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The relationship between the members of a kindred was normally a real blood relationship, but we read of nine methods “by which strangers can become relations."* Each of these consists of some great service done to a kindred, espousing its cause in a blood feud, or the like, and the benefactor thereby becomes a member of the clan which he has benefited. There are other passages which show that similar legal fictions were not unknown. The lord who takes by escheat becomes the son of the dead man,i and as already said a man may be his own father’s father. But normally the bond of union was blood relationship, and that agnatic. The bond of kindred was closely connected with the possession of land, and though there is some slight conflict between our various authorities, it seems perfectly plain that according to the oldest law, and the law which prevailed in Gwynedd down to the time of Edward the First, no woman could in any case inherit land? In three quite exceptional cases she could transmit to her sons a right to inherit hei father’s land along with her brothers. It is constantly assumed that is the duty of a woman’s kinsmen to give her in marriage where her sons may obtain a paternal inheritance. If they fail in this duty her sons will inherit through their mother. If a Welshwoman be given in marriage to an alien, if she be given as a hostage into a foreign land and there marry, if she suffer rape by an alien, her sons will inherit with their maternal uncles and be members of their mother’s kin.§ These (with one other to be hereafter mentioned) are the exceptional cases, and in
' Bk. X., 2. 1- c.g., Ven. II., 6. § 28.
1 The Bishop and |Chapter of St. Asaph, stating their grievences against Llywelyn (AD. 1276). say. “ Mulieribus et si alii heredes deficiant, jus successionis hereditarie immo denegat. Set hoe consuetudo patrie est." This admission seems conclusive. See also the Statute of Rhuddlan. and Ven. ll., 15, § 1.
§ Ven. II., 15, § 1-4. The same rules with slight variations occur in many
all others it is through males and only through males that relationship is traced.
A man therefore belongs not to many kindreds, but to one kindred, namely, that to which his father belongs. But it is avery noticeable fact that marriage did not in \Vales, any more than in England, take a woman out of her own kindred and transfer her to that of the husband. Here we can only notice this fact, hoping to return thereto at a more convenient season. However, plain it is that in \Vales, as in England, the wife remained a member of her own kindred.* But though, as already said, a child normally belongs to his father’s kin, there are exceptions to this rule. Owing to the somewhat loose notions of marriage and legitimacy which prevailed in \Vales, it was not always easy to determine who a child’s father was. Apparently the son even of a common prostitutei is not a child without a father. If the mother can affiliate him he becomes a member of his father’s clan. If the attempt to affiliate him be unsuccessful (and no 1nore than one attempt is ever allovi/ed), he becomes a member, and seemingly a perfectly legitimate member of his mother‘s clan. For him, as for the most lawfully begotten of children, a wergild (or galanas) is payable, and there being no father's kindred a greater share than usual is paid to the maternal relatives.1 If the man on whom a child is fathered be living, he may free himself by solemn oath.§ If he be dead then the matter rests with his kindred. Here we see the clan and its chieftain in full activity and get a glimpse of the organisation. The chief with six of the clan may go to the church and there by oath repudiate the child, and seven other members must swear that the oath is pure. If there be no chief, the men of Gwynedd require the oaths of twenty-one kinsmen, while in Powys and Dyfed
there must be fifty swearers. Provision, however, is made to prevent the denial being given by those whose interest conflicts with their duty. Those with whom the child would be entitled to share the paternal inheritance are disqualified to repudiate him. Until solemnly repudiated the child is “ a son by sufferance,” and the clan must pay if he commits manslaughter, but have no claim if he be slain, having as it were the burden but not the benefit of being related to him.* A solemn and impressive form of adoption is provided. The chief and six of the best men may acknowledge the child. The chief takes the child‘shands within his own and kisses it, then places its hands within those of the oldest of the other men, who kisses it, “ and so from hand to hand until the last man." If there be no chief, the ceremony is performed by twenty-one (according to others, fifty) of the clan’s best men.‘r
Over the clan there presides a chieftain (pencenedl). Concerning the title by which he holds his power, the more trustworthy sources give us but little and that negative information. It is not a hereditary title. “ A son is not to be chief of kindred after the father in succession, for chief of kindredsl1ip is duringlife.”,t From this we may infer that though not deemed hereditary, such it was tending to become ; and this is probable, for from the same source we learn that the nobility of the chief extended to the members of his family, their galanas, or as the English would have said wer, being greater than that of the mere non-noble free man.§ Less trustworthy authorities are richer in information. “A chief of kindred is to be the oldest efiicient man in the kindred to the ninth descent.”|| How far this
* Bk. V., 1, § 7. Bk. V.I 2, § 82.
