Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Welsh History: Pause for Recap

This series began when I heard a report on the Welsh News that a government report had found that Welsh children are not taught enough of their own history. So I have been blogging some highlights. I thought it would be good to pause and recap what we have covered, and add in some previous posts which also fit in to what we have covered so far.

The Welsh – The Original Britons explained how the Welsh referred to themselves as Britons right up until the 12th century, and dreamed of one day ruling the whole country.

The Power of the Druids spoke of the original faith, which largely ended when the Romans killed most of the Druids in AD61.

The Celtic Saints: In the 6th & 7th centuries Wales was converted to Christianity.

The Good Lawmaker: Hywel Dda became king in AD900 and set about creating a single set of laws to harmonise between the different kingdoms of Wales.

The names of Swansea and Gower go back a long way, and I told the story in an earlier post What’s in a Name?

There was a Lord of Gower who committed a great atrocity, which earned him the title The Ogre of Abergavenny.

The Sitting talks about the origin of the Eisteddfod, a great festival of poetry, music and dance, begun by the Lord Rhys in 1176.

The Lord Rhys was king of Deheubarth, and the earlier post The Welsh Kingdom of Deheubarth tells the story of this kingdom in west Wales.

Llewelyn the Great, part 2, & the Scandalous Affair: This refers to an earlier post about Llewelyn and tells more stories about him.

This brings us up to the period covered by my book Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John. The stories of the Ogre of Abergavenny and Llewelyn the Great are in the book, which tells the story of William de Breos [or Braose], Lord of Gower and much land besides, who was a close confidant of King John. But when William’s wife revealed John's greatest secret John's revenge was brutal. The fall of the de Breos family was the final spark that lit the fire of Magna Carta and led to the offer of the English crown to the prince of France.

You can read more about it on my Broken Reed book page.

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