd. He refined the rite of Presenting the Aberthged (the offering of the fruits of the earth); he composed new words for the Chairing Song and he, with the help of teachers from the Machynlleth area, created the Floral Dance in 1936.

Cynan succeeded in getting the Gorsedd and the Council of the Eisteddfod to form one national body - the Court of the Eisteddfod, to manage its affairs, and thus ensured that both parties were considered as equal partners. Furthermore, the new Constitution agreed on in 1937 and which came of age in Caerphilly in 1950 incorporated the all-Welsh Rule. As Ernest Roberts has shown:

'Cynan, and no-one else, made the Gorsedd one of the main attractions of our National Festival'. This is, after all, 'the only national pageantry we possess.'
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