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Return the Bardsey Crown

The Bardsey Crown to Return to the land of Merlin

The Bardsey Crown to Return to the land of Merlin

No doubt everyone is watching with great interest the attempts by the Bardsey inhabitants (all ten of them) to have the Bardsey island Crown returned to its rightful place in Wales.
The Island is a god forsaken lump of rock off the Llyn Penninsula in the North of Wales once inhabited by Monks in a colony established there in the 6th Century by one Saint Cadfan. – and as an interesting side note is the imputed last resting place of Merlin – further emphasizing that the whole Arthurian legend is based on the Welsh Princes fighting off those pesky Anglo Saxons.

For many years, the Island had formed part of the estates of the Newborough Family of Glynllifon near Caernarfon who cheered up the locals by crowning the oldest male on the island as King – to be called Brenin Enlli (King of Bardsey). The coronation celebrations being the only known official example in the UK where the Queen of Bardsey was also heir presumptive to the Crown and the entire congregation were either cousins, brothers and sisters. The actual Crown is kept at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool who acquired it when the maritime collection of the Newboroughies was flogged off around the 1980’s for four pence halfpenny and a route map out of Wales – and there in lies the conundrum – those nasty English Liverpudlians are hanging on to it and not inclined to repatriate this artefact of past Welsh glory to its homeland.

The symbolism of the crown goes well beyond the tatty tin and brass it is made of and now assumes the role of an icon and memorial to those former Welsh Princes who went down gloriously in defeat at the hands of the invading Angles; from those at the dawn of time, to Lywelyn ap Iorwerth, Dafydd ap Lywelyn, Lywelyn ap Gruffudd (the Last) to Owain Glyndwr – this latter prince was the last real Welsh prince when the principality was lost by conquest at or around 1415.

Since the time of the Welsh Princes we have been fobbed off with a motley collection of loser princes and elder sons of Kings of England from Edward Blackadder of Caernarfon to the latest incarnation Prince Charles ap Windsor the Halfwit. This Prince whose only known attempts at Welsh are ‘ble ydy ‘r doiled’, and ‘ca ‘m oddi hon dduw adawedig chyflea’ – which roughly translated means ‘where are the toilets’ and ‘get me out of this god forsaken place’ which shows his commitment to the job.

I support any initiative that repatriates ethnic aboriginal art and artefacts to their rightful place – and the Bardsey Crown is right up there with the Elgin Marbles and the African Art pillaged from their rightful owners over the centuries. A suitable place for its final resting place must surely on the mantle piece in the gallery shop at the Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw at Llanbedrog near Pwllheli where for a suitable fee visitors will be able to eat their welsh rarebit whilst reliving the days of yore by wearing the crown.

As a point of interest for our American cousins it may not be well known that Prince Madog ab Owain heir of Owain discovered America around the year 1200 and founded a colony near to Alabama. For more information about the welsh in Alabama visit : http://www.alabamawelsh.com/ and if your interested in signing the petition to restore a monument to the great prince go here:
http://www.petitiononline.com/AWA0987/petition.html

Above is a nice Picture of one of the ‘Brenin Enlli’ His Royal Highness John Williams taken around 1920.

Cheers

Royston

America discovered by Welsh Columbus Day now known to be a sham

As is well known by our American cousins Prince Madog ap Owain Gwynedd heir of Owain discovered America around the year 1200 some 300 years before Columbus and founded a colony near to Alabama (although the exact location of the earlier settlements is in dispute some claiming Tennessee a more likely location). Recent radio carbon dating evidence, and the discovery of ancient Welsh style artefacts (clogs and a leak peeler) and inscriptions in the American Midwest have provided proof positive that Welsh explorers, under the leadership of Prince Madog ap Owain (sometimes put as ‘ap Meurig’ due to name confusion) set up colonies there. There is actually a dispute over when exactly Prince Madoc sailed to America. some claiming that this was much earlier around 562 AD just after the Romans got fed up with the continuous rain in Wales up-sticks and left. This claim however does not stand up to scrutiny as it is known that Prince Madog was one of 19 children of Owain Gwyneth (the first true Prince of Wales) ‘the Randy’ who was an historical figure dating from the 12 century. A Welsh poem of the 15th century tells how Prince Madog sailed away in 10 ships and discovered America and whether truth or myth, was used by Queen Elizabeth I as evidence to the British claim to America during its territorial struggles with Spain. So there you have it the first link in the long history of the Welsh in America.

