In the Western Mail today:
"America is a Welsh Name"
America was named after a Welshman according to a new book.
It has long been held that the continent was named after Italian explorer Ameriga
Vespucci. But according to Amerike, the Briton Who Gave America its Name by Rodney
Broome, the continent was named after a Welsh customs man.
In the book he argues the land was named by Bristol-based explorer John Cabot in 1496,
before Vespucci made his voyage to the New World.
Mr Broom said "Cabot mapped the land he saw in detail and named after the main
sponsor of the trip, a Welsh aristocrat called Richard Amerike"
Amerike (anglicised from ap Maryke) was a Welsh landowner and merchant who held the post
of King's Custom Officer and lived at Clifton Manor in Bristol.
The author's claim is based on documents he discovered in the archives in Westminster
This claim is also made in Terry Breverton's book an A to Z of Wales & the Welsh
(Christopher Davies(Publishers Swansea)ltd 2000) I quote:
" Some say that America was named after Richard ap Meurig, otherwise known as Richard
Amerik, a merchant from Glamorgan who sponsored John Cabot's second voyage from
(This is an interesting and useful book but unfortunately, it was ridiculed in some of the
tabloid press for suggesting that Elvis might have had Welsh roots)
I would be very interested to know whether listers in the US have seen the Richard ap
Meurig story reported.