National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is the devolved parliament of Wales, with power to make legislation, vary taxes and scrutinise the Welsh Government. The Assembly comprises AMs. Since 2011, Members are elected for five-year terms under an additional members system, in which 40 AMs represent geographical constituencies elected by the plurality system, 20 AMs represent five electoral regions using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation; the largest party in the Assembly forms the Welsh Government. The Assembly was created by the Government of Wales Act 1998, which followed a referendum in 1997; the Assembly had no powers to initiate primary legislation until limited law-making powers were gained through the Government of Wales Act 2006. Its primary law-making powers were enhanced following a Yes vote in the referendum on 3 March 2011, making it possible for it to legislate without having to consult the UK parliament or the Secretary of State for Wales in the 20 areas that are devolved.
Legislation has been introduced by the Assembly Commission which will change the name of the institution from National Assembly for Wales to the Senedd, which may be known as the Welsh Parliament. An appointed Council for Wales and Monmouthshire was established in 1949 to "ensure the government is adequately informed of the impact of government activities on the general life of the people of Wales"; the council had 27 members nominated by local authorities in Wales, the University of Wales, National Eisteddfod Council and the Welsh Tourist Board. A post of Minister of Welsh Affairs was created in 1951 and the post of Secretary of State for Wales and the Welsh Office were established in 1964 leading to the abolition of the Council for Wales; the establishment of the Welsh Office created the basis for the territorial governance of Wales. The Royal Commission on the Constitution was set up in 1969 by Harold Wilson's Labour Government to investigate the possibility of devolution for Scotland and Wales.
Its recommendations formed the basis of the 1974 White Paper Democracy and Devolution: proposals for Scotland and Wales, which proposed the creation of a Welsh Assembly. However, Welsh voters rejected the proposals by a majority of four to one in a referendum held in 1979. After the 1997 general election, the new Labour Government argued that an Assembly would be more democratically accountable than the Welsh Office. For eleven years prior to 1997 Wales had been represented in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom by a Secretary of State who did not represent a Welsh constituency at Westminster. A second referendum was held in Wales on 18 September 1997 in which voters approved the creation of the National Assembly for Wales with a total of 559,419 votes, or 50.3% of the vote. The following year the Government of Wales Act was passed by the United Kingdom parliament, establishing the Assembly. In July 2002, the Welsh Government established an independent commission, with Lord Richard as chair, to review the powers and electoral arrangements of the National Assembly to ensure that it is able to operate in the best interests of the people of Wales.
The Richard Commission reported in March 2004. It recommended that the National Assembly should have powers to legislate in certain areas, whilst others would remain the preserve of Westminster, it recommended changing the electoral system to the single transferable vote which would produce greater proportionality. In response, the British government, in its Better Governance for Wales White Paper, published on 15 June 2005, proposed a more permissive law-making system for the Welsh Assembly based on the use of Parliamentary Orders in Council. In so doing, the Government rejected many of the cross party Richard Commission's recommendations; this has attracted criticism from opposition others. The Government of Wales Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 25 July 2006, it conferred on the Assembly legislative powers similar to other devolved legislatures through the ability to pass Assembly Measures concerning matters that are devolved. Requests for further legislative powers made through legislative competence requests were subject to the veto of the Secretary of State for Wales, House of Commons or House of Lords.
The Act reformed the assembly to a parliamentary-type structure, establishing the Welsh Government as an entity separate from, but accountable to the National Assembly. It enables the Assembly to legislate within its devolved fields; the Act reforms the Assembly's electoral system. It prevents individuals from standing as candidates in regional seats; this aspect of the act was subject to a great deal of criticism, most notably from the Electoral Commission. The Act was criticised. Plaid Cymru, the Official Opposition in the National Assembly from 1999–2007, attacked it for not delivering a fully-fledged parliament. Many commentators have criticised the Labour Party's partisan attempt to alter the electoral system. By preventing regional Assembly Members from standing in constituency seats the party has been accused of changing the rules to protect constituency representatives. Labour had 29 members in the Assembly at the time; the changes to the Assembly's powers were commenced on 4 May 2007, after the election.
