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Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 00:13 GMT
Glyndwr is Welsh man of millennium

Owain Glyndwr's parliament house at Machynlleth Owain Glyndwr's parliament house at Machynlleth

BBC Wales News Online users have voted Owain Glyndwr as the Welsh person of the millennium.

In a poll throughout December, users of BBC Wales's News Online and Ceefax services were asked to name the most influential Welsh person of the millennium.

Top of the list was Owain Glyndwr, the 15th Century nobleman who led a successful rebellion against English control of Wales, which had been in force since Edward 1st conquered the country in 1282.

Top Welsh millennium heroes
Owain Glyndwr
Aneurin Bevan
Gwynfor Evans
Lloyd George
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
Since the conquest, Welsh resentment had been fuelled by the imposition of laws favouring English rulers and settlers, laws which later historians have described as "a system of apartheid".

Welshmen were banned from holding land or trading in the towns established around the castles built to secure the conquest.

Their word could not be accepted against that of an Englishman in a law court.

He began his rebellion in 1400, and managed to take control of the whole of Wales. His rule was sufficiently secure for him to hold a parliament in Machynlleth in Powys.

Work proceeds on the Glyndwr sculpture Work proceeds on the Glyndwr sculpture
During his reign, he made plans for two Welsh universities and for an independent Welsh church, and he entered into an alliance with France.

He was eventually defeated by a sustained war of attrition by superior English forces. He went into hiding and the date of his death and the place of his burial are uncertain - a situation which added to his mythical status.

He is seen as an inspiration not only to guerilla leaders - Fidel Castro admired his military tactics - but to those who have tried to improve Wales's political status in the six centuries since Glyndwr's defeat.

The year 2000 sees the 600th anniversary of Glyndwr's rebellion, and the event is being marked with events throughout Wales.

Among the planned events are the unveiling of a memorial at Machynlleth, the scene of Glyndwr's parliament, and the establishment of a monument at Ruthin, where his rebellion began.

There are also moves to try to confirm that a site at Monnington on Wye in Herefordshire is where Glyndwr is really buried. It is thought he may have died there in 1416.


A strong second in the poll was Aneurin Bevan, the Welsh statesman who set up the National Health Service.

He was followed by Gwynfor Evans, former leader of the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru, who was elected as the party's first Westminster MP, in 1966.

Next was David Lloyd George, the reforming Liberal politician who was British Prime Minister during the First World War.

Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, known as Llywelyn the Last, was in fifth place. Until Owain Glyndwr regained the title, Llywelyn was the last native prince of Wales. He was killed in 1282 while resisting an invasion by Edward 1st of England.

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See also:
29 Nov 99 |  Wales
Glyndwr captures votes in international poll
18 Nov 99 |  Wales
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04 Nov 99 |  Wales
Glyndwr's secret could be revealed
14 Sep 99 |  Wales
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01 Jan 00 |  Wales
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