Owain Glyndwr ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales (1349 - 1415) MP

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Birthplace: Rhiwabon,Maelor Gymraeg,Denbighshire,Wales
Death: Died in Monington, Herefordshire, , England
Occupation: Prince of Wales
Managed by: Denise Unander
Last Updated:

About Owain Glyndwr ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales

Owain Glyndŵr (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈoʊain ɡlɨ̞nˈduːr]), or Owain Glyn Dŵr, anglicised by William Shakespeare as Owen Glendower (c. 1349 or 1359 – c. 1416), was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. He instigated a fierce and long-running but ultimately unsuccessful revolt against the English rule of Wales.[1]

Glyndŵr was a descendant of the Princes of Powys from 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. Although successful in terms of uniting the Welsh against their oppressors, the uprising eventually ran out of pace due to key home ground lost whilst chasing the English army towards London — Glyndŵr was last seen in 1412 and was never captured nor tempted by royal pardons and never betrayed. His final years are a mystery.

Glyndŵr has remained a notable figure in the popular culture of both Wales and England, portrayed in Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part 1 (as Owen Glendower) as a wild and exotic man ruled by magic and emotion ("at my nativity, The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes, Of burning cressets, and at my birth The frame and huge foundation of the earth Shaked like a coward." — Henry IV, Part 1, Act 3, scene 1). In the late 19th century the Cymru Fydd movement recreated him as the father of Welsh nationalism, revising the historical image of him and joining him in popular memory as a national hero on par with King Arthur.

In 2000, celebrations were held all over Wales to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Glyndŵr rising. Owain has since been voted in at 23rd in a poll of 100 Greatest Britons in 2002, and 2nd in the 100 Welsh Heroes poll of 2003-04.

Glyndŵr was born circa 1354 (possibly 1359) to a prosperous landed family, part of the Anglo-Welsh gentry of the Welsh Marches (the border between England and Wales) in northeast Wales. This group moved easily between Welsh and English societies and languages, occupying important offices for the Marcher Lords while maintaining their position as uchelwyr — nobles descended from the pre-conquest Welsh royal dynasties — in traditional Welsh society. His father, Gruffydd Fychan II, hereditary Tywysog of Powys Fadog and Lord of Glyndyfrdwy, died some time before 1370 leaving Glyndŵr's mother Elen ferch Tomas ap Llywelyn of Deheubarth a widow and Owain a young man of maybe 16 years at most. Owain probably had an elder brother called Madog, but he may have died young.[citation needed]

The young Owain ap Gruffydd was possibly fostered at the home of David Hanmer, a rising lawyer shortly to be a justice of the Kings Bench, or at the home of Richard FitzAlan, 3rd Earl of Arundel. Owain is then thought to have been sent to London to study law at the Inns of Court. He probably studied as a legal apprentice for seven years. He was possibly in London during the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. By 1383, he had returned to Wales, where he married David Hanmer's daughter, Margaret, started his large family and established himself as the Squire of Sycharth and Glyndyfrdwy, with all the responsibilities that entailed.

Glyndŵr entered the English king's military service in 1384 when he undertook garrison duty under the renowned 'Welshman' Sir Gregory Sais, or Sir Degory Sais, on the English–Scottish border at Berwick-upon-Tweed. In August 1385, served King Richard under the command of John of Gaunt again in Scotland. On 3 September 1386, he was called to give evidence in the Scrope v. Grosvenor trial at Chester. In March 1387, Owain was in southeast England under Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel in the Channel at the defeat of a Franco-Spanish-Flemish fleet off the coast of Kent. Upon the death of his father-in-law, Sir David Hanmer, in late 1387, knighted earlier that very year by Richard II, Glyndŵr returned to Wales as executor of his estate. He possibly served as a squire to Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV of England), son of John of Gaunt, at the short, sharp Battle of Radcot Bridge in December 1387. He had gained three years concentrated military experience in different theatres and seen at first hand some key events and people.

King Richard was distracted in growing conflict with the Lords Appellant from this time on. Glyndŵr's opportunities were further limited by the death of Sir Gregory Sais in 1390 and the sidelining of Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, and he probably returned to his stable Welsh estates, living there quietly for ten years during his forties. The bard Iolo Goch ("Red Iolo"), himself a Welsh lord, visited him in the 1390s and wrote a number of odes to Owain, praising Owain's liberality, and writing of Sycharth, "Rare was it there / to see a latch or a lock."

The names and number of Owain Glyndŵr's siblings cannot be certainly known. The following are given by the Chevalier J Y W Lloyd:[3]

  • Brother Tudur, Lord of Gwyddelwern, born about 1362, died 11 March 1405 at a battle in Brecknockshire in the wars of his brother.
  • Brother Gruffudd who had a daughter and heiress, Eva.
  • Sister Lowri, also spelled Lowry, married Robert Puleston of Emral.
  • Sister Isabel married Adda ap Iorwerth Ddu of Llys Pengwern
  • Sister Morfudd married Sir Richard Croft of Croft Castle, in Herefordshire and, secondly, David ab Ednyfed Gam of Llys Pengwern.
  • Sister Gwenllian.
Tudur, Isabel and Lowri are given as his siblings by the more cautious Prof. R R Davies. That Owain Glyndŵr had another brother Gruffudd is likely; that he possibly had a third, Maredudd, is suggested by one reference.[4]  .....

