A Short History of Wales by Sir Owen Morgan Edwards

History of Wales
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   The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Short History of Wales, by Owen M. EdwardsThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: A Short History of WalesAuthor: Owen M. EdwardsRelease Date: September 24, 2014 [eBook #3260][This file was first posted on 2 March 2001]Language: English***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A SHORT HISTORY OF WALES***Transcribed from the 1922 T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. edition by David Price,email A SHORT HISTORY OF WALES BY OWEN EDWARDS * * * * * T. FISHER UNWIN LTD. LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE * * * * * _First Published_ 1906 _Second Impression_ 1909 _Third Impression_ 1913 _Fourth Impression_ 1920 _Fifth Impression_ 1922 * * * * *   [_All rights reserved_]CONTENTSCHAP. PAGE I. WALES: WHAT IT IS MADE OF, AND WHAT IT IS LIKE 1 II. THE WANDERING NATIONS. THE IBERIANS AND CELTS 5 III. ROME. ROMAN CONQUEST, SETTLEMENT, AND 10 INFLUENCE IV. THE NAME OF CHRIST. THE OLD RELIGION AND THE 15 NEW V. THE WELSH KINGS. WEARERS OF THE ªCROWN OF 20 ARTHURº VI. THE LAWS OF HOWEL 25 VII. THE NORMANS IN WALES 30 VIII. GRIFFITH AP CONAN AND GRIFFITH AP REES 35 IX. OWEN GWYNEDD AND THE LORD REES 40 X. LLYWELYN THE GREAT 45 XI. THE LAST LLYWELYN 50 XII. CONQUERED WALES. HOW IT WAS GOVERNED 55 XIII. THE CASTLE AND THE LONG-BOW 60 XIV. THE RISE OF THE PEASANT 65 XV. OWEN GLENDOWER AND HIS IDEALS 70 XVI. THE WARS OF THE ROSES IN WALES 75 XVII. THE RULE OF THE TUDORS 80 XVIII. THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION 85 XIX. THE CIVIL WAR IN WALES 90 XX. THE GREAT REVOLUTION 96 XXI. HOWEL HARRIS AND THE AWAKENING 102 XXII. THE REFORM ACTS 107 XXIII. THE FORMATION OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM 112 XXIV. THE GROWTH OF SELF-GOVERNMENT 117 XXV. THE WALES OF TO-DAY 123 SUMMARY I. THE ISOLATION OF WALES 129 II. THE WALES OF THE PRINCES 130 III. THE WALES OF THE PEOPLE 133 TABLES I. THE HOUSE OF CUNEDDA 135 II. THE HOUSE OF GWYNEDD 136 III. THE HOUSE OF DYNEVOR 136 IV. THE HOUSE OF POWYS 137 V. THE HOUSE OF MORTIMER 138 VI. THE HOUSE OF TUTOR 139INTRODUCTIONTHIS little book is meant for those who have never read any Welsh historybefore. It is not taken for granted that the reader knows either Latinor Welsh.A fuller outline may be read in _The Story of Wales_, in the ªStory ofthe Nationsº series; and a still fuller one in _The Welsh People_ of Rhysand Brynmor Jones. Of fairly small and cheap books in various periods I  may mention Rhys ' _Celtic Britain_, Owen Rhoscomyl's _Flame Bearers ofWelsh History_, Henry Owen's _Gerald the Welshman_, Bradley's _OwenGlendower_, Newell's _Welsh Church_, and Rees _Protestant Non-conformityin Wales_. More elaborate and expensive books are Seebohm's _VillageCommunity_ and _Tribal System in Wales_, Clark's _Medieval MilitaryArchitecture_, Morris' _Welsh Wars of Edward I._, Southall's _Wales andHer Language_. In writing local history, A. N. Palmer's _History ofWrexham_ and companion volumes are models.If you turn to a library, you will find much information about Wales in _Social England_, the _Dictionary of National Biography_, thepublications of the Cymmrodorion and other societies. You will findarticles of great value and interest over the names of F. H. Haverfield,J. W. Willis-Bund, Egerton Phillimore, the Honourable Mrs Bulkeley Owen(_Gwenrhian Gwynedd_), Henry Owen, the late David Lewis, T. F. Tout, J.E. Lloyd, D. Lleufer Thomas, W. Llywelyn Williams, J. Arthur Price, J. H.Davies, J. Ballinger, Edward Owen, Hubert Hall, Hugh Williams, R. A.Roberts, A. W. Wade-Evans, E. A. Lewis. These are only a few out of themany who are now working in the rich and unexplored field of Welshhistory. I put down the names only of those I had to consult in writinga small book like this.The sources are mostly in Latin or Welsh. Many volumes of chronicles,charters, and historical poems have been published by the Government, bythe Corporation of Cardiff, by J. Gwenogvryn Evans, by H. de Grey Birch,and others. But, so far, we have not had the interesting chronicles andpoems translated into English as they ought to be, and published in welledited, not too expensive volumes. OWEN EDWARDSLINCOLN COLLEGE, OXFORD.IWALESWALES is a row of hills, rising between the Irish Sea on the west and theEnglish