1. The Conquest for land.
For Cornwall it all began with the Norman Conquest of 1066.
The wave of “northmen” who had invaded Britain in about 450 AD had hardly penetrated into Cornwall as attested by the fact that in 936 AD the Cornish still living in Devon were expelled, their lands and mines confiscated and the Tamar river set as the border between Cornish speaking Cornwall and England.
“The Anglo-Saxon race war against the Celts preserved virtually no trace of the Celtic languages in English”. (“The Story of English” by Robert McCran, BBC Books, 1992, page 65).
Why are we told that the 1066 Conquest for land is a thing of the past?
2. Duchy exemption from land registration
William the Conqueror 1066, acting in his capacity as “The State” claimed all the land held by the Anglo-Saxon Kings which did not include Cornwall. “The Crown is the only absolute owner of land in England and Wales” is confirmed as a central feature of the British Constitution through this statement at paragraph number 4 of the official introduction to the Land Registration Act 2002. Section 85, of the Act, exempts the Duchy of Cornwall from the requirement to register its land. This would appear to indicate an on-going secret Conquest for land by attempting to keep the public out of constitutional affairs.
3. Who controls Cornwall?
William the Conqueror created his half brother, Robert, Earl of Mortain, Lord of the county of Cornwall from 1066 to 1104. (County a back dated English put down which ignores the famous Mappa Mundi showing Cornwall, (Cornubia) as a country c. 1300AD). In the year 1225 Cornwall was created an Earldom which was held until 1272 by Richard, brother of King Henry III.
According to “The Sunday Times” Rich List of 26th March 2000, Richard was worth, in today’s values, £11.7 billion, and the report further reveals: “He controlled Cornwall and its lucrative tin mines”. The Black Prince as Duke of Cornwall from 1337 to 1376 was, the Sunday Times report continues, worth £28.2 billion.
The Conquest of Cornwall has taken many forms. The first Duchy of Cornwall Charter of 17th March 1337 claimed royal ownership of the tin mines of Cornwall as “Our stannaries” (legally covering the whole of Cornwall – Privy Council 1632, Sir George Harrrison, Keeper of the Records of the Duchy of Cornwall, “Laws of the Stannaries of Cornwall”, Longman, 1835, page 159). The tax on tin production called ‘coinage’ from 1197 and the claim to pre-emption of tin by the Earldom of 1305 were retained. The Dukes controlled Cornwall as a separate country.
4. Is Duchy of Cornwall rule for ever?
The three Duchy of Cornwall Charters have remained in force for the King’s son and his son although with the intention of maintaining the Plantagenet Dynasty in the words of the Charters, “for ever”. Parliament has since created many other dynasties but Conquest by the Duchy appears, so far, to be only constitutional for ever, to be “for ever”. Even if the Duchy of Cornwall estates were officially claimed as private, they are now part of the same political Conquest as the Crown Estate which is: “held by the Monarch in her political capacity”. (Halsbury’s Laws, Vol.12 (1) para.278)
The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 amends the Freedom of Information Act 2000, at Schedule 7 with “exemptions not subject to public interest test” which covers “communications with the Sovereign and the Heir to the Throne”.
Clearly, constitutional law is not considered to be of public interest. This Act appears to be the “Gagging law to protect Charles” predicted by “The Sunday Times” 21st March 2010. The public has never been consulted about state controlled land.
A third Duchy of Cornwall Charter of 3rd January 1338 gave the Duke literally, in fact if not in name, the powers of Conquest reinforced with the exercise of “the King’s writ” and “official acts there” etc., or absolute rule and the powers of judge and jury by the Duke in Cornwall only. This is strong evidence that Magna Charta, although including a written commitment of “for ever”, was not being applied to Cornwall unlike the “for ever” of the Duchy of Cornwall charters. Was the 1497 Cornish rebellion a demand for the rights of Magna Charta for Cornwall?
