Today, for political and ideological reasons, the Duke of Cornwall, aka the Prince of Wales, denies his duchy's real history and generates a new one. Documents such as the duchy’s own fourteenth century ‘Acts of the Council of the Black Prince’ – where the first duke acknowledged that the Duchy of Cornwall is extra-territorial to England and the Cornish are his subjects - are jettisoned.(1) Charles Windsor’s certain knowledge of the powerful second and third duchy charters - which acknowledge the duchy’s fiscal and judicial independence from England - is actively denied.(2) The contemporary [c.1290] Hereford Mappamundi - which shows Britain composed of Scotland, Wales, England and Cornwall - is studiously ignored. The Prince of Wales and his many duchy advisors pretend to be unaware of successive Acts of Parliament dated 1422, 1465 and 1539 which state: Cornwall should always remain as a duchy.(3) Finally, the Prince of Wales, in his capacity as Duke of Cornwall, gives the impression of never having heard of the celebrated ‘Princes Case’ of 1606 in which Lord Coke concluded: all Cornwall is the Duchy of Cornwall.(4) We could go on.
The most startling of all the deliberate omissions from the duchy supplied/state endorsed recollection of history is the absolute refusal to incorporate into the historical equation any material from the duchy’s own 1855-58 publications covering one of the most significant events in British constitutional history. A publication that reveals the duchy’s long and detailed arguments in favour of ducal sovereignty over Cornwall and its independence from England. (5)
The publication carries all the evidence papers submitted for arbitration by the Attorney General to the Duchy of Cornwall during the Crown/Duchy foreshore dispute of 1855-8. Included in this stunning array of primary source material are case-law precedents, copies of royal proclamations, origin and territorial deployment of ducal prerogatives, elements of land law, numerous acts of the London Parliament and much historical analysis and argument relating to jurisdictional and constitutional law. A body of work that shows how: 1. The Duchy of Cornwall is coterminus with the territory of Cornwall, 2. The duchy is extra-territorial to England and 3. In his capacity as Duke of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales is Head of State of Cornwall.
Although the officers of the Crown attempted to counter the duke’s contentions, the duchy argument remained persuasive and resulted in the Articles of Agreement that were subsequently passed into law by the Cornwall Submarine Mines Act 1858 – which is another highly revealing Act of Parliament removed by duchy/state officials from the present day historical equation.
Contrary to ducal objectives during 1855-58, the duke’s priority now is to construct a thoroughly believable, but utterly fabricated, history of his duchy and, as a necessary consequence, destroy the unique history of Cornwall and its people in the process. Yet it is a story based not on the plethora of evidence revealed by this website and others sources, but on latter-day wishful thinking reinforced by confident ducal assertion. That confidence comes from knowing that no one in authority has the moral fortitude, courage or desire to contradict the state-endorsed royal fabrications. To this end, ‘history’ books written with the duke’s approval(6), duchy-produced glossy brochures(7), talks given by duchy archivists(8), UK government information sources(9) and the duke’s own website creators(10) follow the ducal line.
The intention, as clearly articulated on the duke’s own current website, is to dupe the public into thinking that the duchy was always ‘in England’; that it never at any time bore any relationship to the territory of Cornwall; that it was created simply to provide an income for the duke; that for 650 years it has been a mere ‘private estate’ and that the duchy government’s many high officers of state; namely the Attorney General, Chancellor, Receiver-General, Solicitor General, Surveyor General and Keeper of the Records to the Duchy of Cornwall, have always been mere board members of a private company.
A combination of deference, fear and self-interest sees normally trustworthy people stoop to peddle the duke’s inventions, misrepresentations and falsehoods. By doing so they can partake of the spoils. For the duchy archivist retains her job, the duchy website creators obtain a much sought after royal seal of approval and duchy history writer Crispen Gill gets an OBE. In Britain today, it appears to be a perfectly acceptable, nay honourable, practice to discard reams of indisputable primary documentary evidence in order to distort history for royal advantage and political/ideological purposes.(11)
Because the transparently false history of Cornwall and its duchy status is both royally manufactured and state approved, the story is also slavishly endorsed and unquestionably quoted as fact by grasping politicians, a compliant media, nakedly Anglophilic ‘historians’, career-protecting academics, lemming-like educationalists, lazy dictionary/encyclopaedia compilers and hat-doffing heritage industry publication editors. As the deception harms only a relatively small, legally unprotected and hence entirely defenceless segment of the community, the duke is able to continue unchallenged.
