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Title: Local conflict in the Anglo-Scottish borderlands, c. 1399-1488
Author: Armstrong, J. W.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis examines society in the marches between England and Scotland, and engages with the historical debate over the significance of this frontier in the late medieval and early modern British Isles. This is the first study to consider both sides of the border across nearly the entire fifteenth century, and to focus on the means by which local inhabitants sought to manage conflict and process disputes in the context of – and in extension beyond – the mechanisms of regional, national, and international governmental administration. I argue that elements of a raiding culture existed in the region from the very beginning of this period and equally that something like the infamous ‘Surname’ kin groups of the Tudor period can be detected on both sides of the border before 1488. Kinship was highly valued across the region, at both the elite and non-elite status levels. Although the borderlands can in part be understood as a frontier society, what counted in shaping this society was not primarily the military frontier, but cross-border cultural similarities. I argue that the centre of gravity of this region was to be found north of the border, especially with respect to the rules used in the management of conflict. The prevalence of a ‘Scottish’ approach to local conflict meant that law courts were often used in the course of disputes, but that accustomed practices of violence and peacemaking had a prominence and meaning that was not typical of England further south. This thesis demonstrates the ability of local societies within the late medieval British Isles, especially those on its sometimes turbulent internal frontiers, to adapt social, political, and legal structures to meet their particular needs and objectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available