5. Should the English majority pay for the Heir to the Throne?
Yes. Because, to create the Duchy of Cornwall, Magna Charta was ignored. In particular, Article 53 (1215AD):- “To any man whom we have deprived or dispossessed of lands, castles, liberties or rights, without the lawful judgement of his equals we will at once restore these”. (Revised in 1297AD as Article 29)
The Duchy of Cornwall is political because Parliament decided to continue the Conquest by giving Cornwall to the heir to the throne to rule and manage in order to provide himself with an income principally from Cornwall. The State has thus avoided its constitutional responsibility of imposing a general tax on the English national majority to secure the future King’s income.
6. The Conquest of Cornwall
The Conquest of Cornwall continued with the expansion of the Duchy of Cornwall into England proper with acquisitions funded with investments from the profits of the racially discriminating double tax for Cornwall (compared to Devon) levied from 1197 on tin production. (The Stannaries, G.R.Lewis, Harvard, USA, 1908, page 85). In addition, from 1550 both within and outside Cornwall lands and estates were attached to the Duchy of Cornwall as a result of the abolition of the monasteries.
This double tax clearly recognised the separate identity of Cornwall up to 1838 when on its repeal the Dukes of Cornwall received an annual compensation in lieu, of £16,217.00 paid up to 1983 in addition to claiming mineral rights in Cornwall.
(‘The Duchy of Cornwall’, Crispin Gill, David & Charles, London, 1987).
By 1600 the Duchy of Cornwall had created 42 extra Parliamentary constituencies (total 44) for Cornwall with senior Duchy employees invariably being nominated and elected to Westminster. (Journal of the Royal Institute of Cornwall 1980, page 226).
A similar control policy was adopted for membership of the Stannary Parliament.
7. Mineral rights for all landowners
Currently, in the continuing Conquest of land, the Duchy of Cornwall is claiming mining rights at Talskiddy, Restormel, Cornwall. This ignores the Royal Mines Act 1688 which provides for minerals to be the property of the land owner, using the phrase: “no tin or copper mines are to be taken as royal mines”. (“Talskiddy people ‘shocked’ at Duchy of Cornwall mining rights”, BBC News, 9th February 2012).
In 1863 the Conquest of Cornwall by other means continued with the Duchy of Cornwall Management Act providing the Duke with the power of “regalities” as a possession (section 37) and the Cornwall Submarine Mines Act 1858 claiming ownership of the foreshore of Cornwall and its minerals as a territorial possession with the additional award to the Duchy of Cornwall of the rivers of Cornwall and their minerals in 1869 by the Attorney General. (Halsburys Laws, Vol.12 (1) para.268).
This Conquest of mining rights must be taken as being an act of State, a policy designed to deprive the individual landowners of Cornwall of their mineral rights in order to enhance Duchy of Cornwall income. Furthermore, it is contended that this process does infringe the principles of the Bill of Rights 1688.
8. Cornwall, the training ground
Since about 1850 the Duchy has claimed a private estate status apparently to avoid public scrutiny. However, in the Bruton v. Duchy of Cornwall case the Information Commissioner Decision of November 2011 para 109 was: “The Duchy is carrying out the public function or service of providing an income for the undertaking of an extremely important constitutional role for the UK”. In a separate Information Commission Office (ICO) Decision of 8th February 2012 ref: FER 0380352/2012 para 16, the Duchy of Cornwall is described as having a “constitution role” after a protracted and delayed FOI request to DEFRA to open a document over fifty years old. The request involved a final appeal after eighteen months to the ICO by John Kirkhope, a Notary Public who secured a favourable verdict from the ICO but is still awaiting the unlikely rejection of a Duchy appeal (applies also to Mr Bruton’s case) before being able to take possession of the requested documents. (The Guardian report, Robert Booth, 17th February 2012 “Prince Charles’s secret veto documents limited release”). This is the slow process of breaking the chains of state secrecy.
The Information Commissioner’s case of 8th February 2012, reveals at para. 19: “In the Commissioner’s view the purpose of the principle or convention referred to by Defra is to prepare the Heir to the Throne for the time when he or she will become Sovereign; to educate him/herself in the business of government”. Cornwall has clearly been set up by the State as a training ground for a medieval Monarchy to run the economy of the United Kingdom under the title of Duchy of Cornwall.
