Facts and Events
Owain Glyndŵr, or Owain Glyn Dŵr, (c. 1349 or 1359 – c. 1415) was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru). He instigated a fierce and long-running but ultimately unsuccessful revolt against the English rule of Wales.
Glyndŵr was a descendant of the Princes of Powys through his father Gruffydd Fychan II, hereditary Tywysog of Powys Fadog and Lord of Glyndyfrdwy, and of those of Deheubarth through his mother Elen ferch Tomas ap Llywelyn. On 16 September 1400, Glyndŵr instigated the Welsh Revolt against the rule of Henry IV of England. The uprising was initially very successful and rapidly gained control of large areas of Wales, but it suffered from key weaknesses – particularly a lack of artillery, which made capturing defended fortresses difficult, and of ships, which made their coastlands vulnerable. The uprising was eventually overborne by the superior resources of the English. Glyndŵr was driven from his last strongholds in 1409, but he avoided capture and the last documented sighting of him was in 1412. He twice ignored offers of a pardon from his military nemesis, the new king Henry V of England, and despite the large rewards offered, Glyndŵr was never betrayed to the English. His death was recorded by a former follower in the year 1415.
Glyndŵr is portrayed in William Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part 1 (anglicised as Owen Glendower) as a wild and exotic man ruled by magic and emotion. In the late 19th century the Cymru Fydd movement recreated him as the father of Welsh nationalism, revising his historical image and joining him in popular memory as a national hero on a par with King Arthur.