Following a referendum on 3 March 2011, the Welsh Assembly gained direct law making powers, without the need to consult Westminster. The Conservative-Liberal coalition government created the Commission on Devolution in Wales
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. The name is a Latinisation of the Old English Mierce or Myrce, meaning "border people". Mercia dominated what would become England for three centuries, subsequently going into a gradual decline while Wessex conquered and united all the kingdoms into Kingdom of England; the kingdom was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries, in the region now known as the English Midlands. The kingdom did not have a single capital as such. In times before a sizable civil service the'capital' was wherever the king was at any given time. Early in its existence Repton seems to have been the location of an important royal estate. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it was from Repton in 873-4 that the Great Heathen Army deposed the King of Mercia. Earlier, King Offa seems to have favoured Tamworth, it was there where he was spent many a Christmas. For 300 years, having annexed or gained submissions from five of the other six kingdoms of the Heptarchy, Mercia dominated England south of the River Humber: this period is known as the Mercian Supremacy.
The reign of King Offa, best remembered for his Dyke that designated the boundary between Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms, is sometimes known as the "Golden Age of Mercia". Nicholas Brooks noted that "the Mercians stand out as by far the most successful of the various early Anglo-Saxon peoples until the ninth century", some historians, such as Sir Frank Stenton, believe the unification of England south of the Humber estuary was achieved during the reign of Offa. Mercia was a pagan kingdom; the Diocese of Mercia was founded in 656, with the first bishop, based at Repton. After 13 years at Repton, in 669 the fifth bishop, Saint Chad, moved the bishopric to Lichfield, where it has been based since. In 691, the Diocese of Mercia became the Diocese of Lichfield. For a brief period between 787 and 799 the diocese was an archbishopric, although it was dissolved in 803; the current bishop, Michael Ipgrave, is the 99th. At the end of the 9th century, following the invasions of the Vikings and their Great Heathen Army, much of the former Mercian territory was absorbed into the Danelaw.
At its height, the Danelaw included all of East Anglia and most of the North of England. The final Mercian king, Ceolwulf II, died in 879, it was ruled by a lord or ealdorman under the overlordship of Alfred the Great, who styled himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons". The kingdom had a brief period of independence in the mid-10th century, again briefly in 1016. Mercia is still used as a geographic designation, the name is used by a wide range of organisations, including military units, public and voluntary bodies. Mercia's exact evolution at the start of the Anglo-Saxon era remains more obscure than that of Northumbria, Kent, or Wessex. Mercia developed an effective political structure and adopted Christianity than the other kingdoms. Archaeological surveys show that Angles settled the lands north of the River Thames by the 6th century; the name "Mercia" is Old English for "boundary folk", the traditional interpretation is that the kingdom originated along the frontier between the native Welsh and the Anglo-Saxon invaders.
However, P. Hunter Blair argued an alternative interpretation: that they emerged along the frontier between Northumbria and the inhabitants of the Trent river valley. While its earliest boundaries will never be known, there is general agreement that the territory, called "the first of the Mercians" in the Tribal Hidage covered much of south Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and northern Warwickshire; the earliest person named in any records as a king of Mercia is Creoda, said to have been the great-grandson of Icel. Coming to power around 584, he built a fortress at Tamworth, his son Pybba succeeded him in 593. Cearl, a kinsman of Creoda, followed Pybba in 606; the Mercian kings were the only Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy ruling house known to claim a direct family link with a pre-migration Continental Germanic monarchy. The next Mercian king, ruled from about 626 or 633 until 655; some of what is known about Penda comes from the hostile account of Bede, who disliked him – both as an enemy to Bede's own Northumbria and as a pagan.
