The Gwyneddigion Society was founded in 1770 by a group of expatriate Welshmen who were residing in London. Foremost of the founders was Owen Jones, originally from , Jones had moved to London as a young man and had earned his fortune as a furrier. Although the society's name (Gwyneddigion: Gwynedd scholar's) suggests that its main focus was with the county of Gwynedd the organisation embraced all of North Wales, and later contained members from all over Wales. One of the society's most notable early members was Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams).
One of the most notable events in the early history of the society was its funding of John Evan's exploration of North America in search of the legendary 'Welsh Indians', the descendents of Madog ab Owain Gwynedd.
The society had its own library, and would remain in contact with scholars across Wales, such as William Jones, to aid them in their knowledge gathering. The society supported eisteddfodau across Wales and also ran its own annual prize for literature, in the form of a silver medal. Throughout its history, the Gwyneddigion Society published Welsh literary texts including, Barddoniaeth Dafydd ab Gwilym (1789) and The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales (1801-07).
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