History of Britain From The Flood To A.D. 700 | Part One
Compiled from the various ancient records
BY RICHARD WILLIAMS MORGAN
THE MARSHALL PRESS, LTD. MILFORD LANE STRAND W.C.2 1933
Printed in Great Britain by The Marshall Press, Ltd., London.
THE history of the great Gomeric or Kimbric race constitutes the grandest drama of old or modern times. It is the primogenital family of mankind; and as such we find its various divisions established under the same or very slightly modified names in different countries in the earliest dawn of tradition and letters. Around the shores of the Black Sea, they were known as Cimmerioi; in Caucasus, Armenia and Bactria, as Gomarai; in the Baltic, Chersonese, and Scandinavia, as Cimbri; in Italy, as Chumbri or Umbri; in Britain, as the Kymry. From them have sprung the nations which have led and still lead the destinies of civilization—the Persian and Parthian in ancient Asia—the Roman in Italy—the Norman of the medieval—the Briton elf the present era. Of this family, the Keltic race of France, Spain, and Ireland, are the junior branches. “The Kelts are acknowledged,” states Diodorus Siculus, “to be a very ancient people—they are nevertheless but, the children of the Kimbri.” To write the annals of the whole Gomeric family of nations, would far exceed the powers of one life. Touching only when the subject imperatively demanded it on the history of the other branches, this little volume gives merely the leading incidents in that of the oldest—the Kymry of our island.
Each era has been examined, and an estimate of its character formed by the light of its own facts, independent of the opinions, pro or con, of any preceding historian. The result is what may be termed a British view of British history. Due weight has been allowed to all sober-minded objections of the sceptic school, with reference to the more remote periods; but common sense points out that in writing history, no stricter evidence than each several era and its circumstances supply can be summoned, or indeed admitted, into court. The application of one indiscriminating standard of evidence to times and states of widely different conditions is an absurdity which can only end in destroying all history whatever—sacred no less than profane; process worthy of a savage or a Goth, but to which every lover of truth and civilization must oppose a front of indignant resistance. Differences in petty details are often the most unimpeachable of all evidences; each author, as in the case of the evangelists, describing his impressions of the main fact from his own point of observation. The captious and cavilling system of the sceptic school would, on the contrary, leave every nation without a history, or only such as on the face of it carried proof of collusion and dishonest agreement in its composition.
Of the historical views expressed in these pages, most are as old as the eras to which they refer, others are perhaps set in a new light and framing—some are original. From a period long anterior to the Roman invasion, a pure indigenous British literature has been perpetuated among the Kymry. Cambria, bounded on three sides by the sea, on the fourth, by a deep impetuous river, forms with its mountain masses—its defiles and gorges—its innumerable springs and rivulets—its hanging forests—its abundant pasturage, the most picturesque as the most impregnable natural fortress in Europe. Every hill, every glen, is a military position. Within its bounds—a camp in war, a Bardic hall in peace—the harp has never been silent—the spirit of the poet has never been quenched—the heart of the nation has never ceased to pour forth its emotions in the same tongue the Kymry of Asia first brought from the Crimea and the Caucasus. Every successive foreign invader of Britain has given his own version of conquest or defeat. The philosophic student may well exclaim, “Here in the most beautiful part of the island are the original race of Britain, whom all these invasions have failed to dispossess of their patrimony, or deprive of their language—what is their version of these transactions, of British history in general?” It is given in these “Outlines,” leaving the reader whenever such version comes into collision with the hostile or foreign one—as British and Continental accounts of the same action always have and always will conflict-,to decide between them.
The notion so sedulously inculcated, first by Pagan, then by Papal Rome, that all nations except the two occupying the little Peninsulas of Greece and Italy were barbarians, may be now classed amongst the obsolete impositions on medieval credulity. Modern literature in resenting it appears inclined to rush into the opposite extreme, and to deny early Greece or Rome any authentic annals at all. We may ridicule the old Greek and Roman vanity, as we do that of the Chinese, for classing the formidable Briton amongst “ the outer barbarians,” and for ignoring all other civilization but their own deeply corrupt and immoral one. It must at the same time be conceded, that the Roman polity did not commence with the first Latin authors, whose date is barely a century before Julius Cesar, and that the refinement of the pre-historic age, which could produce an Iliad, was something very wide indeed from a myth. The nineteenth century might congratulate itself if it could turn out a “myth” of the same immortal stamp.
