Talk:Welsh Marches

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Maps needed[edit]

Someone really needs to make a map for this page!!! The descriptions are too vague. SKC

I would be interested to hear everyone's thoughts on creating a new map of the present day Welsh Marches. How do you think such a map should be presented and what areas should be included? MonmouthMan (talk) 20:25, 29 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Please can someone provide a dictionary reference to the current use of Marcher in this context - as opposed to the regular word Marches. I can find it in my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as an obsolete term from Middle English only. The actual word described in this article is (March pl:) Marches. Ian Cairns 16:45, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I concur. A better title would be Welsh Marches. --Wetman 03:44, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The article Marcher refers to the Welsh Marches and should be renamed accordingly. Marcher is used in conjunction with Lords as in Marcher Lords. There is already a redirect in place for this - from Marcher Lords to Earl of March. Ian Cairns 09:56, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Move request[edit]

(from WP:RM)

MarcherWelsh Marches[edit]

  • The article Marcher started off as a discussion on the Earls of March, which is now properly contained within the Earl of March article. The remaining Marcher article simply refers to the Welsh Marches (which is a redirect to Marcher) and should be renamed accordingly. Ian Cairns 11:19, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • Moved from WP:CSD. Sounds like a good move to me. Noel (talk) 15:35, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Not Wales?[edit]

From a Welsh history point of view, much of this seems wide of the mark, and the sourcing seems limited. It says The term "marches" is not properly applied within Wales itself, where tribal affiliations traditionally gave freer range of action to local leaders. Well, improper or not, it can be, and is used within Wales. In addition to Monmouthshire mentioned, the "March" as understood prior to the Act of Union included Brecon, Radnor, Montgomery, Denbigh, Pembroke, and part of Carmarthen - more than half of Wales. The lords in these areas claimed and exercised essentially the same rights as other Lords Marcher. See "Hanes Cymru", or pretty well any other Welsh history text. I'll modify the article to this effect unless persuaded not to! LinguisticDemographer 12:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The article leader now drives a coach and horses through the statement that Marches is "not properly applied within Wales itself". Since there has been no counter-argument, and no citation has been supplied, I am deleting the statement. . . .LinguisticDemographer 14:50, 29 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The Marches in the Medieval period were the area of Wales that was subject to the jursidiction of Marcher lords, that is all of Wales except the principality of Wales, the area of north and west Wales conquered from the last sovereign Prince of Wales in 1282. It included some border areas that were incorporated into English counties in 1536. From 1536 until the Interregnum, the Council of Wales also had jurisdiction over Shropshire, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire. I am not clear as to whether Cheshire was included, but suspect not as it was a County Palatinate with its own unique local authroities. Modern usage has thus tended to refer to those parts of England nearest Wales, such as Shropshire and Herefordshire.
I would suggest that the present article should be altered to being a general one covering all these concepts of what the March is (or was). The detailed section on the jursidiction of medieval Marcher lord is duplicated in that article (which is however rather less good). I would suggest that the detailed medieval material should be merged into the marcher lord article, leaving a summary here (and a "main" template, linking it). However, we also need a List of Marcher lordships and an article on each of them. Comments please. Peterkingiron (talk) 21:04, 3 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I have undertaken the merge that I proposed above. Peterkingiron (talk) 11:44, 8 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Do we need a new article on the March of Wales?[edit]

It strikes me that this article and related articles need a bit of a shake-up. To me, "Welsh Marches" is a general modern term which relates to the areas along the current border, as shown on the map, but what is really needed as well is a separate article on the "March of Wales" which existed roughly 1066-1536. A section on the medieval March was transferred to the Marcher Lord article some time ago. In my view, that could form the basis of a new article, with the remaining Marcher Lord article being a more general overview which also covers other parts of Europe. The proposed March of Wales article could also include a List of Marcher lordships which has also been suggested. There's also a link Pura Wallia and Marchia Wallie which currently directs to an article specifically on Gwynedd and which needs to be developed. I'm no expert, but I am reading a new book, The March of Wales 1067-1300 by Max Lieberman, which I could use to help put something together, along with other sources. Any views? Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:51, 4 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • Support - the existing articles mix up several different concepts. We really need an article on each of the marcher lordships, which were quasi-independent mini-states. Peterkingiron (talk) 19:27, 4 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
...and an encyclopedic article to draw them together again.--Wetman (talk) 07:55, 3 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support strongly The current text is a complete mess. The general and rather ill-defined modern geographical term "Welsh Marches" is definitely not the same thing as the March of Wales, as Ghmyrtle explains above. I also think the map is less than useful or accurate, based as it is - on the Welsh side - on the pre-1974 counties created by the practical dissolution of the March by the "Acts of Union" and giving a huge area which corresponds neither to the present meaning or the historical one. Enaidmawr (talk) 23:06, 2 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Just a note to point out that the counties in England shown on the current map are in fact (coincidentally or not) those which were covered by the Council of Wales and the Marches as it existed in 1542, although that body also covered the whole of Wales. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:25, 3 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
That is correct, of course, but it is still true to say that the map represents neither the modern or historical terms correctly. I assume it is meant to show the modern "Welsh Marches". But, however they may be defined, few people would include the Conwy Valley as shown here. I can imagine the reaction of somebody from Llanrwst should a naive Wikipedia reader arrive there and tell them that they live in the Welsh Marches! (On another but related note, why has the creator of the map used the pre-1974 counties to illustrate the modern Marches?) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Enaidmawr (talkcontribs) 21:46, 3 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I agree it's very odd, but, given its creator, not surprising! Better maps will be needed whatever articles come to be written. Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:45, 3 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support strongly ~Geaugagrrl talk 05:26, 3 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strongly support -- the proposed article should cover the period from the Norman conquest until the abolition of marcher lordships in 1536. There is also an important book by R.R. Davies, which you should be using. please post a note here when you start, so that we can watch and comment. I am also unhappy with this article. I live in Worcestershire, where being subject to the Council of the Marches was unpopular. No one would call this county part of the Marches: Herefordshire, Shropshire and the Forest quarter of Gloucestershire, perhaps, but not more. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:17, 4 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with you regarding Worcestershire. That silly map also shows the whole of Gloucestershire. I only noted a couple of anomalies produced on the Welsh side, but going by the map we would also have to include places such as Birkenhead, Macclesfield and Cirencester in "the Welsh Marches" today. Too ludicrous for words! By the way, would the book by R. R. Davies be Conquest, Coexistence and Change: Wales 1063-1415 (aka The Age of Conquest: Wales 1063-1415, pb), or did you have another one in mind? 1070s-1536 would be the appropriate timescale for the new article, with perhaps an end note on the Council. Enaidmawr (talk) 19:19, 4 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Just a passing comment - I think we should avoid too much of a discussion on what is and isn't within the "Marches" as the term is now used - it is like the "West Country", where the area covered depends very much on who you are talking to (see discussions on that talk page). It may be better to avoid a map on this page, though obviously the medieval and Tudor "marches" can be defined much more precisely. Birkenhead, by the way, hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1917, and there is a great heritage of Welsh culture on Merseyside (not that that necessarily defines it as "Marches" though). My main sources, by the way, would be John Davies, plus a recently published book, "The March of Wales 1067-1300" by Max Lieberman, which seems pretty thorough to a non-expert like me. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I was referring to Lordship and society in the March of Wales, 1282-1400 (by) R.R. Davies. (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1978). I cannot think of anything similar for 1400-1536. Peterkingiron (talk) 23:46, 4 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
On the extent of the March, I do not think the Council of the Marches had jurisdiction over the County Palatinate of Cheshire, which had its own local courts and other institutions. The term the Marches today is (as you say) a loose and vague term, some people might limit it to a narrow strip along the boundary. It may also depend how far away you are from the border. Ultimately, I would like to see the present article reduced to an extended disambiguation page, expalining the differnet uses of the term, and pointing to articles on each specific sense of the term, which is where the detail should be. Peterkingiron (talk) 23:51, 4 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Recent expansion[edit]

