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Council for Wales in the Marches

Council for Wales in the Marches. Edward IV had large estates as earl of March in the Welsh border and in the 1470s established a council at Shrewsbury under the nominal authority of the infant prince of Wales. Henry VII, Welsh by birth, followed the example. After a period in abeyance, the council seems to have been revived by Thomas Cromwell. The Act of Union with Wales in 1536 brought the whole area under closer royal supervision and a statute of 1543 established a council with wide authority in Wales and in the border counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire. Much of its business was judicial and petitioners were saved a long and expensive journey to London. Unlike the Council of the North, the Council in Wales was not abolished by the Long Parliament, though the English border counties were removed from its remit. Reconstituted in 1660, the council never regained its former importance and was abolished in 1689 by 1 Wm. & Mar. c. 27 on the grounds that the ordinary law courts were quite capable of providing justice.

J. A. Cannon

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