Royal Wealth status from Cornish Mining wealth

"The tax of the King of Spain is said to be very ill paid, and that of the Duke of Cornwall very well". 'The Wealth of Nations", Adam Smith, 1776.

Seneth Stenegow Kernow
Guaranteed by the Royal Mines Act 1693 Stannary Information Office
9, coombe park, bal lake, camborne, tr14 ojg kernow , G.B. -

a thought for St.Piran's Day twentyten.


1. Royal World Status from Cornish Mining wealth

Adam Smith, in his world renowned standard text-book for economists, ‘The Wealth of Nations’ 1776, Chapter 11, Pt.2, explains: “The tax of the King of Spain is said to be very ill paid, and that of the Duke of Cornwall very well. Rent, therefore, makes a greater part of the price of tin at the tin mines of Cornwall the most fertile known in the world than it does of silver at the most fertile silver mines in the world”. The Stannary mining system has been recognised as the foundation of Cornwall’s status as a UNESCO World Mining Heritage Site, however, the Duke of Cornwall refuses to acknowledge the constitutional history of the Duchy in its monopolisation of Cornish mining wealth. This Duchy, capable of competing with Spain’s South American colonies in terms of the accumulation of wealth, is now claimed by the government to be a private estate.

There is an historical precedent for the administration of the Duchy of Cornwall as a separate country to provide an apprenticeship for Kingship in the case of Charles the First. A former high ranking official of the Duchy has observed in respect of Charles the First as Duke of Cornwall:- “The Prince may have become the victim of his own success, believing that he could govern the realm as he had the Duchy”. (The Estates of the English Crown 1558 – 1640, (Ed. R.W.Hoyle), Graham Haslam, Cambridge University 1992, p.296). This is an example of the “pretended power” abolished by the Bill of Rights 1688. Such Duchy claims as “territorial possessions” and “the government of Cornwall” were made by the Duke in the Cornwall Foreshore dispute between the Duchy and the Crown 1854-58,

The First Duchy of Cornwall Charter (11.Edw.3) (17th March 1337) was printed by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in 1978 as “Statutes in Force”, Constitutional Law: 10. That means a constitutional Duchy is not a private estate as claimed by the Government who, make no reference to the second charter (18th March 1337) which grants the Duke of Cornwall: “The King’s Writ and Summons of Exchequer and Attachments in the aforesaid county of Cornwall”. (Published in the Concanen Edition of the Trial at Bar, Rowe v Brenton, 1828). Therefore, Cornwall is the Duchy. “Stannar’ totius Ducatus Cornub’”, Stannaries over the whole of the Duchy of Cornwall. (The Case of the Stannaries, Lord Coke, 12.Co.Rep.12), and the Duchy is Cornwall.

The designation “private estate” in place of a constitutional acquisition appears to be an attempt to break the historical constitutional link between Cornwall and the Crown.

2. The Duchy and the Pre-England Stannary Mining System

From the very beginning the project was of obscure validity. “The Charter (for the first ever English Duchy on 17th March 1337) created a mode of descent unknown to the common law”. (Halsbury’s Ed.4 Vol.8, Constitutional Law, para.1560). Hence, the appealing title ‘Duchy of Cornwall’ with a claim to Tintagel Castle as a link to Arthurian legend in denial of Magna Charta 1215 and 1297 to achieve both identity theft and the acquisition of minerals.

This desire to convert British history into English history is confirmed by a charter of the 16th March 1337, concerning the Earl of Salisbury, in which the King divulges his plan “to restore old honours” and observes: “we have advanced our first born son to be Duke of Cornwall over which a while ago Dukes for a long time successively presided as chief rulers”. (i.e. Cornish rulers). Behind the scenes the Charter claimed the Stannaries, the pre-England Cornish mining system documented as “civilised” c.300 BC. (The Voyage of Pytheas the Greek’ Professor B.Cuncliffe, Walker & Co, New York, 2002). The Heir to the Throne automatically inherits the title of the Duke of Cornwall. It is strange that only the cultural and economic assets of the Cornish Celts should be transferred to the Crown as: “a mode of descent unknown to the common law” when all other Crown land is held by the Monarch in her political capacity. (Halsbury’s Constitutional Law 4.Ed: Vol.8: para.1416).

