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marches of Scotland

marches of Scotland. The Anglo-Scottish border. The border lands of both England and Scotland were divided into two or three marches. Northumberland with Berwick- on-Tweed was the east march ‘towards Scotland’ and Cumberland and Westmorland the west march. Adjacent Scottish shires were likewise arranged. In both kingdoms, wardens were commissioned by their sovereigns to protect and restrain inhabitants of their marches from cross-border crime in times of truce, and to mobilize and direct them in wartime. War in the 1380s caused the English wardenships to be given a dangerous character for the following century. Instead of several commissioners, a single warden was appointed for each march. He was engaged by indenture for one year, later for more, at an annual rate of payment which would be doubled (at least) in wartime; with these large sums he was to employ as many soldiers as he considered necessary. Magnates with lands in the marches, and therefore tenants, were normally appointed. Percy and Neville wardens were to lead their private armies of marchmen against the king and each other. Tudor wardens were not great magnates and less well paid. Most of Northumberland was put under a warden for the middle march. The wardenships were abolished in 1603, when the two kingdoms came under the personal union of James VI and I.

R. L. Storey

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