Welsh Not

Elementary Education and the Anglicisation of Wales

Author(s) Martin Johnes

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh Interest, History, Language and Linguistics

  • October 2024 · 440 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781837721801
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781837721818
  • · eBook - epub - 9781837721825

About The Book

It is widely known in Wales that some nineteenth-century schoolchildren were victims of the Welsh Not. It was a wooden board, hung around the neck of children heard speaking Welsh, and was often accompanied by corporal punishment. The Welsh Not is then associated with the decline of the Welsh language. Yet, despite its iconic status, there has been no previous study of where, when and why the Welsh Not was used. This book is an account of the different ways children were punished for speaking Welsh in nineteenth-century elementary schools and the consequences that this had for children, communities and the linguistic future of Wales. It demonstrates how the exclusion of Welsh actually hindered pupils in learning English – the very thing it was designed to achieve. Thus, gradually over the century, Welsh came to be increasingly used in schools as part of a more effective mechanism in the Anglicisation of Wales.


Abbreviations and notes on referencing
1.The Welsh Not in History and Memory
2.The Age of the Welsh Not: Language and Punishment before 1862
3.Learning without Understanding: The Problems of Education before 1862
4.The Welsh Not’s Afterlife: Punishing Welsh Speaking after the 1862 Revised Code
5.The Employment of Welsh in Schools after the 1862 Revised Code
6.Enemies of the Welsh Language? Her Majesty’s Inspectors and the British State
7.Victims and Rebels: Children and the Welsh Not
8.Parental and Community Attitudes towards Education and the Welsh Language
9. Education and the Anglicisation of Wales

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Martin Johnes

Martin Johnes is Professor of Modern History at Swansea University, and one of Wales’s best-known historians. He is the author of a series of books on Welsh history, including Wales: England’s Colony?, which was adapted into a BBC television series.

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