The Trojan descent of the Britons has been assigned the place to which it is substantially entitled in this history. It solves the numerous and very peculiar agreements in the social and military systems of pre-historic Britain and Asia which would otherwise remain inexplicable. It has always been consistently maintained by native authorities, and by extending the circle of researches, it is found – to receive ample and unexpected confirmations from the earliest documents of Italy, Gaul, Bretagne, Spain, and even Iceland.
On equally solid grounds of evidence, the social state of Britain has been described as from its first settlement by Hu the Mighty, that of a civilized and polished community. Had no other monument of Kymric antiquity but the Code of British Laws of Molmutius (B.C. 600), which still forms the basis of our common or unwritten law, descended to us, we could not doubt that we were handling the index of civilization of a very high order. In such a code we possess not only the most splendid relic of pre-Roman Europe, but the key to all our British, as contra-distinguished from – Continental institutions. After perusing it, we stand amazed at the blindness which wanders groping for the origin of British rights and liberties in the swamps of the motherland of feudal serfdom-Germany. We need not go so far as to affirm, with a learned author, that “barbarism and slavish institutions first entered Britain with the German Saxon”; but we may safely contend that no part of the Continent could supply Britain with what it never possessed itself. British spirit and freedom are wholly of native British origin, and out of Britain they are imitations or fallacies, not realities. The Continent is an aggregate of nations ruled on the despotic principle. The Anglo-Saxon of America returns out of Britain to just what the Anglo-Saxon of Germany and England was—a seller and driver of slaves.
A similar examination of the literary remains of the court of Arthur—of the vast vestiges of his palaces—of the narrative of his foreign campaigns which encounter us in the records of the conquered countries themselves—the groups of churches founded by and retaining the names of his knights, afford proofs above suspicion that the traditional European view of this monarch as the great Christian conqueror of the Pagan hordes who overthrew the Roman empire and not a petty heroic prince, the Achilles of his age, is also the true historical one. So far have the Norman minstrels been from exaggerating the glories of his career, that the author is convinced, from the evidences he has collected, they have fallen short of them. They have dwelt too much on the martial—too little on the moral splendour of his reign. No king has received so much justice at the hands of the people and of nations, and so much injustice at the hands of closet historians as this truly British sovereign—no visionary ideal of that union of heroism, gentleness, and religion, which is conveyed by the word chivalry.
The Roman Catholic Church has no pretensions to being the primitive or apostolic church of Britain. It came in so late as a century a half after the Saxon, and four centuries after the national establishment of the native British church. The historical data connected with the foundation and progress of the latter will be found in the respective eras.
The author cannot flatter himself with the expectation that all his readers will approve of the views submitted to them; but, with whatever eye the history of the Kymry of Britain is read, there must be much in it to rivet the attention of the statesman, the philosopher, and the poet. There must be something worth studying in the constitution and spirit of a race whom forty centuries have failed to destroy or demoralize—who have seen empires and literatures pass away like summer clouds—who have fought for ages foot to foot, not with feeble Asiatics, but with the most warlike nations of Europe and the North—Roman, Saxon, Dane, and Norman—whose Principality is the dust of patriots—whose exhaustless vitality still supplies Pictons, Combermeres, Notts, to support the honour of Britain—amongst whom the Bardic gatherings are still popular institutions, and whose peasantry are now as distinguished for their freedom from crime, as they were in past ages for their unbought patriotism and valour.
R. W. M.
August 7th, 1857.
