Colin Veach
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The dangers of transnational lordship: 1222-41
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This chapter illustrates how the overlapping and ever fluctuating alignments of power in the western British Isles matched the Lacys with the Marshals in struggles for dominance of the Irish Sea during the factionalist rebellions of Hugh de Lacy, earl of Ulster (1223-4) and Richard Marshal, earl of Pembroke (1233-4). The case is less clear in 1233-4 than it had been in 1223-4, but in both instances Henry III and his council backed one faction over another. This chapter also charts Walter de Lacy’s decreasing political importance. No longer conspicuous on the battlefield, his lengthy quarrel with the Knights Hospitaller at the papal curia (one initiated by his wife, Margery) is an impressive display of the strength of his brand of aristocratic lordship, but it also cost Walter dearly. Burdened with his great debts to the crown and Jewish moneylenders, Walter was an invalid by 1237, blind shortly thereafter, and dead by 1241. The great Lacy inheritance, which once extended across four realms of the Plantagenet Empire, and had found its strength in the territorial integrity of its honors, was then carved up between his two granddaughters.

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Lordship in four realms

The lacy family, 1166-1241


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