Brief history of the Duchy of Cornwall
The official version of duchy history
Previous official versions of duchy history
Analysis of latest ducal claims
Suppression of Cornish identity
Duchy of Cornwall latest

There can be no doubt that in Britain today, the Cornish people’s territory and status are being altered/downgraded without their knowledge or approval. This covert process, moving inexorably towards the final assimilation of the Cornish population, can only be achieved by the following conditions being accepted, encouraged and rewarded by the state: (1) A selectively applied breakdown of moral and ethical standards leading to institutionalised administrative dishonesty and governmental law-breaking, (2) Comprehensive historical revisionism and the misapplication of due cultural funding coupled with the wholesale misappropriation of Cornish cultural heritage, built environment and intellectual property. At the vanguard of this process is an educationally-driven policy of forced assimilation supported by across-the-board political acquiescence and high level judicial complicity. However, no directive to this effect will be found. 

After centuries of working to an imperialist agenda, the Westminster elite are fully adept at carrying out politically sensitive, but necessarily unwritten, colonial policy. Therefore absence of a written directive does not mean that any particular policy is not being applied. For like a Black Hole in space, these integrated policies and working practices are shown to be in existence not by any written directive, but by the results they produce. Therefore let the reader be under no illusion. The UK Government’s 21st century response to the centuries old ‘Cornish Question’ is to covertly instigate, and firmly apply, a comprehensive programme of de-Cornishification.

When a state becomes locked into an imperial mindset, a number of interlinking and complimentary initiatives are required to achieve the overall objective. For example, there is the need to render the victim territory politically impotent, to starve the separate and competing culture of funding, to place tight control on what information is available to children in school, to render the native population statistically invisible, to stigmatise human rights activity as ‘dangerous’, to exclude the native population from the safeguards available via the application of international legal treaties and then to banish them to a legal no-mans-land if they complain. On top of this, in order to maintain the constitutional deception and status disentitlement, there is the absolute requirement to create and disseminate a new history of the people and territory they inhabit - one that states, suggests or implies by omission that the territory being subsumed has been an integral part of the expanding and consolidating state since time immemorial.

All these aspects of imperialism compliment the other. For example, suppression of Cornish history prevents the growth of awareness necessary to develop the critical mass required to reverse covert territorial absorption and the associated status disenfranchisement of the population. In this case, manifestations of Cornish history are viewed as a dire threat to: (1) the states political objective and, (2) the duke’s covertly exercised powers, rights and interests. Hence the Duchy and UK administrations uniting in common cause.

Their shared objective means that the over-riding priority for both parties is to exclude Cornish history not only from schools, but also from the common pool of knowledge. In other words, by teaching our children historical falsehoods, long-term public opinion is artificially manipulated. By such means, the Duchy/UK governments pursue their shared objectives in an uncritical, wholly sympathetic, political and ideological environment.

Therefore those who view such policies and practices as morally, politically or legally objectionable should do what they can to ensure that Cornish history is not only properly articulated, but also disseminated into schools. Only by this means will democracy flourish, the will of the people prevail and Cornwall find a more productive balance between centralisation and autonomy.

History is an unusual discipline, at its core is hard fact that you cannot get away from and have to learn to master.

                                  State Guidelines for the teaching of history (1)

This website references many hard facts that the government agency charged with compiling the structure and content of the national curriculum refuses to incorporate into the curriculum.

In History, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view.

                           Grandiose claims of the state education system. (2)

When it comes to the important Cornish dimension in British history, pupils are prevented from finding the evidence, weighing it up and reaching their own conclusions. 

Currently, for each school subject, the mandatory curriculum sets out what pupils should be taught. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority compiles this mandatory curriculum, otherwise known as the national curriculum, but when asked why it makes no reference to the Celts of Britain, the historic Cornish ethnic dimension or Cornwall’s apparent change in status from constituent nation of Britain to county of England, its officers firstly refuse to engage in dialogue on Cornish history, and then offload responsibility onto the Secretary of State for Education.

The National Curriculum is not QCA’s curriculum. It is the curriculum that is determined by the Secretary of State for Education on behalf of the government. The National Curriculum sets out a range of contexts through which knowledge, skills and understanding should be taught. It is the responsibility of each school to shape its own curriculum in line with statutory requirements. This means it would be inappropriate for me to answer your questions. 
                  Jerome Freeman, Principle Subject Officer: History.(3)

When the Cornish complain to government about the English National Curriculum indoctrinating Cornish children with the history of another people in order to assimilate and coerce them into adopting an English ethnic identity, ideological outlook and political perspective, government evades responsibility by stating that it is for schools to choose how they organise their school curriculum.