An extension to the training programme is predicted in an article in: “The Independent” of 8th April 2000; “Royal reforms to develop Charles as shadow King”.
Strangely, ‘the constitutional business of government’ appears to be a big secret. With regard to the Duchy of Cornwall, it is noted that the House of Commons Library stated in response to a question by Andrew George MP, on 16th June 1997, that “there are restrictions on any question which casts reflections upon the Sovereign or the royal family, there is a similar injunction in relation to speeches”.
The question is: Does the state secret status of the Duchy of Cornwall and the exclusion of the Cornish from the human rights Framework Convention for National Minorities reveal a scheme to wipe the Cornish off the map in order to cover up the exclusion of Cornwall from Magna Charta? (See para.5).
Additional reasons for state secrecy for the Heir to the Throne as manager of Duchy of Cornwall commercial interests is, to protect the English public from discovering: the laws of England for Cornwall, the training ground for English Kings and that the Arthurian legend of Tintagel is a symbol of resistance to: The English Conquest.
9. Nationalised land
Parliament controls some State land under the title of Crown property or Crown Estate property or Duchy property. The State exercises the freedom to provide the Duchy of Cornwall with Cornish property exclusively for the Duke and Heir. The bounty includes: the original 17 manors plus additions; regalities; treasure trove of royal and base metal objects; gold and silver mines, the stannaries, mineral rights (54,000 acres); intestate estates; bona vacantia; foreshore (160 miles); the rivers (fundus 11,300 acres), etc. This is Parliament adopting and exercising “The Divine right of Kings” by taking Cornish property as state property, or nationalised property and passing it off as a private estate. Ambiguity prevails with the admission of the Prime Minister that: “neither the Monarch nor the Duchy owns any land they are only entitled to the income”. (Hansard 27th March 1996 ).
Is the state denying responsibility for state controlled land?
The Tamar Bridge Act 1998, section 41 reveals state support for a Crown Estate and an alleged private estate: “Nothing in this Act affects prejudicially any estate, right, power, privilege, authority or exemption of the Crown or the Duchy of Cornwall”? A Lord Chief Justice would have ordered the unconditional release of all information relating to Duchy land into the public domain, as was the case in 1828. “The public has an interest in everything that is done in the Duchy of Cornwall”. Lord Chief Justice Tenterden, Rowe v. Brenton,  8B & C737, Trial at Bar, Concanen Edition, page 110).
10. Democracy compromised with exceptions to the rule
Should the business of preparing the Heir apparent for the role of Sovereign involve the Duke of Cornwall, who, as Managing Director of the Duchy of Cornwall estate, is being consulted in advance to obtain his consent for Acts of Parliament covering his Duchy interests? (Cabinet Office – guide to Making Legislation December 2010).
The Duchy of Cornwall is described as “an institution without separate legal personality”. (Halsbury’s laws, Crown Property, Vol. 12 (1) para.320). So, why so many Acts of Parliament which provide the Duke and the Duchy with exemption from criminal liability, such as the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, section 54 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 sections 111, 145, 185 and 295. There is also exemption from certain taxes as awarded in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Crown and the Government. What is expected of the Duchy of Cornwall in return for such favours?
In effect, in the training of a Sovereign for a political role, the Duke of Cornwall can be consulted in order to give his consent as to whether or not his state sponsored established business interests should be exempt from criminal liability, which unmistakeably, grants the Duke of Cornwall the freedom to continue the Conquest against the Cornish national minority on behalf of the English national majority.