The UK government, the officers of the duchy and the duke himself will not enter into debate, or answer any questions, relating to bona fide historical events, documents or maps that clearly contradict the duke’s fabricated history of Cornwall.(12) The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority compile the history national curriculum for schools, but its officers refuse to engage in dialogue on Cornish history.(13) Schools themselves will not teach children the real history of Cornwall because of a combination of all or some of the following factors: lack of time, a deliberate absence of textbook material on the subject, inherent prejudice, royalist tendencies, historical ignorance, fear of being penalised for stepping outside of the mandatory curriculum set by QCA(14) and the certain knowledge that children are penalised by examiners for responding on exam papers in ways that contradict the royally manufactured, state-endorsed, historical fabrications.(15) If pupils are brave enough to challenge the ducal mantra within the school, their effrontery is met with instant rebuke. To serve as a warning to others, the punishment can take the shape of being humiliated in front of the class or school.(16)
As part of their education, pupils are taken to learn from the historical depictions displayed at Truro’s Royal Cornwall Museum. However, keen to protect its much-cherished ‘Royal’ prefix, this body has also been infected with the ducal blight.(17) English Heritage produce copious amounts of material for schools, but steadfastly refuses to include any reference to the only version of Cornish history that is fully supported by a mass of documented evidence. To compliment the historical fraud, pre-English Cornish sites of antiquity [such as the duchy-owned Tintagel Castle] remain perversely labelled ‘English Heritage’ as if they were constructed by English people.(18) To maintain the historical cover-up, there is a permanent Parliamentary injunction preventing MP’s from raising questions relating to the Duchy of Cornwall.(19)
Clearly Prince Charles, the legal Head of State of Cornwall, has the situation firmly under his control. A total news and information blackout means that, for the time being at least, the Cornish historical experience is not only prevented from entering the classroom, but also the common pool of knowledge.
1. Acts of the Council of the Black Prince: 16th July 1351 and 18th August 1354.
2. For immediacy, see p.194, Our Future is History or p.10 Scat t’Larrups.
3. For immediacy see p.7, Scat t’Larrups.
4. 11 Jan 1606: 8 Co Rep 1A; 77 ER 481;  EWHC Ch J6
5. 1858. Shaw and Sons, Fetter Lane, London.
6. For example, Exeter University’s 1999 Historical Atlas of South West England [which was gifted to all Cornish senior schools] and Crispen Gill’s ducally-approved 1987 The Duchy of Cornwall.
7. For example, the 1996 internally circulated Duchy Review magazine which carried a two-page story entitled: What is the Duchy of Cornwall [p.44-45].
8. For example, support material produced for a talk on the Duchy given by Duchy Archivist Elisabeth Stuart at the Cornwall Polytechnic Society Paul Smales Lecture, November 2001. 9. For example: Government website: About the Prince, 17th April 2000.
10. Jump Media.
11. For the latest ducal propaganda, see http://www.duchyofcornwall.org/
12. No responses at all from the Duchy. All Duchy-related correspondence to Government is directed back to Government Office for the South West. At the expense of the truth, GOSW officer Tony Steele rigidly adheres to the state line – see ‘Our Future is History’ p.196.
13. When asked to justify leaving out the important Duchy aspect of British history, QCA Principal Subject officer [History] Jerome Freeman stated: It would be inappropriate for me to answer your questions. See ‘Our Future is History’ p. 6.
14. See remarks by Bob Damerell, History Advisor for Cornwall LEA in ‘ Scat t’Larrups.’ p. 244. Also see comments made by Chairman of Governors of Nine Maidens School at p.239 of ‘Scat t’Larrups?’.
15. Pupils are marked down in exams for explaining history from a Cornish perspective. See p. 239-240 ‘Scat t’Larrups?’
16. When a pupil at Cardew School stated in a geography lesson that Cornwall was not merely a county, but also a Duchy, she was ordered out of the room. The teacher, a Mrs Ghent, later showed the girl an atlas to prove that Cornwall was simply a county of England. When the youngster said that an atlas printed in England was bound to say that, she was disciplined further and made to write a letter of apology. See ‘Our Future is History’ p. 12 and ‘Scat t’Larrups?’ p.239.
17. See analysis of the museums biased historical displays in Our Future is History [indexed at p.341]. See also p. 88 of Scat t’Larrups? to see what the museum intends to do about complaints related to its presentation of history.
18. For an in-depth study of English Heritage cultural aggression in Cornwall, see Chapter 11 of ‘Our Future is History’.
19. Letter to Andrew George MP, 16th June 1997 referring to ‘Erskine May’ Parliamentary procedures p.288 and 379.