Cornish history, geography and language can be studied at school. The National Curriculum sets out what pupils should be taught in Programmes of Study which provide individual schools with the basis to plan lessons that suit the needs of their pupils. Teachers can decide how these subjects are taught and which aspects of a subject pupils will study in depth.
                                                Stephen Twigg MP,
                        Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools.(4)

Unsurprisingly, when Cornish parents complain to schools about the absence of Cornish language, history and culture at school, the response is that the schools must conform to the curriculum.

The National Curriculum is prescribed and it must be followed in all schools. As governors it is our obligation to ensure that Nine Maidens CP School complies with its statutory obligations under the law. The governors find no substance in any of the allegations set out in your letter in respect of curriculum teaching at the school. We are satisfied that the curriculum is taught in a correct fair and balanced way. If you feel you have a problem with the National Curriculum generally you are quite entitled to remove your child from the maintained sector and send her to a non-maintained school which is not required to follow the National Curriculum to the same extent.(5)

The parents removed their children from the school. However, their anguish was subsequently echoed in a front page Western Morning News feature headlined: Listen to voice of youth. Alongside a picture of a 15-year-old Cornish schoolgirl was her plea to the authorities: Young people want to be able to learn Cornish history, language and culture at school.(6) Shortly after, the Cornwall Youth Forum’s ‘Young Peoples Manifesto’ stated: We want the option to study Cornish history, culture, language and heritage at schools, colleges and other places of learning.(7) Given the not so hidden agenda, all such requests fall on deaf ears.    

When a nine-year-old at Cardrew Junior School stated in a geography lesson that Cornwall was not simply a county, but also a Duchy and nation, she was ordered out of the room. The teacher, a Mrs Ghent, later showed the young girl an atlas to ‘prove’ 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.(8)

The Local Education Authority shall forbid the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject. Political indoctrination is forbidden. The LEA shall take steps to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils, pupils obtain a balanced presentation of opposing views.

                                Sections 406 and 407, Education Act 1996.

States shall respect the right of a child to preserve his or her identity. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all elements of his or her identity, States will provide appropriate assistance and protection with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

                          United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child

Although now having reached a stage of high intensity, this anti-Cornish policy is not something new. Born at Truthwall in November 1928, Peter Thomas was the grandson of a miner. Educated first at the village school at Carnyorth, and later at the Penzance County School. Writing in 1967 he recalled his schooldays:

When I went to Penzance to school in 1939, we had strong Cornish accents, but they were beaten out of us - and when I say beaten I mean beaten! The result was most of us have become cautious, reserved I’d say.(9)

Schools in Cornwall are not just passive places of learning; they constitute the front line of a discreet political and ideological battlefield where the weapon of choice is the English National Curriculum – an unfettered instrument of inculcation and coercion dressed up as being part of a fair, objective and law-abiding state education system.

Yet in any conflict zone there are always those who are selected for special dispensation. The aims of Cornwall Council’s former ‘Cornwall Traveller Education Support Service’ [CTESS] included: promoting knowledge and understanding of Traveller communities in all schools, raising awareness of the diversity of Traveller cultures, implementing teaching and curriculum development. CTESS documentation states: Traveller children may need cultural support in school because teachers may have little information on Traveller culture and history.

Speaking at the 2005 annual conference organised by CTESS held at the Penventon Hotel, Redruth, Ginny Harrison-White,(10) Co-ordinator of the CTESS said:

Gypsies have been in this country for over 500 years and have a long standing and wonderful culture.  We must ensure that they have the opportunity to be included in everything, their individual needs are taken into account and acknowledged and their culture is understood and celebrated by all. We want every school in Cornwall to address Traveller issues as part of a whole school strategy.  This will involve engaging with parents and developing an appropriate curriculum that affirms and celebrates all cultures.

CTESS’s Under Nineteen Initiative for Traveller Education [UNITE] says:

 Some causes for non-attendance at Secondary school: Complete failure to teach a curriculum which reflects Traveller culture, history and lifestyle. Traveller children see little that relates to their own lives, language and culture and celebrate the feasts, festivals, languages and cultures of many others – huge marginalisation.