“Strong arguments based on the rule of law could be raised against any claim by the executive to exempt individuals or classes of individuals from the operation of the law”. (Pretty v. UK – European Court of Human Rights – ECHR 2364/02)
11. No written constitution.
Where there is no written constitution then all law by a Sovereign Parliament must be taken as constitutional law. Therefore, all nationalised land, foreshore and rivers in Cornwall, Wales and England is of constitutional significance. Some of the land under the direct control of Government and Parliament is administered on behalf of the state by the Duke of Cornwall for Cornwall and the Crown Estate elsewhere in the UK, both with Crown immunity as government agents for what is, in effect, nationalised land just as it was in 1066AD. The 1086 Domesday Book has no record of Cornish tin although historical records of Cornish tin mines date back to 300BC and archaeological evidence for millennia.
If, like the Duke of Cornwall, the President of the United States were to prepare or consent to legislation or a constitutional amendment to provide for himself a private estate of mineral rich land and personal exemption from criminal liability, exemption from property taxes and planning laws along with exemption from questions which cast reflections, there would be no delay in condemnation by fearless constitutional experts, investigative journalists and aspiring politicians.
12. The Duchy of Cornwall monopoly
No explanation can be found or obtained as to why Parliament permits the Crown Estate managed by a Commission and designated a public institution with a prohibition on monopolistic policies and an obligation to give financial support to charitable organisations in the UK except Cornwall, whereas, the law for the Duchy of Cornwall, managed by the Heir to the Throne, and an alleged private estate, is not required to provide such publicly beneficial statutory provisions in Cornwall.
This constitutional difference of treatment has created a socially indifferent Duchy of Cornwall monopoly in Cornwall that would be excluded from a written constitution.
A Land Registry report entitled “Land Registration for the 21st century” is quoted in Parliament (Hansard 3rd February 2004, 206WH) as recommending: “There should be a clear and comprehensive framework to govern both the holding of the land by the Crown and the royal duchies, and the circumstances in which ownerless land passes to them”. The Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs noted: “The present state of the law can be described rather charitably as nonsensical”.
The modern Britons of Cornwall, after over six centuries, are still on the receiving end of the Duchy of Cornwall Conquest in the form of: “nonsensical” monopoly laws for “ownerless” and “unregistered” pre-England land in Cornwall. The Cornish are being treated as the subjects of the ‘Divine right of Kings’ to achieve their Conquest of land. The English national majority have not yet been permitted to discover the constitutional role of the Cornish in the provision of the Heir’s income on their behalf, and neither have they recognised the Cornish as a British national minority of pre-Christian origins with a Celtic language and culture.
13. Who can do no wrong?
Down through the ages the primary aim and objective of Magna Charta 1215 and 1297 was to control the monarch and protect the people from the abuse of power. This democratic principle has been rejected with the introduction of the concept: “The Sovereign can do no wrong”. (Halsbury’s Laws, 4.Ed; Vol.8; para.896), and, in addition, the possibility for the abuse of power is made visible by the prerogative now defined by the House of Commons as having “no limit”. (PASC 19, 2003).
If the Monarch now has no power as a symbolic Head of State, has the all powerful badges of “unlimited prerogative” and “can do no wrong” been acquired by people in power acting as agents, ministers and political advisers to the Crown? Are they now exercising unlimited prerogative powers with exemption from the Freedom of Information Act and exemption from criminal liability in exchange for surrendering control over the land of the Crown Estate non-monopoly and the land the Duchy of Cornwall monopoly? This is a disturbing advance for the Conquest of land project in reinstating the 1066 status quo with no 21st Century Domesday Book or Magna Charta or Bill of Rights on the constitutional agenda.
14. Where is the people’s constitution?
Power is being placed beyond legal challenge. Therefore, it is contended that there is no one-stop written British constitutional document because: ‘The Conquest’ is being used by the state to deny responsibility for state controlled land. People in power have failed to provide the public with a written one-stop British constitution which should clearly define the limits of power for all persons exercising power in order to guarantee equality before the law.
What does the public think? Should constitutional law and conventions covering past, present and future heads of state be treated as a state secret? What is preventing the organisers of public opinion polls from arranging a poll on the role of people power in Constitutional law? Britain needs a people’s Conquest for a people’s constitution.
© Save Cornwall – St. Piran’s Day 2012