Mark Drakeford moved by historic letter asking French to assist struggle ‘barbarous’ English | Welsh politics

Owain Glyndŵr, the Welsh rebel leader, at the head of his troops in this Edwardian painting by AC Michael.

The Welsh first minister has spoken of his emotion on the “up to date resonances” he perceived in a letter written by a Fifteenth-century Prince of Wales envisioning a rustic free from the rule of the “barbarous” English.

Throughout a go to to France, Mark Drakeford stated he was moved by the Pennal letter despatched by Owain Glyndŵr to the king of France, Charles VI, in 1406 asking for assist in his struggle in opposition to English rule.

Drakeford was proven the unique of the letter on the French nationwide archive in Paris throughout a visit geared toward strengthening political, enterprise, cultural and sporting hyperlinks between Wales and France.

Within the letter, Glyndŵr stated he wished to create a Welsh church free from the authority of Canterbury and that clergy ought to have the ability to communicate Welsh. He talked of founding two universities.

Drakeford stated: “The Pennal letter might be essentially the most single celebrated letter in Welsh historical past, written by Owain Glyndŵr to the French king asking for assist in his marketing campaign in opposition to the barbarian English, because it says within the letter.

“I discovered it a transferring expertise. I used to be struck by the up to date resonances it has, not in relation to what it says about inside UK issues, however the pitch of the letter is that Glyndŵr would set up a separate Welsh church with its headquarters in St David’s in south-west Wales and located two new universities, one within the north, one within the south.

Owain Glyndŵr, the Welsh rebel leader, at the head of his troops in this Edwardian painting by AC Michael.
Owain Glyndŵr, the Welsh insurgent chief, on the head of his troops on this Edwardian portray by AC Michael. {Photograph}: Lordprice Assortment/Alamy

“And it could be a requirement of any clergy coaching for the ministry that they’d have the ability to provide companies in linguam nostram – our language, the Welsh language.”

There was rising curiosity over latest years within the concept of Welsh independence. Drakeford has been essential of the strategy of some Tory politicians in Westminster to devolution however helps a robust Wales inside the union. Rising the variety of Welsh audio system is a key Welsh authorities intention.

Drakeford’s go to marks the beginning of Wales in France, a year-long celebration of hyperlinks between the nations. France is Wales’ second largest export vacation spot after Germany, with Welsh exports there valued at simply over £1.8bn in 2020.

Drakeford, who will attend the France v Wales Six Nations rugby match within the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday, stated the letter was a reminder that the connection went again “centuries and centuries”.