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National Identity Notes

History Notes > History of the British Isles II: 1042-1330 Notes

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National Identity Tutorial Scotland There is a more recognisable system in Scotland
~ Northern counties may as well be part of Scotland
~ Humberl line
~ Scotland can therefore be an ally - David and Henry I
~ Much intermarriage
~ Has its own church
~ Beginning to reach Murray through pilgrimage to the area Edward I cannot bring Scotland under control - partly because of their northern axis The Scottish kings were a powerful and confident dynasty with their own European church
~ Similar structures e.g. anoints its kings
~ Invite Norman knights to Scotland
~ Bartlett - 'conquest by invitation' The northern Scottish see the king of southern Scotland as an outsider
~ Against Gallovidians, not Scottish kings - are interrelated with the English Wales Anglo-Saxons do not go into England whereas the Normans do Wormald - sees this to be due to Bede
~ Gives the English this notion of Gregory the Great sending missionaries - all 'Angli' before God
~ It is later appropriated as a political identity
~ Does not extend to the Welsh
~ The Welsh are a different people - rule does not apply to them Edgar plays imperial games but there isn't any concerted effort to extend Anglo-Saxon government there
~ Normans seem to have an ideological difference Fluidity of dynasties in Ireland and Wales - not so in Scotland
~ Illegitimacy is not as major in these places
~ Do not have the same idea of divine election Scotland - cannot have kings against each other as in Wales Conquest Henry II intervenes when Strognbow is building up power in Ireland Generally a private enterprise Kings go in when they have to - more interested in the Continent Major importance of Flemings in colonisation
~ e.g. 600 more land in Ireland in 1169 - before Henry II Heretics can have their land taken

Much elite intermarriage in Ireland and Wales Elite are subscribing to Arthur - identify with it
~ English ideology which unites the English and the Normans Why do they intervene in Scotland later?
~ Opportunism?
~ British ideology
~ Lack of continental possessions Cannot achieve this in Scotland defeat of Edward II

Domination and Conquest: The experience of Ireland, Scotland and Wales 11001300 - R. R. Davies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990) pp. 1-24 and pp. 66-128 Patterns of domination Dates of conquest
~ England - 1066
~ Ireland - 1169
~ Wales - 1282 Important Scottish dates - struggle against the English attempt to subdue Scotland battles such as Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314) Conquest dominated chronology
~ Shared by contemporaries and vigorously promoted by the conquerors Henry II was memorialised as 'conqueror' and 'victor of Ireland' Edward I was mourned as 'the conqueror of lands and flower of chivalry'
~ English settlers in Wales in the mid-14th century looked back to the days of 'the
good king Edward the Conqueror' Normans in England proclaimed both the finality of their conquest and the legitimacy of their regime by their references to 'the day that King Edward was alive and dead' Ireland - great divide between 'the time of the Irish' (in tempore Hibernicorum) and 'the
time of the conquest of the said land' Edward I drew a definitive line in Wales by decreeing that 'the proclamation of our
peace in Wales in out eleventh year' (1283) should be the terminus a quo for legal actions and therefore of legal memory Generally subscribe to the view that conquest brings profound change Temptation is all the greater still as conquest is often accompanied by a dramatic change in the character of the records available to the historian
~ As in Ireland from 1169 or Wales from 1282 Have in some cases been too ready to assume that military conquest transforms the character of the conquered society Conquest is also crucial to forging national identity
~ Irish saw the Anglo-Normans as foreign tyrants
~ Similar in Wales Anglo-Normans did not deliberately set out to conquer 'Wales' or 'Ireland' - not informed by national ambitions
~ 'their enterprises were not national conquests in intention, scale or character. That they eventually came to be seen as such is largely to be explained by changing ambitions and perceptions, especially from the early 13th century onwards and by the national orientation and inescapable hindsight of modern historiographical interpretation' (p. 3) Contemporary historical mythologies invited conquering barons to think in terms of Britain, Britannia and even indeed of the British Isles tout court Welsh had surrendered before the struggle began

