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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
New plea to France, 600 years on
The Pennal Letter
The letter is in the archives of the French Government
The 600th anniversary of a letter from Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyndwr calling for support from France has been marked by an appeal of a very different kind.

Writer Myfanwy Alexander has penned her own version of the "Pennal Letter".

She calls on France to give modern-day Wales style advice and also help with Welsh rugby woes.

The original letter was never answered, and remains to this day in the archives of the French government.

In her letter, Ms Alexander calls on France to give Wales help in improving Welsh cuisine.

She writes: "Things are not well with us, and we would like to ask you to do a little 'friend in need' type stuff.

"Let's start with the rugby. We're not asking you for players or coaches... but we would like to borrow your rugby administrators, just for a few months."

Owain Glyndwr
The letter shows Owain Glyndwr wasn't just a military leader, he also wanted to set up a bureaucracy and had a vision for a Welsh state
Historian Catrin Stevens

Glyndwr's original letter, written near Machynlleth in 1406, called for help with more serious matters.

Many regard it as a testament to Glyndwr's vision for an independent and united Wales.

The letter, written in Latin on goatskin parchment, is one of the few surviving examples of Glyndwr's handwriting.

Historian Catrin Stevens regards the letter as an important document in Welsh history.

She said: "There were several clauses to the letter, but the most important are that the Welsh church would become independent, with an archbishopric at St David's, and to extend the Welsh dioceses.

"It also said they wanted all the officers in the Welsh church to be Welsh speaking, which was very important at this time.

"But the most exciting clause was the setting up of two Welsh universities, which was a very innovative clause indeed.

"The letter shows Owain Glyndwr wasn't just a military leader, he also wanted to set up a bureaucracy and had a vision for a Welsh state."

Five years ago, the letter was exhibited in Wales.




SEE ALSO:
Glyndwr letter back in Wales
05 Apr 00 |  Wales


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