Gruffydd was a son of Llywelyn the Great. After the English invaded the Welsh border in 1241, he was taken prisoner by King Henry III and held at the Tower of London as a bargaining counter.
Gryffydd’s wife offered to pay a ransom, but Henry refused to let him go, so Gruffydd tried to escape instead.
The church featured in GB Shaw’s play Pygmalion, first performed in April 1914. His stage directions set the opening scene:
‘London at 11.15 pm. Torrents of heavy summer rain. Cab whistles blowing frantically in all directions. Pedestrians running for shelter into the portico of St Paul’s church (not Wren’s cathedral but Inigo Jones’s church in Covent Garden vegetable market), among them a lady and her daughter in evening dress.
‘All are peering out gloomily at the rain, except one man with his back turned to the rest, wholly preoccupied with a notebook in which he is writing.’
The man was Henry Higgins, a Professor of Phonetics. It was here that his character met the play’s female lead, a Cockney flower girl with an atrocious accent, keen to better herself.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT Question 138. Pygmalion was a huge success. It was turned into a musical in the 1950s and was filmed in the 1960s with Audrey Hepburn in the lead role. What was the name of the musical ?
‘Scintillating’ – Literary Review
‘Sets an example that will be hard to equal’ – Daily Mail
Waterstone’s recommendation of the month