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Counselling the Prince: Advice and Counsel in Thirteenth-Century Welsh Society

Counselling the Prince: Advice and Counsel in Thirteenth-Century Welsh Society

By Kathryn Hurlok

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, Vol: 94:313 (2009)

Abstract: In thirteenth-century Gwynedd, advice and counsel were sought through a variety of means. Whilst some of them, such as consultation of leading magnates and prelates, were common to much of Europe, the princes of Gwynedd still relied on traditional methods of counsel, most notably the advice given by court poets through their works. This article demonstrates how this very public method of advice was employed, the reaction of the princes to it, and its role as part of the machinery of the court. It then considers how the advice of the poets contributed to, and reflected, the move away from confederate consultation with the other princes of Wales to the use of a body of ‘counsellors’ drawn from Gwynedd as the thirteenth century progressed, a style of leadership which brought Gwynedd into line with wider European methods of governance.

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