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Political Power in Medieval Gwynedd

Governance and the Welsh Princes

Political Power in Medieval Gwynedd investigates the governance exercised by the princes of Gwynedd on that independent kingdom that existed until the thirteenth century in what is now northwest Wales. David Stephenson combs literary texts, laws, and records from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as well as archaeological findings, to chronicle how the princes of Gwynedd, particularly Llywelyn the Great (1194–1240) and Llywelyn the Last (1243–82), extended their power over much of Wales. Stephenson explores a number of topics, including the princes’ recruitment of advisors, their collection and building of revenue, and their attempts to overcome the segmented nature of the political structure. He also explains how the princes’ efforts to expand their rule created tension within Gwynedd and contributed to the final collapse of native rule in Wales.

257 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Studies in Welsh History

History: European History

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Table of Contents


Introduction to the second edition

Part 1 The Structure of Governance

i. The Prince and His Council 1

ii. Officials of The Prince’s Curia

iii. The Prince’s Clerks

iv. Local Officials


Part 2 The Prince’s Dues

Introduction: The Problem of Quantification

v. Demesne Exploitation

vi. Renders and Dues


Part 3 The Personnel of Administration

vii. Recruitment And Rewards

Part 4 The Problems of Political Control

viii. The Princes and the Lords of the Princely House

ix. Princes, Bishops and Abbots

x. The State and Kinship Groups

Part 5 Assessment

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