Cornwall History


Cornwall history

During the British Iron Age Cornwall, like all of Britain south of the Firth of Forth, was inhabited by the Celtic people known as the Britons. The Celtic British language spoken at the time eventually developed into several distinct tongues, including Cornish.  At this time, Cornwall was part of the territory of the tribe of the Dumnonii and after a short period of Roman rule (there is little evidence that Roman rule was effective west of Exeter), Cornwall reverted to rule by independent Celtic chieftains.  After a period of conflict with the Kingdom of Wessex, it became a part of the Kingdom of England which was subsequently incorporated into Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

Some question the constitutional basis for the administration of Cornwall as part of England, arguing that the Duchy Charters of 1337 place the governance of Cornwall with the Duchy of Cornwall rather than the English Crown. These charters are argued to distinguish Cornwall from England constitutionally, to such an extent that Cornwall should not be described as part of England in a constitutional sense. Others do not accept this argument, and assert that Cornwall is constitutionally part of England, citing various other precedents, including Cornwall's representation in the Westminster Parliament from an early date.