The lordship of Galloway c. 1000 to c. 1250
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The recorded history of the lordship under the House of Fergus lasted from only e. 1130 to 1231, but its origins lie in the fusion of the various peoples settled there by c. 1000. A blend of Celtic and Germanic groups created a hybrid culture that had more in common with Man and the Isles than mainland Scotland. Galwegian attitudes to and relationship with Scotland before c. 1130 are unclear, but ties with York and Man had greater value than Scottish claims to overlordship. The emergence of a powerful line of rulers kept the ambitions of the Crown in check, but any divisions in their ranks were exploited by the Scots. Close family links with the Plantagenet kings provided a counterbalance to Scottish interference, but brought English overlordship instead. This had the side-effect of securing the separation of the see of Whithorn from the Scottish Church. Marriage and kinship ties brought the lords political power in Scotland, England and Man, and control of estates outwith the lordship. This in turn led to the closer integration of Galloway into Scotland as its rulers gained high office in the kingdom. Thus the lords developed a dual character as Anglo-Scottish baron and Celtic chieftain. Introduction of Normanised colonists and the development of 'feudal' military tenures fostered this transition and eroded regional particularism. Integration was accelerated by elimination of the male line and partition between heiresses married into Anglo-Norman families. Division broke the power of Galloway, weakened the influence of its new rulers over the Galwegians and gave the Crown the control for which it had long striven.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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