However, Bede admits that Penda allowed Christian missionaries from Lindisfarne into Mercia, did not restrain them from preaching. In 633 Penda and his ally Cadwallon of Gwynedd defeated and killed Edwin, who had become not only ruler of the newly unified Northumbria, but bretwalda, or high king, over the southern kingdoms; when another Northumbrian king, Oswald and again claimed overlordship of the south, he suffered defeat and death at the hands of Penda and his allies – in 642 at the Battle of Maserfield. In 655, after a period of confusion in Northumbria, Penda brought 30 sub-kings to fight the new Northumbrian king Oswiu at the Battle of Winwaed, in which Penda in turn lost the battle and his life; the battle led to a temporary collapse of Mercian power. Penda's son Peada, who had converted to Christianity a
Snowdonia is a mountainous region in northwestern Wales and a national park of 823 square miles in area. It was the first to be designated of the three national parks in Wales, in 1951, it contains the highest peaks in the United Kingdom outside of Scotland. The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at 3560 ft. In Welsh, the area is named Eryri. A held belief is that the name is derived from eryr, thus means'the abode/land of eagles', but recent evidence is that it means Highlands, is related to the Latin oriri as leading Welsh scholar Sir Ifor Williams proved; the term Eryri first appeared in a manuscript in the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, in an account of the downfall of the semi-legendary 5th-century king Gwrtheyrn. In the Middle Ages the title Prince of Wales and Lord of Snowdonia was used by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Before the boundaries of the national park were designated, "Snowdonia" was used to refer to a smaller area, namely the upland area of northern Gwynedd centred on the Snowdon massif, whereas the national park covers an area more than twice that size extending far to the south into Meirionnydd.
This is apparent in books published prior to 1951, such as the classic travelogue Wild Wales by George Borrow and The Mountains of Snowdonia by H. Carr & G. Lister. F. J. North, as editor of the book Snowdonia, states "When the Committee delineated provisional boundaries, they included areas some distance beyond Snowdonia proper." The traditional Snowdonia thus includes the ranges of Snowdon and its satellites, the Glyderau, the Carneddau and the Moel Siabod group. It does not include the hills to the south of Maentwrog; as Eryri, this area has a unique place in Welsh history and culture. Snowdonia National Park was established in 1951 as the third national park in Britain, following the Peak District and the Lake District, it covers 827 square miles, has 37 miles of coastline. The Snowdonia National Park covers parts of the counties of Conwy; the park is governed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority, made up of local government and Welsh representatives, its main offices are at Penrhyndeudraeth.
Unlike national parks in other countries, Snowdonia are made up of both public and private lands under central planning authority. The makeup of land ownership at Snowdonia is as follows: More than 26,000 people live within the park. 58.6% of the population could speak Welsh in 2011. While most of the land is either open or mountainous land, there is a significant amount of agricultural activity within the park. Since the local government re-organisation of 1998, the park lies in the county of Gwynedd, in the county borough of Conwy, it is governed by the 18-member Snowdonia National Park Authority. Unusually, Snowdonia National Park has a hole in the middle, around the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, a slate quarrying centre; this was deliberately excluded from the park when it was set up to allow the development of new light industry to replace the reduced slate industry. The Snowdonia Society is a registered charity formed in 1967, it is a voluntary group of people with an interest in its protection.
Amory Lovins led the successful 1970s opposition to stop Rio Tinto digging up the area for a massive mine. Research indicates that there were 3.67 million visitors to Snowdonia National Park in 2013, with 9.74 million tourist days spent in the park during that year. Total tourist expenditure was £433.6 million in 2013. Snowdonia may be divided into four areas: The northernmost area is the most popular with tourists, includes Moel Hebog, Mynydd Mawr and the Nantlle Ridge; these last three groups are the highest mountains in Wales, include all Wales' mountains higher than 3000 feet. The second area includes peaks such as Moel Siabod, the Moelwynion, the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog; the third area includes the Rhinogydd in the west as well as the Arenig and the Migneint, Rhobell Fawr. This area is not as popular with tourists as the other areas, due to its remoteness; the southernmost area includes Cadair Idris, the Tarren range, the Dyfi hills, the Aran group, including Aran Fawddwy, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom south of Snowdon.
The Berwyn range to the south east, has the western part of it in the park, but the highest summits to the east have been omitted. Many of the hikers in the area concentrate on Snowdon itself, it is regarded as a fine mountain, but at times gets crowded. The other high mountains with their boulder-strewn summits—as well as Tryfan, one of the few mountains in the UK south of Scotland whose ascent needs hands as well as feet—are very popular. However, there are some spectacular walks in Snowdonia on the lower mountains, they tend to be unfrequented. Among hikers' favourites are Y Garn along the ridge to Elidir Fawr.
