Lloyd George at Paris, 1938

In September 1936, Lloyd George paid two visits, which were soon to become infamous, to the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler at his mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. Before the end of the same year, and indeed into January 1937, he spent an extended vacation at Jamaica where he remained, increasingly frustrated, as the abdication crisis dramatically unfolded in Great Britain.

Between these events and the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 was a notably crowded period internationally. For Lloyd George personally, two important events took place. The first was the family celebration of their golden wedding at Antibes in the south of France on 24 January, 1938.1 The second was a brief, but widely reported, visit to Paris in March, 1938, where he conducted a series of important meetings with several prominent French government ministers. These included Monsieur Léon Blum, who was then serving very briefly as Prime Minister of France for the second time; Monsieur Herriot, the President of the French Chamber; and Monsieur Joseph Paul-Boncour, the Foreign Secretary. He also met representatives of the right led by Monsieur Paul Reynaud (who was later to become Prime Minister of France himself), Monsieur Pierre Cot, the Minister of Commerce, representatives of the French trades union movement, and also a few prominent academics, writers and journalists. Lloyd George’s main purpose in conducting these interviews was to persuade the French government to lend assistance to the Republican Government in Spain against the forces led by General Franco.2


Crime, the Welsh and the Old Bailey

On 6 April 1752, between the hours of one and two in the morning, George Basset, with his accomplice, George Hall, broke into and entered the dwelling house of Samuel Sumpshon and stole forty-six handkerchiefs to the value of seven pounds. Both were found guilty of burglary and sentenced to death.1

This case is just one of numerous examples of burglary that occurred in London, and were heard and indicted at the Old Bailey in the mid-eighteenth century. But what is of significance, especially to this study, is that George Basset was a ‘London- Welsh’. George Basset, aged twenty-one, a needle-maker apprentice in the city, ‘was born in the Parish of St. James’s Clerkenwell, of industrious poor Parents; and he had his Education in the School upon Clerkenwell-Green, commonly called the Welch School’. However, although being given a good education at the London- Welsh Charity School, ‘he was too early initiated into bad Company’ and soon became:

…a very wicked Youth, Swearing, Profaneness, and Sabbath- breaking, being Vices he was too early, and too much addicted to… He was a Pick-pocket almost from his Cradle, and never expected any other Fate, but to be hanged. Though he never was before detected, yet he had often industriously deserv’d Punishment, and could not but own the Justice of his Sentence… He says, he had always an Itch at Thieving, and tho’ he never went any further than picking a Pocket, or some little low Piece of Thievery, he confessed he had been a very wicked Youth.


The Counterfactual Case for Sir George Cornewall Lewis

After many decades of neglect and obscurity, even in his home county of Radnorshire, it appears that the name of the late George Cornewall Lewis is beginning to emerge into the light of a wider public awareness.1 For many a decade it might well have been wondered how many denizens of New Radnor, a few miles along what is now the A44 from Lewis’s seat at Harpton Court, were knowledgeable about the grand monument in the Gothick ‘Eleanor Cross’ style at the approaches of their township dedicated to Lewis’s memory and inaugurated in 1864 as the tribute from Radnorshire ‘To her most distinguished Son’. Parishioners at the splendid parish church on the other side of Harpton, at Old Radnor, where he rests among the Lewises in the crypt, could hardly fail to mark the monumental marble slabs at the west end of the nave proclaiming the merits both of the father, Thomas Frankland Lewis, first Baronet, and the son, George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, distinguished as Chancellor of the Exchequer 1855–58, Secretary of State at the Home Office 1859–61, and Secretary of State at the War Office 1861–63. That exalted degree of public eminence, then and since, has never been commonplace in poor, sequestered little Radnorshire. Citizens of Hereford might perhaps be excused for making little of the larger-than-life bronze statue of Lewis, an MP for the county 1847–52, erected in front of their shire hall. And visitors to Westminster Abbey could hardly be expected to notice particularly the bust set up among so many in the North Transept depicting the ‘massy’ features described by Disraeli as ‘antique but not classical’. Lewis fairly takes his place in both the original Dictionary of National Biography, and its replacement, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.2 Yet a feeling persists that he deserves better in public memory.


