Oh dear - we have long known that the Guardian was hopeless at spelling and shaky on Geography. Now it seems that they were asleep in history lessons as well. The following letter beat my own hands-down in timing and quality:
First, you discontinued the listings of S4C, the Welsh language TV channel. Then you printed an underwhelming account of the Welsh assembly election results (Labour minority rule possible after party falls short, 7 May), with very little meaningful analysis. Now you publish a letter about the “English” Tudors (Letters, 7 May). It’s enough to make dragons roar!
This one also quite good:
Henry VII was born in Pembroke, which means that under one way of unscrambling the complexities of the British nationalities, every Tudor monarch would have qualified to play sport for Wales. It is odd that while most remember that the Hanovers started as Germans and the Stuarts as Scots, the Welshness of the Tudors has been submerged. This may be down to Henry VIII, whose Act of Union (1536) looks suspiciously like an act of Oedipal revenge.
This was Henry Tudor’s standard, now where have I seen that design before?
All the royal standards had the St George’s Cross on one side to represent England but the rest of the banner contained the personal arms, in this case representing Henry VII
He also introduced the red dragon onto the Royal Coat of Arms (and with the exception of Mary all the Tudors up to Elizabeth had a dragon, (the only other person to use the dragon was Oliver Cromwell and his son probably because they disliked the Stuarts so reverted back to pre Stuart symbols)
Henry VII was regarded by more than a few Welsh bards as the “mab darogan”, the “prophecised son” who was to return and drive the English from Britain and restore the Welsh to their patrimony. Mind you, there were more than a fair few of those
He was brought up in Rhaglan castle, where the court there was at the time a hotbed of Welsh language culture where such ideas and poetry were commonplace (also fiercely loyal to the English crown, which is far less of a contradiction than is commonly understandable to people outside minority ethnicities/countries ) and used the idea in his propaganda in Wales, whilst growing a Welsh army to march on Bosworth.
When he was King, he made a lot of his Welsh roots, celebrating st David’s day, calling his first born son “Arthur”, the real “mab darogan”, much stuff as @cap says in the post above, giving a lot of rights to the Welsh who had supported him, both in Wales and calling them to court in England-… Whilst demanding money from other Welsh people in order for them to be legally defined as “English”, thus escaping the separatist (“apartheid” you could say anachronistically) laws which he still allowed to be in place.
Used and exploited the situation and ideas for his own sake! You don’t get to be a king without being a sociopath…
Whether Oliver Cromwell being proud of his Welsh roots is something for us to be proud of is another matter of course! But it does seem that a lot of history writers would rather describe the republican King killer as being particularly attatched to a particular royal house than to Wales itself
“A horse! A horse! My Kingdom for a horse!..
…oh I dunno though…blow this for a game of soldiers. Henry mate, you can have my Kingdom for a large dish or two of that there Lobscouse that your field chefs seem so good at…”
Rhys ap Thomas from Llandeilo and his men were the main force behind Henry, so they would probably be cooking a chunky pan-Cymric Cawl rather than the small-vegetable-chopping ways of the northerners and their lobsgaws…
Unrelated, but I thought I would tag it onto this thread, rather than start another:
A nice letter in today’s Guardian:
(2nd letter down)
Peter Geall (Letters, 22 September) says “the exclusive use of non-English signs and labels should be banned”. He describes the use of such signage as “discourteous and alienating to the native population”. He ought to be Welsh. We have suffered generations of the swamping of our language by “discourteous and alienating” English speakers. The “stupidity” of monolingual English signage in Wales has done a very effective job of sublimating the cultural jewel of our language. O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau!
(I assume that’s Caerdydd, but this is the Grauniad we’re talking about … )
Their TV listings guide also lists S4C as “S4C Digital” which was the old name used to distinguish the digital (all Welsh language) service from the old analogue one before digital switch-over. I tweeted them to tell them it’s now just called S4C since analogue was switched off 6 years ago! They liked my tweet but last time I checked they hadn’t changed it.
Well, how long ago was it that newspapers stopped being type-set for printing? Yet we still call it the ‘Grauniad’ rather than the ‘Guardian’ (This newspaper was famous for it’s typos). I still don’t know why it’s now BBC ‘Radio 1’ and no longer ‘Radio 1 FM’ when it’s still available on FM?