By Rees Davies, Brendan Smith
It truly is popular that political, monetary, and social energy within the British Isles within the center a long time lay within the fingers of a small crew of domini-lords. In his ultimate publication, the past due Sir Rees Davies explores the personalities of those magnates, the character in their lordship, and the ways that it was once expressed in a various and divided area within the interval 1272-1422. even if their correct to rule was once infrequently puzzled, the lords flaunted their id and superiority in the course of the advertising of heraldic lore, using increased varieties of tackle, and through the extravagant demonstrate in their wealth and gear. Their household regimen, furniture, gown, nutrition, creative personal tastes, and pursuits all mentioned a life-style of privilege and authority. war used to be a relentless aspect of their lives, affording entry to riches and attractiveness, but in addition sporting the chance of catch, wreck or even demise, whereas their enthusiasm for crusades and tournaments testified to their strength and bellicose dispositions. notably, underpinning the lords' keep an eye on of land was once their keep an eye on of men-a complicated approach of dependence and present that Davies restores to valuable value through learning the British Isles as an entire. The workout and adventure of lordship was once way more diversified than the English version on my own may recommend.
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Additional resources for Lords and Lordship in the British Isles in the Late Middle Ages
NLW, Radnor account (unnumbered). ⁴⁰ All these were dismissed by the royal clerks as ‘of no value’ (qui non sunt alicuius valoris). The problems of record management and selective archive retention were already vexing issues. Nevertheless there can be no doubt that for aristocratic families the safe custody and arrangement of their muniments were a high priority. These were, after all, literally and metaphorically the title-deeds for their wealth and thereby for their status and standing.
First, English Ireland was a land of extensive aristocratic liberties where lordship could operate in all its amplitude. As Robin Frame has pointed out, ‘something over half the territorial extent of English Ireland was . . ’ Secondly, much of Ireland was, in the contemporary phrase, ‘a land of war’, not necessarily recurrently but sufﬁciently menacingly to give a distinctly military ﬂavour to any lordship which intended to operate at all effectively there. Thirdly, and related to this, English-controlled Ireland—itself a shifting and unstable category—was a collection of localized and hybrid societies where the only effective lordship was one which worked with the grain of local situations and practices.
It was a reminder that there was a mutuality at the heart of lordship and a set of social obligations which both parties were expected to observe. We may cite an example of such mutuality, and of its limits, from the north-east March of Wales. Thomas of Lancaster (d. ’ The community sized up the threat realistically. They calculated, rightly, that their current lord, John de Warenne, earl of Surrey (d. ³⁹ They were fully apprised of the dynamics and duties of lordship and dependence alike. ’⁴⁰ Much of this mutuality may have been ironed out in England, especially lowland England, by the institutionalization and territorialization of ³⁹ Cal.