Not a lot of people know that today is Owain Glyndwr Day

Reporter:

Thomas Morton

HE is a national hero who fought the English and set up the first Welsh parliament.

Most people have heard the name Owain Glyndwr – but not all realise that today is Owain Glyndwr Day.

September 16 marks the anniversary of Glyndwr being named the Prince of Wales in 1400, which sparked his stand against the English crown.

He was the last native Welshman to hold the title.

The people of Corwen, where Glyndwr was born, will mark his memory today with their third annual celebration.

There will also be a march through Wrexham organised by Balchder Cymru/Pride Of Wales tomorrow.

While Glyndwr has always been a Welsh hero, when the National Assembly for Wales was created in 1998 his name took on a new significance.

Glyndwr had created the first Welsh parliament at Machynlleth in 1404.

In 2000, on the 600th anniversary of his crowning, the day was celebrated across Wales with stamps issued and a string of public places named after him.

A statue of Owain Glyndwr on horseback was installed in The Square in Corwen in 2007 and, when The North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI) was
granted university status in 2008, it took his name.

Glyndwr is thought to have been born about 1355. He was Welsh nobility, descended from a number of Welsh royal houses with strong ties to North East Wales.

He was a highly educated man who studied law at the Inns of Court in London, was fluent in four languages and advocated the creation of a university in both North and South Wales.

He served in the English Army under Richard II, but when Henry IV took over Glyndwr led his forces against him in defence of his Welsh homeland.

His greatest victory was at the Battle of Bryn Glas in 1402, against superior numbers.

Glyndwr was declared an outlaw and his estates were confiscated, but this only served to inspire more solidarity with Welsh people in both Wales and England.

However, as the revolt faltered Glyndwr disappeared and nothing certain is known about him after 1412.

He was never captured or betrayed and did not come out of hiding for royal pardons.

Tradition has it that he was buried either on his estate in Sycharth or on the estates of his daughters’ husbands in Herefordshire – both in England.

Adrien Jones, of the Owain Glyndwr Society, said it is hoped September 16 will eventually become a national holiday.

But will the people of our region be celebrating in 2011?

Heather Jackson, 52, Treuddyn:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? I sort of know who he was, I know he was to do with Welsh history.
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? I read it in the Leader but I didn’t know before that. There’s been a few bits on TV about it this week.
Will you be celebrating? No, I won’t be celebrating.

Daricka Stevens, 16, of Caia Park, Wrexham: “Wasn’t he the King of Wales or the Prince or something? I’ve heard the name in history in school, I know the university’s named after him – I can’t think of anything else.”

John and Sylvia Corner, 62, Wirral:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? I know he was a Welsh prince, I learnt about it at school. He probably won lots of battles but I’m not very good at history. I know he was a Welsh hero.
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? I didn’t know there was an Owain Glyndwr Day.
Will you be celebrating? No.

John Goodwin, 77, West Kirby:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? I know he was the Prince of Wales. I’ve known about him for a long time, we learnt about him at school even though I lived in England.
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? I didn’t.
Will you be celebrating? Yes, I will be happy to have a glass of cider to celebrate it. We love Wales. That’s why we keep coming here to visit.

Becki Chadwick, 20, Sychdyn:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? I know there’s a university named after him in Wrexham.
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? No.
Will you be celebrating? I’ll be driving back to university in Newcastle that day but I might have a dance in my car to celebrate.

Iola Roberts, 70, Cymau:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? I know who he was yes.
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? No I didn’t.
Will you be celebrating? I might have a drink to him.

Kate Jones, 20, Mold:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? No
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? No.
Will you be celebrating? I think I might if I knew more about it.

Kelsey Tattum, 16, of Johnstown: “I don’t know about him but I’ve heard of him. I don’t know where I’ve heard the name mentioned, I’ve probably heard about him from my mum.”

Michael Griffin, 60, of Northwich: “I’m English, so I don’t know much about him. I presume he was a Welsh Prince in about 1400 or something. I know he went the way of the rest of them, William Wallace and so on – beaten by the English!”

John O’Keefe, 60, of Rhostyllen: “There’s a statue of him in Corwen. Wasn’t he the last true Prince of Wales? I don’t know where he was from. I know a bit but I don’t know an awful lot apart from that he was a legendary Prince – but I have read about him.”

Barbara Roberts, 69, Caergwrle:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? Yes I know he had something to do with parliament in Wales.
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? No.
Will you be celebrating? I don’t think so.

Robert Jones, 64, Connah’s Quay:
Do you know who Owain Glyndwr was? I do know who he was.
Did you know it was Owain Glyndwr Day this Friday? No.
Will you be celebrating? No.

Frieda Leech, 60+, of Minera: “He was a Welsh hero, he fought the English, there’s a university in Wrexham named after him. I’m sure I could think of more if I had the time! ”

See full story in the Leader

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