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Welsh, English or British? Hugh Hughes and late sixteenth-century Anglesey

Grove-White, Robin (2011) Welsh, English or British? Hugh Hughes and late sixteenth-century Anglesey. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

The ‘acts of union’ administrative and judicial machinery, through which Wales was governed from the late-Tudor period onwards, gave a major role to native Welshmen. It is sometimes argued that this encouraged a predominantly self-seeking Welsh gentry class to consolidate, attracted to English priorities, to the continuing detriment of Welsh culture and language. Through an examination of the life and career of a single individual from this class, the lawyer-landowner Hugh Hughes (c. 1548-1609) of Plas Coch in Anglesey, it is argued on the contrary that the multi-tiered administrative system helped perpetuate Welsh distinctiveness, with highly educated bi-lingual lawyers like Hughes himself crucial to the effectiveness of the machinery of government. His English university and legal training is shown to have been compatible with continued embeddedness in Welsh-speaking Anglesey, and the thesis uses him as a prism for understanding the various north Welsh governance institutions, in most of which he was personally involved, and their inter-connected workings. It is probably more appropriate to picture key figures of Hugh Hughes’ kind as acting on behalf of an emergent shared ‘imagined community’ of ‘Britain’, than as compromised agents of English hegemony. Reflections are offered on possible implications of such a perspective for present-day attitudes towards devolution.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 14:43
Last Modified: 18 May 2016 15:45
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5086
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