FOR KING AND COUNTRY
Introduction | Micronations | Enclaves/Exclaves | Disputed | Historic Anomalies | Other ]

  LLANRWST

Llanrwst is a small town in North Wales. It takes its name from the 5/6th century Saint Grwst, and the original church in Cae Llan.

In 1276 Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, a Welsh Prince, also know as Llywelyn the Last seized the town, declaring it a "free borough" independent from the diocese of Llanelwy. Although the Archbishop went as far as to seek the help of the Pope to overturn this, his attempts failed, Llywelyn pleading a close family tie to the place as a reason for safeguarding it.

After the death of Llywelyn in 1282, every further attempt by the Archbishop of Llanelwy failed, the Cistercian monks of Aberconwy Abbey (where Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Llywelyn's father, had died in 1240) insisted that it be allowed to keep the independence which had belonged to it for 29 years, and ripped down any banners related to the Bishopric or to Edward I of England. (A century later, the monastery was moved eight miles upriver to Maenen, near Llanrwst)

The town consequently has its own coat of arms and flag, and this is the origin of the old local motto "Cymru, Lloegr a Llanrwst" (Wales, England and Llanrwst).

In 1947, Llanrwst town council made an unsuccessful submission to the United Nations for a seat on the security council, stating that Llanrwst was an independent state within Wales. The chairman and secretary of the Llanrwst Historical Society have now obtained proof of this from the UN in New York.

I have not been able to find any reference to this on any other site except Wikipedia. I even was not able to find the Coat of Arms hereforementioned. However there are a lot of websites in plain Welsh about Llanrwst, as such unreadable, which could have more information.

Added on 24 mar 2007
Coordinates: 53°8'13.63"N,3°47'37.61"W
Sources: Wikipedia

  LUNDY

Historically Lundy was the home of French and other pirates. It passed from aristocratic ownership to private ownership in the 19th century.

Martin Coles Harman bought the island of Lundy, the mail contract, as well as the MV Lerina, in October of 1925 after which he proclaimed himself a king. Harman also issued two coins of Half Puffin and One Puffin value in 1929. It was this coinage that landed him in trouble. The House of Lords, in 1931, found him in violation of England's 1870 Coinage Act. He was fined ten pounds. The coins were withdrawn and became collectors' items.

On November 1st 1929 Lundy starts issuing its own stamps. Postage values were in "Puffins", named after the abundant Puffin bird.
The Puffin had the same value as the English Penny. However the stamps had to be glued to the backside of the letter. On English soil normal English stamps were put on the front of the letter in order to be accepted by the English Postage.

Residents did not pay taxes to England and had to pass through customs when they travelled to and from Lundy Island. The 1980 population was 34 people.

Following the death of Harmon's son in 1968, Lundy was sold in 1969 to the National Trust.

Although the island was ruled as a virtual fiefdom, its owner never claimed to be independent of the United Kingdom, so this differed from later territorial "micronations".

Lundy is now run by a charity called Landmark Trust, which maintains properties on the island that are rented to tourists. The income is used to maintain the properties and the island.

Added on 27 dec 2005
Coordinates: 51°10'0"N,4°40'0"W
Sources: Official Site, Wikipedia, A Coomens (Dutch)

  PRINCIPATO DI SEBORGA

On 21 May 1995 the news program ARD Weltspiegel (German television) reported from the 'independent Principato di Seborga' at the foot of the Ligurian Alps in Italy (near the border with France). At the end of April, the majority of the inhabitants (304 against 4) of this tiny village voted in favor of independence. The inhabitants might have voted for the independence in an illegal referendum made by Mr. Carbone, but they still vote in the legal elections of the Republic of Italy. The mayor, Franco Fogliarini, democratically elected by the citizens of the municipality of Seborga on 13 May 2001, is openly against the independence of Mr. Carbone's "Principality".

From ancient times Seborga was part of the county of Ventimiglia. In 1079 it became a feudal possession of Cistercian order, administered by the Knights Templar. Since then Seborga was lucky to keep its independency.
  • In 1729 Seborga was sold to Victor Amadeus II van Savoye, king of Piëmont-Sardinië. However this was not registered in the archives of Savoie or Piëmont-Sardinië. Officially Seborga stayed independent.
  • In 1748 Seborga was not involved in the forming of the Republic of Genua.
  • Also the Congres of Vienna in 1815 did not reckon Seborga.
  • This was also the case during the forming of the Republic of Italy in 1946.

    Since 1963 Seborga is governed by a democratically elected prince, currently Giorgio I di Seborga. It is a constitutional monarchy and an independent state. The Italian state was not able to withstand this by means of legal papers. However the small state in not officially recognized by any other state.

    Added on 10 jan 2006
    Coordinates: 43°50'0"N,7°42'0"E
    Sources: Official Site, Worldstatesmen.org, Wikipedia (Dutch)

  •   RÉPUBLIQUE DU SAUGEAIS

    The Free Republic of Saugeais is located in the upper valley of the river Doubs, an area known as Val Sauget since the XIIth century. The republic is made of the 11 municipalities of Les Alliés, Arçon, Bugny, La Chaux-de-Gilley, Gilley, Hauterive-la-Fresne, la Longeville, Maisons-du-Bois-Lièvremont, Montbenoît, Montflovin and Ville-du-Pont.

