Scottish Marches

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Scottish Marches was the term used for the Anglo-Scottish border during late medieval and early modern eras—from the late 13th century, with the creation by Edward I of England of the first Lord Warden of the Marches to the early 17th century and the creation of the Middle Shires, promulgated after the personal union of England and Scotland under James VI of Scotland (James I of England). On both sides of the Anglo-Scottish border there were the West March, the Middle March and the East March. These regions nearly mirrored each other but there was some overlap between the Scottish and English regions. The Lord Wardens of the Marches who oversaw these regions were tasked with keeping their monarchs domain secure, and when it was in their interests they would encourage cross border raiding or even full scale war.

For centuries the Marches on either side of the boundary was an area of mixed allegiances, where families or clans switched which country or side they supported as suited their family interests at that time, and lawlessness abounded. Before the two kingdoms were united as the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Border clans would switch allegiance between the Scottish and English thrones depending on what was most favourable for the members of the clan. For a time a powerful local clans dominated a region on the border between England and Scotland. It was known as the Debatable Lands and neither monarch's writ was heeded.

The fluid nature of the border, and the frequent...
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