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The marches were the border regions between medieval England and Scotland and England and Wales At a time when the lines of communication between the king and the outlying parts of his kingdom were exceedingly slow, the control of the regions and their protection against incursion was delegated to what are referred to as "marcher" lords, who were given far more autonomy than was usual during the feudal era. The most notable of these was the Percy family who were virtual rulers of northern England for centuries.