6 - Owain Glyndŵr

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Summary

  • Glyndŵr a visionary who unites most of Wales in rebellion against the English
  • The revolt gains massive momentum and for a brief period a Welsh parliament is held in Machynlleth
  • The rebellion ultimately fails and harsh punitive laws passed against the Welsh as a result

songs, poems, quotes and stories
Quote of punitive laws passed as a result of the rebellion

Washing line item
1400-1412 Owain Glyndŵr

Condensed text

In light of Edward conquest of Wales and the fact that the Welsh had become second class citizens in their own country, it’s no surprise that Owain Glyndŵr’s revolt of 1400 gained such support. Like Llywelyn, Glyndwr is a highly revered, almost mythic figure in Wales and perfectly fits the mold of ‘y mab darogan’ or ‘the son of prophesy’ (an idea to which we will return to later).

He was in many ways a man of merit. Glyndwr had grand visions for Wales – a Welsh Government, a Welsh Church and two Welsh Universities. But bear in mind ‘y werin’, the common folk – as they most certainly would not have been among the people running these institutions. Glyndŵr was an ‘uchelwr’ from the upper classes and was advocating a return to the laws of Hywel Dda. We don’t know whether he intended a return to type of slavery which we heard about at the beginning of the show, but we can be a fairly certain that had he won the day, the majority of the common folk in Wales would have most likely have remained as serfs and been bound to the land of their Welsh lords.

What we do know is that Glyndŵr’s revolt was ultimately doomed. To make things worse, many Welshmen found themselves taxed to the point of starvation and subject to laws such as the following:

“no Welshman is to buy land in England, from holding any senior public office in Wales, from bearing arms, from holding any castle or defending any house, no Welsh child is to be educated or apprenticed to any trade, no Englishman can be convicted in any suit brought by a Welshman, Welshmen are to be severely penalised when marrying an Englishwoman, any Englishman marrying a Welshwoman is to be disenfranchised and all public assembly is forbidden”