Imprisoned in a Gilbertine priory in Sempringham from 1283 until her death in 1337, the last princess of Wales most probably lived and died without ever hearing her native tongue
GWENLLIAN: Dewi Thomas pictured at a memorial to the last Welsh princess in Sempringham, Lincolnshire and the survival rate is often not as good as in England. He cites one amusing instance where the parchment had survived well but was blank for several pages - apart from a rueful note reading: "Records not kept due to a drunken curate." Sometimes the records reveal some curious tales, too. In one parish register, at Llanaber near Barmouth, Dewi spotted 'a bottle of beer' as the name, with 'found dead on the shore' inscribed alongside. Rather than being the whimsy of a drunken curate, it turned out from further research that 'a bottle of beer' was the name given to a foreign sailor on account of this being the only phrase in English he knew!
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