1* Ven. 11., 31. Dim. 11., 8, § 30 Gwent. ll., 39, §4o. Bk. X., 7, § 4. Bk. XML, 2, § 120.
I, Gwent. II., 40, § 10. § Gwent. IL, 5, § 1!. Dim. II., 17, §23.
|| Bk. XML, 2, §88.
requirement was actually fulfilled in practice we cannot say, nor is it impossible that age was reckoned in some artificial manner which represented the members of an older line as themselves older than members of younger branches, for by such means a transition may have been made to that hereditary transmission of the ofiice against which the law expressly provides.
The chiefs position is one of honour and privilege. In the \Velsh laws, as in other ancient systems, every man has his price, the price which must be paid for him in case he be slain. In VVales this price is called galanas, and like the wergild of the Teutonic nations, it fixes a man’s station in society.* Now the galanas of the chief is according to the Venedotian Code, “nine score and 'nine kine once augmented.”l Concerning the phrase “once augmented ” we can only here say that it seems to mean that the sum named is to be increased by one-third of itself. The chiefs value therefore is 252 kine. He is thus ranked on a level with the highest of the king's servants or officers of state, the steward, the chancellor, and the chief huntsman. The value of the mere VVelsh free man according to the same system is 63 kine.I In the other codes the difference between the chief and the free man is still greater, the life of the one being apparently nine times as valuable as that of the other.§ In short, no one is more honourable than the chief of a clan, save only the king, queen, heir apparent to the throne, and the chief of the royal household, for even the king has his price in \Vales, as in England and in Scotland.
Many other payments are regulated by the amount ofa man’s galanas, for instance, his samad or honourprice, the sum
*‘ The same word galncs or gnluys occurs in the old Scotch Rcgiam Majestntvm. (Acts of Parliallmlf of Scotland, p. 273, 276, 300.) Seemingly it means murder, slm1ghtcr.
1- Ven. III., 1, § 27.
I Ven. III., 1, § 31.
he receives if insult be done him, the ebediew, relief or heriot payable on his death, the amobyr or fine for leave to marry his daughter, and the cowyll or morning-gift and agweddi or dower to be provided by her husband. Thus his galanas fixes a man’s general status, just as in England many legal consequences depend on the amount of a man’s war. Judging by this standard, the chief’s position is honourable and exalted. He enjoys other privileges and immunities. He receive galanas for the death of a kinsman, but does not pay.‘ He is entitled to twenty-four pence from every youth admitted to the kindred, and to twenty-four pence from every kinsman who places a woman under his protectioniTo slay him is among the gravest crimes.1 In all matters which concern the clan he takes the lead, and if in “ counselling ” a kinsman he has recourse to a blow, that blow may not be redressed.§
Thus much we have on good authority. The Triads of Dynwal, to which we refer with very much less confidence, ascribe to the chieftain vast political and constitutional importance. For instance, it is by a chief of kindred that an assembly may be convoked for the deposition of an unjust king.|| These Triads bring out very strongly the theory, doubtless the old traditional theory, that the \Velsh nation is constituted, not of individuals, but of kindreds each under its own chief. But they are poetic and vague, and probably in their present form of little 'value as evidence of fact, though of much value as evidence of ideals and aspirations. They leave the impression that the kindred for many purposes, both civil and constitutional, acts as a body, being in some sort represented by its chief. Also the chief has large though rather indefinite powers in the internal government of the kindred and the direction of its affairs. “ Every one of