AUTHORITIES CONSULTED IN THE FOLLOWING OUTLINES
Histories Britannica (Record Commission.)—Historic Triads of Britain.—Laws of Dyfnwal Moelmud.—Remains of Druidic Philosophy.—Iolo M.S.S.—Tyssilio’s History.—Sagae of Scandinavia, Denmark, and Iceland.—Ancient Records of Gaul. Chronicles of Friezeland.—Cato de Originibus.—Sempronius. —Servius in Virgilium—Cesar.—Plutarch.—Diodorns Siculus. Dion Halicarnassensis.—Autores Augustini. Ammianus Marcellinus. — Tacitus. Zosimus. — The Ecclesiastical Historians of the Middle Ages.—Bede.—Gildas.—Saxon Chronicle. — Sheringham de Origine Anglian Gentis. — Bochart.—Bunsen’s Christianity and Mankind.—Prichard’s Etymological Works.—Remains of the Arthurian Era.—Toland’s Druids.—History of Ireland from the Gaelic, (Irish Record Commission.)—Poste’s Britannic Researches.—Poste’s Coins of Cymbeline.—Llwyd’s Breviary of Britain.—Zeuss on the Kymric and Gaelic Languages.—Lyson’s “ Britannia Romana.“—Herbert’s “Cyclops.“—Boxhornius’ Gallia.—Tower Records.—Records of Carnarvon.—Rymer’s Foedera.—Higgin’s Celtic Druids.—Hindoo Mythology.—Archbishop Usher, Archbishop Parker, Alford.—Baronius.—Greek Menologies.-Cressy.—Neuistria Sacra.—Monumens Celtiques.—King’s “ Monuments Antiqua.“—&c., &c.
HISTORY OF BRITAIN
THE FIRST, OR GOMERIC ERA.
THE Mountain Ridge of the Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian Seas, forms the back-bone of the Old World. Its extension Southward and South-Westward constitutes the Highland Plateau of Armenia, the centre of which is occupied by Mount Ararat. This Plateau is now universally admitted to be the Cradle of Mankind. On Ararat the Ark rested,—round its roots Noah, his sons, and their families settled. No position on the surface of the globe commands such facilities for peopling its various quarters: in every direction seas and vast water-courses opened up natural channels of exploration to the Progenitors of the Human Family.
The Sons of Noah were three,—Japhet the eldest, Shem the second, and Ham the youngest. The descendants of Ham, following the sea-coast of Palestine, entered the valley of the Nile, founded the Egyptian Empire, and overspread the still mysterious continent of Africa. They form the Ammonitic race. The descendants of Shem, guiding themselves by the double streams of the Tigris and Euphrates, took possession of the fertile plains of Mesopotamia, and thence colonized all Asia. These form the Semitic race. The North and West remained the patrimony of Japhet the eldest born, and in right of such Primogeniture the Heir of the World. He had seven sons, each of whom became the Protal Father of one of the seven Nations that make up the great Japhetic race,—viz., Chomr or Gomer the eldest, the Father of the Kymry, or Cimbri; Magog, the Father of the Magogidæ, or Scythians; Madai, the Father of the Medes; Javan, the Father of the Ionians or Hellenes, (afterwards called Greeks); Tubal, the Father of the Iberians, now called Spaniards; Meshech, or Mosoch, the Father of the Moscovites, now more generally known as Russians; and Tiras, the Father of the Thracians. These seven nations, being derived from Japhet, occupied in process of time the whole North and West from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea, and from the Uralian Mountains to the Atlantic Coast.
The present little work confines itself to an Out-line of the History of the Eldest of these Races—the Children of Gomer.
The Mosaic Record is the only authentic Eastern document, History possesses on the subject of the primitive colonization of the World by the Noachidæ, or children of Noah. Modern researches have done little more than confirm and illustrate its statements. Clear and convincing in itself, the Scripture narrative solves also — what no other account attempts to do—the phenomenon of the radical Unity of all the Languages and Nations of Europe. Originally one Family and one Tongue, the differences now found amongst them were slowly and imperceptibly produced by differences in climate, diet, religion, customs, education, and government. All mankind are of one blood—all come originally from one spot, Armenia in Asia; but in this Unity it has pleased God there should be varieties of constitutions and temperaments, pre-adapting them for the various climates which he had before appointed to be the bounds of their habitations (Acts xvii. 26.) These varieties constitute so many distinct Nationalities with so many distinct characteristics. Such Nationalities are great and living ordinances of God. Europe is still divided among them much the same as their Patriarchs were commanded by the Almighty to partition it among themselves and their children. “ By these,” viz., the seven sons of Japhet, “were the Isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after their tongue, after their families, in their nations.” (Gen. x. 5.) Each of these nations had its own land assigned it, therein to cultivate the earth, and worship the Lord God, the Maker of all things visible and invisible. For any of these Nations to attempt to take its patrimony from another, was, it is evident, a great and unjustifiable wrong,—striking directly against the primitive ordinance of God. History, however, principally consists of such attempts—hence its pages are written in blood. The only just wars, on the other hand, are those waged by a people in defence of the land of their forefathers and of their indefeasible right to govern themselves therein.