Anglesey is an island off the north coast of Wales with an area of 276 square miles. Anglesey is by the seventh largest in the British Isles. Anglesey is the largest island in the Irish Sea by area, the second most populous island; the ferry port of Holyhead handles more than 2 million passengers each year. The Menai Suspension Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford in 1826, the Britannia Bridge span the Menai Strait to connect Anglesey with the mainland. Anglesey, one of the historic counties of Wales, was administered as part of Gwynedd, but along with Holy Island and other smaller islands, it is now governed by the Isle of Anglesey County Council. Much of this article covers the whole of this administrative area; the majority of Anglesey's inhabitants are Welsh speakers and Ynys Môn, the Welsh name for the island, is used for the UK Parliament and National Assembly constituencies. The population at the 2011 census was 69,751; the island falls within the LL postcode area, covering LL58 to LL78. The name of the island may be derived from the Old Norse.
No record of such an Ǫngli survives, but the place name was used in the Viking raiders as early as the 10th century and was adopted by the Normans during their invasions of Gwynedd. The traditional folk etymology reading the name as the "Island of the Angles" may account for its Norman use but has no merit, although the Angles' name itself is a cognate reference to the shape of the Angeln peninsula. All of these derive from the proposed Proto-Indo-European root *ank-. Through the 18th and 19th centuries and into the 20th, it was spelt Anglesea in documents. Ynys Môn, the island's Welsh name, was first recorded as Latin Mona by various Roman sources, it was known to the Saxons as Monez. The Brittonic original was in the past taken to have meant "Island of the Cow"; this view is untenable, according to modern scientific philology, the etymology remains a mystery. Poetic names for Anglesey include the Old Welsh Ynys Dywyll for its former groves and Ynys y Cedairn for its royal courts. There are numerous megalithic monuments and menhirs on Anglesey, testifying to the presence of humans in prehistory.
Plas Newydd is near one of 28 cromlechs. The Welsh Triads claim. Anglesey has long been associated with the druids. In AD 60 the Roman general Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, determined to break the power of the druids, attacked the island using his amphibious Batavian contingent as a surprise vanguard assault and destroying the shrine and the nemeta. News of Boudica's revolt reached him just after his victory, causing him to withdraw his army before consolidating his conquest; the island was brought into the Roman Empire by Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the Roman governor of Britain, in AD 78. During the Roman occupation, the area was notable for the mining of copper; the foundations of Caer Gybi, a fort in Holyhead, are Roman, the present road from Holyhead to Llanfairpwllgwyngyll was a Roman road. The island was grouped by Ptolemy with Ireland rather than with Britain. British Iron Age and Roman sites have been excavated and coins and ornaments discovered by the 19th century antiquarian William Owen Stanley.
After the Roman departure from Britain in the early 5th century, pirates from Ireland colonised Anglesey and the nearby Llŷn Peninsula. In response to this, Cunedda ap Edern, a Gododdin warlord from Scotland, came to the area and began to drive the Irish out; this was continued by grandson Cadwallon Lawhir ap Einion. As an island, Anglesey was in a good defensive position, so Aberffraw became the site of the court, or Llys, of the Kingdom of Gwynedd. Apart from a devastating Danish raid in 853 it remained the capital until the 13th century, when improvements to the English navy made the location indefensible. Anglesey was briefly the most southerly possession of the Norwegian Empire. After the Irish, the island was invaded by Vikings — some of these raids were noted in famous sagas — and by Saxons, Normans, before falling to Edward I of England in the 13th century. Anglesey is one of the thirteen historic counties of Wales. In medieval times, before the conquest of Wales in 1283, Môn had periods of temporary independence, as it was bequeathed to the heirs of kings as a sub-kingdom of Gwynedd.