In 2005 UNITE organised a landscape gardening project at Poltair Community School and Sport College in St Austell. A CTESS Powerpoint Presentation says:

The school has a significant number of Traveller young people on its register. In the last Ofsted report [March 2004] twenty-three Traveller young people were on its register.

At the recent Manchester University launch of a Gypsy language DVD, Ginny Harrison-White, Head of Cornwall Council’s new Equality and Diversity Service, gave a speech:

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils are too often 'out of sight and out of mind. It is important that schools and children are aware of the history, culture and language of children from these communities.

As well as employing full time CTESS staff, an additional programme allows for a number of Cultural Diversity Support Officers to be based in Cornish schools. The term ‘Traveller’ embraces Gypsies, Roma and Irish Travellers.

The 2007 PLASC [schools census] return for Cornwall identified 143 Traveller children enrolled in Cornish schools. The same PLASC return identified 19,450 Cornish children enrolled in Cornish schools i.e. for every one Traveller pupil identified there were one hundred and thirty-five Cornish pupils identified.(11)

Cornwall Council inform that the Cornwall Traveller Education Support Service, now called the Equality and Diversity Service, budget for 2007-8 is £220,000. The budget for Sense of Place in the same year is £30,000.(12) Sense of Place is a placatory ‘local studies’ programme reaching a tiny section of the school population for an hour or two over a pupil’s entire 13-year school lifespan. It is dressed up by the state as being a response to calls to teach Cornish subjects in school but is really a means by which the state buys-off some discontent whilst maintaining its intensive assimilation programme.

We have yet to hear Cornwall Council’s Head of Equality and Diversity express disquiet over the vast disparity in specialised educational provision and resource allocation between the two, equally deserving, cultural minorities. We have also searched in vain for Ginny Harrison-White’s speech about: How important it is that schools and children are aware of the history, culture and language of the Cornish.

Is it any wonder that the state authorities stand accused of attending to the educational needs of others, in particularly the English, whilst overlooking the educational needs of the Cornish?

In its defence, government points to inclusion of the Cornish language in the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages [ECRML] and the Sense of Place project already mentioned.

Under pressure, the government allocated £80,000 per year for three years of direct central government funding to the Cornish language. However, in that same period the Ulster-Scots Language is being allocated £1,000,000 per year of direct government funding. And this comes after government acknowledged in its 1st European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages compliance report that: There are no current demands from within the school system for Ulster-Scots to be taught as a language. And while the ECRML Level II Cornish language remains in the slow lane, the Ulster-Scots language is to be made a ECRML Level III language.

When considered alongside other state cultural funding, the funding for the Cornish language is minimal. For example, it was recently announced that the South West Regional Development Agency spent £1,300,000 on ‘works of art’.(13) Birmingham Royal Ballet Company has an annual state subsidy of £7,500,000. (14) London’s up-market Royal Opera House has just undergone a state-funded £214,000,000 refit.(15)

There was latitude to grant the historic Cornish language much more funding if the government so wished it, for Londoners receive double the cultural funding of people in Cornwall.(16) 

Seven years have passed since government ratified the ECRML and the Cornish language is as far away as ever from entering schools. Experience tells us that even if it does find its way into the education system, it will have mere symbolic presence

On 26 March 2003, Cornwall Council called an impromptu meeting of all interested parties to discuss the way forward following the Cornish language being accepted for ECRML recognition. The minutes of the meeting reveal CC Director of Education taking the view that: The curriculum was already overcrowded and the teaching of Cornish will require creativity of thinking beyond the strictures of the national curriculum. The Portfolio Holder for Education at the time was Doris Ansari.

The minutes of the Cornish Language Advisory Group meeting of 14 October 2004 provide a further insight into official reaction to the Cornish language achieving Charter status. Here we find not the upbeat and positive reaction of state authorities to the Charter as implied by government in the narrative of its second ECRML periodic report, but an entirely different reaction. The minutes reveal that with regard to teaching the language in schools as part of the curriculum, the Cornwall Council ‘Lifelong Learning’ Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee expressed concern that: additional pressures were not placed on teaching staff, who already had a clearly defined National Curriculum to deliver to all students. The Committee therefore decided that the language might be allowed to: become an extra curricular subject in schools. This was nothing more than the pre-Charter position of the language.