Nothing certain is known of Owain after 1412. Despite enormous rewards being offered, he was never captured nor betrayed. He ignored royal pardons. Tradition has it that he died and was buried possibly in Corwen church of SS Mael & Sulien close to his home, or possibly at his estate in Sycharth or on the estates of his daughters' husbands — Kentchurch in south Herefordshire or Monnington in west Herefordshire. Owain's daughter, Alys, had married, secretly, Sir John Scudamore, the King's appointed Sheriff of Herefordshire. Somehow he had weathered the rebellion and remained in office. It was rumoured that Owain finally retreated to their home at Kentchurch. In his book The Mystery of Jack of Kent and the Fate of Owain Glyndŵr, Alex Gibbon argues that the folk hero Jack of Kent, also known as Siôn Cent – the family chaplain of the Scudamore family – was in fact Owain Glyndŵr himself. Gibbon points out a number of similarities between Siôn Cent and Glyndŵr (including physical appearance, age, education, character) and claims that Owain spent his last years living with Alys passing himself off as an aging Franciscan friar and family tutor. There are many folktales of Glyndŵr donning disguises to gain advantage over opponents during the rebellion.

A grandchild of the Scudamores was Sir John Donne of Kidwelly, a successful Yorkist courtier, diplomat and soldier, who after 1485 made an accommodation with his fellow Welshman, Henry VII. Through the Donne family, many prominent English families are then descended from Owain, including the De Vere family, successive holders of the title Earl of Oxford, and the Cavendish family as Duke of Devonshire.

In 2006, Adrien Jones, the president of the Owain Glyndŵr Society, said, "Four years ago we visited a direct descendant of Glyndŵr (Sir John Scudamore), at Kentchurch Court, near Abergavenny. "He took us to Monnington Straddel, in Herefordshire, where one of Glyndŵr's daughters, Alice (Alys), had lived. (He) told us that he (Glyndŵr) spent his last days there and eventually died there. It was a family secret for 600 years and even (Sir John's) mother, who died shortly before we visited, refused to reveal the secret. There's even a mound where he is believed to be buried at Monnington Straddel."[8]

Adam of Usk, a one-time supporter of Glyndŵr, made the following entry in his Chronicle under the year 1415: After four years in hiding, from the king and the realm, Owain Glyndŵr died, and was buried by his followers in the darkness of night. His grave was discovered by his enemies, however, so he had to be re-buried, though it is impossible to discover where he was laid.

Owain married Margaret Hanmer, also known by her Welsh name Marred ferch Dafydd, daughter of Sir David Hanmer of Hanmer, early in his life.[9]

According to Lloyd, Owain and Margaret had five sons and four (p. 211) or five (p. 199) daughters:[9]

  • Gruffudd, born about 1375, was captured and confined by the English in Nottington Castle and taken to the Tower of London in 1410. He died in prison of bubonic plague about 1412.
  • Madog
  • Maredudd, whose date of birth is unknown, was still living in 1421 when he accepted a pardon.
  • Thomas
  • John
  • Alice married Sir John Scudamore. She was lady of GlynDyfrdwy and Cynllaith, and heiress of the Principalities of Powys, South Wales, and Gwynedd.
  • Jane, who married Lord Grey de Ruthin.[citation needed]
  • Janet, who married Sir John de Croft of Croft Castle, in Herefordshire.
  • Margaret, who married Sir Richard Monnington of Monnington, in Herefordshire.

Although not named by Lloyd, a fifth daughter, Catrin, is recorded elsewhere. She married Edmund Mortimer, son of Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, and died in 1413.

Owain's sons were either taken prisoner or died in battle and had no issue. Owain had additional illegitimate children: David, Gwenllian, Ieuan, and Myfanwy.[9]

FOR MORE SEE REFERENCES/SOURCES AT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owain_Glynd%C5%B5r

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vZcnIt0b0k -------------------- Owen Glendower was born circa 1355. He died circa 1417. Owen Glendower was also known as Owen Glyndwr.

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Owain IV Glendower's Timeline

May 28, 1349
Rhiwabon,Maelor Gymraeg,Denbighshire,Wales
Age 23
Age 25
Rhiwabon, Maelor Gymraeg, Denbighshire, Wales
Age 28
Age 30
Rhiwabon, Maelor Gymraeg, Denbighshire, Wales
Age 30
Age 35
Treffgarne, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom
September 20, 1415
Age 66
Monington, Herefordshire, , England
January 31, 1956
Age 66
August 24, 1956
Age 66