My word this week came from the DK guidebook, Eyewitness Travel: Dublin on page 14 in the history section about Richard de Clare, aka Strongbow, who was sent in 1169 from England to handle feuds in Ireland. He married the daughter of Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster.
When MacMurrough died in 1171, Strongbow was in line to succeed him. Henry II sent an army to Ireland to check his ambitions, in part by recognizing Strongbow’s suzerainty over the province of Leinster.
According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1979), suzerainty comes from French and means “the dominion of a suzzerain: OVERLORDSHIP.” A suzzerain is “a superior feudal lord to whom fealty is due: OVERLORD.”
So, I think the sentence is telling us that a way Henry II kept Strongbow in check was to allow him to have power in one region but limiting his ability, and therefore desire, to expand his influence. Do you agree?
Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermudaonion’s Weblog. Kathy says: “Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.”