Historian MP casts doubt on Owain Glyndwr parliament

Owain Glyndwr, self-proclaimed Prince of Wales Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Did Owain Glyndwr's parliament never exist?

Was Owain Glyndwr's parliament a myth?

Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant, doyen of parliamentary historians, think so.

As part of the BBC's "Democracy Day" I appeared alongside Mr Bryant on a two-hour programme looking at democracy within and beyond the UK.

My role was to summarise developments in Welsh governance through the ages. I mentioned Owain Glyndwr in passing.

Chris Bryant took the earliest opportunity to correct me: "David Cornock said that Owain Glyndwr held a parliament. He didn't. That is complete myth.

"The only person who ever referred to it anywhere near contemporaneously was Geoffrey of Monmouth and he said he pretended to hold a parliament. Actually, if he gathered anybody he gathered a few barons."

Compared to James Blunt, I got off lightly, but then I did go to a comprehensive school.

The Geoffrey of Monmouth reference may though have come as a surprise to some people, not least because Geoffrey of Monmouth lived three centuries before Glyndwr's day.

Image copyright Chris Bryant on Twitter

A contrite Mr Bryant later realised he had got things wrong and gracefully corrected his own mistake on twitter.

"An apology. I corrected @davidcornock but I was wrong. It wasn't Geoffrey of Monmouth but Adam of Usk who wrote about Owain Glyndwr."

Aside from the reference to Geoffrey of Monmouth, was Chris Bryant right? Was the Glyndwr parliament a myth? Is the Owain Glyndwr industry under threat? Let me know what you think.

You can watch the programme again on BBC Parliament tomorrow at 8pm. If you can't wait until then, why not watch on the BBC iplayer here?

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