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INTERESTING HISTORICAL SPEECH AT WELSHPOOL. In connection with the prize distribution at the Welshpool County School, Mr Edward Owen, F.S.A., secretary to the Royal Commission on Welsh Monuments and Antiquities, delivered a most instructive address. Mr Owen said it was now recognised that one of the most important factors in the attainment of good educational results was the direct personal interest of the scholar. A boy who was interested in his lessons learns those lessons twice as easily as others in which he felt no interest. And the result of the increasing recognition of that very elementary truth was the univer- sal- desire to make the teaching as bright and interesting as possible. He thought that most practical educationists would agree that the subject that was capable of being made interesting to the greatest number of youthful minds was that of his- tory, and it had at last penetrated to the consciousness of the central education authority of this kingdom, the Board of Education, that the best way of teaching history was by beginning with local his- tory. In a recent circular to English secondary schools, the Board observed that it is essential that in each school atten- tion should be paid to the history of the town and district in which it is situated." It proceeded to affirm that there must in all cases be included a study of those actually existent historical remains, such as castles, city walls, monasteries, which are accessible from the school." The cir- cular had not been issued to Welsh schools, though there appeared to be every reason why it should be, but it was well known that the Welsh Department was in favour of the course there recommended. It was, of course, of immense advantage to be able to connect THE TEACHING OF HISTORY in the school with a close acquaintance with the places in the immediate vicinity of the school, or at any rate in the county in which the school was stationed where history had been made. The Board of Education circular very truly observed that It is far more important that pupils should leave school with their eyes trained to observe the historical remains which are to be found in almost every part of Eng- land, than that they should attempt to re- member the whole of the political history, much of which they cannot understand." And if that is true of England, how much more true is it of Wales, where the memo- rials of the past are far more numerous and have been preserved to a much greater extent than they have been in England." While it was probably not desirable to insist upon a too local, perhaps even paro- chial study of history, he was desirous to confine himself to suggestions as to the subjects which historicaal teaching could find at hand to work upon in the county of Montgomery. He had the pleasure of ad- dressing a Welshpool audience, and he might with special propriety confine him- self to places wihin easy distance of them, the contemplation of which should stir the blood and quicken the pulses of every true Montgomeryshire man, and at the same time should make them more sensitive to the history not merely to that county, but of the great country to which Welshmen and Englishmen were alike proud to belong. LOCAL HISTORIC PLACES. The Breidden Hill, with its memories of Caractacus the Gaer, near Montgomery, where the Roman soldier kept watch and ward; the rich meadow lands around But- tington, where the Danish invaders might have sustained defeat the few traces of the abbey of Strata Marcella, with its sweet and solemn memories Domen feastell, not a hundred yards distant from where they were then assembled, and where he under- stood the cheerful click of tennis rackets had succeeded to the clash of the spear and twang of the bow-(Iaughter)-and last, but by no means least, the great castle on the hill above the town, Powis Castle—what visions might visits to these memorials of the past awaken in the youthful minds of the pupils in that and other Montgomery- shire schools, and how the dry bones of history would clothe themselves with living interest under the guidance of a sympa- thetic teacher. But he wanted to recall to them the name a career of just one Mont- gomeryshire hero, whose story should be the possession of every Montgomeryshire boy, and the scene of whose childhood should be one of the sacred spots of pil- grimage to be visited by every Montgom- eryshire man. They had all heard of Llewelyn, the last prince of Wales, who was not a Montgomeryshire man, and they had, too, all heard of Owen Glyndwr, who was also not quite a Montgomeryshire man, but had they evecj heard of Owen of Wales, who was related to both, who was a much greater man than either, and who, moreover, had fair claims to be regarded as a Mont- gomeryshire worthy ? He had already told his story, and need now only recall the salient incidents of his life. His grand- father Rodri was younger brother to Llewelyp, THE LAST PRINCE OF WALES. His father's name was Thomas Rhodri, who lived and died as an English nobleman, and it was not known that any of his estates lay in Wales. Rhodri's son, Thomas, how- ever. by a process of which we were ignor- ant, became\a landowner in Montgomery- shire, holding—at