~ Native Welsh chronicle's obituary of William the Conqueror - 'prince of the
Normans and king of the Saxons and Britons and the Scots'
~ His son Henry I was saluted as 'King of England and Wales' and 'of all the
island besides' Gerald of Wales - Ireland 'is the lawful possession of the kings of Britain'
~ Arthur had sailed to Ireland and conquered the whole of it Need to expound the historical basis of English supremacy over Scotland came later
~ When Edward I was called upon to explain the 'right and dominion that belong to us in the realm of Scotland' in 1301 by appealing to his superior right as the descendant of Locrine, the eldest son of Brutus of Troy, the first king of all Britain after the expulsion of the giants The Wessex dynasty in the 10th century had proudly paraded its pan-British claims by arrogating titles such as 'emperor', 'basileus' or 'king of the whole of Britain'
~ Norman kings avoided such inflated titles but their archbishops did not - Lanfranc described himself as primate of all Britain
~ Anselm's biographer claimed that Canterbury's jurisdiction extended to 'the
whole of England, Scotland, Ireland and the adjacent isles' There is ample evidence of Welsh kings submitting themselves to the English, swearing oaths to be loyal and faithful underkings (even in their moments of success), attending the king's court, surrendering hostages and paying tribute - both before and after the Norman Conquest Cannot be denied that Scottish kingship had been reduced to client status in comparison to the stronger kingship of Wessex-England - also after the Norman Conquest No such evidence for Ireland but the fact that the bishop of Dublin, Waterford and Limerick had gone to Canterbury to be consecrated might suggest that where ecclesiastical supremacy led, political domination might follow 'In short, the historical mythology and the political ideology and practice of English
domination of the British Isles, were, in many respects, already well in place before the process of the so-called Anglo-Norman conquest of Britain began' (p. 5) One could stumble into domination or dependence
~ Not conquest - pursued their current ambitions in conventional ways Not all military
~ Native princes might be won over by gifts
~ Brut - 'it was the custom of the French to deceive men with promises' The kings and nobles of England were demonstrating their social superiority and the magnetism of their courts and their mores
~ The kings of Scotland and the princes of Wales were entering the king of England's house - social submission was often the acceptable face of political deference
~ Importance of ceremony King Edgar of Scotland (1097-1107) - went so far as to acknowledge in a charter that he held his kingdom 'by gift of King William (Rufus)' as well as 'by paternal inheritance'
~ Further showed deference by bearing the ceremonial sword at Rufus' crownwearing in 1099 Gerald of Wales - Wales 'is a portion of the kingdom of England, not a kingdom in itself'
~ Henry I and Henry II showed that Wales was dependent on England

~ Royal expeditions into Wales in 1114, 1121, 1157-8 and 1165 reminded the Welsh of the grim reality
~ 'They were not campaigns of conquest nor were they followed by the
installation of garrisons in Wales but they were demonstrations of domination and brisk reminders to the Welsh of what power could be brought to bear against them' (p. 7) Domination could work over the sea William of Malmesbury - wrote that Murtough O'Brien, king of Munster 1086-1119 and his successors were so terrified of Henry I 'that they would write nothing but what
would please him and do nothing but what he commanded'
~ 'For what would Ireland be worth if goods were not brought to her from
~ Gerald of Wales echoes this - 'Ireland cannot survive without the goods and trade which come to it from Britain' Broader context of dependence
~ Important commercial links between eastern and southern Ireland and England, notably Bristol and Chester
~ One of Henry II's first policy decisions on his expedition to Ireland in 1171-2 was to reserve the key trading towns of Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Limerick for the English crown - shows link between commercial and political power William of Newburgh in the later 12th century - 'Wales is incapable of supplying its inhabitants with food without imports from the adjacent counties of England and since it cannot command this without the liberality or express permission of the king if England, it is necessarily subject to his power'
~ Echoed by Gerald of Wales Commercial dependence opened the door to political control William and Gerald may have oversimplified the economy of Wales - also underestimated its political resilience and overstated its commercial dependence 'Wales in the 11th and 12th centuries was by north-western European standards an underdeveloped country, especially in terms of markets, towns, trade and the use of coin. It was ripe for exploitation. And exploited it was, especially for its slaves, timber, hides, furs, flocks and herds.' (p. 8) Despite the remarkable resurgence of Welsh native power, it was fatally stunned by its failure to recover the economically rich and commercially developed lowlands of the south Scotland probably had no burghs and no coinage of its own at the outset of the 12th century
~ 100 years later - 40 or so boroughs flourished and a standard royal coinage was circulated widely
~ Population of these early Scottish towns came overwhelmingly from England
~ Much English influence e.g. language of business English economic domination was penetrating to different parts of the British Isles - partly through the control of a good deal of foreign trade, partly in providing items of commerce and partly in providing the exemplars, expertise, manpower and ample stocks of coins for forging new economic relationships