The second Duchy Charter, not published as constitutional law, granted, in effect, dictatorial powers “throughout Cornwall”. That is, the “King’s Writ” etc. for the Duke was not valid for, and did not apply to Duchy properties outside Cornwall in what was considered to be England to the East of the River Tamar. This concentration of dictatorial powers for Cornwall, exposes a racially motivated plan against the Cornish national minority, considered justified because they were not English executed secretly by the King’s Writ or, in effect, royal prerogative. Racial superiority was also reflected in the coinage or Duchy tax, which was levied on the tin production of the Cornish Stannaries at twice the rate applicable to Anglo-Saxon Devon up to 1838. This was the customary English double tax for foreigners (Coke.4.Inst.33) avariciously applied to the indigenous Cornish. (‘The Stannaries’, G.R. Lewis, Harvard, USA, 1908). On the abolition of the coinage tax in 1838 the Duke was paid compensation of £16,216.00 per annum up to 1983.

On the 17th March 1337 the state claimed a prerogative right to the mining and cultural assets of Celtic Cornwall to provide an income for the heir to the throne, and, before the ink was dry, next day, on the 18th March 1337, a political Charter with prerogative powers to exploit Cornwall and the Cornish because they were Celts. Duchy Charters were retrospectively declared to be Acts of Parliament in: ‘The Prince’s Case’ of 1606. (8.Co.Rep.13b).

In 1688 the Royal Mines Act declared: “no tin or copper shall be taken as a royal mine”. Cornwall was exempted from this Act to allow the Duchy of Cornwall to continue its Charter powers for wealth acquisition in Cornwall from tin mining as noted by Adam Smith.

3. There has been no break with the past, except to hide the past

‘Legal meaning’ is accorded to: “Crown lands”. That is, “The lands which the Sovereign enjoys in her political capacity in right of the Crown”. (Halsbury’s Constitutional Law 4.Ed: Vol.8: para.1416). However, the Duchy of Cornwall has been separated from the Crown Estate in what may be an example of: “the Anglo-Saxon race war against the Celts”, identified by the absence of Celtic in the history of the English language. (‘The Story of English’ BBC Books, Faber and Faber, London 1992, page 65).

The bulk of Duchy mineral wealth was not invested in Cornwall. Today, the Duke of Cornwall invests in traditions from: “Middleport Pottery “ Stoke on Trent to Saxon villages in Transylvania, Romania. For Cornwall it is the disputed “serfdom” near Newquay by Ducal dictat with no respect for Cornish traditions.

The Crown Estate provides social benefits and marine stewardship funds throughout the United Kingdom except Cornwall. In 2005 the Crown Estate affirmed: “The analogous landowner in Cornwall is the Duchy of Cornwall”. The Duchy does not provide a similar Crown Estate type public service in Cornwall. The Cornish are still being treated as foreign in their own country in matters of the original Crown and the subsequent Duchy property claims.

By the Land Registration Act 2002: “The Monarch is owner of all land”. By section 37 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, “Information is exempt information if it relates to (a) communications with Her Majesty or other members of the Royal Family”. (i.e. Ministerial communications). Communications in relation to land are, therefore, “political”. Since the Duchy Estate reverts to the Crown when there is no Duke and; (i) the Duchy Estate is also part of “all land”, then; (ii) Duchy land, exempt from land registration, is “political” and; (iii) the Duke’s communications are also “political”, and yet; (iv) the government claims “a private Duchy of Cornwall estate” which looks like the abuse of power to hide the truth about current political support under the Duchy of Cornwall Management Acts 1863 to 1982.

Even the Audit Commission, in August 2006, is accused of blackmailing the Cornwall Council into aborting its policy of collecting statistics on the Cornish. There is no explanation, so, does this involve Duchy authority? These examples show that the Cornish are only recognised as a nation when people in power discriminate against them.

It all adds up to: “the abuse of power” as hinted at by the Royal Commission on the Constitution 1973, Kilbrandon, where it is observed at page 329: “The creation of the Duchy of Cornwall may have been a mark of English overlordship”.

