Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Introductory seminar + 6 x 100 minute seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Two assessed essays of 3,500 words, each of 50% weighting.  100%
Supplementary Assessment New essays on topics different from those originally undertaken in any failed module, as required by university regulations governing resits for modules with marks under 50%.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate a critical understanding of relevant themes in and approaches to the history of early modern Wales and the history of religion.

Marshal and understand the use of appropriate evidence in formulating historical arguments regarding religious history.

Demonstrate through written work an ability to integrate historical themes and methodology into their own research.

Brief description

Religion was an essential element in Welsh national identity throughout the early modern period. Over the course of this period, the majority of Welsh people transferred their allegiances from the Catholic to the Protestant Anglican Church, with large numbers later being recruited by the emerging nonconformist groups. Each variant on the Christian faith in turn became an intrinsic element in a shifting sense of national identity.
This module explores the evolution of increasingly radical Protestant ideology in Wales, along with the interplay between religious belief, language and identity. This will be achieved by focussing on a series of key individuals, whose ideas were not always widely accepted in their own age, but who, thereafter, have been hailed as religious pioneers. Students will engage with these ideas through the writings of each individual, in translation from the original Welsh in some cases. The module will examine the various ways in which these figures interpreted the perceived association between the Christian faith, the Welsh language and the Welsh nation and how these interpretations, in turn, affected the development of religion and national identity in early modern Wales. These ideas and themes will be set in the wider context of religious developments in the British Isles during the early modern period.


This module studies an important aspect of Welsh society and culture and of the development of national identity during the early modern period. It offers an additional option for students on the History of Wales MA, which will also be available for students on the MA programmes in the Early Modern British Isles and Eighteenth-Century Britain.


Introductory seminar, plus six from the following:
William Salesbury and Protestant humanism
Bishop Richard Davies: the `Protestant Theory of the Church'
John Penry: the first Welsh Nonconformist martyr?
Morgan Llwyd: Puritanism, Wales and the Welsh language
Vavasor Powell and seventeenth-century Puritanism
Griffith Jones: faith, education and the Welsh language
Theophilus Evans: a Biblical history for Wales
Howel Harris and the Methodist movement
William Williams and the Methodist view of history
Dr Richard Price and radical Dissent
Iolo Morganwg: the search for a new identity

Individual tutorials for essay feedback

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Through seminar discussion and essay writing. Only the latter is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance By guided reflection during seminars and feedback sessions following submission of written work.
Information Technology Through data retrieval exercises for research purposes and word-processing for essay writing purposes.
Personal Development and Career planning Through furthering understanding of the discipline of history and the opportunities for research that it offers.
Problem solving By understanding how historians employ a variety of different methodological approaches towards understanding problems within their field.
Research skills By learning how to identify appropriate primary and secondary sources and utilising that material in their work.
Subject Specific Skills By enhancing methodological understanding of early modern and religious history and an awareness of key sources and approaches.
Team work Such skills will be developed through seminar work.


This module is at CQFW Level 7