Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cambrian Swains

I shouldn't watch BBC history programmes, they only leave me bellowing at the screen.  Janina Ramirez may have ditched her stilettos but she still managed to clump her way around France going on and on about the English, the English, the English.

Let's be fair, Nina did point-out that King Edward III and his commanders were, in truth, Frenchmen; but what about the archers and spearmen who actually slaughtered the continent's nobility at Crecy?   It's likely that the majority were Welsh, although that's a word that is unlikely to pass Janina's lips.  For example, Kent was the English shire asked to raise the most recruits for Edward's army - 280.  For most English counties the figure was less than 200, in many cases just 60.  Total up the recruits expected from the lordships - Maelienydd, Gwerthrynion, Radnor and Elfael - that would later go to make up insignificant little Radnorshire and you get a figure of  430.

Should we mind?  Well I think we should, deprive a country of its history and you eventually deprive it of its identity.  From the Daily Mail to all those politically-correct schoolboys who pass for comedians nowadays, there's a constant campaign to diminish and denigrate the Welsh.  Ieuan Brydydd Hir got it right some 240 years ago:

The false historians of a polished age
Show that the Saxon has not lost his rage,
Though tamed by arts his rancour still remains:
Beware of Saxons still, ye Cambrian swains.

1 comment:

branymor said...

Of course they were Welsh bowmen but anglophile historians always ignore this fact.