4. Planning for a future of “no legal meaning”

A determined effort to suppress the history of the Duchy of Cornwall would appear to be the reason why the government of England/UK, in its second report of 2006, unamended by its third report of 2009 on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, (from which the Cornish national minority have been excluded since 1998), has informed the Council of Europe that: “The term “national minority” has no legal meaning in the UK and so there is no mechanism under any of the UK’s legal jurisdictions to grant ‘national minority status’ to any particular group nor is it proposed to introduce any such mechanism”. (Department for Communities & Local Government ,5 December 2006).

A policy of “no legal meaning” in respect of the existence of a national minority has obviously evolved from the secretive “impossible to define” royal prerogative and Crown immunity loop-holes which are in fact the sort of thing that the Bill of Rights 1688 was intended to abolish. Article 1 provides: “That the pretended power of suspending of laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal”.

The Duke of Cornwall claims the right to speak his mind without losing his job just like any other unelected person. The Duke’s job involves assembling an array of private constitutional rights, immunities and powers (Refer Appendix A to Z) while denying a guaranteed constitutional right to equality before the law for one and all, which, in effect, is a denial of justice for the Cornish national minority. Meanwhile, the Duke has been accused, in relation to planning law, with “the abuse of power” and “unconstitutional behaviour” and “using his influence behind closed doors”. (Sir Richard Rogers, ‘The Guardian’, 15th June 2009). The Duke’s conduct could be described as “pretended power” with “no legal meaning”.

There is a failure to prevent the English prerogative from promoting bias by grace and favour decisions, good for some but not for others. A House of Commons Committee has recently described the royal prerogative as; “It remains impossible to define the exact limits of the prerogative”. The most serious conclusion to be drawn from this definition is that it is impossible to define the exact limitations of English political power. The Committee adds: “The Queen can do no wrong”, and “unaccountable prerogative powers” and “it is not possible to give a comprehensive catalogue of prerogative powers”. Such is the stated position of: The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee in its publication: “PASC 19” of 13th November 2009. The all party PASC committee made no recommendation for reform.

The Supreme Court Act 1981, section 120, covers the exemption from sureties in the administration of bankruptcies for: “a consular officer of a foreign state and, for the Duke of Cornwall” in respect of bankruptcies in Cornwall. The Crown Estate publishes a list of its acquisitions of land from this source but, the Duchy does not for Cornwall. Clearly, the legal meaning of sovereign diplomatic immunity and crown immunity is a state secret.

In English law the Duke also has the right to: “demand or control legal proceedings affecting his rights, property and profits” under the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, section 40 (2g). as in the case of Rowe v Brenton of 1828. This may now be achieved in secret under section 37 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. State policies have guaranteed the power of Crown immunity for the beneficiary of an income from Cornish mines , land and archaeological sites while the Cornish national minority has: “no legal meaning”.

The Duchy of Cornwall Charters have been taken and applied as valid for a number of centuries. They enabled the Duke to exercise full powers in Cornwall, including the creation of 42 additional Westminster Parliamentary constituencies up to the Reform Act 1832 giving Duchy nominated candidates 44 seats whereas Scotland had but 45. The accumulated political support of additional Acts of Parliament, and constitutional rights of exemption from some Acts, (Appendix A to Z), would appear to indicate that the original Duchy Charters, at best, relied on “pretended power” (once abolished by the Bill of Rights) for legal authority or, were considered to be of uncertain legal validity. The attempts to convert the Duchy of Cornwall estate from a constitutional emanation of the state to a pseudo private estate, protected by an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act 2000, arouses the suspicion of deception to hide the history of Cornwall. This development is in total contradiction to the ruling of the Lord Chief Justice in 1828 that: “the Duchy is of public interest”. (Trial at Bar, Rowe v Brenton, Concanen Edition, 1830).

5. The denial of equality before the law in English law

“No legal meaning” when applied to: “a national minority”, as included in the list of possible beneficiaries given at Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, calls into question the intent and integrity of the government of the United Kingdom in its interpretation and application of the Human Rights Act. “No legal meaning”, is therefore, an official declaration of immunity from legally enforceable responsibilities for those in power. This is the same: “UK legal jurisdiction to grant” automatic preference to Duchy prerogative powers in support of the historic deprivation of Cornwall and its people.

