the Cornish "invaded" England since the time of their "conquest" by the Wessex King Athelstan in 936, and the last time that Celtic soldiers fought in London. Over the next 150 years (approximately 1497-1549) no fewer than five major rebellions were to take place, while rebel Cornish armies marched into England on four separate occasions.

In 1549, after a failed revolt against Edward VI, about 20 per cent of the Cornish male population was massacred on the orders of Duke of Northumberland. Additionally, Glasney College in Penryn - which would have competed with Oxford and Cambridge today - was burned to the ground, Cornish links with Brittany severed, and the Cornish language was effectively killed off.

As late as 1933, A. K. Hamilton Jenkins was lamenting the loss of Cornish culture and folklore. He wrote:

It is no exaggeration to say that the folk-lore of the past is wholly forgotten. Of piskies and giants the average Cornishman of today knows little and cares less. He has probably never visited the holy wells and prehistoric remains which lie but a few miles from his door, has never seen a Cornish chough, nor heard of its associations with King Arthur... He takes no account of the appearance of magpies, the croaking of ravens, or the howling of dogs. He knows nothing of "pellars," of casting spells, or of the charms of "white witches." If questioned he would probably be quite unable to rake up a single legend, ghost story, spectre, or romantic belief, unless it might be some tale which a summer visitor had imparted to him. 2
2 A. K. Hamilton Jenkins, Cornwall and Its People: Cornish Seafarers, Cornwall and the Cornish, Cornish Homes and Customs (London: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1946), 314.