The first-born - albeit illegitimate - son of Llywelyn the Great came into this world at the outset of the 13th Century, at a time when the Kings of England (especially Henry III and his son Edward I) were trying mightily to subdue the rugged land and equally rugged populace to their immediate west, in Wales. Offered as a prisoner to King John while still a boy, upon his father's death Gruffydd was released, only to be taken prisoner thereafter by his legitimate half-brother Dafydd (by King John's daughter Joan), who for a time was recognized as Prince of Wales.
And so it was that on this day in 1244 - the feast day of St. David, patron saint of Wales - that Gruffydd ap Llewelyn Fawr fashioned himself a rope out of whatever fabric he could find and attempted to lower himself out of the window of his cell in the White Tower; a sturdily built man, a hastily improvised method of escape... The outcome is pretty obvious.
Alas, he is remembered to history as Llewelyn Ein Llyw Olaf, or Llewelyn Our Last Leader, the last Welsh-born Prince of Wales before the conquests of Edward I rendered Wales unto the control and fealty of the British Crown, which took his august title and bestowed it henceforth upon the eldest son of its wearer.
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