caracles

Old picture of coracles used in Wales

Mandan_Bull_Boats_and_Lodges-_George_Catlin

Bull boats used by first nation people based on coracles

I could say a lot more about the discovery (but you won’t because I am already fed up ed.) but I will sign off with some fascinating facts:

  • By proportion Welsh surnames dominate in eastern states (source National Geographic).
  • There have been at least 10 American presidents with Welsh ancestry (Mitt Romney the 11th!!). Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, James Garfield, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.
  • Jefferson Davies the Confederate President (good Welsh name there).
  • Robert E. Lee – Confederate General
  • Benedict Arnold – Revolution general who defected from the Americans to the British side (oops!)
  • Signers of the declaration of independence: William Floyd, Button Gwinnett, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris and Robert Morris.

And last of all over 10,000 pages of memoires were written in Welsh that survive today from the American Civil War.

Just a little knowledge bomb to lay on you; the Welsh patronymic system describes family trees in terms of the male line and records the family association in the ‘ap’ or ‘ab’ prefix (ap is a contraction of the Welsh word ‘mab’, which means ‘son of’, ‘ferch’ means ‘daughter of’ incidentally) so Madog ap Owain means Madog son of Owain. Often a small epithet to the name like Llewellyn ‘the last’ (the last true Prince of Wales) is also used and so in a more contemporary context we might regard the real name of Mitt Romney (as he claims Welsh heritage via his wife) as Mitt Romney ap George the Gaff Prone in celebration of his recent gaff that the UK was not prepared for the Olympics (which is probably true actually).

For more information about the Welsh in America visit : http://www.alabamawelsh.com/ and if your interested in signing the petition to restore a monument to the great prince go here:

http://www.petitiononline.com/AWA0987/petition.html

Incidentally this age of heroic Welsh princes contrasts sharply with the assorted halfwit princes we have has since the fall of the last great true Prince of Wales here is a picture of the latest incarnation Charles ap Windsor the Half Wit – enough said!!

Prince-Chuck-240x300br

Campaign to get Red Lady of Paviland returned to Wales

The Red Lady of Paviland

As RoyMogg readers will be aware the ‘Red-Lady of Paviland’ currently resides in a box in Oxford and is the subject of action to attempt the repatriate the red-lady (actually red-bloke cos it is man!) to the land of origin Wales. The Red-Lady actually a red-ochre stained body of a man, is one of the earliest known Palaeolithic burials in the UK and quite rightly belongs as part of the heritage of the Welsh being an example of early occupation of this land some 25 to 26 thousand years ago.

The bones were discovered around 1823 by the reverend John Davies on a stroll and have been the subject of many false attributions as to what the remains were – not least that the body was of a woman not a man. One of the most colourful stories was that the ochre-stained skeleton had become a ‘painted lady’ as a consequence of the service she gave to the needs of the local Roman garrison in the camp on the hill just above the cave. It was a good story possibly dented by the fact that the woman turned out to be a man although this would have been no problem for the roman soldiers I am sure – particularly on a cold welsh night in some godforsaken posting in the south of Wales some 2 thousand years ago. This would also have given an alternative explanation to the bones being often referred to as the red queen of Paviland although for political correctness I cannot take this argument too far.

Anyhoo … in the early years of the 20th century this did not stack up as it could be seen that as well as not a female burial the mammoth ivories around the body were Palaeolithic. The red-lady has made a trip back to Wales in the meantime and is the subject of a campaign to get this fantastic artefact returned from the canny English but too no avail – there is even a campaign group dedicated to the cause called the ‘The Dead to Rights group’, set up by those who regard the removal of the skeleton as a “desecration” of a sacred site and mirrors the concerns of other groups dedicated to the return of plunder from the colonial era to their rightful place. I am not sure of their success but applaud their cause.

I have been to the cave myself some years back and it is a place of mystery especially when you are on your own – It does take you back and certainly grounded me as a modern day Welsh guy in the land where I was borne (ehh enough of this sentimental crap! ed.)