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Sir David Llwyd of Yspythi Ystwyth

The village of Ysbyty Ystwyth is thought to have been the property of the Knights Hospitallier ( Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem) and also, maybe the home of one of Wales infamous magicians. According to 'Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 3' (1818) 'The circumstance which I am going to relate is concerning Sir David Llwyd who lived near Yspythi Ystwyth in this county who was a curate likely of that church and a physician but being known to deal in the magic art he was turned out of the curacy and obliged to live by practising physic. There was once a tailor a profane man and a great drunkard who having been to a fair and coming home drunk met a certain man on horseback who asked him if he was a tailor. He said he was. The man on horseback asked him if he would make clothes for him. He said he would and received a piece of cloth with a charge to be sure to be at home on such a day and such an hour to take his measure. The tailor said he would. Although he was drunk he observed this person's feet was not like a man's but like horses feet and some other circumstances which made him concerned the more he considered it his fear increased thinking it was not a man but something belonging to the devil, he being in great fear about the matter went to Sir David to ask his opinion about it from whom he received the following advice. To delay the measuring of him as much as possible and not to stand before but behind him, he bid him be sure to be at home the time appointed and that he Sir David would come to meet him that time. The supposed man came and the tailor in great fear began to measure him at the same time fearing he was something not good and according to the advice given him delayed measuring him pretending that he wanted this and that thing, at last the supposed man said to him “Thou art very long about it and why standest thou behind my back, why dost thou not come before me.” The tailor being in greater fear thought every minute a long time expecting Sir David to come according to his promise, accordingly he came and having looked on the strange man who was come to be measured said to him “What is your business here? Go away”, and he went away. This the tailor told to all who inquired about it and it passed through the country.'

Another story appears in 'British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions' by Wirt Sykes (1881),'Sir David Llwyd, the Welsh magician, was once at Lanidloes town, in Montgomeryshire, and as he was going home late at night, saw a boy there from his neighbourhood. He asked the lad if he would like to ride home behind him, and receiving an affirmative reply, took the boy up behind on the horse s back. They rode so swiftly that they were home in no time, and the boy lost one of his garters in the journey. The next day, seeing something hanging in the ash-tree near the church, he climbed up to learn what it was, and to his great surprise found it was the garter he had lost. 'Which shows they rode home in the air,' observes the Prophet Jones in telling the story.'

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