databas cerddi guto'r glyn


References to various drinks served at a feast were on the increase by the fifteenth century. The main drinks available were divided into wines, mead and beer.
A reproduction of an image from the 14th-century manuscript, 'Tacuinum Sanitatis'.
Noblemen drinking
Click for a larger image
These drinks varied a lot by the fifteenth century. Most of the mead and beer was home-produced, although it was also possible to buy the produce in the markets (especially in the Marches, see Beer). Visits to taverns also occurred occasionally (see poem 94.55 and poem 95.55), but according to Guto’s testimony most of these drinks were consumed at patrons’ homes or in abbeys.

The wines, mead and beer were kept in barrels of different sizes, namely a tunnell (from English ‘tun’), hogsied (from English ‘hogshead’) and pib (from English ‘pipe’, see poem 46.3). One tunnell (an object similar in shape to a barrel) contained two pibs, and two pibs contained four hogsieds. It was not only alcoholic drinks that were kept in these barrels: Guto’r Glyn also mentions keeping honey in a pib (see poem 28.27). He also refers to barrels in his poem describing ‘The battle of the bards with the wine of Thomas ap Watkin’. Here, different drinks are used as metaphors to represent French soldiers on one side and Thomas, his poets and reciters on the other. Guto mentions ‘killing a barrelful’ (llad pib, poem 47.54) and also refers to hogsheads:

Rhaid fydd i Ddolffin warhau 
Rhag sawdwyr yr hocsiedau. 
The Dauphin will have to calm down
when faced with the soldiers of the hogsheads.

(poem 4.47-8)

Guto is also very fond of mentioning what he calls broesio, a borrowing from English ‘broach’.[1] The meaning is usually to tap or open a barrel of wine or mead. This occurrs at Prysaeddfed, the home of Huw Lewys, according to Guto:

Af i wleddoedd y flwyddyn 
I lys Huw Lewys a’i lyn; 
Broeswin a gaf er brysiaw, 
Broesfedd tref Brysaddfed draw. 
I’ll go to the year’s feasts
to Huw Lewys’s court and his drink;
I’ll receive wine from a casket so that I may hurry,
the yonder dwelling of Prysaeddfed’s mead from a casket.

(poem 63.13-16)


[1]: ‘The Oxford English Dictionary’, s.v. broach, n¹.
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