Alfred Zimmern’s Brave New World

 

‘The tents have been struck and the great caravan of humanity is once more on the move.’ ‘We are making the world safe for democracy.’ Thus General Smuts and President Woodrow Wilson on the new post-war outlook in 1919.1

There was an apocalyptic mood, symbolised by the creation of the Woodrow Wilson chair of International Politics in the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1919, the first such university chair anywhere in the world. It shows vividly how the optimism and brave new world idealism of the immediate post-war period focussed on the creation of the new League of Nations at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The naming of the chair after Wilson reflected the fact that the idea of a League of Nations was in practice very much an Anglo-American one. Wilson had developed the idea during the war – the League provided the climax of his famous Fourteen Points. He regarded it as the pivotal aspect of the Peace Treaty signed at Versailles, and got his close friend and confidant, Colonel House, to work out a detailed scheme.2 At the peace conference at Paris that spring and summer, it was widely noted that Wilson seemed prepared to make concessions on other matters – the composition of Czechoslovakia and Poland, even German reparations – in order that his cherished idea of the League could come about.


Devolution and Broadcasting

I am deeply grateful to the Cymmrodorion for this opportunity to address the Honourable Society for the second time in less than a decade, and this time for an opportunity to do so in Cardiff. I am equally delighted that the Institute of Welsh Affairs has been able to support the event. I also confess to a small frisson at being allowed to speak in this chamber – modest when compared with its successor, but uniquely historic.

It was in March 2001 that I first addressed the Cymmrodorion on the subject of communications in a devolved Wales. At that time the National Assembly was less than two years old, and its first Culture Minister had been in post for less than six months. I outlined the immediate benefits that had accrued to broadcasting as a result of devolution – substantial increases in BBC Wales funding for its own services, and a sharp reduction in the money paid by ITV in Wales to the Treasury – but I suggested and I quote –


The Authorship of Drych Cydwybod [?1616]

In 2009, in the Transactions, I described the discovery, in the Mazarine Library in Paris, of a unique copy of an early seventeenth-century Welsh book called Drych Cydwybod (A Mirror of Conscience). The book is anonymous and undated and all that could be discovered from the book itself was that it seemed to have been printed in Douai and that the copy now in the Mazarine had originally belonged to Robert Owen, a Welsh priest from Plas Du, Caernarvonshire, who had been a canon in Le Mans and is recorded as having died there, a very old man, in November 1629.1 It is now possible to suggest, in a tentative way, the identity of the original text from which Drych Cydwybod was translated or adapted into Welsh and, more excitingly, the identity of the Welsh author.

The obscurity of the original work from which Drych Cydwybod is derived is mainly due to two factors. First of all the Welsh text appears to be more in the way of an adaptation than a translation and this is quite unusual in a genre where textual fidelity is an important element in the dissemination of doctrinal truth. Printing itself was recognised as a process in which error could be introduced and disseminated, which is why Pope Leo X (r. 1513–21) introduced a licensing system for printed books, announced in 1515.2 So the free adaptation of the source text of Drych Cydwybod is perhaps surprising but it was, nevertheless, printed with diocesan approval, as indicated by the licensing phrase ‘Permissu Superiorum’ on the title page. This approval must be presumed to have been granted to a person of good standing who was in a position to apply for it and to vouch for the contents of a book which could not be read by the local ecclesiastical authorities. This strongly suggests Robert Owen, who owned the only surviving copy of the book, had personal connections with the college in Douai, the town where it was probably printed, and held a diocesan position in France as assistant to the politically powerful Bishop of Le Mans, Claude d’Angennes.3 The other thing which obscured the source text is that the title of the Welsh book is descriptive of its contents but it is not a translation of the title of the book on which it seems to be based. The title page material in the Welsh book appears to be original so it may have been supplied, together with the prefaces and other introductory matter which make up the whole of the first gathering, by the person who saw it through the press in France. But this meant that an extensive search for the source text in books whose titles contained the words ‘speculum’ or ‘mirror’ or ‘conscience’ proved fruitless.


