An English Settlement in Western Montgomeryshire during the Tudor Period MURRAY LL. CHAPMAN INTRODUCTION Montgomeryshire was one of the newly created shires resulting from the Acts of Union. Its area had, hitherto, comprised some 32 separate lordships, each with its own separate jurisdiction, laws and customs. The Acts of Union, 1536-42, swept away all the old laws and customs and provided a uniform system for the administration of Justice in Wales as in England through the establishment of the Courts of Great Sessions. These courts administered justice according to the laws of England. The Acts of Union therefore afforded the same protection to Welshmen as well as Englishmen. This was particularly important to any in-migrants from England who chose to establish themselves in any of the newly shired counties. New administrative areas (hundreds) were also established by the Acts within the counties. There are indications that, following the passing of the Acts of Union, there was a significant in-migration of English families to Montgomeryshire and, in particular, to the lordship of Arwystli in western Montgomeryshire during the period 1572-80. At that time Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, held the lordship of Arwystli, with other lordships, from the Crown. There are a variety of reasons as to why people should move, be they economic, religious, social or political. Professional people such as clerics and lawyers move from place to place to take up new appointments so as to further their careers. Traders, craftsmen and servants move to places where there is a demand for their services. The letting of land to farmers can also result in the movement of families from one area to another. In some instances the movement is enforced, as was the case in the Vale of Clwyd following the Edwardian conquest of Wales.1 In other instances there was a deliberate policy to repopulate areas through a carefully managed process by the Crown, as occurred in Munster, Ireland, following the forfeiture of the Earl of Desmond's estates as a result of rebellion.2 The evidence for the in-migration of English families to western Montgomeryshire during the period 1572-80, presented below is shown to be a result of incentives provided by the Earl of Leicester with the help of the Crown. 1 D.H. Owen, The Englishry of Denbigh: an English colony in mediaeval Wales, Transactions of the Honourable Society of the Cymmrodorion (1975), 57-76. 2Michael MacCarthy-Morrogh, The Munster Plantation: English Migration to Southern Ireland 1583-1641, (Oxford, 1986).