Chapter

The Programme National Salvation

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205081.003.0007
The Programme National Salvation

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Owain Glyn Dŵr's appeal as leader of a Welsh rebellion did not rest initially on a fully worked-out programme or manifesto. Rather, it seems in its early days, to have drawn its strength from three sources. The first was a profound sense of anti-Englishness, directed in particular at the privileges of the boroughs in Wales, the exploitation of the anachronistic ethno-legal distinction between English and Welsh, and the sense of exclusion, alienation, and belittlement felt by a conquered people. The second was the conviction of many Welshmen that the rulership of Wales belonged of right to a prince of their own race and that Owain Glyn Dŵr's credentials for that position were, or could be shown to be, outstanding. Thirdly, both of these sentiments were deeply grounded in a mythology and prophecy whose potency was recurrently renewed and whose applicability to the present was capable of endless adaptation. It was only as the revolt blossomed, particularly in the years 1403–6, that Glyn Dŵ and his advisers could afford to raise their sights from these almost visceral sentiments to a more sustained vision of where the revolt might lead. That vision drew heavily on a corpus of lore and prophecy interpreted with a surprising literalness; but it also picked up the concepts, analogies, institutions, and practices of contemporary kingship and the Church and used them to try to create the vision and indeed, in some small respects, the practices of an independent principality of Wales.

Keywords: Owain Glyn Dŵr; Wales; revolt; rebellion; Reginald Grey; independent principality

Chapter.  10794 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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