125, 177, though cf. 34, 158, 307) and about the significance of incorpora- tion (pp. 92-3). Corporate liberties in general look more meagre by English standards than some of the contributors allow. In some cases rather optimistic judgements (pp. 78, 102; and cf. 34, 144, 158) may be influenced by the belief that the bestowal of the customs and liberties of another town means a comparable degree of corporate independence. The broadening of interest beyond the constitutional and legal pre- occupations of older municipal histories produces interesting passages on at least one subject of current debate-the late medieval economy. Examples of apparent prosperity in the fifteenth century slightly out- number those of apparent decline, though the force of the evidence varies a good deal. Mr. Williams-Jones provides a particularly interesting discussion on this point, as he does on the subject of Welsh-English relations within the town. Is it however accurate to describe the Welsh and English as separate races? The division was surely primarily political and cultural, rather than genetic. Boroughs of Mediaeval Wales has blazed the trail for a new school of medieval urban history in Wales. Following on, its successors may be able to be more rigorously systematic and analytical than it, as a pioneer, could be. It is a measure of its achievement that it whets one's appetite for more. SUSAN REYNOLDS Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford LORDSHIP AND SOCIETY IN THE MARCH OF WALES, 1282-1400. By R. R. Davies. Clarendon Press: Oxford University Press. 1978. Pp. xvi, 512. £ 15. Not since the publication in 1962 of Professor Glanmor Williams's study of the Welsh church in the later middle ages has so important a book appeared on medieval Wales as Professor Rees Davies's masterly examination of Welsh marcher lordship and society. In some respects, indeed, the two books are complementary and Dr. Davies understandably devotes little space to the role in marcher society of either the clergy or the institutions of the church. What he does give us is nearly 300 pages of description, analysis and assessment of lordship (seignory, dominium) on the March, followed by 169 pages on the social structure and com- position of the communities, Welsh, English and mixed, rural and burghal, inhabiting the region which stretches in a great arc round the southern and western sides of Wales from Pembroke to Dyffryn Clwyd and Denbigh. Although his chosen period of study runs from the Edwardian conquest to the end of the fourteenth century, Dr. Davies has some important things to say about marcher origins, looking back occasionally to the late-eleventh century, while towards the end of his book, partic- ularly in the stimulating Epilogue, he carries the story forward to the momentous changes in Welsh and marcher society which took effect between the mid-fifteenth century and the somewhat misnamed 'Act of Union' of 1536. The volume is finely produced. Misprints are few,
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