    In 1947, the Préfet of the department of Doubs, Mr. Ottavianni, came to Montbenoît to attend the recruiting board. He took his lunch in the Hôtel de l'Abbaye in Montbenoît, owned by Georges Pourchet. As a joke, Pourchet asked the Prefet: "Do you have a transire allowing you to enter the Republic of Saugeais?" The Prefet asked for more details on the Republic and eventually answered: "A Republic must have a President. You are appointed President of the Free Republic of Saugeais." The President died in 1968. His wife Gabrielle retired in 1970 but remained active in Montbenoît, helping the parish priest to preserve the abbey. In 1972, a festival was organized in order to raise funds for the abbey preservation. During the lunch, Gabrielle Pourchet was elected by acclamation President of the Free Republic of Saugeais for the rest of her life.

    Since her election, the President has appointed a Prime Minister, a General Secretary, two customers, 12 ambassadors and more than 300 honour citizens. A song written in Sauget patois by Canon Joseph Botillon in 1910 was adopted as the national anthem. A banknote was released in 1997, and the French Post Service celebrated the Republic with a post stamp in 1987.

    Even if the Grande nation did not recognize the dwarf state up to now, the relations between Paris and Mointbenoit is very cordial. End of the 70's Valery Giscard D'Estaing, the French president at that time, invited madame la Presidente into the Elysee palace to Paris. A marvelous experience for the elderly regent. She describes D'Estaing as polite, friendly and cultivated. The old lady even maintained contacts with Francois Mitterrand, although he was socialist. Left does not has a particular good reputation with the farmers of Saugeais. President Chirac tollerates the "rebel state". If her republic needs somewhat, Mrs. Pourchet turn to the Elysee without diffidence. Surely Jacques Chirac understands her concerns; they are colleagues nonetheless.

    Added on 7 jan 2006
    Coordinates: 46°59'37"N,6°27'46"E
    Sources: Official Site (French), Flags of the World, wdr.de (German)

      SARK

    The island Sark is one of the Channel Islands before the French Normandy coast. It is part of the automomous bailiwick of Guernsey, but has its own government. It considers itself the last bastion of feudalism in the western world. It has a population of 610 as of 2002. The small island is a motor-free zone where the only vehicles are horse-drawn vehicles and bicycles (except for the elderly). Tractors are allowed and as such most islander do own one.

    Sark consists out of two parts, Little Sark and Greater Sark which are connected by a small foothpath (La Coupée), 3 meters wide and with a 100 meter drop on each side. Protective railings were erected in 1900; before then, children would crawl across on their hands and knees to avoid being blown over the edge.

    Sark is often considered to be the last feudal state in Europe, as fief does still exist.The Seigneur of Sark is the head of the feudal government of the Isle of Sark. Since 1974 John Michael Beaumont has been the twenty-second Seigneur of Sark. Many of the laws, particularly those related to inheritance and the rule of the Seigneur, are little changed since they were enacted in 1565 under Queen Elizabeth I. The Seigneur retains the sole right on the island to keep pigeons as well as an unspayed female dog. He also owns all debris washed up between the high and low tide lines, although that is a right rarely enforced.
    Sark's constitution has been democratised since the death of Sybil Hathaway, Dame of Sark, in 1974, and more power is now in the hands of the elected members of the legislature, the Chief Pleas.
    Owners of the island's 40 tenements (divisions of land) have an automatic seat in the Chief Pleas, and islanders chose 12 people's deputies. On the 8 March 2006 by a vote of 25-15 Chief Pleas voted for a new legislature of 28 elected residents. The island needed to reform its constitution to comply with European human rights laws.

    Among the old laws of the Channel Islands is the old Norman custom of the Clameur de Haro, a legal device which still exists in the other Channel Islands. A person can obtain immediate cessation of any action he considers to be an infringement of his rights. At the scene he must, in front of witnesses, recite the Lord's Prayer in French and cry out "Haro, Haro, Haro! À mon aide mon Prince, on me fait tort!" ("To my aid, my Prince! Someone does me wrong!") It should then be registered with the Greffe Office within 24 hours. All actions against the person must then cease until the matter is heard by the Court. It is not frequently used; the last recorded Clameur was raised in June 1970 to prevent the construction of a garden wall.

    In 1991, an unemployed French nuclear physicist named André Gardes attempted a singlehanded invasion of Sark, armed with a semi-automatic weapon. He was arrested by the Island's police officer while sitting on a bench, changing the gun's magazin.

    Added on 27 oct 2006
    Coordinates: 49°25'59"N,2°21'39"W
    Sources: Official Site, Wikipedia, BBC News

      TAVOLARA

    Tavolara was one of the smallest kingdoms on the planet, but is now simply part of Italy, although it was never formally annexed.

    In 1836, King Charles Albert of Sardinia visited the island and acknowledged Paolo Bertoleoni as an independent sovereign monarch. When King Paolo I died in 1886 the island became a republic, but the monarchy was reinstated again in 1895. Since that time the island's kings have all come from the Bertoleoni family, recognized as the rules of Tavolara by the Kings of Sardinia. Documents dating to 1767 affirm that Tavolara had never been a part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

    The present King Carlo II of Tavolara is an Italian citizen named Tonino Bertoleoni, who runs Da Tonino, the only restaurant on the island. Politically, the interests of the island are represented in its external dealings by Prince Ernesto Geremia di Tavolara, of La Spezia, Italy.

    The royal tomb of King Paolo is in the graveyard on the island, surmounted by a crown. In the 18th Century, Sardinian lore claimed the sheep of Tavolara had gold teeth. The sheep herds were moved to Sardinia when the NATO station was built and there are no longer any sheep on the island. Currently the island and the surrounding waters are part of the Tavolara and Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Preserve created in 1997.

    Added on 27 dec 2005
    Coordinates: 40°54'22.32"N,9°42'47.88"E
    Sources: Official Site (Italian), Wikipedia, Flags Of The World