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Wednesday, 22 March, 2000, 15:59 GMT
Glyndwr letter returns to Wales
Owain Glyndwr
Owain Glyndwr sent the letter to France 500 years ago
A letter written by Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr in the 15th century begging for help from France in his rebellion against England is to return home to Wales.

For 500 years the Pennal Letter has remained in the archives of the French government despite periodic calls for its return.

But Assembly First Secretary Rhodri Morgan has announced that the artefact containing the Seal of Owain will be coming home to Wales for six months for an exhibition.


Alun Michael MP
Alun Michael backed the campaign for the letter's return
The French Ministry of Culture and the Archive Nationales in Paris have agreed to lend the letter to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth for their major Owain Glyndwr exhibition.

Last November Newport MP Paul Flynn tabled a Commons motion calling for the letter and seal to be returned from France.

Mr Flynn said at the time that they were of great historical significance and should be reclaimed from France.

Former Welsh Labour leaders Alun Michael and Ron Davies have also backed the campaign.

Goatskin

The Pennal Letter was written by Owain Glyndwr to the French King Charles IV in 1406 calling for French support for his rebellion.

The letter was never answered, but remained in the French national archive.

It is one of very few surviving examples of his handwriting and includes a copy of his seal.

It was drafted after Glyndwr was crowned Prince of Wales in Pennal, near Machynlleth, and held a meeting of the first Welsh Parliament.

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06 Apr 99 | The Welsh Assembly
Conquest and union
26 May 99 | UK Politics
Whose Prince?
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