Saturday, 28 July 2018

Welsh Republican - July Days - Whitland/Hendy Gwyn - Welsh Law

Whitland/Hendy Gwyn is the home of Welsh Law of Hywel Dda and it is with utmost respect we remember Hywel Dda and Welsh Law.

Welsh law was a form of Celtic law with many similarities to the Brehon law of Ireland and particularly the customs and terminology of the Britons of Strathclyde.[2] 

It was passed down orally by jurists and bards and, according to tradition, only first codified during the reign of Hywel Dda in the mid-10th century. 

The earliest surviving manuscripts, however, are in Latin, date from the early 13th century, and show marked regional differences.[3] 

The law is only known to have been revised by a few rulers (particularly Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, who was credited with revisions retained in the kingdom of Powys) but was obviously updated by jurists in response to changing jurisdictions and circumstances, so that the surviving manuscripts cannot be considered an accurate portrayal of Hywel's first code.

Notable features of Welsh law include the collective responsibility of kindreds (Welsh: cenedl) for their members; the gavelkind inheritance of land among all and only male descendants; a status-based system of blood money (galanas); slavery and serfdom; the inability of foreigners to naturalize earlier than the fourth generation; and very lax treatment of divorce and legitimacy that scandalized the non-native clergy.

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