Friends and Foes

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:
Friends and Foes

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The revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr began as the conspiracy and vision of a group, or possibly two groups, of men in north Wales in the autumn of 1400; by the midsummer of 1403 it had become a movement which took the whole of Wales for its stage and drew its support from all comers of the country. The success of the revolt, first in surviving beyond its first, very uncertain, year and then in transforming itself into what may be truly termed a national revolt, owed not a little to the incompetence and distractions of the royal government and of the English lords in Wales as well as to the difficulties of countering guerrilla warfare in mountainous terrain. The evidence is much too sparse and one-dimensional to show why some men chose, or at least agreed, to fight for Glyn Dŵr while others, at equal cost to themselves and their families, chose otherwise. But two things are fairly sure. First, in Wales as in other societies which experience revolt, choice for the majority was only made reluctantly and when it could no longer be avoided. Secondly, the success of the revolt was such that sooner or later it demanded a response; it could not be ignored.

Keywords: Owain Glyn Dŵr; rebels; rebellion; national revolt; Wales

Chapter.  15841 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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