wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
search bar left
search bar right

Owain Glyndwr - Success and LeadershipOwain Glyndwyr - Success and Leadership


Owain Glyndwr (1359- c1416)

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?


 Owain Glyndwyr - Success and Leadership

1. Rebel

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 atOwain Glyndwyr - Success and Leadership

  • 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 Carmarthen.

In 1404 Owain was crowned Owain IV of Wales.



2. Vision

At his coronation, Owain declared his vision of an independent Welsh state with a

  • parliament. Owain Glyndwyr - Success and Leadership
  • separate Welsh church.

It was a dream that never became reality (pictured right is the Welsh flag).



3. InfluenceOwain Glyndwyr - Success and Leadership

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 1.

He is now a national hero

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.Owain Glyndwyr - Success and Leadership

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 identity.

Today many Welsh people believe his failure was a glorious attempt to end English tyranny.

Free Newsletter
Enter your name and e-mail address to receive our free newsletter with analysis of business issues and new business books