Class and Nation: Defining the English in Late-Medieval Welsh Poetry

  • Helen Fulton
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Relations between English and Welsh in medieval Wales are often contextualized by modern historians in terms of twentieth-century imperialism, as a struggle between two nations, at least one of which was “endowed with a sense of racial superiority.”1 When the English king Edward I conquered north Wales, the last remaining princedom in Wales, in 1282, Wales seemed to have lost all hope of retaining its status as an independent nation. Governed as a provincial outpost of the English empire, the royal lands in north Wales were manacled by chains of castles and towns populated largely by English settlers. The borough towns, most of them newly planted, held a monopoly of trade that excluded the local Welsh population on the grounds that they were “foreigners.” As R. R. Davies observed, “Nowhere was the spirit of conquest and of racial superiority so vigorously and selfishly kept alive as in the Edwardian boroughs.”2


Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century North Walis English Settler Feudal Lord 
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Copyright information

© Ruth Kennedy and Simon Meecham-Jones 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Fulton

There are no affiliations available

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