Advertisement

Class and Nation: Defining the English in Late-Medieval Welsh Poetry

  • Helen Fulton
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

Relations between English and Welsh in medieval Wales are often contextualized by modern historians in terms of twentieth-century imperialism, as a struggle between two nations, at least one of which was “endowed with a sense of racial superiority.”1 When the English king Edward I conquered north Wales, the last remaining princedom in Wales, in 1282, Wales seemed to have lost all hope of retaining its status as an independent nation. Governed as a provincial outpost of the English empire, the royal lands in north Wales were manacled by chains of castles and towns populated largely by English settlers. The borough towns, most of them newly planted, held a monopoly of trade that excluded the local Welsh population on the grounds that they were “foreigners.” As R. R. Davies observed, “Nowhere was the spirit of conquest and of racial superiority so vigorously and selfishly kept alive as in the Edwardian boroughs.”2

Keywords

Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century North Walis English Settler Feudal Lord 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Gwyn A. Williams, When Was Wales? A History of the Welsh (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985), 89.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. R. Davies, Conquest, Co-existence and Change: Wales 1063–1415 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 373. See also his article “Colonial Wales,” Past and Present 65 (1974): 3–23.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Glyn Roberts, “Wales and England: Antipathy and Sympathy 1282–1485,” Welsh History Review 1.4 (1963): 375–96. The article was subsequently reprinted in a collection of Glyn Roberts’ papers, Aspects of Welsh History (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1969), 295–318. All subsequent references are to the original article, abbreviated to “Antipathy and Sympathy.”Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    For an account of surviving medieval records of Wales, see R. Ian Jack, Medieval Wales, Sources of Medieval History (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1972).Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    This model has been developed by Saskia Sassen, Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2006). Sassen explicitly interrogates the “commonsense” model of “nation,” arguing that “it took work to make society national” (18).Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    R. R. Davies, “Law and National Identity in Thirteenth-Century Wales,” in Welsh Society and Nationhood. Historical Essays Presented to Glanmor Williams, ed. R. R. Davies, Ralph A. Griffiths, Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, and Kenneth O. Morgan (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1984), 51–69, at 52.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    On Althusser’s theory of interpellation, the way in which individuals are “hailed” as the subjects of discourse, see his 1969 essay “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses,” in Lenin and Philosophy and OtherEssays, trans. Ben Brewster (London: New Left Books, 1971), 160–65, at 123–73.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    On Bhabha’s theory and its application to medieval Welsh literature, see Dylan Foster Evans, “‘Bardd arallwlad’: Dafydd ap Gwilym a Theori Ôl-Drefedigaethol,” in Llenyddiaeth mewn Theori, ed. Owen Thomas (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2006), 39–72; Stephen Knight, “Resemblance and Menace: A Post-colonial Reading of Peredur,” in Canhwyll Marchogyon: Cyd-destunoli Peredur, ed. Sioned Davies and Peter Wynn Thomas (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000), 128–47.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Thomas Parry, Gwaith Dafydd ap Gwilym (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1952), 124: lines 48–50. All English translations are my own. For the most recent text and translation of the Dafydd ap Gwilym corpus, see Dafydd Johnston, Huw Meirion Edwards, Dylan Foster Evans, and A. Cynfael Lake, eds., www.dafyddapgwilym.net.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    Dafydd Johnston, ed., Iolo Goch: Poems (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 1993), 173.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    Dafydd Johnston, ed., Gwaith Iolo Goch (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1988), 20: lines 6–8.