4 comments on “Cornish – English – Duchy – County

  1. You are Cornish if you identify as such, simple as that. Genetics has nothing to do with it, and I would imagine that the vast majority of Cornish people would agree. Considering you're a councillor who has decided to spend his time working for the people of Cornwall, you're quite welcome to identify as such if you wanted to, in my opinion.

    As for the Duchy issue, nobody claims that it isn't part of the UK. And I do believe that there is a provision in the Duchy Charters that says the Duchy still exists even if there isn't a Duke – here's a quote from John Kirkhope, a notary public solicitor who probably knows more about Duchy law than anyone:

    "The right for the Dukedom not to be extinguished for want of an heir:
    This is a unique characteristic of the Duchy. For about half the period since the Duchy was created there has been no Duke. It is an honour that passes to the eldest living son, being heir to the throne of England."

    You can read that and more in the original article by John Kirkhope:


    And I commend you for taking on the topic!

  2. The three Duchy Charters make it a Duchy. It replaced an Earldom that was upholding existing Cornish rights.
    It was set up for many reasons, not just to create an income for the Heir but also for security from an increasing European threat.

    Angarrack's covered the no Duke issue, the official line is that the Duchy 'rests against' the Crown until there is a new Duke. This is important terminology as it confirms that the Duchy can never be absorbed into the Crown – for that would create a single Constitutional power for both England and Cornwall; the 2nd Duchy Charter grants the Duke the powers of a sovereign and assigns them to Cornwall only.

    You can't have two sovereigns in one Nation.

    The fact that it is administered as if it was an English Shire county has nothing to do with the constitutional position except that it would have required the permission of the Duke before it (CCC/CC)could have been set up.

    This latest trend of weighing up the Duchy, usually from a safe(ish) central stand point, is all well and good but the journey to grasping the complete Duchy picture is not a short one. Thankfully it has been made a lot easier by the likes of Angarrack, Pengelly and Murley.

    Anyone serious about understanding the Duchy should read the duchyofcornwall.eu site from start to finish and then bring to the table any holes you find in the conclusions after first comparing them to the official Duchy site's account of its own history.

    As for being English/Cornish, its not a either/or situation. Its a sliding scale affected by many factors. To try pin it down to a single 'Cornishness' factor is a bit like asking how Indian is this curry I'm cooking.

    To me, its about what you miss and yearn for when you're on the wrong side of the Tamar..

  3. The issue of what being Cornish means is something of a red herring. The question is often used to try to ridicule Cornish people. What is important is that there is a definite group of people that identify as being Cornish rather than being English. Who has the right to tell them otherwise?

    The Duchy of Cornwall was more 'recreated' or rather 'confirmed' than 'created' in the fourteenth century. Cornwall has always been a seperate part of Britain. It has never been part of England as such.For example in Norman times it was an Earldom – ruled by the Earl of Cornwall (Robert Mortain) as a viceroy. It is easy to visualise how Cornwall is seperate to England by thinking of William the Conqueror. He was the Duke of Normandy and the King of England and ruled both lands – yet England and Normandy weren't joined simply because they had the same ruler. Until Tudor times Cornwall was shown as a seperate country to England on maps and there is loads of evidence which demonstrates Cornwall's seperate status.

    There have been several attempts to take the issue to the courts but each time the attempt is thwarted by the English legal and administrative system. If someone had the money available to fund a court case then things would get very interesting.

  4. Personally, I tire of the question "What makes you Cornish?". Does anyone ask an Englishman what it is that makes him English (especially as Cornwall existed centuries before England was ever heard of)?

    Cornwall, a former Kingdom and Earldom, has been a Duchy and Crown Dependancy (opinion: John Kirkhope)for 700 years. To refer to it as merely a "county" demotes its status and does it no service. I, for one, won't do it. I always refer to The Duchy of Cornwall. On forms, I cross out 'county' and write in 'Duchy'. Why not? No one questioned this in the early-mid 20th century when Quiller Couch referred to "The Delctable Duchy", and guide books regularly used the word. Why is the term 'Duchy' so contentious now?

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