BORDER BARONS AND JUSTICES OF PEACE: THE DACRE FAMILY AND MAGISTRATES IN CUMBERLAND AND NORTHUMBERLAND, 1485–1534

Abstract


The article describes the ways of aristocratic influence on the local government. The problem of the early modern times state formation is closely related to the issue of changes in the relations between the central authority in the person of the monarch and his entourage and existing elites, especially regional ones. The influence on the local administration work is traditionally considered one of the most important characteristics of the nobility of the late Middle Ages. For example, Thomas, Baron Dacre (Northern Branch), one of the influential border barons, and his son and heir, William, were selected. For several decades, they played a leading role in the region. From the contemporaries and descendants’ point of view the shires, bordering Scotland were taken the stronghold of the rebellious nobility. The research is based on the analysis of the first Tudors era state papers: correspondence, royal patents and letters. For several decades, the Dacres themselves were one of the border shires magistrates. They took an active part in the work of the commission of the peace, proposed candidates for inclusion in the justices of peace. The Cumberland peace commission, where the main possessions of the barons were, included a significant number of their relatives and servants. In Northumberland, where the Dacres recently acquired property, they were not able to influence immensely the composition of the magistrates. While Thomas Dacre, as the Warden of the Middle and East Border Marches, took an active part in the work of the peace commission not only of Cumberland, but also of Northumberland, William Dacre focused exclusively on activities as part of the Cumberland magistrates. In the activities of the justices of Northumberland, he did not take such a lively part.

 


About the authors

A. A. Beltser

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3545-4948

Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate professor of the Department of World History, International Relations and Documentation

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