Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-2xdlg Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-16T04:08:40.996Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

8 - ‘This Murmuring and Unthankful Peevish Land’: Wales and the Protectorate

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 October 2017

Lloyd Bowen
Affiliation:
Lecturer in Early Modern and Welsh History at Cardiff University
Jason Peacey
Affiliation:
Dr Jason Peacey is a Research Fellow at the History of Parliament Trust.
Blair Worden
Affiliation:
Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford
Patrick Little
Affiliation:
Dr Patrick Little is Senior Research Fellow, History of Parliament Trust, London.
Get access

Summary

As Barry Coward noted in his recent volume on the protectorate, the history of Wales under Cromwell ‘has not received a great deal of attention’, a situation in marked contrast to the flowering of recent literature dealing with Ireland and Scotland in the 1650s. What writing there has been on the interregnum in Wales is dominated by the activities of the commission for the propagation of the gospel in Wales between 1650 and 1653, while for the protectorate period, the opposition of the ‘metropolitan of the itinerants’, the Fifth Monarchist Vavasor Powell, who penned the anti-protectoral Word for God, with his ‘little Welsh army’, assumes centre stage. This focus on the activities of the propagation commission and radicals like Powell testifies to some of the major preoccupations of Welsh historiography which have emerged from the Liberal and nonconformist backgrounds of many of its practitioners. Consequently, interregnum Wales has been viewed primarily through the eyes of the radical puritan caucus who are often portrayed as providing the initial, heroic bridgehead for later nonconformist advancements in the country. As a result, apart from the opposition of Powell, the protectorate has been something of a lacuna in Welsh historiography, a footnote to the dynamism of the propagation era and a prologue to the heroic resistance of Welsh nonconformists to the Penal Code.

Although this chapter endorses the importance of the propagation commission in shaping the contours of public debate in Wales after 1653, it seeks rather to explore the legacy of the propagation experiment in alienating significant sections of the Welsh population from all republican regimes. It demonstrates how propagation not only planted cells of nonconformist piety in Wales, but also produced a significant body of critical opinion which impeded the process of ‘healing and settling’, especially during the early protectorate. The propagation commission cast a long shadow over the later 1650s which has been neglected by previous commentators who understandably have focused on the light and heat generated by the dynamic Powell.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×