Friday, November 29, 2013

The Welsh Ivy

 Some long time readers might recall a post about the Welsh republicans in the 1950's. On that note, here is an explanation of the Welsh equivalent of the Easter Lilly . Do remember to wear an ivy - or stick up one of the following designs (see photo and links below)- as a gesture of support.



DECEMBER 11- WEAR YOUR IVY

Irishmen wear an Easter Lilly to honor their dead, specifically on Easter Sunday; the English, a poppy on November 11; the Scottish, a thistle; but were you ever told of the Welsh day of mourning and its symbol?

On December 11, 1282 , Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last independent Prince of Wales (thereafter known as "Llewlyn the Last") met the forces of King Edward I at the Battle of Orewin Bridge. It was the culmination of decades of struggle between Norman expansionism and the Welsh princes and leaders, many of whom had made peace (or compromised) before but were forced into rebellion by Norman taxes, laws, and aggression against those who remained independent.

During the battle, Llywelyn was separated from his army under questionable circumstances and ambushed near the town of Cilmeri, along with 18 of his guards, retainers and chaplains who were with him. As he lay dying he revealed his identity and was executed on the spot. His head was afterwards cut off and paraded through London where they crowned it in ivy in mockery.
   Llywelyn's 18 companions were killed as well, along with most of his army. His brother Daffydd fought on for a short period but was captured and became the first recorded person to be hung, drawn, and quartered.
Wales, effectively leaderless, was soon after brought under British rule and has remained so since.

Llywelyn's death has come to symbolize the death of the Welsh nation as a whole. On December 11th Welsh nationalists wear an Ivy in honor of Llywelyn and many others from then to now who fought and died for their freedom.

Cofiwn- Remember

***
    Gethin ap Gruffydd, along with the late Tony Lewis, has done much to put the Ivy campaign back in public consciousness in recent decades. At the following link he has some photos, background, and creative ideas:
http://ymgyrchtreftadaeth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/cofiwn-1282-wearing-ivy-leaf-in-memory.html

Informative website (Official Commemorative group):
http://www.cilmeri.org/eng/

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