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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 May, 2004, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Glyndwr's 600th anniversary celebrated
Glyndwr's coronation
Glyndwr led a successful military campaign against the English
The 600th anniversary of Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyndwr's establishment of a senate in north Wales has been remembered at a ceremony in mid Wales.

The event, organised by Dolgellau Town Council, commemorated the setting up of a senate in the town shortly before the warlord proclaimed the first Welsh Parliament in Machynlleth in 1404.

The plaque, unveiled on Saturday by Elfyn Llwyd, the Plaid Cymru MP for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, has been placed on the site of the former senate - now occupied by a disused shop.

Many traders in the town draped their businesses with Glyndwr banners and the Ardudwy Knights, an historical renactment group, demonstrated weaponry and costumes.

Glyndwr, who was crowned Owain the Fourth of Wales, is thought by many to be one of the great heroes of Welsh history.

In the early 15th Century the Welsh were fired by anti-English feeling after much of the country had been subjected to centuries of their rule and Glyndwr mobilised this national sentiment.

Guerrilla warfare

Backed by French military aid, Glyndwr took Carmarthen and Cardiff in 1403 from the English and Harlech and Aberystwyth in 1404.

However the tide turned against the Welsh as England's superior resources and weaponry were turned on them under the leadership of the future Henry V.

By 1409, the revolt was broken and the many towns and castles Glyndwr had taken were lost and he was forced to turn to guerrilla warfare until his obscure death in 1416.

"Remembering Owain Glyndwr's exploits are very important for the reason that we in Wales don't have enough education about our history," Mr Llwyd said.

"In Glyndwr's period there was fighting across Europe and in every part of Wales and Glyndwr almost united the whole country to withstand the armies of Richard II."

Gethin Griffiths, a researcher for Embassy Glyndwr - an enthusiast organisation, said: "At that time Wales had a population of 150,000 against a population of 2m in England.

"The English had a sophisticated military system, taxation system and economy.

"By 1404 with his armies were involved in border campaigns 12 miles into England. Just think of Glyndwr's achievement in just three-and-a-half years."

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06 Jul 03  |  South West Wales


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