The political and military impact of Henry II’s campaigns in Wales

Farrington, Daniel (2022) The political and military impact of Henry II’s campaigns in Wales. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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This study examines the Welsh campaigns of Henry II and the impact they had on his policy making and the military efforts throughout his reign. What emerges from scholarship is a historiographical tradition governed by two themes. Firstly, that there was a degree of continuity in the conduct and organisation of the warfare of Henry’s reign as change was gradual until the reigns of Richard I and John. Secondly, that Henry’s campaigns in Wales are often condemned to the periphery, dismissed as English displays of power or responses to Welsh territorial ambitions, with little fighting and indeterminate outcomes. These campaigns are mentioned in passing and considered less deserving of scholarly attention when compared to the many notable events of the time. Rather than relegate them to a minor role, this work demonstrates that within contemporary and near-contemporary materials from both England and Wales there is evidence that Henry’s Welsh campaigns had a lasting impact upon his reign, especially in the progression of knight service, mercenaries and policy witnessed during this period. These campaigns bring into focus two clashing cultures with political, economic and military differences. As Welsh troops became increasingly important in English armies, it seemed only to strengthen the perception of Welsh warfare being primitive and barbaric. This view, established during the twelfth century, was promoted through the writings of Gerald of Wales and would become the enduring image of the Welsh at war. The aim of this work therefore is to give a better understanding of the impact Henry II’s Welsh campaigns had upon his reign. In doing so, it will demonstrate that the campaigns shed light on the tactics, planning and diplomacy involved in warfare and show how twelfth-century armies were raised, financed, provisioned and transported before the emergence of more detailed records in the following centuries.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Henry II, Owain Gwynedd, Rhys ap Gruffudd, twelfth-century warfare, Great Revolt of 1173–4, Angevin England, ‘Celtic’ neighbours, historical writing, Gerald of Wales
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Daniel Farrington
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 08:37
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2022 11:03

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