Thomas Library

Honors Thesis Archive

Author Abigail Cengel
Title Living Links: The Role of Marriage between Welsh and Anglo-Norman Aristocratic Families in the Welsh Struggle for Autonomy, 1066-1283
Department History
Advisor Chris Raffensperger
Year 2012
Honors University Honors
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Abstract The purpose of this study is to determine the ultimate role marriages between Welsh and Anglo-Norman aristocratic families played in the Welsh struggle to retain autonomy from 1066 to 1283. To begin, I will delve into what the Welsh were trying to defend; more specifically, I will examine how the Welsh viewed themselves as a political and cultural unit and how this affected the political maneuvers their leaders made during this time. Next, the literary tradition of each region will be analyzed in order to more fully define the relations between Wales and England and to determine how the people of each region perceived the other. Additionally, the reasons why Welsh did not ally with any of the other regions in their proximity (e.g. Ireland, Scotland, France) will also be investigated. This will be done through an examination of medieval Welsh and Anglo-Norman chronicles and other literature, medieval Welsh law texts, and correspondence between Welsh and Anglo-Norman rulers from the time. Upon analysis of these sources, it becomes clear that the Welsh, even though they were unified by a common culture, could not rid themselves of political fragmentation, and were always dependent on the political situation in England.

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