Commerce is important
~ When Gerald of Wales drew up his blueprint for the conquest of Wales one of his recommendations was the establishment of an embargo on the import into Wales of iron, cloth, salt and corn th 13 century economic blockades
~ 1244 Scotland
~ 1277 Wales William of Malmesbury on Ireland - 'Her soil is so poor and the tillers of her so soil so
ignorant that it can only sustain a rustic and beggarly crowd of Irishmen outside the cities. But Englishmen and Frenchmen, having a more civilised way of life, dwell in cities and are familiar with trade and commerce'
~ Perception and assumptions behind it are most important Irish and Welsh were seen as economically and technologically backward
~ English belonged to a people which was commercially superior and urbanised Anglo-Normans did belong to a new world - exploitation of resources, marketing of produce, availability of money as a unit of exchange, centrality of the town and the ability to sustain a large and socially-differentiated population Entrepreneurial attitude Gerald best captured the 2 essential qualities of these men, their tough militarism and their quick eye for profit, in his memorable description of the Flemings of his native Pembroke - 'a strong and hardy people, deeply imbued with hostility towards the
Welsh through continuous battle with them; but a people who spared no labour and feared no danger by sea or by land in the search for profit a people as well fitted to follow the plough as to wield the sword' Penetration of Wales, Ireland and Scotland was not merely or even mainly an aristocratic affair - vitally underpinned by considerable popular migration
~ Flemings formed a vigorous community in south-west Wales, especially Pembroke - introduced by Henry I
~ Continued to speak native tongue in the area until at least the late 12th century - Brut identifies them as a group separate from the French and the English
~ Flemings were also in Ireland in the late 12th century
~ Also settled extensively in parts of northern England migrated to Scotland, notably Clydesdale and Moray Might view the 12th and 13th centuries less as a 'Norman Conquest' and more as the
second tidal wave of Anglo-Saxon or English colonisation
~ Following the early Middle Ages when soldier-colonists penetrated into the eastern lowlands of Wales and anglicised much of the eastern lowlands of southern Scotland
~ Second wave in the late 11th century and flowed more or less strongly over parts of lowland Wales, Ireland and Scotland for almost 2 centuries
~ It was overwhelmingly the 'English' who settled in Ireland and the lowlands
of Wales - not Norman or Flemish Brut - it was 'Saxons' whom Gilbert fitz Richard of Clare brought to 'fill the land' of
Ceredigion in the early 12th century Gerald of Wales - when the crusade was preached at Llandaff the English (Angli) stood on one side, the Welsh on the other

By the time that Ireland was invaded, the distinction between English and Normans was fast fading
~ It was as 'the English' that the newcomers were consistently referred to in the
near-contemporary epic of the invasion, The Song of Dermot and the Earl
~ Even Gerald was not averse to describing what happened in Ireland as an English success and English domination Seems to be sufficient evidence to say that in the century after 1170 it was English and sometimes Welsh settlers who transformed the composition of the population of Ireland Political circumstances were entirely different in Scotland - so, in many respects, were the social consequences Some of the characteristic features of Anglo-Norman governance were peacefully introduced into Scotland in the 12th and 13th centuries and were successfully grafted onto native society e.g. feudal tenure and aristocratic life Can trace the ancestry of many of the new aristocratic entrepreneurs in Scotland back to England 'Norman' advance into Scotland was also accompanied to a degree by English settlement, whether internal migration from within English-speaking Lothian or external migration from Northumberland, Yorkshire etc. When the Gallovidians launched their great revolt in 1174 against the growth of alien domination associated with the king of Scotland both the English and the French were specifically names as the targets of their wrath Anglo-Normans undertook a self-conscious policy of colonisation, whether they initiated it or simply channelled a movement which had already generated its own momentum
~ Song of Dermot and the Earl - set out 'to plant their lands'
~ Irish tract - sought to inhabit their new conquests with 'common English so many
as by bribes and purchase' Realised that without such settlement there would be no depth to their achievement Similarly in Wales English families were enticed to settle both in the countryside and in the new plantation boroughs on highly attractive and favourable terms English settlements could, as in parts of lowland Scotland, merge into and transform existing societies e.g. common characteristics with Lothian In much of Ireland and Wales, however, these communities remained defiantly separate
~ 'By then English national identity had become much more clearly and
aggressively defined; the defence of the English communities in Wales and Ireland against the natives on the one hand and against a seemingly inexorable process of 'degeneracy' as it was called, on the other - that is, the assimilation of the settlers into their native habitat and their adoption of its customs - was represented as the defence of a specifically English culture' (p. 15)
~ Gradually unfolds during the 13th century - yet were already incidences of intolerance from English settler communities Even without such colonisation, however, it is clear that Ireland, Scotland and Wales would have been increasingly drawn and indeed were so drawn into a north-west European, Anglo-Norman culture orbit in this period

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