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The Act of Union with Wales

The Act of Union with Wales came about between the years 1536 and 1543 as a result of a series of laws passed in the English Parliament.

Wales had been under the control of the English Kings since the conquests of Edward I and had been ruled as a principality. This meant that some laws were different in Wales to those in England. Following the Battle of Bosworth Field and Henry VII's victory there the links between the two countries became a little stronger. Henry was Welsh and many of his followers were from Wales.

The second Tudor monarch, Henry VIII was concerned that some of the Welsh lords were against his Split with Rome and there was evidence to suggest that some of the marcher Lords were harboring English criminals. To combat this, and to protect the Welsh coast from a French or Spanish invasion, Henry opted to take a firmer grip on the Principality.

The Act of Union, in reality a series of laws, meant that Wales was to be represented in English parliaments. It also meant that English, not Welsh, was to be the first language of the country: a move that is still resented by some Welsh people today.

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