Huw Llywelyn Rees


 

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19th January

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By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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Born this day 1810 at the Harp Inn, Llanfairtalhaearn, Denbighshire.

Talhaiarn, (the "Welsh Burns"), which was the bardic name of John Jones, architect and poet.

After leaving school Jones became a joiner and then flourished as a talented architect who worked with the Rothschilds in France and was a superintendent of the building of the Crystal Palace, but despite his success as an architect, his burning passion was poetry and his ambition was to win the National Eisteddfod chair, which he never acheived, although he was accepted into Gorsedd y Beirdd in Bala in 1869.   Severe arthritis forced him to retire and return home to the ‘Harp, where in 1869 he commited suicide, which it is thought he was driven to by a combination of his severe arthritic condition and the bitterness he felt at never winning the Eisteddfod chair.

He wrote the Welsh lyrics for the military march "Men of Harlech",  published in Volume II of the 1862 collection Welsh Melodies, the song is said to describe events during the seven-year long siege of Harlech Castle, during the War of the Roses, between 1461 and 1468, where under the command of Constable Dafydd ap Ieuan, the Lancastrians held the castle, until it was taken by Lord Herbert of Raglan on the Yorkist side, in what is the longest known siege in the history of the British Isles.  


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Lady Lucy Herbert (1669 – 19 January 1744) was probably born at Powis Castle near Welshpool and was a prominent Roman Catholic during the reign of James II and at the time of The Glorious Revolution

Background;

In 1685, King James II's policies of religious tolerance met with increasing opposition from those unhappy by his Catholicism and his close ties with Catholic France. The situation became more critical, when the King's son, James Francis Edward Stuart was born, as it displaced the king's Protestant daughter Mary as the heir apparent and made the return of a Catholic monarch more likely.

However, at the invitation of influential Protestant leaders, Mary's husband, William of Orange led a large invasion fleet in 1688, which resulted in James's regime collapsing.  James fled to France and with French assistance landed in Ireland in 1689 in an attempt to regain his throne, however, he was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July 1690 and fled to France once more, never to return. 

 Lucy's father was William Herbert,  1st Marquess of Powis, who was perhaps the countries leading Catholic of the time and accompanied James II to both France and Ireland.  When Catholic institutions became illegal in Britain, parents who could afford it and wanted their daughters brought up as Catholics often shipped them off to convents in France or the Low Countries.  This was the case with Lucy Herbert, who was sent to the English Augustinians at Bruges, where she  wrote a series of books recording her life at the convent, which have become valuable historical texts.  She was also was elected Mother Superior in 1690.  


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On 19th January 2009, The Cardiff International Sports Stadium in the Leckwith area of Cardiff was opened, replacing the old Cardiff Athletics Stadium.  The stadium is part of the major Leckwith Development which includes the new football and rugby stadium, the Cardiff City Stadium (home of Cardiff City F.C) and a retail park.  It is the headquarters of Welsh Athletics—the sport's governing body for Wales.


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Bronze Age Wales

The Bronze Age in Britain is considered to have been the period when migration brought new people to the islands, in particular from the area of modern Switzerland and was a time of significant cultural change. 

Copper tools first appeared in Wales about 2500 BC, with most of the copper coming from the mine on the Great Orme, near Llandudno.  These were followed by bronze tools, bronze being an alloy of copper and tin and the tin being sourced from the mines in Devon and Cornwall.  Mining at the Great Orme reached very large scales during the middle Bronze Age (1600–1200 BC) with the mine extended to a depth of 70 metres and it became a major source of copper for much of western Europe. 

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