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18 June 2014
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Myths and Legends
Twm Sion Cati – The Welsh Robin Hood

An illustration from 'The Adventures of Twm Shon Catti'
These cartoons were produced by the Western Mail to promote the series that they published in the late 1940's to early 1950's. (Courtesy of Yvonne Wigg)
His early escapades earned him considerable notoriety, the memory of which formed the basis of the popular and traditional representation of him as Twm Sion Cati - the bandit. Myth aside, Thomas Jones, the man, secured a more respectable reputation as a Justice of the Peace, landlord, poet and historian, noted for his knowledge of genealogy and heraldry, and was described by his contemporary, Dr John Davies Rhys, as, “the most celebrated, accomplished and accurate herald-bard of the day” (Rhys, 'Welsh Grammar' 1592).

Despite the many poems, stories and plays written about Twm’s exploits, he has never maintained the same degree of fame as his English counterpart, Robin Hood. No Hollywood films depict Twm’s activities, and no tourist industry surrounds his birthplace. This may be because he didn’t have any adventures involving Royal figures, or a supposed gentry background, as did Robin Hood.

It is possible, that because he was a real person with a documented history, the myths surrounding him could not produce a composite legend of the ultimate outlaw-with-a-heart, but could embody the multi-faceted man that he was.

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Your comments

1 melanie from Tumble, Llanelli - 26 January 2004
"Having lived in LLandovery as a child I did not visit the site until my early teeens and what a humbling experience it was, even at that early age, not only is it an adventurously piqturesque walk, the cave where it is said that Twm Sion Catti laid out is an experience in itself. I feel proud, for what reason I don't know, jowever when my children are of an age I shall take them on the treck and hope that they will envlope the atmosphere as I did. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future, M. J. John"

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Look back into the past using the Legacies' archives. Find nearly 200 tales from around the country in our collection.

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Internet Links
WorldwideWales TV
– A short film about Llandovery featuring Twm Sion Cati
–Find out more about the village of Rhandirmyn
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