Reforming memory: commemoration of the dead in sixteenth-century Wales

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    Abstract

    It has become something of a truism among sixteenth-century historians that attitudes to death and commemoration underwent radical change in the course of the Reformation. However, there is still debate about the precise chronology and impact of these changes. It has also become something of a truism among Welsh historians that Wales was slow and even reluctant at first to accept the changes of the Reformation. However, while there seems little evidence of discontent in early sixteenth-century Wales with what the late medieval church had to offer, and little or no evidence of enthusiasm for change, there is also little evidence of overt opposition to the changes of the 1530s and 1540s. Evidence of tomb carvings, bequests for prayer and commemorative poetry suggests that Wales, often considered backward, may in fact have been in advance of continental thinking on the value of post-mortem intercession and the ‘Renaissance’ cult of fame.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)186-214
    Number of pages29
    JournalThe Welsh History Review
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

    Keywords

    • death
    • commemoration
    • Reformation
    • Wales
    • marwnadau
    • tombs

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