Glyndwr rebellion and Conwy Castle
The Anglo Norman barons were not the only ones capable of trickery and
betrayal. The Welsh were not averse to a bit of trickery and I am afraid
to say ....a bit of betrayal.
In 1401 Good Friday fell on April 1st and the Tudur brothers of Anglesey,
cousins and supporters of Owain
Glyndwr, had hatched a plot to take advantage of this holy day.
Rhys and Gwilym ap Tudur ap Goronwy and a company of just 40 men tricked
their way into the walled town of Conwy. (Conwy and its castle were part
of the iron ring of fortresses built by King Edward I in the 13th century
in an effort to subdue the Welsh). Some say they were disguised as work
men or simply mingled with the country folk who would enter the town to
trade at market. Being such an important religious day they knew the garrison
would be at prayer in the parish church of St Mary's. They quickly overcame
the remaining guards and captured the castle. Once in control they demonstrated
that with just a few dozen men the magnificent castle, the pinnacle of medieval
military architecture, the "stealth bomber" of its day, could
be easily defended against massive forces.
Henry Percy (Henry Hotspur) the Justice of Chester and north Wales and
a powerful Lord in the service of the English King Henry IV was helpless
and recognised that he would have to agree terms with the rebels.
But they held out for three long months before finally surrendering Conwy
castle on terms favourable to the Tudurs. Unfortunately the terms, which
included full pardons to the Tudurs, were not favourable to all the company
of Glyndwrs' rebels, and eight of the rebel soldiers were executed by the
English as part of the deal.
Betrayal.....it seems it was a Rich v Poor thing, not an English v Welsh
thing.... nothing changes!
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Summary of the Glyndwr Rebellion >