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The Age of ConquestWales 1063-1415$
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R. R. Davies

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208785

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208785.001.0001

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Foreign Lordship and Native Community

Foreign Lordship and Native Community

(p.391) Chapter 15 Foreign Lordship and Native Community
The Age of Conquest

R. R. Davies

Oxford University Press

Wales was a patchwork of lordships, royal and seignorial. Such fragmentation created its own problems. The power of the lord extended no further than the boundary of his lordship; the inhabitants of contiguous lordships were regarded, and indeed designated, as ‘aliens’ who lay beyond the reach of his protection and punishment. Under such circumstances abuses flourished readily: men fled from one lordship to another to seek sanctuary; others removed their goods and animals to nearby lordships, thereby placing them beyond the reach of their own lord's power of distraint. It is little wonder that late medieval Wales became a byword, especially among Tudor propagandists, for disorder and the disastrous consequences of the absence of a uniform and centralized judicial authority. Indeed, the absence of such an authority prompted the lords of medieval Wales themselves to evolve mechanisms for dealing with the judicial and governmental fragmentation of the country.

Keywords:   Wales, lordships, aliens, sanctuary, Tudor, propagandists, judicial authority

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