any rate for his life-the small manor of Dinas in the old district of Mechain. There he probably resided for a certain period of his life, and there he might have died in 1363. Thomas had other estates in England, so that it was impossible to say whether his son Owen was born at Dinas ym Meehain neither did he know whether he could speak Welsh. But the fervour of his love for Wales made for the likelihood of both suggestions. Owen as grand nephew of Llewelyn, was the direct inheritor of whatever claims his grand uncle might be supposed to have transmitted, and of whatever hopes might have still lingered amongst a few Welsh- men of the restoration of the ancient line of princes. There was now no occasion for them to endeavour to estimate the reasona- bleness of validity of Owen's pretentions to be the rightful Prince of Wales We had the privilege of living in happier times, and we are looking forward to the event that should demonstrate their loyalty to their Prince of Wales, who united the na- tionalities and received the willing homage of subjects of an empire upon which the sun never set. But Owen believed in his claims, and his assertion of them led him to leave his native land, and to seek military service on the continent. After a few years of apparently aimless wanderings, he en- tered the service of the King of France, and began the military career which made his name feared by the English command- ers in that country and the English Gov- ernment at home. He was evidently ONr. OF THE GREATEST MILITARY LEADERS of his day, and they must bear in mind that this was the period of the Black Prince, Sir John Chandos, and Bertrand du Guesolin.* He was without doubt the ablest Welshman of his time, and it was in- teresting to note that thirty years later his kinsman, Owen Glyndwr, in soliciting Frereli assistance, appealed to the great services lhat Owen ap Thomas had ren- dered to the King of France. It was pro- bable that the name and personality of no enemy was so dreaded by the rulers of Eng- land until we came to the time of Napoleon, four centuries later. The tragic story of Owens romantic death had furnished the celebrated chronicler Froissart- with one of his finest passages. After a brief truce of one year, war between England and France began again in 1376. Owen was ap- pointed one of the French commanders of the army that undertook the siege of the town of Mortain on the river of Garonne. He had taken into his service as his squire one John Lamb, and the two used to talk of Wales, and possibly of Powysland. Early one morning Owen went to a little hil; whence he could view the besieged town. Sitting down he became immersed in thought—perhaps recollections of the beautiful valley of the Cain, one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL IN ALL WALES floated before the eye of his fancy, and rendered him oblivious to what was going on around him. His treacherous squire crept up behind him, and stabbed him in the back. The assassin ran for safety to the gates of the town, begging for admission on the score of having delivered the Eng- lish from one of their most dreaded enemies. The brave commander, while forced to admit the murderer, gravely shook his head at the recital of the crime, observing that "We shall have rather blame thereby than praise gentle verdict that the soothing influence of time will probably permit us all to endorse. Thus died one of the greatest and bravest of the sons of Wales. That he was fighting against his country, that his death was welcomed by his country, was nothing to us now. We could not estimate his influences of the cir- cumstances that moulded THE CHARACTER OF OWEN or directed his career in a particular di- rection. What really mattered to us was this: that he loved his country with a passionate affection, and that his last thoughts were of the beautiful hills and dales he was never destined to tread. In the not distant parish of Llansantffraid were the remains of the Welsh home of that great Welshman. There were now to be seen but a few banks and trenches-" mieri lie bu mawredd "but it was impossible to view these silent marks of man's activity without feeling the fascination of the his- tory of Owen of Wales That was, perhaps, the most romantic story, as Owen was, per- haps, the greatest of the men connected with the Montgomeryshire of the past. But there were many others whose lives should be the treasured possession of every Montgomeryshire lad, and the scenes of their labours should be the ground to which his footsteps were directed. The power of a great career was not ended with the life of him who was chosen by Provi- dence to manifest it. Fortunately, also, youth was the time at which noble im- pressions were most easily received, noble examples most easily adopted. The study of local history, -associated as it should always be with the study of local antiqui- ties, was, in sympathetic hands, capable of exercising more direct effect upon the for- mation of character than perhaps any other branch of study. He, therefore, hoped that it would win its way into the curriculum of every school in Wales (cheers).

Death of a Montgomery Recluse.



The End of the Election.

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