Gwenllian ferch Llywelyn
Princess of Wales
Born 1282 Died 1337
Gwenllian was born on the 12th June 1282 at Garth Celyn in Abergwyngregyn near Bangor in north Wales. she was the daughter of Llywelyn ap Grufudd, almost the last king of Gwynedd, killed in a skirmish near Builth on the 11th December 1282, and Eleanor de Montfort, daughter of Simon de Montfort, who died shortly after Gwenllian's birth.
By the end of the following year Dafydd ap Gruffudd, Llywelyn's brother was dead as well, and Edward I had won his final victory and extingushed the last glimmers of Welsh independence. Edward I could not bring himself to harm such a young child but neither did he want Gwenllian to produce any children, that might later consider themselves as Llywelyn's heirs. So he packed her off to a convent at Sempringham in Lincolnshire where she could be effectively sequestered from the world at large. Which is were she spent her entire life until her death on 7th June 1337 at the age of 54.
She presumably never learnt to speak a word of the Welsh language and no one knows whether she ever had any idea of who she was and why she was there. Her presence at Sempringham was virtually a state secret, and only once, in in a letter written by Edward I to the Pope, where he spoke of the convent at Sempringham, "here held prisoner is the Princess of Wales, whom we have to maintain" was any reference made to her.
In 1995 a memorial was erected at Sempringham bearing the inscription,
ER COF AM
In Memory Of
MERCH LLYWELYN EIN LLYW OLAF
Daughter of Llywelyn the last Prince of Wales
GANED YN ABERGWYNGREGYN 12.6.1282
BU FARW YN SEMPRINGHAM 7.6.1337
WEDI BOD YN GARACHAROR YMA AM 54 MLYNEDD
Having being kept prisoner here for 54 years
Every spring the Merched y Wawr (the 'Women of the Dawn', a sort of Welsh version of the Mothers' Union) ceremonially place a bouquet of daffodils at the memorial in rememberance.
There is even the Cymdeithas Y Dywysoges Gwenllian , the Society of the Princess Gwenllian which exists to perpetuate her memory and maintains a website at http://www.ad-je-leaver.freeserve.co.uk/cydgg.htm
There is also, of course, a user named gwenllian.