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Discussion:

When did Cornwall become England?

Messages  561 - 565 of 565

 
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Message 561 - posted by Stan_Nary, Dec 28, 2006

"A detached observer may reasonably conclude that the royal fortune obtained by successive Dukes from the Cornish Stannary mining system, initiated in place of imposing a general taxation on the English public for the upkeep of the heir to the throne over a period of six centuries, might warrant the exclusion of the Cornish Stannary Parliament from the English legal system under claims of acting in the national interest of the national majority.

As if Britain was terra nova when the Anglo-Saxons arrived c.450AD. "


cornishstannaryparli...

We're taking them to court over this!

Bring it on!!
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Message 562 - posted by new forest polecat, Dec 28, 2006

We're taking them to court over this!

<laugh> ere twernt us twas them! <laugh>
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Message 563 - posted by new forest polecat, Dec 28, 2006

<laugh><laugh><laugh><laugh><laugh><laugh><laugh>
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Message 564 - posted by Kenver, Dec 30, 2006

"A detached observer may reasonably conclude that the royal fortune obtained by successive Dukes from the Cornish Stannary mining system, initiated in place of imposing a general taxation on the English public for the upkeep of the heir to the throne over a period of six centuries, might warrant the exclusion of the Cornish Stannary Parliament from the English legal system under claims of acting in the national interest of the national majority.

As if Britain was terra nova when the Anglo-Saxons arrived c.450AD. "


cornishstannaryparli...

We're taking them to court over this!

Bring it on!!

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www.thisisnotcornwal...
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Message 565 - posted by Plymouth Exile, Jan 3, 2007

You clearly do not understand the difference between antiquarians and historians. THere is a big difference which if you were a historian you would understand. Antiquarians do not follow the same level of critical analysis - but rely on legend and dubious evidence to describe the past.

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What evidence do you have that writers such as Risdon were antiquarians, and who were the ‘true historians’ living at that time? Risdon has always been referred to as a chronicler, and a chronicle is defined as a register of events in order of time; a history.
Yes products of their time - but not historians. Actually in Stenton's time the theory wasn't groundless at all. Both primary written evidence and cultural and linguistic changes argued the case for what Stenton was saying. What stenton didn't have access to was the increasing material evidence from archaeology and additional written sources that we have today.

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Come off it, there was plenty of evidence available in Stenton’s time to imply that Britons survived in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in significant numbers, e.g. the Saxon law codes. He would not have known the extent of that survival, but he had no excuse for assuming that it was very small or negligible.

Actually it was archaeology that has changed the viewpoint not genetics. Genetics is a new tool and is potentially useful in some contexts but is never going to tell us any more than something about population movements on a macro scale. Science can assist historians but it is no substitute for proper analysis of the sources.

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Archaeology did indeed give added credence to primary historical evidence of British survival, but it was not until the latest advances in the science of population genetics (e.g. Phylogeography analysis) that the true extent of that survival on a regional/local basis became obvious.

If you want some evidence from early medieval Devon then I suggest you look at Della Hooke (1994) Pre-Conquest Charter-Bounds of Devon and Cornwall. This volume contains primary source material for Early Medieval Devon written in English and Latin. What they show is that even at this early stage the culture (placenames and personal names) that is associated with a spoken language is entirely in English. There is not a single example of an old cornish (or Brittonic form) that indicates continued usage. The best you can find is some anglicised forms (even at this early period) of topographical features. Pearce gives a thorough summary of this written evidence to back up her view that British was not spoken in Devon by 800s. In contrast the cornish evidence is both later and demonstrates substantial celtic usage both in placenames and personalnames.

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Are you not aware that the form and spelling of place-names included in early charter bounds tells you more about the language of the persons who wrote the document than about the majority of the peasantry living in the area? Even in Cornwall there were place-names of English origin at the time when the Domesday book was written (e.g. Blisland), but one cannot conclude that Cornish was not the spoken language of the peasantry on the west side of Bodmin Moor in 1086. There are even Anglicised corruptions in West Cornwall, some with added English terms in medieval times (e.g. Helford was ‘Helleford’ in 1230, from ‘heyl’ plus English ‘ford’, and Helston was ‘Henlistone’, from ‘hen liss’ plus English ‘tun’ in 1086). To say that there were no Brittonic forms in Devon at this time, or that even the corrupted forms were only of topographical features is entirely false. There were place-names with attested Brittonic origins, which contained Brittonic elements for such non-topographical words as: fortified place, court, sty, house, cradle, black, fort, goat, summer, church site (enclosure), large, sacred, kiln, lime, auger, small, thornbrake, white, fertile, strong, generous, district, stronger, rim, etc.

Susan Pearce most certainly does not claim that a British language was no longer spoken in Devon by the 800s in her book “South-western Britain in the Early Middle Ages” (2004). Quite the contrary, she suggests that in the 10th century British speech was still in use in parts of Devon and even Somerset. Even when the process of English acculturation became complete in Somerset and Dorset, this was only partially the case in Devon where the situation was more mixed. (see pages 273 and 275)

Incidentally, the few Cornish people mentioned in the Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre (1238) do not have distinctively Cornish names, yet the Cornish language was still in common usage throughout most of Cornwall at that time, so the absence of distinctively Celtic names do not necessarily imply the absence of Brythonic speech. The names of Cornish people mentioned were John, Peter, Alice, Rannulph, Reginald and William.

Actually it probably does mean it is the most likely explanation. In Cornwall there are lots of celtic placenames which are not recorded until that period but that have ancient elements that show that the placename was present in the preconquest period. A carefull examination of Padel will indicate plenty of these.

