Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Crime, Riot and Morality in Wales, 1750-1850
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 50 minutes lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 50 minute seminars plus individual essay tutorials of 10-15 minutes


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 X 2,500 WORDS ESSAYS  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   1 X 3 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION  60%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   60%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a firm grounding in the secondary source material and the ongoing debates in the study of crime and riot in Wales in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries

Reflect upon and critically analyze secondary and primary sources.

Collect, collate and analyze historical evidence and produce both oral and written arguments

Work independently and collaboratively (not assessed).

Produce work in a professional manner and demonstrate skills appropriate to the study of history.

Brief description

This module concentrates on the period between the Methodist Revival and the Treachery of the Blue Books, two significant developments in the history of Wales and the formation of modern Welsh identity. It has been suggested that part of the response to the Blue Books was the creation of an image of Wales as `the land of white gloves' untainted by lawlessness and immorality. Yet historians have also identified riotous and violent elements which co-existed side by side with the moralizing influence of the Revival and the growth of Nonconformity. The aim of this module is to investigate these conflicting sides of Welsh society and to explore the attitudes of the population in general to crime and immorality, along with some of the causes of riot and unrest in the period. Students will be introduced to some of the ongoing historical debates relating to these themes, such as the discussion of whether or not eighteenth-century society was inherently violent and the extent to which protests such as food riots arose out of notions of social justice and the moral economy of the crowd.


This module gives students the opportunity to explore the themes of crime, riot and unrest in Wales in this period within the context of the rich secondary literature available in this field. It introduces students to some of the debates, issues and problems which arise for historians researching in these areas. This module is already available through the medium of Welsh so providing an English-medium version will broaden the range of choice available to English-medium students of Welsh history and to those studying on the medieval and early modern degree scheme as well as other history students.


1. Introduction: `The Land of White Gloves?'
2. Authority and the leaders of society
3. Popular culture: leisure and recreation
4. Popular culture: popular literature
5. The Established Church and moral standards
6. The Law: the `Bloody Code' and social control
7. Law and Order
8. Law and Punishment
9. The Law and social attitudes
10. Protest: introduction
11. Protest and riot in the eighteenth century
12. Rural unrest
13. Industrial unrest
14. Discontent in the 1830s
15. The Merthyr Rising of 1831
16. Chartism and the Newport Rising of 1839
17. The Rebecca Riots
18. `The Treachery of the Blue Books'

Introduction to period and themes
The gentry, authority and paternalism
Violence in the eighteenth century
The eighteenth-century riot and the moral economy
Crime and society
Punishment and deterrent
Unrest in the early nineteenth century
Chartism and 1839
The Rebecca Riots
The Blue Books and questions of morality

Individual tutorials
2 tutorials of 15 minutes, primarily for giving feedback on written work

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; improve listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in two essays; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but not assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course/career.
Problem solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods and plans and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); exercise negotiation and persuasion skills; evaluate group activities and own contribution.


This module is at CQFW Level 6