Plaid Cymru History

  • Penyberth – New Research on Old Bailey Switch

    New research reveals that the controversial transfer of the Penyberth Bombing School trial from Wales to London was engineered by a local police chief rather than the Westminster government.

    Three of the Plaid Cymru’s leading members, Saunders Lewis, Lewis Valentine and DJ Williams were imprisoned following the burning of the bombing school under construction at Penyberth near Pwllheli in September 1936.

    The move of the trial to the Old Bailey came after a jury in Caernarfon had failed to find the Three guilty of committing the damage and caused a major furore in Wales.  Former Prime Minster David Lloyd George was one of many who blamed the government of the day – “They crumple when tackled by Mussolini and Hitler, but they take it out on the smallest country in the realm,” he said, “This is the First Government that has tried Wales at the Old Bailey.”

    Now freshly published research by ...

    More 25/08/2023
  • Brian Arnold (1941-2023)

    Writing a posthumous appreciation of Brian Arnold and his contribution to the stability and success of Plaid Cymru in Pontypridd, the Cynon Valley (to which Ynysybwl belonged administratively) and the valleys of mid-Glamorgan is an unsought privilege.

    It is a privilege because he was such a steadfast and upstanding character in personal and political terms and, because, over a period of sixty years or so, it was an honour to have counted him a good friend. It is unsought for the same reasons.

    It has been said in other tributes to Brian (by Heledd Fychan A.S. on-line and David Walters in Clochdar, April, 2023, pp.14-15) that his inspiration for joining Plaid Cymru in 1957, at the age of 16, was Gwynfor Evans’ leadership of the Party and the latter’s statement that Wales was a ...

    More 26/07/2023
  • Fighting Poverty – Plaid’s Role over the Years

     

    Valuable information has come to light about Plaid Cymru’s role in combating poverty in the nineteen thirties.

    Papers transferred to the care of the Plaid Cymru History Society by Siôn ap Glyn show the extent of practical work done to help unemployed people and their families in underprivileged areas in the North and South.  ‘Clybiau Cinio Difiau’ – Thursday Dinner Clubs – were set up by Plaid Cymru during the Great Depression which hit Wales especially hard nearly ninety years ago, by a small party that had been launched barely a decade before.

    As pointed out by Saunders Lewis, Plaid Cymru’s President at the time, the aim was for people in employment to help those less fortunate by foregoing one meal a week and giving sixpence to provide food for the unemployed.  Thursday was the day suggested to hold the dinner clubs, mainly because by Thursday many poor families would run out ...

    More 28/02/2023
  • Legal Aspects of the Penyberth Case

    Thursday 10 August at the Eisteddfod in Boduan, a lecture was given by the barrister, author and academic, Keith Bush, who is a Fellow of Welsh Law at the Wales Governance Centre.

    Legal Aspects of the Penyberth Case

    (Lecture delivered by the author (as “Agweddau Cyfreithiol Achos Penyberth”) on behalf of the Plaid Cymru History Society at the National Eisteddfod, Boduan, August 2023)

    The Penyberth case

    On 19th January 1937, at the Old Bailey in London, Saunders Lewis, Lewis Valentine and D. J. Williams (“the Three”) were found guilty of property damage, contrary to sections 5 and 51 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861. They were sent to jail for 9 months. The basis of ...

    More 12/08/2023
  • Charlotte Aull Davies, 1942-2023

    A talented American and a Welsh patriot

    Dafydd Williams

    One day in the mid-1970s, a young American woman walked into Plaid Cymru’s headquarters in Cardiff.  Charlotte Aull  had set her mind on finding out everything she could about Wales and its national movement. The plan was to return over the Atlantic once her PhD was complete, but – fortunately for Wales – things turned out otherwise.

    Charlotte was born in Lexington, Kentucky, one of three children.  She took a degree in mathematics and then an MSc in Mississippi University before switching to social anthropology, the study of communities and their culture.  And for her PhD in North Carolina, she chose Wales as the focus of her study.

    Charlotte had a quiet demeanour and a pleasant personality, but she was no shrinking violet.  Hours after landing in ...

    More 19/07/2023
  • Wil Roberts 1943 – 2022

    Wil Roberts, or Wil Coed as he was universally known, was a well-known figure in Plaid Cymru who died in October 2022.  He played an active role in all the party’s campaigns from the nineteen sixties and served as secretary of the Pwllheli branch.  Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley delivered the eulogy in his funeral which we publish in full.

    Translation of the Funeral Tribute by Dafydd Wigley
    to the late Wil Roberts.

    Dear Friends,

    I would give anything not to be here today; but nothing would have stopped me from accepting the invitation from Siw and the family, for me to pay this tribute, on behalf of Elinor and myself,  to one who was such a friend to us all, in differing ways and at different stages of our lives. He was ...

    More 17/11/2022