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As one of the richest and most powerful land-owning families in later medieval England, the Staffords played their leading part in the politics of their time. This book traces the often complex relations between the three Stafford Dukes of Buckingham and the Crown. In doing so it casts light upon the attitude of successive English kings towards the nobility as a whole, and reassessed the political and military strength of the ruling class. The Staffords derived most of their influence from the ownership of land. Because of the survival of a widely scattered but unique family archive, Dr Rawcliffe has been able to study in unusually close detail the management of their estates and the deployment of their finances, as well as the reorganization of their household, which changed over the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries from a large peripatetic body to a smaller resident establishment where the third Duke of Buckingham could indulge his taste for cultural pursuits.
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