Wales History Timeline

Britannia Home
Wales Home

WALES
History of Wales
Welsh Language
Wales Forum
Seven Wonders
Cultural Traditions
Facts About Wales
Welsh Royal Families
Welsh: The 8th Wonder
Welsh Proverbs
Timeline
  1000 BC
  516-768
  784-1129
  1137-1282
  1284-1409
  1450-1571
  1573-1662
  1664-1729
  1735-1770
  1776-1792
  1793-1804
  1804-1831
  1834-1848
  1849-1869
  1870-1886
  1887-1900
  1900-1911
  1913-1925
  1926-1946
  1947-1962
  1964-1974
  1974-1997

TRAVEL
Travel Home
London Guide
Touring Online
Planning Resources
Reservations Centre
Scotland



1849-1869 AD

1849: FIRST WELSH SERVICE IN AUSTRALIA
William Meirion Evans, of Llanfrothen, Merioneth, is believed to have been the first person to hold religious services in the Welsh language on the Australian continent when he preached at Burra in 1849. Evans is also remembered as the founder of the periodicals "Yr Awstrallydd" (the Australian) and "Yr Ymwelydd" (the Visitor) that acted as a link among the widely-scattered Australian Welsh communities during the second half of the 19th century.



1850: THE RHONDDA VALLEY TRANSFORMED
The Rhondda, described in 1847 as "this solitudinous and happy valley . . . where a Sabbath stillness reigns," was only three years later described as "a vision of hell" where were found "poor creatures broiling or in sweat and dirt, amid their furnaces, pits, and rolling mills." What was said of the Rhondda could also be said of the other four major South Wales Valleys, in which the transformation was as equally rapid and the squalid conditions as equally pervasive, yet which produced a vibrant community life.



1851: "Y DRYCH" (The Mirror) FOUNDED IN NEW YORK CITY
In order that the scattered Welsh congregations in the United States could keep in touch with one another, as well as with contemporary events in Wales, the Welsh-American newspaper "Y Drych" was started on January 2, 1851. First known as "Y Drych Americanaidd" (The American Mirror), moving to Utica in 1860, to Wisconsin in 1889 and then to Minnesota, it has remained a vibrant source of news about Welsh activities in North America ever since.



1854: "Y GWYDDONIADUR CYMREIG" (The Welsh Encyclopedia)
The first of the ten volumes of "The Welsh Encyclopedia" was edited by John Parry at the Thomas Gee Press, Denbigh. The book contains theological, geographical, scientific and literary material as well as Welsh and Celtic subjects and biographies.



1859: "BANER AC AMSERAU CYMRU" FOUNDED
"The Banner and Times of Wales", also known as "Y Faner", came out of a joining of the weeklies "Yr Amserau" and "Baner Cymru". The paper has had a profound impact on the religious, political and literary life of Wales, especially during the latter half of the last century. In 1977, the format of the newspaper became that of a magazine -- one of the two national weekly journals in the Welsh language (the other is "Y Cymro").



1861: FIRST TRULY NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD HELD
In less than 10 years, with the opening up of the four-foot coal seam, the population of Aberdare doubled by 1861, mainly from in-migration from the Welsh-speaking areas. The Aberdare Eisteddfod attracted a great deal of interest throughout Wales: qualifying as the first truly "National Eisteddfod," its success led to the institution remaining an integral and much-loved part of Welsh culture ever since.



1861: GLADESTONE'S REPEAL OF PAPER DUTIES
The Prime Minister's repeal of the duties on paper led to an explosion of the Welsh press, resulting in a veritable sea of newspapers, pamphlet literature, magazines and critical quarterlies. Towns such as Merthyr, Swansea, Caernarfon and Denbigh became provincial capitals with influential newspapers.



1862-65: JOHN CEIRIOG HUGHES' POETRY PUBLISHED
Some of the most popular poetry in Wales was written by Hughes (bardic title "Ceiriog") between the years 1862 and 1865 under the titles "Oriau'r Bore" (Morning Hours) "Cant o Ganeuon" (One Hundred Songs),and "Y Bardd a'r Cerddor" (The Poet and the Musician). They remain popular today, especially in recitative competitions at many Esteddfodau.



1865: THE WELSH COLONY OF PATAGONIA FOUNDED
The most "successful" overseas Welsh settlement, in so far as maintaining its cultural identity is concerned, even surpassing those in such "Welsh" towns at Utica, N.Y. and Scranton, Pa., was that founded by a group of hardy pioneers in the most unlikely place, the Chubut Valley in Patagonia, southern Argentina.

The Argentine government, anxious to control a vast unpopulated area in which it was in dispute with the government of Chile, was willing to grant 100 square miles for the establishment of a Welsh state Y Wladfa and to protect it by the military. A Welsh emigration committee, under the leadership of Michael Jones of Bala, meeting in Liverpool (where there was a large Welsh population), decided that here was a chance to fulfill a dream that could not be turned down. Consequently, a group of nearly 200 Welshmen and women sailed away from Liverpool in late May, 1865 to the promised land. Their ship was the Mimosa, a brig of 447 tons. The ship arrived safely at what is now Puerto Madryn on the 27th day of July, 1865, landing its passengers the next day (a full account of the settlement (and of a 1996 visit) is given in my "Brief History of Wales".

After a period of considerable hardship, the settlement began to thrive; the first successful harvest followed the building of irrigation canals from the River Chubut. In the spring of 1868, the first sermon "Israel in the Wilderness" was given by Abram Matthews at Rawson in a roughly-built barn that served as a public hall and chapel. The first eisteddfod took place in 1876 at Beti Huws' farm; it became firmly established as a much-loved tradition at Trelew in 1900. In nearby Gaiman, Welsh tea-houses still cater to visitors to the lonely Argentinian province of Patagonia.



1867: THE GREAT REFORM ACT
The Parliamentary Reform Act of this year gave the vote to every male householder in the boroughs and to every male householder in the counties with premises rated at 12 pounds or more. Overnight, almost 60,000 new voters were created in Wales, the majority voting Liberal in the next election and shattering the political power of the great Tory landlords and industrialists in Wales.



1869: THE "WESTERN MAIL" FOUNDED
The paper was founded primarily to serve the commercial interests of the third Marques of Bute, but in 1877, bought by Henry Carr, it became established as the foremost daily newspaper in Wales. A mostly true-blue conservative paper from its beginning, and scathingly ridiculed by nationalist and songwriter Dafydd Iwan in the late 1960's for its pro-English, anti-Welsh opinions, the paper has undergone a surprising turn of face, even arguing in favor of a referendum on devolution in 1979 and 1997. Perhaps Dafydd's favorite meal is no longer fish and chips served up in the pages of the Western Mail.

  

Copyright ©2001 Britannia.com, LLC   Questions? Comments!   Design & Development Unica Multimedia