Promoting an interest in the history of Owain Glyndwr, the Welsh Son of Prophecy, his life, times and society and his great Welsh War of Independence;also promoting causes today in Glyndwr's spirit and promoting the flying of the Glyndwr flag on Sept 16 Glyndwr Day.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Limited Opportunity to own your own Owain Glyndwr sword

Background to Cleddyf y Genedl'...

.....as a Welsh Sword of State.

'Inspiration and Aspiration’

Wales does not possess symbols of statehood such as, for example, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, Scotland’s Royal National Treasures, following on the assasination of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd on 11 December 1282 Edward I, despite the fact that the war was far from over, had made it a matter of great concern to ensure that the regalia of the paramount royal family of Wales were seized. It much troubled Edward that the Welsh royal families claimed their legitimacy back a 1000 years and more, The English crown could, of course, claim no such legitimacy and only does so from the time of the Norman conquest. Edward had arranged the murder of Llywelyn III with Welsh traitors and marcher lords and then finally, Llywelyn's brother Dafydd III was also captured to be brutally hung, drawn and quartered at Shrewsbury on 3 October 1283. So having murdered the legitimate Princes of Wales and imprisoned their heirs, many of them still children. It was thence important for Edward to dress in the apparel and arrogate the symbols of the conquered land. This he was to eventually succeed in doing, but only once more with Welsh traitors being to the fore in helping to fulfil Edward’s dream of Empire - later memorialised in the building of Caernarfon Castle styled of the walls of Constantinople.

Thus it was at Aberconwy during the summer of 1283 that a small group of Welsh renegades led by Einion ap Goronwy and Huw ap Ithel, the latter being possibly either Llywelyn's chaplin or Dafydd's clerk (maybe both) handed over the National Royal Treasures of Wales which included the ‘Crown of Arthur’, the Royal seal, Llywewlyn's rings, the matrix of his Seal and, not least, the Croes Naid. to Edward I, king of England and conqueror of Wales. We know for a fact that as reward for his treachery, Huw ap Ithel received a sumptuous robe and a sponsored education at Oxford - Yes a student grant. Edward I was not to treat these symbols of the paramount Welsh royal family with disdain, he well knew of their great significance as symbols of Welsh nationality and statehood. At his grand ''Victory Celebrations'' at Nefyn, he held a jousting tournament at which he, seated with his leading knights, wore the recently seized ''Crown of Arthur''. Equally the 'Croes Naid' was venerated and stored in safe keeping at the Tower of London, being brought out on special occasions, ironically one of these being, to be used in 1296 to compel Scottish nobles to swear allegiance to Edward by placing their hands on the 'Croes Naid'.

Symbols of regalia and ritual are not without their meaning and purpose, this was as equally true for the Royal families of Medieval Wales as it was for their conqueror Edward I, King of England and such can be continuously witnessed today in the pomp & pageantry associated with England's Royal Family.

Diolch to Gethin ap Gruffydd for the above historical background.(* See Cofiwn at end)

This history of the ''stolen'' royal regalia of the paramount princely family of Wales along with the important 600th anniversary of the establishment of a Welsh Parliament at Machynlleth and Owain Glyndwr’s Coronation there at midsummer June 1404, arising in 2004, prompted Embassy Glyndwr into thinking how best to mark this very important anniversary. Research brought to our attention the fact that the young Prince Hal (future Henry V) carried a ''Sword of State'' at his fathers coronation, this turned our attention to the subject of swords. It did not then take us long to focus our attention on the ‘Great Seal’ of Owain Glyndwr on which he is seen to hold a sword. Further we were aware that in 1404, the French king had given Prince Owain a gift of a helmet, armour and sword to mark Prince Owain IV’s Coronation. Finally, we were also aware of the fact as to how important swords were to the Welsh going back to the 'age of the celts' - as witnessed by the continual interest in king Arthur’s ‘Excalibur’. Thus, after some thought and discussion, the idea and initiative arose to have a special commemorative sword made –

'The Prince Owain IV Sword of State' a ‘Metal work of art’.

Good fortune presented to us a generous patron in a Cardiff businessman– whom, at no small measure of cost, agreed to sponsor the venture and further good fortune guided us to a Welsh master craft blacksmith to make the desired ‘Metal work of Art’ that would, in time, be presented as a ‘gift’ on behalf of the Welsh Nation to the people of the community of Machynlleth and Cantref Cyfeiliog. This extraordinary gift was presented into the safe keeping and care of Machynlleth town Council* in an appropriate ceremony that took place in Machynlleth on Sunday 20 June 2004 on the occasion of 'Juratus Oweyn 2004' - ‘Penwythnos Cenedl Glyndwr’ – a national commemorative event to mark the aforementioned important 600th anniversary of 'Coffad 1404-2004' and which took place over the midsummer weekend of 18-21 June 2004.

This ‘Sword of State’ gift and associated ceremony was Embassy Glyndwr's chief contribution to 'Coffâd 1404-2004' and to ‘Penwythnos Cenedl Glyndwr, Machynlleth 2004. This Initiative, we hope, will be viewed as the most prestigious of presentations to mark such an important 600th anniversary in Welsh history and will be a gift that will capture the interest and imagination of the people of Wales in so far that this ‘Sword of State’ is seen and accepted as a significant national treasure with great historical purpose - in so far that it will provide Wales with, at long last, an iconic symbol of our growing restored ‘statehood’.

We had suggested to Machynlleth Town Council that whilst the ‘Sword of State’ is in their care and safe keeping, perhaps an agreement and arrangement could be made for the ‘Sword of State’ to be made available for display at Canolfan Senedd Dy Glyndwr between Calan Mai to Calan Gaeaf but However, to be available at all times for possible civic and otherwise ceremonial use by the town council. At the moment, its kept at MOMA in Machynlleth until Canolfan Owain Glyndwr has been refurbished.

A Limited Opportunity to own your own 'Cleddyf y Genedl/Glyndwr Sword of the Nation.

Following the presentation of the Sword of the Nation to Machynlleth, a limited number of 100 replicas were produced so that the most enthusiastic of 'Pobl Glyndwr' would have the opportunity to purchase one as a family heirloom to pass on to the generations of the future. There are only 32 of these swords left and no more will be produced so this could be the last opportunity to obtain this prestigious work of art.

Price is £250 per sword which is amazingly reasonable when you imagine what the swords are going to be worth in time. Also, they come in an oak effect, velvet lined wooden box and are accompanied with an authenticity certificate. See images below. The length of the sword is 3ft 7ins.

Our advice is, if you would like to have one of these swords in your family you should move fast. Contact me at the E-mail/telephone numbers below for details on how to process your order.

Tel: 01792 533806. m:07787926981. E-mail: llysgenhadaeth@ntlworld.co

Complete with wood case and numbered and dated certificate.

Sian Ifan

* Coffad 1282 - 2007: Information.
See Cofiwn History Archive blog:

Pic: Baneri Dafydd III & Llywelyn III

2007 (c) G.ap Gruffydd