Owain Glyndwr - Success and Leadership
Owain Glyndwr (1359-
Welsh leader of an unsuccessful rebellion against English rule
The last native Welsh person to hold the title of Prince of Wales (pictured right).
Why was he a great leader and successful?
He wanted Wales to be an independent nation with its own king after Henry
IV (pictured right) gave the English lots of Welsh land and power.
This was even more unpopular, because it reversed the policy of the previous English king, Richard
II (pictured right below), who was killed by Henry.
So Owain led the rebellion in 1400 with guerrilla attacks against the English.
In 1401 and 1402 he won victories at
- Mynydd Hyddgen (in West Wales).
- Bryn Glas (in central Wales).
By 1403 the revolt was truly national, and had French support, leading to the capture of
In 1404 Owain was crowned Owain IV of Wales.
At his coronation, Owain declared his vision of an independent Welsh state with a
It was a dream that never became reality (pictured right is the Welsh flag).
He has always been a famous figure in Welsh culture, and Shakespeare (pictured
right) included him as a character in his play, Henry IV Part
He is now a national
In 2000 celebrations were held all over Wales to commemorate the
six hundredth anniversary of his rebellion against the English (see point 1).
4. Glorious defeat
He was eventually defeated by the more powerful English army, and last seen in 1412 but never captured.
But his wife and two of his daughters were captured and died in the Tower of London
His most loyal deputy, Rhys Ddu (Black Rhys) of Cardigan was executed.
When Henry IV died in 1413, his son Henry V (pictured right):
- was much more friendly to the Welsh.
- offered Owain a pardon, which he never accepted.
His rebellion impoverished the Welsh but has since increased their sense of national
Today many Welsh people believe his failure was a glorious attempt to end English tyranny.