[In Our Time] Owain Glyndwr

Owain Glyndwr

31/01/2019 by BBC Radio 4

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=62795562
Episode: http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p06zkm0b.mp3

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life of the Welsh nobleman, also known as Owen Glendower, who began a revolt against Henry IV in 1400 which was at first very successful. Glyndwr (c1359-c1415) adopted the title Prince of Wales and established a parliament and his own foreign policy, until he was defeated by the future Henry V. Owain Glyndwr escaped and led guerilla attacks for several years but was never betrayed to the English, disappearing without trace.


Huw Pryce
Professor of Welsh History at Bangor University

Helen Fulton
Professor of Medieval Literature at the University of Bristol

Chris Given-Wilson
Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of St Andrews

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Listen Date: 2019-03-21


  • Between unbolding anxiety, the excessively British preoccupation of the episode, and having to slowly drive towards Chennai; I didn’t get all that much. I have a vague feeling of “Oh there was a Welsh rebellion against Henry IV with some help from English nobles as well.” It puts me in the same situation as William’s essay about Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • Oh, so Gwyneth is a region of Wales. TIL.
  • I was maddeningly trying to place why the cast of characters – Henry IV and the Earl of Northumberland seemed familiar. Then I remembered that it was probably from either the In Our Time episode on Shakespeare’s historical plays; or the one on Margaret of Anjou. Hell, maybe it was the one on the Battle of Lincoln Green
  • Possibly this ancient history also influenced The Raven King being based in Wales in Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell
  • In general, I have a hard time anchoring English monarchs to events or dates, or even the sequence they appeared in. I think this is a parallel problem to my remembering about continental drift; and being vaguely able to remember the sequence of evolution and extinction; but not able to remember which animals were present at which stage of tectonic plate distribution.
  • I was amused at how the appeal to Scots as being fellow descendants of Brutus didn’t work because by that time they had started believing that they were descendants of Cleopatra.
  • I also recalled the mild grumbling by Doctor Who Season 1 about Cardiff being ignored by the rest of the UK. Some resentments run deep.
  • There’s probably a great superhero team comic to be made about a planet-threatening peril causing all the European kings who are lying asleep in caves waiting to rescue their lands in times of peril, to wake up. Imagine a team up of Barbarossa, Owain Glyndwr, and King Arthur. Are there any others?



One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s