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Saturday, 7 March 2009

Wales and Lincolnshire

What connection is there between the last princess of Wales and a tiny village in Lincolnshire?
Answer: Gwenllian was born in 1282 near Bangor. Her mother died in childbirth and her father - Llywelyn ap Gruffud - was killed in battle with Edward 1. To stop the baby princess becoming a focus for rebellion she was snatched by Edward and given over to the care of the Gilbertine nuns at the Abbey of Sempringham in Lincolnshire. She was imprisoned there until her death in 1337 at the age of 54.

There is now a memorial to the Princess at Sempringham.
Sempringham used to be well known as the only truly English monastic order - founded by the 12th century St Gilbert of Sempringham


kcm said...

The Gilbertines were an interesting bunch, even if the order was relatively short-lived. They had mixed monasteries but with separate etsablishments within for the men and women (contrary to contemporary gossip, of course). I also seem to recall that they played football and some monk is on record as having sustained a broken toe from doing so to the extent that this is evident in his exhumed skeleton! Some years ago I read an interesting book about the Gilbertines; I think it was probably "Sempringham and St.Gilbert and the Gilbertines" by Eric W Iredale but I can't now be certain; sadly I don't think I have a copy.

Jilly said...

I keep coming across information about them in all sorts of odd places. I think I'll try and track down the book you mention as they do seem like an interesting bunch.

NAM said...

No, we don't have the book, though it was on the book list, I think originally for Keith's father.

There was also a Gilbertine monk that sustained a cruciate ligament injury playing football, and an accidental death during one of their games (no idea if this link will work, but there's always Google Advanced):

Jilly said...

I'd come across that story elsewhere on the internet! Seems the Gilbertines were very keen on sport - not to speak of mutilation. They apparently cut off a man's bits and fed them to the girl he'd made pregnant. Fortunately she survived to tell the tale though she miscarried. I suppose at least they believed in punishing both parties.
I've put the book on my list - I really must revamp said list as it is in bits in various places.

NAM said...

Good grief - real Hammer horror stuff! But then I've long said that the list of awful things that humans have done to other humans is such that nothing new needs making up...