Believer or Atheist? – The Priest/Poet R. S. Thomas

The title of this lecture, ‘Believer or Atheist? – The Priest/Poet R. S. Thomas’, sounds a shocking one for an Archbishop, in whose church R. S. Thomas served as a priest for his whole ministry. I have chosen it because R. S. Thomas has been accused by many of not believing in God because of some of the things he said and some of the poetry he wrote. John Barnie, the editor of Planet, calls him an atheist manqué.1


Adar Cymraeg mewn Coedwig Americanaidd

Mae Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg America yn faes academaidd newydd ac felly nid ar chwarae bach y mentrir diffinio’r agweddau creiddiol arno ac ateb y cwestiynau sy’n ganolog iddo. Rwyf wedi bod yn ymgodymu ag un o’r cwestiynau hyn ers nifer o flynyddoedd bellach, sef: i ba raddau y gellid sôn am lenyddiaeth Gymraeg America fel maes neu bwnc ar wahân i lenyddiaeth Gymraeg Cymru? Credaf fod mwy nag un ateb a bod yr atebion hynny i’w canfod yn y dystiolaeth gynradd ei hun. Mae’n bosibl y dylid aralleirio’r cwestiwn hwn a gofyn: i ba raddau yr oedd beirdd, llenorion, beirniaid, golygyddion a darllenwyr Cymraeg America yn credu’u bod yn perthyn i ddiwylliant llenyddol Cymraeg Americanaidd? Rwyf wedi awgrymu bod y dystiolaeth yn caniatáu i ni gasglu bod o leiaf rai Cymry Americanaidd yn synio am lenyddiaeth Gymraeg yr Unol Daleithiau yn y modd hwnnw cyn diwedd y 1850au.1

Bid a fo am arwyddocâd cymdeithasau Cymraeg, Eisteddfodau a gweithgareddau eraill sy’n tystio i dwf diwylliant llenyddol Cymraeg America, mae’n rhaid mai datblygiad gwasg gyfnodol Gymraeg yr Unol Daleithiau yw’r ffactor mwyaf allweddol. Os oedd y wasg gyfnodol yn ganolog i ddiwylliant llenyddol Cymru’r bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg, roedd hyd yn oed yn bwysicach yn y Gymru Americanaidd newydd gyda chymunedau Cymraeg wedi’u gwasgaru ar draws y cyfandir mawr hwnnw.


The Mansion of Owain’s Grave

The disappearance of Owain Glyn D ̆r in 1415 is probably the most celebrated unsolved mystery in the history of Wales. His revolt against the English crown and his struggle to establish an independent Welsh state with its own native prince, language, government, church and universities is well documented. R. R. Davies’ comprehensive study of Owain in his historical context, The Revolt of Owain Glyn D ̆r (1995),1 is a magnificent sequel to Sir John Lloyd’s seminal book of 1931.2 However, when it comes to the death of Owain and the location of his final resting place there is practically no reliable contemporary documentary evidence.

The most popular account tells how Owain became a fugitive and eventually took refuge with his daughter at Monnington Straddel where he died and is buried.3 This account is given some credibility because his daughter, Alice, did indeed marry John Scudamore and live at Monnington,4 although this place has been confused with Monnington-on-Wye, a different village.5 Other places claimed as the burial ground include Valle Crucis Abbey, the ancestral burial place of Owain’s family, Bangor Cathedral, and numerous others. Sadly, it seems that no-one can provide incontrovertible documentary evidence for any of these places. A study of the sources published by J. R. S. Phillips in 1972 includes previously unconsidered fifteenth-century Welsh manuscripts in the National Library of Wales and the Bodleian Library.6 These, quite independently of each other, record a tradition of very early date that Owain Glyn D ̆r died in September 1415, and the study concludes, ‘there seems to be no evidence to make such a date impossible’.7 Indeed, this is concordant with the offer of a royal pardon to Owain in July 14158 and a similar offer made to Owain’s son, Meredudd, in February 1416 which, significantly, makes no mention of Owain.9 Furthermore, from internal evidence it can be deduced that one of the manuscripts (Peniarth MS 26) was written in the area around Oswestry, Owain’s home district. But no mention is made of his burial.10


