The Bardsey Crown to Return to the land of Merlin
No doubt everyone is watching with great interest the attempts by the Bardsey inhabitants (all ten of them) to have the Bardsey island Crown returned to its rightful place in Wales.
The Island is a god forsaken lump of rock off the Llyn Penninsula in the North of Wales once inhabited by Monks in a colony established there in the 6th Century by one Saint Cadfan. – and as an interesting side note is the imputed last resting place of Merlin – further emphasizing that the whole Arthurian legend is based on the Welsh Princes fighting off those pesky Anglo Saxons.
For many years, the Island had formed part of the estates of the Newborough Family of Glynllifon near Caernarfon who cheered up the locals by crowning the oldest male on the island as King – to be called Brenin Enlli (King of Bardsey). The coronation celebrations being the only known official example in the UK where the Queen of Bardsey was also heir presumptive to the Crown and the entire congregation were either cousins, brothers and sisters. The actual Crown is kept at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool who acquired it when the maritime collection of the Newboroughies was flogged off around the 1980’s for four pence halfpenny and a route map out of Wales – and there in lies the conundrum – those nasty English Liverpudlians are hanging on to it and not inclined to repatriate this artefact of past Welsh glory to its homeland.
The symbolism of the crown goes well beyond the tatty tin and brass it is made of and now assumes the role of an icon and memorial to those former Welsh Princes who went down gloriously in defeat at the hands of the invading Angles; from those at the dawn of time, to Lywelyn ap Iorwerth, Dafydd ap Lywelyn, Lywelyn ap Gruffudd (the Last) to Owain Glyndwr – this latter prince was the last real Welsh prince when the principality was lost by conquest at or around 1415.
Since the time of the Welsh Princes we have been fobbed off with a motley collection of loser princes and elder sons of Kings of England from Edward Blackadder of Caernarfon to the latest incarnation Prince Charles ap Windsor the Halfwit. This Prince whose only known attempts at Welsh are ‘ble ydy ‘r doiled’, and ‘ca ‘m oddi hon dduw adawedig chyflea’ – which roughly translated means ‘where are the toilets’ and ‘get me out of this god forsaken place’ which shows his commitment to the job.
I support any initiative that repatriates ethnic aboriginal art and artefacts to their rightful place – and the Bardsey Crown is right up there with the Elgin Marbles and the African Art pillaged from their rightful owners over the centuries. A suitable place for its final resting place must surely on the mantle piece in the gallery shop at the Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw at Llanbedrog near Pwllheli where for a suitable fee visitors will be able to eat their welsh rarebit whilst reliving the days of yore by wearing the crown.
As a point of interest for our American cousins it may not be well known that Prince Madog ab Owain heir of Owain discovered America around the year 1200 and founded a colony near to Alabama. For more information about the welsh in Alabama visit : http://www.alabamawelsh.com/ and if your interested in signing the petition to restore a monument to the great prince go here:
Above is a nice Picture of one of the ‘Brenin Enlli’ His Royal Highness John Williams taken around 1920.