Ruling the Borders: Wiliam Lord Dacre and the genesis of the Dacre Rising
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This study examines the northern branch of the Dacre family - the Dacres of Gilsland. The west march of England towards Scotland, on the Anglo-Scottish borders, is the focal point of this thesis, as this contained the powerbase of the northern Dacre lordship. This work evaluates how and why the Dacres were utilised by the Tudor government. As demonstrated by previous research, especially that of Steven Ellis, the Dacres were favoured at times by Tudor government, at other times they found themselves out of favour or even in severe difficulty with the crown. The aim of this thesis is to continue the existing research and put it into a wider and later context. In addition, this text examines the effectiveness of government on the Anglo-Scottish border. This thesis wishes to re-evaluate various theories about central government control, especially descriptions of the consolidation of crown power, at the peripheries of the Tudor state. This study focuses mainly on the reign of Elizabeth I, especially the early part of her reign, up to c. 1570. It was at this time that two very important events in the north of England occurred: The Rebellion of the Northern Earls and The Rising of Leonard Dacre. These uprisings were to have a significant effect on the power of the noble houses of the Percies, the Nevilles and on the Dacres. Much research has been carried out on the rebellion of Neville and Percy, but Leonard Dacre's rising has not been studied in its own right before. It is, in general, described as something of an episode of the Northern Earls' earlier rising. However, this thesis will show that Leonard Dacre's Rising can be separated from the Rebellion of 1569. It had different causes and a different outcome. It was, after all, the largest engagement on English soil of the Elizabethan period, and for this reason alone, it is worthy of further research. Firstly, a narrative account of the Northern Dacre family during the Tudor period is provided in order that the Dacres can be put into their correct historical context.
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