Happy St David’s Day! Yes, 1st March is the feast day of St David (Dewi Sant), the patron saint of Wales.

Why am I posting about that on the Anne Boleyn Files? I hear you ask.

Well, one reason is that I’m half Welsh and my Welsh roots are important to me, but the main reason is that the Tudors had Welsh roots too.

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This year, 1st March is also Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent and a day of penitence. Before the Reformation banned the practice, priests would bless ashes, which were traditionally made from burning the previous year’s Palm Sunday ‘palms’, mix them with holy water and then mark the congregation’s foreheads with the sign of the cross in ash. As the priest did this, he would say “Remember, man, that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.”

Are you doing anything to mark either of these two special days? Do let me know by leaving a comment on this post. Thank you!

Happy St David’s Day to all those in Wales or with Welsh blood!

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12 thoughts on “St David’s Day and the Tudors”
  1. Hi Claire I am descended from Lewelyn The Great who married King Johns natural daughter Joan sometimes styled, Lady Of Wales, they had a daughter Margaret who I’m descended from, I have a load of Welsh ancestors some of whom also are the ancestors of the Tudors, their name was spelt differently then I believe it was ‘Tudwr’ or thearabouts, my Welsh ancestors names are very hard to pronounce and the spelling,! There about twelve letters long, can you speak Welsh Claire I’d love to know?

    1. Happy St David’s Day, Christine! That’s wonderful to have a family tree like that, I’m not sure of my ancestry.

      No, I don’t speak Welsh. My mum, who was brought up in North Wales and lives there now, can’t speak Welsh either and nor could my Welsh grandmother, but my grandfather, who came from South Wales, could speak it.

      1. That’s interesting, you must trace your family tree when you get some time to yourself though I know you must be so busy what with the Tudor Site as well, but being half Welsh you also may find yourself related to Llewelyn and the Tudors, it’s certainly very exciting the further back you go and then you get a link to the nobility, as that often leads to royalty and then you find you have a whole plethora of relatives, mostly very famous, happy St.Davids day to you as well.

  2. Happy Saint Davids Day. Edmund Tudor, Henry’s official father is buried in Saint Davids Cathedral. The Tudors and Owen Glendowr share blood ties and claim descent from Cadwalladr the ancient British King of the Welsh. Their original home on Anglesey has a church close by with tombs and symbols of their ancestors. Royal and noble connections are manifold. Monmouth was the birth place of Henry V..The true Princes of Wales, however, are ancient and fought for freedom. All true Welshmen should remember them with pride. The traditions of the Catholics of Wales were still alive in the seventeenth century as people still made pilgrimage to Sant David. The Catholic families of North Wales defied the enforcement of the Reformation, printing the Illuminating of the Christian Soul before William Morgan’s Welsh Bible in Welsh. Numerous faithful ordinary people faced death rather than accept an English Church. Sant William Dai from Penryn was one of those killed at Anglesey Castle. Welsh national pride shines bright as her people defied English tyranny in the twentieth and nineteenth centuries to destroy their national language. Ridiculous laws condemned any Welshman found in Chester or any other border town after dark. This ended, thankfully with the succession of a Welsh King, Henry Tudor whose own Welsh blood is diluted by French blood. Saint David would have wept at the conflict between England and Wales which lasted for centuries. I won’t be having any yoemen present me with leeks, but will still remember those Welshmen who have struggled in the course of freedom and self determination. Have a nice day.

  3. I think are not the ancient Welsh said to be the true inhabitants of Britain, the true British that is? Anglo Saxons coming from Germany and of course we know the Vikings came from Scandanavia, Denmark Greenland and Norway, the history of Britain pre dates Christianity and there’s a lot that happened in the dark ages that isn’t recorded,

  4. This evening I’m attending an Ash Wednesday service at my local church where I sing in the choir.

  5. You are the Bandit queen, young and sweet, only seventeen… Bandit queen, feel the beat from the tambourine oh yeahhhhh… you can dance… you can jive… having the time of your life… ohhhhhhhhh… see that girl, watch that scene… digging the Bandit queen…

  6. Just a note of correction: Ashes should NEVER be mixed with water and used – this creates lye! Ashes are mixed with oil. Many parishioners have learned the hard way through a pastor’s mistake!

    1. Ooh, yes, nasty! It’s weird though, I just did a search on religious websites and a lot of them talk about holy water being mixed with ashes. I also found this though – Water and Ashes Do Not Mix! – which quotes from page 321 of “The United Methodist Book of Worship” which states that “The ashes may be mixed with a small amount of water for the Imposition of Ashes” so no wonder people have been doing it wrong! The article advises that water should not be used for washing the ash off the forehead either.

      1. Yes we do the ashes and they are mixed with a holy oil, not water. There are three main holy oils and a total of five which are blessed every year and sent out to all of the parishes from the archbishop at the cathedral. These are used as part of the sacramental year and for annointing or penitentiary rites, such as the sign of the cross on Ash Wednesday. The ashes are the previous years palms from Palm Sunday. I don’t know any Catholic Church that uses water and have been to a few, if at college or working…and going back to college with ashes on my forehead always brought some comments…but it’s not surprising that it’s mixed with water elsewhere. Holy oil is used to annoint or sign…water to bless or purify. On Easter Sunday we all used to get a good shower from the water sprinkling over the congregation by the priest before making our Baptismal promise renewals. Father Robert had a very good aim and Steve usually gets a good dolop of water on his glasses. lol. Chrism for example is used to annoint at baptism, confirmation, the sick and at the coronation. It’s the holiest oil. Unfortunately, health problems mean we miss all these things now, but it was wonderful when the chaplain annointed Steve when he was in a comma, a real comfort.

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