THE WELSH CHAPLAINS JOAN N. HARDING Failure to understand the importance of language in the running of public affairs was perhaps even more widespread in the last century than it is today and in one particular instance resulted in some of Glamorgan's leading men of the day having to make a humiliating U-turn. The trouble was brought about by the insensitivity of the County Magistrates to the need of Welsh-speaking prisoners to communicate in their own language with the prison chaplain. The resulting situation highlights the different attitudes existing in different parts of the County and perhaps explains to some extent the need felt later for the division into West and South Glamorgan, with Mid Glamorgan as an ill-defined buffer state sharing some features of both the others. An advertisement in The Times of November 18, 1858 for chaplains for the County Goal in Cardiff and the House of Correction in Swansea had stated quite clearly that a knowledge of Welsh was not needed. The accuracy of such a statement had been queried ten days later in a letter to The Cambrian which pointed out firmly that 'the candidates to have the spiritual charge of Welsh prisons should be no other than men who were masters of the Welsh language' a view fully endorsed by the Editor. Nevertheless, when the shortlist appeared, there was not a single Welsh speaker among the seven candidates selected from the seventy-eight applicants in readiness for the appointments to be made at the Quarter Sessions to be held in Cardiff on January 20, 1859; and in reply to a question from Colonel Evan Morgan of Swansea, the Deputy Chairman, H. A. Bruce, the future Lord Aberdare, stated that the question of language had not entered into the selection. This Colonel Morgan considered a grave mistake as visiting justices in an earlier meeting in Swansea had informed the magistrates that.they considered that Welsh was at least desirable. In a letter in lThe Cambrian' of January 14 the Rev. J. Powell Jones of Loughor pointed out that the magistrates themselves found it necessary to hire an interpreter for almost every Quarter Sessions or Assizes. It was ridiculous to imagine that, by some miracle, men who did not understand English in court would suddenly become conversant with it in prison. The one ray of hope was that the chaplains at Cardiff Prison and Swansea House of Correction had to be licensed by the Bishops of Llandaff and St. David's respectively as well as receive the sanction of the Secretary of State, and it was suggested that these gentlemen should be memorialised at once. In addition, in compliance with a