Celtic Cornwall

The Scottish referendum vote for independence is being looked at with interest by the other Celtic nations. This is also the case in Cornwall. Cornwall is recognised as one of the six Celtic nations and takes its place in both the ‘Celtic League’ and the ‘Celtic Congress’, along with Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man and Brittany.

Cornwall has always retained its distinct cultural identity and a nationalist movement exists that campaigns for greater autonomy, which recognises the Cornish people’s national identity. The referendum in Scotland has increased interest in the constitutional position of Cornwall. Indeed at no time has any Act of Union or Joinder taken place between Cornwall and the Kingdom of England or its successor states. The Duchy of Charters of 1337 formalised and defined the relationship between the separate Sovereign territory of Cornwall and the Kingdom of England and these remain valid today.

An interesting genetic study was undertaken and in 2012 a genetic map was produced by Oxford University researchers with the preliminary findings. It featured in the Royal Society’s free Summer Science Exhibitions in July 2012. On the DNA genetic map of Britain Cornish people clustered separately from those across the border in the English county of Devon. The grouping generally often appeared to match the separate historical pasts of different areas of Britain. This is clearly shown by the results from Cornwall and indicates the result of Anglo-Saxon invasions as far as the Cornish border. The study continues and Oxford University researchers have further funding from the Welcome Trust to undertake this work.