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Devil Summoning Tailor of Glanbran


The 18th century Glanbran House was dismantled around 1930 and was the ancestral home of the Gwynne family, the descendants of David Goch Gwyn who settled at Glanbran in the 16th century. Wirt Sykes in his British Goblins: Welsh Folk-Lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (1881) gives the following story in which an unnamed member of the Gwynne family plays a prominent part.

'Not far from Glanbran, in Carmarthenshire, lived a tailor, who added to his trade as a breeches-mender the loftier, if wickeder, employments of a worker in magic. A certain Mr. Gwynne, living at Glanbran, took it upon himself to ridicule this terrible tailor, for the tailor was a little man, and Mr. Gwynne was a burly six-footer, who feared nobody. 'Thou have the courage to look upon the devil!' sneered Gwynne; 'canst thou show him to me?' 'That I can,' said the tailor, his eyes flashing angrily; 'but you are not able to look at him.' 'What!' roared Gwynne, 'thou able to look at him, and not I?' 'Very well,' quoth the tailor; 'if you are able to look at him I will show him to you.' It was in the day time, but the tailor went immediately into a little grove of wood in a field hard by, and made a circle in the usual manner. In a short time he returned to fetch the incredulous Mr. Gwynne, saying, 'Come with me and you shall see him.' The two then crossed the field until they came to the stile by the wood, when suddenly the tailor cried, 'Look yonder! there it is!' And looking, Mr. Gwynne saw, in the circle the tailor had drawn, 'one of the fallen angels, now become a devil.' It was so horrible a sight that the terrified Mr. Gwynne was never after able to describe it; but from that time forth he had a proper respect for the tailor.'


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