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Ifor Williams and Thomas Roberts, eds., Cywyddau Dafydd ap Gwilym ai Gyfoeswyr (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1935), 80: lines 32, 79, and 45. The reference to Richard II occurs in a poem addressed to Rhys ap Tudur. According to Glyn Roberts, “the Tudors, so far as the evidence goes, were followers of Richard II; those who survived his death were supporters of Owain Glyn Dŵr.” Roberts also suggests that Rhys may have been personally connected to Richard II. See “Wyrion Eden: The Anglesey Descendants of Ednyfed Fychan in the Fourteenth Century,” in Roberts, Aspects of Welsh History, 179–214, at 198 and 202.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Gwaith Dafydd ap Gwilym, 98, line 16. On the likely identification of Robin Nordd as Robert le Northern, a burgess of Aberystwyth, see Dafydd Jenkins, “Enwau Personau a Lleoedd yng Nghywyddau Dafydd ap Gwilym,” Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 8 (1937): 140–45.Google Scholar
  14. 19.
    T. H. Parry-Williams, The English Element in Welsh (London: Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1923); Marie Surridge, “Romance Linguistic Influence on Middle Welsh,” Studia Celtica 1 (1966): 63–92.Google Scholar
  15. 20.
    Peter Coss, ed., Thomas Wrights Political Songs of England from the Reign of John to That of Edward II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 273.Google Scholar
  16. 21.
    G. L. Brook, ed., The Harley Lyrics (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1956), “Annot and John,” line 24. See also A. T. E. Matonis, “An Investigation of Celtic Influences on MS Harley 2253,” Modern Philology 70 (1972): 91–108; Helen Fulton, “The Theory of Celtic Influence on the Harley Lyrics,” Modern Philology 82 (1985): 239–54; Dafydd Jenkins, “Gwalch: Welsh,” Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 19 (1990): 55–68.Google Scholar
  17. 29.
    R. R. Davies, The Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 283.Google Scholar
  18. 32.
    The text of Armes Prydein, “The Prophecy of Britain,” has been edited by Ifor Williams and translated by Rachel Bromwich in Armes Prydein: The Prophecy of Britain (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1972). See also Helen Fulton, “Tenth-Century Wales and Armes Prydein,” Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion n.s. 7 (2001): 5–18.Google Scholar
  19. 33.
    Dafydd Johnston, “‘Propaganda’r Prydydd’: Gwleidyddiaeth Beirdd yr Uchelwyr,” Cof Cenedl 14 (1999): 39–67, at 39.Google Scholar
  20. 34.
    Ifor Williams, ed., Gwaith Gutor Glyn (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1939), 48: lines 67–70.Google Scholar
  21. 35.
    See Glanmor Williams, Renewal and Reformation, Wales c. 1415–1642 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 6–8.Google Scholar
  22. 36.
    W. Leslie Richards, ed., Gwaith Dafydd Llwyd o Fathafarn (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1964), 2: lines 7–8.Google Scholar
  23. 37.
    Thomas Roberts, ed., Gwaith Dafydd ab Edmwnd, Bangor Welsh Manuscripts Society 47 (Bangor: Printed for Bangor Welsh Manuscripts Society by Jarvis & Foster, 1914). See also Johnston, “Propaganda’r Prydydd,” 42–43.Google Scholar
  24. 39.
    Dafydd Johnston, ed., Gwaith Lewys Glyn Cothi (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1995), 222: lines 49–52.Google Scholar
  25. 40.
    Henry Lewis, Thomas Roberts, and Ifor Williams, eds., Cywyddau Iolo Goch ac Eraill, 2nd edn. (Cardiff University of Wales Press, 1937), 37: lines 2–8.Google Scholar
  26. 42.
    D. J. Bowen, ed., Barddoniaeth yr Uchelwyr (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1959), 23: lines 5–6. For a translation of this poem to Flint, see Joseph P. Clancy, Medieval Welsh Lyrics (London: Macmillan, 1965), 166–68.Google Scholar
  27. 43.
    N. G. Costigan, R. Iestyn Daniel, and Dafydd Johnston, eds., Gwaith Gruffudd ap Dafydd ap Tudur, Gwilym Ddu o Arfon, Trahaearn Brydydd Mawr ac Iorwerth Beli (Aberystwyth: University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, 1995), 15: lines 47–48 and 53–54.Google Scholar
  28. 44.
    T. Gwynn Jones, ed., Gwaith Tudur Aled (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1926), 65: lines 61–64 and 89–90.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ruth Kennedy and Simon Meecham-Jones 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Fulton

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations