: The Finest This Nation of Ours Has Produced

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), October 24, 2002 | Go to article overview

: The Finest This Nation of Ours Has Produced


1. Owain Glyndwr (1355-1415): His real name was Owain ap Gruffydd and, when he wasn't having fun razing towns such as Ruthin to the ground, he led a 15-year rebellion against English rule, having been proclaimed Prince of Wales in 1400.

2. David Lloyd George (1863-1945): Although born in Manchester, the World War I leader was of solid Welsh stock, and raised in Llanystumdwy. A man with an eye for the ladies, he blotted his copybook by becoming too friendly with Hitler.

3. Dylan Thomas (1914-1953): Probably Wales' best known poet on the international scene, he became a legend almost as much for his drinking binges as for his mastery of his craft. He upset not a few by his unrelenting depiction of Wales as being a nation of brooding Bible-bashers.

4. R S Thomas (1913-2000): The complete antithesis to Dylan Thomas, a stern Anglican priest who many believe was the best writer of English poetry of the 20th century. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.

5. St Patrick (390-461): Quite possibly born in Banwen, near Neath, or in Llanbadrig on Anglesey, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates when still a youngster. Best known for his conjuring trick with snakes, rather than rabbits, he is undoubtedly the best-known Welshman internationally, and his feast day is one of the biggest celebrations worldwide.

Others on our short-list: Capt Henry Morgan (1635-88): famed buccaneer and Governor of Jamaica; Richard Burton (1925-84): hard-drinkingfilm-star, from Pontrhydyfen; Prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd (1134-?): the first Europeanadventurer to discover North America; Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards: who founded youth movement Urdd Gobaith Cymru in 1922; Billy Meredith (1874-1958): from Chirk, the first footballing superstar and Wales' oldest ever international.

1. Catrin O Ferain, aka Kathryn Tudor (1535-1591): From Berain in Denbighshire. Her torrid lovelife resulted in the sobriquet Mam Cymru, the Mother of Wales. …

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