Wales History Timeline

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1887-1900 AD

1887: THE TITHE MARTYRS OF LLANGWM
Violent protests against the established Church's imposition of tithes took place around Denbigh, Clwyd, where 31 men from the parish of Llangwm were summoned and where riots at nearby Mochdre led to many injuries. The secretary of the Caernarfon branch of the Anti-Tithe league was the up-and-coming solicitor David Lloyd George. In 1891 the troubles ceased when responsibility for the tithe was passed from the tenant to the landlord. In Parliament, however, the Welsh Issue showed that some notice had been taken of Wales, and that Welsh MP's could show some cohesion in articulating Welsh matters. A pity that the North-south divide still prevented a united front to press for some semblance of home rule.



1887: THE BLACKSTONE ESTEDDFOD ESTABLISHED
In Australia, the increasing number of immigrants led to the establishment of a vigorous Welsh community at Blackstone, in the Ipswich Coalfields, where the St. David's Society began a local eisteddfod that developed into the modern Australia-wide eisteddfod movement.



1888: THE ADOPTION OF MABON'S MONDAY
William Abraham (Mabon) kept the peace between coal owners and miners for 20 years. Through his untiring efforts, he was able to win some concessions for his workers, including modifications to the sliding scale of 1875 and a holiday on the first Monday of each month, Mabon's Monday. Elected Lib-Lab MP for Rhondda in 1885, he firmly believed that the interests of capital and labor were identical,a man far ahead of his time.



1889: THE WELSH INTERMEDIATE EDUCATION ACT
For the first time, public money was authorized to be spent on schools higher than the elementary level; the so-called County Schools came into being. In 1896, the Central Welsh Board was established. Welsh people from all backgrounds were to receive a sound education, albeit in English and albeit in the arts at the expense of sorely-needed technical and commercial subjects.



1889: THE MINERS' FEDERATION OF GREAT The Miners' Federation of Great Britain Founded
It was at Newport, South Wales, that the Miner's Federation of Great Britain was founded in 1889. It argued for the creation of a Board of Arbitration to replace the sliding scale and the restriction of the working day to eight hours (the sliding scale was finally abolished in 1903).



1890: LLOYD GEORGE ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT
David Lloyd George, the Manchester-born, Welsh-speaking solicitor, was elected to Parliament from the Caernarfon constituency. His rise through the ranks was rapid; he became President of the Board of Trade in 1915, where he recognized the role of trade unions in collective bargaining; and Chancellor by 1908, in which capacity he introduced a scheme of social security (old age pensions). In 1909, in his "People's Budget," he introduced a scheme to raise revenue by taxing wealthy landowners. Rejection of the Bill by the landlord-filled House of Lords led to the 191l Parliament Act drastically reducing that senile body's powers. In the same year, Lloyd George established National Insurance to safeguard workers against sickness and unemployment. Many of his radical reforms led him to be reviled in England as "the curse from Wales" but adored in Wales as "the son of the cottage."



1891: "CYMRU" PUBLISHED
A monthly magazine, "Cymru" contained articles on the history, literature and culture of Wales. First edited by Owen M. Edwards, and later by his son Ifan ab Owen Edwards, it had a great influence upon a generation of writers and poets. The motto of the magazine was Codi'r hen wlad yn ei hol (To raise the old land to what it once was) Edwards also edited a most influential children's magazine "Cymry'r Plant" (the Children's Wales) and founded Urdd y Delyn (Order of the Harp) a predecessor to the later hugely successful Urdd Gobaith Cymru (Welsh Youth League).



1891: THE MCKINLEY TARIFF
The American Government passed the McKinley Tariff to promote home industries, especially since fully three-quarters of the products of the Welsh tinplate industry had been imported to the United States. The passing of the Tariff was a severe blow to Welsh industry; and some areas never fully recovered from its effects.



1893: THE UNIVERSITY OF WALES CHARTER
By the Charter, a federation of the three Welsh university colleges was set up that could grant its own degrees (previous Welsh candidates had to apply to the University of London for examination)



1896: "CARTREFI CYMRU" PUBLISHED
Owen M. Edwards's most important work,"Cartrefi Cymru" (Welsh Homes), describes his visits to the homes of major figures in Welsh history, thus stirring interest in the all-too-often-neglected history and geography of Wales.



1898: THE SOUTH WALES MINERS' FEDERATION
The first president of the SWM, set up in October 1898 after the major strike of that year caused by the owners' refusal to accept a minimum wage, was Mabon, who had abandoned his support of the sliding scale. A few months after its founding, the "Fed" joined the Miners' Federation of Great Britain.



1900: ELECTION OF KEIR HARDIE TO PARLIAMENT
The Scotsman Keir Hardie was elected to Parliament as the representative of the newly formed Labour Representative Committeee.in the Merthyr constituency. (In 1906, the Party became known as the Labour Party.) Hardie had adopted the slogan The Red Dragon and the Red Flag. He was the only socialist elected to Parliament, where his cloth deerstalker hat stood out among the shiny top hats of the other Members, much to their chagrin.

  

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