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marcher lord

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In the Middle Ages, a holder of land (a lordship) lying on the border (or march) between countries. The term applied to Italy (marche), Germany (mark), and in England along its borders with Scotland and Wales. The marcher lords on the Welsh border were particularly powerful. Between 1067 and 1070 three large marcher lordships were created, based on Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford. They extended their power into Wales despite Welsh resistance in the 12th century led by Owain Gwynedd and Rhys ap Gruffydd. About 140 lordships and sub-lordships were created, the most powerful being Glamorgan, Pembroke, and Wigmore. The crown sought to deal with them by first setting up the Council of the March in Wales (1472) and then abolishing them in the second Act of Union (1543). Their lands were attached to the six existing and the seven new Welsh shires and to the English border counties.

Subjects: History

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