Tensions and Aspirations

R. R. Davies

in The Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr

Published in print November 1995 | ISBN: 9780198205081
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676499 | DOI:
Tensions and Aspirations

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Revolts are born of, and feed upon, unresolved tensions and unfulfilled aspirations within society. This was so in Wales in 1400. The rebellion of Owain Glyn Dŵr owed a great deal to the personal vision and grievances of Owain himself, while the unexpected success that attended it is likewise, no doubt, explained to a large degree by the preoccupations, and incompetence, of the English government. Yet the wide degree of support that the revolt came to enjoy and the programme that its leaders eventually came to espouse can ultimately only be explained in terms of the tensions and aspirations within Welsh society itself. It is no easy matter of course, to penetrate the tensions and aspirations of any medieval society; in Wales the difficulties are compounded by the fact that, with the exception of native poetry and some individual and communal petitions, the surviving historical evidence is overwhelmingly that of the English kings, lords, and governors of Wales. Even this evidence, however, may allow us to characterize some of those frustrations and grievances which were simmering within Welsh society on the eve of the Owain Glyn Dŵr revolt.

Keywords: Owain Glyn Dŵr; revolt; rebellion; Welsh society; poetry; petitions

Chapter.  13820 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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