0001z Yr Hafan

1864e Y Fynedfa yn Saesneg / Gateway in English

0010e Y Barthlen / Siteplan

..............................1949 Cymru dros Glawdd Offa - Y Gynhwyslen / Wales beyond Offa's Dyke - Contents Page

y tudalen hwn / this page





Gwefan Cymru-Catalonia
La Web de Gal
les i Catalunya

Cymru dros Glawdd offa
Wales beyond Offas Dyke (the historic frontier between the two countries)

Our Irredentism Page
Irredentism - support for the claim of a country to land which at one time it held but which is now under the control of a foreign government.

IRREDENTISM (1800s), from
IRREDENTISTA, from the expression
ITALIA IRREDENTA, "Italy not reclaimed" , < Italian
IR- (negative prefix, a form of IN-) + REDENTO = to redeem, < Latin
REDEMPTUS = redeemed, bought back..


(dewl 6660)

0981k Y tudalen hwn yn Gymraeg (Irredentiaeth a Chymru tu hwnt i Glawdd Offa)

1999c Aquesta pgina en catal (Irredentisme i Galls ms enll de la Fossa dOffa)


Some Welsh areas were added to English counties after the annexation of Wales to England (1536/43) - for example, the Croesoswallt area (Oswestry) in the north-west, and the cantrevs (cantrefi) of Euas (English: Ewias, Ewyas) and Ergn (English: Archenfield) in the south-east.

These areas retained their Welshness for a long time after their incorporation into England - Croesoswallt almost until the present day, and Euas and Ergn until the early 1800s. After over four and a half centuries we have accepted their loss. But maybe it's time to claim them back - maybe as compensation for the English state's attempts to eradicate the Welsh langugae and culture in Wales in the 1800s and 1900s.

So welcome to our Irredentism section, where we'll be adding material relating to these lost lands as we come across it.

Here we'll quote extracts from an article written over seventy years ago which touches on this matter of the lost Welsh lands to the east.

The Geogaphical Limits of Welsh Home Rule.
In 1927, in the magazine 'Welsh Outlook', there appeared an extremely interesting article by Professor John Edward Lloyd (1861-1947 - written when he was 65/66) - 'The Geogaphical Limits of Welsh Home Rule'.
Here are excerpts from his article:
"The proposal to hand over to a Welsh assembly a substantial amount of the legislative business now transacted by the Parliament of the Empire raises an interesting geographical question. What is to be the Wales of the Welsh Home Rule Act? The answer is not so obvious as might appear upon the surface. To assign to the new body the twelve counties generally regarded as Welsh, even if Monmouthshire were added in accordance with recent custom, would be merely to stereotype divisions made by Henry VIII., without regard to modern conditions or the needs of a modern community...."

In the past, Wales was somewhat bigger than it is nowadays, although there was no offical frontier between the lands of the Welsh and the lands of the English:
"In the middle ages little effort was made to draw a definite boundary between England and Wales. There were Welsh shires and there were Welsh principalities, but between the two came the amphibious {sic} marcher lordships held by English rulers, and yet forming no part of that England wherein the King's writ ran. Ellesmere, Oswestry, Clun, were not at that time in the county of Salop, but in the "Marches of Wales," and a John Kynaston of Ellesmere, charged at Shrewsbury in 1402 with active participation in the rising of Owain Glndwr, successfully put forward the plea, in the Court of King's Bench at Westminster, that the places where he was alleged to have been seen in arms (including Oswestry and West Felton) were in Wales, and that his doings there were consequently of no concern to the King's justices, commissioned to enquire into offences in the county of Salop. So far as a border between England and Wales could be laid down in those days, it would of necessity be drawn so as to give the latter country large parts of what are now Shropshire and Herefordshore, and even a corner of the county of Gloucester...."

Owain Gln Dwr was not prepared to accept a small Wales which would be under permanent threat from its larger English neighbour. He wanted to extend the borders to increase the size of the country and to have Welsh territory delineated by a clear and easily defendable boundaries; England would thus be smaller and a less powerful neighbour.
"Owen Glndwr meditated, it is well known, a partition of Southern Britain which would have made Wales a very extensive area, indeed. In the Tripartite Indenture, he claims for his principality all the land west of the Severn as far as Worcester; thence the boundary is to run north to the source of the Trent, and thence to that of the Mersey, from which point the Mersey is to be the limit until it falls into sea. Owen thus proposed to annex to Wales large sections of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, and the whole of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire. ..."