Put simply, there can be: “no legal meaning” where there are no enforceable laws such as: equality before the law. “There is no statutory guarantee of equality before the law”. (Professor Francesca Klug, Research Fellow, London School of Economics, 6th July 2006). This basic international human and democratic right of equality has an enforceable legal mechanism in the Constitution of the Monarchy of Sweden at Article 1/9: “Courts, public authorities and others performing functions within the public administration shall observe in their work the equality of all persons before the law and shall maintain objectivity and impartiality”. Equality before the law, intended to prevent the abuse of power, is not included in UK Equality Acts.

Although Britain has only a British passport the state funded English Heritage constitutes British recognition of an English national majority but, with “no legal meaning” for equality to be applied to the Cornish right to exist as an indigenous British national minority.

If legal proceedings were undertaken in a racial discrimination case involving the unrecognised Cornish national minority of Britain, the conclusive proof of the Cornish national identity would involve the three Duchy Charters as evidence.

If, in such a case where the Duchy has the apparent freedom to “intervene” with “pretended power” (once abolished by the Bill of Rights) and “behind closed doors” the Cornish must assume that there cannot be a successful result while the dice is so heavily loaded against them without a guaranteed and enforceable equality before the law with no exceptions.

Prerogative rule or the freedom to racially discriminate is made possible by the failure to absorb United Nations law into English law. International observers note: “Institutional racism can only be challenged by the expensive and risky approach of judicial review”. (Laws of Members of the European Union, Raxen 4, re, UK Law, Vienna 2004, para.3.2.4).

6. Is modernisation possible?

The policy of the government of the United Kingdom to grant unaccountable power to the Duke of Cornwall with “no legal meaning” helps to maintain secrecy regarding the cultural and mineral assets of the indigenous Britons of Cornwall taken to enhance the status of the Heir to the Throne and relieve the English national majority of taxation for the Duke’s income. If the Duchy of Cornwall had invested only half of its income in Celtic Cornwall from land, pre-England monuments, base and royal minerals, intestate estates, bona vacantia, treasure trove and foreshore back into Cornwall over the past six centuries, instead of investing outside Cornwall in London and elsewhere, then it might not have been necessary for Cornwall to have European Union Objective One and Convergence funding.

“What is invidious about the position of the Duchy is its compromising of the original principle of English constitutional law, that the Monarch should be dependent on Parliament for finance”. (Who Owns Britain, Kevin Cahill, Canongate, Edinburgh, 2002). This means that Parliament should raise taxes to provide for the heir to the throne. It is completely unacknowledged that Celtic Cornwall was targeted to relieve English people of their constitutional duty of paying taxes for the upkeep of the heir apparent.

There is “no legal meaning” for the present exclusion from English law of: Article 13 covering:- “an effective remedy for violations by persons acting in an official capacity” and Protocol 12 of the European Convention of Human Rights which provides: “No one shall be discriminated against by any public authority”. Clearly, these exclusions have the advantage for the English national majority of preventing an effective Cornish legal claim against the institutionalised party political racial discrimination caused by refusing to provide a transparent explanation as to why the Duchy of Cornwall still has the power to extract an income from Cornwall while the Crown Estate is still not permitted to invest in Cornwall.

The Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles has exemptions from Acts of Parliament, the absolute power of Crown immunity and sovereign immunity in addition to the “pretending prerogative powers” outlawed by the Bill of Rights 1688, which provide the unchallengeable means to intervene in current Cornish affairs behind the scenes to impose a private manifesto. For the Cornish people this sort of “legal jurisdiction” represents institutional racism to permit the Duke of Cornwall to maximise his income.

It is contended that current English policies, such as mass house building at inflated prices for Cornwall, expose the fact that England is losing respect for minority rights, objectivity and honesty. Reform is necessary to ensure that the Duke of Cornwall is private and that the Duchy of Cornwall Estate is run for the benefit of the Cornish public.

© Cornish Stannary Parliament February 2010

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