Prichard Ancestors

 

"One drop of manly blood the surging seas outweighs."

 

The Ancestral Race in Wales

 

The Prichard family trace their origin to the Celtic tribes of England and Wales. In early times the Celtic race held a great part of western Europe as well as the British Isles until conquered or pushed aside by the Teutonic races, the group to which the English belong. Scotland and Ireland were occupied by one great division of the Celts, the Gaels, and what is now England by another, the Cymri, or as they are commonly called, the Britons. The Celts were a very different race from the Teutons, and the Britons were as thoroughly Celtic in their dispositions as the English were Teutonic.

About the time of the Roman invasion there were many ,independent tribes in Briton. There were at least four royal tribes west of the Severn. Their chiefs or kings were all powerful, and the great business of life was war; from it proceeded all wealth, honor and dignity. When the kings were not fighting the Saxons, Danes and Romans, as they swarmed from time to time across the seas to pillage and burn, they were arrayed against each other. In those far off days nobody suffered long for want of a good fight, "When every morning brought out a noble chance, and each chance brought out a noble knight."

The history of Western England or Wales is one of border warfare. Many of the more stubborn tribes fled westward into Wales, where they have preserved to the present day their Celtic traditions. Wales was never really subdued and became a place of refuge for native Britons who fled from the growing fury of the barbarous Saxons and Danes. Not until the days of King Edward I in 1283, did the people of Wales desist from their struggle for independence, when Wales became annexed to the English crown.

The Britons like the Teutons were a huge and powerful race. They had large, strong and beautiful bodies as may be seen from the famous statue in Rome, The Dying Gaul, or Gladiator. "They had fierce grey or bluish eyes and light reddish hair. They were brave, daring warriors, fond of music, especially the shrill martial kind with which they went into battle. They were quick‑witted, imaginative and unstable as compared with the more stoical and reliable Teutons. They were easily moved by fine speech, and had a love for bright colors and poetry. Their early poetry gives glimpses of their tribal life and modes of warfare. The poet and bard have preserved to us in their stories and ballads the spirit and romance of those ancient days in early Briton. It is of these peoples and these times that Lord Tennyson tells us, in his greatest production, the "Idylls of the King." He has given us more of the traditions and habits of the early English than have most historians.

'The poet, Tennyson, has kept alive the memory of those brave old days in the home‑land. The legends and romances of those dim old kings and princes, knights and squires are placed before us so vividly that they seem like an actual chronicle of facts. Dismantled and mouldering castles take on again old forms of life and habits; in their great halls are held the halfbarbaric feasts, while from their gates go forth the plumed knight in flashing armor to tournament or to battle. 

Tennyson makes King Arthur, the Celtic chieftain of Southern Wales, the hero of his verse. How with his chosen knights of the Round Table, he "Drave the heathen; slew the beast, and felled the forests, letting in the sun; and made broad pathways for the hunter and the knight."

The story of western England or Wales is more picturesque and dramatic than that of eastern England. Evidences of centuries of border warfare, and ruins of former glory meet one at every turn in Wales. Along the valley of the Usk are the seats of families who seem to have been natives of the soil; lands that have been held by same families from time immemorial. King William sent his ablest commanders to settle along the Welsh borders because of the warlike and unconquerable foe& of the frontier counties. They may almost be said to have slept by their arms till the accession of the Tudors put an end to civil, racial and private strife, and to the feudal period.

The Welsh of ancient days were famous for their zeal and skill in hunting and management of hounds. In medieval times Welsh huntsmen were imported into England by great barons as Scotch gardeners, and French cooks are in these days.