The March of Wales, 1172–1277: The Age of Definition
The Anglo-Norman lords had come to accept by the late twelfth century that the total subjugation of Wales was, at least for the time being, beyond their reach. So had England's government. Wales was to be a partially conquered country. The acknowledgement of this situation was reflected in the increasing use in official documents of a formal terminology to express the duality: on the one hand, the part of Wales that remained under native rule was referred to as ‘Wales’ or ‘Wales proper’, while the rest of the country was designated ‘the March of Wales’ and its rulers ‘the barons of the March’. A brief review of the March in the late twelfth century will serve to indicate the extent of Anglo-Norman penetration in Wales by that date and to emphasize the very variable quality of Anglo-Norman control.
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