March, Earls Of
MARCH, EARLS OF, title derived from the " marches " or boundaries (i) between England and Wales, and (2) England and Scotland, and held severally by great feudal families possessed of lands in those border districts. The earls of March on the Welsh borders were descended from Roger de Mortemer (so called from his castle of Mortemer in Normandy), who was connected by marriage with the dukes of Normandy. His son Ralph (d. c. 1104) figures in Domesday as the holder of vast estates in Shropshire, Herefordshire and other parts of England, especially in the west; and his grandson Hugh de Mortimer, founder of the priory of Wigmore in Herefordshire, was one of the most powerful of the barons reduced to submission by Henry II., who compelled him to surrender his castles of Cleobury and Wigmore. The Mortimers, however, continued to exercise almost undisputed sway, as lords of Wigmore, over the western counties and the Welsh marches.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)