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Marcher lord

English noble appointed to protect the border with Wales / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A Marcher lord (Welsh: Barwn y Mers) was a noble appointed by the king of England to guard the border (known as the Welsh Marches) between England and Wales.

Wales in the 14th century showing Marcher Lordships

A Marcher lord was the English equivalent of a margrave (in the Holy Roman Empire) or a marquis (in France) before the introduction of the title of "marquess" in Britain; no Marcher lord ever bore this rank. In this context the word march means a border region or frontier, and is cognate with the verb "to march", both ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *mereg-, "edge" or "boundary".

The greatest Marcher lords included the earls of Chester, Gloucester, Hereford, Pembroke and Shrewsbury (see also English earls of March).