The last times this occurred were a few years after 1171, following the death of Owain Gwynedd, when the island was inherited by Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd, between 1246 and c. 1255, when it was granted to Owain Goch as his share of the kingdom. Following the conquest of Wales by Edward I, Anglesey was created a county under the terms of the Statute of Rhuddlan of 1284. Prior to this it had been divided into the cantrefi of Aberffraw and Cemaes. During the First World War, the Presbyterian minister and celebrity preacher John Williams toured the island as part of an effort to recruit young men to volunteer for a “just war”. German POWs were kept on the island. By the end of the war, some 1,000 of the island's men had died while on active service. In 1936 the NSPCC opened its first branch on Anglesey. During the Second World War, Anglesey received Italian POWs; the isla
History of Wales
The history of Wales begins with the arrival of human beings in the region thousands of years ago. Neanderthals lived in what is now Wales, or Cymru in Welsh, at least 230,000 years ago, while Homo sapiens arrived by about 31,000 BC. However, continuous habitation by modern humans dates from the period after the end of the last ice age around 9000 BC, Wales has many remains from the Mesolithic and Bronze Age. During the Iron Age the region, like all of Britain south of the Firth of Forth, was dominated by the Celtic Britons and the Brittonic language; the Romans, who began their conquest of Britain in AD 43, first campaigned in what is now northeast Wales in 48 against the Deceangli, gained total control of the region with their defeat of the Ordovices in 79. The Romans departed from Britain in the 5th century. Thereafter Brittonic language and culture began to splinter, several distinct groups formed; the Welsh people were the largest of these groups, are discussed independently of the other surviving Brittonic-speaking peoples after the 11th century.
A number of kingdoms formed in present-day Wales in the post-Roman period. While the most powerful ruler was acknowledged as King of the Britons, some rulers extended their control over other Welsh territories and into western England, none were able to unite Wales for long. Internecine struggles and external pressure from the English and the Norman conquerors of England, led to the Welsh kingdoms coming under the sway of the English crown. In 1282, the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd led to the conquest of the Principality of Wales by King Edward I of England; the Welsh launched several revolts against English rule, the last significant one being that led by Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century. In the 16th century Henry VIII, himself of Welsh extraction as a great grandson of Owen Tudor, passed the Laws in Wales Acts aiming to incorporate Wales into the Kingdom of England. Under England's authority, Wales became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 and the United Kingdom in 1801. Yet, the Welsh retained their culture despite heavy English dominance.
The publication of the significant first complete Welsh translation of the Bible by William Morgan in 1588 advanced the position of Welsh as a literary language. The 18th century saw the beginnings of two changes that would affect Wales, the Welsh Methodist revival, which led the country to turn nonconformist in religion, the Industrial Revolution. During the rise of the British Empire, 19th century Southeast Wales in particular experienced rapid industrialisation and a dramatic rise in population as a result of the explosion of the coal and iron industries. Wales played a willing role in World War One; the industries of Empire in Wales declined in the 20th century with the end of the British Empire following the Second World War, while nationalist sentiment and interest in self-determination rose. The Labour Party replaced the Liberal Party as the dominant political force in the 1940s. Wales played a considerable role during World War Two along with the rest of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Allies, its cities were bombed extensively during the Nazi Blitz.
The nationalist party Plaid Cymru gained short lived momentum in the 1960s. In a 1997 referendum Welsh voters approved the devolution of governmental responsibility to a National Assembly for Wales, which first met in 1999; the earliest known human remain discovered in modern-day Wales is a Neanderthal jawbone, found at the Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site in the valley of the River Elwy in North Wales, whose owner lived about 230,000 years ago in the Lower Palaeolithic period. The Red Lady of Paviland, a human skeleton dyed in red ochre, was discovered in 1823 in one of the Paviland limestone caves of the Gower Peninsula in Swansea, South Wales. Despite the name, the skeleton is that of a young man who lived about 33,000 years ago at the end of the Upper Paleolithic Period, he is considered to be the oldest known ceremonial burial in Western Europe. The skeleton was found along with jewellery made from a mammoth's skull. Following the last ice age, Wales became the shape it is today by about 8000 BC and was inhabited by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.
