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Resistance in the Welsh Borders

As in other areas, William faced trouble from the Welsh borders because he was so far away.  Like Scotland, the Welsh border area was dangerous as it was both an escape route and an area of support for potential rebels.

Two greedy Norman Earls decided Duke William's success at Hastings allowed them to expand their land.  They seized land belonging to locals, including Eadric (later known as 'the Wild').

Eadric was furious, and wanted revenge.  With the help two Welsh princes, he led a rebellion to Herefordshire, attacking the castle at Hereford.  They escaped before William's army could reach them. 

Eadric the Wild with the Welsh princes led another rebellion to Shrewsbury and onto Chester.  In both places they gained a lot of support.
Having brutally dealt with the North East, King William led his army across the country from York to deal with the Welsh and people of Chester.

As William approached, Eadric once again escaped, but the Welsh and Saxons who stayed were defeated at the Battle of Stafford.  William then destroyed much of the local area as he had done in the Harrying of the North.

Roger, Earl of Hereford plotted with his half-brother Ralf, Earl of East Anglia to overthrow King William.  William learned about the dangerous plan from Earl Waltheof, who was also involved.

The plan did not work, and William punished them severely.  Earls Roger and Ralf lost all their land, and (some say brutally) Earl Waltheof was beheaded for treason.

[See 'Revolt of the Earls']

Some time in 1070, Eadric made an agreement with King William.  Eadric then went with William to Scotland in 1072. 

William built many castles in the Welsh border region, and these, together with his vicious reaction to any resistance stopped almost all resistance after 1070.

 

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Last updated Wednesday, 02 July 2003