According to a Welsh tradition, Edward I. promised to provide
Wales with a prince “who could speak no word of English,” and when his
son Edward of Carnarvon was born he presented him to the assembly,
saying in Welsh Eich dyn (behold the man).
The more general belief is that it was the motto under the plume of
John, King of Bohemia, slain by the Black Prince at Cressy in 1346, and
that the Black Prince who slew the Bohemian assumed it out of modesty,
to indicate that “he served under the king his father.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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