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texts that depict his life show his roots in the cultural nexus of the Welsh borderlands, presented as a locus of elite military advancement. Guthlac spent a portion of his youth exiled among the British and as the leader of a multi-ethnic war band, and contemporary Welsh and CambroLatin texts also make clear that these were core characteristics of military life in the borderlands. The mixed culture of the Welsh borderlands is also evident in this chapter’s second significant argument: that even in this Anglo-Saxon saint’s life, the politics of land control are much

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England

three years.58 Tudor political culture regarded the idle poor as anathema, whatever their ethnic or racial background. It is interesting in this respect that, when the Egyptian Act was amended in 1554, it was specified that those who would abandon the nomadic lifestyle and adopt a stable home and useful employment would be allowed to remain in the realm.59 In terms of the treatment of immigrants who were of European ethnicity and of the Christian faith, the official line actually remained quite differentiated and nuanced. On the one hand, early Tudor governments were

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
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The Dunsoete Agreement and daily life in the Welsh borderlands

of influence by Ine’s laws, even though they were still valid in the tenth century via their preservation in Alfred’s domboc and the Norðleoda laga.20 Ine’s laws are notorious for an ethnically tiered system of wergilds, in which Britons appear to be valued significantly less than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts in social rank. They are most often interpreted as casting the Britons in an ‘inferior social position’, creating a ‘sense of ethnic superiority on the part of the Saxons’ in which ‘the “otherness” of the Britons’ is emphasised ‘in order to manufacture a

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England

’s equal rancour towards the pagan Mercians, the Historia Ecclesiastica inadvertently preserves a substantial amount of information about the life of Penda of Mercia, whose entire reign over this borderlands kingdom was defined by consistent political and military unity with the Welsh rulers of Gwynedd and Powys against other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Penda’s life provides a window into the mixed Anglo-Welsh culture of the borderlands as a region which stands apart from Bede’s narrative of ethnic division between Anglo-Saxons and Britons. This chapter follows recent

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
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and stable territorial state.8 In spite of this emergent isolationism, English notions of ethnicity did not, as so often in medieval and modern societies, result in some assertion of a ring-​fenced racial purity. The cultural and political constructions of ethnic identity in the Anglo-​Saxon kingdoms of the early Middle Ages may have subscribed quite forcefully to a notion of exclusive ethnogenesis, in which self-​identification with continental Germanic ancestors became the means of differentiating the dominant culture from those of subaltern ‘natives’.9 However

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
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Dignity and memory

Epilogue: Dignity and memory Corporate memory is the stuff of much if not most historical thought and writing. We were all brought up, for better and worse, on our respective national histories, vestiges of nineteenth-century nationalist sentiment. But we all have multiple allegiances and these, too, come with histories, whether of religious bodies, ethnic groups, professional organisations, or still other types of corporate entities. For corporate memory to flourish, the corporate body needs to be alive. The end of Yugoslavia meant the end of teaching

in Indispensable immigrants
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of sainthood had shifted, the designation of someone as worthy of veneration and hence of emulation remained the spontaneous act of a community, whether that community were a monastery, a city, a diocese, a kingdom, or a people in the sense of an entire ethnic or tribal group. The fame of many – perhaps most – saints, regardless of the size of the communities they came from, remained close to home, making it reasonable to think that untold numbers of saints’ cults came and went in the distant past without leaving traces. The most efficacious way of attaining fame

in Indispensable immigrants

226 10 Integration and confrontation Working and living together H aving understood the nature of the ‘Englishness’ that aliens encountered on their entry and settlement in the kingdom, and the various contributions that immigrants in turn made to the evolving culture of their adopted country, we now turn to consider some of the social interactions that resident aliens had, both with people of their own ethnicity and with their English neighbours. This includes the generally peaceful contacts revealed in the workplace and in the practice of religion, as well

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550

-​born people between the 1470s and the 1530s, sixty-​one (79 per cent) specified that the recipients had been born in places within Normandy, Brittany, Picardy and the Pas de Calais. By the end of our period, denizations also began more frequently to specify a particular town of origin. Of the 1,978 people of French background recorded on the Westminster Abbey denization roll of the 1540s, 505 have identifiable towns or cities of origin, the vast majority in Normandy, Picardy, Brittany and elsewhere along the northern coast.25 No fewer than 116 were from the Norman capital

in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
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Gottschalk of Orbais and the predestination controversy in the archdiocese of Rheims

Gottschalk into taking the monastic vow and forcibly tonsured him as a boy.14 While Gottschalk was absolved of his vow, he earned the enmity of Hrabanus, who in his Liber de oblatione puerorum labelled Gottschalk a vicious rebel spreading heresy about monastic life and child oblation in particular.15 Hrabanus also emphasised the fact that Gottschalk’s Saxon ethnicity contributed to his tendency to heresy, since the Saxons had only recently been forced to accept Christianity by the conquering Franks.16 Though the accusations of heresy seem to have fallen on deaf ears

in Hincmar of Rheims