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A man who died for the Cornish

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: July 06, 2012

  • COMMEMORATION: Margot Bruce, a direct descendant of Thomas Flamank, at Town Wall with, from left, Keith Truscott, bard of the Cornish Gorsedd; Cadan Hawke from Bodmin; Alastair Quinnell, bard of the Cornish Gorsedd; and Cheryl Hawke from Bodmin.

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A DESCENDANT of a 15th-century Bodmin lawyer who was brutally executed by a Tudor king joined members of the Cornish Nationalist Party to commemorate his death.

Thomas Flamank was one of the leaders of the Cornish Rebellion that marched on London in 1497.

Every year the Cornish Nationalist Party marks his death at Town Wall, Bodmin, where a commemorative plaque is placed.

Party chairman Androw Hawke, who organised this year's event, welcomed Margot Bruce, a descendant of the Flamank family, who travelled from Penzance for the occasion.

Several town councillors attended, as did John Chapman, a former grand bard of the Cornish Gorseth.

Bodmin's mayor Ken Stubbs laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Bodmin and made a speech detailing the history of Thomas Flamank, who was hung, drawn and quartered on June 27, 1497, at Tyburn in London. The lawyer was one of many who opposed King Henry VII's plan to introduce an extra tax on the Cornish people to help fund an army to fight the Scots.

Michael An Gof, a blacksmith from St Keverne, was first to lead the rebellion and he was joined on his way by Flamank and many followers from Bodmin.

The Cornish were defeated at the battle of Deptford Bridge and Flamank was captured and then executed.

His last words were: "Speak the truth and only then can you be free of your chains."

Elaine Munday, the mayor's chaplain from St Petroc's Ministry, said prayers and gave a blessing before Trelawny, Cornwall's national anthem, was sung.

Mr Stubbs said Flamank was someone who had stood up for the poorest in society.

"Yes, he was a bit of a rebel but he seems to have cared for the poor people like tin miners and labourers who already had taxes to pay, in some ways he was a bit like a modern trade unionist in that he stood up for the poor, and it is right that his death should be commemorated every year.''

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  July 10 2012, 9:42PM

    Poldice fair points made. In a nutshell i fail to share the vision of salvation led by cultural /identity principles. Real advancement for the whole South West of England, who share absolutely similar challenges, should be based on sound economic hard headedness...too many high profile movers and shakers are already turning cornwall into a disney like creation of pseudo celtic invention. imho. In this tech new century we need techies...unfortunately our colleges are churning out ''X factor wannabees on dole avoidance courses''.....even Mr Lavery accepts we have a real problem in educational attainment. Hence my concern at the under investment in incentives for it reliant businesses {and that initial influx has to be imported}. The rounded plan should be to attract small/medium size new age companies here and aim our educational facilities at growing that sector. To me Cornish studies is a two month course for aspiring tourist guides....but when your name is mr deacon you get these twaddle non sense courses on the agenda.

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  • Big_Ger  |  July 10 2012, 8:35PM

    Poldice, I think your latest messages have some merit, and if nothing else, present a reasoned and reasonable case. Which is so much better for the image of Cornish nationalism, here and outside of this fora. Outside of tax avoidance, the main industries of Guernsey and Jersey are tourism, makes you think doesn't it!

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  • poldice  |  July 10 2012, 1:42PM

    Trevorrow you old twister half baked I may be not having had much schooling (I had to teach myself could have done with the Eden academy lol) but my methods have worked. We are not discussing Monaco its so small in area theres no comparison presently but there may yet be if they keep building speculative houses the way they would wish. I was merely kicking ideas into the ring to discuss dimiss whatever, but not out of hand by instant derision as is your wont. The Channel Islands are interesting constitutionally and economically we might just learn a little from them. Superfast broadband currently gives us the edge, but too much new blood as you put it merely pressurises the housing situation, I would say that if plebs had to be bussed from Plymouth to work in call centres in Truro someone somewhere will have got it wrong, whats wrong with our home bred bright eyed bushy tailed young locals craving a chance to save a deposit on their house?. Remember that while we have our sink estates and pockets of poverty populated by the long term dependent with little inclination to better themselves we are far from unique on that score, despite this most of the substantial middle band of our working population function at a pretty reasonable level. Of course we want more IT focused learning but there is a place for Cornish studies as that implies a future as well as a past. I dispute your antipathy to devolvement as I see that as part of our brand that implies diversity and strength rather than vice versa. The biggest problem being the likes of yourself glowering over a barbed wire fence at the tiny minority of equally negative types on the other side, all of you being focussed on hating each other to the serious detriment of the sane sensible majority. I DISLIKE THE WHOLE BLASTED FOOLISH LOT OF YOU!!! BIT LIKE THE LIFE OF BRIAN IS IT NOT???

