country in north-west Europe; part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east, the Irish Sea to its north and west, and the Bristol Channel to its south.

There are still parts of Wales where the only concession to gaiety is a striped shroud. ~ Gwyn Thomas


Quotes edit

A edit

  • The people of Snowdon assert that even if their prince should give seisin of them to the king, they themselves would refuse to do homage to any foreigner, of whose language, customs and laws they were thoroughly ignorant.
    • Anonymous address of Welsh lords (1282), Reg. Johannis Peckham, II, p. 471, quoted in R. R. Davies, 'Law and National Identity in Thirteenth-Century Wales', in R. R. Davies (ed.), Welsh Society and Nationhood: Historical Essays Presented to Glanmor Williams (1984), p. 52

G edit

  • Nec alia, ut arbitror, gens quam haec Kambrica, aliave lingua, in die districti examinis coram Judice supremo, quicquid de ampliori contingat, pro hoc terrarum angulo respondebit.
    • Whatever else may come to pass, I do not think that on the Day of Direst Judgement any race other than the Welsh, or any other language, will give answer to the Supreme Judge of all for this small corner of the earth.
      • Gerald of Wales, quoting an unnamed Welshman, in Descriptio Cambriae (1194), Bk. 2, ch. 10; translation by Lewis Thorpe from The Journey Through Wales and the Description of Wales (1978) p. 274
  • [Y]ours is an ancient language, and the language is connected with an ancient history, and it is connected with an ancient music and with an ancient literature... [Y]our laudable and patriotic efforts will come to be more and more understood and regarded by the English people at large, and that prosperity and honour will attend the meetings by which you endeavour to preserve and to commemorate the ancient history, the ancient deeds, and the ancient literature of your country, the Principality of Wales.
    • William Ewart Gladstone, inaugural address to the opening of the Eisteddfod in Mold, of which Gladstone was President (19 August 1873), quoted in The Times (20 August 1873), p. 5
  • I affirm that Welsh nationality is as great a reality as English nationality. It may not be as big a reality in that it does not extend over so large a country, but with the traditions and history of Wales, with the language of Wales (hear, hear), with the religion of Wales (cheers), with the feelings of Wales, I maintain that the Welsh nationality is as true as the nationality of Scotland, to which by blood I exclusively belong.
  • The Welsh made a very good and a very hard fight against the English in self-defence, and what was the consequence? That the English were obliged to surround your territory with great castles; and the effect of this has been that, as far as I can reckon, more by far than one-half of the great remains of the castles in the whole island south of the Tweed are castles that surround Wales. That shows that Wales was inhabited by men, and by men who valued and were disposed to struggle for their liberties.
    • William Ewart Gladstone, speech to the Eisteddfod in Wrexham (8 September 1888), quoted in A. W. Hutton and H. J. Cohen (eds.), The Speeches of The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone on Home Rule, Criminal Law, Welsh and Irish Nationality, National Debt and the Queen's Reign. 1888–1891 (1902), p. 61

M edit

  • On the other edge of Europe, in the countryside of Wales, another formidable weapon against men and horses was being perfected. The English kings began to appreciate the possibilities of the Welsh longbow in their twelfth-century wars in Wales when Welsh archers with six-foot bows, taller than they were, fired arrows that could go through layers of chain mail, wooden saddles and flesh. In 1346, during the Hundred Years War between the French and the English, Edward III brought his Welsh archers to France. At Crécy a much weaker English force turned to fight the pursuing French. The French had three times as many mounted soldiers, considered the finest cavalry in Europe, 6,000 Genoese crossbowmen and 20,000 foot soldiers against 5,000. The English, however, had 11,000 archers armed with longbows. The Genoese fired first but did not inflict much damage on the English army. As the Genoese scrambled to reload, French knights, impatient for glory, started to trample them from behind, while the English archers launched a devastating fire. As one witness said, ‘Every arrow told on horse or man, piercing head, or arm, or leg among the riders and sending the horses mad.’ The French knights charged again and again, while the Welsh archers steadily reloaded and fired. By nightfall the ground was covered with dead and dying horses and men. The French lost over 1,500 knights and 10,000 who were ‘not of gentle blood’. The English losses were two knights, forty ‘others’ and some ‘few dozen’ Welsh. The unchallenged dominance of knights on the battlefield started to die there too.

T edit

All right, I was Welsh, does it matter? … My word for heaven was not yours.
The word for hell had a sharp edge
Put on it by the hand of the wind
Honing, honing with a shrill sound
Day and night. ~ R. S. Thomas
Even God had a Welsh name:
He spoke to him in the old language;
He was to have a peculiar care
For the Welsh people. ~ R. S. Thomas
  • Years and years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the colour of red-flannel petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlours, and we chased, with the jawbones of deacons, the English and the bears, before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the daft and happy hills bareback, it snowed and it snowed.
  • There are still parts of Wales where the only concession to gaiety is a striped shroud.
  • All right, I was Welsh. Does it matter?
    I spoke a tongue that was passed on
    To me in the place I happened to be,
    A place huddled between grey walls
    Of cloud for at least half the year.
    My word for heaven was not yours.
    The word for hell had a sharp edge
    Put on it by the hand of the wind
    Honing, honing with a shrill sound
    Day and night. Nothing that Glyn Dwr
    Knew was armour against the rain's
    Missiles. What was descent from him?
  • Even God had a Welsh name:
    He spoke to him in the old language;
    He was to have a peculiar care
    For the Welsh people. History showed us
    He was too big to be nailed to the wall
    Of a stone chapel, yet still we crammed him
    Between the boards of a black book.
  • You are Welsh, they said;
    Speak to us so
    ; keep your fields free
    Of the smell of petrol, the loud roar
    Of hot tractors; we must have peace
    And quietness.

External links edit

  •   Encyclopedic article on Wales on Wikipedia
  •   Media related to Wales on Wikimedia Commons
  •   Wales travel guide from Wikivoyage
  •   The dictionary definition of Wales on Wiktionary
  •   Works related to Portal:Wales on Wikisource