Seaweed (smellingbottle) wrote in little_details,
Seaweed
smellingbottle
little_details

infanticide, 19thc Wales, folklore, Welsh

(1) Could anyone point me to some sources to do with maternal infanticide in 19thc Wales and/or tell me whether they find my scenario plausible?

I've googled the obvious search terms and skimmed the indexes of some academic journals  but much of the material is either to do with contemporary infanticide, or other parts of the world, and a journal special issue which looked otherwise promising specifically excluded Wales.

Basically, I want to determine whether I can plausibly have a young girl (born late 1870s) come across a baby's skull, or skulls, in a stream in some remote spot in Pembrokeshire? And, if that is plausible, whether a small-town middle-class girl of fourteen or fifteen would know what she'd found and why it was there? (Possibly from listening to the servants, and or from stories or songs she may have heard from them?) I grew up with a gruesome Irish traditional song about infanticide and wondered whether there might have been something similar my character could have known.

Which brings me to my other question. Again have googled various language distribution maps and histories of the Welsh language, Welsh education etc  without getting anything specific enough.

(2) This family lives in a Pembrokeshire resort town, having moved there a few years before from Haverfordwest, which I gather has long been very anglicised. What I want to know is whether the family's servants in either place, some of whom may have moved with them, would have been likely to be Welsh speakers? What attitudes to Welsh would a non-Welsh -speaking Welsh child have been likely to hear around  her in the 1880s? 

I am going to be in Wales in the near future, so would be grateful for recommendations of any places/museums/libraries (other than the National Library) which might be relevant. Many thanks.
Tags: 1880-1889, uk: folklore, uk: history: victorian era, ~languages: celtic
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