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Now the rule of the Lords Marcher in South and South West Wales had not yet been seriously broken, and so Owen, in marching with his allies into England, would have left his own countries of North and Mid Wales peculiarly exposed to attack from the swarming garrisons of the South. Therefore, waiting till the last and most effective moment, he sought to secure his right flank and rear from attack, and his strongholds from molestation in his absence, by carrying fire and sword through the southern lordships, and opening the flood-gates of revolt so widely as to keep the lords with their hands full at home till he should have time to return and complete the conquest. This is the real reason why he was ravaging South Wales when Hotspur reached Chester.
Unfortunately, however, he had arranged that all the tribesmen of North East Wales should join Hotspur on his way south, and so come to Ludlow in his company. But Hotspur, mis-weighing that accession to his strength-as the Kynastons, Hanmers and the like kindreds joined him in Owen's name took a characteristic notion that he might very well pull down Henry single-handed. The prize to him, could he have accomplished such a daring plan, was great enough to have beguiled a more cautious head than his ever was; and so we find him, without even word to Mortimer, striking off eastward right into the heart of England, hoping to see the rest of the country rise to him as uncurbed Cheshire had done.
But the people remembered the old days when Richard's misrule was propped up by these same lawless Cheshire archers, and Hotspur soon found himself, reluctantly enough, compelled to retrace his steps, and try to fulfil the original compact with his allies. His march eastward, however, had thrown the whole plan out of gear and ruined all chance of a junction. Owen, we know, turned back from
St. Clears not earlier than the 12th of July. This would give him just time enough to have arrived at Ludlow a day or so after Hotspur, supposing that the over eager Percy had kept faithfully to the original plan. Owen at St. Clears was very little further from the rendezvous than Hotspur at Chester. But as, after Hotspur's departure eastward, Glyndwr could only guess at the whereabouts of the northern army, there was all the more reason why he should head at once for the agreed place of meeting, and join himself to Mortimer at any rate.
At Ludlow he would hear from the messenger, naturally sent by Percy to his brother-in-law, of Hotspur's retreat upon Shrewsbury, and there is reason to believe that in conjunction with Mortimer he started with all speed for the north. We know, however, that the weather had been of the worst description for days past, and that at the moment of sighting Shrewsbury the Severn was swirling full with an absolutely impassable flood. Consider his case: in nine days he had covered the country between St. Clears and Ludlow, and thence onward to the banks of the Severn. Much of that country was trackless waste of mountain and forest, with the floods out to bar his progress and the ceaseless rain to take the energy out of his men.
And then, after all his labour, after all his forethought and planning, to have all his efforts brought to nothing by the reckless folly of his ally-his feelings must have heen epic in their intensity as he saw the northern army, including some of his own best troops and even kinsmen, overthrown before his eyes, and he himself barred by the flood from raising a hand to turn the tide of fortune.
Space and time, however, prevent us going further into these matters; but in conclusion I should like to indicate the directions in which successful search might help us
most in reconstructing the story of Owen's rising and its effects. Stewards' accounts of receipts and disbursements, etc., in the southern lordships before and after the rising might give us some hints as to the basis upon which the inhabitants "Saxonised". Endorsements on contemporary wills, to the effect that upon such a date the testator was killed, or the property devised was ravaged, by Owen, might possibly give us a precious date between that 12th and 21st of July, 1403, which would enable us to trace Glyndwr's movements during those few fateful days. Above all, if any search should re-discover for us the work of "David Morgan, a Welshman, who in 1460 wrote a book of the antiquities of Wales and a description of the country," what a light in the darkness it would be to us, groping so eagerly for traces of the work of the man who by plots and parliaments, by raidings and razings, by battles and burnings, freed Wales from at least the worst tyranny of the Marcher lords; re-kindled the expiring hope of national freedom, and paved the way for the movement which ultimately bore a prince of Welsh blood to the English throne under the dragon flag, and so, by fulfilling the national desires, put a period for ever to national uprisings
Our national hero, Owen Glyndwr !
After the reading of the foregoing paper the Chairman, Mr. HUBERT HALL, F.S.A., addressed the meeting as follows:
I am sure, ladies and gentlemen, you will agree with me that we have listened to a very excellent and valuable
paper to-night on a particularly interesting subject. There are a few remarks that naturally occur thoughtul student of history, which, will occur to all of us, though, perhaps, from slightly different points of view. There is one observation which I should like to make which I think admits of no dissent; that is, regarding the most interesting style and form of the paper. It is a great thing in the present day when works embodying research are written in a manner which can be easily understood and made interesting to the general readers of history. Such a paper as this is not only pleasant to listen to as a piece of delightful prose, but also it is the more easily understood.
Coming now to the historical value of the paper, it seems to me that the author advances several new and certainly valuable historical suggestions. I do not quite see my way to agreeing with his preliminary remarks on what we may call the bibliography of the subject; I may, perhaps, be a little prejudiced in that respect, as a Sassenach student of history. I have the pleasure of the personal acquaintance of the Saxon writers, whom he has criticised rather severely; I certainly can vouch for their good intentions and strict impartiality, and I should like to suggest that, perhaps, when the author of the paper has carried out his most attractive promise of working out certain lines of research, he will find himself more in agreement with these writers. Mr. Wylie was mentioned. I think that Mr. Wylie may be looked on as the typical Saxon historian of the Welsh history of the period. The writer in the Dictionary of National Biography referred to is, of course, Professor Tout. He and Mr. Wylie confirm one another, but I have heard no word of a writer who came before them both. I remember some twelve or thirteen years ago being consulted about a paper which
was offered by Mr. Solly Flood, Q.C. (who was at one time Attorney-General of Gibraltar, and who subsequently devoted five or six years of his life to serious researches at the Record Office, and elsewhere), to illustrate the history of the life of Henry of Monmouth, i.e. Henry V, as Prince of Wales, and chiefly during the campaign against Owen Glyndwr. I had many opportunities of seeing his work, and it is interesting to note that this work was the precursor of the works of Mr. Wylie and Professor Tout, so that these three authorities go together, and I quite admit that they took a Saxon view, especially in upholding the necessity of what we may call the ancien régime of the Lord's Marchers, and in a sort of idolatry of Prince Henry. He was a young prince who could do nothing wrong; he was painted by them as an angel, and, I am afraid, they represent Owen Glyndwr in rather the opposite character. But, though that is, perhaps, a national prejudice to be regretted, the work which these writers have done cannot be belittled. If we want to put them right, we must go behind them, we must show where they were wrong, and work up from Welsh sources which exist, as the author of this paper has justly said, a better account of the subject than has yet been given to Adam of Usk, who has been largely referred to, edited by Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, is one of the best authorities, and, though the author is violently Saxon, the editor is judiciously impartial. I have heard no word either of Sir James Ramsay's work, which I think might have been mentioned, a work which aims at being perfectly impartial.
I think, perhaps, all these authorities may be regarded as representing the Saxon view, as against Pennant, who is by far the most eminent of the exponents of the Welsh view. But it seems to me that the writer of this paper