Of the present divisions of Europe, Muscovy, or Russia, remains mainly peopled by its original race—the children of Meshech; so also do Gaul, or France, by the Kelts, a younger branch of the Kymry; Spain by the Celto-lberi—a fusion of the Kelts with the descendants of Tubal; Germany, or Almaen, by the descendants of Togarmah, second son of Gomer, largely mingled with the Magogidæ, or Scythians ; Italy by the Kymry, or Umbri, from whom derived the Romans of ancient and the Cisalpine Italians of modern times. But all these nations have by successive conquests been deprived again and again of their lands and rights—the foreign Conquerors in each forming the aristocracy and governing class. The Kymry of Cambria alone, through the vicissitudes of nearly forty centuries, are the only people in Europe or so far as history informs us, in the world—who have preserved their original language unchanged, and their original patrimony still in possession of their own race and nationality!
It is to be observed, that with the exception of the Hebrew Scriptures, we possess absolutely next to nothing of the literary productions of the great civilizations of ancient Asia and Africa. Persia has bequeathed to posterity but one solitary Hymn of Zoroaster. Chaldea, a few mutilated pages of her history, preserved for us in the pages of Josephus and Eusebius. Egypt has transmitted us two brief extracts from Manethe. Phoenicia, nothing. Carthage, an abridgement of one of Hanno’s voyages. All these fragments—the sole literary relics surviving the fall of Empires which once dominated mankind and revelled in social splendour and refinement—may be included in a dozen leaves of letter-press. With these trivial exceptions, the history of these Nations must be constructed from such material monuments as have survived the ravages of time, or it must be sought for in the notices of strangers.
The Jewish Scriptures stand by themselves, not only in the diversity and sublimity of their composition, but in their historical value ; they are also the only work the East has ever produced, before which the Japhetic mind has bowed down. All other Semitic writings have fallen dead upon it—they alone have struck the chord of man’s inner life and satisfied the universal craving of his soul; for this reason they will never cease to be the great Classic of every free people—they were intended by their Divine Author to be so. It is impossible for a Bible-reading nation to be a nation of slaves; for this reason the enemies of mental and spiritual Liberty have always been hostile to its free circulation.
Of the Nations of Ancient Europe, Scandinavia, Germania, Hispania, Sarmatia, have not left a single line of Poetry or History anterior to the Christian era. Yet we can safely collect from the evidences of Cesar and other classic writers, that Gaul and Spain were in political organization and military science little, if at all, inferior to Rome. By Plutarch’s account, two millions of Gauls fell in the ten campaigns carried on in defence of their country against Cesar. The campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte during twenty years -cost the same Gallia, in the nineteenth century, five millions of lives. The population and resources of the country must therefore, in the time of Cesar, have fallen not so far short of what they were half a century since as is generally sup-posed. The Cities were strongly fortified, many being celebrated for their architectural beauty; the country was well cultivated, large supplies of corn being everywhere obtainable for the Roman commissariat ; the mines were worked with skill and advantage; the science of ship-building as
developed in the navy of the Veneti, had attained a practical excellence, far in advance of what either the Romans or Greeks could boast. The commerce with Britain was conducted on a great scale, and reinforcements were constantly conveyed from its ports to its allies in the continent. Yet, with all these undoubted proofs of long established civilization, Prae-Roman Gaul is a literary blank,—not a stanza of her Martial Lyrics nor a sentence of her Philosophy having floated down to us as stray waifs on the current of time. Such being the case with Gaul, we have less reason to be surprised that Germania, Scandinavia, and Hispania, should not have left on record a single distich in written characters.
