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Welsh History Review


Vol. 6, nos. 1-4 1972-73

Henry, Lord Stafford and the Lordship of Caus

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his opportunities to stand forth as the most important freeholder
in the Nethergorther. By the end of the century, the Williams estate
occupied most of the Nethergorther, reducing the old townships to
single farms.53 Williams's success was undoubtedly accelerated by the
strict enforcement of male succession and the suppression of
gavelkind after 1542 64 While the life-blood of the traditional life
drained away, Stafford deliberately retained, and indeed revived,
rights and dues which were increasingly archaic but of financial
advantage to himself. He relied upon Humphrey Lloyd, Reynold
Williams and others hostile to the old order, distrusted John Corbet
and other long-established officials, and sustained the clumsiness
and roughness of the lesser officers. In all this, Stafford brought
to a head an opposition which had its roots in the fundamental
problem of the Welsh marches.
University of Newcastle,
New South Wales.
61 C.R.O..D1721/1/1, p. 383, f. 207; D1721/1/10, pp. 177-80; Whitfield, loc. cit., part I, 63-66; part n,
327-29; VCH., Shropshire, VIII, 185, 193-94, 202-3, 207-8. Lands were sold only by licence of the lord
and were surrendered in court to the use of the purchaser.
C.R.O., D1721/1/1, pp. 332-25, ff. 181-83, pp. 356-57, ff. 194-95; D1721/1/10, pp. 177-80;
D1721/1/12, p. 219; E. A. Lewis, An Inventory of the Early Chancery Proceedings concerning Wales (1937),
no. 1307/37-38; William Rees, op. cit., pp. xxii-iv; Diet. Welsh Biog., s. Lloyds of Leighton; J. Beverley
Smith, loc. cit., pp. 147-49. In September 1537 the brothers Robert and Richard Lloyd received a large
free tenement in the Overgorther for themselves and the heirs male of their bodies. Gavelkind was still
a tradition in Causland in 1551, but it had been petitioned against in the new county of Montgomery
and Humphrey Lloyd was actively opposed to it. A sign of the changes wrought by the act of 1542, which
had particular application to the lordships incorporated in English counties, was perhaps Richard Lloyd's
surrender in December 1546 of his title and right in the Overgorther tenement, Stafford receiving L5 from
Robert for his goodwill.
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