Patronage and Power in the Medieval Welsh March

One Family's Story

Author(s): David Stephenson

Language: English

Genre(s): Medieval

  • November 2021 · 160pages · 216x138mm

  • ·Paperback - 9781786838186
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786838209
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786838193

About The Book

This is the first full-length study of a Welsh family of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries who were not drawn from the princely class. Though they were of obscure and modest origins, the patronage of great lords of the March – such as the Mortimers of Wigmore or the de Bohun earls of Hereford – helped them to become prominent in Wales and the March, and increasingly in England. They helped to bring down anyone opposed by their patrons – like Llywelyn, prince of Wales in the thirteenth century, or Edward II in the 1320s. In the process, they sometimes faced great danger but they contrived to prosper, and unusually for Welshmen one branch became Marcher lords themselves. Another was prominent in Welsh and English government, becoming diplomats and courtiers of English kings, and over some five generations many achieved knighthood. Their fascinating careers perhaps hint at a more open society than is sometimes envisaged.

Endorsements

‘In this engaging study, David Stephenson shows how one Welsh gentry family successfully negotiated the challenges posed by foreign conquest in order to further their own interests, thereby throwing revealing new light on the realities of power in medieval Wales and its borders.’
Huw Pryce, Professor Emeritus of Welsh History, Bangor University

‘A brilliant study of a lesser Welsh family, whose two centuries in the service of the English Crown and great Marcher barons were packed with determined careerism, intrigue and, above all, upward social mobility.’
Dr Emma Cavell, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Swansea University

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Genealogical Chart
Map
Prologue: Crisis at Cefnllys
Chapter 1: Questions of Ancestry
Chapter 2: Diligence, Danger and Distinction:
The career of Hywel ap Meurig
Intermezzo: The sons of Hywel ap Meurig
Chapter 3. Philip ap Hywel: Administrative eminence and political peril
Chapter 4: The empire builders: Master Rees ap Hywel and his sons
Chapter 5: Continuity and new directions: Sir Philip Clanvowe
Chapter 6: The last of the line: the later Clanvowes
Chapter 7: Some reflections
Bibliography
Index

About the Author(s)

David Stephenson

David Stephenson is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences, Bangor University. His many contributions to Welsh history include Political Power in Medieval Gwynedd, and Medieval Powys 1132–1293.

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