With Ancient Britain it was otherwise. It was the seat of the Great Japhetic or pure Gentile Religion ; that is, the Religion of Noah and his sons. Its Hierarchy united the important functions of the Magistrate, the Priest, the Philosopher, and the public Instructor. When it first came into con-tact with Rome, we see by Cesar’s account, that it was regarded as the Sacred Island of the West,—that although thousands of the Gauls were familiar with its coasts, roads, harbours, and institutions, he found it impossible, immediately the hostile character of his preparations against it were known, to elicit the slightest information on these points. He states, that all the Gallic Nobility were educated at the Druidic Colleges in Britain—that the matriculation in some cases lasted twenty years—that the course of Education embraced the profoundest subjects in Physical and Metaphysical Philosophy, and that the cultivation of the memory was carried to such perfection that many of the students could recite twenty thousand verses at pleasure. Such a description would prepare us for finding in connection with Britain a very different state of Letters, to the complete vacuum of all historic intelligence which prevailed in all the other countries of Western Europe. And investigation immediately justifies the anticipation: We discover that a pure British Literature has been perpetuated in this Island from the faintest dawn of History to the present time; and on comparing its earliest statements with those of the earliest Record of the East—the Jewish Scriptures, we are struck by their agreement and by the singular corroboration which, as wholly independent documents, they afford each other. This British Literature consists of “the Historic Triads of the Island of Britain,” of three hundred of which, one hundred and sixty only are extant,—of Bardic Poems, and of various fragments of Druidic Philosophy. We possess thus -four sources of information as to the Primitive Colonization and subsequent Annals of Britain,—the Scriptures—British Remains, in the British tongue—the Writers of Greece and Rome—Lithic or material evidence, such as camps, cromlechs, circles, temples, &c.
We have seen the Mosaic account of the manner in which the Isles of the Gentiles “ were peopled by the seven sons of Japhet”: We now give the Kymric tradition of the original colonization of this—more especially—the Great Gentile Island, by our forefathers, collected from the Triads and Druidic remains.
“Long before the Kymry came into Britain, the Llyn Llion, or Great Deep (literally the abyss of waters), broke up and inundated the whole earth.
The Island afterwards known as Britain shared the general catastrophe. One vessel floated over the waters,—this was the ship of Nevydd Nav Neivion. In it were two individuals preserved—Dwy Van (the Man of God), and Dwy Vach (the Woman of God). By the posterity of these two, the earth was gradually repeopled.
The ship of Nevydd Nav Neivion was built in Britain, and was one of its three Mighty Works.
For a long time after the subsiding of the Deluge, the Kymry dwelt in the Sumer Land, between the Sea of Afiz and Deffrobani’ The land being exposed to sea floods, they resolved under the guidance of Hu Gadarn, to seek again the White Island of the West, where their father, Dwy Van, had built the ship of Nevydd Nav Neivion (literally the work of the Creator Creators). They journeyed Westward towards the setting sun, being many in number and men of great heart and strength—(Cedeirn, mighty ones, giants). They came in sight of the Alps, and then part of their migration diverged Southward — these are the Kymry (Umbri) of Italy. The others, consisting of the three tribes of the Kymry, the Brython and the Lloegrwys, crossed the Alps. Along either side of the Alps, near the sea, part of the Lloegrwys settled ; these are the Ligurians of Italy and Gaul. Pursuing their (course still further they crossed the River of Eddies, the Slow River, the Rough River, the Bright River (the Rhone, the Arar, the Garonne, the Loire), till they reached Gwasgwyn, (Gascony, the Vine land). Thence they turned Northward, and part of the Brython settled in a land they named Lyldaw ar y Môr Ucha (the Land or expansion on the Upper Sea, Armorica).
The Kymry still held onward until they saw the cliffs of the White Island. Then they built ships, and in them passed over the Hazy Ocean (Môr Tawch), and took possession of the Island. And they found no living creature in it but bisons, elks, bears, beavers, and water-monsters. And they took possession of it not by war, nor by conquest, nor by oppression, but by the right of man over nature. And they sent to the Brythons in Llydaw, and to the Lloegrwys on the Continent, and to as many as came they gave the East and the North of the Island. And the Kymry dwelt in the West. These three Tribes were of one race, origin, and speech. These are the three Pacific Tribes of the Isle of Britain, because they came in mutual good-will, peace, and love; and over them reigned Hu the Mighty, the one rightful Sovereign of the Island. And they called the Island the White Island (Ynys Wen), and the Island of the mighty ones. Its name, Britain, or Prydain, was not yet known.”
This account is a very striking one: It’s date pre-cedes, by many centuries, the earliest Traditions of Greece and Rome. Its statements are in entire accordance with the results of the most recent investigations into the origin of Languages and Nations.
If the Kymry are not the Race of Gomer, then the eldest son of Japhet would be the only one of them who left neither name nor posterity. This could not have been, for Moses expressly records the sons of Gomer, and the promise of God was, that “Japhet should be enlarged.” (Gen. ix. 27.)
