First published in 1984 under the title The Governance of Gwynedd, this book has been reprinted to meet continued interest on the Princes of Gwynedd in Medieval Wales. Political Power in Medieval Gwynedd: Governance and the Welsh Princes investigates the governance exercised by the thirteenth-century Princes of Gwynedd, particularly Llywelyn the Great (fl. 1194 - 1240) and Llywelyn the Last (fl. 1243 - 82) as they strove to extend their political control over much of Wales. The analysis rests on the combination of different classes of evidence - literary texts, Welsh laws, thirteenth- and fourteenth-century record sources, and the results of archaeological work. After a descriptive survey of the work of the Princes' officials, the range of revenues available to the Princes is discussed, as are their attempts to increase their income. The recruitment of a privileged ministerial elite is examined and detailed prosopographical analysis reveals the Princes' attempts to overcome the segmentary nature of the political structure. Finally, attention is focused on the ways in which the rise of the Llywelyns and the increased pressures of governance imposed by their ambitions created tensions within Gwynedd and contributed to the final collapse of native rule in Wales. A new introductory section discusses recently published work.
David Stephenson is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology, at Bangor University. His recent publications include contributions to Wales and the Welsh in the Middle Ages (2012) and Monastic Wales: New Approaches (2013).
Part 1 The Structure of Governance I THE PRINCE AND HIS COUNCIL II OFFICIALS OF THE PRINCE'S CURIA III THE PRINCE'S CLERKS IV LOCAL OFFICIALS CONCLUSION Part 2 The Prince's Dues INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM OF QUANTIFICATION V DEMESNE EXPLOITATION VI RENDERS AND DUES CONCLUSION Part 3 The Personnel of Administration VII RECRUITMENT AND REWARDS Part 4 The Problems of Political Control VIII THE PRINCES AND THE LORDS OF THE PRINCELY HOUSE IX PRINCES, BISHOPS AND ABBOTS X THE STATE AND KINSHIP GROUPS