The earliest farming communities are now believed to date from about 4000 BC, marking the beginning of the Neolithic period. This period saw the construction of many chambered tombs dolmens or cromlechs; the most notable examples of megalithic tombs include Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres on Anglesey, Pentre Ifan in Pembrokeshire, Tinkinswood Burial Chamber in the Vale of Glamorgan. Metal tools first appeared in Wales about 2500 BC copper followed by bronze; the climate during the Early Bronze Age is thought to have been warmer than at present, as there are many remains from this period in what are now bleak uplands. The Late Bronze Age saw. Much of the copper for the production of bronze came from the copper mine on the Great Orme, where prehistoric mining on a large scale dates from the middle Bronze Age. Radiocarbon dating has shown the earliest hillforts in what would become Wales, to have been constructed during this period. Historian John Davies, theorises that a worsening climate after around 1250 BC required more productive land to be defended.
The earliest iron implement found in Wales is a sword from
First Minister of Wales
The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; the official office of the First Minister is in Tŷ Hywel known as Crickhowell House, the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. An office is kept at the Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff; when set up under the Government of Wales Act 1998, Section 53, the post was known as Assembly First Secretary, as Wales was given a less powerful assembly and executive than either Northern Ireland or Scotland. The choice of title was attributed to the fact that the Welsh term for First Minister, Prif Weinidog, may be translated as Prime Minister, so a different title was chosen to avoid confusion with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; the change of title occurred after the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government with Labour in the Welsh Assembly in October 2000. The Government of Wales Act 2006 allowed for the post to be known as the First Minister and made the First Minister Keeper of the Welsh Seal.
Candidates for the position of First Minister are nominated by the members of the National Assembly for Wales. The members elect the nominee for the First Minister by majority vote. If no one is elected by a majority of votes cast with the first set of nominations, the process continues until a majority decide to cast their vote for one candidate; this process does not require an absolute majority of the National Assembly Once this process has occurred the Presiding Officer shall formally send a letter to the Current Monarch who must appoint that nominee to the position of First Minister. Under the arrangements in the Government of Wales Act 1998, executive functions are conferred on the National Assembly for Wales and separately delegated to the First Minister and to other Cabinet Ministers and staff as appropriate; until the Government of Wales Act 2006, these were delegated powers of the UK government. Since that Act came into force in May 2007, the First Minister is appointed by the monarch and represents the Crown in Wales.
Whilst this has little practical difference, it was a huge symbolic shift as for the first time the head of government in Wales is appointed by the Crown on the advice of the elected representatives of the Welsh people. The First Minister appoints the Welsh Ministers, Deputy Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General for Wales, with the approval of Her Majesty. Following separation between the legislative and the executive on the enactment of the Government of Wales Act 2006, the Welsh Ministers exercise functions in their own right. Any further transfers of executive functions from the UK Government will be made directly to the Welsh Ministers by an Order in Council approved by Parliament; the First Minister is accountable and responsible for: Exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government. Policy development and coordination of policy; the relationships with the rest of the United Kingdom and Wales Abroad. Staffing/Civil Service List of current heads of government in the United Kingdom and dependencies Deputy First Minister for Wales Welsh Government Dates are from World Statesmen and various BBC News Online articles from 1999 to 2003.
Roles and Responsibilities. Welsh Government: Cabinet and ministers
The Glyndŵr Rising, Welsh Revolt or Last War of Independence was an uprising of the Welsh between 1400 and 1415, led by Owain Glyndŵr, against the Kingdom of England. It was the last major manifestation of a Welsh independence movement before the incorporation of Wales into England by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542. In the last decade of the 14th century, Richard II of England had launched a bold plan to consolidate his hold on his Kingdom and break the power of the magnates who threatened his authority; as part of this plan, Richard began to shift his power base from the southeast and London towards the County of Cheshire and systematically built up his power in nearby Wales. Wales was ruled through a patchwork of semi-autonomous feudal states, bishoprics and territory under direct Royal rule. Richard took their land or gave it to his favourites; as he did so, he raised an entire class of Welsh people to fill the new posts created in his new fiefdoms. For these people, the final years of the reign of Richard II were full of opportunities.