What I've done today is to expand the existing article, so that there is much more about the medieval March. It would be helpful if people could look at the article as I've revised it, make whatever changes are necessary, and review whether it would in fact be better to spin off a new article. On second thoughts, I'm not sure that it is. Although "the March" is a technical term to historians, its history would be so closely bound up with any encyclopaedic article on "the Welsh Marches" as a general term in popular use that I now think a separate article might actually lead to more confusion. But I'm no expert at all on this (in fact, I've largely put this article together from other WP articles already existing), and I'm very open to discussion on the best way forward. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:32, 20 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Good work generally. I would like to see more on the jurisdictional independence (jure regalia). What really distinuished the March from England is that each lord was effectively a petty king in his own domains, with jurisdiction over all causes except treason against the English king. Thus there could be competition between lords over who had the right to try and execute a murderer. The king's writ did not run in Wales. Those who brought the king's writ and attempted to serve it in a Marcher Lordship were liable to find themselves imprisoned or even being forced to eat the writ. Cases of private wars being conducted between lords were not unknown. I am surprised at the figure of 150 lordships, and suspect this includes manors over which a marcher lord had suzerainty, not merely lordships owing allegiance only to the King of England. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:23, 20 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've had my go, so I'm more than happy for everyone else to pile in and edit it - hopefully I'll learn more! Yes, the figure of 150 looks high - I've seen a map showing 40 or so, so I'll try and check that. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:29, 20 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Just seen this. Definite improvement. I'm only able to turn up here sporadically at the moment with the Christmas season being upon us, so don't have time to check everything, but the figure of 150 is way too high. If you include minor lordships and individual commotes which came under Marcher control I'd say 40-50 is nearer the mark. By the way, one factor in the Marcher lords' virtual independance is their shifting allegiances and alliances, including those made with the princes of Gwynedd (principally); I think it was Walter, lord of Clifford, married to one of Llywelyn Fawr's daughters, who famously forced a royal messenger to eat the king's writ. The fact that most of these lordships contained subsantial "Welshries" under the control of local Welsh lords - of shifting allegiance again - and subject to Welsh law and custom also needs to be discussed. It's a complicated story and deserves a seperate article at some point. Enaidmawr (talk) 00:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I've taken out the "150" number - I suspect (but don't know) that the difference relates to the definition of "lordship" - as I understand it there were "lordships within lordships", at least in some areas. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:23, 22 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Another point missing: they adminstered English law to English settlers, for example in boroughs. My studies of Whittington were inadequate to enable me to work out what law was being administered there. The answer to the number of lordships is probably to start a list of Marcher Lordships. A starting point will be lists in at least one of R.R. Davies' books. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

List of Marcher lordships[edit]

I've had a go at including a list of Marcher lordships. I've got at least two different maps showing these, one in John Davies' A History of Wales and the second in Max Lieberman's The March of Wales. There are some (but not that many) differences between them, and (despite Davies' undisputed eminence) I've gone for Lieberman simply because (1) it's more recently published and therefore may include more recent research, and (2) it's in a book specifically about The March rather than about wider history. I've also tried to provide suitable piping links where I can, but there's no consistency in how lordships are dealt with (for instance, there is a separate article on the cantref>lordship of Emlyn, but not on most of the others), and obviously greater consistency is something to be worked on. I'm also pretty useless at formatting columns and tables, so if the look of the columns can be improved, go ahead. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:19, 22 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Separation of list of lordships into separate article[edit]

User:Inwind is insisting on separating the list of lordships into a separate article - his only explanation being: "By splitting a list from an article no information is lost, it is just a different way of presenting it." I'm irritated about how he's done it, without any prior discussion - but, on the substance of his proposal, what do other editors think? Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:26, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia is a readers' service. A moment's thought shows that this list directs the Wikipedia reader to any of the sub-articles on individual lordships. Giving the Wikipedia reader the run-around is not a mark of a considerate editor.--Wetman (talk) 17:39, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I appreciate easy access to further information on the subject. However most of the linked articles are villages and towns with no contents related to the Marches and a prominent position may not be justified. Inwind (talk) 19:33, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I think the list (in its present multi-column format) works well. I see no useful purpose in forking it into a separate article, unless User:Inwind is proposing to add significant additional information to the list, for example the families who owned the lordship. For example there is an article on the lords of Abergavenny that could usefully be linked. Unfortunately Wales has no equivalent of Victoria County History, so that there is no readily available source on the hisotry of individual lordships. In the case of Whittington the (current) link is to an article on the castle, becuase it shares its history with the lordship of which it was the head. There is a long way to go before WP has good articles on every lordship and/or cantref. FORKING sometimes has the undesirable result that the original and daughter articles develop separately, occasionally to the extent that they contrdict each other. This is avoided if the text retained in the original artilce is kept short and a link is provided by a "main" or "see also" template. If you are really concerned at what User:Inwind has done, nominate his work for WP:AFD. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:40, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

User:Inwind's view was that the list be deleted entirely from this article - I reverted that change, but the new article he created still exists. If there is consensus here to keep the list in the main article, I'll propose deleting his new article. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:44, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
As there has been not further development, I will remove the tag. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:24, 14 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

1234 map[edit]

The present version of the 1234 map is unsatisfactory: I think that Pura Wallia is a post-conquest concept referring to the continuing principality lands. It would be much better for the two Powys princely states (which were independent of Gwynedd) and subsequently transmogrified into Marcher Lordships to be given a different colour from the lands of the Princes of Gwynedd. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:29, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The original source was this map produced by Wrexham County Borough, later redrawn at [[File:Wales 1234 (Marchia Wallie and Pura Wallia).svg]]. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:40, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
My complaint could adequately be dealt with merely by recolouring the two Powys states. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Furthermore, the map is defective in deals only with Wales as it was post-1536, omitting Whittington, Oswestry, Caus, Clun, Wigmore, Clifford, Ewias, etc, which were subsequently part of England, but had not been since the anarchy of Stephen. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I suggest you contact the person who redrew the map at Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:56, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Giving more prominence to modern sense of the term "Welsh Marches"[edit]