It is perplexing that the education authorities in Cornwall appear unable to accommodate two languages in schools [English and Cornish], but London LEAs can cope with 307 different languages in schools. (17) It was recently reported that even a small UK city like Portsmouth can cater for the needs of pupils speaking 57 languages in its schools.(18)

It is perhaps no coincidence that at the time this recommendation was made, the Executive Member for ‘Lifelong Learning’ was Doris Ansari, for this is the same person who said that it would be “dangerous” to acknowledge that Cornish and English pupils had different educational needs.(19) Moreover, under her political stewardship, the Chief Officer of the Cornwall Local Educational Authority was permitted to covertly prevent pupils from registering their identity as Cornish at school on the basis that it would be “potentially dangerous” to do so.(20) Ansari’s Assistant Director of Education went one further, telling a parent who complained that it would be “unhelpful and unhealthy” for pupils to be able to record their identity as Cornish.(21)

When mounting pressure forced a response on this issue, Cllr Ansari asserted that whilst it was fine to collect data on other ethnic groups, it would be “irrelevant”, “wasteful”, “serve no practical purpose” and be “a waste of public resources” to collect and monitor data on the Cornish.(22) These incidents reflect a consistent, but usually covertly applied, approach to recognising and meeting the needs of Cornish pupils within the education system.

This appears to be the view of the government’s Office for National Statistics [ONS], for this body insists on repeating the same formula for the 2011 Census as it did for the 2001 Census. On that occasion, the ONS used a flawed data collection method that undercounted numbers of Cornish people by a factor of four. The government then used these knowingly false figures in a High Court hearing to help undermine a case involving Cornish people claiming cultural rights.(23)  

We have seen how the government deals with Cornish history and language, but how does it react to Cornish culture? In 2000 Cornwall was made a European Union Objective 1 development zone. In July of that year the European Commission ratified Cornwall’s Single Programming Document [SPD]. The SPD was a legally binding document between the Commission and the UK Government. The document highlighted five Objective 1 Priorities. Priority 5 dealt with ‘Regional Distinctiveness’. As the region in question was Cornwall, this translated to Cornish Distinctiveness 

For the purposes of obtaining Objective 1 status, the SPD accepted that Cornwall is: distinct from the rest of the UK with a: historic cultural heritage different from the rest of the UK. The UK’s SPD told the Commission that it viewed: erosion of Cornish distinctiveness as a threat and pledged to enhance Cornwall’s: Celtic affinities, Celtic Heritage, Cornish language and distinct identity.

Priority 5 was broken down into four Measures [5.1, 5.2 etc]. The 5.1 pledge suggested that £20,000,000 was to be injected into marketing, promoting and enhancing Cornish arts, culture and heritage. On the face of it, over the six-year life of the Objective 1 programme, Cornish culture was to experience an unprecedented renaissance. On this basis, the European Commission signed the document off.(24)

However, government ensured that Cornwall was the only Objective I programme to be administered outside of the region itself. The body with the most influence over Cornwall’s EU money was the externally situated SW Regional Development Agency [RDA].  Shortly after securing the funds, its lead officer wrote:

It is a moot point I think as to whether a Cornish culture and identity is helping to foster a regional governance in the sense that the RDA might wish it or whether it is actually fostering a separate identity as many in Cornwall would wish…..The whole issue has been given a further twist with Objective 1 where the EU recognises Cornwall as a separate region within Europe and that is in a sense flat opposed to the RDA’s position …… it doesn’t particularly help the building of a regional identity from Cornwall up to Gloucestershire and across to Dorset to have the European Union recognising Cornwall as a separate region.(25)

The Government Office for the South West, through the RDA, promptly established the Culture South West quango that in turn produced a cultural strategy for Cornwall that completely ignored Cornish culture.(26) Instead of securing economic benefits from Cornwall’s: Celtic affinities, Celtic Heritage, Cornish language and distinct identity, much of Cornwall’s Priority 5.1 funding ended up lining the pockets of endless bureaucrats, swanky consultancy firms and wealthy tourism bosses.