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  July 10 2012, 12:41PM

    Poldice ..the world is not short of financial/tax havens. The only countries to try to go that route recently are having very minor impact with that policy. As usual your therums are half baked. Have a look at Monaco where the workers now get bussed in from France such is the pressure on property prices...that what you want? Jersey has developed alongside off shore banking from its inception. Cornwall would never rival that and mentioning Geurnsey is like comparing Cornwall with the island of Bryher. Devolvement of Cornwall would offer no advantage over what we have presently -- my only gripe would be FOR bigger pomotional incentives to take advantage of superfast bb- attracting new blood to the county ...and doing away with unearned benefits{which is what mr cameroon is talking about}. We already have educational faciliies but these need to be aimed at superfast/it inclined industries--- we do not need any more hairdressers or media studies wasters and certainly not Cornish studies {an example of nats wasted resource}

  • poldice  |  July 10 2012, 12:33PM

    No YC whilst I respect and admire our influential past my absolute frustration is with the here and now and the way that is influencing a future possibly too awful to contemplate given the greed and incompetence demonstated by our polital and business leadership. Things can and must be turned for the better, the rich already have enough, we need to forge a society where the lowly can live and work productively and rewardingly without being financially raped by government or corporate brigands.

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  • youngcornwall  |  July 10 2012, 12:18PM

    by poldice "SO YOU RECKON I HAVE A DEEPLY UNPLEASANT PERSONALITY THEN YC???" What I did say…"I would say it is frustration and clinging onto things of the past mainly"… No doubt there are exceptions, what category you fall in is best known to yourself.

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  • poldice  |  July 10 2012, 10:57AM


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  • poldice  |  July 10 2012, 10:13AM

    Yes Big_Ger I did get the point of the Life of Brian clip, my take on Cornish Nationalism is that we should respect and learn from the past but relish the prospect of a better future by exploring how to do things differently. There is no room in my vision for bitterness or hatred the past is past we must move on and we will do that by doing things well and effectively, not by being petty or vindictive but rather by being innovative and resourceful. The three great demons of fringe Nationalism were in the news yesterday... Tim Smit has managed to screw another tranche of dosh out of the EU... bully for him but why cant others sem to acess this elusive crock of gold? Rick Stein is good, very good at what he does perhaps he has caused Padstow to be overcrowded but a lot of the money spent sticks locally and quality local food producers benefit greatly, again we the Cornish are perfectly at liberty to compete. Newquay Airport, always a risky strategy but I can see great potential in the aerohub concept, all it will take is an airline to sopt the potential for establishing a maintenance base and its off, decent jobs decent wages, its up to us to get those jobs and enjoy the rewards. The great danger is speculative housing development which is causing our population to soar when it is already at the top end of sustainability numbers wise. I am a Nationalist because being Cornish born I feel irrevokably that that is right for me I have no doubts about not being English I am very disillusioned with the failings of Westminster Government and feel that a devolved Cornwall could probably do much better for itself, (it could scarecely do worse) This devolution should probably be along the lines of Gurnsey or Jersey who cope very nicely thank you, Cornwall could even given a little vision become a centre for ETHICAL financial services, God knows some ethics urgently need injecting into that little lot, a window of opportunity is currently opening that must be taken advantage of.

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  • youngcornwall  |  July 10 2012, 9:50AM

    by Big_Ger "But here we have again another shining example of why Cornish Nationalism is doomed to fail, not only does it attract those with deeply unpleasant personalities, but also those who have difficulty comprehending any simple concepts which do not fit with their narrow views." I would say it is frustration and clinging onto things of the past mainly, thinking some how Cornwall's future is in its past, this is one of their biggest hang ups in my opinion, with a large helping of trying to shove it down everybody's throat instead of getting on with their own hobby and interests.

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  • Big_Ger  |  July 10 2012, 9:04AM

    "So Big_Ger you post to expose the wickedness of those who choose to remember Flamank and An Gof as true Corish Patriots as the rabid face of lunatic fringe nationalism eh!" Not at all Poldice, anyone with a facility to read will see I have not commented on those people at all. My comment was very accurately aimed at Chy, who, yet again, proved himself unable to resist displaying his very unpleasant personality. Please show me how my comment could be interpreted in any other way? I even mentioned him by name, and even asked him to keep responding . The mantle of; "let's show Cornish Nationalism up in a bad light" seems to have been taken up by "EndUKRule" now. (Where would he like UK rule ended for?) I did, earlier, make a joke at the expense of the "Cornish Nationalist party," (note: "The party" not individuals within it,) using the well known clip from "The Life Of Brian". This showed these minority groupings, and their tendency to split up. I did this as the "Cornish Nationalist party" is a splinter group from Mebyon Kernow, which itself is a very minor player in the Cornish political scene. I think most people with a sense of humour (which excludes the nationalists, obviously,) would have got the joke. But here we have again another shining example of why Cornish Nationalism is doomed to fail, not only does it attract those with deeply unpleasant personalities, but also those who have difficulty comprehending any simple concepts which do not fit with their narrow views. As for the accusation that I "squeaks and runs", (by EndUKRule,) well there's another difference between me and the nationalists, I do not have a great deal of time to spend here. I have a full time occupation.

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