We are living in unsettled times in Britain, and independence for the Celtic regions makes everyone a bit nervous.This article from yesterday’s i shows how bad timing can matter:
“It is ore than 6000 years since Pwllheli in North Wales was given its charter by Edward the Black Prince. Btu now the ancient market town is at the centre of a royal claim over “manorial rights” to the ground on which its foundations are built. About 1,300 homeowners in Pwllheli and nearby Morfa Nefyn have ben sent letters saying the Crown Estate wants to register ownership of mines and minerals beneath their hoses. The estate says it has owned rights over the minerals for centuries and is now under new registration laws. But letters sent out by the Land Registry notifying residents have sparked “Worry and alarm” according to the town’s MP, who says the Crown Estate’s bid mirrors the “Grasping, unprincipled landlordism” that has bedevilled Wales in the past. The row comes 2 years after Anglesey and Arfon residents pledged to challenge similar notices sent on behalf of he Crown Estate claiming ownership over mineral and mining rights. Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, which includes Pwllheli, said: “This has been the cause of great worry for local people. Staking claim to mining and mineral rights reeks of the 19th century, not the 21st century.” The crown estate is a commercial business tasked by Parliament since 1760 with managing the sovereign’s land. A spokesman said: “We would like to reassure local residents that the registration process is in now way an indication of our intent to begin mining.”
The date of 1760 when all this was established relates to the problems caused by managing the royal hunting estates, which had led to the introduction of the ‘Black Act’ of 1727 which made a lot of petty crimes such as poaching capital offences. The crown gave up all income from forests in exchange for income from land. Hence this problem.