plains on the east. If you come from the west along the sea, orif you cross the Severn or the Dee from the east, you will see that Walesis a country all by itself. It rises grandly and proudly. If you are astranger, you will think of it as ªWalesºÐa strange country; if you areWelsh, you will think of it as ªCymruºÐa land of brothers.The geologist will tell you how Wales was made; the geographer will tellyou what it is like now; the historian will tell you what its people havedone and what they are. All three will tell you that it is a veryinteresting country.The rocks of Wales are older and harder than the rocks of the plains; andas you travel from the south to the north, the older and harder theybecome. The highest mountains of Wales, and some of its hills, havecrests of the very oldest and hardest rockÐgranite, porphyry, and basalt;and these rocks are given their form by fire. But the greater part ofthe country is made of rocks formed by waterÐstill the oldest of theirkind. In the north-west, centre, and westÐabout two-thirds of the wholecountry,Ðthe rocks are chiefly slate and shale; in the south-east they  are chiefly old red sandstone; in the north-east, but chiefly in thesouth, they are limestone and coal.Its rocks give Wales its famous sceneryÐits rugged peaks, its romanticglens, its rushing rivers. They are also its chief wealthÐgranite,slate, limestone, coal; and lodes of still more precious metalsÐiron,lead, silver, and goldÐrun through them.The highest mountain in Wales is Snowdon, which is 3,570 feet above thelevel of the sea. For every 300 feet we go up, the temperature becomesone degree cooler. At about 1,000 feet it becomes too cold for wheat; atabout 1,500 it becomes too cold for corn; at about 2,000 it is too coldfor cattle; mountain ponies graze still higher; the bleak upper slopesare left to the small and valuable Welsh sheep.There are three belts of soil around the hillsÐarable, pasture, andsheep-runÐone above the other. The arable land forms about a third ofthe country; it lies along the sea border, on the slopes above the Deeand the Severn, and in the deep valleys of the rivers which pierce farinland,Ðthe Severn, Wye, Usk, Towy, Teivy, Dovey, Conway, and Clwyd. Thepasture land, the land of small mountain farms, forms the middle third;it is a land of tiny valleys and small plains, ever fostered by the warm,moist west wind. Above it, the remaining third is stormy sheep-run, widegreen slopes and wild moors, steep glens and rocky heights.From north-west to south-east the line of high hills runs. In thenorth-west corner, Snowdon towers among a number of heights over 3,000feet. At its feet, to the north-west, the isle of Anglesey lies. Thepeninsula of Lleyn, with a central ridge of rock, and slopes of pasturelands, runs to the south-west. To the east, beyond the Conway, lie theHiraethog mountains, with lower heights and wider reaches; further eastagain, over the Clwyd, are the still lower hills of Flint.To the south, 30 miles as the crow flies, over the slate country, theBerwyns are seen clearly. From a peak among theseÐCader Vronwen (2,573feet), or the Aran (2,970 feet), or Cader Idris (2,929 feet)Ðwe look eastand south, over the hilly slopes of the upper Severn country.Another 30 miles to the south rises green Plinlimmon (2,469 feet); fromit we see the high moorlands of central Wales, sloping to Cardigan Bay onthe west and to the valley of the Severn, now a lordly English river, onthe east.Forty miles south the Black Mountain (2,630 feet) rises beyond the Wye,and the Brecon Beacons (2,910 feet) beyond the Usk. West of these thehills fade away into the broad peninsula of Dyved. Southwards we lookover hills of coal and iron to the pleasant sea-fringed plain of Gwent.On the north and the west the sea is shallow; in some places it is under10 fathoms for 10 miles from the shore, and under 20 fathoms for 20miles. Tales of drowned lands are toldÐof the sands of Lavan, of thefeast of drunken Seithenyn, and of the bells of Aberdovey. But the seais a kind neighbour. Its soft, warm winds bathe the hills with life; andthe great sweep of the big Atlantic waves into the river mouths help ourcommerce. Holyhead, Milford Haven, Swansea, Newport, Barry, andCardiffÐnow one of the chief ports of the worldÐcan welcome the largestvessels afloat. The herring is plentiful on the west coast, and troutand salmon in the rivers.

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