Military Institutions on the Welsh Marches

March 1994
3 line illustrations
203 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Celtic History
ISBN: 9780851153049
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press

Military Institutions on the Welsh Marches

Shropshire, AD 1066-1300

Frederick C. Suppe

A comparison of the opposed military systems along the English/Welsh border - Anglo-Norman and Celtic - in the 12th century.
Between 1066 and 1282 two quite different societies were juxtaposedalong the Welsh Marches: a feudally-based Anglo-Norman one, and aCeltic Welsh one. It has been conventional to consider the formerto have been more sophisticated and developed than the latter but, in fact, the situation was more complex, and during more than two centuries of attacks and campaigns each society borrowed from the other.
This book is the first comparative study of the two military systems. It considers issues pertinent to the entire border region, and, indeed, to other medieval marches. Specific topics examined include: the nature of Welsh military service, Welsh tactics and the English response, the development and functioning of Clun (a representative border castlery), the local command in Shropshire and the so-called "wardens" of the March, and the extent to which Welsh military customs influenced those of the Marches and of England.

FREDERICK SUPPE is Professor of History at Ball State University.


A stimulating book, to be welcomed as a valuable contribution to the study of both Anglo-Welsh warfare and of frontier societies. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW An excellent introduction to the character of border warfare: a guerilla warfare of raid and counter-raid, in which the normally potent weapon of the heavily armed and mounted knight lacked its usual important study. ARCHIVES [Michael Prestwich]

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