A SETTLER COMMUNITY IN POST-CONQUEST RURAL WALES: THE ENGLISH OF DYFFRYN CLWYD, 1294-1399* THE Edwardian conquest of Wales in 1282-83 brought in its wake a wave of English colonization designed to cement the control of Pura Wallia that had been achieved by military victory. The colonization was, in itself, not new, but rather the continuation of a process begun in south and south-west Wales two centuries earlier and dating back even further in the debatable borderlands with England. The settlement which followed 1282 had, however, an air of thoroughness and central direction. It created a class of English settlers across Wales with identifiable rights and interests, a colonial society in the midst of the Welsh population. This colonial society was most strikingly represented by the creation of a series of royal and marcher boroughs in the newly conquered areas of Wales. However, this development of urban centres, populated by English burgesses with a privileged, corporate status, was only part of a much wider picture. In many areas of Wales considerable numbers of the new colonists became 'the English outside the town', holding land in the surrounding countryside. These rural settlers and the burgesses constituted an overlapping group, for English colonists often held land both inside and outside the borough; and together they formed a single community, easily identifiable in contrast to the Welsh. In a society which was almost entirely rural, the intrusion of an alien group beyond the boroughs could be expected to create its own significant impact. Unprotected by the walls and legal exclusivity of the borough, the rural colonists were in greater regular contact with the native Welsh. Their reaction to this situation, both in drawing together as a group and in intermingling with their Welsh tenants and neighbours, could be expected to reflect this. I This article is an attempt to answer a number of questions about these rural English colonists in the century after the conquest, concentrating on the commote of Llannerch in the lordship of Dyffryn Clwyd. This marcher lordship was created in 1282 in the aftermath of the conquest, and although the English crown had exercised authority in the area for a few years in the .The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is gratefully acknowledged. The work was funded by ESRC award numbers R000232548 and R000234070. We are grateful to our colleagues on the projects, Professor Rees Davies and Dr Llinos Smith, for many helpful suggestions, and to Dr Oliver Padel for his substantial contribution to the development of the database on which this article is based. 'For a general study of the nature and effect of English settlement, see R. R. Davies, Lordship and Society in the March of Wales, 1282-1400 (Oxford, 1978), pp.319-53. See also idem, 'Race relations in post-conquest Wales: confrontation and compromise', Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1974-75), pp. 32-56.