To the English magnates, it was a further sign. In 1399, the exiled Henry Bolingbroke, heir to the Duchy of Lancaster, returned to reclaim his lands. Henry marched to meet the King. Richard hurried back from Ireland to Wales to deal with Bolingbroke but he was arrested by Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, as he was on his way from Conwy Castle to meet Bolingbroke at Flint Castle to discuss the restitution of Henry's lands. Richard was imprisoned at Chester before being taken to London. Parliament made Henry Bolingbroke Regent and King. Richard died in Pontefract Castle, shortly after the failed Epiphany Rising of English nobles in January 1400, but his death was not known for some time. In Wales, people like Owain Glyndŵr were asked for the first time in their life to decide their loyalties; the Welsh had supported King Richard, who had succeeded his father, the Black Prince, as Prince of Wales. With Richard removed, the opportunities for advancement for Welsh people became more limited.
Many Welsh people seem to have been uncertain where this left their future. For some time, supporters of the deposed king remained at large. On 10 January 1400 serious civil disorder broke out in the English border city of Chester in support of the Epiphany Rising. An atmosphere of disorder was building along the Anglo-Welsh border; the revolt began as an argument with Owain Glyndŵr's English neighbour. Successive holders of the title Baron Grey de Ruthyn of Dyffryn Clwyd were English landowners in Wales. Glyndŵr had been engaged in a long-running land dispute with them, he seems to have appealed to Parliament to resolve the issue and under King Richard the court found for him, he won. Reginald Grey, 3rd Baron Grey de Ruthyn — loyal to the new king — used his influence to have that decision overturned. Owain Glyndŵr appealed. Another story is that de Grey deliberately withheld a Royal Summons for Glyndŵr to join the new king’s Scottish campaign of August 1400. Technically, as a tenant-in-chief to the English King, Glyndŵr was obliged to provide troops, as he had done in the past.
By not responding to the hidden summons he seems unwittingly, to have incurred Henry's wrath. On 16 September 1400, Owain acted, was proclaimed Prince of Wales by a small band of followers which included his eldest son, his brothers-in-law, the Dean of St Asaph; this was a revolutionary statement in itself. Owain’s men spread through north-east Wales. On 18 September, the De Grey stronghold of Ruthin Castle was attacked and destroyed. Denbigh, Flint and Holt followed afterward. On 22 September the town of Oswestry was badly damaged by Owain's raid. By the 23 September Owain was moving sacking Welshpool. About the same time, the Tudur brothers from Anglesey launched a guerrilla war against the English; the Tudors of Penmynydd were a prominent Anglesey family who were associated with King Richard II. Gwilym ap Tudur and Rhys ap Tudur were both military leaders of a contingent of soldiers raised in 1396 to protect North Wales against any invasion by the French, they joined the king in his military expedition to Ireland in 1398.
When Glyndŵr announced his revolt, Rhys and their third brother, Maredudd ap Tudur swore allegiance. King Henry IV, on his way back from invading Scotland, turned his army towards Wales. By 26 September he was in Shrewsbury ready to invade Wales. In a lightning campaign, Henry led his army around North Wales, he was harassed by bad weather and the attacks of Welsh guerrillas. When he arrived on Anglesey, he harried the island, burning villages and monasteries including the Llanfaes Friary near Bangor, Gwynedd; this was the historical burial place of the Tudor family. Rhys ap Tudur led an ambush for the king's forces at Rhos Fawr. After they were engaged, the Englishmen fled back to the safety of Beaumaris Castle. By 15 October, Henry was back in Shrewsbury where he released some prisoners and two days at Worcester with little to show for his efforts. In 1401, the revolt began to spread. Much of northern and central Wales went over to Owain. Multiple attacks were recorded on English towns and manors throughout the north.
In the south in Brecon and Gwent reports began to come in of banditry and lawlessness. King Henry appointed Henry "Hotspur" Percy – the warrior son of the powerful Earl of Northumberland – to bring the country to order. An amnesty was issued in March which applied to all rebels with the exception of Owain and his cousins and Gwilym ap Tudur. Most of