Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MARTHA'R MYNYDD (‘ Mountain Martha ’)’ ( fl. c. 1770 ), an impostor ,

who lived in a cottage near Llanllyfni, Caerns. and is described as ‘a voluble hypocrite .’ She succeeded in persuading many people of that neighbourhood that she was familiar with ‘a folk called The Invisibles’ — a numerous and wealthy clan who frequented fairs and markets but were yet invisible. In particular, a gentleman named ‘ Mr. Ingram ,’ of this clan, lived in a magnificent (but invisible) mansion on the mountain, close to her cottage — ‘ Miss Ingram ’ (his daughter) was indeed at times visible to mortal eyes, clad in white from head to foot; and her father preached, at dead of night, to gatherings in the darkness of Martha 's cottage. It is probable that Martha 's father was ‘ Mr. Ingram ,’ and pretty certain that Martha herself was ‘ Miss Ingram ,’ for on one occasion, when Martha had scalded her foot, a wily doubter trod on ‘ Miss Ingram 's’ foot in one of these secret gatherings, and recognized Martha 's voice in the cry of pain which followed — the sceptic, however, had to flee the countryside from her followers’ rage. Still, doubts began to spread, and eventually Martha herself abandoned her frauds — she ended her life as an adherent of the Methodist cause at Llanllyfni .

Sources:

  • Robert Jones (Rhoslan) , Drych yr Amseroedd , 97 (in O. M. Edwards 's ed.);
  • W. R. Ambrose , Hynafiaethau, cofiannau, a hanes presennol Nant Nantlle y traethawd buddugol yn Eisteddfod Gadeiriol Pen-y-groes, Llun y Pasg, 1871 (1872) , 60.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959