The Machinery of Justice in a Changing Wales

In recent years, immense changes have taken place in the machinery of government in Wales as a part of the process of devolution. Public attention has concentrated principally on the executive and legislative powers which have been transferred to new Welsh institutions under the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006.1 However, the Report of the All Wales Convention chaired by Sir Emyr Jones Parry draws attention to another aspect of devolution, observing that ‘as devolution progresses, full account must be taken of the role and standing of the judiciary in Wales’.2 In this article, I propose to survey the present state of the judicial branch of government in Wales and to consider the extent to which it is adapting to meet the needs of a devolved Wales.3


Lloyd George and Land Reform: The Welsh Context

David Lloyd George was undoubtedly the outstanding Welsh political figure of the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.1 Among the multifarious themes that intersected with his career, one of the most long-lasting was his devotion to land reform and to attacking the role of landowners in society and politics.

This concept played a crucial role in Lloyd George’s political life at a number of points and this article concentrates on three of the most significant of these events: the role of the famous land taxes in his 1909 ‘People’s Budget’; the land enquiry and land campaign that Lloyd George initiated in 1912-14 to provide the centrepiece of the Liberal election strategy in the next general election, which was due in 1915; and finally Lloyd George’s second land campaign of 1925-9, which he hoped would prove crucial to a great Liberal revival in the post-First World War era.2 Lloyd George’s persistent commitment to land reform raises an important question about whether there were consistent themes in the career in this most protean of politicians. This article seeks to provide some indications towards an answer, by determining to what extent this central element in Lloyd George’s political agenda was shaped by his early life in north west Wales and his engagement with its political culture.


Lloyd George and Land Reform: The Welsh Context

David Lloyd George was undoubtedly the outstanding Welsh political figure of the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.1 Among the multifarious themes that intersected with his career, one of the most long-lasting was his devotion to land reform and to attacking the role of landowners in society and politics.

This concept played a crucial role in Lloyd George’s political life at a number of points and this article concentrates on three of the most significant of these events: the role of the famous land taxes in his 1909 ‘People’s Budget’; the land enquiry and land campaign that Lloyd George initiated in 1912-14 to provide the centrepiece of the Liberal election strategy in the next general election, which was due in 1915; and finally Lloyd George’s second land campaign of 1925-9, which he hoped would prove crucial to a great Liberal revival in the post-First World War era.2 Lloyd George’s persistent commitment to land reform raises an important question about whether there were consistent themes in the career in this most protean of politicians. This article seeks to provide some indications towards an answer, by determining to what extent this central element in Lloyd George’s political agenda was shaped by his early life in north west Wales and his engagement with its political culture.


Wales and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau

The Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) Service1 was formed at the outbreak of the Second World War as a means of providing advice and information to the citizens of Britain’s cities, which would enable them to deal with the large- scale disruption associated with war. Since this period, it has acted as an independent, membership-based organization, which has provided support and guidance to British citizens facing all manner of welfare, financial or consumer difficulties.

The CAB Service, and individual bureaux, have in many ways enabled a British citizenship; it has encouraged British citizens to access their welfare rights. At the same time, it has encouraged them to be more active in their citizenship by volunteering to act as CAB advisers. I want to argue in this paper that the CAB Service – and most specifically the way in which it has manifested itself in Wales – has much to say about the changing place of Wales within the broader UK as well as more conceptual issues relating to the character of citizen identities more generally.


The Future of Welsh Devolution

It is a particular pleasure to address a joint meeting of the Montgomeryshire Society and the Cymmrodorion – organizations with proud histories – on this memorial occasion. I used to note in the Times records of meetings, frankly never expecting to be asked to speak myself.

