Love Prichard – The Last King of Bardsey Island

Love Prichard with the crown and Lord Newborough, 1925

The tradition of the King of Bardsey is one shrouded in the clouds of history.  Nobody knows when the tradition started, but John Williams (see below) was the first named king.  As well as the crown, newly crowned Kings were given a ceremonial silver snuff box.

This is an extract from Wikipedia about the King of Bardsey:

It was tradition for the island to elect the King of Bardsey (Welsh:Brenin Enlli), and from 1826 onwards, he would be crowned by Baron Newborough or his representative. The crown is now kept at Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool, although calls have been made for it to return to Gwynedd.  The first known title holder was John Williams; his son, John Williams II, the third of the recorded kings, was deposed in 1900, and asked to leave the island as he had become an alcoholic. At the outbreak of World War I, the last king, Love Pritchard, offered himself and the men of Bardsey Island for military service, but he was refused as he was considered too old at the age of 71. Pritchard took umbrage, and declared the island a neutral power.[39] In 1925 Pritchard left the island for the mainland, to seek a less laborious way of life, but died the following year.

The Bardsey Crown

The Bardsey Crown

The population of Bardsey peaked at 132 in 1881 and fell to 17 in 1961, the population in 2003 was 4.

Love Prichard died childless, so the noble lineage ended.  The crown was returned recently, in 2009 when it was exhibited in Bangor as part of a celebration of the history of Bardsey.

Love Prichard not only looks like a medieval king, but seemed to act like one also.  Crowns seem to go to a mans head!

For more info. on Bardsey and its apples, see the post below.

King John Williams II of Bardsey

King John Williams II took the crown when he was only one day old.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mama Wolf said,

    Lee-Ji,

    What a ray of light you are in the darkness of this lost world for lost souls….

    Soon spring will be springing and hopefully, so will we….

    Until then, shine on, crazy love ~ and keep this blog rolling like a green pea that never opens…. xxxx

  2. 2

    Mal Hughes said,

    Greetings – just to point out that the photograph above captioned as Love Pritchard with the crown and Lord Newborough 1925, that the naval gentleman is in fact Capt. Jarrett, Trinity House.


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