In 1967, the Welsh Language Act (Deddf yr Iaith Gymraeg) was passed, allowing the use of the Welsh language in courts of law and the provision of Welsh language versions of official documents.
After over 600 years of English language domination and the English government’s policy of annihilation of the language of the Welsh people, in a country boasting one of the five most significant lawmakers (Hywel Dda – 10thC) in the history of the world, the Welsh Language Act sparked a cultural rejuvenation.
When I arrived in Wales, there was still a great deal to do. In 1984, the Welsh statesman, Gwynfor Evans, threatened a starvation strike to force Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to make good on the English Parliament’s promise to establish a Welsh language television channel (S4C). Gwynfor Evans was the first Plaid Cymru candidate to hold a seat in the English Parliament, elected in 1966.
For more information about the Laws of Hywel Dda, see my post on the Marriage Laws of Celtic Britain, or read my novel, Traitor’s Daughter, in which the hero, Garmon Dolwyddlan, is a legal scholar as well as a warrior-commander, both of which come in handy to protect Heledd Bannawg.