The Acts of Welsh Rulers, 1120-1283

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Huw Pryce
University of Wales Press, 2005 - History - 902 pages
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This volume provides the first comprehensive collection of charters, letters and other written acts issued by native rulers of Wales from the early twelfth century to the Edwardian conquest of 1282–3. It thereby makes more accessible than ever before a key body of source material for the study of medieval Wales during ‘the age of the princes’ – an era of struggles for power by native rulers both among themselves and with Marcher lords and the English crown. The documents assembled and analysed here illuminate a wide range of topics including political developments and concepts of authority in Wales, Anglo–Welsh relations, contacts with kings of France and the papacy, benefactions to religious houses, dispute settlement and uses of the written word in Welsh society.

The edition prints the surviving texts, almost all in Latin, of 444 documents, together with English summaries and explanatory notes, and also contains notices of a further 174 documents whose full texts have been lost. Coverage is broad, extending from the major dynasties of Gwynedd, Powys and Deheubarth to less powerful dynasties such as those of Arwystli in mid-Wales and Gwynllwg in the south-east. The significance of the material as a whole is assessed in a substantial Introduction. This outlines the history of each dynasty and territory whose rulers’ acts are included before analysing the textual transmission and diplomatic of the documents extant as texts and discussing the agencies responsible for their production.

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About the author (2005)

Huw Pryce is professor of Welsh history at Bangor University and the author of Native Law and the Church in Medieval Wales. Charles Insley is a senior lecturer in history at Canterbury Christ Church University and the editor of Anglo-Saxon Charters XV.  

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