The Republic of Guinea formed part of the territory of Welsh West Africa. The territory which would later become Welsh West Africa was born in April 1803 when ships from the Pritchard and Deacon Company set sail for the West African coast. The ships held some 300 marine soldiers most of whom had seen service in the recent Welsh Independence wars. The force was technically a private army with state blessing, and the target was the Portuguese holding of Guinea on the west African coast.
Initially targeting the failed English outpost at Bolama, Pritchard and Deacon quickly pressed the Portuguese settlers. The Portuguese government was ill-placed to aid the settlers due to the Napoleonic wars and the Welsh were able to expel the Portuguese from Guinea. As the settlement's aim was the same as the previous administration, the local African leaders saw no difference between the Welsh and Portuguese and the flow of slaves to the trade centres continued. Pritchard and Deacon then pressed for state recognition of the colony in the Welsh Senedd and by Arthur.
Early Years of the Welsh Colony of Guinea
With war between France and Britain and with Wales on the allied side, Pritchard and Deacon launched in 1804 a strike at the French enclave of Albreda on the Gambia. Launching men and ships from Welsh Guinea the enclave fell quickly, and greedy, Pritchard and Deacon srtuck at the British St James fort taking that during the same campaign. In a small treaty dated 1805, Britain ceded the Gambia territory to the Welsh for their continued assistance in the wars against Napoleon (with the English considering the loss of the small territory a small price to pay). Satisfied, the two men returned to Wales having created a new ruled by the Welsh from the colony for the Welsh Empire.
The two territories were originally ruled by the Pritchard and Deacon Company through the local Company Governor (Llywodraethwr Cwmni) Iwan Llwyd from the old Portuguese town of Bissau though the Gambian territory rapidly developed its own separate identity whilst remaining part of the Welsh West Africa. From 1803-1805 Iwan Llwyd ruled the coastal littoral of Welsh Guinea. With his recall to Wales in 1805, the Pritchard and Deacon Company decided to appoint an Under Governor to the Gambian territory (Llywodraethwr Islaw). Although the new Under Governor reported to the Governor in Bissau (something continued during the formal colonial period) it was this point which marked the effective formation of two territories within Welsh West Africa. The new Company Governor was a man called Meurig Gordderch, a man deeply invested in the slave trade and who would drive the Colony forward until his death in 1835.