‘‘All the most ancient writers of Greece and Rome concur in stating that the Kymry, or Gomeridæ, were under appellations slightly varied, the Primo-genital or oldest Family in the world. Along their first habitation, the shores of the Euxine and the Sea of Azov, they were known as Kimri or Kimmerioi ; the Peninsula which formed part of their dominions retains their name Kimria, corrupted into Crimea. South of the Caucasian Range they were called Gomrai. This section allying themselves with the children of Madai, became the Medes of history. Another portion separating themselves from the main body, called themselves “ Parthwys “ (from the Kymric verb parthu, to separate). These in process of time rose to be the formidable Empire of the Parthians, or later Persians. Another great division on the route of the nation Westward, moved along the chain of the Appennines and be-came the Chymbri, or, dropping the guttural, the Umbri, or Humbri of Italy. These became the main stock from which sprung the Latins, Samnites, Sabines, Marsi, and other nations, which after-wards formed the Roman Confederacy. The Umbrian was the first Great Empire of Italy. It attained its acme 1,200 years before the Christian era, and its duration was celebrated as the Saturnian or Golden Age. Its Regal and Priestly Patriarchs became the Gods of the Roman Mythology. Their names are significant, defining their characters and offices, in the Kymric tongue ; but are wholly with-out meaning in any other language. The base of the population of ancient Italy being Kymric, the base of its language was, of course, Kymric also—hence the close affinity in vocabulary and construction between the Latin and the Kymric ; thousands of words being the same—the termination excepted, in each. We know the Latin to be based on the Kymric, not the Kymric on the Latin, because the words common to both are for the most part to be traced to their roots and primitive meanings in the Kymric only. So also the names of the oldest Latin families are of Kymric significance—such as Claudius, Catullus, Ilia, Cato, Pompeius, Lucullus, Camillus, Marcus, &c.
To the Umbrian Kings are to be ascribed the gigantic works, such as the Sewers of Umbrian Rome, the Cyclopean fortresses and temples, &c., constructed in the pre-historic ages of Italy their religion was the Patriarchal, or Druidic. Their empire gave way to the Tuscan or Etrurian ; three hundred of their cities, according to Cato, Pliny, and Solinus, falling into the hands of the conquerors. The Etrurian again gave way in Northern Italy about 600 B.C., to the Empire of the British Kymry under Belinus and Brennus.
The Locrians of Ancient Greece were also a sister-tribe of the Kymry—their name and dialect being the same as those of the Ligurians, Locrians, Lloegrians, of the lower Alps (Piedmont), and of Southern Britain.
Many of the most important positions in Armenia and around the Caucasus, retain their primitive Kymric names—Gumri (the Chief Fortress and Headquarters of the Russian Forces), Van (the Peak), Erivan (on the Peak, which Erivan is), Kars (the Stone-Fort), Trebizond (Trapezuntum) the Lower Town, &c.
So also the great natural features of Europe retain the names assigned them by the Kymri when they first penetrated its uninhabited forests and silent plains. Alp, in Kymric is the Rocky Mount; Apennini, “The White Heads”; “Cevennes, the Backs or Ridges; Pyrenees, the Spires; Don, the Wave; Tagus, the Stream; Loire, the Bright River; Pwyl or Hwyl, the Marsh; Rhên or Rhine, the Flooding River; Arar, the Slow, &c., &c.
Recent events have enabled us to compare the present aspects of the Caucasian Cambria, or Crimea, with that handed down in the Old British tradition. It is still what the latter describes it as being 3,500 years ago; the East of it covered by salt-lagoons; a large portion occupied by the Sivash or Putrid Sea ; the rest composed of spits, reefs, and sand banks. The Southern part, which they called the Summer Land (Gwlad yr Hâv), is now known to richly merit the title. It is the Naples of the Russian Empire. “The weather,” — writes the Times’ correspondent, from the Crimea, June 16th, 1855, — “is hot on the low-grounds, desperately hot, and even in the heights, the thermometer within doors ranges above 90 degrees in the daytime: mine stood near 8o, at to o’clock last night; but almost every day there are some hours of cool breeze that sets in at 9 o’clock and holds on till 3 or 4. You descend amid waving grasses, giant thistles, and regaled by the fragrance of a thousand flowers. Diverge an instant from the path, and you trample upon vetches and lupines, convolvulus and poppies, geraniums and wild flowers, with innumerable other blossoms of the rank and file.”
