Owain Glyndwr -The Hanmer Connection
The story of Margaret and Owain
Owain Glyndwr – The Hanmer Connection
Our parish of Hanmer is closely connected with the man most often given as the greatest son of Wales. Here in St Chad’s Church, Owain Glyndwr was married to Margaret Hanmer. The pair had met in Westminster where Owain studied law at the Inns of Court and Margaret was with her father. There in Westminster Owain courted Margaret the glamorous daughter of Sir David Hanmer, a distinguished lawyer and Justice of the King’s Bench, who had served with distinction under Edward III and Richard II.
In 1383 Sir David escorted his daughter up the aisle of St. Chad’s to give her away in marriage to this greatest son of Wales. What a gathering there must have been of aristocrats, lawyers from London, and fierce Welsh warriors from the hills.
The sheltered housing by Hanmer Mere, known in the English way as Glendower Place, was the only recognition of that wedding in Hanmer until a plaque was placed in St Chad’s in 2004. Amazingly however, in the Hanmer Millennium Pageant, Sir David, Owain and Margaret were played by descendants of Sir David Hanmer, still resident in the village.
Margaret (Marged) Hanmer is described by the bard Iolo Goch (Red Iolo) as ‘honourable, generous and noble’. She was descended from Sir Thomas de Macclesfield, who had served King Edward I in the invasion of Wales, was given lands in Hanmer in 1277 and settled here. His younger son John de Hanmer was the first to take the name of Hanmer, and was the grandfather of Sir David Hanmer, the father of Margaret.
The great Welsh poet, R. S. Thomas, was curate of Hanmer with Tallarn Green from 1940 to 1942 and, inspired by the connection, wrote his poem, The Rising of Glyndwr, about the meeting at Glyndyfrdwy that started the great rebellion.
Thunder-browed and shaggy-throated
All the men were there,
And the women with the hair
That is the raven's and the rook's despair.
Written and entered by Bill Barlow. A Welsh translation would be appropriate but is beyond my abilities. My email is available under contacts if you would like to send me one.
A page with this information is available free in St Chad's Church.
Click History above for more topics
Updated 9th November 2011 by Bill Barlow