When the Welsh lands were added to England, a system of counties was created on the English model (as had been done in part of Wales 234 years previously, after England occupied the territory of Gwynedd). Since everybody in the newly incorporated Wales was to be technically 'English', there was no point in administrators taking any notice of boundaries between Welsh and English communities in the borderlands. In addition, the Act of Union specifically referred to a policy of eradicating the Welsh language and replacing it with English.
"It should be remarked that the new counties of Henry VIII. were aggregations of Marcher lordships, and that no attempt was made to set up a border which should follow linguistic lines. The Act, indeed, was not very complimentary to the Welsh language, which it describes as "a speech nothing like nor consonant to the natural Mother Tongue used within this Realm," and Henry, who forbade the use of Welsh in the courts of law held within the Principality, no doubt believed that an early result of his measures would be the disappearance of a tongue which the memory of his ancestors might have led him to treat with greater respect. Thus Wales, as defined by him, excluded Oswestry and the region between it and Denbighshire, where a good deal of Welsh is spoken to the present day, nor did it include south-west Herefordshire, where Welsh was undoubtedly current until recent times. Indeed, in this respect the ecclesiastical boundaries were truer to the facts than the civil ones, for, until recent changes, the diocese of St. Asaph included Oswestry and seven other Shropshire parishes, while the diocese of Llandaff has always included Monmouthshire, and the diocese of St. David's the eleven parishes in Herefordshire which form the ancient region of Ewias."

John Edward Lloyd suggested that in deciding what the new Wales was to be the present boundaries should be overlooked:
"The Wales of statute law, therefore, owes its form largely to accident, and in any scheme of self-government for the Principality, the question of revising its boundaries may very reasonably come up for consideration... A bold draughtsman of the Home Rule Act might, indeed, be tempted to go some little way in the direction taken by Glndwr and suggest the annexation of Shropshire and Herefordshire, counties with which at present Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, and Brecknockshire are closely linked by ties both economic and administrative. Shrewsbury and Hereford are at present great border centres, and it is conceivable that the future Welsh Parliament might find the former a more convenient meeting place than Cardiff. University bodies have long found that, given the present railway facilities, Shrewsbury is the natural centre and meeting place for delegates drawn from all parts of Wales and the penchant of other representative gatherings for Llandrindod Wells is, in effect, an admission that this is the case; the delightful watering place on the Radnorshire hills is chosen as the nearest approximation to Shrewsbury, in point of railway convenience, which is actually on Welsh soil."

But Professor Lloyd also states:
"Wales, it is safe to say, will never reach the noble dimensions allotted to it in the far reaching schemes of the Seer of Gln Dyfrdw {= Owain Gln Dwr}."

In spite of this the matter of extending the boundaries ought to be addressed:
"Certain it is, that, when the intensely practical questions which gather round the subject of Home Rule begin to be discussed, it will be realised that such matters as railway communication, regional markets and currents of trade must be taken into account... there is some risk that a Wales may be brought into existence free and self-controlled, but actually at the mercy of Liverpool, Manchester, the border counties, and Bristol."

0983e Gwefan Cymru-Catalonia. Some territories with Welsh populations were incorporated into English counties after the Acts of Union (1536/42). Examples are the area around Croesoswallt (Oswestry) in the north-west and two cantrevs (cantrefi) in the south-east which were included in Herefordshire. It's about time we started a campaign to have them returned to Wales. Welcome to our irredentism page!

Bler wf i? Yr ch chin ymwld ag un o dudalennaur Gwefan "CYMRU-CATALONIA"
On sc?
Esteu visitant una pgina de la Web "CYMRU-CATALONIA" (= Galles-Catalunya)
Where am I?
You are visiting a page from the "CYMRU-CATALONIA" (= Wales-Catalonia) Website
We(r) m ai? Yuu a(r) vzting peij frm dh "CYMRU-CATALONIA" (= Weilz-Katluni) Wbsait

Adolygiad diweddaraf - Latest Update 2000-07-09



diwedd / fi