Yr Wythnos Hyn yng Nghymru/This Week in Cymru

10 Awst/August: Marks the day that St. Lorens, the patron saint of bakers and cooks, was burned at the stake in Rome.

“Gŵyl San Lorens heb gymylau, Llond gwlad o ffrwythau.”
Feast of St. Lorens without clouds, a land full of fruit.

12 Awst 1805: Ann Griffiths, the hymn-writer from Dolwar Fach, Llanfihangel-yng Ngwynfa, was buried. Her hymns were kept by Ruth Evans, Ann’s maid, and through her we have Ann Griffiths’ work:

“Wele’n sefyll rhwyng y myrtwydd
Wrthych teilwng o’n holl fryd:
Er mai o ran yr wy’n adnabod
Ei fod uwchlaw gwrthrychau’n byd:
Henffych fore
 Y caf ei weled fel y mae.”

Dic Penderyn accused.

Dic Penderyn accused.

13 Awst 1831: Dic Penderyn was executed by hanging in Cardiff following his participation the in the workers’ revolt in Merthyr Tudful. He was a 23 year old miner and was the first martyr of the working class in Cymru. Accused of injuring a soldier in the revolt, his last words were “O Arglwydd, dyma gamwedd.” (Oh Lord, here is a false step.) Forty years later, a man in America confessed to the crime on his deathbed.

14 Awst 1888: T.E. Lawrence (‘Lawrence of Arabia’) was born in Tremadog, gogledd Cymru.




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Crogen 1165AD

IMGP8746“Yn nechrau Awst 1165, y bu un o frwydrau enwocaf Owain Gwynedd, yng nghoed Crogen uwchlaw Dyffryn Ceiriog.” 1

At the beginning of August, 1165AD, Henry II invaded Powys to wage a campaign against the Cymry who had united under the leadership of Owain Gwynedd. Despite the time of year, the rain trapped the English army in the woods and uplands near the Ceiriog Valley. Enraged by the failure of his effort to defeat Owain’s army, Henry II mutilated twenty-two of his hostages, blinding Cadwallon and Cynwrig, Owain’s sons and Maredudd Ddall, the son of Arglwydd Rhys. 2

A small band of the Cymry were selected to attack Henry’s large army. Ferociously, the Cymry threw themselves into the center of the English army, striking mercilessly at the heart of Henry’s invaders.

The battle remains one of the most famous in the defense of Cymru against the English kings. The bravery and skill of the greatly outnumbered Cymry against Henry’s army was remembered and admired for years afterward. English soldiers used the word, ‘Crogen’ as a euphemism for ‘courage.’

In September, I am offering a short course in the history of Cymru for Hearts Through History, Seiri Cenedl Cymru / Nation Builders of Wales, concentrating on the individuals who contributed to this small country and its many significant contributions to world history.

1 Alamanc y Teulu, Gwasg Carreg Gwlach, 1990

2 The Journey Through Wales/The Description of Wales, Gerallt Cymro, 1978


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July 1776

From Glitternight.com

From Glitternight.com

On the 4th of July, 1776, a group of colonists signed and published a declaration of their independence from English rule.

This was the first time (and the last time), that an English colony declared, in writing, its independence without a bloody battle beforehand. The bloody battles followed.

Among the signers of this declaration were eighteen men who were of Welsh heritage (some sources say fully half the signers, that is 28). In their and their forefathers’ country, though many battles were fought over hundreds of years, no independence or meaningful declaration of independence was forthcoming.

Even now, two hundred and thirty-eight years after Welsh colonists on the North American continent had thrown off the bitterness of English domination, their distant relations in their home country are still under the thumb of a foreign monarch.

From Rainbowresource.com

From Rainbowresource.com

Is it any wonder that the United States of America is so beloved by the Welsh? My ancestors and living cousins have a vested interest in the country of my birth. My Welsh and American heritage are the consequences of their determination to change their lives, some of whom arrived as indentured servants and destitute, with hope as their only treasure.

Though none of my ancestors were among the signers of whom I am aware…, I thank Button Gwinnett, Joseph Hewes, George Wythe, John Penn, Lewis Morris, William Floyd, Francis Lewis, Caesar Rodney, Francis Hopkinson, William Ellery, John Adams, William Williams, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Stephan Hopkins, George Ross, Robert Morris (who was the foremost financer of the War of Independence), George Clymer among all the other fifty-six signers whose bravery and foresight enabled us to enjoy the fruits of their hope for the future.

Sources for this article: The Welsh Americans, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Idaho Welsh Society, Declaration Image, Signers Image

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My Dark Rose – Cynthia Owens | An Excerpt

My Dark RoseThe Sally Malone, Black ‘47
On the Atlantic Ocean

They slid into the water with scarcely a sound.

Dary Greely clung to his father’s hand, watching as the bodies, clad in little more than rags, were tossed over the side of the ship. The children first: his little brother and two sisters. Then Mrs. Morrissey, his new friend Declan’s ma. Shane MacDermott’s da, and the twins’ ma and their granny.

His ma’s thin fingers bit into his shoulder. She was sobbing into a threadbare handkerchief, her eyes red and swollen from crying. He looked up at her, then at Da. A shudder ran through him that had nothing to do with the cold wind blowing in from the sea.

Da’s eyes were dead. Their bright green was dimmed with sorrow. His dark-red hair blew across his face, but he made no move to shove it back with his big, callused workman’s hand. He stared out to sea, a muscle in his jaw jerking rhythmically.

Dary swallowed hard, glancing around him. He saw Shane, clutching his wee brother’s hand, one arm about his ma’s shoulders as she tried to soothe the fussy gossoon in her arms. Kieran and Cathal Donnelly stood close together, drawing silent comfort from each other as tears ran down their da’s face. Declan, self-controlled as always, stared into the water, his face full of sorrow, tears in his eyes that he refused to shed.

When the last victim of the ship’s fever sank to the bottom of the sea, the steerage passengers turned away, their muffled sobs and soft keening carried away on the rising wind. They’d left Ireland for a better life in America, but would any of them survive to see that land of promise?

As they turned to go, his father suddenly knelt before him, clutching Dary’s shoulders and staring into his eyes. “Ye are the last one, Dary.” His deep voice shook with the intensity of his grief. “The last o’ the Greelys. ’Tis ye will live on to tell the stories o’ us all. Ye’re the lucky lad, Dary, so ye are. Always remember that.”

The words rang bitter in Dary’s ears. The urge to vomit clutched at his throat with ruthless fingers. But he managed a nod. “Aye, Da. I’ll always remember, I promise. I’m the lucky one.”

Cynthia OwensAt that moment, Dary made a fierce, silent vow to himself. He would survive to see America. He would go to school in America, make something of himself, just as Da had told him he could. He’d learn to read and write and do sums. He’d make his parents proud.

He was the lucky one.

Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your new release here.

Please feel free to comment about Cynthia’s new book.



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