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Law, Order and Government in Early Modern Caernarfonshire Justices of the Peace and the Gentry, 1558-1640 by John Gwynfor Jones

Law, Order and Government in Early Modern Caernarfonshire Justices of the Peace and the Gentry, 1558-1640


Law, Order and Government in Early Modern Caernarfonshire Justices of the Peace and the Gentry, 1558-1640 by John Gwynfor Jones

A thorough examination of the role of Tudor government and its personnel in an essentially Welsh context, and an analysis of the impact of the Acts of Union on the mechanics of local government in Caernarfonshire. This is important because it adds another dimension to historians' knowledge and understanding of the manner in which local gentry, in collaboration with regional institutions, sought to maintain peace and security in the generations after the Acts of Union. The theme is particularly interesting in view of current researches into the character and principal features of community life in early modern England and Wales and because the Carnarfonshire Quarter Sessions records are the only sources of their kind that have survived for the Welsh counties in that period. They reflect the activities of the justices of the peace and other county officers in one county which formed part of the Old Principality of North Wales. The gentry were required to maintain law and order as servants of the central Tudor administration and were supervised, on the varying degrees of efficiency, by the Council in the Marshes based on Ludlow. It was a period which saw significant social, economic, religious, and cultural changes, some of them attributed to the Tudor Settlement of Wales (1536-43) when the office of magistrate was itnroduced into Wales. The volume is based on an examination of this country's social structure, with particular reference to leading members of the emerging county families who were responsible for administering law and order, the changing personnel of the magistracy, the framework and conduct of administration in Quarter Sessions (the pivot of county government), legal and administration duties. In the last chapter there is a discussion of concepts of the ordered society as interpreted in contemporary sources - including Welsh strict-metre verse - which emphasized the role of the Governor in its early modern context in Welsh society.


, . . should find an eager readership among teachers of Welsh history and those teachers in English who want to develop a National Curriculum that truely has a British dimension . . . Teachers of the new Schools History Project module on crime and punishment would definately benifit from reading this excellent book -Teaching History

About the Author

John Gwynfor Jones is a professional historian and a prolific writer in both Welsh and English on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century in religion, society and culture.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st March 1996


John Gwynfor Jones

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University of Wales Press


256 pages


Public administration



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