I intend to describe recent developments in Wales, to set these firmly within the context of the United Kingdom, to draw on our history, to test our current arrangements against the prevailing expectations and concerns of the Welsh people, and then do a little crystal-ball gazing at what the future may hold for the constitutional arrangements in Wales.


On-Screen Embodiment of the Welsh Mam

1Deirdre Beddoe, doyenne of women’s history in Wales, argued during the 1980s that Welsh women have been, and continue to be, culturally invisible.2 Over the years, Wales has, in general, projected a masculine image to the world via its patriarchal interpretation of history, literature, drama and films. However, as a result of her own research Beddoe argued that five images of the Welshwoman have captured the imagination of the nation over the decades: the Welsh woman in traditional national costume, the pious Welshwoman, the sexy Welshwoman, the funny Welshwoman, and, the most enigmatic, romantic and enduring image of them all, the loving Welsh Mam. One could argue today that there is no function for the Welsh Mam in twenty-first-century Welsh life and that she is a part of an era and a way of life that has long since disappeared. For others, she has always been a fictional figure, a romanticized character created for the benefit of some campaign or another, or for the Welsh abroad plagued by hiraeth, of whom Richard Llewellyn and Emlyn Williams are two obvious examples.3 Nevertheless, there is no escaping the fact that the Welsh Mam, an angel in the home, has been a prominent figure in our literature, stage plays and films. The aim of this article is to discuss the means by which the literary portrayal of the Welsh Mam has been translated to the screen during the twentieth century. It examines in particular the contribution of two specific Swansea Valley actors, Siân Phillips and Rachel Thomas, to this on- screen image. However we cannot fully appreciate the image of the Welsh Mam within film without first understanding the roots of this image, grounded in our literary heritage and history.


Huw T Edwards a Datganoli 1945–1964

O dderbyn gwireb Ron Davies mai proses nid digwyddiad yw datganoli (‘devolution is a process, not an event’), yna adeg o arbrofi a thafoli opsiynau oedd y cyfnod o ddiwedd yr Ail Ryfel Byd hyd at sefydlu’r Swyddfa Gymreig yng Nghaerdydd, gydag Ysgrifennydd Gwladol yn ben arni, yn 1964. Nid oedd dim yn anochel yn y broses o ddatganoli yng Nghymru yn ystod y ganrif ddiwethaf, gan gynnwys y cyfnod dan sylw. Dywed un hanesydd bod datganoli wedi marw erbyn 1945,1 ond wedi hynny atgyfodwyd y cysyniad, ac yn ystod y blynyddoedd dilynol bu unigolion a charfanau yng Nghymru yn troedio llwybrau a fyddai, maes o law, yn arwain at fesurau pellgyrhaeddol o ddatganoli. Ar yr un pryd, ni ddylid anwybyddu’r gwrthwynebiad chwyrn a gafwyd i’r broses yng Nghymru ei hun a thu hwnt.

O safbwynt y broses, mae’r eirfa a’r derminoleg a ddefnyddiwyd wrth drafod datganoli yn ddadlennol a thra diddorol. I rai, roedd angen dangos cydnabyddiaeth (‘recognition’) o fodolaeth Cymru fel gwlad neu genedl; i eraill, roedd datganoli’n rhan o gryfhau peirianwaith llywodraethu (‘machinery of government’ oedd y term a ddefnyddiwyd) heb fod hynny’n ymwneud o gwbl â chenedlaetholdeb fel y cyfryw; i eraill eto, roedd cydraddoldeb â’r Alban (‘parity with Scotland’) yn nod ynddo’i hun. Defnyddiwyd yn ogystal y term ‘decentralization’, sydd yn gyfystyr yn y Gymraeg â ‘devolution’, ond fel arfer cyfeiriai hynny at drosglwyddo grym i gynghorau sir a bwrdeistref. Yn wir, gwnaed awgrymiadau cyson ynghylch yr angen i ad-drefnu llywodraeth leol.