I feel the lead section fails to give enough weight to the modern sense of the term "Welsh Marches". The description an "imprecisely defined area" doesn't help anyone. Yes there is no official definition, but obviously it would be more helpful to give readers examples of the counties commonly associated with the marches, e.g. Shropshire, Herefordshire. Also "The Marches today" section really ought to be at the top of the article so that readers who are only interested in the contemporary definition can find it quickly. I'm sure those readers who are interested in a historical context won't mind having to scroll down a bit further. Finally, having a map at the top of the article would help to convey the modern meaning much more quickly. MonmouthMan (talk) 02:13, 29 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The description is accurate, it is not precisely defined. I'm not sure that the modern use is significantly different ----Snowded TALK 03:29, 29 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I can see no good reason for thinking that readers are going to be more interested in the modern use of the term than in the historical use. After all, we are an encyclopedia rather than a tourist guide, and it is absolutely normal in articles such as this for the main text to set out the history of the area - or the term - chronologically. We can clarify the area covered in the text of the introduction, but I think including any map in the introduction could be confusing (and the map showing the area as it is now understood has strange formatting characteristics, and needs to be redrawn). The introduction needs to summarise the whole article, so needs to cover both historical and modern meanings. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:45, 29 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I guess I am looking at it from another point of view. Consider a reader who has never heard of the Welsh marches before (in the modern sense), who wants to a gain brief understanding of the term. I would never suggest removing the historical meaning, only expanding upon the modern as it is a little vague. I might be able to help create a new map but I wouldn't want to until there was a consensus here as to what it should look like. MonmouthMan (talk) 12:53, 29 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
If you can find reliable sources that give a clear definition of the modern use of the term, and if they agree with each other, then of course it could be mentioned in the lead. I'm not sure that would be easy to do, though. There would probably be general acceptance that it usually includes Shropshire and Herefordshire, but does the modern use unequivocally include Cheshire, or Powys, or Monmouthshire, or Worcestershire? I think you would find that it's now one of those terms like "West Country" about which sources take differing views. In that case, I think a map purporting to show the area covered by the modern use of the term would be more confusing than helpful. Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:01, 30 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I understand and I agree that there is a lack of reliable sources on this matter. I don't think a black and white definition is required, just a more nuanced explanation of current usage. Regarding the map, I see no harm in being bold and presenting the areas which we can be fairly confident are covered by the modern definition, even if that means excluding those we can't. We could include a caption to say that such a map is only a guide and not conclusive. Perhaps that might be confusing for some, but isn't it a reality that the matter is somewhat confused. MonmouthMan (talk) 13:25, 30 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Any objections if I delete un-cited claims?[edit]

There is absolutely no evidence to support the following quote; "However, at one time the Marches included all of the historic counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire." I deleted this useless information, as it makes an incorrect claim, at no point were all of those counties under Marcher Lords, and it doesn't even say when this time was. The related map was also deleted as it was not factual. But the article was reverted to include the errors again. I've got many history books at hand that refer to the history of England and Wales. This is a common confusion from a council called Council of Wales and the Marches, This did not cover Cheshire (the wikipedia page for it says it does, but it's source doesn't include Cheshire, so that needs changing too). I am trying to remove an un-cited claim, that is incorrect. Cheshire was a county palatinate, it was never a Marcher Lordship, nor did it fall under the Council of Wales and the Marches The map below implies places like Worcestershire are still considered Marcher areas when they are not. Jojo the Dodo (talk) 23:43, 25 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

You misunderstand the scope of the article. It doesn't say that those counties "were all... under Marcher Lords", because they weren't. It says, in the opening sentence: "The Welsh Marches (Welsh: Y Mers) is an imprecisely defined area along the border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods." (My emphasis). You are choosing to use, exclusively, one of those meanings - the area ruled by the Marcher Lords. But there are other definitions covered in the article, for example: "A statute of 1543 established a council in Wales and in the border counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire." Common usage also includes Cheshire as part of the Marches (one example here). Citations can of course be added if you insist on pursuing the argument. Incidentally, all the points you raise have been raised previously on this page. I'm sure there's scope for further improvements to be made, but your approach does not adequately address the whole issue because it looks only at one period of time, and not at the common use of the term "Welsh Marches". Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:00, 26 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]