The following Priority 5.1 grants are taken from the Objective One website:

  • £484,000 awarded to DACOM (Devon and Cornwall Overseas Marketing) Company to jointly promote the two counties as a destination to the overseas travel trade and overseas visitors.
  • £92,500 awarded to North Cornwall District Council to provide additional tourism marketing for all of North Cornwall.
  • £1,370,000 awarded to Cornwall Tourism Forum & Destination Marketing to create a high profile advertising campaign in the national press to encourage visitors who might not previously have considered Cornwall as destination for holidays or off peak short breaks.
  • £62,000 awarded to King Harry Maritime Trail to promote mid-Cornwall as an 'off-peak' tourism destination [which the Western Morning news described at the tile as:  a new plan to lure tourists to cosy hotels, top visitor attractions, gardens and cycle hire.]
  • £70,000 awarded to Destination Southwest to develop and extend the number of cruise liner visits to ports within the South West. 
  • £1,523,000 awarded to Cornwall Gardens Development Project to raise the national profile of gardens in Cornwall.

Only at the very last stages of the programme in 2006 were the Objective I Partnership ordered by a begrudging government to direct some Priority 5.1 funding to the Cornish language. The funding amounted to less than one fifth of that which was awarded to raise the profile of Cornwall’s multi-millionaire owned garden based tourist traps.

With little sign of Priority 5.1 being spent as per the SPD, the European Court of Auditors began receiving complaints about the way Priority 5 was being handled. Shortly after the ECA acknowledged these complaints, the Objective 1 Partnership commissioned consultants to come up with a plan to promote Cornish heritage. Kinghurst Consultancy suggested creating a body called Heritage Kernow. That body was duly funded and launched with gusto - only to be killed-off at birth by government cultural enforcer English Heritage.(27)

The Heritage Lottery Fund is managed in a similar way. When an application by the Cornish Gorsedh to stage an exhibition of its history was up for consideration at a HLF ‘Awards for All’ meeting, the Chairman said: We don’t want to make Cornwall anymore independent than it already is do we? I can say that cant I? Nobody here is Cornish right? It happened again when the Cornish Wrestling Association sought a small HLF grant. This time funding was turned down on the pretext that Cornish wrestling: was not officially regulated.(28)

It can easily be shown that the government, and its various sub-departments, quango’s and other agencies, often trade on Cornish attributes without acknowledging, promoting or funding those attributes. These educational and cultural arms of the central authority then build an administrative framework and funding ethos that functions to actively promote policies and drive forward practices that have little or nothing to do with Cornish culture. In other words, Cornish culture exists not because of government but in spite of it.

These are mere examples of why we do not need to discover any written policy directive to understand that the joint de facto policy of the UK and Duchy Governments is to destroy the Cornish identity and thereby expunge Cornishness as a human condition.


1. History, the National Curriculum for England: Key Stage 1-3. Jointly published by the Department for Education and Employment and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. HMSO 1999 p.15.

2. As above, p.14.

3. Letter of 9th February 2000. Freeman also copied his letter to QCA Chief Executive Nick Tate.

4. Letter to Matthew Taylor MP, 1 July 2003.

5. Letter from Colin Gillingham, Chairman of Governors, Nine Maidens School, Redruth, Cornwall to parents who complained about their children being prevented from learning Cornish language, history and culture at school. 26th February 2002

6. February 4th 2003

7. CYF: A Young Peoples Manifesto for Cornwall 2002

8. Letter to me from Mr and Mrs Osborne [parents]. 20th April 2002.

9. Cornish Magazine Dec 1967 Vol 10, Number 8 p.189

10. All CTESS information from CC website, UNITE 2005 Powerpoint Presentation, November 2003 CTESS job application form, Manchester University Faculty of Humanities May 2007 Bulletin

11. Freedom of Information Act request. Response from Council dated 12th Feb 2008

12. Freedom of Information Act request. Response from Council dated 6th March 2008.

13. Western Morning News. Nov 10th 2005.

14. Arts Council England awards notification 2007/8.

15. Carrillion Construction website.

16. Western Morning News February 16th 2002.

17. January 2000 study by Dr. Philip Baker, London School of Oriental and African Studies

18. Press report 22nd September 2005

19. Letter dated 14th August 2001. See p111, Scat t’Larrups.

20. Letter from Jonathan Harris. See p. 124, Scat t‘Larrups.

21. Letter from Helen Williams. See p107, Scat t’Larrups.

22. Press release to Western Morning news. See p.111, Scat t’Larrups.

23. See Scat t’Larrups? p.96-97.

24. See Our Future is History, p.225.

25. ditto, p.237.

26. CSW, “In Search of Chunky Dunsters…..A Cultural Strategy for the South West.”

27. See pages 246/7, Our Future is History.

28. Direct quote from HLF member. See Our Future is History p.241.

  . .

FTI Cornwall