In the battles of the Alma, Inkerman, and in the assaults on Sebastopol, more than 3,000 British Kymry in different regiments were engaged. It is a fact unparalled in History, that the descendants of a Race which emigrated thirty three centuries since, should thus return to fight, in the sacred cause of justice and civilization, to the cradle of their ancestors in the remote East,—preserving the same language, the same freshness of life, the same indomitable spirit and endurance, the same innate attachment to liberty. Such an extraordinary instance of vitality in a nation appears to justify the faith of the Kymry in their popular proverb, “Tra môr, tra Brython,“—“As long as there is sea, so long will there be Britons.”
Armorica was settled about the same time as Britain, by the Brython or third Sister-Tribe. Until A.D. 900, it was always considered rather of Britain than of the Continent, the relations between the three tribes being of the most intimate description.
Geology enables us to determine that at the period of the Crimean Colonization of Britain, not more than half of it was inhabitable. The Eastern parts, the lands adjoining the great estuaries of the Thames, Severn, Mersey, Humber, Trent, the Fen countries, were either submerged or mud-swamps. Many centuries elapsed before they became fit to support human life. The districts first settled were consequently the mountainous regions of the West, and the elevated plateaus of the North and the South. Hence, in Devonshire, Cornwall, Wales, Cumberland, and the East of Scotland, are found the earliest works of man’s hands in Britain—the Temples, Cemeteries, Tumuli, and Caerau, of the three Pacific Tribes.
The Patrimony or Inheritance of the Elder Tribe, or Kymry, lay between the Severn and the Sea—that of the Lloegrians extended from Kent to Cornwall—that of the Brythons stretched from the Humber Northwards. The Kymry, gradually enlarging their bounds, colonized the North-West of the Isle, and the East of Albyn, or Scotland. These latter became known to the Romans as the Picts. All the names of the Pict Kings, as of the rivers, mountains, &c., in Pictland, are Kymric.
The monarchic and military supremacy was vested in the Kymry. Strictly speaking, there appear to have been no Laws, but the three Tribes regulating their affairs by certain usages, which afterwards were called the usages of Britain, and formed the foundations of its subsequent Codes of Law.
The whole Island was considered to be under one Crown—the crown itself subject to the “Voice of the Country”; hence the maxim, “the Country is higher than the King,” which runs through the Ancient British Laws, and was directly opposed to the Feudal system in which the country itself was dealt with as the property of the King.
As all Asia was gradually peopled from the Highlands of Armenia, so was all Europe from the various Highlands on its surface,—Italy from the Appennines; Spain from the Pyrenees; France from Auvergne, Piedmont, and Bretagne, &c. The children or posterity of the original Kymry thus settled, were called Kelts (Gael, Galatai, Galli). The Kymry do not recognise the name Kelts as applied to themselves. The Greek and Roman writers also draw a broad distinction between them, calling the latter simply “Kelts or Galatai“—the former the “Old Kelts, the old Gauls, the Ancient Kelts, precisely as the Kymry still designate themselves “Hên Gymry,” the “Ancient Kymry.”
The Kymric Language prevailed in different dialects over the whole of Europe and a large part of Asia. It is the substructure of all the Keltic tongues and the Archaic element in the Greek, the Latin, the Sans-script, and the hieroglyphic Egyptian. (Bunsen’s Christianity and Mankind, vol. iv, p. 158.) It is the key to the affinity between the languages of the East and the West. All other languages can be traced to an alien source —this alone cannot. It is certain it was brought by the Kymry into Britain, as it was spoken by their forefathers in Armenia, B.C. 1700; and that its purity and integrity have been guarded by them in all ages with jealous care. It is the witness, alike above suspicion and corruption, to the extreme antiquity of their nationality and civilization.
The three Pacific Tribes remained undisturbed in the enjoyment of their several patrimonies in Britain for five centuries. A second colonization then took place on the breaking up of the Trojan Empire in the East. The Empire of Troy was Japhetic; that is, its kings and people were of the same race and language as the Umbri of Italy and Britain. Hence on its dissolution, part of the survivors directed their course to the former, part to the latter country. The rest of Asia Minor was Semitic. Troy was regarded as the Sacred City of the race of Japhet in the East.