Have you ever heard about the Brads of Wales, telling of the slaughter of 500 Welsh poets at Montgomery Castle? First of all, you can listen to the great Hungarian poet János Arany’s story below:
It is a poem which can be recited by heart by many Hungarians, but in Wales little is known of the verses or the legendary story of rebellion which inspired their penning. The poem of the Walesi Bardok, The Bards of Wales, tells of their legendary slaughter at a banquet in Montgomery Castle by King Edward the First, after they refused to sing his praises as their conqueror. Hundreds of years later, János Arany wrote his own tale of the bards in 1857, after refusing to write a poem celebrating the Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph, in the decade of absolutist rule following the defeat of the Hungarian revolution of 1848. While Arany’s 19th Century ballad is still taught in all schools in Hungary, many living in Montgomery, Powys, have never heard of it.
On the 2nd of March bbc.com reported on a special celebration of the life of the poet behind the “Bards of Wales” that was held in Budapest. The Mayor of Montgomery, Eric Fairbrother, also participated on the event in Hungary and said that the poem was a “great link” between the two countries. “Local people know very little about it at all. In fact it is only recently that I have been spreading the word about it,” Mr Fairbrother told BBC Radio Wales’ Good Morning Wales programme, ahead of his visit to mark 200 years since Arany’s birth.
During the televised ceremony, which was attended by President of Hungary János Áder, Mr Fairbrother presented the honorary status of Freeman of Montgomery to the famous poet posthumously.
Mr Fairbrother added the link between the two nations was more important than ever following the EU referendum.