So, as we have seen, some differences existed between Monmouthshire and the rest of Cymru, but they weren't all unique differences. In looking at Cymru during this period we must acknowledge legally the intention was to 'annexe' Cymru into England.
However, I think it is fair to say that the Tudor administration had no specific design to change the nationality of Monmouthshire. It's inclusion into the Oxfordshire circuit assizes gave it that link to the counties of western England that would be used to form those arguments.
What we must take away from this period is that Monmouthshire was really no different to the rest of Cymru linguistically, culturally and historically. It was created as one of the 13 new counties of Cymru.
Those discrepancies identified, the number of MPs and the court circuits, should be seen as administrative and not any concerted attempt to alter the nationality of Monmouthshire. Furthermore, in the eyes of that Tudor administration....
Monmouthshire had no different legal status than the other 12 counties of Cymru. At the time, this was a non-issue, it wouldn't become a question until 'Welshness' and what that meant became a political question.

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More from @HistorianWelsh

31 Mar
Was Monmouthshire any different to other parts of Cymru in 1535? To my mind, not significantly. Since centuries before the Laws in Wales acts, Cymru had been the scene of immigration and colonisation. Of course border regions were more susceptible to these acts than other areas.
Historically, the area known as Monmouthshire, being born from the kingdom of Gwent in the post Roman era would be considered as authentic as any other. Linguistically, Monmouthshire, like the vast majority of Cymru would have been monoglot Cymraeg.
Even some parts of what is now England would have, at the time, been made up of Cymraeg speaking residents. It wouldn't be until the c.18th century that Cymraeg disappeared in a majority in those extreme border areas of Monmouthshire, Radnorshire and Denbighshire etc.
Read 4 tweets
30 Mar
What I found was that the confusion seems to have begun with the Laws in Wales Acts. Thirteen new counties were created including Monmouthshire, out of what was traditionally Gwent. For the purpose of these new Laws the English legal system would be adopted in Cymru.
To achieve this, the Court of Great Sessions were established in Cymru. The new courts consisted of Chester (Flint, Denbigh and Montgomery), North Wales (Anglesey, Caernarfon and Merioneth), Brecon (Brecon, Glamorgan and Radnor) and Carmarthen (Carmarthen, Pembroke and Cardigan).
All except the county of Monmouthshire, which was included in the Oxfordshire Court of Assizes. The two clear reasons for this were the simple fact that 13 doesn't divide into three easily and when we look at this situation we often look at it from a modern perspective.
Read 4 tweets
1 Mar
The most significant part of the act was the creation of new counties. The counties of Pembrokeshire and Glamorgan were created by attaching older districts to the new counties. Most of the Marches were then split into Denbigh, Montgomery, Radnor, Brecon and Monmouth.
However, some of the most easterly districts were added to the counties of England (Herefordshire and Shropshire). This act created the modern border of Wales and England. It is not the border that followed Offa's Dyke nor dioceses boundaries.
It placed areas such as Oswestry and Ewyas, places where Cymraeg would continue to be spoken for centuries into England. The reality is, as the intention of the act was to incorporate Wales into England the location of border was irrelevant to those framing it.
Read 4 tweets
26 Feb
In February 1536 'An Acte for Laws & Justice to be ministred in Wales in like fourme as it is in this Realme' was passed. Now known at the Laws in Wales Acts they weren't called Acts of Union until 1901. The title is slightly misleading for it suggests some acquiescence.
These acts were not the same as those passed by both English and Scottish Parliaments in 1800 for example. It was passed solely by the Parliament of England, a body that lacked Welsh members. In the preamble to these laws, Thomas Cromwell, the chief architect wrote:
Wales... is and hath ever bene incorporated, annexed, united and subjecte to and under the imperialle Crown of this Realme as a verrye membre ... of the same." Clearly fanciful propaganda given the rather distinct histories of the English and Welsh peoples.
Read 5 tweets
15 May 20
Gwendoline and Margaret Davies
1/5: Both born in Llandinam, granddaughters to the industrialist David Davies who had made his fortune in the railway and coal industries. Both sisters shared a passion for art and by 1913 they held their first exhibition in Cardiff City Hall.
2/5: During WW1 the sisters worked as volunteers for the French Red Cross and offered asylum to Belgian artists. In the early 1920s they moved to Gregynog Hall near Newtown where they established a printing press and a music festival.
3/5: The Gregynog music festival was held annually from 1933-38 and featured poetry, music and composers such as Edward Elgar and Gustav Holst. The printing press meanwhile, produced books in both Welsh and English.
Read 5 tweets
11 May 20
I've had a couple of people ask today what the Blue Books were and I feel it's something so influential in the history of modern Wales I had to write a short thread on them. So here we go....
1/5: The Blue Books were three reports commissioned into the state of education in Wales and published in 1847. The inquiry was organised by pressure from William Williams, a radical MP for Coventry and a Welshman himself.
2/5: Williams was concerned about education in Wales and it was carried out by three English commissioners; Ralph Lingen, Jellynger Symons and H.R Vaughan Johnson. The three men visited Wales in 1846 but spoke no Welsh and relied on witness accounts.
Read 6 tweets

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