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Armed conflict and border society: The East and Middle Marches, 1536-60

Becker, Jeffrey Marcus (2006) Armed conflict and border society: The East and Middle Marches, 1536-60. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The final phase of the Anglo-Scots Wars (1542-1560) significantly affected Northumberland. The Tudor government attempted to use the militarised society of Northumberland as a means of subduing Scotland. However, the ensuing conflict took a heavy toll on the Marchers. Instability plagued the region, while leading military families feuded with each other. The efforts of the Tudors were not concerted enough to overcome the Marchers' allegiance to kith and kin. March society proved to be remarkably inhospitable for Tudor state building, and in the end, the military community of Northumberland remained just as vulnerable to both internal and external threats as it had been before the wars. This work questions the success of Tudor state building տ the mid-sixteenth century. The analysis employs both State Papers and local documents to illuminate the political dialogue between central government and the peripheral frontier administration. Official correspondences of March officers also highlight the depths to which Tudor policy had taken root in Northumberland. An analysis of muster rolls suggests that Northumbrian society’s involvement in the wars greatly fluctuated over nearly a twenty-year period, only to see the military capacities of Northumbrians significantly wane by 1560. The personal testimonies of officers imply that the Tudors had some initial success in bringing significant military power to their side. However, the same documents also suggest that incoherent policies resulted from the rapid succession of three separate monarchs after the death of Henry VIIL In the end, the Tudor state was unable to instil order in Northumberland, and the military necessities of frontier security remained problematic for the rest of the sixteenth century.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:53

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