The later representative of the house of Lancaster was fortunate, however, in having less formidable enemies than the earlier; the power of the baronage had been shaken by the Wars of the R~ses no less than the power of the crown; so many old estates had passed rapidly from hand to hand, so many old titles were represented by upstarts destitute of local influence, that the feudal danger had become far less.
His instruments were ministers of ability chosen from the clergy and the gentryhe seems to have been equally averse to trusting the baronage at the one end of the social scale, or mere upstarts at the other, and it is notable that no one during his reign can be called a court favorite.
Moreover, the Despensers felt that they had a great advantage over Gaveston in that they were native-born barons of ancient ancestry and good estate: the ~,rounger Hugh, indeed, through his marriage with the sister of the earl of Gloucester who fell at Bannockburn, was one of the greatest landowners on the Welsh border: they could not be styled upstarts or adventurers.
The original land-holding aristocracy, which had probably initiated and for a time monopolized commerce, was partly supplanted by prosperous upstarts, and with the general increase of prosperity began to lose its hold upon the community of artisans.
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