Owain Glyndŵr a Welsh hero, was born around 1359, the son of a wealthy landowner and a descendant of the Royal House of Powys and of Deheubarth. He become a squire to the English nobility, notably Henry Bolingbroke and fought for the English army in mainland Europe and Scotland. Glyndŵr was one of the very few Welshmen who held estates from the Crown and in 1398 he settled near Sycharth, in Mid-Wales with his wife and children.
Little may have been heard of him had his neighbour Reginald Grey, Lord Ruthin, not stolen land from him. Glyndŵr tried to regain his land through the courts, but the rift between the two men deepened when Grey insulted Glyndŵr, saying “What care we for barefoot Welsh dogs?”
Eventually Glyndŵr resorted to force to regain his land. The rebellion quickly spread with numerous attacks on English owned property. On the 16th September 1401 Glyndŵr was proclaimed the Prince of Wales – a deliberate stand against English rule and so began a long drawn out fight for Welsh independence. Encouraged by their hatred of the English King Henry IV, Glyndŵr’s army raided other towns and were closing on Welshpool when they were routed near Shrewsbury. The uprising was subdued and all of the rebels, except Owain, were pardoned.
The peace was short lived and the rebellion was rekindled when Henry IV passed onerous anti Welsh legislation. Glyndŵr raised a second army and by the end of 1404 Glyndŵr controlled most of Wales. Secure in his position as Prince of Wales he established the first Welsh Parliament in Macynlleth and in 1406 the Tripartite Indenture was signed by Glyndŵr, the Earl of Northumberland and Sir Edmund Mortimer to divide England and Wales between them.
King Henry became ill and Prince Henry, given a free reign, turned Glyndŵr into a fugitive and in 1407 Glyndŵr was forced to retreat to North Wales. His hopes and dreams to free Wales from is English oppressors were shattered and the English soon regained control. By 1409 the rebellion had been quashed and by 1410 it was all over. Glyndŵr and his son Maredudd were forced to flee, living as guerrillas.
There does not appear to be a glorious last stand and by 1412 Glyndŵr simply fades from history. What became of Owain Glyndŵr is a matter of speculation, some say he died anonymously in battle or that he spent his last years wandering the Welsh mountains. Others believe he ended his days at the home of his daughter Alice and her husband Hugh Scudamore at Monnington Stradell. All that we do know is that no ones knows for sure.
Although Owain Glyndŵr’s dreams for Welsh independence ended in the early 15th century, he remains an icon of Welsh culture.