Treachery of the Blue Books"
The 'Treachery of the Blue
Books' or 'Treason of the Blue Books' was the name
given in Wales to the Reports of the commissioners of
into the state of education in Wales published in 1847.
The public inquiry was
carried out as a result of pressure from William Williams,
Radical MP for Coventry, who was himself an anti-Welsh
Welshman and was concerned about the state of education
in Wales which he blamed on the Welsh people. He felt
that the Welsh, should, "instead of appearing as a distinct people, in no respect differ from the English". His solution to the state of Wales at the time was to Anglicise Wales in terms
of its language and mindset. The Welsh were at a disadvantage
because of "the existence of an ancient language"!
Said the Times of London about the Welsh language:
prevalence and the ignorance of English have excluded
and even now exclude the Welsh people from the
civilisation of their English neighbours. An Eisteddfod...
is simply a foolish interference with the natural
progress of civilisation and prosperity." !
The enquiry was carried
out by three English commissioners, Lingen, Symons
and Vaughan Johnson. They spoke no Welsh and relied
on information from witnesses, many of them Anglican
Their report, published
in three blue-covered volumes - the traditional colour
of Britain's official Government publications (hence
the name), concluded that the Welsh were ignorant,
lazy and immoral, and that among the causes of this
were the use of the Welsh language and nonconformity.
In its introduction, the report says:
Welsh language is a vast drawback to Wales and
a manifold barrier to the moral progress and commercial
prosperity of the people" !
resulted in a furious reaction in Wales: a measure
of the anger aroused by the report in Wales is the
subtext of the name 'Brâd y Llyfrau Gleision'. It is
a reference to the legendary "Treason of the Long Knives" with which the Saxons began their revolt against the Britons.
Pages relevant to the Nantlle Valley from the Blue Books
»» Clynnog (331Kb)
»» Llandwrog [2 pages] (612Kb)
»» Llanllyfni (299Kb)
»» Llanwnda (292Kb)
»» Table of Sunday Schools [2 pages] (699Kb)
document contains two pages, but in order to read
it you should treat it as one
page. We recommend that you print it out and study
both pages side by side.
adapted from Wikipedia
The full report of the
Blue Books is available from the National
Library for Wales
for CARNARVON (Caernarfonshire [now known as the county
of Gwynedd]) can be found on pages 20-45.