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Hoskins remarked on the number of Devon names with Brittonic origins, which first appeared in the records in the 13th century, for a good reason, i.e. that the relative percentage of these was higher than for the names of Old-English origin.

I've no doubt that they may have attested Brythonic origins. I severely doubt that they have Middle Cornish elements in them. Regardless of this point, though the numbers are too little to claim that they represent a middle medieval survival of celtic speaking populus in Devon.

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The attested Brythonic elements in these names are ones, which Padel states to be Middle Cornish in origin, so what you wish to believe is entirely irrelevant. I never claimed a Celtic speaking populous of Devon in the 13th and 14th centuries, but only a residual number of Brythonic speakers at that time, just like the situation in West Cornwall during the 18th century.

As for numbers, the ones I quoted were the major names included in the survey, but there are a number of minor names that were not included but seem to contain similar elements.


not attested and in your view only - hardly conclusive evidence - are there enough to count on more than one hand?

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Yes.

I certainly wouldn’t rely on your ‘professional’ (joke) judgement, and based on some of the rubbish that Stoyle and Payton have managed to produce, I am not so sure about them either.


I'll leave readers to work out who's more professional me or thee - some one educated to post-grad level in the field or someone who's not - at least I know what constitutes primary evidence.

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I don’t know when you completed your post-grad studies, but you clearly haven’t kept up to speed on the subject since then. As for Payton being a serious reference for the era under consideration, I note that none of his publications figure in Pearce’s (2004) bibliography, I wonder why.

The problem is your interpretation of these writers - without full referencing your claims cannot be easily validated by you.

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Do I really have to tediously repeat myself? I have given full references for Hoskins (1954), Coates and Breeze (2000), and Padel (1985 and 1988) in previous messages. If you did not pay attention then, this merely reflects on your academic ability (or lack of).

There must be a reason why a few of the attested Brythonic place-names are in Middle Cornish form. Your contention that these names had been put there by Cornishmen, is not only childishly ridiculous, but there is no evidence for it whatsoever (thus not adhering to your own ‘claimed’ requirement for primary evidence). Yet again the existence of these names could easily be explained if Brythonic speech persisted in Devon beyond 1200AD.


Again pure speculation on your part with no real evidence to back it up.

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In that case, why are you unable to come up with a sensible alternative, as opposed to the ‘put there by Cornishmen’ nonsense? I ask you yet again for a sensible/logical alternative explanation.

The reason there is limited middle Cornish forms is down to two effects
1. The change from Cornish to English pre-change
2. THe Written conservatism associated with the Cornish language being under pressure.

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Either of these reasons could equally apply to post Conquest Devon.

Despite this there are still dozens of examples of mid-Cornish change showing medieval Cornish use in East Cornwall - many of them then revert back to the Conservative form when English takes over.
Can you find more than a handful (5) in Devon?

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Yes.

The evidence presented in the (full) references that I gave clearly convinced Professor Coates. What you choose to believe is entirely inconsequential.


Hasn't convinced anyone else though has it?

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It clearly convinced the authors of the (several) academic references that I gave in my message, but which you chose to ignore (as usual).

Considering all of the above, I would contend that by far the most likely explanation for the presence of ‘Walensis’ in parts of Devon in 1238, is that they were native Devonian Brythonic speakers. Any other explanations would raise many more questions than they answer.


Depends on the numbers involved - bu then you haven't indicated that have you?

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It does not depend on the absolute numbers of ‘Walensis’ included in the Crown Pleas, but on the percentage of ‘Walensis’ out of the total number of persons mentioned. The percentage is significant, but I do not have either the time or inclination to count all of the names in the book (discounting repetitions). Also, the Crown Pleas recorded instances where the Crown looked to gain revenue by way of fines from persons convicted of crimes. In his introduction, Summerson therefore notes that usually only cases involving accused persons with significant ‘chattels’ were tried in these assizes. By this time, the majority of the Brythonic speaking remnant would have been penniless peasants with very few (or no) chattels, so they would have been tried in other courts if they had been accused of offences. It is therefore likely that the ‘Walensis’ mentioned in the Crown Pleas would have represented the tip of the iceberg.

However, if the ‘Walensis’ mentioned in the Crown Pleas had really been Welsh speaking Welshmen (from Wales), one might expect to find that a good number of them possessed Welsh names (as many still do), yet we only find typically non-Welsh names like Alan, Gilbert, John (several), Lawrence, Matilda, Robert, Roger, Walter, William, etc, i.e. the sort of names one would expect to find among native Devonians.

If you say that this evidence “can too easily be blown apart”, you will undoubtedly be able to give satisfactory explanations to all of the unanswered questions that such ‘blowing apart’ entails, won’t you?


Well I've made a start on it and you can't seem to provide any evidence to counter these arguments apart from personal bile

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I wouldn’t even call your efforts ‘a start’, and most of your (alternative) arguments (e.g. Cornishmen putting place-names in Devon) are so utterly absurd that they do not even merit countering. Next you will be accusing Devonians of putting most of the (many) English origin place-names in Cornwall.

Careful analysis of this link shows the inaccuracy of your statement - don't take my word for it - check out what Pearce says about the British in Exeter.

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I did, see page 273. Nowhere does Pearce state that British speech came to an end in Exeter (or the rest of Devon) in (or before) the 10th century.

The standard historical interpretation is that Brythonic ceased in Devon before the Normans - no single historian is arguing that it does continue into the norman period.

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I know of no reputable historian who has presented primary evidence for Brythonic speech coming to an end in Devon prior to the Norman Conquest. Some may have assumed that it did, but they have no real evidence for such an assumption. In most cases, such an assumption would have been based on the (now outdated/flawed) notion that Devon had been swamped by Anglo-Saxons during this period.

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