UZH-Logo

The medieval ‘marches’ of Normandy and of Wales


Lieberman, M (2010). The medieval ‘marches’ of Normandy and of Wales. English Historical Review, 125(517):1357-1381.

Abstract

This article explores the striking links and parallels which existed between the frontiers of Normandy and of Wales, particularly between 1066 and 1204. It takes its cue from the fact that both frontiers were identified as ‘marches’ at that time. It argues that while the frontier of Normandy was not a precursor of the March of Wales, experiences made by the Normans on their ‘home frontier’ did help shape their contribution to the making of the Welsh March. Moreover, this essay contends that during the twelfth century, the borders of Normandy and of Wales evolved, in important respects, along similar lines. Thus, both ‘marches’ came to be characterized by an exceptional density of castles and uniquely long-established castellan dynasties controlling compact lordships (to the best of their ability). By 1204, these features had helped foster the notion that the marches of Normandy and Wales were similar kinds of frontiers, despite the differences that undeniably existed between them. By implication, the famous liberties of the Welsh Marcher lords were, at first, irrelevant to the concept of the ‘march’ of Wales. This supports Professor Sir Rees Davies’s view that the Welsh Marcher liberties only became an issue in the thirteenth century. Finally, therefore, this article argues that it was the very features shared by the Norman and Welsh ‘marches’, rather than claims to immunity, which first paved the way for the inclusion of the conquest lordships of southern Wales within the region identified as Marchia Wallie.

This article explores the striking links and parallels which existed between the frontiers of Normandy and of Wales, particularly between 1066 and 1204. It takes its cue from the fact that both frontiers were identified as ‘marches’ at that time. It argues that while the frontier of Normandy was not a precursor of the March of Wales, experiences made by the Normans on their ‘home frontier’ did help shape their contribution to the making of the Welsh March. Moreover, this essay contends that during the twelfth century, the borders of Normandy and of Wales evolved, in important respects, along similar lines. Thus, both ‘marches’ came to be characterized by an exceptional density of castles and uniquely long-established castellan dynasties controlling compact lordships (to the best of their ability). By 1204, these features had helped foster the notion that the marches of Normandy and Wales were similar kinds of frontiers, despite the differences that undeniably existed between them. By implication, the famous liberties of the Welsh Marcher lords were, at first, irrelevant to the concept of the ‘march’ of Wales. This supports Professor Sir Rees Davies’s view that the Welsh Marcher liberties only became an issue in the thirteenth century. Finally, therefore, this article argues that it was the very features shared by the Norman and Welsh ‘marches’, rather than claims to immunity, which first paved the way for the inclusion of the conquest lordships of southern Wales within the region identified as Marchia Wallie.

Citations

1 citation in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 15 Mar 2011
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of History
Dewey Decimal Classification:900 History
Language:English
Date:December 2010
Deposited On:15 Mar 2011 06:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:53
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0013-8266
Publisher DOI:10.1093/ehr/ceq342
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-47556

Download

[img]
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 236kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations