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The Tudor treatment of Wales

Historian John Davies looks at the treatment of Wales by Tudor monarchs.

The house of Tudor ruled England, Wales and Ireland from 1485 to 1603. Henry VII showed some favour to the land of his paternal grandfather, and his granddaughter Elizabeth I was not without sympathy for Wales.

Indeed it was perhaps the accession of the Tudor dynasty which ensured that the irreconcilability with English power, so evident in Ireland, was not seen in Wales.

With the crown in possession of the principality, as well as the Lancastrian and the Yorkist lordships of the March, the king's power was paramount in virtually all parts of Wales.

Henry VII maintained the Council in the Marches, established at Ludlow by Edward IV; he abolished villeinage in much of the north, but did little else.

He and his son took lethal action against leading figures in Wales, including the Stanleys in the North East, the House of Dinefwr in the South West and the Duke of Buckingham in the South East.


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